3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 13
We have a lot of pieces on numberFire geared toward helping you figure out which players you should roster in your DFS contests on FanDuel, but an important aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play.
Narrowing down your list of potential plays by avoiding those who are destined to underwhelm can go a long way toward helping you create winning lineups.
Zigging when the masses zag is part of giving yourself an edge in DFS, so you'll sometimes be able to make a case for using a player in this piece in an effort to be contrarian -- especially if said player is really good. Inevitably, some of the players I feature in this article will blow up and pop for a big game, but that comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm going to tell you to avoid playing dudes like Jared Goff. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.
Here are some players I'm avoiding this week.
Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,300
As far as we know as of Friday, Kyler Murray is not a stone-cold lock to play Sunday, but the overall expectation is that he will make his return after a prolonged absence due to an ankle injury.
Murray is always worth a look in DFS. His elite dual-threat ability makes him capable of breaking any slate. But I'm off him this week.
For starters, it seems like there's at least a chance Murray still isn't fully healthy since the Arizona Cardinals have stopped short of guaranteeing Murray will play. If his mobility -- which is a huge part of his game and a chunk of what makes him an elite fantasy asset -- is at all limited, that dings his outlook.
On top of that, Murray's matchup at the Chicago Bears is a tough one. The Bears are allowing the 10th-fewest FanDuel points per game to signal-callers (17.9), and they've conceded just 109 total rushing yards to the position, the 4th-fewest. This game being in Chicago is a factor, too, because for his career, Murray has averaged roughly 34 fewer passing yards per game on the road (232.3) than he does at home.
Plus there are a lot of other really good fantasy quarterbacks in better spots this week, including but not limited to Jalen Hurts ($8,000), Tom Brady ($8,100), Justin Herbert ($8,200) and Matthew Stafford ($7,800) -- all of whom have a lower salary than Murray. Our model ranks Murray as the worst point-per-dollar play among the eight highest-salaried passers.
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
Running back is pretty loaded this week. At the top of the player pool, Jonathan Taylor ($10,500), Austin Ekeler ($9,000) and Joe Mixon ($9,400) are in good spots. The mid-range is juicy, too, with Darrell Henderson ($7,500), Leonard Fournette ($7,700) and James Conner ($7,300) profiling as nice choices. Going even lower in salary, Antonio Gibson ($6,200) is our model's best point-per-dollar play at the position.
I don't see much of a reason to turn to Najee Harris in a tough matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Harris gets elite volume -- there are zero issues there -- but bad line play in front of him has crushed his efficiency. Pittsburgh's O-Line ranks 29th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders, which has led to Harris checking in 49th in yards per touch, according to PlayerProfiler, despite evading the 5th-most tackles.
He will likely struggle to find running lanes Sunday as Baltimore is surrendering the 10th-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (19.3). With so many other backs in enticing matchups, Murray is a stay-away for me.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles
FanDuel Salary: $6,300
The matchup is there this week for DeVonta Smith, as he's taking on the New York Jets, a team that ranks last in both pass defense and overall D, per our metrics. His 22% target share and 34% air yards share are pretty dope, too.
Here's where I get to the bad news -- the Philadelphia Eagles just don't pass the ball much.
Philly is last in overall pass rate (50%), according to Sharp Football, and when they're leading, they throw just 44% of the time. That's not good for Smith, especially with the Eagles a 7.0-point favorite against the Jets.
Smith likely needs to find the end zone and/or hit on a couple of big plays to be a good play Sunday unless the Eagles get into a negative game script. I'll be looking to save some salary at wideout this week, but I much prefer Van Jefferson ($5,800), Elijah Moore ($6,100) and Hunter Renfrow ($6,400) in the value range.