It is Week 16 and the Christmas weekend slate is delivering a ton of football. We have a two-game slate on Saturday and another three-game slate on Monday as the NFL looks to steal some of the NBA on Christmas Day thunder. We’ve complained enough about these 10-game slates the last few weeks. Well buckle up because for Christmas Eve because we have a nine-game slate on tap and we all get to fall asleep to the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos during Sunday Night Football. The good news is that only two teams (the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers) are favored by more than a field goal for the main slate. So we have some competitive games to consider. The bad news is that we still have some low totals on the board, but not nearly as bad as last week. But there are some great spots to target our defenses this week so here are the top NFL DFS lineup picks for Week 16 on DraftKings and FanDuel!


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NFL DFS D/ST Top Tier Picks

Green Bay Packers

They aren’t my favorite play on the slate, but they have the best matchup by far. The Packers don’t have a great defense and I’m hoping we see Jaire Alexander suit up. But this is a good matchup since the Carolina Panthers represent a top five matchup for D/ST’s. Over their last eight games, the Panthers have allowed 35 sacks and four D/ST’s have put up double-digit fantasy points in that span. The Packers only have three games this year returning double-digit fantasy points so for that reason, I understand if you don’t want to spend up for this group on the off chance they maybe only get seven or eight points. You can save salary and get that kind of output. But the Panthers have allowed five D/ST touchdowns on the year. As far as Vegas goes, this game has one of the lowest totals on the slate at just 37.5 points and Green Bay is favored by five points. I normally don’t spend up at D/ST and probably won’t this week, but Green Bay has a very favorable matchup.

Indianapolis Colts

This probably won’t be a team I spend up for but it’s hard to ignore what they’ve been doing lately. In five of their last six games they have at least four sacks and two takeaways. They’re prone to giving up points and production to good offenses. But the Colts have been making plays on their own. The price tag is the only thing I don’t like and it makes it tough to fit them into lineups. But they’ve been a D/ST worth targeting for nearly six straight weeks. The Atlanta Falcons are also making a change at quarterback (again) and starting Taylor Heinicke in Week 16, so perhaps Arthur Smith’s seat is getting a bit warm. It’s a small sample size but Heinicke is completing roughly 55% of his passes this season but I’m not entirely sure how much the Falcons will let him air it out.

NFL DFS D/ST Mid-Tier Picks

New York Jets

The Jets have been solid over the last four weeks. Is the offense in shambles? Yes. It’s mostly why the Washington Commanders are in the next section as a value D/ST on FanDuel. But the defense is holding its own. They allowed 30 points last week to the Miami Dolphins and they haven’t forced a turnover in their last three games. But in terms of total yardage, they aren’t really getting beat. And they’re no easy team to throw on. This does feel like more of a gut call but with Sam Howell taking the reigns once again as the Commanders starting quarterback, I’m interested in the Jets at their price point. Howell might have the yips. In his last two games he’s completed just 46.9% of his pass attempts and he was even benched last week. But Ron Rivera has said that Howell will remain the starting quarterback going forward. He’s always a threat to throw it 40+ times but no quarterback has easily aired it out on the Jets secondary. Howell has still been sacked 59 times on the year so I will mix in the Jets into some of my Tournament lineups.

Chicago Bears

I will go right back to the well with the Bears this week. They’ve been one of my favorite D/ST plays the last couple weeks and you can make the argument that at $2,800 on DraftKings they’re arguably a value D/ST. The Bears are a little more expensive on FanDuel but still playable. Chicago has the luxury of playing at home and they are four-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears have 12 sacks and 14 takeaways in their last four games and they’ve returned 14 fantasy points on DraftKings in three straight games. This game is also in the late window and there’s some concerns that there could be some rain in the forecast as the sun sets in the Windy City. The Cardinals have played better since Kyler Murray has returned and he’s a challenge to account for. But Chicago is passing the eyeball test and the acquisition of Montez Sweat has already paid dividends. 

