Week 13 NFL DFS Strategy & Picks – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

Week 13 is here and the madness of Covid19 absences seems to be behind us, at least for this week. NICE! However just because a player isn’t out with Covid doesn’t mean we don’t have injuries or other circumstances to take advantage of and find some DFS Value. Good news – we do! Additionally we have some bad defenses playing some questionable offenses, in several key matchups. What that means is overall ownership on players will be a bit more spread around and there is a higher chance of variance winning the day. That is good news for all of us week in and week out DFS Players. There will be more options to pivot away from Chalk Players and more ways to build a contrarian lineup even with Chalk players rostered. So this should be a fun one.

There is a storm raging here in the Northeast and outside of Shoveling, my focus is right here on DFS and this article. So I hope you can sit back with your beverage of choice and get something out of it that will help you build a better lineup or two and win some cash tomorrow! I know I hope to!

Before I begin I want to humbly thank you if you checked out last week’s DFS article. Last week’s article on the main DFS Slate had the most views in the two years I have been writing it and so Thank You! By the way if you found success from anything you saw here – please tweet me @delrayboston. I love hearing someone winning any money from advice that they found here. I am humbly proud to see that Real Deal Fantasy DFS is beginning to resonate with all of you and I am contemplating a video series for the last 3 weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs. If that is something you’d check out and watch, please let me know. I’d love to be able to interact with you guys and get your real time DFS questions too.

OK – so I did get some feedback on last week’s article which was a collection of my “Darts”… people liked it. I have been testing a few different takes on this article this season and I heard from more of you that the structure of my free flowing thoughts was solid. So that is what I will do again today. Now to reference if you are new here – when I say “My Darts” this isn’t to say my dart throws as picks. There will be dart throws referenced but my ‘Darts’ are my thoughts on the slate, games to key in on, strategies I am employing and of course picks. Enough of the jibber jabber – let’s go!

DARTS – Week 13

The Running Back Room:

What if I were to tell you that on a slate where Dalvin Cook is playing Jacksonville, Derek Henry is playing Cleveland and Nick Chubb is playing Tennessee the three projected highest owned Running Backs are Austin Ekeler, Devontae Booker, David Montgomery and James Robinson? How fast would you lock in Cook, Henry and Chubb? Right. I thought so. In essence these three studs are ‘pivots’ off of Booker and Montgomery. When has that ever happened? Oh Never. Some factors are at play here. First, Ek is coming of his highest target share in his career in Week 12 and the narrative that is at play is that the Patriots will make things tough on Justin Herbert and his receivers. Ekeler is an awesome player no doubt but for only 600 more on DK you could get to Nick Chubb at projected 5% ownership and in his last 3 games he has had 126 yards or more and two touchdowns and I just kinda like Chubbs matchup more than I do Ekelers.

So the question becomes really – are you paying up at Running Back or are you saving money. David Montgomery is only $5,500 on DK and is playing the leagues worst run defense. With 80% of Offensive snaps expected, he should smash – but IT’S STILL DAVID MONTGOMERY. He just had his first 100+ yard game of the season with his previous high being 89 yards. If his ownership stays where it is or goes higher, he is an easy fade for me. Davontae Booker is even cheaper ($1,500 less) and if Josh Jacobs can’t go (Editors Note as of early Sunday Josh Jacobs is inactive) he should absolutely smash against the Jets…but it’s the Raiders here. This should be a ‘get right spot’ after the implosion last week against Atlanta – but will it be? Look I am not saying Austin Ekeler, David Montgomery or Davontae Booker aren’t great plays on Sunday – nor would I be shocked if any of the 3 do indeed smash. For me though, I’m paying up. I am paying up for Dalvin Cook (who hasn’t seen less than 20 touches in any game he has been healthy for) at 15% less ownership. I am paying up for Derek Henry who is like Cook, THE GUY, in his offense at nearly 20% less ownership. I am paying up for Nick Chubb at a eye opening 32% less ownership. I also do like James Robinson a lot too, so I’ll eat that Chalk even at $7,300 on DK and $7,800 on FD (great value on FD by the way).

(Editors Note UPDATED. Josh Jacobs is inactive)

Paying up at Running Back is always a tough measure and by no means am I saying every lineup I build will have Chubb, Cooks and Henry or James Robinson in them – it would be cost prohibitive first and foremost and second I never like stacking two stud running backs from the same game. The chances of both going off at the same time just aren’t there. One way to be able to pay up for at least one of these guys is to pair them with a cheap/cheaper RB2 and so I do believe we will see plenty of lineups with Cook or Henry paired with Montgomery or Booker. So if you want to go that route and don’t want to get caught in the chalk – I remind you what I said earlier ownership on this slate is a bit more spread around, outside of the top 4 I mentioned and you can find some great plays, moderately priced with surprisingly low ownership that can help you pivot from the chalk Montgomery or Booker.

