As we approach the final stretch of games this NFL season, today with our focus on FanDuel's main NFL Sunday slate of games for Week 16, it always comes back to one thing. The root of what made us target certain players on FanDuel and highlighted them in columns, what players offered great value to potential DFS owners and could offer a return on their investment.
So this week, we look at the five best value plays on FanDuel's Sunday slate of games. Now let's take a look at the best value plays on the main slate of games.
Drew Stanton, ARZ v. NYG, ($6,000)
It doesn't get much better in terms of value than a starting quarterback at $6K. Plays like this are made for cash-game lineups, where you can plug Stanton into your lineup and immediately open up a vast number of newer, better options for your running back and wide receiver slots. In terms of savings with Stanton, at a price more than $2K cheaper compared to the main quarterbacks, a FanDuel user's average cash remaining per player rises from $6,450 with a quarterback like Drew Brees to $6,750. While he doesn't offer the same upside as an elite quarterback, he gives you a greater potential return on investment given Stanton's matchup.
His matchup against the New York Giants makes the situation even better. New York's secondary allowed the fifth-most passing yards over the past month and is allowing the second-most passing touchdowns per game (2.5) over that span. Larry Fitzgerald should find great success in this game and if Stanton can produce just two touchdowns or 200-plus yards and a score, he offers strong value.
Dion Lewis, NE vs. BUF, ($6,700)
It's not often you find a top-10 running back this cheap, but it's just the case in Week 16. In part, it's due to the growing role of Rex Burkhead and the recent struggles of New England's offense, two main factors that pushed down Lewis' role in this offense and his effectiveness. Given New England didn't rule out Burkhead on Monday immediately, when FanDuel sets their prices for the coming week, this doesn't come as a huge surprise.
Lewis faces a Buffalo Bills' defense that is simply awful against the run. In the last seven weeks, Buffalo's defense allowed the most FanDuel points per game (30.4), total rushing yards (1,014) and total rushing touchdowns (12). Needless to say, matchups don't come much better than this for a running back. Lewis should return to the normal 16-plus touch workload he saw before Burkhead took over this offense and with Burkhead out and a cold weather game, New England will look to feed Lewis in this game.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR vs. TB, ($5,900)
Stewart isn't someone to look for RB1 production, those days of his career are over. Fortunately, we don't need that out of him, especially at his price. An RB2 at $5,900 is a bargain and given Stewart's role in this offense and his matchup, it's something to take advantage of. Playing Stewart also would allow DFS owners to go heavy at wide receiver with elite plays or plug in someone like Rob Gronkowski.
On Sunday, Stewart faces a Buccaneers' defense that is hurting in the front seven. The team lost multiple starters on the defensive line and at linebacker this season, so it came as no surprise when Devonta Freeman exposed them for nearly 200 total yards. We certainly can't build our hopes up for that kind of line, but Freeman also rushed for a touchdown against Tampa Bay and could have finished with two if not for being stripped at the goal line. Stewart will see 10-plus carries in this game and see goal line work, giving him the potential upside for 10-plus FanDuel points at a bargain rate.
Dede Westbrook, JAX@ SF, ($5,900)
Westbrook didn't quite deliver the fantasy performance we hoped for last week, but a defensive pass interference in the end zone swung his line in a negative direction. Now his ownership should be lower and his involvement in the passing attack should be even greater with wide receiver Marqise Lee out for Week 16. As a result, he becomes someone we want to target.
While San Francisco's numbers are improving defensively, it doesn't take away from the struggles of young cornerback Dontae Johnson. Westbrook is the superior player and he should be able to exploit the matchup against the 49ers' cornerback. While San Francisco started to turn things around offensively and a defensive improvement with less time spent on the field followed, the Jaguars' defense will quiet down the 49ers' offense and put significantly more pressure on their defense to perform.
Antonio Gates, LAC @ NYJ, ($4,500)
While the days where Gates could be counted on as a fantasy difference maker are a thing of the past, Sunday presents one of his last chances to display his abilities in a great matchup. It could be one of the last two games in the future Hall of Famer's career and with fellow tight end Hunter Henry out for the remainder of the season, Gates will see plenty of opportunities in the season's final two games.
At $4,500, we'll take advantage of a trusted Philip Rivers target in a good matchup. Through 14 games this season, the New York Jets allowed the third-most touchdowns to tight ends (eight), often being victimized in the red zone. Given the success Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen should have in this game and Los Angeles ability to move the ball down the field, the Chargers should make several trips to the red zone and that points significantly in Gates' favor. Given the price and the potential for seven-plus FanDuel points, the value doesn't get much better at tight end.