Week 16 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

Week 16 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

The following article appears on OccupyFantasy.com every Friday! Become a member for as little as $2/week with an annual subscription for NFL DFS analysis, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL and more.

The Daily Plug is our weekly NFL DFS picks write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model. The Plug then provides actionable information for each slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly what types of contests to play — all depending on the type of player you are.

Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Be sure to read all the way through to the end!

Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page – updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player in Week 16? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our partner, DFS Magic, is offering an optimizer FREE for all Occupy members.


Biggest Favorites:
Ravens, -11
Seahawks, -9.5
Chargers, -9
Falcons, -8.5

Broncos, -7.5
Colts, -7

Highest Game Totals:
NO@TEN, 50
BAL@CLE, 49.5
JAX@ATL, 47.5

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Seahawks, 30.25
Ravens, 30.25
Falcons, 28
Chargers, 27.25
Colts, 27

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
Lions, 15.5
Jets, 17
Raiders, 18.25
Bears, 18.75 (Yahoo!)

Jaguars, 19.5


Each week, we’ll point out three games to stack based on the Occupy Model, betting line information such as game totals, implied team totals, line movements, and more.

We’re officially in the home stretch of the NFL season – we need to be mindful of teams that have very little to play for. In addition to players on the just plain bad teams, star players we’ve used all year on teams like the Chargers, Falcons, Jaguars and Panthers are more high-risk than normal now that their teams are eliminated from the postseason. 

We need to more carefully monitor the news out of those markets to see what teams plan to do now for that reason. 


Despite not being listed on the final injury report, Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury prevented him from throwing all week. We don’t feel comfortable recommending game stacking DAL@PHI as a result, and the betting markets back this up as the game total has dropped two points since lines opened.  

Drew Brees and the Saints head to Tennessee to face the Titans, and the game offers intrigue as both teams still have a lot to play for. New Orleans is in the running for home field advantage in the NFC, while the Titans look to stay alive for the AFC South title.

Much has been made about Brees’ outdoors splits, as his historical performance across the board has been worse in those settings. For us, he’s actually the third lowest ranked QB in the Occupy Model. That being said, he gets elite weapons like Alvin Kamara (3rd highest ranked RB) and Michael Thomas (top WR) every time out – so he makes sense in a game stack environment regardless. Tannehill ranks as a strong top 7 QB play for us, while Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Jonnu Smith should continue to be involved. This game has a 49.5 point total, 2nd highest on the slate.

Derrick Henry has been declared OUT. Dion Lewis should be prioritized as a punt play with an expanded role in game stacks.

Another week, another Arizona Cardinals game stack! The Seahawks host them in Week 16, as the two squads prepare to play the highest total game on the main slate (51 points).

Russell Wilson is our 2nd favorite QB in the Occupy Model. Seattle is favored by 10.5 points, and also holds the highest implied team total at 30.75 points. See where this is going? Home favorite running back Chris Carson figures to be popular, and everyone at this point knows about TE vs the Cardinals, so Jacob Hollister should be too. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf round out the skill players you should consider on the Seattle side.

For Arizona, Kyler Murray’s favorite target Christian Kirk has struggled to practice with an ankle injury, so he’s a game time decision. If he can’t go, Larry Fitzgerald would be in line for massive work against the Seahawks. Fresh off his 4 TD eruption, Kenyan Drake will face the 22nd DVOA rush defense in Week 16, while TE Charles Clay has seen a tick up in work for Arizona, running a route on just shy of 50% of Murray’s dropbacks in the last three weeks (Pro Football Focus). Arizona’s focus will be trying to play spoiler for Seattle’s bye week aspirations.

The Jaguars are trying to learn if Gardner Minshew can be the answer in 2020, while Dan Quinn and the Falcons are looking for a strong close to their 2019 campaign. That’s a nice way of saying, this game means absolutely nothing, so it’s the highest risk of the bunch here. With a 47 point game total, and a friendly environment indoors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we can expect an offense-friendly set up.

