By the time we all wake up Sunday morning to get in those final lineup tinkers for Week 13, it’ll be December. I understand Thanksgiving is the annual two-minute warning for most Americans when it comes to Christmas, but I feel like just having November come to an end is a pretty big giveaway in its own right. Anyway, regardless of your trigger, it’s coming, and I haven’t been able to get you, loyal reader, a present as of yet. I also won’t have the time to get trampled on Black Friday, so I guess we’ll all have to make due with the gift of DFS advice.
Let’s go position-by-position and try to unearth some overlooked value on the upcoming slate.
DANIEL JONES, QB, NYG VS. GB, $5,600
Before I start slandering the fraudulent Packers defense for what must be the thousandth time in this space, we have to take note of how well Jones has played in his past four starts. Since the beginning of Week 8, the rookie pivot is actually QB7 by standard season-long scoring, despite the fact the Giants had their bye in Week 11. He’s maintained an 11-to-1 TD/INT ratio, he’s one of eight quarterbacks to rush for more than 100 yards within that span, and, maybe most impressively, his average of 0.52 fantasy points per drop back in on par with Patrick Mahomes. Yes, you could make the case Jones fumbles the ball too frequently or his most viable performances in 2019 have come against easy matchups like Tampa Bay or Detroit; but you also could argue that Green Bay isn’t too far off from those teams.
For the campaign as a whole, the Packers have surrendered the 12th-fewest DKFP per game to QBs, yet their recent statistics aren’t nearly as kind. In fact, across Green Bay’s past three contests, its secondary is conceding a 69.2% completion rate and a whopping 8.7 yards per opponent pass attempt — the highest figure of any NFC squad. Understandably, the Packers’ defense also has been far more underwhelming versus the pass on the road this season, where it’s given up 281.6 yards per game as opposed to just 232.8 yards at Lambeau. With this matchup taking place in New York and the Giants possessing the league’s fourth-highest pass ratio (66.0%), all the ingredients are there for Jones to hit his ceiling.
RONALD JONES, RB, TB AT JAX, $5,100
Jones is in an interesting spot in Week 13. Under normal circumstances, he’d be an incredibly popular play, as the Jaguars have been absolutely destroyed by running backs dating back to the start of Week 9. In fact, within that three game span, Jacksonville somehow has managed to allow four different RBs to accumulate 100-plus yards on the ground, with the team conceding an NFL-worst 6.8 yards per opponent rushing attempt. However, I believe a couple of factors will be keeping Jones’ prospective ownership down this weekend. First and foremost, the Buccaneers have struggled to produce much in terms of fantasy viability from their backfield, the direct result of a three-headed committee approach and an overwhelming inclination to throw the football. On top of that, Jonathan Williams’ ($5,300) presence in the same price tier in a similarly positive matchup gives people an alternative option. Honestly, a more trustworthy option, too.
Still, Jones presents all the upside you possibly could want from a player with a salary just over $5K. Even putting the Jaguars’ obvious flaws to the side, Jones actually has produced in three of his four official starts so far in 2019. Though he’s yet to rush for even 70 yards in a single contest since taking over the main role, Jones has translated six red zone carries into three rushing touchdowns, and his involvement in the passing game has been surprisingly plentiful. In fact, with 15 receptions, Jones is tied with Kareem Hunt for the ninth-most catches by a running back in this four-week stretch. I swore I’d stop letting myself get sucked in by Jones as recently as seven days ago, yet I simply can’t ignore the opportunity he has this Sunday, playing for the league’s third-highest scoring offense.
ALLEN HURNS, WR, MIA VS. PHI, $4,000
Hurns probably will draw a little more attention after scoring a garbage-time touchdown last week in a 41-24 loss to the Browns, but here’s the secret: most Dolphins’ offensive possessions take place in garbage time. Miami is the Oscar the Grouch of football teams, an analogy that’s made all more easy by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard. The Dolphins come into Week 13 sporting an NFL-worst 9.33-point average deficit when beginning a drive. That constant state of negative game flow along with an offensive line that’s generated a league-low 3.30 adjusted line yards per carry are the driving forces behind Miami owning the highest pass ratio among all AFC teams (66.8%). This isn’t a squad that chooses to throw ad nauseam, it’s one that constantly puts itself in situations where it has to.
The main beneficiary of this trend has been DeVante Parker ($5,700), who remains reasonably priced on this slate, but Hurns is another wideout that gets to live in this voluminous passing attack. Hurns has logged at least 87% of Miami’s offensive snaps in the three weeks since Preston Williams was placed on IR and, after injuries to Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson last Sunday, it doesn’t appear that the veteran’s role will be in question any time soon. Really, it just seems like he’ll be in line for more than the 5.7 targets per game he already was garnering as a starter. Philadelphia’s secondary has been much better the last month or so, yet it’s still a unit that’s surrendered an above-average 8.5 yards per target to opposing WRs. So, with the Dolphins almost assured to be playing from behind and Hurns likely to be flirting with double-digit targets on a roster left barren by injuries and apathy; it stands as a pretty decent matchup.
KADEN SMITH, TE, NYG VS. GB, $2,900
It’s not often I’ll recommend a stack within the confines of this article, but Smith had a tantalizing afternoon in the Giants’ 19-14 loss to the Bears in Week 12. Obviously, the touchdown was the crowing achievement of the rookie’s first NFL start, yet what really stood out was how he was utilized within New York’s offensive schemes. Not only was Smith on the field for 98.3% of the Giants’ snaps, but he was never asked to pass block. Not even once. Daniel Jones dropped back to pass 39 times and Smith ran a route at each and every opportunity. The result? Six targets, five catches and 12.7 DKFP from a guy who was priced at the minimum.
There’s no guarantee Smith will be able to recreate his out-of-nowhere performance two weeks in a row. Either Rhett Ellison (concussion) or Evan Engram (foot) could start practicing again in the lead up to this Sunday’s meeting with Green Bay and, to be frank, Smith’s 1.7-yard aDOT leaves a lot to be desired. Still, if the roster conditions don’t fluctuate, you’d be hard pressed to find someone with a lower salary and a larger role. The fact the Packers are conceding a 25% target share to opposing TEs doesn’t hurt matters, either. That’s actually the third-highest mark in the entire NFL through 12 weeks of action.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.