4 FanDuel NFL Studs to Target in Week 12

Tom Brady has been excelling at his advanced age and can continue that this week. Which other star players should we target in Week 12?

Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.

Week 12's main slate is a bit abbreviated due to Thanksgiving, but there are still enough stars to consider in lineups this week.

Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Projected Points: 20.9

In season 22 and at age 46, Tom Brady is still relevant in fantasy. In fact, he's not just relevant, he's the QB2 by points per game this season. The last few seasons with the New England Patriots saw him fading in fantasy production, but the weapons he has around him now make him a great fantasy option.

A knock against Brady's style of playing quarterback is that he doesn't offer any rushing production, which inherently lowers his floor and ceiling. He has to pass his way to big games, but he hasn't had many problems doing that this season. He has five games with at least four touchdown passes this season, which has helped him on his way to his league-leading 29 touchdown passes. This definitely means he has the ceiling we will look for in a quarterback.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12. It may have flown under the radar that the Colts have been a great matchup for quarterbacks this season. They are 27th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, according to numberFire's metrics. For fantasy, they allow the second-most adjusted fantasy points per drop back in the league.

Tampa has the highest implied team total on the main slate this week, something that helps Brady's outlook a great deal. He's a great play in tournaments because you can stack him with one or two of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin or Rob Gronkowski and know you will garner the vast majority of the production.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

FanDuel Salary: $9,800
Projected Points: 19.2

When Jonathan Taylor was coming into the league, many people thought he had a chance to be a special player. His college production and athletic profile were both really strong. He took a little bit of time to put it all together last season, but now that he has, he's dominating the league in his second season.

Taylor totally erupted last week with 204 total yards and five touchdowns. It gave him over 1000 rushing yards on the season and cemented him as possibly the top fantasy running back for the rest of the season. He's doing things that other RBs just can't do, such as breaking off more runs of 30+ yards than any team in the league. He's also been getting involved in the passing game with at least three receptions in four of his last five games.

It's not an easy matchup for Taylor against the Bucs' tough run defense, but there are a few reasons to still be optimistic for him. He just destroyed the Buffalo Bills and their second-ranked adjusted rush defense. Tampa ranks fifth in the same metric, but they are 14th in fantasy points per carry allowed to running backs and 21st in fantasy points allowed per target to backs. If the Colts' game plan is similar to last week in which they gave Taylor 35 touches, the slight downgrade for matchup won't hurt him too much.

This game has the highest total on the main slate, so getting multiple pieces from it could be a solid strategy. If Taylor can break a long run early in the game, it would force Brady to throw even more than normal and give us nice correlation that we can use in a tournament lineup.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Projected Points: 17.2

After two games off the main slate and then a bye, we've gotten a break from having to consider playing Cooper Kupp. Well, that break is over, and we have the option to roster the number one wide receiver in fantasy once again.

Even during the Los Angeles Rams' two-game losing streak, Kupp has remained productive. He has 22 catches in those two games, good for 217 yards. He had 13 targets in each of those games, and he has at least nine targets in every game this season. Kupp leads all players with 25 red-zone targets and could see an even higher share now. Robert Woods had 18 red-zone targets, and he is out for the season.

Hopefully, the Rams used the bye week to get their offense back on track after two lackluster performances. They'll play the Green Bay Packers on the road, in what could be a tough game. However, when a player has been as good as Kupp and sees a 32% target share, it would be a mistake to downgrade him for the matchup. Green Bay ranks sixth in fantasy points per target allowed to receivers, but we just saw Justin Jefferson light them up for 33.2 FanDuel points last week, and Kupp could do something similar.

Despite the difficult matchup, Kupp is still our highest projected wide receiver. We should be able to count on him in any game script. We've seen him do well in both wins and losses for the Rams. He's been the best WR in fantasy this season and is always a great option on any slate.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

FanDuel Salary: $6,600
Projected Points 12.2

It hasn't been easy for Kyle Pitts in his first season in the NFL. We've seen flashes of the talent that made him the fourth overall pick in the draft, but it hasn't been as consistent as we'd like. This will likely keep his popularity down this week in a great matchup.

Pitts had a rough game last Thursday night against the Patriots, but some of that could be chalked up to Bill Belichick scheming to take him away. There isn't much evidence to suggest that Urban Meyer will do the same this week, or that the Jacksonville Jaguars have the talent to do so. Jacksonville is ranked 29th in fantasy points per target allowed to tight ends this season.

Pitts' usage numbers have remained solid across the board. He's seeing a 19.5% target share on the season. He also has received 30.2% of the team's air yards -- the best number for any tight end this season.

We haven't seen the eruption that we expected since Calvin Ridley went out of the lineup, but the Atlanta Falcons have faced four tough defenses since then. We saw Pitts dominate in good matchups against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

With George Kittle playing well and having a salary just $100 higher than Pitts, the rookie could easily be overlooked. We have Pitts projected for more points, so this is a clear leverage spot you can utilize in tournaments this week.

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