Week 12 DraftKings Optimal Plays
One of the most overlooked aspects of projecting players by novices and most utilized tactics by sharks is implementing the Vegas lines. The sharps and their computers in Vegas are really, really good at what they do—better than us—so it makes sense to utilize their thoughts whenever possible. That can mean analyzing over/unders to see who is projected to score a lot of points or even looking at player props to get a sense of mean yards/touchdowns for certain players.
Those who first get into daily fantasy football and start using the Vegas lines can sometimes get fooled into thinking the lines are all that matters, though. So here’s an important point to remember if you’re studying Vegas totals in connection with daily fantasy: the lines can steer you in the right direction, but they don’t automatically mean a player is worthy of use in your lineup.
All that matters is how each player’s projection compares with this salary. And you have to remember that even though the Vegas lines might not be a component of player salaries, their matchup is indeed part of their pricing. That means you can’t always find value by jumping on players in high-scoring games because their salaries often reflect the matchup, and sometimes they’re just overpriced.
Having said that, you should consider the lines the most in tournaments. There, you want to stack players who have the potential for enormous games, so their salary is (a little) less important than it is in heads-up games. You just want to maximize your ceiling, and that’s easiest by targeting players in potential shootouts.
If you’re interested, I wrote about how to use Vegas in my book on daily fantasy.
Week 12 Value Plays
QB Tom Brady vs. DEN $7,200
I love Brady this week on DraftKings. He was okay on Monday night against a tough Panthers D, but he’s two weeks removed from a 432-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Steelers. You have to think that the Patriots are going to be down in this one—something that’s uncommon for them—so 50 attempts isn’t out of the question.
RB Andre Brown vs. DAL $6,000
I like Brown across pretty much every site, and he has the 13th-highest salary on DraftKings. In his two games since returning to the Giants, Brown has averaged 24 carries. He was shut down a bit last week, but with those touches, the yards and touchdowns will come. That’s especially true with the Cowboys coming to town in Week 12.
WR Pierre Garcon vs. SF $6,300
Garcon has a difficult matchup this week, but he’s also priced to reflect that. With that in mind, it’s difficult to pass on a player who already has 109 targets this year, including at least 10 in all but two games. Garcon also has five catches in every game, so he’s a relatively safe option, even against the Niners.
TE Jordan Cameron vs. PIT $3,900
This is me going out on a limb: I think Cameron will have a big game on Sunday. He hasn’t scored in a month and he has only 33 combined yards in his past two games. But he’s so cheap that he’ll give you lots of flexibility elsewhere in your lineup, and he’s so athletic that his upside is outstanding. The quarterback situation is awful, but it’s been that way all year. If you’re going cheap at tight end, might as well use someone with elite athletic ability.