The NFL Game Breakdown will be a weekly analysis of every game on the NFL schedule in extreme detail. From targets to game flow and other matchup variables, this article will be your one-stop-shop for everything you could ever need to prepare for DraftKings NFL contests.
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PAGE 2: JAX @ TEN, NYJ @ NYG, SEA @ MIN, SF @ CHI, DEN @ SD
Jaguars @ Titans
Point Total: 43
Spread: Titans -2.5
These two teams played each other a couple weeks ago and even though there weren’t a ton of great fantasy performances, injuries may mean you can take advantage of some situations this week.
Jaguars RB TJ Yeldon has been playing on over 80% of the snaps every week for Jacksonville but has seen few big games fantasy wise. The Titans have been solid versus RBs all season and I see no reason to trust or consider Yeldon in what is for all intents and purposes, not a great matchup. Look elsewhere for value at RB this week… At QB Blake Bortles has benefitted big time fantasy wise from his team getting down early in games and then using garbage time to pad his stats. The issue in this game is that the Titans are not going to blow anyone out considering how bad their own offense is and how solid the Titans defense has been as well. While I could see Bortles having a second decent game versus TENN I don’t see a monster performance here and would simply avoid him as well, there’s QB with better upside than him this week.
At receiver for the Jags here’s the distribution of passing targets from their past two games:
Allen Hurns seems likely to miss this game which could mean a ton more targets for Allen Robinson who posted 113 yards versus TENN in week 11. The Titans got burned badly last week by Derek Carr and the Raiders and its possible some holes are starting to show in their secondary. I’d definitely consider Robinson if Hurns is out as his targeting could be through the roof in this game. He’ll be a consideration for me in all formats this week… The other player who I think is in a great spot this week is Julius Thomas. Thomas has now scored in his last two games and the Titans haven’t been good at defending TE’s this year, particularly in the end zone where TEs have caught 8 TDs versus them in 11 games. If Hurns sits Thomas could see another double digit target game and be in for his second monster fantasy performance in a Jags uniform. I love him as a value play at TE at only $4000.
The Jags pass defense has been terrible all season and they’ve been equally bad at defending the TE and WR positions this year as well, (4 TDs to TEs over their last 3 games). This is good news for TE Delanie Walker who continues to be the most targeted and productive Titan receiver by a long shot. I’m not particularly fond of the price increase on Walker (he’s now $5700) and quite frankly see Juluis Thomas from this game as the better value play. Still, as a tournament play targeting this weak Jags secondary makes sense and Walker’s certainly at least a consideration for me in week 13, he’s likely the best bet on the Titans for a monster game… AT WR, Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas were targeted 6 and 10 times respectively last week but didn’t do much with their work. If either were ever going to have a big game it would be at home versus the Jags. Of the two Wright is the better, more athletic player but has been injured most of the season. You could consider him at $4300 but the better play might be to fade the TENN offense altogether, this is a low output group.
At QB I hate the fact Marcus Mariota is not running the ball much (1 carry last week, averaging 3 per game) and hate the fact even more he has only thrown for over 250 yards once in his last 6 games. I just don’t see the upside in this offense or in how he’s being used by the Titans at the moment and will look elsewhere for cheap QB plays in week 13.
Gameflow: The Titans have been good at keeping games close all season and I expect that they’ll again do the same in this game. Still, from a “game winning” perspective the Jags have better personnel on offense and I suspect that will again be the key. Look for decent games from Thomas and Robinson and another loss on the Titans record.
Jaguars 24 Titans 20
– Allen Robinson $7300
– Julius Thomas $4000
– Delanie Walker $5700
Jets @ Giants
Point Total: 45.5
Spread: Jets -2
Ryan Fitzpatrick had his best game of the year versus the struggling Dolphins secondary and takes on a Giants team who has now allowed 6 games of 300 yards or more passing and is second last in the league in sacks. With those numbers it’s not inconceivable that we see a second big game here from Fitzpatrick and with his price being only $5200 he’s one of the QBs I’ll be targeting when going for value at this position this week.
