Daily Fantasy Football Week 13 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS
Are you ready for my Daily Fantasy Football Week 13 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS? Welp, last week's values were middling at best, which ended a surprisingly long streak of at least three value plays hitting for over a month. It had to crash and burn sometime, right? Let's get back in the saddle for a ride to Millionaire Land, where players like Marquess Wilson and Ryan Fitzpatrick can turn a wasteland of a lineup into fantasy gold. This week has some tantalizing matchups and great values at almost every position, setting up for a potentially high scoring week. Let's get down to the nitty gritty with the last month of DFS NFL (not counting playoffs) and find that secret road leading to Millionaire Land. I'd take a ferry to Thousandaire Land too, but I have no standards. Do you?
Top Play – Drew Brees has been more like Drew Breesus over the past few weeks, annihilating the Rams for 4 TDs and a rushing TD as he got his revenge on Gregg Williams for the whole BountyGate thing. That's now 13 total touchdowns over the past month for Drew Brees, and now he gets the dead last ranked DVOA Lions pass defense inside the comforts of the Superdome. I mean, what more could you want? The Saints average the 2nd most offensive snaps per game, score the 4th most points per snap, and run the 6th highest pace in the league. Yum. The Lions are giving up the 5th most points to opposing QBs as well. The only concern I have with Brees and the game in general is how slow the Lions have played over the past few months. They've realized how appallingly bad their defense is, and have slowed down their offense with more emphasis on ball control in an effort to curtail their defense, basically negating their offensive production. The Lions are the 7th slowest team in the NFL with the 2nd fewest offensive plays ran, but they've never faced an elite offense like the Saints who could suddenly get a 14 point lead early. That would likely change their gameplan into a hurry-up, push-the-pace offense to keep up with the arm of Breesus Christ. That will be what I'll be banking on this week, as Brees forces the Lions to abandon their ball control script and eventually gives the Saints their usual offensive snaps per game. Brandin Cooks will be the Lazarus of the game.
WEEK 13 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
Value Play – With the return of Sammy Watkins, even on a limited basis, Tyrod Taylor suddenly looks like a great value play going forward. Sure, he has 3 games with under 200 yards passing in his last 4, but again that was without his best weapon available for the most part. He's still managed to turn in solid fantasy performances, thanks largely in part to his legs and the Bills' usage of Taylor in the redzone. Taylor has now ran for 4 rushing touchdowns over the last 5 games, compiling 203 rushing yards as well. That's an average of almost 9 fantasy points a game just off Taylor's legs! He'll get the Oakland Raiders' defense that's just been an overall mess for the entire year, despite having some clear talent on the team, most notably the Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin combo that have been wreaking havoc in the passing game. Their run defense? Not so much, as they're ranked 27th DVOA in that department, and that hasn't improved much over the month of November. The Bills are a predominantly run-heavy offense, living off the play action and Tyrod's improvisations/running ability. The return of Sammy Watkins plus LeSean McCoy looking healthy after his 103 rushing yards and 2 TDs performance now has Taylor permanently entrenched among the value QBs for the week. Bet on the woeful Raiders' run defense allowing the Bills to run wild, with Taylor pitching in 50 yards and 3 total touchdowns of his own.
BOLD CALL – These days Alex Smith has been nothing more but a desperation streaming option for season long leagues. His inability to look further than 5 yards down the field plus Maclin's injury has bottle necked his fantasy floor and ceiling. Instead of being a sure thing against weak defenses, Smith just generally falls down on his face and ends up with a 200 yard 1 TD performance that would make even the strongest man weep tears of depression. Alas, I will still pick him against the Falcons defense that's giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs in the hopes that Alex Smith somehow gets his slant touchdowns this time around. Smith brought back the Chiefs from the dead against the Broncos under the bright lights, with a fantastic 3 minute game-tying drive and the 2 pointer to get it to OT, eventually getting the win. That's the Alex Smith I know and hope to see this Sunday. The Falcons lost their best cornerback in Desmond Trufant for the season, a huge blow to their already below average pass defense. It all comes down to opportunities, and while both teams are about average in snaps per game, both defenses have been giving up an ungodly amount of offensive snaps with ATL giving up the 3rd most and KC 4th most. Maclin may return this week, and with the emergence of Tyreek Hill as a legitimate playmaker, the Falcons defense may be just what the doctor ordered for Alex Smith's fantasy outlook. Or not. He's still Alex Smith.
Top Play – Oh, what to do? What to do? Le'Veon Bell? David Johnson? One plays the worst rated run defense DVOA, but the other gets an insane amount of touches and might end up with even more targets against a tough run defense. I believe in the DailyRoto Big Board Of Spinning Things and will pick David Johnson as the top play once again. As mentioned before, DJ will be facing a Redskins run defense that's ranked dead last, which I'm sure you guys noticed on Thanksgiving. Johnson doesn't have to run wild in order to have a great fantasy day, as his pass catching skills have consistently kept DJ in elite company, scoring 30+ fantasy points last week despite only having 58 rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns. Phew. Whew. Gasp. Faint. There isn't much more I can add on to DJ other than he should probably play QB, too. Might as well since the Cardinals' season is over. Give the people what they want! We want a DJ game with a rushing, receiving, and passing touchdown! And add in a kick return touchdown! GET GREEDY!
