DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 12
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends, while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 12's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have only two running backs projected for 18.8 points or more, while the third running back is projected for 17.8 fantasy points. This might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these top running backs, but as you move on to 4-person, 6-person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - While the Carolina Panthers have an implied team total of only 18.50, we still have McCaffrey projected as the top running back. His 21-point projection is two full points higher than the next running back. McCaffrey can often reach value on volume alone, regardless of the game script or the Panthers' final score.
2. Alvin Kamara (RB2) - Kamara and the New Orleans Saints boast an implied team total of 28.00, which is the second-highest on the slate. They should be one of the most popular teams on the slate, and Kamara has one of the best matchups as he's up against the Panthers, who are allowing 26.1 FanDuel points per game to running backs.
3. Nick Chubb (RB4) - The game script for the Cleveland Browns sets up to be fantastic this week as they are at home and 11.0-point favorites against the lowly Miami Dolphins. Get the lead and run the ball is the name of the game for the Browns this week, and Chubb's 20 projected rushing attempts shows that.
4. Saquon Barkley (RB3) - The New York Giants have a very low 16.75 implied total, but that is due to them being on the road versus the Chicago Bears. Barkley's production has slowed down in the past few weeks, but we still have him projected for nearly 25 total touches this week.
5. Leonard Fournette (RB5) - Fournette has seen six or more targets in three straight weeks. That is an encouraging sign since he is up against the Tennessee Titans, who have allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs. This could be a slower-paced game, but Fournette's role is secure.
6. Josh Jacobs (RB6) - On the road and a three-point favorite is where we find the Oakland Raiders this week. They are taking on the New York Jets. Jacobs has rushed for over 100 yards twice in his last three games, has three rushing touchdowns in that span, and now gets the Jets, who are allowing 20 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs.
7. Le'Veon Bell (RB7) - Bell and the Jets are on a two-game winning streak -- don't let them get hot! They are home underdogs and face the Raiders, who are allowing 22.4 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. He has some equity in the passing game if they fall behind, as he has four or more targets in four of his last five games.
8. Derrick Henry (RB8) - Henry comes in with the highest rushing attempt projection this week -- 22.12 -- but is forecasted to see only 1.81 targets. That is his role, and we all know it. If the Titans fall too far behind, he won't see any involvement in the passing game. The spread of only 3.5 makes him more appealing, as the game should be close.
1. Michael Thomas (WR1) - It's shaping up to be a Michael Thomas week, and you don't want to be on the outside looking in. He is projected for 20.1 FanDuel points, and the next receiver is at 16.6 -- a massive drop in points. The Saints are at home in the dome, with a 28.00 implied team total. Jump on board.
2. Julio Jones (WR2) - Jones is that next receiver with a 16.6-point projection, which shouldn't be a surprise given his matchup. He is up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are allowing a league-worst 39.2 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers.
3. Mike Evans (WR4) - Evans has pulled ahead of Godwin in terms of total targets in the past three weeks. Thus, his projection is nearly 1.5 points higher. It should be a great overall fantasy environment for the Buccaneers-Falcons game with a 51.5 over/under. The Falcons are allowing 32.3 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
4. Odell Beckham (WR5) - Beckham and the Browns are 11-point home favorites against the Dolphins, which gives the Browns a 28.25 implied team total. OBJ hasn't been too explosive this season, but it's the Dolphins, so he has to be able to get it done this week, right?
5. Chris Godwin (WR7) - As mentioned, Godwin is a half-step behind Evans in recent weeks, but you should still trust him in this game. The Buccaneers have a 24.00 implied team total and are 3.5-point underdogs versus the Falcons. Sure, the Atlanta defense is better of late, but the passing opportunities should be there for the Bucs' offense.
6. Amari Cooper (WR6) - It's no easy task going up to New England to face the Patriots, who are allowing only 17.1 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers -- the fewest in the league. But, even with that said, the Dallas Cowboys are 6.5-underdogs, which should cause them to throw the ball plenty, putting Cooper in a spot for volume.
7. Calvin Ridley (WR9) - If you are looking to stack Matt Ryan with a receiver and Julio Jones gets grabbed early, Ridley is the clear next-best option. The matchup is the same for Ridley as it is for Jones, and he's a great play this week.
8. John Brown (W13) - With double-digit targets in back-to-back weeks, we have to talk about Brown being a higher-end receiving option. Denver is one of the better teams versus wide receivers, but they got worked last week by Stefon Diggs, who can get down-field quickly, very similar to Brown.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are four quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 19.3 to 21.4 FanDuel points, and another four projected at 18.3 to 18.5. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs, and it essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Matt Ryan (QB1) - Ryan threw for over 300 yards again last week but had just one touchdown, which limited his overall production. He should be right back up over 300 yards this week against the Buccaneers, the second-worst team in the league versus quarterbacks. Ryan has our highest yards and touchdown projections for quarterbacks.
2. Russell Wilson (QB2) - At a 47.5 over/under, the Seattle Seahawks-Philadelphia Eagles game could be a spot to target for a game stack. Wilson has our second-highest points projection -- 20.4 -- and should be a safe option, as always. If Tyler Lockett does play in this game, he would help Wilson's upside.
3. Drew Brees (QB3) - It's the Saints, at home, boasting a 28.00 implied team total -- the classic Drew Brees spot. Stacking him with Michael Thomas would give you massive upside, but Brees can also get there on his own.
4. Jameis Winston (QB4) - While Winston might struggle in real-life football, he is a great fantasy option since all the Buccaneers do is throw the ball. They are in a game with an over/under of 51.5, which should have Winston going for more than 300 yards for the sixth-straight week.
5. Carson Wentz (QB5) - The Eagles did not look good last week, and they need to pick up a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Wentz should be able to have a nice rebound game with the Eagles 24.50 implied team total and the Seahawks allowing 18.8 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks.
6. Baker Mayfield (QB6) - As noted above with Chubb and Beckham, the Browns are massive 11-point home favorites against the Dolphins. Play the Browns. Play them in a stack. This is a soft matchup.
7. Josh Allen (QB8) - I'm always in favor of using a quarterback like Allen, since he can rush for a touchdown and pass for one, boosting his floor of points. The 37.5 over/under against the Denver Broncos is rather unexciting, though.
8. Derek Carr (QB10) - Carr has multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games, a trend which should continue this week against the Jets, who have allowed 18 passing touchdowns this season. Carr should only be used in deeper DRAFTs.