Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vegas Insight: Panthers 29, Buccaneers 25.75
Quarterback: We kick off the early slate of games this weekend with arguably the best one of the afternoon given this big 50+ O/U. I assume there is going to be a large amount of ownership pushed here in cash games, onto both Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. Newton ran for over 60 yards last week, which is an extremely good sign considering he didn’t top 10 the two weeks prior to that. I 100% think Cam is completely fine in cash games, but I want to save a bit more and I ultimately won’t be using him even though I’m projecting him as the highest owned quarterback overall. Winston continues to put up monster numbers in every game that he’s not been benched, and with the Panthers expected to put up 29 points we should see some great game script for Jameis. I won’t be looking at him in cash games, but I think he is playable in all formats in Week 13.
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey is going to be the big name in this game, coming off a 50 burger on DraftKings last week. CMC has 2+ touchdowns in four of his last five games, and I think he is pretty much a lock in all formats in this matchup with the Buccaneers. I love using him, and still getting exposure to the Panthers offense without having to use Cam, and he should be massively owned in all formats.
Pass Catchers: The passing games are really interesting in this spot, considering that I’m assuming the most logical Panthers stack this week will be Cam + CMC. DJ Moore has cemented himself as the Panthers number one receiver, and even if they are back to full health with Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel active you can still look at him in GPPs. If I’m interested in Winston, then I’m certainly going to be interested in his weapons. I’m tagging Adam Humphries as cash playable, I love attacking this Panthers team in the slot and Humphries has four touchdowns over his last four games. In tournaments, it has to be Mike Evans especially with DeSean Jackson looking questionable for this game. If he is out, that would bump Chris Godwin into consideration as well.
Cash Game Outlook: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Jameis Winston, Adam Humphries
GPP Outlook: DJ Moore, Mike Evans
Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons
Vegas Insight: Falcons 25, Ravens 23
Quarterback: I think this could be a really fun game, but I honestly hopped it had a higher O/U than just 48.5. Both quarterbacks are in play for me this week, with Jackson sticking out in all formats and Ryan being viable in tournaments. We need to wait and see about Joe Flacco, because as now it looks like he will be active on Sunday but Lamar will remain the starter. If that’s the case, Lamar is certainly still playable in all formats, but if they are going to split reps then that will move me off of Jackson. This is a great matchup for him on the turf against the Falcons who allow the eighth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks this season. As for Ryan, this is a terrible matchup on paper, but he’s been so good at home we have to consider him an option.
Running Back: Gus Edwards has definitely taken control of this Ravens backfield going over 100 yards last week, and you know my rule of always play running backs against the Falcons. That being said, with Phillip Lindsay so closely priced to him and Carlos Hyde for free, we are going to have to list Edwards as tournaments only given that Alex Collins should be back in the mix a bit this week. You can look at Tevin Coleman, but I’d rather just use Ryan/Julio if I’m looking to play any Falcons especially against Baltimore.
Pass Catchers: I don’t see any reason to look at any Ravens pass catchers, given the rushing ability of Jackson if we play him it’s going to be naked and for the possibility of multiple rushing touchdowns. Julio Jones is going to be extremely low owned in this matchup despite the fact that he is at home and he has topped 100 receiving yards in six straight weeks, I will absolutely look to get tournament exposure to him in Week 13.
Cash Game Outlook: Lamar Jackson
GPP Outlook: Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Gus Edwards
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Vegas Insight: Texans 27, Browns 21
Quarterback: Ohhhhh boy, as a Browns fan you guys know I am ready for this one. As excited as I am for this game, I think it’s going to be much better in real-life than it is in fantasy. I think the O/U is a bit high, and both of these defenses are really good so I don’t really think it has a string shot of going over. Baker Mayfield has been strong for fantasy under new OC Freddie Kitchens, but I really don’t want to target him on the road against this Texans defense. Watson is equally viable in tournaments, but with the likes of Cam/Jackson and Luck on this slate we won’t be attacking him in cash games.