Value Play – Some people may look to..[sociallocker] Jeremy Hill for this week as Hill has suddenly turned into PPR Hill instead of Standard Hill, racking up a 6/61 receiving stat line. Whatever, I don't believe that will happen again and Standard Hill shows up with similar rushing stats as last week (12 carries for 21 yards). Now I know most of you were burned by the Giants' frustrating offense against a bad Browns defense, resulting in a middling fantasy day for Rashad Jennings. However, when it comes to NFL DFS, one must have a short memory. Jennings will be facing a Steelers defense that's giving up the 5th most points to running backs despite having a 9th rated DVOA run defense. Both teams are top 3 in no-huddle percentage, with the Giants defense also giving up the 2nd most offensive snaps per game. The Giants also have a tough run defense, ranking in at 8th best with the 14th fewest points given up to RBs. That could mean a high amount of passing from both teams, especially the Steelers. There's opportunities for Jennings to double his workload and see even more targets in the passing game as the Giants try to either keep up with the Steelers or take advantage of their bad linebacker play against running backs. Whatever the case may be, Jennings is still the clear workhorse for the Giants and his price has dropped into Value Land. I have faith!
BOLD CALL – Since I'm nearby Tampa, I get force-fed Buccaneers games on TV, despite being a Miami Dolphins fan. That grinds my gears, but I do have a point here. Over the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure of watching the Muscle Hamster do his thing, jump-cutting into a hole that just suddenly opens up out of nowhere and breaking a billion tackles from behind the line. Martin has looked spry, running on fresh legs and helping the Bucs' O run smoothly with an actual running game that complements Famous Jameis' play action bombs to Moss Evans. I mean Mike Evans. Martin will get the 13th ranked DVOA San Diego run defense that's similar to PIT, as they're still giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing RBs, despite a high DVOA rating. In his last two games Martin saw 23 and 24 carries, plus some touches in the passing game. While he hasn't dominated yet, he's still looked very solid and has the trust of the Bucs' staff as evidenced by his high usage. The Bucs are still running an up-tempo offense, gobbling up the 3rd most snaps per game with a near top 10 pace. San Diego's defense is also giving up the 11th most plays per game, making the game a nice little spot for some Dougie Phresh action. Martin's been dangerously close to breaking off huge runs, and I think this is the week he finally rips off a long one for a nice fantasy day. Ride the Muscle Hamster!
Top Play – Many people will flock to Antonio Brown after watching him get three touchdowns on Thanksgiving and wrecking Vontae Davis' ankles in the process, but I'll be looking at the WR below him in Julio Jones. He'll be facing a beat up Chiefs secondary that just gave up almost 400 yards passing to freakin' Trevor “I Hate My Parents” Siemian. There was even a pass where a Chiefs cornerback was in the right spot for an interception, except he was looking at nothing and ended up giving up a touchdown. Terrible! Julio Jones gets used like a real chess piece by the Falcons, playing at every WR position on the field and never sticking to one side or another. However, he does tend to play on the left side quite a bit (46% of routes) in fantastic matchups, and it should be no different this week as he'll face both Philip Gaines (36.2 grade) and Kenneth Acker (67.2), with Gaines giving up an absurd .42 points per route which would be tied for 6th highest this week! After a quiet day at the office last week (4/35 on 7 targets), some people may be off Julio for the week in favor of Mike Evans and Antonio Brown with their huge fantasy performances that certainly can overshadow Julio's season. I will be taking advantage of that possible and very slight edge, as Julio has one of the best matchups and a gamescript that should lead to plenty of scoring opportunities, as noted in the Alex Smith piece. Who's that? IT'S WHO-LIO!
Value Play – As to not anger the great Dinkmeyer, I will not be talking about that one guy that helped him win quite a bit of money. You might have seen the Dink flapping his arms in the air out of pure excitement and ecstasy during those ill-fated DraftKings commercials. What a time to be alive! I will be picking Tyler Boyd instead, and for good reason. He's clearly the A.J. Green replacement for Andy Dalton, hauling in 5 catches for 62 yards on 9 targets against an elite Ravens defense. Sure, some of those throws were pretty terrible and Boyd never really had a chance at a touchdown despite a redzone look. It's the thought that counts, and the opportunities should be easier this week against the Eagles pass defense that's gone from a top 10 unit at the beginning of the season to a bottom 20 unit over the past month, most recently getting lit up by Aaron Godgers and his army of green and yellow disciples. The Eagles' secondary is quickly becoming easy pickings for opposing WRs, giving up the 10th most fantasy points to the position. With Tyler Eifert getting yet another horrific matchup as the Eagles are only giving up the 2nd fewest points to TEs and rank 3rd best in TE coverage, Boyd likely becomes the go-to option for Dalton on the majority of their pass plays. Dalton went to Boyd for several key, crucial 1st down catches that kept drives alive, so the trust is definitely there and that's great news for Boyd's fantasy ceiling. It all comes down to whether or not the Bengals can take advantage of an reeling Eagles secondary that just got dominated by Davante Adams and company. I think they can. Boyd In Da Hood!
