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Week 13 is shaping up to being one of the most interesting DFS slates of the season. First you have no Chiefs, no Bills, no Patriots Defense, no Cowboys studs that you normally would be weighing options over. Second – really big time injuries to the offenses that are playing which can open up value all over the place. Third (and I say this with all due respect to several NFL Franchises) some real mismatches that could either be home runs to find a play in or DFS Traps that you can get suckered into.
There are a lot of notable injuries that are opening up value and creating a lot of Chalky value plays. Some are going to be solid in my opinion, while others just feel like a trap to me. That being said I’ll run through position by position and give you my take.
Lamar Jackson is the most expensive QB on DraftKings today at $7,800 and when you see the pricing stop that low, it should immediately signal to you that yhou can find value at QB today. Back to Lamar, even in a matchup on paper that shouldn’t scare you, I’m scared. Jackson looked terrible last week and gets the Steelers at home in a divisional matchup with playoff implications on the line… it’s an avoid for me. I like some of the pieces of the Ravens offense, but I personally am not paying all the way up today for Lamar even at low ownership – for what it’s worth he will likely be 5% owned.
Just below Jackson is Kyler Murray a hair cheaper and incredibly 2% owned, largely because he hasn’t been “officially” ruled IN. If Lamar was chalky, I would say Kyler is my favorite pivot. But since you neither man is pulling any ownership it’s just straight up I like Kyler at Chicago more than Lamar at Pittsburgh. The next man down, also seeing no ownership is Matthew Stafford seeing about 10% ownership playing the Jaguars – AT HOME IN LA. This is a big thing as I have talked about, teams not used to south Florida humidity get hit with the south florida hoodoo and suddenly you have the Jags winning the game out of no where. Not today. Stafford at Home is a great play and a great stacking option with his primary pieces.
The highest owned QB on the slate as this is being written is Tom Brady the ‘cheapest’ of the top floor of QBs, Brady is going to be around 20% owned in a matchup with Atlanta, a team he has never lost to and in his career is averaging 360 yards and 3 touchdowns against. As a Brady guy, on paper the matchup is great – BUT no one is mentioning that in any of those past games against Atlanta, Brady didn’t have a running game or running back like he does in Tampa Bay and 2021 Leonard Fournette. My gut here is we have more likelihood of Fournette having another 4 touchdown day than we do Brady throwing 350 yards and 3 scores … but that’s my gut. Your’s may feel different. Brady has great stacking options as well if you dance with the GOAT today.
Since Jalen Hurts has been ruled out there are no other QBs over $7,000 today. So rolling through the middle here are my favorite plays in the QB Value Rack (aka $6,700 – $5,000):
Justin Herbert vs the Bengals: Joe Mixon is going to run the ball down the Chargers throats, I like Herbert with a stack with Ekeler and Allen please
Kirk Cousins vs the Lions: Everyone will be rushing to play Alexander Mattison against Detroit, you know because running back vs Detroit = good. Buck the trend and play Cousins stacked with Justin Jefferson.
Carson Wentz vs the Texans: Everyone will be rushing to play Jonathan Taylor against the Texans (myself included), so hedge the chalk and stack Wentz with Michael Pittman or a guy who has owned Houston like Brady has owned the Falcons in his career, TY Hilton.
Derek Carr vs Washington: I don’t wanna like a Carr Desean Jackson stack, but I do.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs Raiders: Can he maintain #1 in every statistic without Deebo on the field? Jimmy G Brandon Aiyuk and Jimmy G George Kittle stacks will be popular. I don’t love it, but I can’t overlook it.
Tua Tagovailoa vs Giants: The Dolphins are on a roll and Davante Parker is back. Love the play
Gardner Minshew vs Jets: The highest owned QB at 20% and he is only $4,000. The thing is, I actually think him playing is a slight upgrade to pass catchers like Devonta Smith because I think the Eagles will play a much more streamlined game without the designed run plays. I also think it’s a MASSIVE upgrade for Miles Sanders who is in by the way.
Mike Glennon vs the Dolphins: There is no reason to play Mike Glennon except he is $4K and starting. He hasn’t looked good, his receivers can’t stay healthy and yada yada – plus he is a northern team going to South Florida (ie; hoodoo, voodoo) but, he’s 4K and starting. Need to mention it. .01% ownership
Jonathan Taylor should SMASH today and $9,200 on DK he is 25% owned for good reason. I can’t see the Texans stopping this Colts’ running game today. Love. Your second highest owned running back is Alexander Mattison against the Detroit Lions, the statistical dead last team against Running Backs – should he SMASH, yes! He’s looked dynamic this season and it is clear the Vikings are comfortable running “their offense” with him in there. He is $7,800 today and also 25% owned. The third highest owned running back is Leonard Fournette who I mentioned earlier has multi-touchdown opportunity today. 15% ownership, $7,300, he sits just behind Taylor for me as my favorites in this group.