Here’s Fitzpatrick’s target distribution from his last two games:
Brandon Marshall looked fully healthy last week and has to be a consideration again in this game. He doesn’t have a great matchup with Prince Amukamara, who’s underrated as a cover corner, but at only $7100 he should see a ton of targeting in what could be a close, high scoring game. I think Marshall is underpriced for how good he is and is capable of putting up a big game versus anyone, I’ll consider him in all formats for week 13… I also love this spot for Eric Decker who will be getting the weakest of all the Giants starting DBs in coverage in Trevin Wade. Decker has been amazingly consistent all year (averaging 17 f/pts) and could easily have a blow up game here. I like this spot for Decker and the Jets passing game in general… At RB, you can see above how many targets Bilal Powell has been getting since he returned. This isn’t great news for Chris Ivory’s fantasy value and it makes him a very TD dependant play in my mind. While the Giants aren’t a shutdown group by any means they have been good at keeping RBs out of the end zone and have only allowed one rushing TD in their last 4 games. I’m fine avoiding Ivory this week and looking elsewhere for upside at RB.
The Jets defense has now given up over 300 yards and 2 TDs to opposing QBs in four of their last six games. While I don’t necessarily trust Eli Manning all that much he has been better of late, recording 20 fantasy points or more in three of his last four games. Given the Giants inability to run the ball and the Jets inability to stop the pass Manning makes for a great tournament target this week… While the Jets have been extremely giving to QBs of late they’ve even more giving to opposing WRs who have now recorded five 100 yard receiving games against them in their last five games. Top CB Darrelle Revis is questionable for this game, but even if he does play I don’t hate the matchup for Giants WR Odell Beckham. Revis recently got eaten alive by DeAndre Hopkins and Beckham has been on a roll of late recording four straight 100 yard receiving games and 5 TDs in that same span. Regardless of whether Revis plays Beckham is easily one of my top two plays at WR this week (along with Antonio Brown) and I would fade him at your own risk. The Jets secondary is really that bad at the moment.
Given the issues in the Jets secondary I think targeting either Rueben Randle or Dwayne Harris in a game stack is a decent idea as well as both men carry extremely affordable salaries ($3900 and $3200 respectively). Both Antonio Cromartie (who might have to cover Beckham) and Buster Skrine have been bad this year and both Harris and Randle have been playing on a lot snaps as the Giants employ a lot of 3 WR sets. Of the two Harris actually has more red zone targets and TDs in less work so far this season and so if forced to choose I might lean towards him. The truth is though in this matchup either or both could have big games. Consider both decent value plays with upside for week 13.
Gameflow: This is a game between two flawed defenses and two above average passing games. Of the two I think Giants are the team in slightly better shape and have the better personnel right now in their secondary to at least limit the damage by the Jets receivers. I am expecting a shootout here and but see the Giants eventually pulling this one out. A monster game from some of the WRs here is definitely a possibility.
Giants 31 Jets 27
– Brandon Marshall $7100
– Eric Decker $6300
– Ryan Fitzpatrick $5200
– Odell Beckham Jr. $8900
– Dwayne Harris $3200
– Rueben Randle $3900
Seahawks @ Vikings
Point Total: 41.5
Spread: Vikings -1
This game has one of the lowest expected point totals of the week with both teams expected to score around 20-21 points. My breakdown of this game will be brief as it’s not one I’ll be targeting much for fantasy.
Russell Wilson has been playing great of late and now has 8 TDs versus 0 INTs in his last two games. While it would make sense to stay on Wilson as a play when he is “hot” so to speak the matchup this week with Minnesota really limits his upside. Both the Vikings and the Seahawks are in the bottom half of the league in terms of pace of play and should limit each other’s offensive chances as a result. Minnesota has also been good against the pass most of the year and have yet to allow more than 2 passing TDs against them all season. With the way Wilson is playing right now there’s always upside and he could rack up some run yards to post his third big fantasy day in a row. Using him as a naked QB (with no receivers) in a tournament is something I’ll consider but I’m not going to have a ton of exposure to him in week 13…
Even with their improved play of late I still don’t like this spot for the Seattle receivers. While Doug Baldwin should see a bump in targets with Jimmy Graham out he’ll be going up against CB Captain Munnerlyn this week who has been great so far in his time in Minnesota. Outside of him it’s hard to say where the targets will be going (Luke Willson, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse?) and for myself I’ll likely be staying away from Seattle’s pass game… At RB I do think we will see a ton of Thomas Rawls in this game and at $5400 I think the Seattle RB is a decent tournament target this week as well. It was disappointing to see Rawls eliminated from the passing game last week but he is still getting all of the red zone carries with Lynch out and scored his third TD last week in his second game as starter. While the price jump makes me a little nervous I do think it’s likely he’ll see 20+ carries again which makes him a pretty high upside play in my books and the other person I’d consider from this Seattle team.
