It was a disastrous week in cash games for me in Week 15 as I went against my gut on Sunday morning. Justin Herbert struggling against the pass-funneling defense of the Titans and I inexplicably went with Chris Moore instead of Zay Jones at the last second.
Jones would proceed to score three touchdowns versus the Cowboys while my cash-game lineup would score the fewest points it has all season. CeeDee Lamb and Keenan Allen were essentially the only guys that performed well in my cash-game lineup.
After making a questionable decision last week, it’s time to look forward to the upcoming shortened main slate on Christmas Eve. With only 10 games to choose from on Saturday, here are my favorite plays in cash games for the Week 16 main slate on DraftKings.
Patrick Mahomes vs. SEA ($8.400)
This Mahomes guy is pretty good at this football thing. Mahomes is playing at an MVP level with the second-best PER (0.54) among QBs and he’s scored 25-plus points on DraftKings in five of his last seven games. While the Seahawks have allowed the 16th most points per game to QBs this season, the last three quarterbacks they’ve faced are Brock Purdy, John Wolford, and Sam Darnold. The Chiefs are vying for the No. 1 seed still and Mahomes gets to take on the Seahawks at home on Saturday.
Kirk Cousins vs. NYG ($6,300)
Before Week 14, Cousins had recorded 23-plus points on DraftKings just twice. But in his last two games, Cousins has posted 28-plus points and has thrown for 400-plus yards in both contests. The veteran signal-caller helped the Vikings make the largest comeback in NFL history in Week 15 and the Giants have allowed multiple touchdown passes in four straight games. Two of those games came against Taylor Heinicke, and with Cousins playing in a dome in a game that isn’t on primetime, he’s certainly viable in Week 16.
Daniel Jones @ MIN ($5,600)
On the other side of the field in the Vikings/Giants game, Jones figures to be a solid salary-relief play at quarterback. While the passing production is tough to trust with Jones, he’s registering 5.9 non-passing PPG (fifth-most among QBs). Besides his rushing upside, the Vikings are giving up the fifth-most points per game and have the eighth-lowest pressure rate on QBs this season. Geno Smith and Purdy are other salary-relief options in cash games if you aren’t confident in Jones.
Derrick Henry vs. HOU ($8,600)
It’s Henry against the Texans again and we all know what to do when that happens. For those that aren’t aware, Henry has rushed for 200-plus yards and 2-plus touchdowns in four straight matchups with the Texans. The All-Pro already has the second-highest opportunity share (82.5%) among RBs and Ryan Tannehill is expected to miss the rest of the season. With a rookie quarterback in Malik Willis starting, Henry could see 30-plus touches easily on Saturday against a Texans team allowing the most points per game to RBs.
Dalvin Cook vs. NYG ($7,200)
It was a nice bounce-back week for Cook in Week 15 as he posted 28 points after being limited to 9.6 points in Week 14. We’ve seen Cook break big runs this season and the Giants are a defense that is allowing 5.4 yards per attempt (tied for second-most in the NFL) to RBs thus far. While the Giants have done well to prevent a ton of yardage per game to RBs in the passing attack, they’ve also surrendered a league-high 8.7 yards per reception to the position. And despite Alexander Mattison being behind him, Cook owns the fourth-highest opportunity share (76.8%) among RBs.
Jerick McKinnon vs. SEA ($5,900)
McKinnon has emerged as a potential league-winner in fantasy football in recent weeks. The veteran back has caught 15 passes for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last two games as he’s seen an increased role for the Chiefs. Besides receiving eight-plus targets in back-to-back games, McKinnon carried it 10 times compared to rookie Isiah Pacheco getting 15 carries. If McKinnon continues to see an uptick in usage on Saturday, he should thrive against a Seahawks defense that is giving up the second-most points per game and the fourth-most receiving yards per game to RBs.
Amon-Ra St. Brown @ CAR ($7,800)
St. Brown has had some quiet outings for his standards in the last two weeks, scoring fewer than 16 points in both games. The good news is that he’s still seen nine-plus targets in those games and he’s garnered eight-plus targets in eight consecutive games. The second-year wideout boasts a 24.6% target share and the Panthers are allowing the eighth-most points per game to WRs this season. Unless you’re able to spend up for Justin Jefferson or Stefon Diggs, St. Brown is the best wide receiver to spend up for in cash games.
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. SEA ($5,800)
Sometimes it takes time to get acclimated to a new offense and Smith-Schuster is proving that he’s now comfortable catching passes from Mahomes. In the last two games, Smith-Schuster has combined for 19 receptions for 162 yards on 21 targets. Besides Kelce, Smith-Schuster has cemented himself as Mahomes’ most trustworthy option in the passing game. If Smith-Schuster gets anywhere close to the usage he’s seen in his last two outings, he’s underpriced on DraftKings.
Related: Week 16 Fantasy Football Must Starts
DJ Moore vs. DET ($5,500)
There is certainly going to be more value to open up at the wide receiver position this week, so for the time being, Moore makes my cash-game plays article. Moore remains the only pass-catching weapon on the Panthers that is worth playing in any format in fantasy football. The talented wide receiver hauled in five of his six targets for 73 yards and a touchdown in Week 15 against the Steelers. The Lions have become a pass-funneling defense that is allowing the third-most points per game to WRs this season. Brandin Cooks, K.J. Osborn, and Marquise Goodwin appear to be among the best value options at WR before more news inevitably comes out this weekend.
Juwan Johnson @ CLE ($3,800)
Johnson returned to Saints in Week 15 versus the Falcons and he proceeded to pick back up from where he left off before his one-game absence. The athletic tight end caught 4 of his 6 targets for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns. He figures to remain a go-to option for Andy Dalton considering it’s expected to be frigid weather on Saturday against the Browns. The touchdown upside and the fact he could see some short dump-off passes with it being windy, Johnson is a solid cash-game option in Week 16.
Jordan Akins @ TEN ($2,900)
If you’re looking to save some salary to fit in more of the star players, Akins is a viable cash-game tight end. Trusting a tight end on the Texans is certainly dangerous, and while Cooks is trending toward returning, Nico Collins and Chris Moore are questionable to play on Saturday. Akins has recorded five-plus targets in three out of the last four weeks and he’s scored two touchdowns in that span. The Titans are also giving up the sixth-most points per game to TEs. For those that are punting at the tight end position, Isaiah Likely is also viable with the Ravens lacking wide receiver options.
Chiefs vs. SEA ($2,900)
The Chiefs are a viable cash-game option as long as Chris Jones suits up on the defensive side of the ball. Jones is the best player on Kansas City’s defense and he can wreck a game by himself in the interior. We’ve seen the offense of the Seahawks look vulnerable in the last month and they’ll be without one of Geno Smith’s trusted weapons in Tyler Lockett on Saturday.
Cowboys vs. PHI ($2,600)
Assuming that Jalen Hurts is inactive, the Cowboys are a nice defense to target to save salary. Despite struggling against the Texans and the Jaguars in the last two games, the Cowboys still own the highest pressure rate, the second-most sacks, and the most takeaways this season. If you don’t trust the Cowboys, the Eagles and the Commanders are other defenses to consider in cash games.