The Ultimate NFL DFS Game-by-Game Breakdown for Week 12
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
Vegas Insight: Panthers 25, Seahawks 21.5
Quarterback: This game features a 46.5 O/U in Vegas, but I have some concerns with the pace of play here that lead me to believe it could end up hitting the under if it doesn’t get off to a fast start. I want to use Russell Wilson in this spot, I really do, but he just hasn’t flashed the ceiling I’m looking for in tournaments given how much the Seahawks run. He can easily throw for two or more touchdowns in this spot, but his floor is what we really like about him in this offense and that isn’t getting it done in GPPs. I’m a bit concerned about Cam’s injuries, he isn’t a threat to miss the game or anything, but he is 100% banged up and you can tell by him rushing for just 10 and two yards the last two weeks. Combine that with the pace, and I’m probably off him overall.
Running Back: The run games are going to be the focus here for sure, especially on Seattle, and when Chris Carson has been active this season he has dominated work. I don’t love this matchup, but he can certainly find himself in the GPP tier given the volume he will see on a team so committed to running the football. Christian McCaffrey on the other hand, is playable in all formats especially at under $8,000 on DraftKings. He’s topped 100+ yards in three straight games and while the Seattle defense has been better than I expected this season their run-defense has been bad overall over the last month. As a home favorite you can fire up CMC with confidence.
Pass Catchers: Given my analysis on the quarterbacks, you would think I am off the pass catchers but the cases can be made for both Doug Baldwin and DJ Moore this week. Wilson has still thrown for multiple touchdowns in six straight games and attacking Carolina in the slot has been the money spot this season. As for Moore, he has easily leapfrogged Devin Funchess now that he has been on the field and he is such a dynamic athlete he can break a big play in the passing game or the run game at any moment. If Torrey Smith is out again this week, look to fire up Moore in all formats.
Cash Game Outlook: Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore (If Torrey Smith out)
GPP Outlook: Cam Newton, Doug Baldwin
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens
Vegas Insight: Ravens 27, Raiders 15.5
Quarterback: This is a relatively boring game with the tanking Raiders traveling cross country to meet up with the Ravens in Baltimore, but we do have one of the most important plays of the week in this game. Yep, you guessed it, that play is NOT Derek Carr! That plays is , however, a quarterback by the name of Lamar Jackson. Jackson is slated to start again this week with Joe Flacco missing practice on Friday, and he should be the chalkiest cash game option at QB this week, no question. Jackson ran an unprecedented 27 times last week, and the Raiders are bottom-three in the NFL in pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season. He has legitimate 100 yard rushing bonus upside, and he will have time to throw in this matchup as well setting him up for a huge game all around.
Running Back: Running Back is interesting in this spot, with Jalen Richard sticking out as the lone Raider I’m interested in this week. He’s still cheap, and he is coming off a season-high 11 carries last week and is heavily involved in the passing game each week. On the Ravens side, Alex Collins returned to practice on Friday making Gus Edwards a risky play, but he was so good in the preseason and last week, and he looked so good with Jackson that it makes sense to go back to him in tournaments…especially in this good of a matchup with the Raiders.
Pass Catchers: I won’t be targeting any pass catchers in this game, though I could see wanting to go after a Seth Roberts or Marcell Ateman given that the Raiders have literally nobody else to throw to. I will be running Jackson naked in cash games, and pairing him with Edwards in tournaments.
Cash Game Outlook: Lamar Jackson
GPP Outlook: Jalen Richard, Gus Edwards
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
Vegas Insight: Bengals 24, Browns 22
Quarterback: I think the Browns can win this game coming off their bye week, and if I wasn’t using Lamar Jackson in cash games my main two targets would be Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston. Mayfield has thrived since Freddie Kitchens took over as OC, and the Bengals are allowing nearly 310 yards per game through the air this season. Andy Dalton would benefit greatly from AJ Green being back, but as of Friday it seems unlikely that he will play. This Browns defense is going to be the healthiest it’s been all season this week, and while I think you can look at him in tournaments I prefer Mayfield.
Running Back: Both of the running backs stick out as elite plays this week and I will have shares of both. Chubb has seen 18 or more touches in every start since Carlos Hyde was traded, and this Bengals defense allowed Gus Edwards to walk onto the field and run for over 100 yards last week…not to mention the 100+ they also gave up to Lamar Jackson. As for Joe Mixon, I am a bit concerned that they will start to mix in more Bernard down the stretch, but the place to attack the Browns has been on the ground and I’m still expecting the Bengals to score two or more touchdowns on Sunday.
