DraftKings Week 13 Slate Breakdown with Cash and GPP Picks
It's something of a throwback slate this week, with a plethora of cheap RBs in play and a chalky cheap QB to punt with. The way the value on this slate is shaping up, my strategy will be to leverage the value at RB and TE, diversify the most at WR, and mix in some contrarian plays in tournaments at QB and DST.
Note: Week 13 Funnel Ratings appear at the end of the article.
At first glance, I thought my cash game roster construction would center around Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, given that the Patriots and Chargers have the highest implied team totals on the slate. However, our value metric tells us that despite Brady and Rivers being the first- and third-ranked QBs, respectively, in terms of raw projected points, they are sub-optimal plays in the larger context of roster construction, as both are ranked as bottom-four values. The top values, meanwhile, are the slate’s cheapest QBs. While our algorithms favor Tyrod Taylor by roughly a tenth of a point in value, my top choice for cash games is Brett Hundley ($5,100). While Taylor will have to contend with an improving Patriots defense that is now up to 19th in QB aFPA and hasn’t allowed a QB to top 237 yards or 1 TD passing in its past five games, Hundley will do battle with a Buccaneers defense ranked 26th in QB aFPA and has allowed 310.8 yards and 2.0 TDs passing per game on the road this season—including 682 combined passing yards over its past two games. Rostering Hundley affords the flexibility to roster the slate’s highest projected player, Todd Gurley, while also taking advantage of the inordinately large amount of value plays in the mid-range salary tiers at other positions.
In between the two salary extremes of Brady and Hundley is Case Keenum ($6,000), who has topped 280 passing yards in four straight games, with multiple TDs in three of them. Keenum has arguably the top WR duo in the league and will be facing a banged up secondary that will be missing top cornerback Desmond Trufant (concussion), while slot corner Brian Poole (back) is also banged up.
Staying consistent with my bold call on this week’s DFS MVP podcast, I’m also going to have overweight exposure relative to the field on Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,100) this week. While you could argue Garoppolo hasn’t had enough time to learn the system yet, I’d counter that the lack of film on him can be an advantage, especially with Kyle Shanahan calling the shots. Since Week 8, the Bears rank 29th in pass defense success rate, allowing a 71.5% completion rate and a 6:0 TD-to-interception ratio over that span.
As mentioned, Todd Gurley ($8,200) is the highest projected player on the slate, and his projected floor is 1.5 points higher than any other RB largely because of his matchup in the passing game: Gurley is third at the position in receiving yards (479) while the Cardinals are tied for the league lead with a whopping 9.3 receptions per game allowed to RBs over the past five weeks.
Speaking of the passing game, Jamaal Williams ($4,700) has caught 4 passes in each of his past two games for a combined 107 yards and a TD, and also has at least 18 carries in three straight games. The Bucs defense not only ranks 21st in RB aFPA, but 30th in aFPA to offenses collectively, making Williams and Hundley an attractive pairing for a cost of only $9,800. (As of this writing, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both have not been ruled out. I will publish an update if something changes that affects Williams, but note there are similarly priced pivots to Williams that will be discussed in a few moments.)