DFS Week 16: The stars and scrubs approach

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Welcome to the first of two wacky weeks in DFS.

As I touched on last week, by the time we hit Week 16, several teams are out of the running and have nothing but pride to play for. More important, that means teams will start giving playing time to guys they want to find out more about before they have to make a decision on them in the offseason.

It's a great week for a classic "stars-and-scrubs" approach to your lineups.

Because there are plenty of cheaper players out there, the guys who haven't seen much action, or are just coming on in recent weeks, you should be able to construct a roster around those cheap players, which then allows you to pay up for at least a few high-priced studs.

With that in mind, this week's picks will focus on a star and a "scrub" or low-priced player.


Star: Cam Newton ($6,800 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel): The Panthers are still playing for not only a division title, but a potential first-round bye. The Bucs have allowed three 300-yard passers in their past five games, and Newton gives you a safe floor with his rushing. Newton has rushed for at least 51 yards in five of his past six.

Value: Dak Prescott ($6,000 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel): A month ago, Dak cost $7,300 on DraftKings, so this week's price gives you plenty of value on a high-quality player. With Zeke Elliott back in the fold, Prescott should have higher expectations. Without Zeke, Prescott averaged 37 fewer passing yards and a touchdown less per game.

Running Backs

Star: LeSean McCoy ($7,800 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel): Yes, the Patriots look like the No. 1 seed in the AFC right now, but they have also given up at least 100 yards on the ground to six of their past seven opponents. McCoy can find success here, and his pass-game involvement keeps him game-flow independent.

Value: Elijhaa Penny ($3,000 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel): Minimum price on both sites, Penny had 10 carries and averaged 4.5 yards a carry replacing an injured Kerwynn Williams. The Giants have allowed six teams to go over 100 yards rushing in the past seven games. Penny, at 234 pounds, should get the goal-line work if Williams remains out.

Wide Receivers

Star: Mike Evans ($6,400 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel): I know Evans has been a major disappointment aside from Monday night's game against the Falcons, but the Panthers secondary has allowed nine touchdowns to wide receivers in the past six games. He could finish the year hot.

Value: Damiere Byrd ($3,500 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel): He may be fourth in the order for the Panthers offense, but Byrd clearly has a connection with Cam Newton after scoring twice a week ago.

Tight Ends

Star: Rob Gronkowski ($7,400 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel): You know the drill. Gronk against the Bills is an auto-play.

Value: Ricky Seals-Jones ($3,500 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel): Step right up, Mr. Seals-Jones, you get to play against the Giants. The worst defense in fantasy football against tight ends has allowed three more touchdowns to the position in the past two weeks. That makes 13 touchdowns allowed to tight ends this season.