Matt Ryan is the highest ranked QB in the Occupy Model. Leonard Fournette continues to rank highly thanks to his 35.8 anticipated weighted-opportunity workload. Devonta Freeman has a 25.0 weighted-opportunity projection of his own as an 8.5 point home favorite. DJ Chark (who just missed our underperforming WR list) is poised to return to action, while Julio Jones looks to build upon a massive Week 15 workload in front of the hometown crowd. Plenty of value plays at WR are on the board on both sides of the game for you, as well. Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and Russell Gage all figure to go low-owned, and actually help you pay up for the other studs in this game stack. Finally, don’t forget about Austin Hooper either – he’s the fourth highest ranked TE on the slate.



Stud: Russell Wilson (vs. Arizona)

Fresh off a big win against the Carolina Panthers, Wilson once again tops the list of low-risk QBs. Seattle has the highest implied team total at 30.75 points, and is favored by a massive 10.5 points against the Cardinals in Week 16. Wilson has the perfect skillset to exploit the 28th DVOA pass defense in front of his home crowd, and we can get him for a reasonable amount of our salary cap dollars on FanDuel and DraftKings compared to Lamar Jackson. Wilson also should play relatively pressure free – Arizona generates the 6th least amount of pressure on opposing passers on the slate.

Value: Andy Dalton (@ Miami)

Dalton’s matchup with the Dolphins is as fantasy-friendly as it gets. Miami allows the 2nd most yards per pass attempt (Y/A) to opposing passers on the season and is dead last (32nd) by DVOA against the pass on the year. There are also strong matchups across the board for all of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson and Tyler Eifert. Rather than trying to pick the “right” one of the skill players that benefits this week, you can select Dalton as your cash game QB for a very modest salary total. The Bengals 23 point team total has risen by 1.25 points since lines opened.

Value: Will Grier (@ Indianapolis)

The Christmas season (for those of you who celebrate) likely brings back memories of many shiny, new toys that put a twinkle in your eye. Will Grier is that shiny new toy for Panther fans this week. Grier was one of 3 QBs that Matt Waldman labelled “Starter Caliber” in his 2019 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for Platform Accuracy, meaning he expects short, intermediate and vertical accuracy from this passer, with some deep-range accuracy. So while Grier’s 2019 preseason left much to be desired, it’s important to note he’s had many weeks now to study, learn the system, and get some reps in practice to improve. Grier will be at or near minimum price depending on where you play, and has a reasonable matchup against this Colts secondary.

Running Back

Stud: Christian McCaffrey (@ Indianapolis)

Despite the change at QB, McCaffrey once again tops the Occupy Model at his position thanks to his 42.5 weighted-opportunity score. The 2019 Pro Bowler is 186 reception yards away from the 1,000/1,000 club, and still has an outside shot at breaking Chris Johnson’s single-season scrimmage yard record of 2,506 – McCaffrey sits 388 yards away with 2 games to go. McCaffrey played 100% of the snaps last week, and there’s been no report they’ll limit his reps, so despite Carolina’s season virtually being over, expect him to continue to play his normal workload for at least one more game here.

Stud:  Leonard Fournette (@ Atlanta)

Once aptly dubbed “CMC-lite” in this Plug, Fournette continues to turn elite usage into average results. He’s had 20+ raw opportunities for 4 straight weeks, but continues to be allergic to touchdown production. He leads the Jaguars in red zone opportunities, but has just 2 touchdowns in those 4 weeks. Fournette’s 25.8 weighted-opportunity score is the 2nd highest on the Week 16 slate.

Stud:  Alvin Kamara (@ Tennessee)

This is the classic flop lag spot – we loved Kamara for CPT/MVP on Monday night’s slate, and a lot of the same logic applies here. Tennessee is 23rd by DVOA defending RBs in the passing game, and that’s where Kamara continues to see a lot of work – 28 total targets since Week 12. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown of any kind since Week 3, and now has 22 total red zone opportunities since then. As the 2nd most targeted player by Drew Brees in New Orleans’ offense, Kamara’s targets more than make up for the fact that Latavius Murray eats into his carry share.

Value: Melvin Gordon (vs. Oakland)

Perhaps surprisingly, Gordon projects as the highest owned RB on the main slate on DraftKings (3rd on FanDuel) in Week 16. While Ekeler has had some memorable big plays in recent weeks, Gordon still leads this backfield. Since Week 12, Gordon has seen 39 carries to just 24 for Ekeler. It’s the passing game that Ekeler gains the slight edge, with 17 targets to just 15 for Gordon. As 9 point home favorites against the Raiders, expect Gordon to get plenty of carries in a friendly game script. The Chargers’ 27 point implied team total is the 4th highest on the slate, and they are favored by 9 points.

