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Daily Fantasy Football Sleepers for NFL Week 16 (2020)

| December 22, 2020 6:23 am PDT
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Last week’s batch of daily fantasy football sleepers didn’t blow the door off the hinges. Nick Mullens was okay before getting hurt, but my quarterback plays left a lot to be desired.

My value running backs didn’t hit, either, but I had some wide receivers, tight ends, and cheap defenses that were worth using.

Way better value emerged late in the week, with both Leonard Fournette and Tony Pollard taking on huge roles. They were both chalky in the end, and also smashed.

Ideally I can locate those plays early in the week for you to build your NFL DFS lineups around, but as usual, injury news often takes until Friday to come out.

Keep that in mind as you make your decisions, but I’ll still fire off some of my favorite NFL DFS sleepers for week 16.

Quarterback NFL DFS Sleepers for Week 16

  • Matt Ryan – Falcons ($5.8k)
  • Mitch Trubisky – Bears ($5.7k)
  • Drew Lock – Broncos ($5k)

I wrote about the Chiefs in my week 16 NFL DFS picks, so you better believe I like Matt Ryan and the Falcons coming back on the other side.

Ryan blew up for 30.8 fantasy points last week, and he’s pretty likely to take it to the air as the Falcons play from behind this week. You could stack this game and save a ton of cash by fading Patrick Mahomes and just getting exposure through a cheap Ryan.

Trubisky failed me last week, but he simply wasn’t needed. There is real risk in that being the case again versus a bad Jaguars team, especially now that they have zero incentive to win.

The matchup also just plays well for Trubisky, as Jacksonville has allowed the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2020.

My favorite punt might be Drew Lock, though.

You’re saving an astronomical $3.5k by fading Mahomes and going with Lock, who has put up some huge DFS outings this year.

People could be souring on him after he came up short against the Bills in his last game, but he’s now two weeks removed from a four-touchdown day. He’ll get a beatable Chargers defense that he hung 20 fantasy points on earlier this year.

Week 16 Running Back Sleeper Picks

  • Le’Veon Bell – Chiefs ($5.8k)
  • Peyton Barber – Washington ($4.4k)
  • Jaylen Samuels – Steelers ($4k)

I’ll admit Bell isn’t a true sleeper, as he could end up being pretty chalky. Clyde Edwards-Helaire being done for the rest of the regular season will do that.

His matchup isn’t amazing, but the Falcons did let Leonard Fournette score twice last week, and Bell could be active in the passing game.

There is a concern in the fact that KC doesn’t really utilize their running backs as much as you’d like, so fading a potentially popular Bell has its merits. That said, he’s one of the few running back sleepers you should be excited about this week.

The fact that I am touting Barber echoes the previous statement. His touches went way down last week, but if Antonio Gibson remains out, his ability to vulture touchdowns can’t be ignored.

You can entertain the idea of a true punt if Jaylen Samuels can maintain the snaps he’s been getting. Ideally, James Conner takes the week off to cement Samuels as a strong value pick, but he has to at least be on your radar.

Wide Receiver NFL DFS Values for Week 16 

  • Sammy Watkins – Chiefs ($5k)
  • Tyler Boyd – Bengals ($4.9k)
  • Darnell Mooney – Bears ($4k)

Wide receiver feels like a pretty good spot to take a shot at some NFL DFS sleepers in week 16. The best options are super pricey and/or have difficult matchups.

I love Tyreek Hill this week, but for all of the same reasons, you could gain massive leverage by fading and using Sammy Watkins instead. He’s done very little since a big week one outing, but that will play into almost no ownership.

The nice thing is the matchup is fantastic, and most football betting websites peg this game as one that will be quite explosive. Watkins is a really cheap piece to the puzzle here, and in GPPs he’s worth a shot.

Boyd is $100 cheaper, and he also should garner next to no ownership. Going to work with scrubs like Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley will do that to you.

That said, Boyd will likely continue to have negative game scripts in his favor, and a date with the Texans (23rd vs. WRs) looks pretty great on paper.

One other guy I’d like to mention is Mooney. He made my NFL DFS sleepers a couple of weeks ago, and since then, all he’s done is score two touchdowns.

He doesn’t get a ton of volume his way, but he’s got a terrific matchup against Jacksonville, and he’s obviously a nice price.

Week 16 NFL DFS Sleepers at Tight End

  • Tyler Higbee – Rams ($4k)
  • Austin Hooper – Browns ($3.5k)
  • Hayden Hurst – Falcons ($3.4k)

Travis Kelce dominates interest at an absurdly top-heavy tight end position. That’s the case in week 16 more than ever, as there is no Darren Waller on this slate.

I don’t mind paying for Kelce at all, as nobody consistently can touch his floor or ceiling. Even so, there’s always a chance Kelce under-performs or that the money you’d have to pay to get him is best allocated elsewhere.

Of course, to validate the fade, you better hit your tight end sleepers. I think Higbee is a good place to start, as he worked out with a touchdown last week and has another positive matchup this week.

The same goes for Hooper, who scored last week, and faces a Jets defense that has had difficulty keeping tight ends in check. The aforementioned Higbee just did nice work against them, after all.

I will absolutely want some exposure to this Chiefs vs. Falcons game. The easy way is to cram in the top studs, but for tourneys, it might make sense to get some cheap guys (or both?).

Yeah, probably both.

But hey, Hurst scored last week and saw five balls come his way. If Julio Jones is going to be out again, he really stands out. KC has allowed the 6th most yards to tight ends, after all.

Best Defense Sleepers for Week 16 NFL DFS

  • Houston Texans ($2.8k)
  • Carolina Panthers ($2.7k)
  • Atlanta Falcons ($1.9k)

Paying for a defense is for suckers. I kid, but really, the Rams and Steelers have been crazy expensive in different spots this year and completely tanked.

I just don’t like investing precious funds into such a volatile position. 

You either want to get that defense that randomly goes off, or you want to spend money elsewhere.

I’m not sure you’ll get both if you roll with NFL DFS sleepers at this position, but I’ll at least consider some big savings. The biggest is Atlanta, which would do two things.

First, it’s a massive leverage play on all the Chiefs’ plays. I honestly think it’s interesting to use this defense regardless of your NFL DFS strategy concerning KC players, too.

The hope would be for Mahomes to turn the ball over a bit like he’s been doing the past two weeks, and maybe the Falcons return one for a score. They’re also priced below the bare minimum, so you’re getting paid $100 to dance with the devil.

There is inherent risk there, so consider cheap options with more upside like Houston and Carolina first.

Houston’s defense isn’t good, but facing the Bengals could change that for a week. They might be my favorite defense because of the matchup.

Carolina’s defense is very hit or miss, but their pass rush came alive against the Packers last week. If they can play close to that in a showdown with a weak Washington offense, they feel quite playable.


Stacking that Chiefs vs. Falcons game is very appealing this week. Then again, it’s far from the only appealing game as far as NFL DFS goes.

I took a look at the early week 16 NFL betting lines, and a lot of the games stood out. There should be quite a bit of scoring this week, as well as some tightly contested games.

Of course, they’re not all on the main slate, and that’s where things get tricky.

I think paying up for some studs is obviously in play – especially with so many not on this slate – and to do so, you’ll need some value plays. Hopefully, my NFL DFS sleepers for week 16 do the trick.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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