FanDuel Picks: Week 12 Edition
Welcome to the weekly “one stop shop” for all things DFS. I tout my favorite plays of the week after breaking down all of the games, looking at matchups, and considering all relevant weekly and season-long injuries/suspensions. As a guide, you can think of the “Top Plays” sections as cash game recommendations and the “Under The Radar” sections as GPP tournament recommendations. Confused on the difference? Check out a recent DFS Strategy article I wrote. However, I refuse to specifically title the sections in that way because I believe it boxes in the picks. Many players can and do fall under both categories in any given week. I delve more into that in the article linked above as well. When reading, keep that in mind. This a rare week where I see no potential bonanzas so let’s get straight to it.
Top QB Plays Of The Week
Russell Wilson vs TB, $7,500
The days of banged up Russell Wilson underachieving are long gone. He’s healthy now and he’s performing like the elite player we know he is. He even caught a TD pass last week. He hasn’t gone under 24.78 FanDuel points over the past three weeks and now gets a Buccaneers defense giving up the 8th most passing yards per game and the 7th most pass TDs (20).
Drew Brees vs LA, $8,600
The Rams have been pretty solid against the pass this year. However, this is Drew Brees at home. Brees leads the league in passing yards per game and pass TDs. With Jared Goff starting on the other side and likely continuing to struggle in just his second start, Brees should have ample opportunities to add to those totals on Sunday.
Derek Carr vs CAR, $7,900
Derek Carr has had a phenomenal 2016 campaign. He’s 8th in passing yards per game and tied for 6th in pass TDs. This week, he’s at home against a Panthers defense giving up the 7th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 8th most pass TDs (19) given up. Plus, the Panthers will likely be without their star linebacker Luke Kuechly who is currently in concussion protocol.
Top RB Plays Of The Week
David Johnson vs ATL, $9,500
David Johnson leads all RBs in FanDuel points per game in this slate (Every RB playing on Sunday) and it’s not close. There is a 3.4 point differential between him and second place. He has no competition for touches in his backfield, is a dual-threat back that gets it done in both the rushing and passing games, and is one of the most talented RBs we have in this league. He’s the clear cut #1 RB option this week with both Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott both having played on Thanksgiving.
Jay Ajayi vs SF, $8,400
Over his last five games, volume has not been an issue for Jay Ajayi. 19 is the least amount of touches he has seen in any game over that stretch. Now, he’s at home against a 49ers defense giving up the most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 3rd most rush TDs (13) given up. Opportunity + Situation is what fantasy football and DFS is all about and Ajayi checks off both boxes this week. It helps that he’s a very talented running back as well.
Thomas Rawls vs TB, $7,000
It’s amazing how quickly things can change in fantasy football. It’s one of my favorite reasons for playing DFS. Last week, I never even considered Thomas Rawls as he was coming back from a long absence due to injury and was in a timeshare with C.J. Prosise. Now, with Prosise out of the picture due to an injury of his own, Rawls has the Seahawks backfield all to himself in November for the second year in a row. Rawls totaled 88 yards in his return last week and looked good doing it. This week, he gets a Buccaneers defense giving up the 10th most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 11th most rush TDs (9) given up.
Demarco Murray vs CHI, $8,300
Demarco Murray continues to be the man in Tennessee’s backfield each and every week. He’s second in the league in rushing yards per game and tied for 5th in rush TDs. This week, he should benefit from playing against a depleted Chicago Bears team because of injuries and suspensions. Normal Bears offensive starters Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Miller, and Kyle Long all won’t play. More importantly, the Bears leading tackler, Jerrell Freeman, will also miss this game. The Titans should dominate time of possession in this one and game flow likely will be on Murray’s side as well. That should lead to plenty of opportunities and Murray has shown us all season he is capable of taking advantage.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar RB Play
Rashad Jennings vs CLE, $6,600
Rashad Jennings saw 26 touches last week which was by far his highest touch total of the season. It’s always a bit dicey playing a Giants RB in DFS. Still, if Jennings sees over 20 touches again this week, he could be a game changer for you. Jennings faces a Browns defense giving up the 2nd most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 3rd most rush TDs (13) given up.
