But I know one thing that would make my holiday a lot happier would be a huge DFS week. I have had some success, yet I feel like I'm due for a big week. And unlike some previous weeks, I'm feeling confident in my picks this week.
We are also treated to two additional games on Saturday, but I will be restricting my focus to the main slates this week to help us win a little cash.
And speaking of cash, that brings us to our weekly reminder that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. The first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites.
And in Week 16, there definitely is some varied pricing, but we'll get to that! For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
There's more to be said, but the wife is bugging me to finish, so we can make our way out to deliver goodies to the police officers working on the holiday. So here are the picks...
Safe Quarterback Week 16 Pick
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans (DK $7200, FD $8400)
I've mentioned earlier this week that Herbert is my No. 1 option this week. That hasn't changed. He already has over 4K yards this season and 32 TDs. And those numbers are only going to grow this week against the Texans. No need to complicate this. Herbert is a fine choice.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 16 Pick
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (DK $5900, FD $7100)
The Ravens aren't a bad team, and they're not even a bad defense. But there are only so many injuries one team can withstand...
Look at the tweet above. Of note in particular is the amount of red in the secondary. We really shouldn't be surprised they are allowing the second-most passing yards of any team and are tied for the eighth-most passing touchdowns allowed.
I am expecting Burrow and his WRs to absolutely feast on Sunday.
Safe Running Back Week 16 Pick
Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans (DK $4200, FD $5400)
Austin Ekeler is unfortunately out for Sunday, thereby elevating Jackson to RB1 status. Jackson is coming off a strong game, after rushing 13 times for 86 yards last week. He is averaging nearly six yards (5.7) per carry this year. Meanwhile, Houston is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs this year.
Given the above, Jackson is just too cheap and will therefore be heavily owned. But he is just about a must-play in cash entries.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 16 Pick
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (DK $5700, FD $6600)
Montgomery has just one TD in his last five games. However, Matt Nagy has seen it fit to take the ball out of Justin Fields' hands, wrong or right. And that means Montgomery should see plenty of carries in Seattle.
And with Seattle allowing the second-most RB fantasy points this season, I expect Montgomery to score enough points to make us a nice little profit.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 16 Pick
Cooper Kupp, Los Angles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (DK $9100, FD $9800)
Perhaps you've been in a coma the last four months, but you should know Cooper Kupp is having a career season.
And I don't see that changing against the Vikings, who are allowing more fantasy points to WRs than any other teams this year. Do I really need to tell you all the other reasons to start Kupp? I know he's expensive, but I'd be willing to pay up to ten grand for him, that's how good he is and should be this weekend. Don't balk at the price. I'm locking him into all of my lineups. ALL of them.
High Risk/High Reward Wide Receiver Week 16 Pick
Braxton Berrios, New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $3500, FD $5300)
If you are too scared to select a Jet, fine, go with Isaiah McKenzie since Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley have entered COVID protocols. But it's just a reminder of how difficult it can be to be either a fantasy or an NFL GM. Think it's easy to be the latter? Elijah Moore is in COVID-19 protocols, Corey Davis is on IR, and Jamison Crowder is questionable.
Berrios will be the Jets' WR2 at worst and might see more targets than anyone else in this game. He did have a rushing TD last week, but I believe he scores via the air this week. Jacksonville has allowed 13 WR TDs this year — nearly one every game. They are also allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs this year. I know any Jet can be a risky pick, but I'm willing to bet on Berrios.
Safe Tight End Week 16 Pick
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, (DK $7000, FD $8000)
Regardless of who lines up behind center for Baltimore this week, Andrews is an easy pick. Last week's performance certainly supports that.
But it's not just the game film that proves it. Andrews is the No. 1 TE in fantasy football. Even if he played WR, his stats right now would make him the sixth-best WR in fantasy. Right now, you'd have been better off picking Andrews than picking Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, or Mike Evans.
And the Bengals are giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to TEs this year? Unlike Kupp, I might not be starting Andrews in ALL of my lineups, but any lineup where I can afford him, he's an obvious pick.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 16 Pick
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (DK $3000, FD $5000)
Uzomah is almost too chalky to be listed here. But he's only the 17th-best fantasy TE this year. And he's seen more than four targets just once this year. He also hasn't scored since Week 7. But he scored two touchdowns that week, and will you look at that ... it was in Baltimore! Even if he didn't already have tons of success against the Ravens, Baltimore is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to TEs.
I prefer Andrews, of course, but I'll gladly grab the TE on the other side of the ball in this matchup if I need to save salary.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 16 Pick
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos (DK $2900, FD $3900)
The discrepancies at the top between DraftKings and FanDuel are a little surprising. If you have the salary for the Bucs, Eagles, or Chargers, I'd go with one of those three. But the Raiders should also be a popular choice on both sites — and with good reason.
The Broncos are middle of the road when it comes to allowing points to fantasy DSTs. But that is with Teddy Bridgewater under center for most of their games. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Drew Lock is likely to start this game. And he has been absolutely horrible. Lock has 40 attempts this year and has two INTs and just one TD. He's passed for only 227 passing yards and has been a complete non-factor with his legs.
My guess is that the Broncos try to run the ball, and the Raiders have held opponents to a decent 4.3 yards per carry while allowing the seventh-fewest rushes for a first down. The Raiders are not a sexy pick but should get the job done.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 16 Pick
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (DK $3100, FD $4200)
It is always a little riskier to take a defense on the road, especially one going against a team that is desperate for the playoff lives. If the Vikings lose this game, they have zero shot to catch the Packers (which is basically a pipe dream already) and would lose almost every tiebreaker against the other wildcard hopefuls.
But the Vikes will be without the services of Dalvin Cook on Sunday. And I feel like I keep having to say this — the Rams defense is good. They have allowed the 11th-fewest points this year, but over their last three, they have allowed just 13.3 points a game, the third-lowest in the league. The Rams also have the eighth-most interceptions and the sixth-most sacks.
This is not a bad time to mention that the Rams are also ridiculously cheap on Yahoo, and I will be playing them on there for sure. But I will also have the Rams in a ton of DK and FD entries. They are well worth the risk.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.