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NFL Week 16 Yahoo! Million Dollar Baller Picks Using Awesemo’s Premium Rankings (FREE)

Eric MacPherson

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Philadelphia Eagles fans needed to vent their frustrations with Howie Roseman while watching Justin Jefferson dominate yet again during Thursday Night Football

Yahoo fantasy football is running a $1,000,000 contest with a $20 entry fee and 40,000 entries for Week 16 of the NFL season, which means they are adding $200,000 to the prize pool. Let’s get into some Yahoo Daily Fantasy Picks for NFL lineups, including Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and more.

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Week 16 NFL Yahoo Daily Fantasy Strategy & Picks

The critical thing to remember is that Yahoo is a half-PPR site, and the minimum salary is $10, with an average salary per player of $22. This week, Cooper Kupp is at the top of the salary list at $41. The complete scoring parameters can be found here.

One of the most valuable features of the Awesemo.com premium content is the personal player rankings from Alex Baker, for all of the main sports. The players grade out separately for each DFS site with ratings for both “projected points” and “value,” receiving an A through E report card-style grade. This week, as a special treat, Awesemo is also adding in the “Roster%,” which is the projected percentage a player will be used in the large-field tournaments.

Quarterback

If you have played daily fantasy football on Yahoo or Yahoo fantasy baseball, you know that the strategy is to look for the cheapest quarterback or pitcher that is tolerable so you can look for more secure points and upside elsewhere. In the recommendations below, I will be highlighting several discount options at the other positions so you can build a framework that will allow lineup construction for a top-shelf quarterback, along with his favorite target and still have enough salary cap to run it back with the top option on the opposing team.

Jalen Hurts: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants – $35

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C, Roster% 18.3%

Last week Jalen Hurts worked over the Washington Football Team with 296 passing yards and a score plus two more touchdowns on the ground with eight carries for 38 yards. Hurts is dealing with a sore ankle and was limited in practice this week, though he is expected to start on Sunday. Philadelphia has the eighth best record on the NFC and are squarely in the mix for the Wild Card round as it is unlikely they make up two games on Arizona with only three remaining regular season tilts. In Week 12 the Giants held Hurts in check with as paltry 129 passing yards and three interceptions, though he did have 77 yards on eight carries during the 13-7 loss in the Meadowlands.

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Justin Herbert: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans – $37

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C, Roster% 21.7%

This is a great matchup for Justin Herbert and the Yahoo salary algorithm is recognizing that with his second highest tag of the season. Working him into our lineups should not be an issue with so many value options coming from the COVID-wracked teams. Los Angeles will be without running back Austin Ekeler and wideout Jalen Guyton who are in the health and safety protocol, though receivers Keenan Allen ($27) and Mike Williams ($21), tight end Jared Cook ($14) and reserve running back Justin Jackson ($12) will provide plenty of capable pass-catchers for Herbert. Mixing and matching one or two with him is a fine synergistic strategy.

Joe Burrow: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – $30

Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value C, Roster% 8.7%

This outlook will likely improve for Joe Burrow once the final tally of Baltimore defenders landing on the COVID reserve is official. Their defensive backfield is incredibly thin with two safeties out, one questionable and two cornerbacks also out with another questionable. That familiar feeling of deja vu is real, back in Week 7 Burrow hung 416 yards and three touchdowns on the Ravens in Baltimore.

Running Back

We want to keep in mind that while running backs are very important, Yahoo fantasy uses half-PPR, which will not penalize running backs that are not as active in the passing game.

Alexander Mattison: Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Rams – $16

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value A, Roster% 30.2%

Dalvin Cook has been placed on the COVID reserve, just as Alexander Mattison returns from it. The silver lining for Minnesota fans is that this will give Cook a chance to rest his ailing shoulder by default. Fantasy gamers get an excellent running back, who even if he is not quite at full capacity will still command 80% or more of the workload allocated to his position. On Monday Night Football, rookie Kene Nwangwu ($10) had three carries for 33 yards and no targets and fullback C.J. Ham ($10) had one target and no carries. The Rams defense is one of the better units in the league but they will be without hard hitting safety Jordan Fuller and linebacker Darious Williams and defensive lineman Greg Gaines are both questionable.

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James Robinson: Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets – $26

Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value C, Roster% 17.2%

The New York Jets have the worst rushing DVOA in the league and they are missing half of their defensive rotation. Interim coach Darrell Bevell squandered a winnable game last week against Houston, but he has a chance to remedy that this week as one point road dogs. There are plenty of running backs in excellent spots this week and Robinson is definitely in the top handful.