Top WR Plays Of The Week
Amari Cooper vs CAR, $7,800
Amari Cooper has seen the 13th most targets in the league so far this season and is 5th in receiving yards per game. He has been an absolute stud and this week will be at home against a Panthers defense giving up the 7th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 8th most pass TDs (19) given up. The only negative you can find about Cooper is that he’s only scored 3 TDs on the season. Yet, I can easily see him getting behind the Panthers secondary and finding the end zone in this one.
Odell Beckham Jr. vs $9,000
Odell Beckham will see plenty of Joe Haden in this contest. Yet, we know Beckham is matchup proof. Haden doesn’t scare me away from playing Beckham and the matchup overall is a good one. Beckham gets a Browns defense giving up the 11th most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs (25).
Doug Baldwin vs TB, $6,800
Doug Baldwin is 8th in FanDuel points per game at the WR position in this slate yet he is priced as the 16th most expensive WR. He has produced despite Russell Wilson really only being healthy for the past three games. This week, he gets a Buccaneers defense giving up the 8th most passing yards per game and the 7th most pass TDs (20).
Larry Fitzgerald vs ATL, $7,200
Larry Fitzgerald is 3rd in the league in targets and 2nd in catches this season. He is averaging a whopping 10.6 targets per game. Opportunity is key in DFS and Fitzgerald keeps seeing a healthy amount week in and week out while John Brown, Michael Floyd, and J.J. Nelson all three continue to have their ups and downs. This week, Fitzgerald gets a Falcons defense giving up the most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 2nd most pass TDs (23) given up.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Plays
Devante Parker vs SF, $6,300
Devante Parker has seen 18 targets over his past two games and either gone over 100 yards or scored a TD in both. We know Parker has the ability to get it done and he could capitalize for a third week in a row against a 49ers defense that is tied for the 2nd most pass TDs (23) given up.
Rishard Matthews vs CHI, $6,200
Rishard Matthews has either gone over 100 yards or caught a TD in six of his last seven games. That’s some pretty crazy consistency for a WR that still doesn’t get talked about very often. Just like Demarco Murray, Matthews should also benefit from playing against the depleted Chicago Bears. Normal Bears starters Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Miller, Kyle Long, and Jerrell Freeman all won’t play.
Top TE Plays Of The Week
Jimmy Graham vs TB, $6,900
Jimmy Graham is tied for the 2nd most TD catches at the TE position and has a good chance to add to that total this week against a Buccaneers defense giving up the 8th most passing yards per game and the 7th most pass TDs (20).
Greg Olsen vs OAK, $7,000
Greg Olsen is 2nd in catches and yards per game at the TE position this season. He’s had a few down games in a row. Yet, a matchup against a Raiders defense giving up the 5th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 12th most pass TDs (18) given up might just be the recipe for a get right game this Sunday.
C.J. Fiedorowicz vs SD, $5,200
C.J. Fiedorowicz has seen at least 7 targets in five of his last six games and this week he gets a Chargers defense giving up the 6th most passing yards per game.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar TE Play
Will Tye vs CLE, $4,600
Will Tye has seen 20 targets over his past three games which is a solid amount of opportunities for a near minimum priced TE. Cleveland has struggled to cover the middle of the field this season and they are giving up the 11th most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs (25).
Top Kicker Plays Of The Week
Steven Hauschka vs TB, $4,700
Steven Hauschka is tied for the 6th most made field goals in the league. I believe Russell Wilson will find plenty of success meaning Hauschka should see plenty of opportunities in this one.
Justin Tucker vs CIN, $5,100
Justin Tucker is tied for the 2nd most made field goals in the league and hasn’t missed a kick all season. With A.J. Green injured, the Bengals offense should struggle which would help Tucker see more opportunities in this one.
Top Defense Plays Of The Week
Tennessee Titans vs CHI, $4,500
The Titans are tied for the 3rd most sacks in the league and get to face a depleted Bears offense this week that will be starting Matt Barkley.
Baltimore Ravens vs CIN, $4,500
The Ravens are tied for the 3rd most FanDuel points per game of any defense this season and now get a home game against a Bengals team that will be without their best offensive weapon A.J. Green.
Buffalo Bills vs JAC, $4,800
The Bills are averaging the 5th most FanDuel points per game of any defense this season and now get a home game against turnover-prone Blake Bortles. Bortles is tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the most interceptions thrown this season.