NFL

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Primer: Week 13

Unfortunately, the Week 13 slate has already been disrupted by COVID-19, as the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Football Team has been pushed back until Monday. The game remains on the DraftKings slate, so be sure to avoid those players while filing out your lineup.

In this DFS preview, I'll focus on the Sunday main slate and group players into two categories based on their DraftKings salaries: players to build around and value plays.

Players to build around are those with high salaries but even higher production ceilings, making them worth prioritizing in your lineup. Value plays are guys with lower salaries and typically come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the more expensive players on the slate.

All references to betting totals and spreads are from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

Players to Build Around

QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($6,800) vs. PHI

Just three weeks ago, Aaron Rodgers' salary sat at $7,900, so he's available at a significantly discounted cap hit against the Philadelphia Eagles for unknown reasons. Rodgers has scored at least 25 fantasy points in four consecutive games, and he's now averaging 25.5 points per game. Opposing quarterbacks have topped their average in 6 of 11 games against Philly, so it's fairly safe to expect Rodgers to maintain his recent scoring pace in this matchup.

QB Taysom Hill, Saints ($6,300) vs. ATL

The Atlanta Falcons opposing quarterback has been featured here most weeks, there's no reason to stop now. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring 7.3 fantasy points above their average when facing Atlanta, so we should expect another strong game from Taysom Hill. Last week against the Denver Broncos, Hill completed just nine passes but still posted 18.5 fantasy points due to his rushing numbers. His ability to run the ball gives him a solid floor, and the Falcons' inept pass defense helps give Hill an elite ceiling in this matchup.

RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($9,500) vs. JAC

The Minnesota Vikings run the ball 58 percent of the time when playing with a lead, and Dalvin Cook has accounted for 82 percent of those carries when healthy. With Minnesota favored by 10 points, this is an obvious spot to roster Cook.

WR Keenan Allen, Chargers ($8,100) vs. NE

Keenan Allen's salary continues to rise, but he's still worth targeting against an inconsistent New England Patriots defense. According to Sports Info Solutions, 62 percent of Allen's targets have come while lining up in the slot. New England is allowing an NFL-worst 10.2 yards per target to slot receivers.

WR Allen Robinson, Bears ($6,700) vs. DET

The Detroit Lions are allowing a 65 percent completion rate on throws at least 10 yards downfield over their last five games, the worst rate in the league. Allen Robinson sees 40 percent of his targets at 10 or more yards downfield and should be in line for a steady workload against this crumbling Detroit defense.

WR DeVante Parker, Dolphins ($6,400) vs. CIN

Tua Tagovailoa's status is unclear for Week 13, but if he sits out again, DeVante Parker's fantasy stock rises. As demonstrated by the table below, Parker has been significantly more productive with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Parker is coming off a strong performance with 22.9 fantasy points on 14 targets, and he should have a similarly strong ceiling against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Parker Stats by QB Tgt Share Catch Rate Yds/Tgt
Tagovailoa 21.5% 60.0% 5.8
Fitzpatrick 23.4% 67.8% 8.9


WR Cooper Kupp, Rams ($6,100) vs. ARZ

According to Sports Info Solutions, the Arizona Cardinals use man coverage at the fourth-highest rate (44 percent), which could lead to increased usage for Cooper Kupp. Versus man coverage, Kupp has a 33 percent target share, compared to 22 percent versus all other coverage types.

Value Plays

QB Baker Mayfield, Browns ($5,300) vs. TEN

Baker Mayfield has been mostly useless in fantasy, but the Tennessee Titans may give him an opportunity to post some of his best numbers of the year. Mayfield has struggled mightily versus pressure, but Tennessee has generated a pressure rate of just 31 percent, fourth-worst in the league. With the Cleveland Browns as six-point underdogs, the game script may also force Mayfield to throw at a higher rate than usual.

Pressure SituationComp PctYds/AttINT Rate
Mayfield vs. pressure43.8%5.46.8%
Mayfield vs. no pressure67.0%7.80.9%


RB Myles Gaskin, Dolphins ($5,900) vs. CIN

Myles Gaskin was eligible to return off the injured reserve last week, but the Miami Dolphins held him out another week. If he's able to take the field against Cincinnati, he should be in line for a strong workload. During his five starts, Gaskin saw a 40 percent usage rate when Miami was playing with a lead.

WR Michael Pittman Jr., Colts ($4,900) vs. HOU

In three of his last four games, Michael Pittman Jr. has seen at least seven targets. He's only reached the end zone once this season, so the fantasy production hasn't quite matched his usage, but the rookie has clearly won over the trust of Philip Rivers and is worth betting on as long as his cap hit remains this low.

WR Denzel Mims, Jets ($4,100) vs. LV

Over the New York Jets' last three games, Denzel Mims has dominated the passing game with a target share of 29.1 percent. Mims hasn't reached the end zone yet this season, which has limited his fantasy production, but with this usage rate, it's only a matter of time before he cashes in. According to Sports Info Solutions, 62 percent of Mims' targets have come at least 10 yards downfield. The Raiders are allowing a 55 percent completion rate at 10 yards downfield, the eighth-highest rate in the league.

WR Keke Coutee, Texans ($3,300) vs. IND

With Will Fuller suspended, Randall Cobb on injured reserve, and Kenny Stills recently cut, Keke Coutee is in line for a dramatically increased role in the Houston Texans offense. Coutee has primarily lined up in the slot during his career in Houston, so he will likely most directly be replacing Cobb in the offense. That hasn't been a productive role this season, but as the only receiver other than Brandin Cooks with significant experience in the offense, Coutee figures to see a fairly strong target share and is worth a gamble on his extremely cheap cap hit. Rookie Isaiah Coulter ($3,000) is worth consideration for the same reasons -- at 6'2", he'll presumably be more likely to work on the outside in Fuller's role -- but he is much more of an unknown.

TE Jordan Akins, Texans ($2,900) vs. IND

Jordan Akins could emerge as another beneficiary of Fuller's absence. While Fuller was injured in 2019, Deshaun Watson gave his tight ends a 22 percent target share. That rate sits at just 17 percent this season. Since returning from injury, Akins has 13 targets to Darren Fells' 5, so it appears Akins is the tight end to roster if you want to gamble on this situation.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. 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.