Running Back: Nick Chubb has graded out as the top overall rookie running back according to Pro Football Focus this season, over Saquon Barkley, and he has seen 18+ touches in every start this season since the trade of Carlos Hyde. This is a horrible matchup with this terrifying Texans front, but that type of volume and his emergence in the passing game can not be overlooked in GPPs at low ownership. On the other side, Lamar Miller is certainly viable in tournaments against this Browns defense, and everyone saw his long touchdown on Monday night, but the presence of Alfred Blue and the health of the Browns defense is enough to push me off Miller for Week 13.
Pass Catchers: As good as Baker Mayfield is, he has spread the ball around a la Drew Brees and that has really muddied the water for fantasy. Jarvis Landry continues to be MIA, and even at his dirt cheap price I just can’t take a shot on him this week. DeAndre Hopkins should see shadow treatment from Denzel Ward, and while I think Ward is really good I don’t think Hopkins will get completely shutdown by him. If you are playing Watson in tournaments I would 100% be stacking him with Hopkins and they will need a big game from him to beat this Browns defense.
Cash Game Outlook: None
GPP Outlook: Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins
Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals
Vegas Insight: Broncos 24.5, Bengals 20
Quarterback: Just like last week, I expect the Bengals to get absolutely smashed at home and I’m honestly not sure if the general DFS public will be on them outside of Phillip Lindsay. This Bengals defense has absolutely crumbled in recent weeks, and Case Keenum has quietly been playing much better football outside of his dud against the Chargers. I definitely want a Broncos stack in GPPs, and no I’m not very interested in Jeff Driskel on a 13 game NFL slate.
Running Back: As I mentioned above, the one player I’m projecting to have ownership in this game is Phillip Lindsay. Lindsay has taken full on command of this backfield and has out-touched Royce Freeman 28-14 over the last two weeks. Nick Chubb shredded this defense in both the run and passing game last week, and Lindsay has topped 14+ touches in five straight games. I love him in all formats this weekend, and if I can’t get him in for cash games he will fit right in with the Broncos GPP stack. As for Joe Mixon, I wan’t to list him as an option but I told everyone the Broncos had fixed their run defense going into last week and they went out and held James Conner to 53 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Pass Catchers: Emmanuel Sanders had been non-existent for three weeks, but he popped back up with a 7-86-1 line against the Steelers last week. This is a great matchup on the inside with the Bengals, and he still is the main target for Keenum in a matchup that I expect the Broncos to score 3+ touchdowns. With Jeff Heuerman on IR, Broncos tight end Matt LaCosse will be thrust into play for cheap as well. He saw four targets last week and can easily find the end zone against this defense given how the Broncos use their tight ends. On the Bengals side, Tyler Boyd has a nightmare matchup on the inside against Chris Harris, and I don’t have any interest in AJ Green…because I don’t know why he is even playing in this meaningless game.
Cash Game Outlook: Phillip Lindsay, Emmanuel Sanders
GPP Outlook: Case Keenum, Matt LaCosse
Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions
Vegas Insight: Rams 32, Lions 22
Quarterback: This is an extremely interesting game with it owning a huge 54.5 O/U…but the Rams accounting for 32 of those implied points. Goff is coming off 2+ touchdown passes in four straight games, and the only thing I worry about with him is the volume if the Rams are stomping the Lions in this game. Stafford continues to be one of my biggest whiffs this season, and I will not be targeting him in DFS this Sunday.
Running Back: It’s pretty funny that it seems like Todd Gurley is not going to be chalk at a low $9,000 price tag, but that’s the world that we live in. 100% McCaffrey will be higher owned than Gurley, and even though CMC is in a smash spot, that’s pretty crazy to think about. The Lions have fixed their run-defense, but they still are one of the worst teams in the NFL against pass catching running backs and it’s TODD FREAKING GURLEY. Please, play him this week, for me.
Pass Catchers: The pass catchers are going to dominate the attention in this game, with Robert Woods, Kenny Golladay and Bruce Ellington all cash game playable for me. Robert Woods has excelled even further since moving into the slot with Cooper Kupp on IR, and he has an extremely positive matchup on the inside with Nevin Lawson. Both Kenny Golladay and Bruce Ellington are going to see volume with no Golden Tate and Marvin Jones on IR, and we are going to have to consider them cash options on the targets alone. For tournaments, I love looking at Brandin Cooks who excels on the turf and will see lower ownership given his matchup with Darius Slay.
