Here are the top six fringe plays for Week 16.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With no Patrick Mahomes in the main slate this week, I’ve had to go a different direction for my usual quarterback player pool.
Saints-Steelers has the second-highest total of the week, and Big Ben’s stackability with JuJu Smith-Schuster (questionable) is always a way that Roethlisberger finds himself in my player pool. He hasn’t topped 18 DraftKings points in his past three games but is the most expensive quarterback in the pool this week; I actually think, perversely, that will drive his ownership down.
This is a road game in the Superdome against the Saints in what projects to have loads of passing attempts. If we buy the idea that #defensedoesnotmatter, Ben has a great combination of upside, stackability and ownership.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
When Coleman has gotten the opportunity to be lead back for the Falcons, he’s typically done well for fantasy. We assumed he would get that chance this season with Devonta Freeman on Injured Reserve, but instead, Ito Smith entered the fray and made both players tough guesses for DFS.
With Smith now on the IR, all that stands between Coleman and 18-plus touches against the struggling Panthers is Brian Hill — a Day 3 draft pick from the University of Wyoming. There’s some risk that Hill fills in the grinder role in this offense for this game, but the upside is great enough that if Coleman has this backfield to himself, he’s worth being overweight on in guaranteed prize pools.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
This comes down to how you think Colts-Giants plays out. When the Colts win, Mack tends to have great fantasy totals. He had 29 DK points in a rout against the Cowboys last week, 14 in a massive win over the Titans, 31 in a victory over the Raiders and 34 in a blowout win over the Bills.
The Colts are a massive 9.5-point favorite over the Giants as of writing (see live odds here). This game script should call for 20-plus Mack runs. He should also have a chance at multiple touchdowns. Mack has a 72% market share of the team’s rushing touchdowns and an average of 1.67 opportunities inside the 10-yard line.
If you’re banking on a Colts’ blowout, Mack is the proper way to get exposure in tournaments.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
Adams is perhaps the most under-discussed story of this fantasy season.
He has the second-most targets of any player in the NFL, only ones fewer than Julio Jones, the second-most total receiving yards and is fifth in weighted opportunity ranking. There are some real narrative reasons to continue playing hard this season as well.
As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva noted on Twitter, Adams needs only 13 catches to break Sterling Sharpe’s single-season Packers record (112) and 205 receiving yards to break Jordy Nelson’s franchise mark (1,519). “I’m not counting, but that would be cool,” Adams said. “Hopefully A-Rod’s counting.”
While narrative is never the best reason to play a player, when they already have maybe the best volume profile of any player in football, it is nice to know they have a reason to continue playing.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Since Cooper Kupp was placed on IR in Week 11, Reynolds has the exact same number of targets as Brandin Cooks and the second-highest average depth of target on the Rams (12.2 to Woods’ 10.5).
There’s a chance that the Rams offense is truly lost and that the absence or limitation of Todd Gurley will cause them to scuffle against the Cardinals. But I’m not buying it.
Sean McVay is an intelligent play-caller, Jared Goff is at least a competent NFL quarterback and, even if you think Reynolds is a massive downgrade from Kupp, Reynolds’ target volume is stable enough to consider him a high upside play. Reynolds also has the highest amount of red-zone targets (nine) since Week 11. I’ll be super overweight on Reynolds this week.
Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears
The tight end position has been disgusting in 2018. O.J. Howard hasn’t played in over a month and he’s still a top 10 tight end. Last week, only three tight ends scored a touchdown, and one of them was Lee Smith.
When I’m making a TE play in a tournament, I’m either spending on Travis Kelce/Zach Ertz/George Kittle or finding someone who fits in a game stack. Burton isn’t necessarily a game-stack play, but he has standalone upside.
Burton has 12 targets over the past two weeks and I’m expecting more of the offense to flow his way with one side of the field dealing with Richard Sherman. That should push the ball into the middle of the field a bit more for Chicago and, theoretically, Burton should take advantage.
Pictured: Davante Adams
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports