DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 12
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This week's 10-game main slate is loaded with value plays at each and every position. Cash-game players will have the flexibility to build a balanced roster with a stud player or two in each spot. Tournament players will want to be mindful of ownership as there are plenty of similar low-priced options to consider should one or two value players become chalk.
Andrew Luck ($6,400): All Andrew Luck does is throw touchdowns, or least that's how it seems. After all, Luck has now thrown for three or more touchdowns in seven consecutive games. He has delivered 24 scores during that span while averaging more than 300 passing yards per game. The opposing Miami Dolphins will be on the road for this matchup, but they are top-five in limiting DraftKings points to quarterbacks. Yet Miami has given up plenty of big games to the position. Three different signal callers have thrown for three or more touchdowns while the 300-yard mark has also been topped three times. Our schedule-adjusted metrics refuse to crown Miami's pass defense and rank the unit inside the bottom-10. The Indianapolis Colts carry the highest implied team total on the main slate, so even the betting market isn't fearful of Miami's defense.
Cam Newton ($6,200): Even though Cam Newton continues to be limited in practice due to a shoulder ailment, he's coming off a game in which he threw for a season-high 357 yards and three touchdowns. Oddly enough, Newton's rushing attempts and production has vanished over the last two weeks. After averaging more than nine carries over the first eight games Newton has recorded only two carries in each of the last two outings. While the Seattle Seahawks are a top-10 pass defense by our schedule-adjusted metrics, they've had issues lately. Over Seattle's last six contests, a total of four quarterbacks have thrown for more than 300 yards against them. Our metrics are projecting Newton as both the top quarterback on the main slate and the best point-per-dollar value.
Nick Mullens ($5,400): Speaking of value, those looking to pay down at quarterback should give Nick Mullens a lot of consideration. After all, he's facing the woeful defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa is the league's worst pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics, and has surrendered multiple touchdowns to every quarterback they've faced outside of Nick Foles and Alex Smith. This start will be just the third of Mullens' career, and his first on the road. Back in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders, Mullens threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns on only 22 pass attempts. Prior to a Week 11 bye, Mullens threw 39 times against the New York Giants but managed only one touchdown and 250 yards while getting intercepted twice. Our projections have Mullens eighth in terms of value plays at quarterback, but a low ceiling keeps him limited to a budget play in cash games.
Melvin Gordon ($8,600): Our top Week 12 projection -- regardless of position -- belongs to Melvin Gordon, who's at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The game has one of the lower over/unders on the main slate, but the Los Angeles Chargers are massive 13-point favorites and are tied for the second-highest implied team total. Meanwhile, Arizona is allowing the third-most rushing yards per game and is one of only six defenses that has allowed double-digit rushing touchdowns to running backs. Over his last five games, Gordon has been has extremely reliable, topping 90 rushing yards on four occasions and 50 receiving yards three times. Gordon offers an extremely significant $500 savings compared to Saquon Barkley, who's on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Melvin looks like a much better fit for building cash-game lineups this week. If Gordon sits, Austin Ekeler would be a great value option.
Matt Breida ($5,700): One of the top running back values on the main slate is Matt Breida, who's coming off his best game of the season. In Week 10, Bredia ran 17 times against the Giants for 101 yards and a touchdown. As a receiver, he caught three of his four targets for 31 yards and a score. Tampa Bay's run defense is middle of the pack by our schedule-adjusted metrics even though they've allowed a league-high 13 rushing touchdowns to running backs. Over their last four games, the Buccaneers have seen three different running backs score multiple touchdowns against them. On Sharp Football Stats, Tampa Bay's defense also looks pretty bad: 28th in rushing success rate and 24th in explosive rushing. Breida has been playing through various ailments lately, but he was on the field for his highest snap rate since Week 4 prior to last week's bye.
Gus Edwards ($4,400): One of the biggest surprises of Week 11 was Gus Edwards, an undrafted free agent from Rutgers. During Lamar Jackson's first career start, Edwards played on more than 62 percent of the snaps while totaling 115 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Additionally, Alex Collins did not practice on Thursday due to a foot issue and is questionable. Assuming Edwards is named the starter, he figures to see heavy ownership at home against the Raiders. Not only are the Raiders double-digit underdogs, they've given up more rushing yards to opposing running backs than any other team in the league. While Edwards' collegiate resume might be unimpressive, he seems to be in line for good volume.
