FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Early-Slate Helper: Week 12

The Week 12 NFL DFS early-slate on FanDuel has nine games, all kicking off at 1 p.m. EST. There is a wide variety of matchups, with three sitting at totals under 40 and only one above 50. This should make for a many viable roster constructions, which is always fun in DFS.

The numberFire NFL DFS Matchup Heat Map will be referenced for all implied totals and spreads throughout this article, so be sure to check it out.

Let’s look at the best plays at every price point on the slate.

High Priced Studs

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints ($8,300)

Since his return from injury, Alvin Kamara has returned to his high-volume role in the passing game, matching his season-high target total of 10 in back-to-back weeks. He hasn't quite gotten going on the ground yet, but that should change this week.

The Carolina Panthers rank 32nd in Adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, meaning Kamara should have a field day. The New Orleans Saints are 9.5-point favorites over their division rivals, so a big day on the ground with multiple touchdowns is in Kamara's range of outcomes.

Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns ($8,200)

Perhaps the safest running back on the slate is Nick Chubb. Even with Kareem Hunt returning and immediately stepping into a passing-game role, Chubb has totaled 47 carries over the last two weeks. While he has amassed 208 rushing yards on those carries, his box scores have been dry in the touchdown column.

That may help limit Chubb's ownership in this premium matchup. Any player who we can conservatively project for 20 touches against the Miami Dolphins, a team that ranks dead last in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play, should be a lock in DFS.

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($8,400)

It's Julio Jones week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the biggest pass-funnel defenses you'll see, ranking first against the run and 24th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The Atlanta Falcons can't run the ball, and this matchup has the highest total on the slate at 51.5.

No matter where Jones lines up on the field, he'll have a plus matchup. When Julio erupts and you don't have him rostered, nothing will save you.

Odell Beckham, WR, Cleveland Browns ($7,000)

OBJ should also have his best game of the season in Week 12. Not only is he up against the secondary that let John Brown drop 137 yards and two scores, but he has also seen incredible volume over his last few games. In the last three weeks, Beckham as seen 290 air yards -- the fourth-most among receivers -- but has converted those into just 117 receiving yards. He has also seen 59 percent of the teams air yards in that span, which leads the NFL, according to

Beckham is one of the most talented receivers in the league, so his down games are likely just a product of tough matchups. A bounce-back is bound to happen at some point, and this week against Miami seems like a strong bet.

Mid-Priced Upside Plays

Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6,900)

With the team already declaring James Conner out, Jaylen Samuels will continue his role as the primary back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He isn't offering much on the ground with a mark of -0.20 Rushing NEP per carry, but his value comes from his volume in the passing game -- 26 targets in the last three games.

Earlier in the season, Conner and Samuels combined for 42.04 fantasy points against the Cincinnati Bengals' defense. Samuels should be able to capture a good portion of that with Cincinnati ranking 29th in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play. Our projections have him getting 19 total touches in this great matchup.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders ($6,400)

Tyrell Williams is horribly undervalued. Not only has he caught at least three balls in every game this season, but he's also dominating his teams air yards, seeing a 37 percent share. That's more than twice the amount that any other receiver has seen.

What is even more impressive is that Williams ranks first in Reception NEP per target among all receivers with at least 20 catches. This week he is facing a New York Jets defense that ranks 25th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.

So we have the most efficient receiver in the league who dominates his team's opportunities and is in one of the best matchups possible. What more could we ask for in a receiver under $7,000?

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,100)

Zach Ertz has been incredible for the Philadelphia Eagles over his last two games. He's seen 11 targets in both contests, hauled in nine of them, and has 197 yards. Plus, he was up against Chicago and New England in those two games, both of whom rank in the top four in total defense. Things get much easier against the Seattle Seahawks, who sit 17th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Eagles receivers have brought absolutely nothing to the table this year, so Ertz should continue getting fed by Carson Wentz. He's our best value and highest projected tight end on the early slate.

Bargain Bin Prospects

Derrius Guice, RB, Washington ($5,400)

With Adrian Peterson dealing with a toe injury, Derrius Guice could be the workhorse for Washington against the Detroit Lions. The Lions rank 26th in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play and are allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Washington is only a 3.5-point underdog, so Guice should have plenty of opportunities in neutral game script. Plus, he flashed his pass-catching ability with a 45-yard house call on a screen pass in Week 11. He isn't a safe play by any means, but he has the talent to turn in a big week given the matchup.

Ryan Griffin, TE, New York Jets ($5,400)

This week's set-it-and-forget-it cheap tight end is Ryan Griffin. Despite 4.92-speed, Griffin was able to top 100 receiving yards and score a touchdown in Week 11 on only five receptions. While some might see that as fluky production, his snaps and routes in the two weeks before Chris Herndon came back were encouraging. He also saw 12 targets across Weeks 8 and 9 and hauled in 10 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

With Herndon done for the season, Griffin should maintain his role as Sam Darnold's security blanket. If you're paying down at tight end, he's the ideal option.

Jonathan Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Jonathan Taylor Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.