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QB/RB Grind Down: Week 16

by Stevie "stevietpfl Young

We have two weeks left in the regular season and a particularly great slate this weekend. At this time of the year, it's important to pay attention to the playoff outlook, as I like targeting players from teams with something to play for.


As always, make sure to check the weather before lock. Now, let's get into some of my favorite quarterbacks and running backs for Week 16 on FanDuel and DraftKings.




Cash Game Targets


Ben Roethlisberger @ New Orleans Saints


This game has the highest total on the main slate, and the Steelers can clinch the division with a win this weekend. As for the matchup, the Saints are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Roethlisberger has 580 passing attempts this season, which leads the NFL, and he's averaging 318.7 passing yards per game while totaling 30 passing touchdowns. He's been a Top 10 fantasy quarterback in seven of 14 games this season. I'd expect this to be a high scoring game in the Dome, so I love the floor/upside for Big Ben in this matchup.

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Taylor Heinicke vs. Atlanta Falcons


It's rare that I’ll write up a quarterback for cash games who’s making his first career start. Carolina needs a lot to happen to make the playoffs, but they're still playing for something this weekend. The Falcons are allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they've allowed at least one passing touchdown in 11 of 14 games this season. They've also given up multiple passing touchdowns in eight of 14 games. At his price across the industry, Heinicke can pay off his price tag with a decent game. He played well in the preseason, and the coaching staff likes him a lot.


Tournament Targets

Baker Mayfield vs. Cincinnati Bengals


I played a ton of Mayfield in his first meeting against the Bengals, and he threw four touchdowns in that game. Cincinnati has allowed at least one passing touchdown in 13 of 14 games this season and has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Mayfield has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in six of the last eight games and has thrown at least one passing touchdown in each of his 11 starts this season. I love the rookie's upside in this matchup.


Aaron Rodgers @ New York Jets


At the beginning of the week, I thought Aaron Rodgers would sit the last two games for the Packers, but he and the coach said there is no plan for him sitting this weekend. I think he's a risky play because of the team being eliminated from the playoffs, but I do think it's a great spot to air it out against the Jets. New York has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 10 of 14 games this season but has only allowed over 300 yards passing in four games. Rodgers is coming off of his only touchdown-less game of the season, so I think he comes out slinging the ball this weekend.


Running Back


Cash Game Targets


Ezekiel Elliott vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


I think it's another great week to pay up for running back. There are a lot of great options at the top, but Elliott is one of the safest plays on the slate. Dallas will lock in a playoff spot with a win, and I mentioned earlier that I think it's important to target players from teams with something to play for. The Bucs are 31st in DVOA against the run, and they're allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Elliott has an 89.9% opportunity share, which leads all running backs this season, and he's averaging 96.4 rushing yards and 38.8 receiving yards per game. Elliott has a high floor with a nice ceiling in this matchup.


Nick Chubb vs. Cincinnati Bengals


As much as I like Mayfield, Nick Chubb is one of my favorite plays on the entire slate. I like him a lot for both cash games and tournaments. The Bengals are allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and they've allowed over 100 yards rushing in seven of the last 10 games and at least one rushing touchdown in eight of those games. Cincinnati has also surrendered at least one rushing touchdown in 10 of 14 games. Chubb had a massive game in Week 12 against the Bengals, and I wouldn't be shocked if he has another productive game this weekend.


Tournament Targets


Christian McCaffrey vs. Atlanta Falcons


After struggling against running backs last season, Atlanta is 30th in DVOA against the run and ranked 30th in DVOA against pass catching running backs this year. The Falcons are also allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. McCaffrey had 14 catches for 102 yards in the first meeting this season, and with a young quarterback taking over for Carolina, I like the upside for the running back in the passing game too. McCaffrey is sixth in rushing yards and first in receiving yards among running backs this season. He's also averaging the second-most fantasy points per game.


Marlon Mack vs. New York Giants


The Colts are in a must win game this weekend, and Marlon Mack is in a great spot at home against the Giants, who are allowing 24.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, which is the eighth most. After struggling for a few games, Mack got back on track against the Cowboys last weekend. With the number of touchdowns and 100-yard games allowed by the Giants Defense this season, I really like the upside for Mack in this spot.

Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.