WATCH: PRICE CHECK – WEEK 13
As we get into Week 12, the final week of byes for the NFL this year, there are plenty of choices to sort through and eleven weeks worth of developments to consider as you build your DFS lineups. Here are a few names from every position and price range to consider as you get started.
Drew Brees vs. DET ($7,600) – With the exception of the Seattle game (20 points) and the Denver game (26 points), Brees has now been at 29 or more points in every home game so far this season… and he is at home again next week against one of the most vulnerable secondaries in the game (Detroit). He went off in Week 12 (without even targeting Brandin Cooks) by hitting eight different receivers on the day, so even if it is hard to pick the receiver you want here, Brees is a no-brainer for me in Week 12.
Aaron Rodgers vs. HOU ($6,700) – He started off MNF hot with two early touchdowns to Davante Adams, finishing with 313 yards and those two scores to follow up a run of five straight games with 27 or more fantasy points stretching back to Week 7. As only the 7th most expensive QB on the board in Week 12, you have to assume it’s because of the matchup with a solid Houston defense, but they have seemed more susceptible lately (they surrendered three touchdowns to Rivers through the air in Week 12). There is a good chance it’s the Texans with the bad matchup Sunday, not the other way around.
Colin Kaepernick @ CHI ($6,100) – If he hasn’t been on your radar over the past few weeks, you’ve been missing out – but here he is, cheap for at least another week. He is averaging just about 27 fantasy points per game over the last month – for perspective, that’s only about 4 points per week less than Aaron Rodgers over his last four games.
David Johnson vs. WAS ($9,500) – The most expensive player on the board, and for good reason. Coming into the season, this is a team that some analysts thought might have two or even three useful fantasy receivers and a top-10 fantasy QB, and now this offense is basically just the David Johnson show. He has 35 catches over the last five weeks – enough to be productive even without the 99 carries he’s had over the same span. Against the Redskins, he might be expensive, but he’ll likely be the anchor of many a cash-game lineup with his usage rates right now.
Wendell Smallwood @ CIN ($4,300) – He had just nine carries Monday night, but averaged 4.1 yards a pop and ran with plenty of authority. He hit the holes hard and had the quickness to get to the edge, but game flow dictated that the Eagles throw as they were behind all night and were getting killed in time of possession. In a matchup with Cincinnati where Philly is more likely to be leading next weekend, Smallwood could excel in an expanded role.
Dion Lewis vs. LA ($3,800) – LeGarrette Blount ($5,500) and Dion Lewis are now the running backs to consider in New England. James White ($4,000) can still make the occasional play, but I don’t think he is not going to be involved enough for fantasy consideration if Lewis is going to get as many looks as he did Sunday (6 carries and 7 targets). He looked quick, making people miss, and last year when he was at full strength he was involved in the offense in every situation. This is the last week he will be cheaper than White, so there is some value to be had here in any kind of contest, and plenty of upside in a matchup where a touchdown is definitely in play.
Michael Thomas vs. DET ($6,900) – There are plenty of expensive WR plays to like this weekend, but Thomas might be my favorite, and you don’t have to break the bank to get him. Brandin Cooks is one of the more explosive receivers out there, but he didn’t get a single target in a Saints romp on Sunday, whereas Thomas has at least five targets in every game this season. He hasn’t had fewer than four catches in a game all year, and has failed to break double-digits in fantasy points only twice. He is Brees’ favorite target, in a great matchup and playing at home in the dome.
Donte Moncrief @ NYJ ($6,600) – His value will be impacted (obviously) by the health of T.Y Hilton, so you will need to monitor that situation. However, Luck is expected to play Monday night, which should increase the value of all the Colts skill players as opposed to this past weekend. In the four weeks since returning from injury, he now has 17 catches, and he’s scored a touchdown in every game.
Malcolm Mitchell vs. LA ($3,600) – A fourth round pick in last year’s draft, the rookie from the University of Georgia caught two scores from Brady in Week 12, grabbing five passes on seven targets. He has twelve targets over the past two weeks, and with Gronk out, he could be in line for continued work, especially if they continue to feel the need to leave Bennett in to block as frequently as they have been. He’s been a minimum priced player all season long until now, but if he is emerging as a legitimate option in this offense, his price hasn’t gotten quite high enough just yet.
Tyler Eifert vs. PHI ($5,300) – The Bengals never managed to get much going against Baltimore this past weekend, and the same might hold true against Philadelphia in Week 13. But with A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard out, Eifert got 11 targets this past weekend, and in the current tight end landscape, that kind of volume is enough to make him an elite option. The targets might not have been all that efficient (only five catches for 68 yards), but the TD wasn’t necessarily a fluke, as he is the best red zone option still standing for the Bengals.
Cameron Brate @ SD ($3,600) – He is the number two option in the passing attack in Tampa Bay right now, which might not mean huge volume with Evans dominating so much of Winston’s attention, but it does present a consistent opportunity for some production, making him a decent cash game option in this price range. He had four catches on five targets Sunday, to come in second on the team in both categories, and now has had serviceable fantasy production in four of his last five games (averaging just under 12 DK fantasy points per game over that span).
Green Bay Packers vs. HOU ($2,900) – They are coming off a nice performance against Wentz and the Eagles, and Osweiler hasn’t done anything to scare you all season long. It also looked as if Lamar Miller might have left banged up at the very end of Sunday’s action, which would leave this offense pretty inert against the Packers D. They should have a serviceable floor here just by virtue of not giving up very many points, which would leave them just a couple of big plays away from being one of the best D/ST options you could roster.
Arizona Cardinals vs. WAS ($2,700) – This is definitely not the safest play with the way Cousins has been playing lately, but Arizona is the best defense he has faced in a while other than the Vikings, and they slowed him down. If his confidence is up and the Cardinals are able to put some points on the board against the Redskins defense, you could see Cousins taking chances downfield in a way that would lead to big plays for the Arizona defense instead of his own receivers. There are not a lot of obvious streaming options this week, and the Cardinals could be a way to land on a lightly used defense that could return big upside in a GPP format.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.