5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 13

Studs with sizable salaries are frequently an integral part of winning money in daily fantasy football at FanDuel. However, to fit them under the salary cap, it's imperative to locate underpriced players who over-deliver.

A good place to start when attempting to unearth undervalued players is our projections tool. The tool offers a value option for sorting, showcasing who offers the most bang for your buck. In addition to matchups impacting projections, injuries do as well. On that note, players replacing injured starters are often among the top values. So, staying abreast of injury news and inactives until the start of games is a must with that in mind.

With the tone set for this piece, let's move on. The following quintet of players is among my favorite cap-friendly options in Week 13.

Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders ($7,500)

Derek Carr is piling up passing yardage despite ups and downs along the way. According to Pro Football Reference, he has passed for the most yards per game (310.4).

Across Week 1 through Week 7, Carr was sixth in adjusted yards per pass attempt (8.59) among quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts, per to Stat Head.

However, after coming out of the gate hot, Carr struggled without field-stretcher Henry Ruggs after the Las Vegas Raiders' Week 8 bye. In Week 9 through Week 11, Carr plummeted to 20th in adjusted yards per pass attempt (6.22) among quarterbacks with at least 30 pass attempts.

Thankfully, he bounced back to light the skies up in Week 12. Carr carved the Dallas Cowboys up like a turkey on Thanksgiving, erupting for 373 passing yards and 10.08 adjusted yards per pass attempt. Is there something tangible that changed to fuel his outburst? I think so!

Veteran burner DeSean Jackson's playing time, routes, and usage ballooned after being eased into the offense. D-Jax's presence, like Ruggs' presence before him, has unlocked Carr's best play.

This week, he has an excellent matchup for remaining hot. According to our power rankings, the Washington Football Team is the second-worst pass defense. As a result, Carr has the fourth-highest value score -- a measure of points per one-thousand dollars of salary -- among quarterbacks this week in our projections.

Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team ($6,200)

Unfortunately, Antonio Gibson has a challenging matchup this week, as the Raiders boast the fourth-best run defense in our power rankings. Nevertheless, Washington's riding a three-game winning streak, feeding Gibson at every chance they get, even in challenging matchups against the stout run defenses of the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, specifically.

Coming out of Washington's Week 9 bye, Gibson has rushed the ball 72 times for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns. Further, he's reeled in all 9 of his targets for 49 receiving yards. Further, according to Pro Football Focus, from Week 10 through Week 12, Gibson has run 40 routes. Comparatively, pass-catching back J.D. McKissic has run 47 routes.

In addition, McKissic left Monday's game early after a scary-looking injury that's reportedly not serious. Still, McKissic's status warrants monitoring, as his absence would pave the way for extra receiving opportunities for Gibson. Regardless, the modest gap in routes between the two backs is a favorable development for Gibson's outlook.

Finally, the second-year back is popping in our projections. We project him as RB11 on FanDuel's main slate. However, Gibson has the highest value score among running backs. Thus, he's a building block in all game types for me this week.

Van Jefferson Jr., WR, Los Angeles Rams ($5,800)

I've already shared my love for Van Jefferson this week in season-long formats. Unsurprisingly, my infatuation extends to FanDuel contests, as well.

The second-year wideout has risen to second fiddle in the passing attack behind Cooper Kupp in the wake of Robert Woods' season-ending injury. In two games without Woods, Jefferson has been fourth on the Los Angeles Rams in receptions (6), second in targets (15), second in receiving yards (147), tied for first for receiving touchdowns (1), and first in routes (84). Further, Jefferson has been a downfield weapon in the previous two games, netting an average depth of target of 16.3 yards downfield, per Pro Football Focus.

Thankfully, the Jacksonville Jaguars are ill-equipped to slow down explosive passes, as evidenced by allowing the fifth-highest explosive average pass rate (11 percent), according to Sharp Football Stats. Also, Andrew Erickson of Pro Football Focus pointed out an eye-catching usage change in Jefferson's Week 12 eruption for 3 receptions, 93 yards, and a touchdown.

According to our heat map, the Rams have the second-highest implied total (30.50) on FanDuel's main slate. Therefore, they should be a great source for fantasy points, making Jefferson a tantalizing value pick in a plus matchup against a Jaguars pass defense that's fifth-worst in our power rankings.

Quez Watkins, WR, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,300)

Quez Watkins is another carryover from this week's 7 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 13 column.

Unfortunately, Watkins is only a GPP boom-or-bust pick in the Philadelphia Eagles' extremely run-heavy offense. According to Sharp Football Stats, when the offensive scoring margin ranges from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points, Philadelphia passes at the second-lowest rate (51 percent) this year.

Still, Watkins' usage, role in the offense, and matchup all lend themselves to delivering on limited volume. The second-year speedster has been fourth on the Eagles in targets (42), third in receptions (28), third in routes (307), third in receiving yards (431), and tied for second in touchdown receptions (two). Moreover, he's a vertical threat, sporting an average depth of target of 13.6 yards downfield.

Thankfully, he has a dreamy matchup this week. The New York Jets have our worst-ranked pass defense in the power rankings. In addition, Gang Green yields the highest average explosive pass rate (12 percent) this season.

Obviously, Watkins' vertical usage in a run-heavy offense makes him a risk to produce a dud for FanDuel rosters. However, he's also a threat for a home-run play rewarding gamers who take the risk at his salary-cap-friendly salary. So, I'll mix him into my GPP-roster builds.

Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders ($5,000)

Darren Waller is week to week with a knee injury. Thus, I'm leaning toward Waller missing this week's game against the Football Team, leaving Foster Moreau to stand in as the starter. In Week 7, when Waller was out, Moreau played 95.65 percent of the Raiders' offensive snaps. In addition, he was tied for second on the team with 30 routes.

Moreau wasn't just running wind sprints, either. The athletically-gifted tight end was second in targets (6) and receptions (6), and first in receiving yards (60), hauling in a touchdown to boot. Moreau's athleticism and role in Las Vegas' offense make him an excellent punt in a matchup against the second-worst pass defense in our power rankings. As a result, I'm giddy about punting at tight end with Moreau in all game types at FanDuel this week.

Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. 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.