NFL DFS D/ST Value Picks

Tennessee Titans – DraftKings

The pricing between both DraftKings and FanDuel is wonky this week. The Titans are priced down on DraftKings as the fourth-cheapest team, but they’re the eighth-most expensive team on FanDuel. On DraftKings, the Tennessee Titans have returned at least eight fantasy points in four straight games. They have 16 sacks in that span but only five takeaways during that stretch. They now have the Seattle Seahawks coming to town and traveling on a short week. The Seahawks are coming off an exhilarating win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. So it’s a short week, Seattle has to travel, and they may be a bit hungover from that monstrous win in Week 15. Geno Smith was active but didn’t start Monday night and Drew Lock may have earned himself another start, but we’ll likely find out closer to the weekend. The Titans are about three-point underdogs but this game is also in the early window which almost feels like a morning game for Seattle. The Seahawks were riding a four-game losing streak prior to their win on Monday and this feels like a potential trap game for Seattle as they fight to make the playoffs.

Washington Commanders – FanDuel

It’s very unlikely that I’ll consider the Commanders on DraftKings. They’re the third-most expensive team on DraftKings but sixth-cheapest on FanDuel. The Commanders visit the New York Jets this week and we’re waiting to hear who will start at quarterback for New York. Either way, I’d be okay utilizing Washington on FanDuel but I don’t love it. At the end of the day, this is still one of the worst defenses in the league. The secondary is abysmal and they traded away Chase Young and Montez Sweat at the trade deadline. If Zach Wilson cannot clear the concussion protocol, the Jets will start Trevor Siemian at quarterback and he completed just 14-of-26 pass attempts on Sunday with three turnovers. There’s still risk here but it’s a good matchup in what could be a very ugly game. 

If you need a cheaper punt on FanDuel, the Seattle Seahawks are in play despite the fact I like Tennessee on DraftKings this weekend. They do have to go on the road this week and they just played Monday night. It’s possible Will Levis can’t play in this game after spraining his ankle in Week 15. But I’d also want to monitor Seattle’s injury reports to see if Jamal Adams and Devon Witherspoon have a chance to play. We’ll update this section ahead of Sunday’s main slate.

Carolina Panthers

Absolute punt play here. This is arguably the worst team in the league. They can be run on but they’re actually pretty tricky to throw on and they play better at home. The Green Bay Packers come to town and they may be without Christian Watson and Jayden Reed. Since Carolina’s week off in Week 7 only two quarterbacks have eclipsed 200 passing yards and they barely crossed that threshold. Now you can counter that the Panthers are easy to run on, and that’s true. Perhaps teams just didn’t find it necessary to throw it very much. But the Packers were without A.J. Dillon last week and Aaron Jones isn’t far removed from an injury either. The Panthers allow just 16.2 points per game and 258 total yards of offense at home compared to 28.4 points per game and 316.9 yards per game on the road. As the cheapest D/ST on both sites there’s a fair chance they can go out and return six or seven points, possibly a little more. The Packers aren’t a juggernaut by any means so if this is the only D/ST you can fit into your lineups, you can play them with at least some conviction in this home matchup.


Detroit Lions

I struggled for a hot minute trying to find a fade that applies to both sites. But I’m willing to keep the Lions out of my player pool this week as they’re priced up on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The Lions are on the road, in a controlled environment, and they’re favored by three points. But the over/under is at 47 points but that still gives Minnesota an implied team total of 22 points. The Lions also haven’t been doing a great job of generating much of a pass rush. They have just nine sacks and five takeaways in their last six games. And in that same sample size they’re giving up 26.6 points per game. Minnesota managed to get 300+ passing yards out of and a pair of touchdowns out of Nick Mullens last week. It’s expected that this game will be targeted for DFS production from the positional players. But with the Lions being priced up on both sites, and not doing much for fantasy purposes, I’ll gladly find a cheaper team to plug into my lineups.