Daily Fantasy Football Week 12 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS
Are you ready for my Daily Fantasy Football Week 12 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS? With Turkey Day over with and Sunday's slate being smaller than usual, this is usually the week where getting that sharp edge could mean millions of dollars won. So here I am to make you lose instead! Last week's values were still pretty solid, with maybe the exception of Bortles, as he did kinda hit value but was very underwhelming and Bortles-like. Crowell had a chance to get a TD from the 1 yard line, but he's on the Browns, so of course he didn't. AJ Green's injury was extremely unfortunate and probably was a giant buzzkill to some of your Bell/DJ lineups, but we must trod on and continue to dig for gold. As always, looking at the DailyRoto Big Board of Sexy, Gorgeous, and Sharp Projections will lead us to the promised land as it has all season. Unless you aren't a premium subscriber. Shrug.
WEEK 12 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
Top Play – Tom Brady gets to beat up the Jets and old man Revis, who's been getting consistently scorched by both opposing receivers and the media, but there's still some injury questions surrounding his supporting cast. For that reason, I'll look elsewhere, despite Brady's ability to make anybody work in the offense and still score points. Eli Manning gets the stanky Browns, giving up the 4th most points to opposing QBs, but I'm liking Russell Wilson's matchup against the Bucs a little better. The Seahawks just lost Prosise to a fractured scapula, which I won't pretend to know what the hell that is, and they're still not trying to push Rawls too hard as he apparently was “banged up” after the Eagles game. That probably means even more passing from the Seahawks, who were already transitioning to a predominately pass-heavy offense with Wilson turning into the elite QB everyone had been used to seeing. The Bucs' pass defense is still swiss cheese, giving up the 6th most points to opposing QBs with a DVOA pass defense ranking of 18th. Brent Grimes suffered an injury last week and was only just able to return to a limited practice, so their best cornerback is questionable at best to play. Both teams have been giving up way too many plays to opposing offenses, and with the Bucs already operating at a high pace, there's likely 70+ plays for both offenses to dish out damage. Wilson has been fantastic over the last three games, combining for eight total TDs, including a receiving touchdown last week. With some injury issues for the Bucs secondary (their nickel back is also hurt and likely out for the game), this is a great spot for Wilson to jump in and drop 300+ passing and a couple touchdowns as a lower-owned play compared to Manning/Brady. I'll take three receiving touchdowns, too.
Value Play – Boy, that Derek Carr is something else, isn't he? With a jaw-dropping performance in the 4th quarter where Carr brought his team back from the dead and put up 200+ yards and two TDs to get the Raiders win. He'll be this week's top value at QB, as the DR Big Board has Carr as a tremendous value on DraftKings and FanDuel. He'll be facing a Panthers defense dealing with the loss of their captain and leader in Luke Kuechly. They were already giving up the 9th most point to opposing QBs with a thin secondary and an anemic pass rush, so the injury to Kuechly just exposes those weaknesses even further. A 19th ranked DVOA pass defense just got that much worse, and with Carr looking like a real MVP, I'd be hard pressed to think he doesn't hit value with ease against the Panthers. Generally speaking, whenever Carr faces a below average secondary and is able to have time in the pocket, he goes bananas and annihilates the defense. Case in point, and may help the Russel Wilson top play as well, Carr threw for 500+ and four touchdowns against the Buccaneers in Week 8. You just won a BRAAAAAND.....NEWWWW....CARR!!!!! That's a The Price is Right reference. You are all welcome.
BOLD CALL – It's Wacco Flacco time! Yes, we all know the Ravens are allergic to touchdowns and generally like to win games with 10 field goals, but that'll change this week against the Bengals. The Ravens may be an inefficient offense, but they're still averaging the 4th most offensive snaps in the NFL, while their defense is giving up the least amount of snaps! That's a fantastic combo to help boost Flacco's fantasy value, as no matter what happens Flacco will still get a chance to stat pad or just throw five picks. It's all about opportunity here people! The Bengals are giving up the 7th most points to opposing QBs and are 20th against the pass/26th versus the run. That means the Ravens can fully run their offense and get the play action game going more effectively than most weeks. Flacco on the play actions and getting the 1-on-1 looks for some bomb touchdowns is where's he's most comfortable. Old man Steve Smith is still chugging away and slapping these youngins who get too cocky with him, and Mike Wallace is still fast. Remember, what is fast may never be slow! Let's get wacky this week!
