Week 12 NFL FanDuel Late Afternoon Slate Breakdown

As he takes on the Dolphins in Week 12, Andrew Luck looks to make it eight straight games with at least three touchdown passes. Which players on the afternoon slate should you target for your FanDuel lineups?

The Week 12 late afternoon slate on FanDuel once again features a trio of games. But unlike in weeks past, there isn't one matchup sure to attract the majority of ownership.

The Indianapolis Colts, winners of four straight, carry the highest projected team total (29.25 points) this week in a matchup against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are expected to have Ryan Tannehill back at quarterback this week after he has missed the past five games with a shoulder injury.

Matchup (Implied Team Total)Game Total
Miami Dolphins (21.75) at Indianapolis Colts (29.25)51.0
Pittsburgh Steelers (24.75) at Denver Broncos (21.75)46.5
Arizona Cardinals (15.25) at Los Angeles Chargers (28.25)43.5

As with most weeks, we also have the Los Angeles Chargers on the slate as they take on an Arizona Cardinals team that just fell to the Oakland Raiders at home. The Chargers' implied team total (28.25 points) is nearly as high as the Colts', but they are heavy 13.0-point home favorites against Arizona. Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers are 3.0-point road favorites against the Denver Broncos, in a game pitting two top-10 defenses against each other, per numberFire's metrics.

Among the tournaments on FanDuel this week is the $300,000 NFL Rush, which pays out $100,000 to first and costs $9.99 to enter. The $40,000 NFL Bomb costs $33 to play and has a first place prize of $8,000. In the single-entry fields, the $35,000 NFL Spike costs $5 to enter and has a $4,000 first place prize.

Now, let's break down the top plays and fades at each position.


Lock: Andrew Luck ($8,400) - Riding a string of seven straight games with at least three touchdown passes, Luck is the most expensive quarterback option on the slate. With this hot streak, he has not scored fewer than 20 FanDuel points since his Week 3 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Averaging 40 pass attempts per game, 5th-most among all quarterbacks, Luck now faces a Dolphins pass defense that ranks as the league's eighth-worst per numberFire metrics. He has taken just 10 sacks over 10 games behind the Colts' revamped offensive line, and he shouldn't face much pressure again Sunday against a Dolphins defense that ranks bottom-five in both sacks (17) and quarterback hits (40).

Fade: Josh Rosen ($6,600) - Rosen faced one of the easiest matchups last week against the Raiders' bottom-five pass defense. He did have three touchdown passes, but he also threw for only 136 yards on 20 pass attempts. His 15.44 FanDuel points marked his second-best outing of the year. Following a cupcake matchup in Week 11, Rosen now heads on the road to face the Chargers as a 13.0-point underdog. The Cardinals have a lowly 15.25 implied team total, by far the lowest on the slate. Not only is Rosen averaging fewer than 200 yards passing per game in his 7 starts, but he's committed 11 turnovers over that span. After coming up short in a pristine matchup against the Raiders, it's difficult to play Rosen in a tougher matchup.

Sleeper: Case Keenum ($6,800) - On this slate, it's difficult to get away from the top three quarterback options, but one salary-saver to consider is Keenum. One of the league leaders in interceptions, Keenum has now gone two straight games without throwing a pick, and he's posted better fantasy numbers at home than on the road. In five home games, Keenum is averaging 16.1 FanDuel points compared to 11.04 on the road. The Steelers' pass defense is one to be wary of, though. They rank as the sixth-best, per numberFire metrics, and the defense has generated 15 sacks and forced 4 turnovers in the 4 games since their bye week.

Running Backs

Lock: Melvin Gordon ($8,900) - Always one of the top plays on the afternoon slate, Gordon has one of his best matchups to date in Week 12. The Cardinals face a league-high 32.4 rushing attempts per game and are allowing 141.5 rushing yards per game, fourth-most in the league. Meanwhile, Gordon continues to have one of the largest workloads among all running backs. He's averaging over 20 touches per game and he's seen 35.37% of all the Chargers' red zone touches. Locked in as a big home favorite, Gordon is the top play on the slate.

