NFL DFS Week 12 Early-Only Slate Breakdown
Here I will be breaking down the Week 12 early slate and discussing my general strategy for both cash games and tournaments.
Cash Game Strategy
My cash game strategy is pretty similar every week. I first will look to lock in three workhorse running backs, although that's not always the easiest thing to do. Ideally, we want running backs on teams expected to be winning, playing at home and that will get the high-value touches. After that, I want to look for receivers that are cheaper but getting heavy volume that we can count on. What differentiates my process from most is that while I obviously want to chase targets, I tend to favor receivers that are more big-play threats. Some may view this as unnecessarily adding variance but because my lineups are so reliant on the floors of my running backs I look for the receivers to raise my ceiling in case of an injury. There's nothing worse than knowing your lineups are sunk early because of one your high-priced backs is out for the game after one quarter. At quarterback, I look for a value play with a high projected point total and a positive environment, which generally means being a home favorite. There are times when paying up for security at quarterback makes sense but it shouldn't really be plan A. Lastly at tight end, I hardly ever look to pay up due to their variance. If I can fit in an elite tight end then I'm not going to avoid it but I don't view the position as a core piece of my cash lineups. Instead, I'm looking to chase cheap targets and/or touchdown upside playing on teams with a high scoring total.
No strategy is flawless but these are the steps I take in my own process. Now let's dig into this week's picks.
Matt Ryan ($7,900 FD/$6,500 DK)
- Ryan has struggled to post fantasy points in his two games since returning from injury but the Buccaneers are a get-right spot for opposing offenses. The Buccaneers rank 32nd in terms of aFPA to quarterbacks.
- Ryan has thrown for over 300 yards in seven of his nine games played.
Carson Wentz ($7,300 FD/$5,600 DK)
- Over the last three weeks, the Seahawks defense has allowed 325 passing yards per game (second-most).
- The Eagles are projected to score 25 points this week, up from their 23 point average this season. Over their last three games, they are only averaging 21 points per game. This appears to indicate a bounce-back week for the Eagles offense.
Alvin Kamara ($8,300 FD/$8,200 DK)
- The Saints have the highest implied total on the slate.
- The Panthers run funnel defense is allowing the 11th-fewest passing yards and sixth-most rushing yards per game.
- Only the Colts are averaging more red zone scoring attempts over the last three games.
Nick Chubb ($8,200 FD/$8,100 DK)
- The return of Kareem Hunt hasn't put a dent in Chubb's workload as he's now received at least 20 touches in five straight games.
- The Browns are averaging 30 rushing attempts per game over their last three games.
- The Dolphins are allowing 148 rushing yards per game, second-most in the NFL.
LeVeon Bell ($7,300 FD/$6,400 DK)
- Over the last three games, the Raiders are allowing the sixth-most rushing yards per game.
- Bell has 208 touches this season (seventh-most) and his touches per game is on par with rookie Josh Jacobs.
- The Jets are averaging the seventh-fewest rushing attempts per game this season but have the 10th-most rushing attempts over the last three games.
Jaylen Samuels ($6,900 FD/$7,200 DK)
- Samuels led the team in touches after James Conner left the game just like he did in the weeks Conner missed previously.
- The Bengals have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
- The Steelers are averaging the fifth-most rushing attempts per game over their last three games.
D.J. Moore ($6,400 FD/$6,400 DK)
- Over the last four weeks, no player has received more targets than Moore (45).
- Moore leads the team in yards after the catch but the Saints have allowed the third-fewest yards after the catch in the league. There's potential for big play however as they have allowed the 11th-most air yards and Moore has received 31% of the team's air yards.
Jamison Crowder ($6,500 FD/$6,200 DK)
- Over the last four weeks, Crowder is averaging seven targets per game.
- The Raiders have allowed the eighth-most PPR points to opposing wide receivers.
Golden Tate ($6,400 FD/$5,700 DK)
- This becomes less attractive if all the skill players are active but Tate has averaged eight targets per game without Sterling Shepard on the field.
- While the Bears are a tough matchup for opposing receivers (eighth in terms of aFPA), they have allowed the eighth-most receptions in the NFL.
DeVante Parker ($6,000 FD/$5,200 DK)
- The Browns rank 21st in terms of aFPA to wide receivers.
- Without Preston Williams, Parker has become the clear top option. He has led the team in share of targets (26%) and air yards (43%).
- Parker is our fourth-best projected value play on DraftKings.
Calvin Ridley ($6,700 FD/$6,500 DK)
- Since the Mohammed Sanu trade, Ridley is averaging 83% of the snaps and six targets per game.
- The Buccaneers have allowed the second-most receiving yards, third-most air yards and seventh-most yards after the catch.
Darren Waller ($6,200 FD/$5,700 DK)
- Waller received seven targets last week and leads the team in target share this season (23%).
- Over the last three games, the Jets are allowing an average of three touchdown passes per game.
- Waller has the highest projected floor and second-highest ceiling on DraftKings.
Ryan Griffin ($5,600 FD/$4,200 DK)
- The Raiders are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
- Griffin has at least four targets in three of his last four games.
My tournament strategy is less about targeting specific players and more about targeting games and offenses.
Stacks to target:
- Matt Ryan-Julio Jones-Mike Evans
- Drew Brees-Alvin Kamara-Michael Thomas
- Chase Daniel-Allen Robinson-Golden Tate
- Ryan Fitzpatrick-Jarvis Landry-DeVante Parker
It's no surprise the top three-man stack goes to the Saints who have the highest team total on the slate. Another cheap way to get exposure to the offense could be with Ted Ginn. Ginn only had four targets last week but received 25% of the team's air yards and the Panthers are allowing the sixth-highest average depth of target. Our stack value report thinks that the Giants and Bears matchup offers solid value from a point per dollar standpoint. The Dolphins side of a Browns and Dolphins stack is our second-best value stack on the slate. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham are expected to be highly owned so a pivot to the other side of the game and fading of Beckham could pay dividends. Over the last three weeks, Landry leads the team in targets and touchdowns.