Top Play – On a week without Le'Veon Bell or Ezekiel Elliot, and few truly elite RBs to begin with, David Johnson is as clear as day for the top dog spot at RB. He'll be facing a porous ATL run defense that's been struggling all year, grading negatively versus the run at most defensive spots. They're giving up the 5th most points to opposing RBs with a paltry 28th DVOA run defense ranking. DJ is a complete running back...[sociallocker]much in the mold of Le'Veon Bell, a workhorse who gets ridiculous amounts of touches and is one of the Cardinals' best receivers. Let's take a look at his last four games. 84 carries for 295 yards two TDs, 27 catches on 40 targets for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Whew. Double whew. If you didn't roster DJ last week when he was under 10% in almost every contest, then why wouldn't you this week when he'll likely be the highest owned RB? Do you like losing money? I thought not.
Value Play – Over the past two weeks, the Giants' rushing offense has been clicking and has greatly improved their overall offense. It's all due to one man: Rashad Jennings, who will be this week's top value play. His last two games stat line looks like this – 36 carries for 172 yards and one TD, eight catches on 12 targets for 66 yards. Not elite, but at his price point and matchup against the 30th ranked Browns run defense, those are elite numbers for a value RB. Jennings saw his offensive snaps jump from 60% to 70% over the last two games. He's clearly been their best RB and he's the oil to the Giants engine. The receiving numbers are obviously a huge boost to Jennings' value, but the Giants' willingness to ride the rushing game is what I'm most excited about. The G-Men have generally been pro-run game and have forgotten about it at the latter points of the games. Run Rashad, RUN!
BOLD CALL – Despite the Jets' brutally abysmal offense, Matt Forte has still been receiving RB1 touches and will be coming off a bye to help rest up his old body. The Jets renamed Ryan Fitzpatrick as a starter and I'm not sure if that really matters. The point here is the Jets are still determined to ride Lord Forte until he breaks down and becomes nothing more than a folklore legend tale. Forte's carries over the last 4 games looks like this – 30, 25, 12, and 20. That's quite a lot of carries. He'll be facing a lackluster Pats defense that's allowed the 16th most points to the position but have the 4th best run defense. That seems concerning at first, but looking deeper into the defense you'll notice that they've been hemorrhaging passing yards. The Pats pass defense is ranked a lowly 27th DVOA. They're a bend but don't break team and that usually means giving up the passes underneath, rather than giving up the big play. Forte's still being involved in the passing offense, and with the Jets likely wanting to limit Brady's snaps on offense, it seems prudent that the Jets would have a run-heavy gameplan to win the time of possession battle. Of course, it's the Jets and they've been pretty bad this year. A BOLD CALL's a BOLD CALL. It's time for Lord Forte to smite his enemies with his thunderous runs and mighty hands!
Top Play – There's a lot of tough match-ups this week among the elite WRs, like Mike Evans against Sherman's likely shadow coverage, Julio Jones against Patrick Peterson's shadow coverage, and Allen Robinson against Bortles' horrible passes. It's probably best to pivot to Odell Beckham against the Browns, as Joe Haden's been struggling over the past few weeks, suddenly turning into a turnstile in the secondary with a 60.1 grade. In fact, the entire Browns secondary are all in the 60s, including one of the worst cornerbacks in Tramon Williams, whose injury kept him out Week 11. Not that he mattered anyway. Odell hasn't been incredible over the past month, but he's still providing plenty of points and gobbling up targets, with 37 targets seen over the last four games. He's also still getting the redzone looks and turning slants into touchdowns with three TDs in the last four games. The Browns are somehow not the dead last ranked pass defense, as the Detroit Lions hold that honor....for now. The 2nd worst ranked pass defense DVOA probably means Odell can turn any slant into a long touchdown against basically anybody that tries to cover him. Both teams have been riding the no huddle much more as the season has progressed, with the Browns defense giving up the 5th most offensive snaps and the Giants running the highest no-huddle percentage in the NFL. That can lead to increased snaps for both teams, which creates seemingly unlimited opportunities to score touchdowns against bad defenses. And believe me folks, the Browns are bad. They're very bigly bad, with YUGE holes everywhere. I know a Browns staff member and we're really good friends, believe me. Beckham is a very, very good play, very, very nice and great. Believe me.