Cash Game Outlook: Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Kenny Golladay, Bruce Ellington
GPP Outlook: Brandin Cooks, Jared Goff
Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers
Vegas Insight: Packers 29, Cardinals 15
Quarterback: This should be a good game for fantasy given the Packers massive 29 point implied team total, but there is some potentially massive news with Packers lineman David Bakhtiari questionable to play. If he’s out, that ultimately is pretty much going to push me entirely off the Packers offense…29 implied points or not. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers, but he hasn’t thrown for three touchdowns since Week 5 and he is not going to be a cash game option for me. Josh Rosen has flashed, but the Cardinals offense has been so bad this season I have no interest in him for DFS right now.
Running Back: Both of the top plays in this game, in my opinion, come form the backfields in David Johnson and Aaron Jones. Despite our excitement for Byron Leftwich taking over the Cardinals offense, it really hasn’t improved even though they have been getting the ball for David Johnson more. He’s in play for tournaments, but I don’t see him as a cash option this week. Aaron Jones is FINALLY being featured by the Packers, and this matchup with the Cardinals is exceptional as they are allowing almost 180 yards per game on the ground. He’s coming off 20 touches, but I will not elevate him into the cash game pool unless Bakhtiari plays.
Pass Catchers: You can always look at Larry Fitzgerald, and he scored again last week, but I will continue to be off him and this Cardinals offense as a whole. I have Adams listed for tournaments, and that’s really because I just don’t see how we can get up to him in cash games. He’s the safest overall option on this Packers team, and he is the one guy that I will play regardless of Bakhtiari’s status come Sunday.
Cash Game Outlook: Aaron Jones
GPP Outlook: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, David Johnson
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Vegas Insight: Colts 25.75, Jaguars 22
Quarterback: This has become one of my favorite games of weekend, mainly due to my interest in this Colts offense once again. Jalen Ramsey looks doubtful to play, and even then Luck already put up over 22 fantasy points against the Jaguars in their first meeting this season. Luck has thrown for 3+ touchdowns in eight straight games, and his floor remains one of the highest in the NFL given how many times he throws each game. Even in a divisional game, I think Luck is playable in all formats.
Running Back: Marlon Mack was in concussion protocol earlier this week, but he returned to practice on Thursday and it looks like he will be good to go on Sunday. The running back we are going to be interested in this game is Carlos Hyde, who is just $3,300 on DraftKings and is set for a workload increase with Leonard Fournette suspended. You can look at TJ Yeldon in GPPs, but for the price, Hyde is set up for massive ownership in cash games.
Pass Catchers: I have pretty much zero interest in the Jaguars pass catchers with Cody Kessler at the helm of the offense, but TY Hilton and Eric Ebron are both strong plays for me. TY Hilton gets a nice bump up with Ramsey looking unlikely to play, and while he had a nice game last weekend it still could of been much bigger as he got stopped narrowly on what would have been a long touchdown. Eric Ebron is set up for another chalk adventure with Jack Doyle out due to injury, and we are pretty much just going to have to jam him in for cash games…unfortunately.
Cash Game Outlook: Andrew Luck, Eric Ebron, Carlos Hyde
GPP Outlook: TY Hilton, TJ Yeldon
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Vegas Insight: Chiefs 35, Raiders 19.75
Quarterback: What was one of the best tournament spots of the week took a massive turn on Friday afternoon when Kareem Hunt was released by the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes was already a premier GPP play at quarterback this week, but with Hunt now being gone and there extra value at running back, I will even elevate him to the cash game level. Peyton Manning’s touchdown record is within reach for Mahomes in his first season as the starting quarterback, and we can further ride that narrative with no Hunt.
