WATCH: PLAYER TO WATCH – DREW BREES
This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside plays and pairings that could set your roster up for success.
Aaron Rodgers ($6,700) and Jordy Nelson ($7,000) = Combined $13,700 total
With tournament ownership likely high on a handful of QBs (Brees/Stafford/Kaepernick) in Week 13, Aaron Rodgers — a QB who has averaged 29.96 DK points over his last six starts — may go overlooked. Rodgers has been terrific lately and heads home this week to take on a Houston defense who has given up six passing TDs over their last two starts, and who are also now having problems getting pressure on the QB (tied for the third fewest sacks in the league). None of the Texans corners are taller than 6-feet which is going to give the 6’3 Nelson (who leads the league in red zone targets) a huge advantage on jump balls. Overall, this stack looks like a great swerve from other popular plays and has better than advertised upside against a downward trending defense.
Bonus: Tyrod Taylor ($5,700) and Sammy Watkins ($5,500)
Ben Roethlisberger ($7,400): The home/road statistics for Ben Roethlisberger are hard to ignore, as he’s now averaged over 30 DK points this year in four home games (vs. just 16 on the road). The Giants, on paper, are a tough opponent and have only allowed multiple passing TDs in a game twice this season. However, while that may appear scary, it shouldn’t. Roethlisberger has overcome bad matchups consistently the last two years, posting 25 or more DK points against Seattle and Denver in 2015 and over 30 DK points against both Dallas and Kansas City this season. To add to this, the Giants also have the second highest pace of play in the league which should only mean more opportunities for Ben to rack up yards in his favorite venue.
Bonus: Tyrod Taylor ($5,700)
Spencer Ware ($6,400): Since coming back from injury, Ware has now put up three slow fantasy weeks in a row, but his usage has remained fairly high as he’s taken 19 touches in each of the last two weeks. Ware’s fantasy performance has been limited by his lack of touchdowns, but he has received six red zone carries over the last two weeks. The Falcons have been extremely giving to RBs all season, especially in the pass game (most receptions allowed in league) where Ware has excelled at times this season. At only $6,400, and likely low owned due to recency bias, I’d look for Ware to be a big part of the game plan for KC this week, and for him to return to the end zone against a charitable Falcons run defense.
Dion Lewis ($3,800): While Lewis has been sharing time with LeGarrette Blount and James White since his return, it’s significant to note that only Blount and Lewis have taken carries the past two weeks and that Lewis has now accumulated 12 targets over that span as well. With the Patriots currently sporting a 29-point implied team total, and favored by 13.5 points over the visiting Rams, it’s very likely the RBs do some (if not all) the damage this week for New England. At only $3,800, Lewis is cheap, and his increased role should set him up for a potentially big day (even in limited usage) in what appears to be a great matchup.
Bonus: Devontae Booker ($5,100)
Amari Cooper ($7,300): I like the spots for the top four priced WRs on DraftKings this week, but none of them are sliding under the radar. Amari Cooper, on the other hand, should be relatively ignored. While the risk of the Raiders spreading the ball and producing another slow game for Cooper in Week 13 certainly exists, there’s no denying that the other side of that argument is just as likely to occur. Cooper’s already posted four games with 24 or more DK points this season and remains capable of overcoming any matchup. While Buffalo’s pass rush is excellent, their secondary has now allowed six TDs to the WR position over their last four games, and are an exploitable target.
Taylor Gabriel ($4,000): Gabriel has been a revelation lately scoring five times in his last four games. While his TD pace may not be sustainable, teams have yet to figure out how to stop the speedster, and this week he’ll face a Chiefs D that just allowed 368 yards passing to the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs will likely have their best corner (Marcus Peters) on Julio Jones which means Gabriel will again be in an exploitable matchup on the fast turf of the Georgia Dome. At $4,000, the theme is don’t ignore the upside here with a player who only needs a few targets to exceed value and is in a matchup where that seems likely to occur again.
Bonus: DeAndre Hopkins ($6,000)
Zach Ertz ($4,300): Ertz is in a potentially huge PPR spot this week as the Eagles only other reliable receiver, Jordan Matthews, is in danger of missing the game or being very limited if he does play. Ertz has averaged a very tidy 8 targets over his last four games and gets a strong matchup this week against the Bengals who have surprisingly been one of the worst teams against the TE this year, allowing the fifth most TDs and fourth most yards to the position. At only $4,300, Ertz’s target share could increase (greatly) this week, and, considering the matchup, he’ll have a nice chance at converting the opportunity into a big fantasy outing.
Bonus: Ladarius Green ($2,800)
San Diego Chargers ($2,900): As the saying goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The Chargers came through last week picking off Brock Osweiler three times and posting one of the better totals of the week with 13 points. This week, the Chargers (who now lead the league in interceptions) get Jameis Winston, who is tied for 4th in the league in interceptions thrown. While Tampa, and Winston, have certainly played better of late, this is a bit of a letdown spot for the Bucs who have to travel across the country after their huge victory against Seattle. The Chargers have now posted at least 13 fantasy points in three of their last four games and are in a good spot here to keep that momentum rolling. At $2,900, they’re again my main value target for tournaments.
Bonus: Washington Redskins ($2,400)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.