Draftkings Reignmaker Core Strategy: Week 13
Week 13 is upon us, so it's time for another Reignmakers Core strategy rundown for this Sunday's games. Matt Price and I opened a Rare pack at a very nice price of $69.99 on Make It Reign, our pack-opening video show that includes some early-week strategy, and we managed to hit the 34% outcome by pulling an Elite card! Unfortunately, that card was Byron Pringle, but the rest of the pack did not disappoint, landing us Core cards for Jalen Hurts, Kirk Cousins, Derrick Henry, and Equanimeous St. Brown. We'll open up a new pack each week on Make It Reign, which drops every Wednesday on our YouTube Channel.
For Week 13, 15 players are designated as "SuperStars," and only one SuperStar card is allowed in each contest lineup:
Core SuperStar Strategy
Week 13 SuperStar Strategy
The Cardinals and the Panthers are on bye this week, which doesn't remove any SuperStars from the available options, and only one SuperStar is unavailable due to an off-slate game, but it's a big one in Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Cooper Kupp remains on IR for the time being, so he's also unavailable.
Jalen Hurts has QB1 potential in Week 13, favored at home and facing a Titans defense giving up the 8th-most aFPA to QBs. Only Justin Fields has scored more fantasy points than Hurts over the last five games, and he's coming off of a shoulder injury. Fellow SuperStar QB Patrick Mahomes is 4for4's 2nd-ranked QB for the week, but faces a difficult matchup on the road in Cincinnati, though that game has shootout potential with a projected point total of 52.5, the highest on the main slate of games.
The issue with drafting a SuperStar quarterback this week is that three of the SuperStar running backs have very enticing matchups. Derrick Henry hits the road to face an Eagles defense giving up the 11th-most aFPA to RBs. Nick Chubb draws a road matchup with the Texans, who are allowing the 4th-most aFPA to RBs. Austin Ekeler heads to Las Vegas, and the Raiders have allowed the 3rd-most aFPA to RBs.
Tyreek Hill complicates things the most among the wide receivers, at home facing a 49ers defense allowing the 11th-most aFPA to WRs. Both Justin Jefferson and Davante Adams are nearly matchup-proof, but both do face defenses that have limited wide receiver production.
Core Marketplace Values
Marketplace values included are from the time of this writing, and of course might change with marketplace activity.
Trevor Lawrence, QB JAX - $8.50
Trevor Lawrence's core card is one of least-expensive among all the quarterbacks ranked in the top 10 for the week by 4for4, and he goes up against a Lions defense that's allowed the most aFPA to quarterbacks in the league. Lawrence has averaged 20.9 fantasy points per game over the Jaguars' last 3 contests, 9th among quarterbacks. He's also got rushing skills, and the Lions have allowed 500 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns to quarterbacks through 11 games.
Jamaal Williams, RB DET - $5.50
Jamaal Williams is not on the SuperStar list, and he's the PPR RB12 right now, but you'd never know it from his marketplace cost. Sure, a lot of his production is based on his league-leading 13 touchdowns, and touchdown variance is very real, but the Lions rush in the opponent's red zone at the 11th highest rate. When they reach the 10 yard line or closer, they run the 7th most frequently, and average the 2nd-most rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have allowed the highest rushing expected points added (EPA) per play when the opponent is at or within the 10 yard line.
Garrett Wilson, WR NYJ - $5.56
Garret Wilson is the WR1 for the Jets, but with Zach Wilson under center, that's only been good for 136.2 PPR points and a WR22 standing for the season. Things have changed with Mike White now at quarterback. We only have a one-week sample size to work with, but last week against the Bears, Mike White was the QB6 on 315 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. Garrett Wilson was on the receiving end of two of those TDs, and his 8 targets amounted to a 28.6% market share among Jets wide receivers.
Week 13 Tournament Strategy
RMF Classic - CORE - $50K Fiat Frenzy [$5K to 1st]
The weekly $50K Fiat Frenzy is the Core tournament with the largest field of entrants, which includes 12 Sunday afternoon games this week. Matchups off the main slate are BUF@NE on Thursday night, DAL@IND on Sunday night, and NO@TB on Monday night. The payout structure awards $5,000 to first place, and pays out down to $5 for 4,150th place, and a single-card Core Plus pack is rewarded all the way down to 6,150th place. As of Friday afternoon there are 8,125 entries in the Week 13 contest, and last week's contest drew over 20,000 entries by kickoff. Yours truly ended up 55th out of over 24,000 entries in last week's Core Fiat Frenzy!
