Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas to all of our PlayON Daily Fantasy NFL players. It’s a wonderful time of the year where we get to spend time with friends and family, eating and drinking and being merry. But the best part is that there’s time off to watch copious amounts of football. I hope everyone enjoys this time as much as I do.
Hopefully Santa leaves you some nice little picks under the Christmas tree.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts ($10.7M)
It’s the return of the Mack. It had been a quiet few weeks for the Colts running back before he went off against the Cowboys with 139 yards and two touchdowns. He also lost a fumble, so his score could have been so much better.
He gets a great opportunity to replicate the feat against the New York Giants who are allowing the 5th most rushing yards in the league. Backs are walking through them for 128.4 yards a game and have scored 15 times this year, equal eighth most in the NFL. I know Derrick Henry has been on fire in recent weeks, but even still, he had 170 yards and two scores on this defense last weekend. Even for an in-form guy, that’s a lot. Mack is a low-medium risk and high reward play.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles ($8.9M)
“You’re never more dangerous than when everyone’s counting you out. You just have to believe.” – Nick Foles. As an Eagles fan, it’s hard for me to see Carson Wentz get hurt for the second season in a row. However, Nick Foles proved last year, and last week, that he can get the job done. The Eagles season is absolutely on the line with every remaining game and so Foles has no option but to go for the throat at every opportunity. He did this last week against the LA Rams. He threw 270 yards on 77.4% accuracy (24-31) and despite not actually throwing a touchdown, he made some key passes that set up scoring situations.
The Eagles play the Texans in a must win week 16 encounter, back at the Linc.
Foles is still the starter this week and Houston have given up 253 yards and two scores to Sam Darnold, 399 yards and two scores to Andrew Luck, and 397 yards and a touchdown to Baker Mayfield over their last three games.
Taylor Heinicke, Carolina Panthers ($7.4M)
It’s the time of year when the playoff picture is taking shape. We know who’s definitively in and out already with just a few teams remaining in the hunt. With the loss last weekend, the Panthers are now one of those teams that have been eliminated from contention and with that, they’ve decided to put Cam Newton and his clearly injured shoulder on ice. And thus, Taylor Heinicke, who you’ve probably never heard of, gets the start against Atlanta, a dream matchup.
The Falcons are the 22nd ranked pass defense of 2019, allowing 251 yards a game at 68.8% completions plus 28 touchdowns and only claiming 11 picks. Heinicke only has to protect the ball and throw a few check downs to Christian McCaffrey and he’ll easily out earn his price tag.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns ($12.1M) vs. Bengals, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ($11.3M) vs. Buccaneers
Elijah McGuire, New York Jets ($8.3M)
Another who has been gifted an opportunity to put his name in lights thanks to injury to the guy/s in front of him on the depth chart. McGuire has taken over from Isaiah Crowell who was put on IR in last week after a persistent toe injury got the better of him. And McGuire has been gradually taking over the backfield in the meantime. He’s record 17 and 18 touches in the last two games respectively, scoring in both.
This week he runs into Green Bay, a team allowing 124.1 yards on the ground each week and who have given up 13 touchdowns. The Packers rank in the bottom third of the NFL in both stats. They’ve also allowed multiple score games to running backs on four separate occasions this season, so McGuire could be a POD that puts you ahead of the curve.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons ($9.4M)
I was high on Tevin Coleman last week and the little guy delivered. He torched the Cardinals for 145 yards plus a touchdown on just 11 touches, with one extremely impressive 65-yard run. He has filled in well since the IR designation for Devonta Freeman, but now Ito Smith will be joining Freeman for the remainder of the year, meaning it’s all Tevin Coleman.
The move opens TC up to carries in the 15-20 range, and he’ll also cover the pass catching work out of the back field. The Panthers rush defense isn’t a fantastic matchup for the guy, but his lower price and new bell-cow status should more than make up for that.
Sony Michel, New England Patriots ($10.2M) vs. Bills, Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers ($8.8M) vs. Jets
Robby Anderson, New York Jets ($8.5M)
Anderson has that boom-or-bust potential. He might stay quiet for most of the game but then in just one play, he can do something that justifies his DFS salary. Fortunately, he remains good value for a guy who’s just got his best quarterback back. Since the return of Sam Darnold, Anderson has seen at least seven targets in the past three games, taking them for a 73-yard average and two touchdowns.
