DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 13
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This week's big 13-game main slate has been altered by the sudden release of Kareem Hunt by the Kansas City Chiefs. Now instead of banking on Carlos Hyde -- a thin, near minimum priced play -- for value, Spencer Ware ($4,000) steps into an ideal matchup against the hapless Oakland Raiders and will be one of the highest owned players of the season. Tournament players that want to fade the chalk should enjoy building lineups this week as the ownership at running back and tight end will be extremely concentrated on a small number of players.
Cam Newton ($6,600): Even though Cam Newton is second in quarterback salary this week he's priced a full $1,000 below Patrick Mahomes. This price for Newton happens to be the highest figure since Week 9, which also came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following that contest Newton's rushing production essentially vanished over the next two games. However, Newton was back at it last week with eight carries for a season-high 63 yards. Based on numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, both the Bucs and Carolina Panthers are among the five worst pass defenses in the league so it's no surprise to see this contest tied for the highest over/under on the main slate. Over his last seven games, Newton has topped 20 DraftKings points on six occasions and has a fantastic ceiling and floor combination for all formats.
Lamar Jackson ($5,900): Over the last two weeks, Lamar Jackson has rushed 37 times for 190 yards. Last week he threw for a touchdown and added another score on the ground. Jackson was also intercepted twice, but both came as the result of tipped passes rather than bad decisions. This start will be Jackson's first on the road, although he'll be playing in a dome where his remarkable speed should play up. Through 11 games, the Atlanta Falcons have seen seven different quarterbacks throw for three or more touchdowns while six have surpassed 300 yards. While those thresholds aren't very realistic for Jackson, it's good know he may not face much resistance as a passer when he's not springing loose on the ground.
Kirk Cousins ($5,500): The best value at quarterback this week is Kirk Cousins, who's traveling to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. Cousins is coming off one of the his best performances of the season: 29 of 38 for 342 yards and three touchdowns at home against the Green Bay Packers yet saw his price drop by $600. New England ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to allowing fantasy production to opposing quarterbacks, but has given huge 300-yard performances to Blake Bortles, Andrew Luck, Patrick Mahomes, and Mitchell Trubisky. New England did a decent job limiting Aaron Rodgers in Week 9, but he still managed to come up just shy of 20 DraftKings points. The Minnesota Vikings are five point road underdogs so volume shouldn't be an issue for Cousins, who's second in pass attempts and leads the league in completions.
Christian McCaffrey ($8,800): The last time Christian McCaffrey faced Tampa Bay he ran 17 times for 79 yards, caught five passes for 78 yards, and scored twice in Week 9. The next week saw McCaffrey posted a similar line on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers only this time he scored three times. McCaffrey exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 11 and then went off for over 50 DraftKings points last week, hitting the double bonus with 125 rushing, 112 receiving. Earlier in the year the Bucs saw Alvin Kamara and Tarik Cohen each exceed 100 receiving yards against them. Over the last two weeks, Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida each exceed 100 rushing yards. Not only has McCaffrey been scoring in bunches lately, he rarely comes off the field and is sure bet for volume in each phase. McCaffrey -- who's priced $500 less than Todd Gurley -- is at the top of our running back projections and should be the preferred option in cash games.
Aaron Jones ($6,700): One running back that could be overlooked is Aaron Jones. That's because he's priced well above some of the other middle and lower tier options that coming off big games such as Phillip Lindsay and Gus Edwards. Paying up for Jones not only leads to a different roster construction, but pits him against an Arizona Cardinals run defense that has allowed more rushing yards and more rushing touchdowns to running backs than any other in the league. Over the last three weeks, Jones has scored five touchdowns while seeing a total of 16 targets and playing on more than 70 percent of the snaps. For this game the Packers are massive 14 point home favorite and are tied for the third-highest implied team total on the main slate.