Kareem Hunt: Normally I’d say a great pivot off Chubb but at 4% ownership for Chubb, the pivot is the salary savings. Only $5,900 on DK and $6,300 on FD and projected at 5% ownership. There is a real possibility that the Browns are playing catch-up in this game and if so Hunt should see an uptick in snaps and targets and we have seen how dynamic he can be in the redzone. In lineups that don’t contain Nick Chubb, I’ll have some shares of Hunt. Interesting stack with Baker as well …

Miles Sanders: Sure he put up a dud last week but the Green Bay Run Defense has been trash and his offensive line seems to be getting healthier. Coupled with the fact that he is seeing the lion share of snaps in the backfield, why not? He isn’t ‘Cheap Cheap’ at $6,700 on DK and $7,200 on FD but at projected 7% ownership – take a shot here, please! Or how about Flexing Boston Scott if you want to go Cheap Cheap and .10% ownership and could be an interesting pivot from Booker at close to the same price. Scott clearly has a role in this offense and against the Packers, the Eagles will be trying to use every offensive weapon they can!

Chris Carson: Carson gets the Giants who no longer have Daniel Jones under center. How fast will that defense get gassed after a continual string of 4 and outs by the offense. You need to think about things like that – $6,300 on DK and $8,000 on FD, he isn’t cheap but at 10% or less ownership, I’ll stake a claim on Carson. If you believe Carlos Hyde will be involved in a big way too – take a shot, he’s going to be 1% owned and a cheaper than Carson. Think differently here people!

Wayne Gallman: On the other side of that game, if the Giants have trouble passing the ball with Clayton Thorson or Alex Tanney – they have to try and win the game some how and as of right now Davante Freeman is still on IR. Gallman has had a Touchdown or better in 5 of his last 6 games and could be an easy pivot from Montgomery at $5,600 on DK and $6,100 on FD.

I could go on – just a few names that should be on your radar at RB2 that no one seems to want to play on Sunday at least from the projected ownership.

Jonathan Taylor against the Texans. Or if you think the Colts will need to throw Nyheim Hines. Neither guy over 6% projected ownership and both should be in a similar smash matchup as Montgomery, from a defense perspective.

Damien Harris against the Chargers – or James White in a likely very competitive game on a team that favors the running game and running backs. No one is playing a Patriots Running back but even with Sony Michel active it was the Harris and White show only in week 12 and James White had two touchdowns.

Myles Gaskin – just activated off the Covid List and walking into a backfield that he will see James Robinson level snap share – and going against the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnatti Bengals. See the Wayne Gallman entry above on Defenses with already troubled offenses now starting troubled backup QBs if you need a reference. At least right now Gaskin is hovering in the 10% range and is moderately priced. I do think that ownership will rise with the news he is active, but I doubt it will eclipse Ekeler, Montgomery’s or Booker’s (save news that Josh Jacobs will play).

There are two other Running Backs with Stunningly Low Ownership and also eyeopening prices that I do need to mention. Neither are “cheap” and one of them will lead me into my next topics – stacks – but I think it’s only fitting I mention them here as you may be able to catch the competition looking if you choose to roster them.

The first running back I’m talking about is Alvin Kamara, who’s price has drifted all the way down to $7,000 on DK and $7,500 on FD and his projected ownership hovers at just a hair over 5%. First of all, I get it. We have seen Kamara’s usage, especially in the passing game, take a nose dive with Taysom Hill under center. However, I would challenge you to find at least one roster with Kamara on it. First week with Taysom Hill – the Saints were figuring it out. Second week with Taysom Hill the Saints played a team without a Quarterback and ran roughshod. Now they get a rivalry game with the Falcons and if by week 3 Taysom Hill hasn’t figured out how to Check Down to the team’s superstar running back by now – what the heck are they doing in practice? I am not saying we should see Kamara suddenly jump from his current target share to say Brees level target share – but we are talking about one of the most dynamic and explosive running backs in all of the NFL here. He doesn’t need 15 targets to get it done. Maybe it is just me but I think Alvin Kamara could catch a lot of DFSers sleeping on Sunday and I for one will not be one of those snoozers. Also keep in mind, the Saints PAID Kamara before this season starts. Return on investment is a very motivating factor. $7k on DK and 5% ownership on Alvin Kamara. C’mon now.