Pass Catchers: I keep getting sucked into Jarvis Landry at his price, but eventually he’s going to have a nice game. I like to attack the Bengals in the slot and the Browns certainly used the bye week as added time to get Landry and Mayfield on the same page. Boyd would be a better option if Green was healthy, but he is still the go-to guy for the Bengals and has seen 25 targets over the last three weeks.
Cash Game Outlook: Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield
GPP Outlook: Joe Mixon, Jarvis Landry, Tyler Boyd
San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vegas Insight: Buccaneers 28, 49ers 25
Quarterback: As ugly as this game sounds, it does own a 53.5 O/U in Vegas and is one of our best bets for a shootout on this Week 12 slate. Nick Mullens is 1-1 in good games so far as a starter, and there is no better matchup for him to succeed than this one against Tampa Bay. I won’t be using him or considering him in cash games, but in tournaments you can give him a look as a stack with George Kittle. If I wasn’t using Lamar Jackson in cash games this week, I would give heavy consideration to Jameis Winston. Sure, he could get benched, but he could also post monster fantasy numbers regardless of how many INTs he throws. I know people won’t like this, but the production has been there all season and I think he is playable in all formats again this week.
Running Back: Per usual, I’m not very interested in Peyton Barber or the Buccaneers run game, but Matt Breida sticks out as a great play this week at $5,700 on DraftKings. The Buccaneers have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL this season and Breida finally looked fully healthy to me in the 49ers last game. He’s not a sexy name, but I love the price and the matchup.
Pass Catchers: The pass catchers are certainly going to be strong fantasy options given the expected points in this game. Starting with the 49ers, you can look at someone like Marquise Goodwin in tournaments but if I’m pairing anyone with Mullens it’s going to be George Kittle. His production has not slowed with Mullens at the helm and he’s went for 108 and 83 yards over his last two games. On the Bucs side, we have to consider Mike Evans a top tournament target, and with OJ Howard injured Cameron Brate rises into the cash game pool. Brate’s numbers without Howard aren’t very appealing, but Winston loves to throw to the tight end and that position is a fantasy wasteland regardless.
Cash Game Outlook: Jameis Winston, Matt Breida, Cameron Brate
GPP Outlook: Nick Mullens, Mike Evans, George Kittle
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Vegas Insight: Eagles 26, Giants 20
Quarterback: I normally hate targeting this second divisional games, but the Eagles/Giants showdowns have averaged around 50 points scored per game over the last two seasons. Eli Manning has been extremely fantasy viable in good matchups this season, despite his reputation, and this is certainly one against an extremely banged up Eagles secondary. I still don’t think I can put him in my cash game range, but given my interest in some of his weapons he does make for an interesting tournament dart. On the other side, Carson Wentz is coming off an egregious sub-four point fantasy dud against the New Orleans Saints. Prior to that game, he had been on fire putting up 20+ fantasy points in five of his last six games. I;m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that game, and given the history between these two teams I think Wentz makes for a strong play in tournaments this weekend.
Running Back: Say what you want about Saquon Barkley’s draft position in real life, but the fact of the matter is he has been incredible fantasy-wise this season. He’s reached 20 or more fantasy points in every game except one this season, and that type of floor is insane especially from a rookie. I typically don’t want to attack this Eagles run-defense, but they have been declining over the last few weeks and Barkley’s floor is too high not to consider him a cash game play weekly, even if I probably won’t have him on my personal team. Josh Adams was finally unleashed by the Eagles in Week 11, he played a season-high 55% of the snaps and led the team in carries and targets. I still can’t trust it fully given the amount of mouths they have there, but he is definitely a tourney play given his cheap price tag.
Pass Catchers: The pass catchers in this game are pretty straightforward, starting with Odell Beckham. He’s been finding the end zone with ease recently scoring four times in his last four games, and similar to Michael Thomas last week despite the high price it’s hard to imagine not having a ton of exposure to him given how banged up this Eagles secondary is. You can also take a shot on Sterling Shepard, and I probably prefer that to someone like Alshon Jeffery. I’m not scared of the matchup with Janoris Jenkins, but I am worried that at some point Golden Tate is going to have a big game and I expect Zach Ertz to step up after last weeks game. Ertz is a fantastic tournament play, and I wish I could get up to him in cash games after everyone is off him due to last week.
