Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NFL DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NFL DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
It was an amazing start to the NFL season with my premium Core Plays taking down tournaments on the first slate of the season!
This will be a condensed version of my article for the Week 12 main slate. Be sure to tune into the Sunday morning livestream for any updated last thoughts on the slate!
Highest pOWN% QB’s: Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Garnder Minshew
My Conviction Plays: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, CJ Stroud, Gardner Minshew, Kenny Pickett
Typically the main slate after Thanksgiving leaves a lot to be desired, but I actually kind of like this slate. There’s three games that stick out above the rest: JAX/HOU, IND/TB and PHI/BUF. I expect that’s where a lot of the ownership settles.
Trevor Lawrence is going to be extremely high-owned this week, but I prefer CJ Stroud is getting into that game. Last week, I played Stroud over Murray and I will be going back to that well. I think I would rather attack the JAX defense than HOU at this point in time and would be looking to double Stroud with two of Tank/Collins/Schultz and then running it back with one JAX pass catcher.
My favorite spot on the slate, however, is Josh Allen against the Eagles. We have been picking on this Eagles defense for some time now, and they continue to force teams into passing situations at one of the highest rates in football. Nobody talks about this being a pass funnel defense, but that’s what they’ve been this season and it would look a lot worse coming into this week if Mahomes’ pass catchers held onto the ball last Monday night. Allen said he “felt like he was back” after that performance against the Jets last week – and I’m going to likely be firing up an Allen double stack on my main GPP team this weekend. It appears that Kincaid is going to be very high-owned – but I’ve been less inclined to attack PHI with TE’s after they acquired Kevin Byard. Byard put Travis Kelce in a coffin last week – and my preferred stack is Allen with two WR’s along with Brown/Smith/Swift on the other side.
I also want to get into some Mahomes stuff here. The pass corps has thinned out due to injuries and this feels like a spot that he will smash. Nobody wants to play him based off how he’s looked recently, which is good for us.
I prefer Minshew to Baker if stacking that game — TB has also been horrible against the pass as of late and there are two clear options to pair Minshew with while avoiding the chalky JT at RB.
If looking to a cheap stack, I’m firing up Kenny Pickett in hopes for a big performance in their debut without Matt Canada. Chase will be un-owned as a bring back – but can pop off with anyone at QB.
Highest pOWN% RB’s: Jonathan Taylor, Rachaad White (Q), Travis Etienne, James Conner, Javonte Williams, Isaiah Pacheco. Rhamondre Stevenson
My Conviction Plays: Jonathan Taylor, Isaiah Pacheco, Derrick Henry, Jerome Ford, Jaylen Warren, Bijan Robinson, Sean Tucker (If Rachaad OUT)
Indy finally unleashed JT in that London game and now they’ve had extended rest to get him going even more. He’s too cheap, and will be a staple for me on any non-Minshew teams.
White was going to be very chalky, but was added to the injury report on Saturday with a knee injury. If he’s out, I’m a big Sean Tucker fan and would be very aggressive in playing him at his salary.
Pacheco is my favorite overall play on the board. LV is going to be missing Maxx Crosby here which is a big boost to his individual match-up. On top of that, KC is going to be missing all of McKinnon/Hardman/Toney in this game. All of those players are threats to Pacheco’s red-zone touches and with how good he’s been catching passes this season – this could be a full-on Pacheco role on Sunday. Pairing him with KC DST is my preferred move in GPPs.
Ford is someone I loved last week, and I’m going back to the well against DEN. I think we see another run-heavy approach from the Browns and the Broncos run defense has crumbled in recent weeks. Ford nabbed a RZ touchdown last week, and I like him as a low-owned pivot.
I also like Warren and Bijan this week. Bijan can be paired with AT Perry in a mini-stack (see below).
Highest pOWN% WR’s: Michael Pittman, Tank Dell, Christian Kirk, Diontae Johnson, Demario Douglas, Rashid Shaheed, Josh Downs, Nico Collins, Justin Watson
My Conviction Plays: Stefon Diggs, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Tank Dell, Diontae Johnson, Christian Kirk, Justin Watson, AT Perry, Greg Dortch, Khalil Shakir
I actually love the value plays on this slate, which makes it very easy for me to build teams this week.
I’ll likely be pairing Allen with Diggs and Shakir – while Shakir can be used as a one-off at his price.
Smith is my preferred run back in the stack, but you can never go wrong with Brown either. Smitty has very positive splits the last two seasons without Dallas Goedert, and I believe he is underpriced for his role without him on the field.
AT Perry is a player I tweeted about all summer, and I LOVED him at Wake Forest. He caught a TD in the Saints last game, and appears ready to step into a full time role with Michael Thomas out. Everyone is running to play Shaheed – but I’m not sure he sees much of a role chance without Thomas. Perry is the big winner, and I love him in a mini with Bijan or as a small-field one-off option.
Watson and Kelce would be my pairs for a Mahomes stack – while Watson can be used in all formats as a one-off. He way cheaper than Rice and has been a better role in recent weeks + is a deep threat.
Highest pOWN% TE’s: Trey McBride, Dalton Kincaid, Travis Kelce, Evan Engram, Cade Otton
My Conviction Plays: Trey McBride, Travis Kelce, David Njoku
I like the chalk at TE this week, and won’t be getting too weird here. McBride will be massively owned once again, but we simply can’t argue the role he’s seen and now the Cards will be down Michael Wilson again and maybe Hollywood Brown. I’m fine fading Kincaid.
One play I really like for tourneys is David Njoku. Like McBride, he has recently seen a big role change and his price doesn’t really reflect that. He has and absurd 15 targets from Thompson-Robinson last weekend.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)