Thursday Night Football DFS Preview Week 16

Source: USA Today

Thursday Night Football DFS Preview Week 16


Saints at Rams

Spread: Rams -4, Over/Under 46.5

The New Orleans Saints are set to face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football in Week 16 of the NFL season. This game has massive implications for both teams.Both teams are currently sitting at 7-7 and are in a fierce battle for the NFC playoff picture. The Saints have been up and down throughout the season but are coming off a strong 24-6 victory over the New York Giants. Derek Carr had one of his best performances of the year, throwing for three touchdowns and completing 82.1% of his passes. The Saints will look to build off this momentum and continue their winning ways against the Rams. On the other side, the Rams are coming off a 28-20 win against the Washington Commanders. Matthew Stafford was 25-for-33 for 258 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. The Rams will be looking to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Saints on Thursday night.

Showdown Strategy

The Rams are at home favored by 4 points. The game total is set at 46.5 points. The Saints have a 45% chance of making the playoffs, while Los Angeles has a 52% chance, according to the New York Times playoff simulator. The Rams have been hot lately, winning four of their last five, losing only to the Ravens in that time. While New Orleans has won two in a row, their opponents were the Panthers and Giants. I do think the Rams will win this game, but I’m expecting it to be very close. As such, I don’t have a strong slant towards one team or the other. I’m going to be looking for high ceilings to anchor my lineups and leverage plays to fill it out with players who I think will have moderate ownership to go along with a high chance to outperform their projections. 


Captain Choices (1.5x salary, 1.5x points)

Kyren Williams, RB, Rams ($16,800)

In his last five games, Kyren has been absolutely crushing it! He's had over 100 yards in each game and has scored at least one touchdown in four of those games. Kyren is the first Rams running back since 2018 to have five 100-yard rushing games in a season. The Saints have a pretty average run defense, ranking 24th in the league, so Kyren shouldn’t have any trouble getting yards this week. 

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints ($16,200)

I think Kyren Williams has a higher ceiling, but only Christain McCaffrey have a higher floor than Kamara. I don’t worry much about ownership in the Captain spot, but I would expect it to be pretty similar between Williams and Kamara. Both are good options for Captain, and I’ll use Kamara in some lineups, but I do prefer Williams in this game. 

Puka Nacua, WR, Rams ($14,400)

Nacua has been a consistent target for Stafford,  with a 20% target share in every game this season. Although Cooper Kupp has regained the WR1 status in the offense, I still think Nacua carries more upside, and for a lower salary. 


Top Flex Options

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams ($11,000)

Kupp has been on fire lately, with 22 receptions on 26 targets over the last three weeks. The Rams have been averaging 33 points per game over their last four contests and there’s no denying the Stafford-Kupp connection. The Saints have a good pass defense, but they haven’t faced the caliber of receivers that the Rams have on their team. Kupp could be in for a big day. 

Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams ($10,000)

Stafford has thrown 12 touchdowns in his last four games. He’s one of the hottest QBs in the league and he will be highly owned. I would estimate he’ll be on 70-75% of rosters. There’s nothing wrong with using him, even at that level of ownership, but in a large-field tournament, that creates an opportunity to fade Stafford and profit if he has a subpar game. 

Derek Carr QB, Saints ($9,000)

Derek Carr had a pretty solid performance last week against the Giants, completing 23 of 28 passes for 218 yards and throwing 3 touchdowns. And that was without two of his top receivers, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. While he won’t have Thomas back, Olave is a real difference-maker who will make Carr’s life easier this week. 

Chris Olave, WR, Saints ($8,600)

Before suffering an ankle injury in the Week 14 game against the Panthers, Olave posted three consecutive games with 90+ yards. He’s a nice pivot from Kupp is you’re looking to save on salary. 

Taysom Hill, TE, Saints ($6,600)

Taysom Hill should also be in consideration for you lineup. He’s rarely going to be projected for many points, but we all know what’s he’s capable of. He can rush, catch, or throw a touchdown (or all three), on any given week. While the odds of him paying off are slim, so are the odds of winning a Showdown tournament, so he’s worth a flyer for your lineup.

Blake Grupe, K, Saints ($4,600)

I have Grupe projected for more points than Lucas Havrisik, the Rams kicker, and he’s $200 cheaper. Traditionally, in Showdown slates, the kicker on the favored team is rostered about 5% more than the underdog kicker. All this taken together makes Grupe a better play for me than Havrisik. 

Rams Defense, ($3,800)

I think either defense is fine and there are some benefits to playing New Orleans, but I think the Rams have the upside. Derek Carr has six fumbles this year and the Saints are not particularly good in the red zone. Mostly, I’d rather just play the home favorite. 

Tutu Atwell, WR, Rams ($2,800)

At $2,200, Atwell is a nice pivot from Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. His projection isn’t very high, but with likely single-digit ownership, and two receivers with a glass jaw ahead of him on the depth chart, he’s a good punt play if you need the salary relief. 


My Lineup

  • Puka Nacua (Captain)

  • Kyren Williams

  • Matthew Stafford

  • Taysom Hill

  • Blake Grupe

  • Tutu Atwell

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