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FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Week 16 (2019)

by Matt Giraldi | @Mgiraldi | Featured Writer
Dec 20, 2019

Ertz has been seeing a ton of targets for the Eagles again

With Week 16 finally upon us, the playoff participants in the NFL are abundantly clear, even if the seeding of those teams is not. It’s also a time where the injuries have added up and players are being shut down for the season. Breshad Perriman and DeAndre Washington have golden opportunities as injuries have crippled skill positions.
Of course, just because a player is cheap they aren’t necessarily a good play. The aforementioned Perriman and Washington are certainly in play this week for cash games (Perriman for Saturday slates). I don’t see them as bad plays and they should both see a good amount of volume. There’s also a greater than zero percent chance that they disappoint fantasy owners looking to save a few bucks in salary.
It’s important to also realize that injuries to “good” players mean that defenses don’t have to account for those players. Remember Davante Adams in 2015? Obviously he turned out fine, but when he was a young player and suddenly became the focal point in an offense due to injury, he struggled. Obviously, most cash game lineups consist of safer players and higher floors, just keep these things in mind if your cash game lineup is starting to look like a GPP lineup.
Here are some of the players that I’m focusing on for cash game consideration for Week 16:

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Quarterbacks

Drew Lock (DEN): $7,300 vs. Detroit Lions
We’re diving into the deep end of the pool right out of the gates for Week 16. After two good performances to start Lock’s NFL career, he came back to earth last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, the snowstorm during that game was eerily reminiscent of The Day After Tomorrow. Lock and the Broncos return to Denver where the weather should be a balmy 56°F with minimal to no wind.

Over the last three weeks, the Lions defense has allowed 1,011 passing yards (most in NFL) and eight passing touchdowns (second-most). Opposing quarterbacks are completing 73.6% (third-most) of their passes with a 119.4 quarterback rating (second-most) in those games. Three of the last five quarterbacks to face the Lions have thrown for over 330 yards and three touchdowns.

Russell Wilson (SEA): $8,300 vs. Arizona Cardinals
While Wilson’s bid for an MVP award will ultimately come up short this season, he’s still been an efficient and effective fantasy quarterback. Now he gets a Cardinals defense that has been atrocious against the pass. It’s also one of the highest totals on the board, which has historically been good news for Wilson:

If you’re paying up for a quarterback and are not taking Lamar Jackson, take the runner-up to the MVP award.

Other notables

Lamar Jackson (BAL): $9,300 @ CLE
Matt Ryan (ATL): $7,700 vs. JAC

Running Backs

Joe Mixon (CIN): $7,800 @ Miami Dolphins
Who’s excited for a game between a 1-13 team and 3-11 team? Fantasy football players that’s who (and that’s about it if we’re being honest). The Bengals and Dolphins have a combined -342 point differential this season. A loss by the Bengals cements their place as the number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. A win could very threaten that chance, but don’t tell them. Over the last five games, Mixon has 100 rushing attempts for 491 yards (4.91 YPC) and three rushing touchdowns. He has also added 11 receptions on 14 targets for 103 yards.

The Bengals have re-committed to Mixon as being a focal point of their offense since their bye and it’s paying dividends in the fantasy realm. His 143 touches and 745 scrimmage yards since Week 9 rank second in the NFL behind Christian McCaffrey. This has included games against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and New England Patriots. Now he gets an inept Dolphins defense that placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on IR this week. In the first four games of the regular season, the Dolphins had allowed an average of 175.8 rushing yards per game. The next seven games after McMillan started playing an increased role that number decreased down to 125.7 yards per game.

Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): $8,700 @ Philadelphia Eagles
The way to attack the Eagles defense this season has been through the air. Well, color me concerned about the injury to Dak Prescott‘s shoulder. While it’s simply being reported as an AC Joint, some believe it could be slightly more worrisome.

Of course, I’ll rely on the team itself to ultimately give the diagnosis, but as we saw this week with the Jacksonville Jaguars, teams aren’t always the bastion of trustworthiness. As for Elliott however, he has constantly and consistently fed on the Eagles defense.

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Since 2017, the Eagles have allowed a total of eight 100 yard rushers. Elliott has four of those performances. If Prescott is hindered in any capacity this Sunday, Elliott’s fifth 100-yard rushing performance against the Eagles might just be a certainty.

