FanDuel Picks: Week 13 Edition

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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. Now let’s get to it, starting with my top Bonanza candidates.

Domination Bonanza Candidates: New England Patriots blowing out the Los Angeles Rams

Back and Forth Bonanza Candidates: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons, and New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers

Top QB Plays Of The Week

Drew Brees vs DET, $9,300
Drew Brees leads the league in passing yards per game and TD passes. He’s been phenomenal all year, especially at home. Brees has thrown at least 3 TD passes in five out of six games at home this season. He gets the Lions at home this week who are tied for the 4th most pass TDs allowed in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza.

Matt Ryan vs KC, $8,600
Just like his NFC South rival Drew Brees, Matt Ryan has also played great football all season. Ryan is 3rd in passing yards per game and 3rd in TD passes as well. With Brees coming off of a 5 TD game, Ryan is sure to be lower owned in tournaments, making him a very intriguing option. He’s at home this week against a Chiefs team that very rarely plays in a dome. Plus, despite their reputation as a very good defense, the Chiefs struggle to defend the pass. They are giving up the 13th most passing yards per game and are tied for the 9th most pass TDs allowed.

Russell Wilson vs CAR, $7,700
Many DFS players were on Russell Wilson last week, myself included, trying to ride the hot hand after he had had three good games in a row. That clearly didn’t work out. However, because of his bad game last week he is sure to be lower owned in tournaments. Shoutout to the recency effect. Why not go right back to the well? We know Wilson is finally healthy, he’s at home, and he gets a Panthers defense giving up the 4th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs allowed.

Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar QB Play

Matt Barkley vs SF, $6,000
In just his first start of the year, Matt Barkley threw for 316 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. Not bad. Not bad at all. There is no doubt Barkley’s stat line was aided by positive game flow as the Bears got down early forcing Barkley to throw 54 passes. Still, he’s a cheap option and he’s at home this week against a 49ers defense that has allowed the 2nd most pass TDs.

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Top RB Plays Of The Week

David Johnson vs WAS, $9,200
David Johnson is the best RB in football. He’s at home this week against a Redskins defense giving up the 8th most rushing yards per game and the most rush TDs. I think you get the picture.

Le’Veon Bell vs NYG, $9,300
The Giants at Steelers game is definitely going to be a fun one. If I’m paying up for a Steelers player, it’s Le’Veon Bell. Bell has no volume concerns as he has seen at least 27 touches in each of the past two games and I have no doubt the Steelers will lean on him heavily again in this one. The Giants have been solid against the run this year but against Bell, that doesn’t really matter to me. Bell has seen at least 5 targets in all eight games this season and is benefiting from the Steelers really having no consistent passing threats outside of himself and Antonio Brown right now.

Theo Riddick vs NO, $6,500
Detroit at New Orleans in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza. This game just screams Theo Riddick to me. Riddick has seen at least 5 targets in every game but one this season. In fact, he has seen double-digit targets in two of his last four games. I can absolutely see that happening again in this one. The rushing yards Riddick puts up will just be an added bonus.

Jordan Howard vs SF, $7,400
I wanted nothing to do with Jordan Howard last week in daily as I felt like the entire Bears offense was going to be a disaster with Matt Barkley behind center. That turned out to not be the case. Barkley played pretty well, as did Howard. Howard rushed for 84 yards, added 43 receiving yards, and handled 88% of the Bears RB touches. Now, Howard gets to play at home against a 49ers defense giving up the most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the 3rd most rush TDs allowed.

Jeremy Hill vs PHI, $5,800
With Giovani Bernard and A.J. Green both out of the lineup last week, Jeremy Hill saw the most targets and caught the most passes in any one game this season. He caught six passes for 61 yards. That is huge because we already know what Hill is capable of in the running game. Until we see otherwise, Hill is now a dual threat RB that is still priced as the two down plodder he used to be. Philadelphia has been solid against the run this year but still, the Bengals are going to be forced to lean on Hill due to the circumstances.

Top WR Plays Of The Week

Julio Jones vs KC, $8,300
Julio Jones has surprisingly been somewhat inconsistent this season. That may cause you to want to shy away from him this week. I’m thinking the exact opposite. Take advantage of his down game last week by rostering him with a lower ownership percentage. Week 12 marked Jones’ fourth game of the season with single digit FanDuel points. Looking at the first three instances, Jones is averaging 28.8 FanDuel points in his very next game. Despite the Chiefs reputation as a very good defense, this is actually a phenomenal spot for Jones. The Chiefs are giving up the 13th most passing yard per game and are tied for the 9th most pass TDs allowed.

Mike Evans vs SD, $8,500
Mike Evans remarkably has only seen single-digit targets in two games this season. He is really all the Buccaneers have in the passing game and he has taken advantage all season long. This week, he gets a Chargers defense giving up the 7th most passing yards per game.