Carlos Hyde ($3,300): Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars are four-point home underdogs to the Indianapolis Colts, Carlos Hyde -- who's yet to catch a pass in four games since being traded from the Cleveland Browns -- is in a nice spot and could go under-owned given that Spencer Ware will probably be the obvious low-priced play at running back. Hyde is only $300 above the salary floor and is likely to see the bulk of the carries after Leonard Fournette's one-game suspension was upheld earlier in the week. T.J. Yeldon will be plenty involved -- especially in passing situations, where the Colts have been hit hard -- but is priced $1,100 more than Hyde. It's not surprise to see Hyde as the top point-per-dollar value based on our projections, but the tournament players can easily justify a fade given the extremely low floor and overwhelming ownership. O
Brandin Cooks ($7,000): Our projections prefer Brandin Cooks over Robert Woods ($6,900) to lead the Los Angeles Rams receiver corps as they face the Detroit Lions on the road as double-digit favorites thanks to the second-highest implied team total on the main slate. In the first two games without Cooper Kupp (ACL) in the lineup, Cooks has been targeted a dozen times in each contest and has now reached 100 receiving yards in three straight games. Meanwhile, Woods have 70 or more receiving yards in every game since the opener. While the Lions were able to fix their run game midseason by trading for defensive tackle Damon Harrison, opposing offenses have thrown against the league's third-worst pass defense by our metrics for the second-highest success rate in the league. The Lions also struggle in limiting explosive passes as their 8.0 yards per pass attempt is third-highest in the league. Assuming DFS players prefer McCaffrey to Gurley in cash games this week, it makes a lot of sense to play either Cooks or Woods.
Emmanuel Sanders ($6,300): Facing the 11th worst pass defense by our schedule-adjusted metrics, Emmanuel Sanders is back into the $6k range after a one-week matchup-based discount against the Steelers. In that meeting Sanders caught seven of 12 targets for 86 yards and a touchdowns. Sanders has now caught a pass of over 30 yards in four of his last five contests but has only exceeded 60 receiving yards twice during that span. The Cincinnati Bengals pass defense has been carved up all season. According to Sharp Football Stats, Cincinnati has allowed the largest passing success rate and are outside the top 20 in limiting explosive passes. Sanders is closing in on 100 targets for the year and currently owns a career-best catch rate of 72.8 percent. The data collected from the game charting done at PlayerProfiler also has Sanders is fifth in the percentage of catchable passes that he's been targeted on. Assuming he can approach double-digit targets, Sanders should deliver another very useful performance.
D.J. Moore ($5,600): Thursday's practice report showed that both Devin Funchess (back) and Curtis Samuel (hamstring) were back on the field after both sat out on Wednesday. Funchess missed last week's game, but veteran Torrey Smith (knee) returned. However, D.J. Moore and Samuel each player on more than 90 percent of the snaps for the first time this season. Moore went mostly silent after a 90-yard breakout performance in Week 8 -- including the very next week against these same Buccaneers but has resurfaced in the big way over the last two game by catching 15 of 17 targets for 248 yards and a touchdown. Priced just $100 above Corey Davis, Moore's ownership could be the lower of the two given the return of Funchess and the uncertainly that creates in projecting Moore's target and snap shares.
Eric Ebron ($4,200): Back in Week 10, the trio of Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle (kidney), and Mo Alie-Cox (calf) accounted for 10 targets, eight targets, 133 yards and three touchdowns at home against the Jaguars. Leading the way was Ebron, who caught all three of his targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns. This time the Colts will be on the road but Ebron should command a very large snap share with Doyle on injured reserve and Alie-Cox ruled out. Ebron should be a very popular in cash games and is a viable fade in tournaments given the volatility of the tight end position.
Matt LaCosse ($2,500): If punting at tight end is your thing then you already know Matt LaCosse is the punt we've had all season. Last week at home against the Steelers, LaCosse caught three of four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown in a game that saw Jeff Heuerman end his season with multiple broken ribs and a bruised lung. Heuerman came into last week's game with five or more targets in three consecutive games and score his first two touchdowns on the year. At minimum price LaCosse draws a Bengals defense that gives up fantasy production to everyone. Cincinnati is one of only three defenses to allow over 800 receiving yards to tight ends thus far and are tied for a league-high eight touchdowns.
Tennessee D/ST ($3,000): As one of only three defensive units priced at $3K or above, the Tennessee Titans are finally back at home. Since bye in Week 8 they have played three of their last four games on the road. That lone home game was a Week 10 victory in which they held the Patriots to 10 points. The opposing New York Jets have not announcer their starting quarterback. Sam Darnold (foot) has missed the last two games but still leads the league with 14 interceptions and was limited in his first week back at practice. Meanwhile, 39-year-old Josh McCown (back, thumb) has thrown three interceptions and been sacked five times in his two starts and is also banged up.
Kansas City D/ST $2,500): Our projections have the Kansas City Chiefs at the top value at defense this week. At only $500 above the salary floor the Chiefs will travel to the Oakland Raiders. Derek Carr hasn't thrown a pick since Week 6 but has been sacked 18 times over his last four games. Meanwhile, Kansas City has recorded five sacks in three of their last four games while scoring at last nine DraftKings points in those contests.
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.