4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 13

When playing daily fantasy football, we should be matchup sensitive when rostering players. One star player can go from a great play to a horrible one based on his opponents and the specific individual matchup might play a huge role in that. Since we can play any player we want on a given slate, it makes sense to pick players in the best matchups. This will raise both their floor and their ceiling, and should lead to us having some winning lineups.

Week 13 has some games with high totals, which should mean some matchups we can take advantage of in our lineups

Chargers Passing Game vs. Raiders Pass Defense

The Los Angeles Chargers have struggled at times this season to get their passing attack clicking. They rank only 19th in passing efficiency, according to numberFire. They did spend some time without their top two wide receivers, which hurt their offense greatly. This week, they shouldn't have many issues.

Justin Herbert ($8,100) hasn't lit things up in fantasy or in real life like many were hoping. He's only the QB10 by fantasy points per game. He is still capable of having games that satisfy DFS players, such as last week -- when he threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. That was his best fantasy game of the season, and he is still waiting for his first 30-point game on FanDuel this year.

What helps Herbert is Keenan Allen ($7,600) being back in the lineup and healthy. He's seen 15 targets in the past two games, catching 10 of them for 143 yards and a touchdown. While Allen and Mike Williams were out, Josh Palmer ($6,600) had his time to shine. The results for him were a bit mixed, but he eventually started to deliver, with two 100-yard games over his past four outings. You can also use Herbert with Gerald Everett ($5,400), as he is one of a few tight ends we might be able to get a bit excited about.

The Chargers will play in a divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders' defense has been a disaster all season long. They are dead last in total defense as well as pass defense by numberFire's metrics. They are also last in adjusted fantasy points per drop back against quarterbacks.

Herbert had 279 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting against the Raiders, and it's possible for him to have an even bigger game this week. This clash has a total of 50.5 points and could see a lot of fireworks from the Chargers through the air.

Travis Etienne vs. the Lions' Rush Defense

Luckily, Travis Etienne ($8,000) is good to go this week health-wise, because we wouldn't want to see him missing a matchup like this. He has been ascending of late, demonstrating the talent that made him a first-round pick in 2021.

Once the Jacksonville Jaguars started committing to Etienne as their lead back, the results started coming. He had a stretch with three straight games of 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, and he had five-straight games with more than 100 total yards. He is starting to get involved in the passing game more and more, with 20 targets in the six games prior to leaving last week's game early.

It's a dream spot for Etienne this week, as the Jags travel north to face the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been shredded on the ground all season. They are at the bottom of numberFire's schedule-adjusted run defense ranking and 28th in adjusted fantasy points per carry to running backs.

This game has the second-highest total of the week, and there won't be any weather concerns indoors. This sets Etienne up nicely to play in a fast-paced game where he could see a lot of opportunities against a bad rush defense.

Nick Chubb vs. the Texans' Rush Defense

This game will get a lot of attention this week, more than your average game between two teams who are out of playoff contention. Most of that attention will go to the return of Deshaun Watson to the NFL. For fantasy purposes, it makes more sense to turn to the running game.

Nick Chubb ($9,600) has been excellent all season. He is fourth in the league in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns. He's fourth in half-PPR points per game on the season. He gets a ton of work in the red zone, with the third-most red zone carries in the league. He's been so good that he's reduced Kareem Hunt's role significantly -- to the point where we don't have much concern that Chubb won't be used enough to justify rostering him.

The Cleveland Browns will be playing the Houston Texans on the road this week. The Texans are allowing 27.6 FanDuel points per game to running backs, the most in the league. They also face rushes at the second-highest rate as teams love to run the ball down the Texans' throats.

With Watson coming back from a two-year absence, the Browns may want to just ease him into things. This would be the perfect chance to feed Chubb, and if that happens, Chubb could really do lots of damage. Chubb has the highest salary on the slate, which may make him less popular than the matchup indicates he should be.

Josh Jacobs vs. the Chargers' Rush Defense

Clearly, some of the league's best running backs are in good spots this week, so we'll have to look at a third one in a pristine matchup.

Josh Jacobs ($9,500) completely broke the slate last week and is having a league-winning type season for season-long fantasy managers.

Jacobs is the overall RB1 and the only back averaging more than 20 half-PPR points per week this season. His massive 45.3-point performance last week was his third game above 30 FanDuel points this season. Jacobs leads the league in rushing yards by over 100, and his 86-yard touchdown last week was the longest run of the season by anyone. He also is getting great volume in the passing game, too, seeing at least four targets in all but one game since Week 3.

The Raiders are favored in this game at home against the Chargers. We love to play backs against the Bolts, because LA has a philosophy that stopping the pass is way more important than stopping the run. That philosophy is correct, but it's also something we can take advantage of in fantasy. The Chargers' D is 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed per carry and 28th in schedule-adjusted rush defense. Against running backs in the passing game, they also struggle, ranking 29th in adjusted fantasy points per target.

Vegas has played some wild games this season, and Jacobs seems to benefit from those. He is listed as questionable with a calf injury, but he was able to gut out the end of last week's game with this injury, so it doesn't seem like it will slow him down. Teams run on the Chargers at the seventh-highest rate, and that should be the Raiders' game plan on Sunday.

A game stack with Herbert and at least one Chargers pass catcher plus Jacobs on the other side is a very interesting way to approach a tournament lineup 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.