This is a simple, straightforward piece. At the end of the week, I’m taking our weekly composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing at FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo. All weekly composite rankings (after the dashes) have been adjusted to remove games not on each sites’ main slate.
Jalen Hurts vs. Cowboys -- QB3 (FanDuel, QB4, $8,200)
Hurts got priced up after his four-score performance in Week 15 but $8,200 is still too low for our Expert Rankers. In his two starts, Hurts has averaged 14.5 carries for 84.5 yards and .5 touchdowns on the ground alone. He looked shaky as a passer in his first start versus the Saints but showed his throwing upside in the following week. Hurts torched the Cardinals for three scores through the air and is now averaging 7.9 adjusted yards per attempt. He’s the complete package from a fantasy perspective.
Baker Mayfield vs. Jets -- QB7 (DraftKings, QB8, $6,100)
As much as the Jets seem like a team that opponents would simply run the football on 40 times and get out with an easy win, they’ve been anything but that. The New York defense is eighth in yards per carry allowed and 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed. That has led to them being a middle-of-the-road team versus running backs and one of the three worst teams against passers. Mayfield, who has ten scores and one interception in his previous four games, should have no problem carving up the Jets this week.
Lamar Jackson vs. Giants -- QB3 (Yahoo, QB6, $32)
Jackson is simply at an egregious price on Yahoo this week. By their scoring, he has been the fifth-best quarterback on the slate when looking at it from a points per game perspective. His numbers have been up as of late as well. Using each quarterback’s previous five games, Jackson would be the top scorer on the slate. Over that span, Jackson is averaging eight yards per attempt and completing 68 percent of his passes. If Jackson is actually getting dialed in late in the season, he could regain his QB1 status from 2019 to close out the year.
Austin Ekeler vs. Broncos -- RB1 (FanDuel, RB8, $7000)
Removing the game Ekeler played three snaps in before getting injured, Justin Herbert and Ekeler have started in six games together. Ekeler has posted 13 carries for 61.8 yards on the ground while adding a jaw-dropping 7.2 receptions for 57 yards through the air. Our rankers have him as the best running back on the main slate and FanDuel priced him as a low-end RB1.
Giovani Bernard vs. Texans -- RB19 (DraftKings, RB24, $4,800)
Bernard blew up on Monday night but DraftKings’ pricing was already locked so his cost remains low for Week 16. He returned to a workhorse role last week after getting benched for half of his Week 14 matchup versus the Cowboys. Bernard out-carried his backups 25-6 and saw the team’s only running back target. Per Sigmund Bloom, the Texans have allowed opposing backfields to hit 125 yards from scrimmage in all but one game this year.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Falcons -- RB16 (Yahoo, RB19, $19)
Despite being one of the more pass-heavy teams, the Chiefs are still managing to run the football 26.1 times per game, almost perfectly at a league-average rate. This is because they are top-ten in overall plays run per game. Being unstoppable on offense has its benefits. The Kansas City backfield as a whole is also 15th in targets among all combined backfields. Bell should see the bulk of that work and get near the end zone more than almost any other back because of the offense he plays on.
Robby Anderson vs. Washington -- WR9 (FanDuel, WR13, $6,600)
Anderson may not be in a great spot versus a solid Washington Defense this week but volume is the best indicator of future fantasy performance and his volume greatly exceeds his price. He is one of just ten players with a target share north of 25 percent and an air yards share beyond 30 percent. Anderson has more games with double-digit targets than games with fewer than seven looks in the passing game since joining the Panthers.
Diontae Johnson vs. Colts -- WR6 (DraftKings, WR10, $6,300)
Much like Anderson, playing Johnson is simply leveraging a mismatch of price and volume. Despite routinely missing chunks of games early in the season with various injuries, Johnson has more games with at least ten targets than any receiver not named Keenan Allen or Davante Adams. He leads the NFL in games with 13 or more targets (five).
Corey Davis vs. Packers -- WR11 (Yahoo, WR12, $20)
Davis and A.J. Brown have played in ten games together this year. In those games, his target share of 23 percent is just one point behind Brown. His 36 percent share of the Titans’ air yards is three points ahead of Brown. Vegas has Tennessee as a 3.5-point dog this week. That should force them to throw at a higher rate than usual and put Davis in play as a great value and leverage off a chalky Henry.
Austin Hooper vs. Jets -- TE11 (FanDuel, TE15, $5,100)
If Mayfield is going to be in a great spot versus the Jets, that puts all of his pass-catchers in play as well. Hooper’s return from appendicitis has been quiet so far. He has peaked at 41 yards in his five games back. However, the most important takeaway from his return is that his role remains largely unchanged. He has been on the field for at least 70 percent of Cleveland’s offensive snaps in all but one of his past five games. Hooper is a cheap attachment to one of the best offenses for fantasy purposes this week.
Dallas Goedert vs. Cowboys -- TE3 (DraftKings, TE8, $3,600)
Over the past six weeks, Goedert has seen at least six targets in every game. He owns a 21 percent target share and a 23 percent air yards share over that span, both of which lead all Philadelphia pass-catchers. He’s a No. 1 receiver disguised as a tight end and now his quarterback play has turned around. His price will turn around soon as well so take advantage of it while you can.
Cole Kmet vs. Jaguars -- TE10 (Yahoo, TE12, $13)
The Jaguars have given up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this year and no team outside of Jacksonville has allowed more yards per pass attempt in the past five years. Vegas gives the Bears a 27.5 implied team total and Kmet appears to have pushed Jimmy Graham into a backup role. Kmet has out-targeted Graham 19-12 over their past four games.