T.Y. Hilton ($6,500): Even though T.Y. Hilton hasn't seen double-digit targets since the first three games of the season, he just roasted the Tennessee Titans by securing all nine of his targets for 155 yards and two touchdowns. While those who missed out on that explosion will have to deal with Hilton's ownership increase for Week 12, his price tag jumped by only $400. With an average depth of target (aDOT) of just 10.0, according to airyards.com, Hilton hasn't been the downfield playmaker of past years, but he could provide a vintage performance given the issues Miami has had with splash receivers like Taylor Gabriel (110 yards) and Will Fuller (124 yards) in recent weeks. Our projections have Hilton sixth among all wide receivers on the main slate, and he is easily the top value option at his price range.
Tyler Boyd ($6,000): Our schedule-adjusted metrics have the Cleveland Browns as the best pass defense in the league. However, despite some optimism earlier in the week, A.J. Green looks very iffy to play because of a toe injury. Yet Boyd's price somehow dropped by $1,000 even though he overcome a difficult matchup at the Baltimore Ravens last week with 71 yards on 11 targets. Cleveland did a good job limiting the Kansas City Chiefs' wideouts in Week 9 but has allowed production to other leading receivers like Mike Evans (107 yards), Antonio Brown (74 yards, 2 touchdowns), and Julio Jones (107 yards, TD) in recent weeks. Assuming Green is unable to go, Boyd's curious price drop makes him a strong value despite another somewhat troublesome matchup.
D.J. Moore ($4,600): Not only is D.J. Moore coming off a breakout performance in which he caught seven of eight targets for 157 yards and a touchdown, Devin Funchess did not practice on Thursday due to a back injury and is doubtful. Going back to Week 5, seven different wide receivers have reached or exceeded 89 yards in six games against Seattle. Moore has enjoyed at least a 70-percent snap rate in all four games that Torrey Smith has missed due to a knee injury, so it's important to note Smith returned in practice on Wednesday. Clearly, the availability of Funchess and Smith is going to impact how far we can trust the 21-year-old rookie this week.
Cameron Brate ($3,600): It's Cameron Brate chalk week, so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, O.J. Howard had his a breakout second-year campaign end on injured reserve. Through 10 games, Brate has seen only 26 targets and was being out-snapped by a significant margin. On the year, the San Francisco 49ers are middle of the pack against tight ends, but they were beat badly earlier in the year by Travis Kelce (114 yards) and Jimmy Graham (104 yards). Last week, the 49ers allowed Evan Engram catch four of five targets against them for 46 yards. Our projections give Brate a very similar outlook to that in Week 12, making him an easy play in cash games.
Nick Vannett ($2,700): The chase play at tight end this week is Nick Vannett as the Carolina Panthers have surrendered a league-high nine touchdowns to tight ends. In fact, Carolina allowed at least one touchdown to a tight end in five consecutive games from Week 6 to Week 10. However, Vannett has managed just one reception in each of the last two games while playing on 60 percent of the snaps. In Week 10, it was a touchdown, and last week's lone reception was just shy of the goal line. Despite the good-looking matchup, Vannett could easily air ball or stay in single-digits even if he does score a touchdown. If you need the savings, he's the cheapest viable tight end on the board.
Buffalo D/ST ($2,700): It looks like Josh Allen is set to return from the elbow injury that put a pause on what's been a very ugly rookie season. But the quarterback on the other side is Blake Bortles, and he was just sacked six times on only 24 drop backs. This game has an extremely low over/under that has the Buffalo Bills 3.0-point underdogs at home. The Jacksonville D/ST is priced $600 more than the next team because in only six games, Allen has thrown five interceptions while taking 21 sacks. Assuming a lot of tournament players want a piece of Allen's generous ways, attack Bortles instead for leverage on ownership and price.
Philadelphia D/ST ($2,400): Our projections have the Eagles as the top value play in Week 12 among the defensive units. They are priced at only $400 above the minimum salary even as significant home favorites against Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Manning has gone two games without an interception but has taken four or more sacks in four of his last five games. Expect to see the Eagles in the majority of cash-game lineups
Eric McClung is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.