Fade: Royce Freeman ($5,000) - In his first action since Week 7, Freeman had 7 carries for 23 yards and a touchdown last week against the Chargers. Although he found the end zone in his return, Freeman played just 23% of the offensive snaps. Phillip Lindsay led the Broncos backfield, playing 57% of the snaps. Lindsay racked up 79 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries. In Week 12, Freeman and Lindsay face a Steelers run defense that ranks as the 10th-best, per numberFire metrics. Running behind Lindsay and facing a difficult matchup, Freeman is hard to trust.

Sleeper: Marlon Mack ($7,000) - Mack is the fourth-most expensive running back on the slate, but he's also $900 cheaper than both James Conner and David Johnson. Mack is coming off two relatively down weeks following his breakout in Weeks 7 and 8. Over the past two weeks, Mack has 28 carries for just 90 yards and 1 touchdown while adding 3 catches for 17 yards. But he'll now face a Dolphins run defense that ranks as the league's sixth-worst, per numberFire metrics. The Dolphins have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In the four weeks leading up to their Week 11 bye, the Dolphins allowed 3 running backs to go over 130 rushing yards. Only the New York Jets ' running backs failed to beat up on the Dolphins during that span.

Wide Receivers

Lock: Antonio Brown ($8,500) - Tied with Tyreek Hill for the most receiving touchdowns (11), Brown has been held out of the end zone for just one game this season (Week 2). The Broncos' pass defense does rank top 10, per numberFire metrics, but few receivers are seeing as many targets as Brown. Brown is averaging 10.9 targets per game, third-most among all receivers.

Fade: Christian Kirk ($5,600) - Kirk had one of his best fantasy games of the season last week, finishing with 77 yards and a touchdown on 3 receptions. But nearly all of Kirk's production came on a screen pass that he took 59 yards for a touchdown. With Rosen averaging just about 200 yards passing per game, there isn't a lot of opportunity for Cardinals wideouts to produce without breaking a big play. Over Rosen's seven starts, Kirk is averaging 3.4 receptions and 53.4 yards per game. In Week 12, Kirk squares off with a Chargers pass defense that ranks as the league's 13th-best.

Sleeper: Courtland Sutton ($5,400) - Against the Chargers last week, Sutton saw a team-leading 6 targets and played a season-high 89% of the team's snaps. He finished the game with 3 catches for 78 yards, also a season high. It's not an easy matchup for Sutton against a stingy Steelers pass defense, but since Demaryius Thomas was traded, Sutton has 44.9% of the Broncos' air yards. In the eight games prior to the trade, Sutton had a 21.3% market share of Broncos' air yards.

Tight Ends

Lock: Jack Doyle ($5,500) - As usual, tight end is a difficult position to fill. Doyle is one of three options priced at $5,500, including his teammate Eric Ebron. While it was Ebron who popped for a three-touchdown game two weeks ago, Doyle has seen more targets from Luck over the past three games (14 to 6). He's also seen more red zone looks (three to two) while playing more than twice as many snaps as Ebron over that span. The primary tight end on an Andrew Luck-led offense, Doyle is the best bet for a big fantasy week.

Fade: Ricky Seals-Jones ($5,200) - Along with Rosen last week, Seals-Jones flopped in what seemed like a great matchup. He saw just three targets against the Raiders, catching one pass for five yards. Seals-Jones has topped 60 yards in a game just once all season, and he's only found the end zone once, which came way back in Week 3. With the Cardinals carrying a 15.25-point implied team total, it's best to search elsewhere for fantasy production at tight end.

Sleeper: Jeff Heuerman ($5,400) - Priced just $100 below the top tight ends, Heuerman has been the Broncos' most targeted player in the passing game following the trade of Demaryius Thomas. After his 10-catch game in Week 9, Heuerman had 4 catches for 20 yards in Week 11 against the Chargers. Since Week 2, he has seen no fewer than four targets from Case Keenum in a game, and he'll now face a Steelers team that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. 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.