Brandin Cooks vs DET, $6,800
Brandin Cooks didn’t see a single target last week so how can I write him up as one of the best WR plays of the week? There is variance in fantasy football, especially at the WR position. That’s exactly what you want to try to take advantage of in DFS. Cooks is sure to be low owned this week because of his Week 12 stinker. However, we know Cooks possesses GPP winning upside every time he takes the field. In a potential Back and Forth Bonanza, Cooks could go nuclear at home against a Lions defense that is tied for the 4th most pass TDs allowed. Oh ya, he’s also tied to Drew Brees who has thrown at least 3 TD passes in five out of six games at home this season. Block last week out of your memory and get Cooks in your lineup.

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Julian Edelman vs LA, $6,600
Julian Edelman has seen 28 targets over the past two weeks with Rob Gronkowski mostly out of the lineup. Unfortunately, we know Gronk will not be playing this week either. Tom Brady should have no problem at home this week against a Rams defense that just got carved up by Drew Brees a week ago. Edelman is at home, catches passes from Brady, and should continue to see high volume. Sign me up.

Doug Baldwin vs CAR, $6,900
Doug Baldwin leads the Seahawks in targets, is a very good player, catches passes from Russell Wilson, gets to play at home, and he gets a Panthers defense giving up the 4th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs allowed.

Golden Tate vs NO, $5,900
Every player’s value is boosted in this potential Back and Forth Bonanza between Detroit and New Orleans, Golden Tate’s included. Admittedly, predicting target distribution in Detroit on a week to week basis has been a pretty hard thing to do. However, Tate leads the Lions in targets this season and I think he is the one that has a very good game because his style of play fits seamlessly with Matthew Stafford’s short area passing game. The matchup of course is a favorable one as the Saints are giving up the 6th most passing yards per game.

Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Play

Marquess Wilson vs SF, $5,400
In just his second game of the season, Marquess Wilson led the Bears in targets with 11 and caught 8 passes for 125 yards and a TD. Now, he is at home and gets a 49ers defense that has allowed the 2nd most pass TDs.

Top TE Plays Of The Week

Jimmy Graham vs CAR, $6,400
With Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed both likely out due to injuries, Jimmy Graham is the top dog at the TE position this week. Graham will benefit from Luke Kuechly’s likely absence from the lineup again this week due to his concussion. That should open up things in the middle of the field for Graham who is at home and facing a Panthers defense giving up the 4th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 7th most pass TDs allowed.

Travis Kelce vs ATL, $6,300
Despite Jeremy Maclin returning to practice this week, there are reports he is still a game away from returning. That is an injury to monitor as the Chiefs have relied heavily on Travis Kelce during Maclin’s absence. Kelce has average 9.25 targets over his past four games and now gets a Falcons defense giving up the most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 3rd most pass TDs allowed.

Eric Ebron vs NO, $5,700
Just like Brandin Cooks, Eric Ebron also makes for a phenomenal GPP play this week after failing to catch a pass on Thanksgiving day. That game was an outlier. Ebron had seen at least 5 targets and caught at least 3 passes in every game he had played in before last week. Now, he gets to play in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza game against a Saints defense giving up the 6th most passing yards per game.

Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar TE Plays

Vance McDonald vs CHI, $4,900
Vance McDonald has seen at least 6 targets in each of his past five games and he led the 49ers in target share last week. Now, he gets a banged up Bears defense in Week 13.

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Ladarius Green vs NYG, $4,500

Ladarius Green is still playing very limited snaps. However, that snap count is slowly rising and as Evan Silva points out, when he’s on the field he’s running routes. Green could benefit this week from the Steelers lack of weapons behind Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell against a Giants defense giving up the 9th most passing yards per game. They struggle to cover the TE position over the middle of the field as well.

Top Kicker Plays Of The Week

Will Lutz vs DET, $4,800
There will be a lot of points scored in this game which will benefit Will Lutz who has scored at least 7 FanDuel points in four of his past five games.

Matt Bryant vs KC, $5,100
Matt Bryant has made the 5th most field goals in the league this season and should see plenty of opportunities in this game with Matt Ryan taking advantage of the Chiefs secondary.

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Matt Prater vs NO, $4,800
Matt Prater has scored under 7 FanDuel points just once all season long. He should have another solid game this week in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza.

Top Defense Plays Of The Week

Baltimore Ravens vs MIA, $4,600
It sounds like the Ravens best CB Jimmy Smith will return last week. The news isn’t as favorable for the Dolphins as it appears DeVante Parker is going to miss this game. These developments provide a boost to the Ravens value who are at home and are already averaging the 3rd most FanDuel points per game of any defense this season.

New England Patriots vs LA, $4,600
The Patriots defense has not been a very solid unit for fantasy this season. However, Bill Belichick has historically eaten rookie QBs alive and the Patriots will be at home in this one against Jared Goff in just his 3rd start of his career.

Denver Broncos vs JAC, $5,000
The Broncos are averaging the 2nd most FanDuel points per game of any defense this season and now get to face off against Blake Bortles who is tied for the most INTs thrown this season. The Jaguars have already ruled out Chris Ivory and Allen Hurns. Plus, it doesn’t look like Julius Thomas is going to play either.

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