Value Play – Over the past month, there's only been one defense that's been above and beyond the worst pass defense in the NFL, giving up free yards to every receiver imaginable. That's the Green Bay Packers, and they'll get the Philly Eagles for a Monday Night Showdown. The Packers are giving up the MOST fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and that's what makes Jordan Matthews the best value at WR. Spinning the DR Big Board and you'll notice they have Matthews as a top value on DraftKings and FanDuel. Matthews has been the most consistent part of a sometimes painstakingly boring, slow, and bland Philly offense behind struggling rookie QB, Carson Wentz. Over the last four weeks, Matthews has seen double digit targets all four games, totaling 44 targets for a solid 28/285/1 stat line. Matthews will be getting the best match-up out of all the Philly receivers, as 73% of his routes run are in the slot. The slot position is manned by the Packers' Micah Hyde with a 50.9 grade, giving up one of the highest points per route ran. That's fantasy heaven for both Jordan Matthews and fellow DFS players who want to play games with Monday's slate. His price is just too cheap for such a great match-up and under the bright lights to pass up on, no matter how unattractive their offense is to watch. Remember, it's Matthews with two Ts, not Mathews with one T. That's Ryan Mathews, a player that was destined to piss all of us off with his one yard touchdowns and three total carries.
BOLD CALL – The Rams organization may be one of the laughingstocks of this past NFL season, refusing to play Goff over Keenum when just about everyone knew Keenum wasn't going to cut it. The Rams still have a very solid defense with the 9th overall defense DVOA, a 12th rated pass defense, and 7th for the run defense. However, even a top 10 defense like the Rams still has their weaknesses, and therein lies the gist of the...well this whole thing. Michael Thomas will be facing one of those said weaknesses, as Thomas runs 55% of his routes on E.J. Gaines side. Who is E.J. Gaines, you ask? He's one of the worst graded cornerbacks in the NFL, with a horrendous grade of 38.2! With Troy Hill getting himself kicked off the team for his DUI issues, Gaines is their only option across Trumaine Johnson's side for the rest of the year. That's just delectable. Thomas hasn't been on the DFS landscape since his two TD game against the 49ers, but make no mistake about Thomas – he's still Brees' favorite target and is still regularly outsnapping his fellow receivers in Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. This is one of my favorite gambles this week and for good reason, so I hope he hits pay dirt for all of us!
Top Play – Gronk versus the Jets would likely be my top play, but with injury issues still lingering causing Gronk to be a likely game-time decision, we'll have to look elsewhere again. Jimmy against the Bucs seems like a great play, but what about Greg Olsen? Yes, he's basically been on a milk carton over the last four games, but that's what makes him so attractive! His price is still a little high for his lackluster performances, but he's still an elite TE play that many will have forgotten about against the Raiders, giving up the 7th most points to the position. You remember that Raiders defense, right? The one everyone picked the tight end playing them every single week? Well, it's time to do that again, as they're starting to slip in their coverage against TEs, giving up 6/82 on 10 targets to C.J. Fiedorowicz (Fedor) and a touchdown to both Cameron Brate and Julius Thomas. It all comes down to whether or not Cam Newton decides to go to Olsen more often than not, as early season Newton to Olsen was CASH MONEY! Olsen's last 3 games have seen targets of 7, 8, and 7, so that's a good start for Olsen's comeback story. I just love the low ownership percentage elite plays. Olsen needs to channel his inner Dexter and show the Raiders who the real psychopath is.
Value Play – Marty B is the obvious pick again if Gronk is out, but for the sake of argument, I'll pick someone different. I'm gonna go with good ol' Fedor, whom I just referenced to earlier in the top play. He's been the Texans' most consistent receiver and a favorite of the giraffe, Brockonvich Osweiner. A little over the top? I try. Fedor has managed to catch 19 of the 29 fastballs Brock has thrown his way, mostly for short gains. Fedor's had a few games where those fastballs actually led to big chunk of yards, as he's had games of 81, 85, and 61 yards in the past two months. The Chargers may only be giving up the 12th fewest points to the position, but they're still giving up enough yardage to TEs to rank their TE coverage at 14th DVOA. Picking the value TE play is mostly based on volume and opportunities, and Fedor checks off everything on the list that you want from a TE. He's been the 5th best TE since Week 4 and still isn't priced like a TE1 on most sites. It's a knockout if I've ever seen one, and yes, I'm doing the same Fedor KO joke again. Sue me.
BOLD CALL – The Ravens have been one of the best defenses at covering opposing TEs, giving up the 2nd fewest points with the best DVOA rating in TE coverage. So why am I picking Tyler Eifert against them? One word. VOLUME. With the Bengals losing both Gio Benard and AJ Green for the game (and possibly season), someone's going to get all of those targets. It only makes logistical sense that Eifert would be the one to gain from Green's injury, and with Bernard's injury, Eifert also becomes the dump-off guy for Dalton. It's really just based on volume and opportunities rather than match-up, and let's be honest with ourselves - Eifert has the size and talent to become match-up proof and Dalton is going to spam him as much as humanly possible. Show me some Eifert, damn it!
WEEK 12 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
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