Running Back: As I just alluded too, with Carlos Hyde already sticking out as a massive value play this Sunday we now have a similarly cheap Spencer Ware who will take over as the Chiefs lead back. I 100% prefer him to Hyde, but I could definitely see a scenario where you look to play both of them together for the mesa-savings. On the Raiders side, Jalen Richard has been consistent despite the Raiders offensive struggles, and he is the lone option I will look at in tournaments this week.
Pass Catchers: Tyreek Hill has some surprisingly strong splits without Sammy Watkins on the field this season, and he has been listed as out for this weeks game. Given his huge price tag, we can file him under the GPP-only pool as well as Travis Kelce, though I will have exposure to both. You could take a shot on one of these cheap Raiders receivers given that they need to throw to someone, but if doing that I would rather just take a shot on Chris Conley as a way to get a less-expensive, lower-owned play on the top offense on the slate.
Cash Game Outlook: Patrick Mahomes, Spencer Ware
GPP Outlook: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Jalen Richard, Chris Conley
Minnesota Vikings @ New England Patriots
Vegas Insight: Patriots 27, Vikings 22
Quarterback: Some people in the industry are very heavy on this game, which I totally get given the 49.5 total, but I am not personally one of those people. I never like teams traveling to Foxboro this late in the season, and that includes the Vikings though I think Kirk Cousins is completely viable in tournaments. Earlier in the week he stuck out as cash playable given that the Patriots have been vulnerable to QB’s in fantasy, but with all of the value, and with Joe Flacco doubtful to play, I think it’s pretty clearly Luck, Jackson or Mahomes for cash now. Brady is hobbled by a knee injury, and he is in the midst of a pretty rough season overall for fantasy, thus I will be avoiding him in DFS.
Running Back: Dalvin Cook has been a stone disaster this season between being injured and being completely mis-managed by the Vikings, but he has been involved pretty heavily in the passing game since he returned. I think it’s ultimately a bit thin, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking a GPP dart on him in a high total game. The Vikings run defense is too tough for me to be interested in the underwhelming Sony Michel, and they are strong against pass catching backs as well eliminating James White from my pool.
Pass Catchers: For tournaments, I am pretty interested in the pass catchers here and that starts with Adam Thielen. The place to attack this Patriots secondary is on the inside with Stephon Gillmore patrolling the perimeter, which is great news for Thielen playing in the slot. He was back to his old ways of 100+ yards and a score last week, and with all of the value present you could easily get to him in cash games should you want. Stefon Diggs comes in as the tourney pivot given his matchup with the aforementioned Gillmore, and the Vikings themselves have struggled to defend slot receivers this season. That’s a big plus for Julian Edelman, who has seen 7+ targets in every game this season outside of last weeks game vs the New York Jets.
Cash Game Pool: Adam Thielen
GPP Pool: Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs, Julian Edelman
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Vegas Insight: Seahawks 27.75, 49ers 17.75
Quarterback: We close my games this week with a real barn burner between the 49ers and the Seahawks, this could of been a great game should Jimmy Garoppolo not have gotten injured. Russell Wilson is the quarterback I’m interested in, and even though the volume is way, way down for him this season given the stone age offense he plays in, he still has two or more touchdowns in every week outside of one, and this 49ers defense has been a sieve through the air this season. Nobody ever plays him anymore, and he is atop my tourney list right now along with the Broncos stack…nobody is realizing the Seahawks have a near 28 implied team total.
Running Back: You can always look at Chris Carson given the volume he sees, but the back I like in this game is Matt Breida. I targeted McCaffrey in this same exact matchup with the Seahawks last week, and Breida was removed from the injury report and should be good to go for this game in Seattle. He’s coming off 13+ touches in four straight weeks, and has taken command of the 49ers backfield.
Pass Catchers: George Kittle definitely falls behind Travis Kelce this week, but the man has seen 23 targets over the last two weeks and we have to consider him an amazing GPP leverage play. As I noted above, I want some Russ exposure this week and it’s going to come in a stack with Tyler Lockett. He’s scored seven times this season, and extremely quiet seven times, and he will avoid the majority of Richard Sherman coverage.
Cash Game Outlook: None
GPP Outlook: Russell Wilson, Matt Breida, George Kittle, Tyler Lockett
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)