BOLD CALL – Is it finally time? Can the Hopkins train finally arrive at its destination? That destination being the opponent's endzones. Hopkins will be facing a Green Bay Packers defense that's been shredded through the air so badly you would think the Packers are trying to make chicken tacos. Shredded chicken? No? We all really, really hate Brock Osweiler and the Bill O'Brien offense that prefers to throw check-downs on 3rd and longs instead of going to their elite WR. He's still seeing targets though, as he's the 9th most targeted player in the NFL. The problem is most of those targets whiz across his head and are therefore, uncatchable. Even Calvin Johnson couldn't make a play on half of the targets Hopkins sees. That all may change this week as Hopkins is in a great spot against the Packers' corners, as the return of Damarous Randall bodes well for his game. Randall compiled a grade of 38.3 before his injuries forced him out of the lineup, so even if he's their best option at cornerback, he's still playing below average. Then you have Micah Hyde, the Packers' slot cornerback with a 48 grade. Hopkins only sees 17% of his routes in the slot, so he'll have to make those opportunities count. Sigh. I already regret typing this. Save us Brock Lobster.
Top Play – Gronk? Hello? Where are you, Gronk? You have a broken back? And a punctured lung? And your party bus broke down? That's a crying shame, Gronk. It is between Travis Kelce, facing an ATL D that's giving up the 5th most points to TEs, and Jimmy Graham against the Panthers defense. The Panthers are giving up the 2nd most points to the position and probably won't have their stud LB Luke Kuechly for the game. Jimmy Graham has also been otherworldly at home, posting stat lines of 6/100/1, 6/89, 8/103/2, and 3/46/1 in his last 4 home games. Impressive! That will nab the top TE spot for the week, as the Seahawks look to correct their mistakes that cost them a win against the Bucs. Graham still saw 7 targets last week for a 6/67 line, so he's still basically a lock for TE1 numbers every single week. Facing the 20th rated TE coverage DVOA that lost its best LB and giving up the 2nd most points? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Dunk on 'em, Jimmy!
Value Play – No, I didn't forget about the Lions' offensive players against the Saints defense that's giving up a ton of points. In fact, Eric Ebron will be gracing the list this week, coming off a clunker of a game against the Vikings in front of the millions of sleepy and hungry Americans that just wanted a turkey leg and some mashed potaters. Prior to his 1 target, 0 catch game versus the Vikings, Ebron had been an elite TE value play since his return from injury, posting lines of 7/79 on 10 targets, 7/92 on 8 targets, and 3/70 on 5 targets with a rushing touchdown. Yes, you read that right. The Saints are rated 21st DVOA at covering the TEs, giving up the 11th most points to the position. As long as Stafford doesn't forget Ebron exists and is actually on his team as number 85, Ebron should have a very solid day and should pay off at his price point. I mean, someone's gotta get the targets, right? Theo Riddick? STOP IT. Pass it to Ebron! If Lance Kendricks can score on the Saints, so can Ebron. And that's the bottom line 'cuz 2ToN said so!
BOLD CALL – So um, apparently Vance McDonald is a thing now. In his last 4 games McDonald has now seen 26 targets and turned them into an eye popping 14/240/2 stat line. For a guy who has bricks for hands and always seems to drop a pass on every other drive, Vance has just somehow stayed DFS relevant, and that doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Kaepernick looks for handy Vance early and often, especially since his starting receivers probably couldn't make most teams' practice squads. McDonald isn't just getting check-downs either, as he's averaging over 17 yards per catch! With his speed and trust/chemistry with Kap, McDonald is a legit TE plays on most weeks. I just can't put him as a value play even though he's priced as one of the cheaper TEs that can actually do serious damage. He'll get the Bears defense's 24th rated DVOA at covering TEs, that just lost one of their best LBs in Danny Trevathan. We all know the story about the 49ers' pace and snaps with Chip Kelly's refusal to give up at any point of the game, even if he's down 40 points with 5 minutes left to go in the 4th quarter. He'll still no-huddle and get in as many plays as possible. McDonald quite literally has endless opportunities to hit value and has the speed to turn a drag into a 80 yard touchdown. Hey, I'm just as surprised as you are that I even mentioned Handy Vance.
WEEK 12 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
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