Value: Joe Mixon (@ Miami)

Mixon felt like a pure lock at the start of the week – Miami is 29th by DVOA against the rush, and allowing 140.9 rushing yards per game to their opponents. Mixon’s made the most of his opportunities in recent weeks, posting an 85-402-2 line on the ground since Week 12. His passing game involvement has ticked up with Dalton back under center, with 3+ targets in 3 straight games. At a modest salary in a game that should be wet and windy, Cincinnati would be smart to continue feeding Mixon carries. He has a 26.5 weighted-opportunity score
in the Occupy Model.

Joe Mixon is sick. High-risk only.


Value: DeAndre Washington (@ LA Chargers)

Now that Oakland is virtually dead (not “officially” eliminated), Josh Jacobs is back on the shelf thanks to his shoulder injury. The last time Jacobs sat, Washington played 63% of the snaps, and had 14 carries and 7 targets (compared to just 7 carries and 3 targets for Jalen Richard). The Raider tailback is too cheap for the 25.3 weighted-opportunity workload we expect in Week 16, making him a viable play in low-risk contests. The Chargers also happen to rank 23rd by DVOA against the rush, which may help Oakland’s backup offensive linemen here.

Value: Dion Lewis (vs. New Orleans)

With Derrick Henry declared out, expect Lewis to see the bulk of the work in the backfield. Tennessee is a slight 2.5 point home underdog, however, they have a higher implied team total than the Raiders (23.75 vs just 18.25), and Oakland’s total has decreased by 3 points. If choosing only one value RB between Washington and Lewis, we now prefer Lewis.

Wide Receiver

Stud: Michael Thomas (@ Tennessee)

Thomas is in the midst of a record-setting season, and now draws a matchup with the Titans, who do not defend any WRs well – never mind can’t guard Mike. With Adoree Jackson ruled out (and Malcolm Butler already on IR), a weak secondary gets weaker at the worst possible time. We have the Saints WR projected for 10.2 targets in the Occupy Model.

Stud: Julio Jones (vs. Jacksonville)

Fresh off a 20 target, 13 reception performance, there’s little reason to anticipate Julio will see a reduced role against the Jaguars. His 20 targets also earned him an absurd 72% of Matt Ryan’s air yards against the 49ers. With Russell Gage and Christian Blake once again slated to run alongside him at WR, will Ryan continue to look exclusively his way? Probably not. 20 targets is an absurd projection. We expect a more reasonable 11.5, which still leads all WRs in our Model for Week 16.

Value: Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry (vs. Baltimore)

Two Browns WRs pop on our underperforming WR list this week. Neither WR has scored in 3 weeks, despite owning a collective 72% of Baker Mayfield’s air yards.

The Browns aren’t completely out of the race, as a low percentage chance of earning a wild card depends on an 8-8 finish for both themselves and many others. Beckham and Landry continue to run more routes than any of their teammates (Pro Football Focus), at a 95% and 97% clip in the last three weeks, respectively. We expect each to see 9 targets against the Ravens. The underdog, home team Browns will look to end their home schedule on a positive note by sweeping their division rival – Baltimore hasn’t lost since playing these same Browns in Week 5.

Value: Steven Sims, Kelvin Harmon (vs. NY Giants)

Welcome to the Redskins WR section of the Plug, as for the third week in a row, we see some appeal here. Dwayne Haskins’ weapons continue to go underpriced for their roles – this week, they face a Giants defense that ranks 30th by DVOA against the pass. This is a welcome sight for Sims, as the Giants are 31st against slot WRs in particular. Harmon, meanwhile, continues to be too cheap for his role. Harmon has run a route on 100% of Haskins’ dropbacks in the last 3 weeks, playing equally as much as Terry McLaurin. Each of these WRs is available at a discount in an extremely friendly matchup. Playing one of them should allow you to pay up for some of the studs elsewhere.