Top Options at Each Position
QB: Trevor Lawrence, JAX
Trevor Lawrence was the QB5 in Week 12, and could be found in 4 of the top 10 lineups in last week's Core Fiat Frenzy contest. I discussed him earlier as a marketplace value this week at $8.50, and it clearly takes a long time to clean off the muck from a wildly disappointing rookie season in the minds of many a fantasy football drafter. A change in coaching staff and improved offensive line play has allowed Lawrence to begin to display the athleticism that made him the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The Jaguars host the Lions in one of the most intriguing games of the week, projected for 51.5 points with the Jaguars projecting for 26.5 of that total.
RB: Austin Ekeler, LAC
Here's your lineup's SuperStar, 4for4's 2nd-ranked running back for Week 13, Austin Ekeler. The Chargers visit the Raiders for a game that projects as a one of the highest-scoring on the slate at 50.5 points. That generally indicates a lot of passing, which would be disconcerting for drafters choosing a running back who isn't involved in the receiving game. Fortunately, Ekeler has a higher target rate than any other running back, and in fact its higher than all but 6 wide receivers and TE Travis Kelce. The Chargers pass at the 3rd-highest rate once they've reached red-zone territory, where Ekeler has earned 19 targets (behind only Stefon Diggs and Travis Kelce) and he's scored 5 Red Zone TDs (behind only Kelce, Christian Kirk, Diggs and Amari Cooper). The Raiders have allowed the 3rd-most aFPA to running backs in PPR scoring formats, the 4th-most touchdowns per opponent Red Zone drive, and allow the highest opponent passing EPA per play of any team. Using Ekeler as your SuperStar prevents you from starting Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, and Davante Adams, but the loss of Ekeler's guaranteed rushing and target volume is likely a greater hit to your lineup than the pivot from Hill, Jefferson or Adams to a couple of other great wide receiver options this week.
WR: A.J. Brown, PHI
The last time A.J. Brown faced a defense in the bottom 5 in aFPA to wide receivers was in Week 8 versus a 28th-ranked Steelers squad. He finished as the PPR WR1 for the week with 156 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. The Eagles have faced some decent-to-excellent secondaries over the past 4 weeks, which has limited Brown's fantasy production somewhat. This week, the Eagles host the Titans, the team that traded him to the Eagles in the offseason, and Tennesee's 37.7 aFPA to WRs is the 5th-highest. Now I'm not usually one for revenge narratives, but Brown is already earning 29% of the Eagles' targets through 11 games, so we could certainly see some extra love being sent his way from Hurts against his former team. The Eagles operate a very run-heavy offense, which is understandable given Jalen Hurts' rushing skills and an excellent offensive line, but they operate at the 12th fastest pace, which helps Brown's target volume from dipping too drastically. Brown also owns a 60% share of his team's end zone targets, by far the highest mark in the league, and he's one of the most efficient WRs in 2022, as his 2.71 yards per route run (YPRR) is 5th among all receivers with at least 80 targets. Also revenge.
WR/TE: Christian Kirk, JAX
Christian Kirk has got to be excited for Week 13. He came out of his Week 11 bye to face a very talented Baltimore secondary, and his 9-reception, 105-yard and 2-touchdown game in Week 10 might seem far away. Kirk is readying to face a Lions secondary in Week 13 that has allowed a 10-catch 155-yard game to A.J. Brown, a 7-catch 149-yard game to DK Metcalf, a 7-catch 11-yard and 2-TD game to Jakobi Meyers, an 8-catch 106-yard 2-TD game to Jaylen Waddle AND a 12-catch 188-yard game to Tyreek Hill in that same Week 8 game alongside Waddle. I could go on, but suffice it to say Detroit's aFPA to WRs is very much not good. As the cherry on top, Kirk has the 3rd-most Red Zone receptions (11) on the 8th-most targets (15), and only Travis Kelce can best his 7 touchdowns from inside the 20. As a stack with Lawrence in a 51.5-point projected game total, we'll just call him Christian "Bink" Kirk this week.
FLEX: Josh Jacobs, LV
You could essentially photocopy everything I wrote about the Raiders' atrocious defensive performance this season, cross out Raiders and replace it with Chargers, and the description wouldn't be far off. The two defenses are basically the pointing Spider-Man meme, with the exception that the Chargers have limited wide receiver production quite effectively, ranking 8th in aFPA to the position and making them an obvious run-funnel matchup. Jacobs is 4for4's Week 13 RB1, and gets a beautiful machup against the Chargers' run defense, which has given up the 2nd-most aFPA to RBs, the 5th-most rushing yards per game, and allowed the 6th-highest rushing EPA per play to opponents. Pairing Jacobs with Ekeler in your lineup gives you double-workhorse locked-in volume with upside from 4for4's top-2 ranked running backs for the week.