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BOOM vs. BUST: Week 16 Christmas Day Slate Top NFL Daily Fantasy Picks to Roster & Avoid

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers clarified the meaning of his cryptic social media post sent out late Monday night amid retirement rumors

Built similarly to the extremely popular NBA Boom Bust Tool here at Awesemo, the NFL Boom Bust Tool has gained popularity as the most user-friendly way to identify the best (and worst) plays on any given slate. Developed by the data team at Awesemo including Alex Baker himself, this tool makes it simple to identify under-utilized plays for Sunday’s main slate — as well highlight which plays are most likely to fail. Simply group players based on their probability of putting up a massive score (boom), the odds of them failing to reach salary-based expectations (bust), and compare those scores to their likelihood of making the optimal lineup. With that process in mind, let’s cover the top player to boom and the most relevant player to bust at the quarterback, running back, and wide receiver positions for Week 16 NFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. Using this tool is imperative when constructing DFS NFL lineups today.

Week 16 NFL Daily Fantasy: Boom Bust Top Plays & Fades

Top Three Boom Plays

Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts RB: DraftKings – $8,800 / 63.7% Ownership | FanDuel – $10,500 / 57.4% Ownership

Arizona has allowed an average of 110.7 rushing yards on 4.1 yards per rush attempt and an additional 28 receiving yards on 4.3 receptions over the last three weeks to opposing running backs. Now, the Cardinals will be tasked with slowing down the NFL rushing leader and MVP candidate who has produced over 100 yards from scrimmage and over a touchdown in 11 consecutive games. Taylor is averaging 122.5 rushing yards and 24.2 receiving yards per game since Week 4 and has scored 19 touchdowns over those 11 games while seeing 68 red zone touches over that span. Despite his massive ownership, Taylor carries a positive leverage score in both FanDuel and DraftKings while carrying the best leverage score of the slate (9.6) in the latter. Arizona has struggled against the run this year permitting 4.6 yards per rush on the year while allowing 135.8 yards from scrimmage to the running back position. 

Zach Ertz – Arizona Cardinals TE: DraftKings – $5,000 / 41.8% Ownership | FanDuel – $5,800 / 35.8% Ownership

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Over the last two weeks, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and Zach Ertz have seen 18 targets a piece accounting for 18.6% of the Cardinals’ target share. The Colts’ Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore present a tougher matchup for the wider receivers than what Ertz will see. Indianapolis has given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this year allowing the most receiving yards (954), second-most receptions (90), and eight touchdowns. The Colts’ red zone pass defense has been atrocious this season allowing 371 yards and 23 touchdowns on 46 completions yielding 8.1 yards per reception. This is one of the best matchups Saturday has to offer and leads to Ertz’s leverage score of 4.5 on FanDuel making him my lock tight end of the slate. 

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers QB: DraftKings – $7,600 / 37.5% Ownership | FanDuel – $8,300 / 34.8% Ownership

As the most expensive and highest-owned quarterback on the slate, Rodgers holds a negative leverage score for both DraftKings and FanDuel. However, there are multiple reasons to lock him in your lineup on Saturday. Averaging 318.6 passing yards over his last five games, the Packers MVP candidate has a 13:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio over that span. He’s tacked on an additional 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground with two games over ten rushing yards. The biggest deterrent I could make is that Browns currently list Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Malik Jackson on the injury report. This could lead to more rushing success against a diminished front seven but Cleveland struggles to defend the pass in the red zone, creating a favorable matchup for Rodgers. The Browns have allowed the second-most pass yards (345) in the red zone on a league-worst 8.2 yards per completion. Despite his leverage score, lock him in as your quarterback for the Saturday slate.


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Top Three Bust Fades

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Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals QB: DraftKings – $7,400 / 35.0% Ownership | FanDuel – $8,700 / 33.9% Ownership

Above we discussed how the Colts’ pass defense was a reason to select one of Murray’s favorite 2021 additions, nevertheless fading Murray is the right play in this Indianapolis-Arizona matchup. With only one 300-yard passing performance in his last eight games, Murray has averaged 254.3 pass yards over that span while being sacked 20 times. Indianapolis has produced 2.1 sacks per game, upping that average to 2.3 over the last three games. Murray’s 13:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio since October has been accompanied by 11 fumbles, creating a potential turnover issue against the defense that leads the NFL with 31 takeaways. Additionally, the Colts are one of three teams to not allow a rushing touchdown to a quarterback this year allowing just 19.6 yards to the position per game. This limits the potential upside for a quarterback whose production on the ground has contributed 24.3 points over the last three weeks.

Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns RB: DraftKings – $7,500 / 35.0% Ownership | FanDuel – $7,600 / 42.8% Ownership

With the worst leverage score of the position on DraftKings (-7.8) and FanDuel (-9.1), Chubb faces a stout run defense for the third time in four appearances. After tough back-to-back matchups with the Ravens, Chubb found some success against the Raiders last week. He turned 24 touches into 93 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, his best showing in three weeks. Since Week 12, Chubb is averaging 55.3 rush yards on 15 rush attempts while adding two receptions per game for another 10.3 receiving yards. Green Bay has allowed the sixth-least fantasy points to the running backs this season and has surrendered only 67.4 yards on 16.8 rushes per game since Week 7 to the position. His bust score of 58.0 is the fourth-worst on DraftKings and leaves good reason to fade the talented back with Cleveland currently listing three starting offensive linemen on the injury report. 

Donovan Peoples-Jones – Cleveland Browns WR: DraftKings – $4,400 / 16.2% Ownership | FanDuel – $5,800 / 20.9% Ownership

The Packers’ pass defense has been one of the surprises of the season, ranking fifth in yards per pass attempt (6.2) while being without Jaire Alexander since Week 4. The return of Jarvis Landry to the lineup creates a difficult projection for Peoples-Jones whose target share spiked to 24% and 27% in the past two weeks. In these games, he saw over 90% snap share and produced nine receptions for 138 scoreless yards on 15 targets. The 15 targets show how run-heavy this Browns offense is being that it yielded a target share north of 24-percent. Landry will see the best matchup of the game with Chandon Sullivan in the slot while Peoples-Jones will be tasked with separating from Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas two surprisingly lockdown corners. In tough matchups this year, Peoples-Jones has produced very little: Casey Hayward (4-48), J.C. Jackson (1-16), Marlon Humphrey (2-10), and Patrick Peterson (catchless). Prefer Rashard Higgins as a budget receiver play if targeting this matchup while I’d suggest forking up the extra cash and going Landry above any other Browns pass catcher. 

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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS picks for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and NFL stacks. View our DraftKings NFL rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings. We also have FanDuel Single-Game slate tools and NFL DFS showdown ownership projections. Take a look at our NFL depth charts, inactives and NFL starting line-ups.

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