Holiday Classic FanDuel Picks: Broncos-Patriots DFS lineup advice for NFL Week 16 single-game tournaments on Sunday night

This weekend’s NFL slate is as plentiful as a Christmas day buffet. We have a doubleheader on Saturday, nine day games on Christmas Eve, and the Holiday Classic between the Broncos and Patriots on Sunday night (8:15 p.m., ABC). We’ll specifically discuss the Denver game today, sharing the studs and sleepers we picked for our optimal FanDuel single-game tournament lineup for this AFC clash.

These squads have been traveling in different directions since the halfway point of the season. Bill Belichick’s Patriots have gone 1-6 since Week 8, averaging 10.6 points per loss during that span and making everyone wonder where Bill’s headed after this season. Sean Payton’s Broncos, meanwhile, have won six of their past eight games and inched their way into the AFC playoff bubble. 

There are plenty of reasons to watch this one, so naturally we’re assembling a FanDuel lineup. Let’s get into our squad, including the studs and sleepers we feel will set us apart from the rest of the DFS pack. 

Before we get into our lineup and strategy, here are the key scoring settings for FanDuel contests: They’re half-point PPR and there are no three-point bonuses for 300 passing yards100 rushing yards, or 100 receiving yards. The MVP pick multiplies that player’s total by 1.5 but does not cost 1.5 times their listed salary.

MORE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Betting preview | DraftKings lineup

Broncos-Patriots FanDuel Picks Week 16: NFL DFS lineup for GPP tournaments

$60,000 budget, must include at least one player from each team

MVP (1.5x points) Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos ($15,500)

Believe it or not, Wilson is the most valuable fantasy player in this particular game. So, naturally, we opted to select him as our MVP. This way, the guy we project to score the most points gets a 1.5-times boost but we don’t need to spend 1.5 times his salary to draft him like with the Captain spot on DraftKings.

The Patriots have surrendered a hair under 260 passing yards per game since Week 6, and they just let three different Chiefs catch touchdowns last week. Russ has fared well historically against New England, with 11 TDs, just one pick, and 309.7 passing yards per game. Two air TDs and 220 passing yards and we’re getting 18 FD points, well worth a $15,500 investment.

FLEX Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos ($15,000)

Now we have the best QB-WR stack in this contest, giving us a big advantage if these two continue their season-long rapport. Sutton has been Wilson’s go-to target in the red zone and on third downs, as evidenced by his 10 receiving TDs (third in the NFL). A whopping 46 of his 58 catches have either gone for first downs or touchdowns.

Sutton has played a huge role in Denver’s recent surge up the standings. He has scored six TDs since Week 7, a span that has seen the Broncos go 6-2. And in just the last five games, the sixth-year wideout has averaged 67.4 yards per game.

With Jerry Jeudy actually making an impact last week in Detroit, we’re even more confident in Sutton finding openings in New England’s banged-up and inconsistent secondary. He’s a high-floor, high-ceiling option this Christmas Eve. 

FLEX Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Patriots ($12,500)

Elliott has benefited in a major way from running mate Rhamondre Stevenson’s ankle injury. The veteran power back has averaged 23 opportunities per game over the past three weeks, which has translated to 13.9 FD points per game during that span.

Now Zeke draws a Denver defense that has surrendered the most rushing yards to RBs on the season (129 per game), the eighth-most RB receiving yards (37.9 per game), and the third-most RB touchdowns (17 total). And while the Broncos have improved since giving up 70 points to the Dolphins earlier this year, they still let the Lions’ Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery combine for 185 rushing yards last week. They’re mile-high turnstiles.

History also suggests that Elliott gets up for primetime and holiday games. In 35 career night games, he has averaged 97.7 all-purpose yards per game and totaled 24 TDs. The man’s going to eat, especially if ‘Mondre can’t make his return this week. He’s a great choice at the MVP spot for the Holiday Classic. 

FLEX Denver Broncos D ($9,000)

Denver’s defense struggled in Detroit last week, but let’s face it: the Lions are on a completely different stratosphere offensively than the Patriots. New England has Bailey Zappe under center, top skill-position players Rhamondre Stevenson and Hunter Henry are both banged up and questionable to play this weekend, and the Pats’ wide receiver room could be the most pitiful in the NFL.

The Broncos have improved on the whole defensively over the past two months — they’re averaging 9.5 FD points per game over their past seven games, and they have two games with 14-plus points over the past three weeks. This start provides us with a solid floor and ceiling, so don’t worry about spending up a little on a defense.

FLEX Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots ($8,000)

Nobody in New England has benefited from the Bailey Zappe experience more than Henry. The veteran tight end has logged 19-plus DK points in each of the past two weeks, catching a combined 10-of-12 targets for 106 yards and three TDs during that span. Denver has allowed a whopping 13.6 FD points per game to TEs this season, most in the NFL. If Henry suits up, fire him up. 

Best Broncos-Patriots SuperDraft DFS Picks

As we have every week, we’re also listing our favorite single-game DFS plays on SuperDraft

For those unfamiliar, SuperDraft’s DFS scoring involves point multipliers as opposed to traditional salary-capped or tiered contests. A winning lineup will likely feature a strong mix of stud fantasy contributors with 1x-1.6x boosts, as well as matchup-based sleepers with larger multipliers. Each player is assigned a scoring multiplier based on their value as determined by SuperDraft. Users can roster any player in their lineup with no restrictions.

MORE: Win BIG with SuperDraft! Join now and get a free deposit match of $20!

Here are the most notable scoring rules for SuperDraft NFL contests: Half-point PPRfour-point passing TDstwo-point bonuses for 100 rushing yards100 receiving yardsand 300 passing yards.

MORE SUPERDRAFT DFS: How to play SuperDraft

  • Champion (+50% points): Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos (1.5x)
  • Super FLEX: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Patriots (1.65x)
  • Super FLEX: Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos (1.8x)
  • Super FLEX: Demario Douglas, WR, Patriots (2.35x)
  • Super FLEX: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, Broncos (3x)

We employed a fairly similar approach with our SuperDraft DFS lineup, keeping four of the skill players we drafted to our DK squad. We couldn’t resist drafting Douglas, who has emerged as the Pats’ most reliable wideout, at a 2.35-times boost. And we love the 3x-boost for Humphrey. We have plenty of lineup variance since we avoided both teams’ quarterbacks. 

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