Do the math 25+25+15, yes 65% of lineups will feature one of those three running backs. So where am I mostly going at the top tier ($9,200 – $7,000):
JOE FREAKIN’ MIXON the cog that drives the Bengals train against the “run funnel” Chargers. 8% ownership
AUSTIN FREAKIN’ EKELER against the Bengals? Yes Please. 6% ownership
CORRADELLE FREAKIN’ PATTERSON ok, maybe not Freakin’ but no one is playing him and if the Falcons score any points, dollars to donuts it’s with Patterson on the ground or through the air. 5% ownership
THE MIDDLE ($6,300 – $5,000)
The HIGHEST owned RB by a wide margin today is ANTONIO GIBSON – 40% ownership against the Raiders and WAY under priced at $5,700. No JD McKissic today, will the football team rely on practice squad call ups for 3rd downs or will they give Gibson even more opportunities. My gut says Gibson is a strong play today.
ELI MITCHELL I LOVE TODAY! 18% ownership, $6,000 … he has looked TREMENDOUS thus far including last week and now he doesn’t have Deebo stealing rushes from him! I think the Niners lean heavy on Mitchell today and from where I sit it’s clobberin’ time for Mitchell
(I need to mention Darrell Henderson of the Rams sits in this price range and I love the matchup with the Jags, but he is doubtful to play. If he does play I am concerned on the work load… I like Rams Running Backs today and Sony Michel is one of my favorite plays at $4,400 – especially if Henderson is out)
JAMES CONNOR gets Kyler back today and the Bears. Two Touchdown Connor? 15% ownership. Like it.
JAMAAL WILLIAMS has no Deandre Swift to worry about his full workload against the Vikings. 17% ownership. Like it.
Sneaky Play 1: Miles Sanders. He’s IN and I think it’s a huge upgrade for him to have Minshew under center. I expect Sanders to have plenty of work and you can’t beat the matchup against the Jets who I think just let teams run the ball. 5% ownership
Sneaky Play 2: Myles Gaskin 5% ownership against the Giants at home in the humidity. Those lineman will get tired and Gaskin should see plenty of opportunity.
Sneaky Play 3: Devonata Freeman, remember I don’t like Lamar but I do like pieces of the Ravens and I think the testing time period is over with Freeman in this offense. The Steelers have been better against the pass than the run and Freeman is starting and only 1% owned.
I have already mentioned I love Sony Michel if Darrell Henderson is out at only $4,400. Currently 4% owned, could jump with Henderson news keep in mind.
Kenyan Drake – I am not crazy about the matchup for Drake or Josh Jacobs today with Washington but right now Jacobs still lists as questionable and if he is ruled out, from a volume stand point the backfield should be Drake’s. $4,400 1% owned – could jump with Jacobs news
Carlos Hyde – similarly I am not crazy about the matchup for James Robinson or Hyde today against the Rams but Robinson is also currently listed at questionable and if he is ruled out, for better or worse, the backfield will belong to Hyde at $4,200 and 1% ownership – could jump with the Robinson news.
WENDALL SMALLWOOD – was promoted to the active roster and the coaching staff came out this week and said that Smallwood would take on the JD McKissic role. Even if it’s half the opportunity that the coaches are saying, at .01% ownership and $4,000, this is the type of out of no where play that helps take a tournament down if he gets 4 targets for 50 and a touchdown – completely in the range of outcomes if he indeed is on the field in 3rd downs against the Jets.
Your most expensive WR today is Cooper Kupp $9,000 against the Jaguars and 30% ownership. If Stafford and the Rams decide to put a show on at home against the Jaguars, Kupp should SMASH. Wherever possible I am getting Kupp in my lineups.
Right below Kupp in regards to pricing is one of my favorite plays, for largely the same reasons – Justin Jefferson If Cousins and the Vikings decide to put on a show in Detroit, Jefferson should SMASH and at 8% ownership he is the perfect pivot from the chalky Kupp in arguably just as good of a matchup.