Cash Game Outlook: Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley
GPP Outlook: Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Josh Adams, Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Chargers
Vegas Insight: Chargers 28, Cardinals 15
Quarterback: The Chargers come into this game with one of the highest implied team totals on the slate at 28 points, but now that news broke that Melvin Gordon may not be able to play in this game a wrench was certainly thrown into things. Josh Rosen tossed three touchdowns last week against the Raiders, but still couldn’t reach 16 fantasy points and I’m not considering him an option against the Chargers. As for Philip Rivers, I definitely think he is an option given the 28 implied points, but the Cardinals funnel so much usage to the run game I’m not sure if the ceiling is really there…unless we get Melvin Gordon inactive.
Running Back: The backfields are definitely the top area of interest in this game, with David Johnson and potentially Melvin Gordon. Johnson has been much more viable in fantasy since Byron Leftwich took over the offense, and the Chargers are right behind the Falcons in terms of receptions allowed to running backs this season. He’s a great tournament play, but I don’t think I can go there in cash games with McCaffrey and James Conner being under $8,000. As for Gordon, he’s averaging over 140 all-purpose yards per game this season and is as safe of a play as the come IF he is active, hopefully we get early news on Sunday.
Pass Catchers: Given my lack of interest in Rosen, I’m going to pass on his pass catchers even Larry Fitzgerald who I think will end up being semi-popular as he always seems to be. Keenan Allen is the focus of this section, and I would want both him and Gordon in my cash game lineup if Gordon ends up playing. Since Allen complained about his usage in London, he has over 30% of the teams targets and remains under-priced across the industry.
Cash Game Outlook: Melvin Gordon (If Active), Keenan Allen
GPP Outlook: David Johnson
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts
Vegas Insight: Colts 29, Dolphins 21.75
Quarterback: It’s pretty hilarious to see all of these Colts players in my cash game pool, but I’ve been riding them all season and they have a huge 29 point implied team total on this slate. Andrew Luck has now gone seven games in a row with three touchdown passes, and this Dolphins secondary has been crumbling in recent weeks, much like the Broncos. He’s getting close to being tough to fade, and you can even put him in the cash conversation with Jackson and Winston.
Running Back: This is pretty much the nuts spot for Marlon Mack, and I’m getting scared that I’m going to plug him into my cash game roster. The Dolphins are one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, and Mack has thrived in good matchups this season. He’s a big-time home favorite, and I love his price point. On the other side, I want to use Kenyan Drake but he we can’t trust him still given the presence of Frank Gore. The Dolphins should be throwing since they will most likely be losing, but even that does not guarantee Drake to see work.
Pass Catchers: I was all over TY Hilton last week, and we can go right back to the well this week in all formats. He finally had a smash week, but he is till top-five in the NFL in targets inside the 10 yard line and I love using him at home. Doyle is the clear lead tight end when he is active, and he is right there with Cam Brate as my favorite overall tight end play for cash games.
Cash Game Outlook: Andrew Luck, Marlon Mack, TY Hilton, Jack Doyle
GPP Outlook: Kenyan Drake
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
Vegas Insight: Steelers 24, Broncos 22
Quarterback: Big Ben has reached my 20+ fantasy point threshold in fice of his last six games, and it is noteworthy that the way to attack this Broncos defense has completely flip-flopped. Earlier in the season, we were attacking them on the ground but over the last month their severe weakness has been through the air. This is not a 1PM road game, so we can roster Ben with confidence in tournaments as a strong leverage play. Case Keenum has been a disaster fantasy-wise since the first few weeks of the season, and this Steeler defense has come on strong down the stretch, I’ll be avoiding.
Running Back: As I noted above, the Broncos have been much better against the run in recent weeks than they were earlier on in the season, but I still am interested in Conner at under $8,000. He’s going to get all of the volume, and he has shown he can be a weapon in the passing game. I think I ultimately prefer Christian McCaffrey in this tier, but Conner makes for a great leverage play. I really don’t want to go out of my way to attack this defense, but you can definitely look at Philip Lindsay in tournaments, he continues to be the lead guy for the Broncos and they have gotten him much more involved in the passing game over the last few games.
Pass Catchers: I’m very interested in Antonio Brown again this week, he has now scored in an insane eight straight games and I’ve already noted that this Broncos secondary has been horrible over the last few games. JuJu makes for the natural tournament pivot, but Brown is neck-and-neck with Odell Beckham for top overall wide receiver play this week, and he is cheaper. Emmanuel Sanders is the one guy I’m looking at on the Broncos mianly due to his cheap price. The Steelers have been good against wideouts, but the volume is there for Sanders and don’t forget this is a REVENGE GAME!
Cash Game Outlook: Antonio Brown, James Conner, Emmanuel Sanders
GPP Outlook: Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)