Tight End

Stud: Zach Ertz (vs. Dallas)

Nothing has changed with Philadelphia’s available personnel in the passing game, which means Ertz should continue to see the majority of Carson Wentz’s attention through the air. We have Ertz projected for 9 targets in the Occupy Model, the most at the position.

Stud: Darren Waller (@ LA Chargers)

Hunter Renfrow is returning for the Raiders, but even with a slight bump down in expected target share, Waller remains a strong play. The 7.9 targets we project him for is 2nd in the Occupy Model. Waller is still looking for the end zone – his 35% share of Carr’s air yards and 25% of targets hasn’t turned into one in the last 3 weeks.

Value: Jacob Hollister (vs. Arizona)

Death, taxes, TEs against the Arizona Cardinals. That’s really all you need to know, here.

Austin Hooper is in Hollister’s salary tier, so expect him to pull ownership off of the Seattle TE in a dream spot.


Defenses are not typically going to be written up in detail in our Daily Plug on main slates. One of the optimal ways to select defenses for low-risk contests? Focus on defenses facing opponents with low Vegas team totals. We also want to target turnover prone quarterbacks when it makes sense. You shouldn’t ever pass on a player at another spot just to jam in a defense. We’ll always provide a list of low and high risk defenses in the player pool below.


Use 4-5% of your bankroll.

If you can settle on a build you like for low-risk contests, don’t shy away from those contests if you have the bankroll size to dip your toes in both ends of the pool here.

If playing low-risk, focus on the same spots we normally recommend – H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).

Our studs and values by position are intended to be a roadmap to help you win in low-risk contests. For high-risk, there are plenty of strong GPP plays in the player pool, as well as contests for you to target.

For more information on contest selection and bankroll allocation, check out our MUST-READ Ultimate Guide e-book.


Check out the player pool below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from the write-up and low-risk sections. Often, the highest projected owned RBs in the Occupy Model end up being the sharpest low-risk plays. Smart players have all week to figure out who to run, ownership projections reflect that.

It’s always a good idea to lock in a high volume, cheap RB in your low-risk lineup, and in the majority (if not all) of your high-risk lineups. This week, playing Dion Lewis and DeAndre Washington together allows you to pay up for studs like Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas in your low-risk lineups. This is what we recommend at this stage.

Building 5-10-20, even 150 lineups for large-field GPPs? Stick to a core of top plays (outlined below) that are projected to be highly owned, and build game stacks around that core. We strongly recommend stacking the highest total games on the slate above to accomplish this.

Our partner, DFS Magic, has a lineup builder you can use to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings! Now featuring single-game contest optimization!


Occupy Fantasy Member’s League

Play our free league contest on DraftKings! Winner take all, 1st place gets something special. Winner needs to DM the Occupy account on Twitter for more information. Enter the contest here. Good luck!

Smaller Bankrolls

Always, always always play freerolls. There is only one classic style one on DraftKings this week – the Straight Cash Free Contest Series.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.

This is likely most people reading this – single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.

The first place you can do that are with “Contests” – these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests – you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats – it’s a great place to play.

The $3 entry fee, NFL $50K Pylon or $12 entry fee, NFL $150K Fair Catch on DraftKings are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $50K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $25K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $15K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $100K Nickel on DraftKings.

The $30K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $1,500!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $11K Sun NFL Pooch Punt.

On DraftKings, you should continue to play satellites for Millionaire Maker tickets you can use in later weeks*. There are also generic “NFL $3 Ticket SuperSatellite” contests – these award 4 tickets and are $0.25 single entry GPPs. This would be a great way to accumulate Pylon or Play-Action tickets. *Expect Week 17 to be the last NFL $20 Millionaire Maker this year. Use all remaining NFL Millionaire $20  tickets for that contest.

There is also an NBA $2.5M Holiday Millionaire contest that has satellites available on DraftKings now for some cross-sport opportunity – you have several weeks to rack up tickets for this. Other strong cross-sport satellite opportunities? The NHL $360 Spin-O-Rama, The NHL 12-19 Waffleboard, EPL $100K Boxing Day Classic, LOL $40K Opening Day 2020, the EL $5 December Friday Frenzy, the NAS $10 America’s Race in February and the TEN $15 Aussie Special.