After Kupp and Jefferson you have Keenan Allen, Terry McLuarin, Adam Theilen & Ja’Mar Chase rounding out $7,000 or above. Outside of Allen, none of these guys are getting any ownership and while I think all should be in your player pool, none really stand out to me as SMASH plays. I like Allen in stacks with Herbert. I like McLaurin as the run back in Raiders Stacks as a pivot from chalky Antonio Gibson, I also like Chase as a run back in Chargers stacks. I like Adam Theilen too but, I’d rather play Jefferson in the Vikings offense. If Jefferson had higher ownership, I might feel different.
THE MIDDLE ($6,700 – $5,000)
DeAndre Hopkins is only $6,200 today and he gets his quarterback Kyler back too and he gets the Bears to play against. Lock and Load in my opinion.
DK Metcalf 4% owned today. The coaching staff said of DK this week “We have to start getting that guy the ball” you have to assume it was due to DK being the squeaky wheel. If the Seahawks have a shot at winning today it’s through DK. 4% owned, let me say that again. Tyler Lockett for what it’s worth is 1% owned today. I can’t play RUSS, but I can play his receivers.
Brandon Aiyuk is pulling 18% ownership with Deebo Samuel off the field. I get it. Great price at $5,600. Something about this feels like a trap here, but all the same he is in play.
Mike Evans 9% ownership against Atlanta. For the first time in recent memory Evans is doubling Chris Godwin’s ownership. It’s tough to predict which Buc’s Receiver will be “the guy today” but I Evans come in every week with Multi-Touchdown upside. I like both of these guys.
Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are 5% and 3% owned respectively. Johnson is the volume guy and a lock for Cash lineups, Claypool is the sizzle and great for Tournaments.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is also 5% owned. I don’t like Lamar, but I like his pieces and Brown is at the top of that list.
Hunter Renfrow without Darren Waller today could be the guy on the field for Derek Carr. He is 17% owned but, I like the opportunity.
Michael Pittman Jr is also 18% owned which is surprising with the ownership Jonathan Taylor is seeing. Love the price though at $5,700. However, this feels like another trap. Between JT running the ball and TY Hilton, over $1,000 cheaper with half the ownership, running routes (again Hilton has owned the Texans historically), I am concerned about Pittman. But you can’t argue the matchup.
AJ Green – $5,000 and Kyler is back. If DeHop plays decoy today due to his injury, Green should see plenty of targets. Worth a dart throw if you are multi-entering.
TY Hilton $4,400 don’t need to rehash why
Rashard Bateman $4,900
Curtis Samuel – .1% ownership, will play today
Devonate Parker will be back today. He is $3,900 and 18% owned. I like that he is playing and I love the price and I also love that his playing is bringing the $6,400 Jaylen Waddle’s ownership below 10%. Mix and Match your Dolphins receivers as you need.
Josh Reynolds looks to be Jared Goff’s favorite target due to their past history together and he is only $3,400. You can do so much in Vikings stacks with Reynolds as a run back and at 10% ownership I doubt he’ll “kill you” either.
Laquon Treadwell looks to be a developing target for the Jaguars and at $3,200 he can do so much for your lineup as a run back for Rams stacks. 1% owned.
Austin Dulin – $3,000 bare minimum and while I don’t think the Cots will need to take many deep shots today, it just takes this guy one (like he had last week) to pay off. No ownership
Desean Jackson $4,200 6% owned. I don’t want to like Derek Carr – Desean Jackson stacks, but I do.
At 26% ownership the chalkiest tight end is Foster Moreau at $2,600 with Darren Waller Out. I like the play, but I also like the pivot to $2,400 James O’Shaughnessy at 2% ownership with Dan Arnold out. Here are the rest of my Tight End Rankings, for the top plays at the position:
Pat Freirmuth – LOVE the Muth. 3% owned, the Ravens 28th against Tight Ends.
Jack Doyle – if he plays
Don’t be surprised if Donald Parham and/or Jimmy Graham have touchdown catches today either.
If you want to be different, find a way to pay up for defenses. The Rams at $4k stand out the most to me but the Colts, Eagles, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Ravens all fall in this category too.
Outside of that group at the top my favorites are: The Dolphins, Vikings and Washington Football Team. But play whatever fits in your lineup. It’s 2021 and literally anything can happen. Just know that if Lamar’s ownership stays as low as it is, it isn’t as sneaky as you think to play the Steelers DST even with TJ Watt back… but he being back puts the Steelers back in the mix for me too.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!