Christmas comes early this year with the NFL Saturday slate and we're here to give you some free gifts. If you play against Derrick Henry this week in the fantasy playoffs and have already given up, then this is for you. Yes, you should play Henry in DFS, but there are plenty more options who are hidden gems to go over. Whether it's a rookie breaking onto the scene or a veteran quarterback who's finally getting a chance to shine, these plays are ready to erupt.
PSA: Don't forget to check the weather on Christmas Eve morning. It's looking ugly in many parts of the country affecting many games.
NOTE: Below are the best picks for either double-up or tournament lineups. DraftKings salary available: $50,000
After playing three tough matchups on the road, the Chiefs finally return home to Arrowhead against a more vulnerable defense. Seattle has rising stars at cornerback, but is very poor against the Chiefs strength of running the offense through Travis Kelce. (I wonder who the TE play might be) Part of the reason Mahomes has been scoring below his average is touchdown production. After having a touchdown on 7% of pass attempts through 10 games, which would lead the NFL, the Chiefs quarterback is 14th in touchdowns per attempt over the last month. Expect that to positively regress back to normal bringing in another ceiling game on Saturday. Not to mention Mahomes is the only quarterback you can nearly guarantee to reach 300 passing yards for the extra three-point bonus, which he’s hit in eight of the last nine games.
The only player with more games of multiple touchdowns than Mahomes is Smith. It doesn’t get more consistent than Geno, making him an incredible value at $5,800. Before playing the best defense in the NFL last week, Smith had five straight games of 20-plus DraftKings points. This low of a salary against the defense ranked last in passing touchdowns allowed is just flat-out disrespectful. DraftKings, it’s time to stop writing off Geno.
The elephant in the room is Henry lining up across the Houston defense this week. $8,600 is implying you need slightly over 25 DraftKings points to hit value. Well, Henry has scored over 38 in four straight versus the Texans, all with over 200 rushing yards and two or more touchdowns. Add in extra receiving work with no Dontrell Hilliard and it’s hard not to see another big game incoming. The craziest part? The Texans rushing defense is the worst it’s ever been.
First off, let me say this: Do not play Chubb in cash games. However, in tournament play, fire him up. Chubb will be a contrarian play because of his higher price and lower production in recent weeks. At the end of the day, Nick Chubb is still Nick Chubb. He is still the running back who leads all backs in big plays while being top five in carries and rushing touchdowns. Chubb can separate you from the pack versus a Saints defense that just allowed Tyler Allgeier to run for nearly 140 yards. It doesn’t hurt that the Saints have to travel to Cleveland, where the Browns star back averages close to seven more points per game compared to being on the road. In addition, the weather in Cleveland looks to be horrific this weekend, giving Chubb the potential of an even higher workload than normal.
I’m still in shock that the Patriots finally have a bell cow back, but Stevenson’s talent has separated him from the rest. The floor is remarkable, hitting 12-plus points in 11 straight completed games. Yes, the Bengals have a great rushing defense. The problem for Cincinnati is Sam Hubbard will miss Saturday’s game, the best run defender on the Bengals defensive line according to PFF grades. The upside will still be there for Rhamondre and the Patriots rushing offense. On top of the ground game, Matt Patricia’s love for screen passes is huge for PPR scoring, as he already has designed more targets on screens for Stevenson than any running back had in the NFL last season.
In one career game without Tyler Lockett, Metcalf commanded 12 targets against superstar corner Jalen Ramsey. With Lockett’s eight targets per game up for grabs, it leaves a sizable opportunity for Metcalf, who is already top five in targets over the past month. As 10-point road dogs, expect plenty of passing work for the Seahawks offense as it tries to play catch-up versus a defense allowing the most touchdowns to wideouts this season.
The Lions have been dominant versus running backs as of late. Against wide receivers though, not so much. Detroit is last in receiving yards allowed to wideouts and Moore is all the Panthers have on a weak offense. Since Sam Darnold has taken over, Moore has received a 26.8% target share, which isn’t surprising given that no wideout in the NFL plays more snaps than D.J. does for Carolina. A $5,500 price tag is a steal for a player who has scored over 18 in two of three games with Darnold.
We’re going right back to London like we’re the Jacksonville Jaguars. The rookie’s 70 receiving yards last week might not seem too impressive until you realize that Desmond Ridder had fewer than 100 passing yards. London’s 29.1% target share ranks fourth in the NFL. It’s risky, but “scared money don’t make money," and, at $4,800, nobody has more upside at the receiver position on the slate.
It’s been over three years since Kelce went four straight games without a touchdown. With three straight scoreless games heading into Week 16, I’m not sweating a bit. The Seahawks killed it in the 2022 draft, taking two stud rookie corners who have played magnificently. On the other hand, they can’t stop a tight end for their life. Seattle is giving up 17 points per game to the position and hasn't even played Kelce yet to skew the numbers. Kelce’s Tight End University buddy George Kittle just scored 25 versus Seattle last week, and I expect nothing less from the best tight end in the NFL this Saturday.
This division rivalry contains the two teams with the most sacks in the NFL this season. Although both defenses are elite, give me the more affordable play at $2,600 versus the backup quarterback at home. Pressure equals turnovers. And to no surprise, the Cowboys lead the NFL in takeaways. Dallas is a must-play in all cash lineups.