These picks are for this weekend’s full 6-game slate. If you’re playing the 3-game slates, you can check out the top plays on the Lineup Builder tool.
Josh Allen, Bills ($7,500)
He’s the 2nd most expensive QB on the slate. But Allen tops our projections. And there are plenty of value plays to help fit him in.
Allen is red hot heading into the playoffs, averaging 32.3 DK points over his last 4 full games. The Colts pass defense, meanwhile, sagged down the stretch, allowing 327 yards and 1.8 TDs on a 70% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt over the last 5 weeks.
Buffalo’s 28.75-point implied total is tied for 2nd highest on the slate.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers ($6,100)
This would be a tournament-play only. Roethlisberger was good the last time we saw him, torching the Colts for 342 yards and 3 TDs. But that followed a 5-game stretch of ugliness. It’s uncertain which Roethlisberger we’ll get this weekend.
But if it’s Good Ben, there’s plenty of upside in a plus matchup vs. a Browns defense that ranks 25th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 29th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. Cleveland also just lost DE Olivier Vernon, who ranks 2nd on the team in sacks.
Drew Brees, Saints ($5,700)
Brees has bounced back nicely after an ugly return vs. the Chiefs. Over the past 2 weeks, he’s completed 71% of his passes and averaged 8.8 yards per attempt.
Both of those games were without WR Michael Thomas, and 1 of them was without RB Alvin Kamara. Both guys are tentatively expected back for this weekend.
The matchup isn’t ideal vs. a Bears defense sitting 13th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. But Brees is at home in the dome, and his Saints are sporting a 28.75-point implied total — tied for 2nd highest on the week.
Most importantly, he’s super cheap, priced as the QB7.
Derrick Henry, Titans ($9,200)
Betting against this guy on a full slate is scary. It’s even scarier on a smaller slate because there are fewer guys who can out-score him.
Henry heads into the postseason with 23+ carries in 4 straight and 6 of his last 7. That stretch started with a 28-carry, 133-yard outing against the Ravens. And in last year’s playoffs, Henry piled up 195 yards on 30 carries in a win over Baltimore.
Alvin Kamara ($8,500) could certainly out-score Henry and is worth considering in tournaments. But he’s much riskier coming off COVID.
Cam Akers, Rams ($5,100)
I expect Rams-Seahawks to be a low-scoring game. And Seattle has been decent against the run this year.
But Akers is pretty easily the best price-per-projected-touch play on the slate. He returned from his ankle injury last week to play 66% of the offensive snaps, take 21 of 24 RB carries and handle 4 of 5 RB targets. In the 3 games prior, Akers averaged 21.7 carries and 2.3 targets.
$5,100 is a bargain for a guy we can project for 20+ opportunities.
Nyheim Hines, Colts ($4,700)
He pops as the 3rd best dollars-per-point value at RB. I’m not gonna play a bunch of Hines — but I do like him as a runback on Bills stacks.
If we expect the Bills offense to have a big game, the Colts figure to be playing from behind. And that’d mean more Hines, who remains the team’s primary pass-catching back. Even over Jonathan Taylor’s 4-game hot streak to close the season, he was out-targeted 18 to 9 by Hines. And in Colts losses this year, Hines averaged 5.8 targets and 4.8 catches.
Also consider: Chris Carson ($5,900), Ronald Jones ($5,500) and Gus Edwards ($4,400)
Allen Robinson, Bears ($6,600)
I wouldn’t go here in cash — Michael Thomas and Diontae Johnson are better plays in that price range — but I like Robinson’s combination of upside and projected ownership for tournaments.
The Bears are 10.5-point underdogs in New Orleans this weekend, so there figures to be plenty of passing volume. That means a bunch of opportunities for Robinson, who saw 26.5% of targets from QB Mitchell Trubisky over the last 6 weeks.
The Saints rank 10th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs — but Robinson got them for 87 yards and a score on 6 catches earlier this season.
Michael Thomas, Saints ($6,400)
What’s Thomas doing down there at $6,400? He wasn’t cheaper than $6,900 for any of his 7 regular-season games.
Yes, he’s coming off IR. But he landed there not because of a new injury, but because New Orleans wanted to let him rest up for the playoffs. So there’s a good chance that he’s healthier now than he’s been since hurting that ankle back in Week 1.
Thomas gets a Bears defense that finished 5th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs, but there’s nothing to worry about in the secondary. None of Chicago’s top 3 CBs ranked inside the top 25 in Pro Football Focus’ coverage grades.
Chase Claypool, Steelers ($5,200)
I’m buying the narrative that Pittsburgh scaled back Claypool’s snaps over the 2nd half of the season to prevent him from hitting the rookie wall. It’s the only reason that makes sense considering he was arguably the team’s best WR during October and November. Plus, we saw Claypool’s playing time ramp up again over the last few weeks.
If he’s back to a full-go this weekend, he brings huge upside at this price tag. Claypool has a 45.6-point game on his resume, plus 4 others of 17.8+ Two of those came against the Browns.
Also consider: Stefon Diggs ($7,700), Diontae Johnson ($6,200), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,500), Corey Davis ($4,800), John Brown ($4,700) and Darnell Mooney ($3,900)
Mark Andrews, Ravens ($5,200)
Andrews looks like the best way to get a piece of the Ravens, who get a pathetic Titans defense that struggles stopping everything. They rank 20th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.
After a slow start to the season, Andrews averaged 7.3 targets, 5.3 catches and 67 yards per game over his final 6. That included a 5-96-1 line vs. Tennessee.
Eric Ebron, Steelers ($3,700)
Ebron was activated from the COVID list on Thursday and will be back for this weekend’s game vs. the Browns. He didn’t wanna miss it considering the matchup. Cleveland sits 28th in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings and 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.
Ebron averaged a healthy 6.1 targets per game this season — 3rd most among TEs playing this weekend (behind Logan Thomas and Mark Andrews).
Also consider: Logan Thomas ($4,900), Rob Gronkowski ($4,000) and Cole Kmet ($3,000)
I wouldn’t pay up this high in cash games, but the Steelers D is worth considering in tournaments.
The Browns have been hit hard by COVID over the past few weeks. They’ll be without stud G Joel Bitonio and HC and play-caller Kevin Stefanski this weekend.
Cleveland struggled even with those guys in 2 games vs. Pittsburgh this season, totaling just 31 points and allowing 8 sacks with 2 turnovers — despite the Steelers resting some key defensive starters in last week’s finale.
This defense improved a bunch — in both real life and fantasy — down the stretch. A lot of that had to do with a weak stretch of opponents. But Seattle’s pass rush definitely heated up after acquiring DE Carlos Dunlap.
The ‘Hawks are in a nice spot this weekend at home against either a banged-up Jared Goff or John Wolford, who’d be making his 2nd NFL start. The Rams’ 19.5-point implied total is 3rd lowest on the week.
Also consider: Buccaneers ($3,400), Rams ($2,900) and Washington ($2,400)