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DFS building blocks, values and a star to fade

Justin Fields is a top DFS option to build lineups around in Week 16. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Whether you’ve played Daily Fantasy on Yahoo before or are giving it a try for the first time, this weekly column will take a look at the DFS landscape, revealing whom I like building lineups around, stars to fade, undervalued plays and bargain bin options to help you construct a better team.

Lineup building blocks

Justin Fields ($31) vs. Arizona Cardinals

Fields deserved far better last week in a tough matchup in Cleveland and gets a much easier setup Sunday. He’s due for touchdown regression on the ground since he’s averaging 11.3 rush attempts over his last six games and gets an Arizona defense allowing the third-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks. Fields is the QB to build DFS lineups with during a slate missing most of the position’s stars.

Raheem Mostert ($26) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Mostert has more touchdowns this year (20) than he had over his previous eight seasons in the league (19). He’s scored 13 of them over seven games at home, where the Dolphins are averaging 35.9 points. Mostert is Miami’s clear lead back, seeing 71% of the snaps before halftime last week, later giving way to De’Von Achane in the blowout. Mostert leads the NFL in carries inside the 10- and five-yard lines, and is here for fantasy managers.

The Cowboys may focus on fixing their run defense after being gashed by the Bills last week, but game script could favor the Dolphins given Dak Prescott’s struggles on the road. Mostert should see a nice workload with Tyreek Hill battling an ankle injury, and Miami has the highest implied team total on the DFS slate.

Rachaad White ($28) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

White has seen just two targets in three of his past four games, but an increased rushing workload (and two TD catches on his last four targets) has continued to lead to big fantasy weeks. Tampa Bay has played four of its last five games on the road, but returns home Sunday to face a middling Jacksonville run defense. The Buccaneers are (slight) favorites and could face a favorable game script should Trevor Lawrence (concussion) sit.

Star to Fade

Travis Etienne Jr. ($27) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Etienne is the No. 3 overall scoring fantasy back this season, but he’s the RB29 in ppg since the team’s Week 9 bye. He’s worn down thanks to a heavy workload (Jacksonville had the right idea drafting a back but just picked the wrong one), and the Jaguars’ screen game is among the worst in the league. Etienne gets a Buccaneers defense allowing the fifth-fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs, and Jacksonville could struggle badly if/when Lawrence sits.

Undervalued Options

Trey McBride ($21) @ Chicago Bears

McBride has averaged 9.1 targets and 77.4 receiving yards over seven games since Zach Ertz went on IR (and subsequently released). He’s been the No. 2 fantasy tight end and ranks first at the position in target share, targets per route run and yards per route run since taking over Arizona’s starting role. McBride has a 31% target share from Kyler Murray since the QB’s return in Week 10, as the tight end’s usage has been equivalent to a top wide receiver. He’s the real deal and gets a Bears’ defense ceding the third-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Aaron Jones ($21) @ Carolina Panthers

Jones saw 17-of-21 Green Bay RB opportunities during his return last week, including six in the red zone and three inside the five. It didn’t result in a big fantasy game, but it was an encouraging workload nonetheless. AJ Dillon has a broken thumb, while Christian Watson and Jayden Reed are also dealing with injuries. Jones could see an expanded role Sunday in a favorable matchup against the Panthers’ run-funnel defense allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks but the third most to running backs. The Packers are 4.5-point favorites, so Jones is undervalued in DFS.

Nick Mullens ($23) vs. Detroit Lions

Mullens was a top-12 fantasy QB last week and is getting 8.4 YPA since taking over Minnesota’s QB role. He gets a home matchup versus a pass-funnel Detroit defense yielding the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs but the fourth-most to quarterbacks this season. Mullens will continue to benefit from throwing to a healthy Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson, and last week’s sudden success rushing is unlikely to repeat Sunday. The Vikings have the eighth-highest implied team total on the slate, yet Mullens’ salary is nearly the DFS minimum.

Bargain Bin

Tucker Kraft ($10) @ Carolina Panthers

Kraft has been a top-10 fantasy tight end in two of four weeks since Luke Musgrave went on IR, running almost all of Green Bay’s routes. He’s in store for increased targets this week with Watson and Reed both banged up (and Dontayvion Wicks reportedly playing through a high-ankle sprain), so Kraft’s salary simply looks mispriced at the minimum.

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