On FanDuel, satellites for the Super Bowl LIV Single Game contest are now available! Prioritize the “NFL Big Game Bowl on 2/2” satellites – rack up as many entries as you can. This contest likely will have a million dollar grand prize.

Also look at the satellites for the NBA Santa Slam on 12/25, NBA Jumbo Dunk on 1/8, NHL SUPER Goal on 1/9, NHL Super Deke on 1/14, NBA Spectacular Slam on 1/15, the NHL SUPER Monster on 1/16, TEN SUPER Smash on 1/19, NHL NBA Legendary Layup on 1/22, NBA Epic Monster on 1/28, NHL Super Crossbar on 2/4, NBA Hang Time on 2/5, NBA MEGA Monster on 2/21, NBA $1M Alley Oop on 2/26 and PGA MEGA Eagle on 4/9.

Don’t forget we have NBA and NHL Models for you to use for those contests – there will be an NBA Daily Plug as well on all slates with 6+ NBA games.

Larger Bankrolls

100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play – on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.

We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $500K Series Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $50K, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here. Note: DraftKings is running a Championship Series promo this week, with achievement based freerolls available.

You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size – The $27 entry fee $100K Blind Side and $50 entry fee $150K Red Zone stand out. The $100 entry fee $300K Spy awards $50,000 to 1st place, and is a small 3,333 person field (there is also a $50K Spy with a 555 person field).

For FanDuel users, the best single entry GPPs in the next tier up not mentioned above? The $33 entry fee, $65K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $70K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $40K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

The $150 entry fee, $300K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP on DraftKings with a $50,000 prize to 1st (there’s also a $50K Power Sweep with a smaller field). Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

The NFL $5M Main Event Championship with a $1500 entry fee has replaced the regular Millionaire Maker this week. It’s a 111 entry max contest with a $1,000,000 top prize. With a small field of 3,703 entrants, this is one of the better chances at a seven figure payday available in DFS (DON’T overextend or exceed your bankroll for this, though).

Because of the Main Event, the best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $2M Champ Series Slant this week. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $500,000 top prize.

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $1.2M NFL Sunday Million which is a $9 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $200,000 top-prize.

They’re also running it back with the $1M NFL Fan Championship Encore – this is a $250 direct buy-in GPP that awards $200K to 1st.


If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition to top plays above. Please remember – the Occupy Model is designed for high-risk contest optimization. Lower-ranked plays may still be great low-risk plays for that reason.


LOW-RISK: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Jackson

HIGH-RISK: Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Will Grier, Kyler Murray, Gardner Minshew, Drew Brees


LOW-RISK: Miles Sanders, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Chris Carson, Phillip Lindsay, Dion Lewis

HIGH-RISK: Austin Ekeler, Patrick Laird, Devonta Freeman, Kenyan Drake, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, James Conner, Mark Ingram II, Marlon Mack, Kerryon Johnson (if active), Latavius Murray, C.J. Prosise, David Johnson, Dion Lewis, Brian Hill, Joe Mixon


LOW-RISK: D.J. Moore, DeVante Parker, Sterling Shepard, Courtland Sutton, Terry McLaurin, Mike Williams

HIGH RISK: Tyler Lockett, Danny Amendola, Kenny Golladay, A.J. Brown, Christian Kirk, Keenan Allen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Amari Cooper, Robby Anderson, Tyler Boyd, Darius Slayton, D.J. Chark Jr, Jamison Crowder, T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Dede Westbrook, Michael Gallup, James Washington, DK Metcalf, Golden Tate, Russell Gage, Diontae Johnson, Greg Ward, Larry Fitzgerald, Tyrell Williams, Marquise Brown, Chris Conley, Corey Davis, Damiere Byrd, Ted Ginn Jr, Keelan Cole

THE “UNDERPERFORMING WRS” LIST: Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Danny Amendola

JUST MISSED: James Washington, Darren Waller (TE), T.Y. Hilton, Christian Kirk, D.J. Chark Jr, Kenny Golladay


LOW-RISK: Jack Doyle, Dallas Goedert, Austin Hooper

HIGH RISK: Mike Gesicki, Mark Andrews, Jared Cook, Jonnu Smith


LOW-RISK: Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers

HIGH-RISK: New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals

Plays are listed in order of preference (OF Index, DK Index where applicable).

Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!