And if you want to favor the hot hand – Latavius Murray is even cheaper and even less owned, if that is even possible. Murray had a GAME against the Broncos – but part of that I believe had to do with the Saints realizing they could rest Kamara with the game in hand. Even though the Saints have largely owned the Falcons recently, Julio Jones may be back and I expect the Falcons to put up more of a fight. They have a starting QB playing after all.

The second guy I was talking about is Aaron Jones. This leads me to what I believe the top Stack of the day will be – Aaron Rogers and Davante Adams who get to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Rogers and Adams should eat the Eagles and Darius Slay alive on Sunday. Adams is projecting to be the second highest owned Wide Receiver and Rogers the 3rd highest owned Quarterback and for what it’s worth, I am projecting both to have the highest projected points at their positions. So, I love this stack and I expect the stack to be mega chalk. But Aaron Jones’ ownership ranks him below that of Derek Henry who we already mentioned as being a higher priced, lower owned pivot to the Chalk plays of Ekeler, Montgomery and Booker. Jones is hovering around 11% and I think makes an excellent pivot off of the Rogers-Adams Stack as well as the cheap guys up top. Both sites have priced Aaron Jones up a bit – DK to $7,900 and FD to $8,400 and any time that happens, it always makes me think that the DFS sites know something that I don’t. He makes a contrarian 3rd man in the Rogers Adams stack, since his involvement in the passing game doesn’t negatively correlate him from Rogers. Yes Jamaal Williams will be involved but something about this game makes me think, with virtually no one talking about him this could be an Aaron Jones week. I should mention that while I was writing this Deandre Swift was ruled out again, which means the cheap Adrian Peterson and even cheaper Kerryon Johnson’s ownership is likely going to rise. That is fine, if that pushes Aaron Jones’ ownership down below 10% – I am all in.

And sure if you want to go cheaper – Jamaal Williams will be a part of this game as well and he also carries touchdown upside. I am just saying – I love the Green Bay Rogers – Adams stack, but there are other ways to attack that offense and that game and Aaron Jones is at the top of my list.

Talking Stacks and Wide Receivers and more!

With the Will Fuller news it should come at no surprise that Brandin Cooks is projecting to be the highest owned Wide Receiver on the slate and it isn’t even close. What may be a surprise is that his quarterback Deshaun Watson is projecting to be the highest owned Quarterback on the slate, too. For me, Watson has too much of a hill to climb. He loses his number one wide receiver and gets to play one of the top defenses against Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers in the league, all in the same week? Yikes. Now back to Cooks, I believe Watson’s high quarterback ownership is coming from a Watson – Cooks stack. But I’ll be honest, the stack I am more interested in is Phillip Rivers – Brandin Cooks – Colts Pass Catcher. Nobody ever plays Phillip Rivers and it should come as no surprise he projects for less than 4% ownership. Look, if people are on Watson slinging the ball and what not, well there needs to be a reason for that to happen – that reason being Phillip Rivers is putting up points on the other side of the ball. In 8 of 11 games this season Rivers has attempted 30 or more passes. Additionally multiple Touchdowns in 2 of his last 3 games. Rivers gets to ply his trade against the Texans defense 28th against Quarterbacks and giving up nearly 270 yards per game through the air. Plus a Rivers stack is Cheap because he is Cheap and his pass catchers are cheap. For example, if you start a lineup on DK with a stack with Rivers ($5,900) Michael Pittman ($4,900) and Brandin Cooks for example ($5,600) your average player cost remaining is $5,600 and that will only go up once you plug in a defense. So while I am not crazy about the Watson – Cooks stack, I will have a few Rivers – Cooks stacks including Michael Pittman JR or Tight End Trey Burton or even TY Hilton and Nyheim Hines. This is a contrarian way of using the Chalk Brandin Cooks. No one is playing these guys and this could be a sneaky game to stack …

Additionally I’d also like to mention my favorite pivot off of Brandin Cooks is KeKe Coutee. It’s crazy not more people are flocking to Coutee here as he is dirt cheap and should see a significant uptick in snaps and potentially targets. You need to remember that it isn’t just Fuller who is not on the field. Randall Cobb is on IR and the Texans released Kenny Stills. Coutee also has a touchdown in back to back games. I also think you can take a look at Tight Ends Jordan Akins or Darren Fells as pivots from Cooks. We are only 2 weeks removed from Akins putting up a 5 for 83 line against New England who are typically very tough on Tight Ends. Fells is also a Red Zone target for Watson with his 6’5″ frame.

