DFS Optimal Values, Locks and Fades: Week 13
In this article, we walk through the process of constructing an optimal lineup that will dominate your cash games on the main slate of Week 13. We start with the optimal lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings determined by the Lineup Generator. Then, we identify the players that are irreplaceable and should be locked into your lineup. For the remaining players, we discuss the main alternatives that you can swap in to make a winning team that best fits your own style.
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FanDuel Week 13 Optimal Plays
Lamar Jackson ($8,500) has over 50 rushing yards in eight of the 10 games he's played this season. He's had two rough outings in a row but he still ranks second in average FanDuel fantasy points per game. He is in a bounce-back spot against a Steelers defense allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Over the last four weeks, Tom Brady ($8,100) has thrown six interceptions. He only had half of that through the first seven weeks of the season. Lucky for Tom, he gets a Falcons defense averaging the fewest takeaways per game when playing at home. He threw five touchdowns on them when they played back in Week 2.
David Montgomery ($6,500) has received at least 15 touches in nearly every game this season and gets the Cardinals run funnel defense. The Cardinals rank top 10 against quarterbacks and pass catchers but 22nd in aFPA to running backs. While the Cardinals offense puts opposing teams in a position to abandon the run, the defense is allowing the third-highest yards per carry. At the same price point, Jamaal Williams ($6,500) should be a bellcow for Lions this week. Last week he played a season-high 63% of the snaps and received 20 touches. He gets a Vikings defense allowing the third-most rushing yards per game but they are even worse on the road. When traveling they are allowing the highest yards per carry in the league and 150 rushing yards per game
One option at wide receiver is to pay up for Cooper Kupp ($9,000). Kupp is averaging the highest FanDuel fantasy points per game and is averaging over two more points per game than the second-best receiver, Deebo Samuel. Obviously paying up for a tight end and Kupp means you have to chase value to fill out your lineup. Some pay-down options we like are Hunter Renfrow ($6,400) and Van Jefferson ($5,800). Renfrow appears to be the Raiders' number one option in the passing game without Darren Waller. He received nine targets last week, good for 24% of the team targets and he also led the team in air yards. This week he gets a Washington defense allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
The other option is to move off of Kupp to our second-best value play, Keenan Allen ($7,300). Allen may have the most consistent workload for all receivers. He has just one game with under eight targets and has received double-digit targets in five straight games. The extra salary would allow you to get up to a range to either upgrade Renfrow to Justin Jefferson ($8000) or Van Jefferson to a range with Ja'Marr Chase ($7,500) or Diontae Johnson ($7,200). Jefferson has received at least nine targets in three straight games and could smash against the Lions' defense. Jefferson has averaged over 20 yards per reception in back-to-back games and the Lions are allowing a league-high 7.9 yards per pass attempt. That said, I may prefer the bump up from Van Jefferson to Diontae Johnson for cash. Johnson has a decent matchup against the Ravens (21st aFPA) but it's more about his volume. He has received double-digit targets eight times this season and only has two games under 70 receiving yards.
DraftKings Week 13 Optimal Plays
Derek Carr ($6,000) gets the best possible matchup for quarterbacks this week against a Washington defense allowing the most passing touchdowns per game. On the flip side of that game, Taylor Heinicke ($5,600) also has a good matchup against the Raiders who rank 25th in aFPA to quarterbacks. Over the last three weeks, the Football Team is throwing at the fourth-highest rate.
Darrell Henderson's ($6,100) status is in doubt but if he plays, he faces a Jaguars team being run on at the fifth-highest rate. Over the last three weeks, it's actually the second-highest rate. Henderson played 80% of the snaps last week and received 20 touches, despite the Rams having the sixth-highest passing rate. In the three games before the bye, James Conner ($5,900) averaged 80% of the snaps and had 25 touches in two out of three. Without Chase Edmonds, he's established a high floor and his knack for finding the end zone gives him a high ceiling. He's currently on a five-game streak of scoring a touchdown. I mentioned Jamaal Williams ($5,400) in the FanDuel section but his bell-cow role puts him in play here as well.
Chris Godwin ($6,600) has topped 50 receiving yards in every game but two this season. He also hasn't had a game with fewer than five targets. The Falcons defense ranks 22nd in aFPA to receivers and their star cornerback A.J. Terrell will likely face off with Mike Evans. Since week seven, Michael Pittman ($5,700) has received 23% of the team targets and 30% for the air yards. No other Colts receiver has over 16% of the targets or 20% of the air yards. The question is whether the Colts will even need to air it out much as they are nearly 10 point favorites over the Texans. Over the last two weeks, Brandon Aiyuk ($5,600) has received over 30% of the team targets and the air yards. The Seahawks defense ranks second against wide receivers so perhaps that limits his ceiling but without Deebo Samuel he's a great volume play. This season the 49ers passing game has been heavily condensed to just Deebo, Aiyuk and George Kittle.
Foster Moreau ($2,700) played 88% of the snaps in relief of Darren Waller last week. However, he was only able to catch one of his five targets. Washington is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to tight ends and this game has sneaky shootout potential with the third-highest over/under on the slate. Now while Moreau is our top value, he will be popular. Some different options in this price range are Cole Kmet ($3,800) and Jack Doyle ($3,300). Doyle has received at least five targets in three straight games and gets the seventh-best matchup for tight ends.