DraftKings Reignmakers | Christmas Day Slate Breakdown
This NFL season, we are pleased to have partnered with DraftKings as a content provider, covering their exciting new NFT-powered fantasy football game, DK Reignmakers! Each week in this space, we will be breaking down the upcoming Reignmakers NFL slate. Be sure to check out our Fair Value Card Estimates and Contest EV tool as you build your lineups.
The second holiday slate is here! Sunday’s Christmas Day “Sweater” slate serves as the sequel to the “Flannel” slate that turned DraftKings user “shalhoub23” into a millionaire thanks to his Vikings/Lions stack. This time, DraftKings is giving away $100,000 to the first place finisher on Sunday’s slate.
The Christmas Day slate itself is a little rough around the edges. Broncos/Rams and Bucs/Cardinals looked like marquee matchups in August, but not anymore as these teams juggle injuries at key positions. Also, where the Thanksgiving slate offered three SuperStars to build around (Josh Allen, Saquon Barkley, Justin Jefferson), the Christmas Day slate features only one in Tyreek Hill (well, two if you count Cooper Kupp (ankle), who will not play). That basically means there is no penalty at all for rostering Tyreek on this slate since he can be rostered with any other combination of players in the absence of a second SuperStar.
Of the three games, Packers/Dolphins stands head and shoulders above the rest as the most appealing from a fantasy perspective. The game’s 49.5-point total is more than a touchdown higher than the second-place game (Rams/Cardinals, 41 points), and nearly two touchdowns ahead of Broncos/Rams. This is also the first game to kick off on the day, so savvy Reignmakers managers should build a plan around late-swap options pending the results.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa is the clear QB1 with Miami implied for the highest team total on the slate. He also has by far the best stacking options available in Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
RB: If AJ Dillon (concussion) is forced to miss Week 16, I’d have Aaron Jones as the unquestioned RB1 on the slate. If Dillon is active though, I would have Jones in a tier with James Conner, who gets dinged for the team’s low total post-Kyler Murray injury.
WR/TE: Tyreek Hill is the clear top option here, with Jaylen Waddle and Chris Godwin forming a second tier for me. All three see consistent target shares on teams with reliable fantasy quarterbacks.
QB: I feel gross typing this, but Russell Wilson feels like a sneaky stacking option on this slate. Wilson should be active after clearing the concussion protocol last weekend, and the Broncos may get added reinforcements in Courtland Sutton (hamstring), who has a chance to return from a two-game absence. In Wilson’s last game before the injury, he posted 26.58 DraftKings points against the Chiefs, his second-best output of the season.
RB: Assuming Jeff Wilson Jr. (hip) is active, he’s an option that should go under the radar on this slate. While Raheem Mostert has been great recently, we have seen the usage tilt back and forth between Wilson and Mostert since Wilson’s trade from San Francisco.
WR/TE: Tutu Atwell's career high in snap share (84 percent) came last week in a game Ben Skowronek exited with a calf injury. Skowronek is now expected to miss the remainder of the season, opening the door for Atwell to serve as a starter down the stretch. Atwell is a former second-round draft pick who has flashed the occasional big-play upside but never really put things together, until now…maybe.
Next, let’s get into the game-by-game breakdown.
Packers @ Dolphins, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Tyreek Hill posted his third consecutive game with a target share north of 40 percent last week against the Bills en route to a 9-69-1 receiving line, but it wasn’t enough to give Miami the win. Tyreek has one of the heaviest workloads among all receivers and he remains locked in as a top-3 WR option. Jaylen Waddle briefly left last week’s game with an unspecified injury, but he was able to return and finish the game. Waddle’s usage had been trending south of late, but his 25 percent target share in Week 15 is encouraging.
Jeff Wilson Jr. missed last week with a hip injury, and that led to Raheem Mostert leading the backfield with 136 rushing yards. After missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Wilson was able to get in a limited session on Friday. He should have a chance to return in Week 16, but consider him questionable for now.
Last week felt a little bit like a changing of the guard in Green Bay, where rookie receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs finished first and second on the team in target share. For Doubs, it was his first game back from an ankle injury that caused him to miss four games, and I’d expect Green Bay to lean on its two rookies down the stretch after Sammy Watkins was released, and Allen Lazard saw a season-low seven percent target share with Doubs back in the lineup.
AJ Dillon got in the endzone twice last week, but he still trailed Aaron Jones in usage. Dillon left the game with a concussion and he should be considered questionable to play for now. When healthy, both backs do have an upside, but realistically this is a committee backfield for a team that still faces long odds of making the playoffs. If Dillon misses the game, I’d expect Jones’ usage to increase with Patrick Taylor working in a relief role.
Broncos @ Rams, Sunday 4:05 PM ET
Although Russell Wilson was cleared from the concussion protocol before kickoff last week, the Broncos elected not to activate Wilson, instead starting Brett Rypien against Arizona. Wilson is tentatively expected to start in Week 16, but keep an eye on reports throughout the week. Courtland Sutton (hamstring) sounds like he has a chance to play here, and if he’s able to return, it would mean Wilson has his top two receivers together in the lineup for the first time since Week 10.
Latavius Murray has been seeing enough volume to be relevant in fantasy, but touchdown expectations should be lowered in this one given the game’s low 35.5-point total.
Baker Mayfield fell back to Earth in his second start with the Rams, throwing for only 111 yards in a 24-12 loss at Green Bay after impressing in his Rams debut. Without Matthew Stafford (neck) and Cooper Kupp (ankle), this passing game has a very limited upside down the stretch. Cam Akers’ usage has been trending up of late in the LA backfield, but this is not the spot I’m looking to use him in a game with a low total against a top defense.
Buccaneers @ Cardinals, Sunday 8:20 PM ET
The Cardinals were down to their QB3 vs. the Broncos after Colt McCoy — who was filling in for Murray (knee) — suffered a concussion early in the game. McCoy has been ruled out for Week 16, so Trace McSorley will start at QB. McSorley was a 2019 sixth-round draft pick who has never started a game across three NFL campaigns, and he is not yet available in the Reignmakers Marketplace.
I’m viewing DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown as nothing more than contrarian options with McSorely starting. Regardless of the adjustment at QB, we know who’s getting the ball at RB: James Conner. He quietly has one of the more secure workloads across the NFL: 91% snap share, 80% rushing share and 14% target share in Week 15. Since Eno Benjamin was removed from the offense in Week 10, Conner has carried the ball no fewer than 14 times in any game.
Losers of three of their last four games, the Bucs are quickly losing control of the NFC South. Despite the slide, Tampa Bay finds itself as a six-point road favorite against the depleted Cardinals in Week 16.
Tom Brady leads the NFL in passing attempts this year (623), and he has five games on his 2022 ledger with 50 or more passing attempts. Godwin and Mike Evans haven’t hit their ceilings this year, but they both possess 13-15 target upside in any game given the high volume of attempts coming from Brady. Russell Gage was the big winner in Week 15, with a 8-59-2 line on 12 targets, but he’s probably too thin of a play on this slate unless we get word that Julio Jones (knee) will miss another game. Gage’s snap share was up nearly 30% last week in Jones’ absence, and his 29% target share was his highest mark since Week 3.
Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette remain entrenched in a two-back committee after White out-carried Fournette 11-10 in Week 15. White got the bulk of the work the previous week, but that was mostly due to the game script, and I think something close to a 50-50 split is a fair expectation moving forward in competitive game scripts.
Be sure to check our Lucky Trader’s Player Card Estimate and Contest EV tools throughout the week, then head over to the Reignmakers Marketplace to start building your teams!