The Jets play a Packers team who are struggling to contain wide receivers this year. In standard scoring NFL fantasy leagues, Green Bay are giving up the 4th most fantasy points to the position. They allow just the 10th most yards in the league (247.1 per week) but have conceded 24 touchdowns through the air. The Packers were also just eliminated from playoff contention. The Jets are too but will be looking to create some chemistry between their rookie QB and his young pass catchers.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears ($8.1M)
ARob comes in with a nice matchup against the 49ers secondary who just gave up two touchdowns to Doug Baldwin despite stealing the win (and practically doing themselves out of the chance at Nick Bosa with the #1 draft pick. What on earth were they thinking?).
Robinson has averaged eight targets in the last three Bears outings but has yet to turn them into a huge day or a score. But with San Fran allowing a middle of the range 249.2 yards per game and 11.6 per attempt, plus an equal 30th ranked 30 touchdown passes, ARob’s time is now.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles ($11M) vs. Texans, Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns ($12M) vs. Bengals
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns ($7.3M)
You would have seen Njoku mentioned here a few times throughout the season, and it’s not because he’s doing amazingly. The tight end spot is more fickle than any other position in football. Njoku has a good matchup with the Bengals though so I’ll roll with him one more time.
Njoku has seen at least five targets in almost every game this year, only failing that three times, and the Bengals are giving up 282.4 receiving yards each game. They’ve also let in 28 passing touchdowns. The Browns and Bengals met in week 12 as well. In that game Njoku was the Browns highest receiver, catching five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. That would be a nice line for him to repeat in Cleveland this weekend.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts ($10.6M)
Eric Ebron has been having a breakout year with Andrew Luck under center. Except last week. Last week he only caught one ball for eight yards in the shut out of the Cowboys, but the Giants are not as good, so he’ll bounce back in week 16.
Ebron has scored 13 touchdowns this year (12 receiving and one rushing), which is a huge amount for a tight end. To put it in perspective, the NFL’s three premier tight ends have score 19 combined: Travis Kelce has 10, Zach Ertz has six and Gronk has scored just three. So Ebron’s one game absence from the endzone is almost a drought for him. He’s due to get back in there again.
Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys ($5.4M) vs. Buccaneers, Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons ($7.4M) vs. Panthers
Los Angeles Rams ($7.2M)
With a terrible defense, I mean one of the NFL’s worst, the Atlanta Falcons tore apart the Cards offensive line to record seven sacks and force three turnovers. So imagine what a team with Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and co. will be able to do.
The Rams are one of the best defenses this season lead by their MVP candidate in Donald, and after two straight losses to NFC rivals, the defense will be looking to lead the team to victory. I see no better side to do this against than one that’s last in pass yards per game, rush yards per game and points per game.
New England Patriots ($6.5M)
It’s not often in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era that the Pats would have had two straight losses, but that’s exactly the scenario that we see this week. And you can bet that they’ll not be very happy about it, which is bad news for the visiting Buffalo Bills.
The Pats are a nice cheap option for a side that has four interceptions in their past four games, two of which came last week against the Steelers.
Chicago Bears ($8.2M) vs. 49ers, Indianapolis Colts ($6.8M) vs. Giants
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams ($12.9M)
Suddenly, Jared Goff is playing football like he’s being coached by Jeff Fisher again. In the past two games especially, Goff has thrown 260 yards average on 57%, and he has zero score against five interceptions. Not surprisingly, both of those games have been losses. Heading into the post-season, Goff and the Rams are going to have to figure out a way for him to turn it all around.
It may seem like the perfect chance to get it going this week against a lowly Arizona Cardinals, but truth is, if the Rams come out and trounce their opponents early, they’ll likely turn to running the ball a lot. I think that it’s this reason that the Cards rank as one of the better pass defenses in the NFL, ranking 5th in yards allowed (212 per game), 7th in yards per attempt and being one of nine teams to allow less than 20 touchdowns through the air.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.