Another Stack I am looking at is Kirk CousinsAdam Theilen or Justin Jefferson. Dalvin Cook had been carrying a Q tag all week and it was finally removed today as he practiced fully on Friday. So while he is projecting right now at 20% ownership, I think on Sunday as word fully trickles out that he is a full go – his ownership will rise significantly, potentially to the top of the list. So I really like using the Vikings passing game as pivots off of Cook. Make no mistake Cook is in a prime spot to smash. The Jaguars defense can’t stop the breeze and this could be another Dalvin Cook highlight reel waiting to happen. However if that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason and Cousins and his receivers play a bigger role – the passing stack could be the optimal play and I want to have a few pieces of it. The only worry here is that if the Jaguars can keep pace enough to make this a competitive game where Cousins needs to throw the ball – risky, yes. But in the event the Vikings do take a commanding lead, I would not be surprised to see Alexander Mattison have a bigger role allowing Cook to rest up – the Vikings are eyeing a wild card after all and they want Dalvin Cook to be as healthy as possible.

I will be rolling out Kurt Cousins pass catchers stacks mainly in lineups without Dalvin Cook, mainly running it back with James Robinson. But I also will have at least one Vikings Onslaught stack where I include Cousins, Cook a Pass Catcher and the Vikings Defense. I think a domination of the Jags is possible.

In a very similar way I have a lot of interest in Ryan Tannehill Stacks with AJ Brown or Corey Davis and Adam Humphries who will be back on the field. Jonuu Smith will be out and while you can also use TE Anthony Firsker (at only $2,500 on DK) I believe it will be Adam Humphries that sees the underneath routes and in fact I think part of the reason Firsker has been a “thing” this season is largely due to Humphries’ absence. I think running this stack back with Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt is a great way to attack this game and be a little different as I believe as Dalvin Cook’s ownership rises, so will Derek Henry’s. I will roll the Tannehill Stacks in lineups without Derek Henry but similar to what I am doing with the Vikings, I will have at least one Titans domination stack with Tannehill, Henry, a pass catcher and the defense.

Additional Stacks I have interest in:

Jared GoffCooper Kupp or Robert Woods against the Cardinals. Kupp is my preferred option. My favorite run back here is Christian Kirk. I also have interest in taking shots on Cam Akers this weekend. He clearly looked like the most explosive of the runners for the Rams.

Baker MayfieldAustin Hooper or Rashard Higgins. Hooper is my preferred option as the Titans are a great matchup for Tight Ends. I believe a lot of people will chase Jarvis Landry’s monster performance in Week 12 but the Titans have been better against slot receivers than they have been with outside receivers, which is why I mention Higgins. This is a good spot to run it back with a Pass Catcher like AJ Brown or Corey Davis.

Taysom HillMichael Thomas. Tayson may have been a negative for Alvin Kamara but Michael Thomas is still getting his and I love the matchup against Atlanta. My favorite run back here is Julio Jones who’s prices have come down due to the injury weeks – but he’s back on the field on Sunday.

Derek CarrNelson AgholorDarren Waller. This is a total leverage play as first no one is going to play Derek Carr after last week’s disaster while I do feel at least Darren Waller by himself will be a popular play. I should also mention, I don’t mind Henry Ruggs either in this stack or as a one off play to fill out your lineup. Additionally it is a leverage play against Devontae Booker’s ownership. I will run this back with Denzel Mims or Breshard Perriman. I also have some interest in Frank Gore believe it or not, averaging 16 touches per game over his last 3.

Additional Wide Receivers I am eyeing:

I have been using Wide Receivers in the Flex spot more than ever, so to help you fill out your flex here are some of my favorite plays this weekend to fill out my lineups.

Allen Robinson (High Priced), Darnell Mooney (Cheap) vs Detroit – I don’t mind stacking with Mitchell Trubisky, just know he is a couple bad interceptions away from Nick Foles.

DK Metcalf and Sterling Shepard (Game Stack) – Seahawks vs Giants

Damiere Byrd or Jakobi Meyers and Mike Williams (Game Stack) – Patriots vs Chargers

DJ Chark vs Minnesota

Danny Amendola, TJ Hockenson (Tight End) vs the Bears.

Lastly My Defenses:

Dolphins vs the Bengals

Seahawks vs the Giants

Packers vs Philadelphia

Jets vs Raiders

Saints vs Falcons

Bears vs Detroit

Good Luck in your Contests!

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