DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 13
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into a feature role and become an excellent play.
Also, check out numberFire's premium tools at your disposal. In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through this week's top plays on the DraftKings main slate.
Philip Rivers ($7,000): Coming off a massive 31.86-point DraftKings performance in Week 12 against the Dallas Cowboys, Philip Rivers once again sets up well in a cushy matchup against the winless Cleveland Browns. The Browns continue to be a team to attack through the air every week, ranking 26th against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, and second-to-last in points allowed per game (26.3). Rivers has thrown multiple scores in each of his three games following the bye week, and the Los Angeles Chargers currently have the top implied team total on the slate (28.75). If you can afford him, the suddenly red-hot Keenan Allen ($8,300) makes for the perfect stack with Rivers.
Josh McCown ($5,500): Josh McCown has proven to be a solid value play all season, failing to reach double-digit DraftKings points just once in a tough spot against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This week, he gets a sputtering Kansas City Chiefs team that's not only numberFire's 18th-ranked pass defense, but has an offense that suddenly can't move the ball, which could lead to more opportunities for the New York Jets offense. McCown has shown some sneaky upside as well, surpassing 25 DraftKings points three times.
Geno Smith ($4,500): Paxton Lynch face-planted in spectacular fashion against the Oakland Raiders last week, but the Raiders remain one of the worst defenses in the league. They rank 32nd against the pass by numberFire's metrics and are tied for 28th in sacks (19.0). For all the outrage over Eli Manning's benching, even if Geno Smith performs exactly the same as he did when he was last a starter in 2014, he would hit value at his salary.
Todd Gurley ($8,200): With Le'Veon Bell off the main slate, Todd Gurley has the safest floor among all running backs, trailing only Bell in total market share of carries and targets (38.9%), along with rarely leaving the field over his last three games (87.6% of the snaps). Gurley's passing game involvement makes him practically game script proof, and he's fallen below 14 DraftKings points once all season (Week 5). Although the Los Angeles Rams aren't home, they're 7.0-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals with a strong 25.5-point implied team total.
Carlos Hyde ($5,900): Carlos Hyde saw an astounding 13 targets last week and has now benefited from seeing at least 8 targets in four of the last five games. That's fantasy gold in PPR scoring, and although his matchup against the Chicago Bears is nothing special, couple those targets with his usual double-digit carries and you have a rock-solid floor. Hyde also played a season-high 90.1% of the snaps last week. While it's fair to wonder whether new starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won't target him as much as C.J. Beathard did, considering the dearth of weapons on the San Francisco 49ers offense, it's difficult to see any significant drop in usage.
Dion Lewis ($5,500): We finally have clarity in the New England Patriots backfield these days, with Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead rising to the top of the heap. Both are firmly in play, but Lewis gets the slight nod in cash games for his more consistent weekly volume. He's now seen at least 14 touches in five straight games and gets a fantastic matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who rank 32nd against the run by numberFire's marks. Prior to the inept Chiefs offense failing to capitalize last week, the Jets, Saints, and Chargers all rushed for multiple scores against the Bills. Despite being on the road, the Patriots have the second-highest implied team total on the board (28.5), so it wouldn't be surprising to see them run all over the Bills with both Lewis and Burkhead.
Jamaal Williams ($4,700): If Jamaal Williams is once again the featured back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then he's a good bet to reach over 20 touches for his fourth straight game, making him a steal at this price tag. However, Aaron Jones is practicing this week, and it's possible he could play on Sunday. Should Jones return, then we'll likely have a murky Green Bay Packers backfield, taking Williams off the table. Keep an eye on how this plays out over the weekend.
DeAndre Hopkins ($7,300): While the Tom Savage era has mostly meant bad news for the Houston Texans offense, DeAndre Hopkins just keeps trucking along, averaging 12.3 targets since Savage took over in Week 9. He's reached at least 17 DraftKings points in all four games despite facing tough matchups in the last three. A date with the Tennessee Titans should prove more favorable for Hopkins -- the Titans are numberFire's 27th-ranked pass defense.
Mike Evans ($7,100): Much like Julio Jones entering last week, Mike Evans has been solid but unspectacular this season -- he's failed to hit 100 yards in a game and has gone scoreless over his last four. And while we shouldn't expect a bonkers game quite like Jones' last week, this is an intriguing buy-low spot against a Packers defense that ranks 25th against the pass and is allowing fantasy points by the bundle to wide receivers. Evans has seen double-digit targets in four of his last five games, leads the team in red zone targets, and gets Jameis Winston back this week.
Davante Adams ($6,500): The Packers offense has gone through some rough patches with Brett Hundley under center, but Davante Adams has quietly emerged as Hundley's favorite target. Over the last four games since the bye, Adams has averaged 9.3 targets and seen a whopping 48% of the team's air yards. Oh, he also leads the team in red zone targets and faces a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that ranks 30th against the pass. We saw how that worked out for Julio Jones.
Dede Westbrook ($4,100): Playing on 70.3% of the snaps last week, Dede Westbrook is coming of a team-high 10 targets against the Arizona Cardinals and now has 16 targets over his first two NFL games. His Week 12 volume was in part because Patrick Peterson smothered Marqise Lee, but it's still a promising sign at this price point, and Westbrook gets the always enticing 31st-ranked Indianapolis Colts pass defense. The Jaguars typically don't have a prolific pass offense, but it's worth noting that Blake Bortles threw for a season-high 330 yards when these two teams faced off in Week 7. Strong in both college and the preseason, Westbrook may also possess some untapped upside.
Jared Cook ($5,400): With Michael Crabtree suspended and Amari Cooper likely out with a concussion and sprained ankle, Jared Cook should benefit in an expanded role against the New York Giants. Cook failed to take advantage when both receivers left last week's game against the Denver Broncos, but still led the team in targets and has seen fewer than five just once all season. As always, the Giants remain one of the premier matchups for tight ends, allowing a touchdown to the position in 9 of their 11 games.
Hunter Henry ($4,700): Similar to the Giants, the Browns are also quite generous to tight ends, coughing up nine touchdowns of their own this season. Hunter Henry sees inconsistent targets, so the floor is shaky, but he's put up 70 yards and/or a touchdown six times this year. He's second on the team in red zone targets and is a good bet to hit pay dirt given the matchup and the Chargers' stellar implied team total.
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST ($4,000): The Jacksonville D/ST unit is a strong play as usual against the Indianapolis Colts, but they'll be tough to fit in most lineups at $4,500. However, the Chargers are a worthwhile alternative if you have the extra cash. Los Angeles is fourth in sacks (32.0) and has the luxury of facing the turnover-prone DeShone Kizer, who leads the league in interceptions (14). The Browns also have the worst implied total of the week (15.25).
Baltimore D/ST ($3,100): The Detroit Lions might not seem like the ideal team to attack with a defense, but the Ravens are at home and are a solid value at this price. Only Jacoby Brissett has been sacked more times than Matthew Stafford (36), and the Lions are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the league, which is what we want for accumulating sacks and turnovers. Baltimore is behind only Jacksonville in DraftKings points per game (13.1) and is numberFire's second overall defense.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.