Other notables
Marlon Mack (IND): $7,300 vs. CAR
Miles Sanders (PHI): $7,400 vs. DAL

Wide Receivers

Michael Gallup (DAL): $6,500 @ Philadelphia Eagles
Recency bias might throw you off Gallup, particularly if you see the box score from last week and wonder how he didn’t get involved in the scoring fest against the Los Angeles Rams. Gallup had only three targets and one reception for six yards. Then again, Gallup actually led all Cowboys wide receivers in targets. Prior to last week however, Gallup had 46 targets over his previous five games with no fewer than six targets per game.

This week he and the Cowboys get the porous Eagles secondary. For Gallup, he should see a lot of Ronald Darby in this matchup. Gallup lines up on the left side 50% of the time. Darby lines up on the right side of the defense approximately 65% of the time. Teammate Amari Cooper ($7,700) has also feasted on the Eagles since joining the Cowboys and is fully in play for cash considerations as well.

Again, the biggest word of caution with the Cowboys receivers will be the health of Prescott. Pay close attention to Friday’s practice report and throughout the day on Sunday for any further insight as to his health. Be prepared to pivot off the Cowboys receivers in the event bad news surfaces.

Michael Thomas (NO): $9,000 @ Tennessee Titans
Does this really need an explanation? Thomas has had double-digit targets in all but three games. He has double-digit catches in eight games and over 100 yards receiving in nine games. Four of his last five games he’s found the end zone. He’s matchup-proof at this point.

Other notables

Keenan Allen (LAC): $6,700 vs. OAK
D.K. Metcalf (SEA): $6,300 vs. ARI

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz (PHI): $6,900 vs. Dallas Cowboys
The proverbial “flow-chart” has led many to play tight ends against the Cowboys lately. On the season, the Cowboys are allowing the fourth-most catches to the tight end position. Last week Tyler Higbee roasted the Cowboys to the tune of 12 catches for 111 yards. The Chicago Bears tight ends two weeks ago caught seven passes for 92 yards. A big contributor has been the (lack of) health in their linebacker corps. It’s not getting healthier either:

Over the last six games, Ertz has had 47 receptions on 65 targets. He has double-digit targets in all but one game and has found the end zone in four of those six games. Ertz is currently tied for 11th in the NFL in red-zone targets with 15 total. In the month of December, Ertz has eight red-zone targets resulting in three touchdowns.

Other notables

Jacob Hollister (SEA): $5,700 vs. ARI
Jared Cook (NO): $6,600 @ TEN

Defense

Baltimore Ravens D/ST: $4,500 @ Cleveland Browns
The first game didn’t quite go the way the Ravens expected. Since then, the Ravens have been dominant on defense and Baker Mayfield has been sporadic at best. Over the last four games, Mayfield has thrown five interceptions and has been sacked eight times. With Odell Beckham Jr. nursing a groin injury and the Browns wanting to play anywhere else other than Cleveland (allegedly), this one could force a lot of the Dawg Pound in Cleveland to ask for paper bags from Santa Claus.

Other notables

Indianapolis DST: $4,800 vs. CAR
Seattle DST: $4,400 vs. ARI

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Matt Giraldi is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Matt, check out his archive or follow him @Mgiraldi.

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1Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
2Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4Michael Thomas (NO)WR
5Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
9DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
10Aaron Jones (GB)RB
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11Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
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17George Kittle (SF)TE
18Travis Kelce (KC)TE
19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Lamar Jackson (BAL)QB
21Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
22Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
23Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
24D.J. Moore (CAR)WR
25Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
26Chris Carson (SEA)RB
27Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
28Allen Robinson (CHI)WR
29Miles Sanders (PHI)RB
30Mark Andrews (BAL)TE
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Mike Trout (LAA)CF
3Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,RF
4Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
5Mookie Betts (LAD)CF,RF
6Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
7Trevor Story (COL)SS
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9Trea Turner (WSH)SS
10Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
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12Juan Soto (WSH)LF
13Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
14Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
15Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
16Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
17Jose Ramirez (CLE)3B
18J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
19Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
20Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
21Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
22Bryce Harper (PHI)RF
23Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)SS
24Aaron Judge (NYY)RF
25Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
26Stephen Strasburg (WSH)SP
27Javier Baez (CHC)SS
28Jack Flaherty (STL)SP
29Starling Marte (ARI)CF
30Yordan Alvarez (HOU)LF,DH
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
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11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (CLE)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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