On Minnesota no WR has gone for over 66 yards receiving or scored an offensive TD since week 8. Stefon Diggs is set to go against CB Richard Sherman this week who did a great job last week versus Antonio Brown and should limit the rookie from a big day here. The Vikings simply don’t throw much to begin with, and even though the Hawks have struggled against the pass at times in 2015, I’m not ready to risk using a WR on Minnesota this week… At TE however it is interesting to note that Kyle Rudolph has actually led the Vikings in receiving and targeting in their last two games and gets a Seattle team who has been awful in covering TEs all year. Rudolph is still priced very affordably ($3700) and while I might prefer Julius Thomas ($4000) over him in cash games Rudolph is definitely a very intriguing tournament option this week. Seattle has given up some big games this season through the air.
While you have to love the way Adrian Peterson has run the last two games this is definitely a matchup I fear for fantasy purposes. Seattle has yet to give up a 100 yard rushing game to a RB all year and has one of the most talented D-lines in the league making Peterson a risky option. Anything is possible with AP and seeing him bust off a couple TDs in this game is not out of the question. However with some other RBs on the slate this week in better matchups (and with better prices) I’m inclined to fade Peterson and risk a big game from him here.
Gameflow: While this might not necessarily be the boring game everyone thinks it will be its still not one I’ll be targeting much for fantasy purposes. The Hawks offense should be flying high after their last couple of games and could give the Vikings, who like to play ball control, problems at home. If the Hawks shut down Adrian Peterson this could be a long day for Minnesota and given the way Seattle’s run D has played all season there’s a good chance of that happening. I like Seattle to come out of this game with a win.
Seahawks 23 Vikings 20
– Kyle Rudolph $3700
– Russell Wilson $5600
– Thomas Rawls $5400
49ers @ Bears
Point Total: 43
Spread: Bears -7
The 49ers have played much better than I thought they would over their past couple of games but they’re still not a team I would target much for fantasy. There are two players of note however that I would consider this week given their price and recent performances. The first is RB Shaun Draughn who has now put up 13 fantasy points or more in his last 3 games. Draughn is only $4000 on DraftKings which is part of what makes him an interesting target. With Blaine Gabbert at QB Draughn has averaged 7 targets a game and recorded at least 4 catches in each of his 3 starts. While I wouldn’t expect a monster game (and neither should you). Another decent 12+ fantasy points can be expected as Draughn is playing on almost every snap for the depleted SF offense.
The other SF player who I would consider? TE Vance McDonald. Physically McDonald is a beast and he’s been doing his best Gronk impression for the 49ers recently bouncing defenders off him after the catch with ease and finding the end twice in his last two games. At $3000 I love the fantasy potential here and the fact that San Fran will likely end up in pass happy mode near the end of this game at some point. If you need a min priced TE, McDonald is definitely the one I’d consider first this weekend as he’s playing on almost every snap (89% in week 12) and becoming one of Blaine Gabbert’s favorite targets.
With the Bears currently 7th in the league in terms of rushing plays per game on offense I think there’s a lot of potential for big game from a Chicago RB this week… the problem is figuring out which one. The once vaunted workload of Matt Forte has unfortunately been cut into by rookie Jeremy Langford as these two played on an almost even split in snaps in week 12 (and with Langford actually getting a crucial red zone carry and TD). While I love the matchup against the 49ers, who’ve allowed some monster games to RBs (including 200+ yards to Thomas Rawls), guessing which of these backs might go off is potentially ruinous for fantasy. In tournaments I think paying up Forte, who will be low owned, is actually a decent play as there’s a chance the Bears allow him to re-establish himself as the lead back with a strong game here. Regardless though, he’s not a play I’ll have a ton of exposure too as an even split is again the likely scenario here.
