FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Afternoon-Slate Helper: Week 12
The Week 12 afternoon NFL DFS slate on FanDuel has just two matchups, which kick off at 4:05 and 4:25 p.m. EST. The Jacksonville-Tennessee matchup has a modest 41.5 total, while the Cowboys and Patriots sit at 45.0. Tiny slates like this typically call for a "stars and scrubs" approach, but we'll need to sprinkle in some low-owned guys to win anything big.
Our 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 check out the best plays at various prices on this short slate.
High Priced Studs
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($8,400)
The Patriots are one of the best defenses in recent memory, but Dak Prescott has this Cowboys offense humming, ranking first in Adjusted Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. This passing success has opened doors for Ezekiel Elliott, as more defenses allocate their resources to stopping the aerial onslaught.
.@EzekielElliott TD but wait for the @Dak celebration...#DALvsDET | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/hsqwLdYLRi
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 17, 2019
There is no easy way to beat the Patriots, but it certainly isn't by throwing against their top-ranked secondary in terms of Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. Teams have found success on the ground, and the Cowboys have shown a willingness to feed Zeke a monster workload regardless of matchup or success. He's seen 20 touches in seven of his last nine games, so expect a similar workload here.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,000)
Underpriced touches are always welcome in DFS. Leonard Fournette has been the poster boy for those all season, and it is no different this week. His passing-game role offers him an incredible floor -- at least six targets in all but two games this year -- and we know he is capable of ripping off massive gains on the ground with his 97th-percentile speed score, via PlayerProfiler.
Tennessee is a tough matchup on defense, as they rank third in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, but his volume can't be passed on this small slate. Our projections have him as the best value per dollar running back on the slate -- by far.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots ($7,500)
The Cowboys aren't the dominant defense we saw last year, as they rank 21st against the run and pass. Their weakest link in the secondary also comes in the form of slot cornerback, Jourdan Lewis. According to PlayerProfiler, he's allowed a 134.7 passer rating in his coverage. Tom Brady's favorite target, Julian Edelman, is a slot savant who gets massive volume.
Today marked the 1st game in Tom Brady's career that another Patriot led the team in TD passes when Brady played the entire game.
That’s among 317 career starts, including the playoffs.
Julian Edelman tossed the lone TD pass for the Patriots in their 17-10 win over the Eagles. pic.twitter.com/86Eu7Q4JlI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 18, 2019
In addition to being the best quarterback on the team, Edelman has seen 10 targets per game this season and has also seen over 28 percent of Brady's red zone attempts. Our projections have him getting the most targets among receivers.
Mid-Priced Upside Plays
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots ($6,300)
If you want to take a risk, bank on Sony Michel this week. He's not the sexiest pick, as he hasn't scored in three straight weeks and isn't active in the passing game, but he should be low-owned.
Michel has seven games with 15 or more carries this season and he's set up for another one in this spot. The Patriots aren't elite in any phase of the offense, as they rank 14th in Adjusted Passing NEP per play. The way to win this game is playing ball control and limiting the possessions of Dallas' top-ranked passing offense.
Michel is obviously the centerpiece to the ground game, so he should rack up the carries throughout the contest. The Patriots are 6.5-point favorites with the highest implied total on the slate, so a multi-touchdown game could be brewing for the former Georgia running back.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($6,800)
While Amari Cooper is the clear alpha receiver in Dallas, Michael Gallup has quietly paced him in target share this season.
Amari Cooper: "We have a lot of guys that can make plays. If they try to take me away and just focus on me, I don't think that would be the wisest approach because you saw what Gallup and Cobb did last week...If they do try to take me away, we have other guys who can make plays."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 21, 2019
Over the last two weeks, Gallup has also seen 23 targets and led the team in air yards with 326, per airyards.com. While teams are devoting extra attention to Cooper, Gallup is feasting.
He should see more of the same this week, as New England generally shadows opposing top receivers with Stephon Gilmore while putting Jason McCourty on the opposite side with help from his twin, Devin McCourty. The McCourtys are no slouches, though, combining for six interceptions this season. Gallup's efficiency will certainly dip in this tough matchup, but no Gilmore should be no problem given his volume and talent.
Bargain Bin Prospects
N'Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots ($5,000)
With Mohamed Sanu unlikely to go with an ankle injury and Phillip Dorsett still in the concussion protocol, the Pats will likely need to turn to their first-round receiver, N'Keal Harry. He saw a 40 percent snap share last week with his teammates banged up throughout the contest, and that should spike if they were to miss.
Harry is a big-bodied, athletic receiver with a 91st-percentile speed score and a 98th-percentile SPARQ-x score. If given the opportunity, he could showcase his talents that got him selected with the 32nd overall pick.
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys ($5,300)
Whether you're looking to pay down or up at tight end on this slate, Jason Witten is the only real option. While he hasn't hit 60 yards this season, he at least presents a reasonable floor, seeing at least four targets in every game. The strength of the Patriots is at cornerback, so Prescott could look to his veteran tight end often. He's our highest projected play at his position.
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.