Justin Jackson: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans – $12

Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value A, Roster% 30.2%

There is a chance that Austin Ekeler ($33( clears the COVID protocol if he can produce two negative tests. However, there is no margin for error and it is likely that Justin Jackson will be the main running back on Sunday. Houston has the 27th ranked rushing DVOA and Jackson is capable enough in the passing game that he can provide a reasonable facsimile of Ekeler in this matchup at a fraction of the salary.

Ronald Jones: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers – $18

Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value A, Roster% 29.0%

Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Chris Godwin both suffered season ending injuries in their last game. That means Ronald Jones is the next man up and we have all been down this road before. There is a lot of disappointment potential here with so much of the field landing on a running back who has exactly ZERO double digit fantasy point efforts since losing his job to Fournette at the start of the Tampa Bay playoff run last year. This is a Trojan Horse situation where the savvy strategy would seem to be letting other gamers take on the risk of a dud performance in the large field tournaments with so many viable pivot options available.

Wide Receiver

The top-shelf Yahoo fantasy options are typically priced in the low to mid-$30 range. Often, they are best paired with their quarterbacks for tournament upside rather than risking downside as solo plays.

Cooper Kupp: Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings – $41

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D, Roster% 24.7%

Do not worry about this apex salary as we have a myriad of discounted options at every position imaginable this week. Cooper Kupp leads the league in literally every receiving category including but not limited to targets, receptions, yards, yards after the catch, touchdowns, first downs and plays of 20 or more yards. Enjoy!

Justin Jefferson: Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Rams – $32

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value D, Roster% 24.7%

Justin Jefferson is pretty much second to Kupp in nearly every receiving category this season. The second-year man continues to thrive and he is clearly one of the five best receivers in the league right now. He has six touchdowns in his last seven games and has only one single digit fantasy performance this season. Adam Thielen is questionable with an ankle injury, though there is a chance he returns to action. This actually would benefit Jefferson as even Thielen is more of a decoy role, he is still someone the Rams will have to account for even if he is potentially in catch and fall mode.

Diontae Johnson: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs – $23

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value C, Roster% 12.7%

Last week was a disappointing one for the entire Pittsburgh offense, though they did muster a 19-13 victory over Tennessee despite only 148 passing yards. Assuming this game remains on the Sunday slate, Kansas City is likely to be without a couple offensive linemen and several key defensive players. Diontae Johnson should see a hefty dose of targets and he is one of the better point per dollar options at his mid-tier salary.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – $26

Awesemo Grade: Points B, Value E, Roster% 20.2%

It doesn’t matter if it is Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley under center, Mark Andrews has been racking up the production. In his last two games he has 24 targets for 21 receptions, 251 yards and three scores. Travis Kelce ($30) is in the health and safety protocol and while there is a chance he could clear the hurdles and play, we will not know until Sunday. Take the sure thing with Andrews who is eighth in the league with 122 targets, 1,062 yards and eight touchdowns and his 85 catches rank tenth among all pass-catchers.

Dallas Goedert: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants – $20

Awesemo Grade: Points C, Value E, Roster% 23.0%

Even if Jalen Hurts were somehow ruled out with his ankle issue, Gardner Minshew was actually under center for Dallas Goedert’s best outing of the season in Week 13 when he had 105 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Last week he had his second consecutive 100 yard performance with Hurts at the helm. It is clear he is the Eagles top receiving option and he has seen a consistent boost in opportunities since Zach Ertz was traded to Arizona two months ago.

Defense/Special Teams

This week we are picking on some inexperienced quarterbacks.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants – $15

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B, Roster% 9.8%

This is a good spot regardless of whether it is Mike Glennon continuing to start or if the Giants turn to Jake Fromm. Philadelphia currently has 20 of their 22 two-deep defensive roster available and while they are far from world beaters, at the moment they are one of the few full-strength units going on Sunday (pending COVID testing of course).

Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans – $13

Awesemo Grade: Points A, Value B, Roster% 9.8%

In a hat tip to rookie Davis Mills and the Houston offensive line, he has been sacked only five times in the last three games with one interception. Unfortunately for the Texans five of their top six offensive linemen are in the health and safety protocol as is receiver Brandon Cooks. That leaves a bare cupboard of castoff receivers, running backs and tight ends at the skill positions. Let’s go Bolts!


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If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL stacks. View our DraftKings DFS NFL ownership rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings. We also have DraftKings showdown projections and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections. Take a look at our NFL starting lineups, inactives and depth charts for NFL games.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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