From a receiving perspective here’s the distribution of passing targets from the Bears last two games:
With Martellus Bennett set to return Sunday and siphon off some targets from Bears secondary receivers there’s really only one option here that needs discussing here: Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery returned to the lineup last week and posted a nice game, in sloppy conditions versus the Packers. Jeffery has been near unstoppable when healthy for the Bears this season and also been a target hog recording double digit targets in every game but one. With reports out of Chicago stating that he’s practicing in full this week Jeffery is extreme value to me at only $6900 versus a completely exploitable SF secondary and someone I’ll look to target in all my lineups.
Gameflow: The 49ers have played well at home this year but go on the road this week against a very underrated and confident Bears squad who just knocked off the GB Packers. While the 49ers might be able to keep things close for a while I really like the way the Bears have been playing this year and think they’re likely to shut down the 49ers at every turn. Look for a dominant Bears win and some big fantasy days for a couple Bears players.
Bears 24 49ers 10
– Alshon Jeffery $6900
– Vance McDonald $3000
– Matt Forte $6900
– Shaun Draughn $4000
Broncos @ Chargers
Point Total: 43.5
Spread: Broncos -4
The Chargers defense has been pretty terrible all season and particularly giving to RBs, allowing 1.18 TDs to RBs per game so far in 2015. C.J. Anderson had a great game last weekend he’s still not been named starter by coach Gary Kubiak and will likely see another split in caries with Ronnie Hillman. That being said, with both men are likely to play around 50% or so of the snaps Anderson is by far the better value play as he’s $1000 cheaper this week on DraftKings at only $3500. While I always fear using RBs who share so much work Anderson truly played great last weekend and could easily build on that game against the undermanned Chargers. He’d be one of my main targets from this offense as I expect Denver to once again go run heavy in their approach.
As for the passing game Brock Osweiler has played in two full games, recording three TDs versus 1 INT in that span. Osweiler certainly gives the Broncos receivers a better chance for a big game at this point than Peyton Manning but this still isn’t a passing game I’m planning to target much for fantasy. Demaryius Thomas is definitely struggling to adjust to life with a new QB as he’s now seen 20 targets over two games with Osweiler but has just 4 catches from those targets to show from it. With both Patrick Robinson and Jason Verret playing well at CB for San Diego my inclination is to simply fade the Broncos pass game and look for better upside elsewhere, I’m not sold that a big game is on tap for either Emmanuel Sanders or Thomas.
Denver allowed 3 passing TDs last week for the first time all season but with the Chargers O-line beat up and the Broncos D in possession of the best pass rush in the entire league (they lead the league with 37 sacks) I don’t see this as a spot to trust that Philip Rivers will produce a similar performance. While Rivers bounced back from a slow couple weeks nicely against the horrid Jags secondary, Denver presents a much stuffer test. I’d highly consider starting the Denver defense this week as the sack points might rack up very fast if the Chargers are forced to pass a lot late.
As for the Chargers receivers, here’s the distribution of targets from their last couple of games:
The WRs on San Diego have an incredibly tough matchup this week as the Broncos secondary haven’t allowed a TD to a WR since week 4. While I love the talent and price on Dontrelle Inman ($3200) I think there’s some better min priced plays out there this week (DeVante Parker, Vance McDonald) and would probably just avoid the WRs from San Diego in this game… At TE however Antonio Gates could certainly be a force to be reckoned with in this game as the Broncos got torn to shreds by Rob Gronkowski and his sidekick Scott Chandler last weekend. Gates will be the Chargers best hope of moving the ball and at $4900 he showed he’s finally healthy again after catching two TDs last week versus the Jags. Gates is someone I’d consider from this game as a tournament play.
Gameflow: Part of me wants to pick the Chargers in this matchup as I could see Brock Osweiler and the Broncos coming into this game with a bit of hangover from their win over the Pats. I’m just not sure if San Diego has the personnel to stop Denver for four quarters on D and will eventually give up some points. I’ll say the Chargers keep it close but ultimately succumb to Denver in a close game.
Broncos 21 Chargers 20
– Broncos D $3400
– C.J. Anderson $3500
– Antonio Gates $4900
NFL GAME BREAKDOWN – PAGE 2