NFL Week 16 DFS Defense Value Picks
NFL Week 16: December 25 – 28, 2020
We’ll provide some details and insights on some of the potential top daily fantasy defense/special team value plays for week 16.
Salary ranks are based on the main-slate Sunday only.
Betting lines and weather projections are as of the time of this writing.
Updates will be made as new info comes to light.
Carolina Panthers – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2700 (5.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4000 (6.7% of cap). The Panthers’ salary ranks them 12th/11th on DK/FD, respectively.
The betting line with the WFT (6-8) has the game total at 44.5 points, with the Panthers (4-10) as +2.5 point road dogs. The Panthers’ implied team total is currently at 21 points and the WFT is currently at 23.5 points.
The Panthers’ recorded 5 sacks, and gave up 24 offensive points at Green Bay last week.
The Seahawks’ defense logged 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, and allowed 15 offensive points to the WFT last week.
The Panthers’ defense ranks 19th in adjusted sack rate vs. the WFT’s offense which ranks 23rd.
The WFT rank 21st vs. defenses in fantasy points allowed, while the Panthers’ defense ranks 19th in fantasy points/gm.
QB Dwayne Haskins (stupidity) broke the COVID protocols again, this time going maskless to a strip club. He is currently awaiting his fate from the NFL and/or team. Alex Smith (calf) is questionable. If Smith can’t go again this week, that leaves either practice squad call up Taylor Heinicke or rookie Steven Montez. Heinicke hasn’t taken an NFL snap since 2018, and Montez has yet to play in an NFL game.
The Panthers’ DST has an opportunity to play spoiler to the WFT’s divisional aspirations and may get a train wreck QB situation to attack.
Haskins’ team punishment is $40K. He is taking first team reps and will start if Alex Smith cannot go.
Houston Texans – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2800 (5.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4600 (7.7% of cap). The Texans’ salary ranks them 11th/5th on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on DK.
The betting line with the Bengals (3-10-1) has the game total at 46 points, with the Texans (4-10) as -8 point home favorites. The Texans’ implied team total is currently at 27 points and the Bengals are currently at 19 points.
The Texans’ defense registered 1 sack, and gave up 27 offensive points at Indianapolis last week.
The Steelers’ defense logged 2 sacks, and gave up 27 offensive points at Cincinnati last week.
The Texans’ defense ranks 10th in adjusted sack rate vs. the Bengals offense which ranks 30th.
The Bengals rank 29th vs. defenses in fantasy points allowed while the Texans’ defense ranks 28th in fantasy points/gm.
The Texans should have game-script in their favor to take advantage of Ryan Finley dropbacks.
Indianapolis Colts – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3200 (6.4% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4300 (7.2% of cap). The Colts’ salary ranks them 7th/8th on DK/FD, respectively.
The betting line with the Steelers (11-3) has the game total at 45 points, with the Colts (10-4) as -1.5 point road favorites. The Colts’ implied team total is currently at 23.25 points and the Steelers are currently at 21.75 points.
The Colts’ defense logged 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and gave up 20 offensive points against the Texans last week, good for a DST3 finish.
The Bengals’ DST registered 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries, and gave up 17 offensive points against the Steelers last week.
The Colts’ defense ranks 17th in adjusted sack rate vs. the Steelers’ offense which ranks 1st.
The Steelers rank 5th in fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, while the Colts’ DST ranks 2nd in fantasy points/gm.
Season average rankings do not adequately reflect recent trends in this case. The Steelers have given up their 3 highest opposing DST scores in the past four weeks. The Steelers, having dropped three straight games, face pressure of increased possibility of losing the division with a loss.
QB Ben Roethlisberger’s avg. completed air yards (4.5) is the 4th lowest in the league, behind Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, and Jimmy Garoppolo. With a dink-and-dunk air game, coupled with the 2nd worst rush offense, the Steelers face a bad matchup with which the Colts’ DST could take advantage.