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FFL: Week 12 | NFL: Week 12

RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 6

Fri Oct 16 10:31am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Golladay is a great DFS play


A lot of big names won’t be available in DFS this week with the Saints, Seahawks, Raiders and Chargers all on a bye. Still, there are plenty of great options to consider when building your entry. Let’s discuss a couple of players at each position to target, as well as some to possibly avoid.

Quarterbacks

Ren Roethlisberger, PIT vs. CLE ($6,100): Roethlisberger isn’t exactly racking up yards this season, averaging 254 passing yards per game. Excluding the two games he played last season, that’s his lowest per game average since 2012. However, he has 10 touchdown passes and is on pace to set a new career high with his 69.9 percent completion rate. In short, he’s off to a great start. Slowing him down will be a tall order for the Browns, considering they are tied for the third-most passing touchdowns allowed in the league.

Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. ATL ($5,700): Yes, the Vikings don’t usually throw a lot. Still, Cousins has eight touchdown passes and has thrown for at least 249 yards in four of five games. His low salary stands out here since it puts him in the range of Philip Rivers ($5,800), C.J. Beathard ($5,800) and even Mitch Trubisky ($5,700). That almost seems ludicrous with Cousins facing a Falcons team that is tied for the most touchdown passes allowed.

Player to Avoid

Carson Wentz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,900): Wentz and the banged-up Eagles’ offense now has to face a Ravens team that has allowed the fewest points per game (15.2) in the league. They have been great at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, registering the fifth-most sacks. Add in Wentz’s propensity for throwing interceptions and it’s difficult to find a reason to roll with him given this matchup.

Running backs

Derrick Henry, TEN vs. HOU ($7,500): This might be a matchup made in heaven. The Titans are no strangers to giving Henry a heavy workload, which has left him to average 25.3 carries this season. The last time we saw him take the field against the Texans, he torched them for 211 yards and three touchdowns in Week 17 last year. While that will be difficult to duplicate, he could still be extremely productive given that the Texans have allowed the second-most rushing yards per game.

Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. ATL ($5,300): This is basically a free square with Mattison at this salary if Dalvin Cook (groin) is forced to sit out. With Cook suffering the injury early in the third quarter last week against the Seahawks, Mattison took over and finished with 112 yards on 20 carries. The Falcons’ defense has been awful in just about every facet of the game, so Mattison could be in line for a monster day if he’s left with the lead role out of the backfield.

Player to Avoid

Mark Ingram, BAL at PHI ($6,400): Make no mistake about it, the Ravens are a run-heavy team. The problem is they spread out their carries between Ingram, J.K Dobbins and Gus Edwards. That’s left Ingram to log 11 carries or fewer in all five games. Considering he doesn’t come at much of a discount, you’d likely be better off keeping him out of your entry.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Golladay, DET at JAC ($7,500): We haven’t seen much of Golladay this season after he missed the first two games with an injury. The Lions then had a bye in Week 5, meaning he’s only taken the field two times. However, he scored a touchdown in both contests and garnered a total of 15 targets. He’s the clear top option in the Lions’ passing attack and could be in line for a busy afternoon against a Jaguars team that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game.

Justin Jefferson, MIN vs. ATL ($6,400): The Vikings should be a popular team to stack with how poorly the Falcons’ defense has played this season. Jefferson is among the most appealing DFS options on the team despite registering only three catches for 23 yards against the Seahawks last week. Prior to that poor showing, he had recorded at least 100 yards in back-to-back contests. Don’t be surprised if he quickly bounces back with a productive stat line here.

Player to Avoid

Deebo Samuel, SF vs. LAR ($6,000): Jimmy Garoppolo looked awful in his return against the Dolphins last week and was eventually benched in what turned out to be a blowout loss. Samuel was the victim of his struggles, finishing with only two catches for 19 yards despite receiving eight targets. The Rams have allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game, so whether it’s Garoppolo or Beathard under center, neither might be able to lead Samuel to a valuable stat line.

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. HOU ($5,400): Smith looked primed for an expanded role heading into this season and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s received 27 targets through four games, catching 18 of them for 221 yards and five touchdowns. Adam Humphries has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but Corey Davis’ status is still uncertain heading into this matchup. With that being said, even if he does return, Smith should still have a significant of enough role to be worth considering.

Jimmy Graham, CHI at CAR ($4,800): The move from the Packers to the Bears has done wonders for Graham’s fantasy value. He had five total touchdowns during his two-year stint in Green Bay, but he already has four through five games with the Bears. He should continue to be one of their top red zone targets, making him an appealing option at such a budget-friendly salary.

Player to Avoid

Zach Ertz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,300): Even with the Eagles decimated at wide receiver, Ertz can’t get anything going. He’s posted back-to-back games with fewer than 10 receiving yards and he had only one reception last week against the Steelers. It feels like he can only go up from here, but a tough matchup against the Ravens doesn’t exactly set things up for this to be his breakout week.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Top Headlines

Five Hot Plays: Week 12

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Tevin Coleman Nov 27 3:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) appears to be trending towards making his return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. His timing is somewhat unfortunate as fellow running back Raheem Mostert (knee) appears on track to make his return this week as well. If both players are active for the game, Mostert will be the team's primary rusher while Coleman and Jerick McKinnon play secondary roles. Coleman is a worthwhile deep league stash as he could have value down the stretch this year, but for now, he shouldn't be trusted as a starting option.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Nov 27 2:50pm ET

The Houston Texans are releasing wide receiver Kenny Stills on Friday to give him a chance to latch on with a contender. Stills will go on waivers. The Texans were open to dealing the 28-year-old at the trade deadline, but nothing ever came of it. He was inactive on Thursday for the team's Thanksgiving win over the Lions with a quadriceps injury and has just 11 receptions (19 targets) for 144 yards and a touchdown in 10 games this year for Houston. His departure could mean more work for Keke Coutee down the stretch, but it should remain Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb (when healthy) in three-receiver sets. Stills remains on the waiver wire in the majority of leagues, but he could be worth a deep-league flier if he lands in the right situation.

From RotoBaller

Nick Mullens Nov 27 2:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens is in a tough position going into Week 12. First off, he's facing a Los Angeles Rams Defense that has been one of the league's best against the pass. They've allowed just 200.6 passing yards per game this year, which ranks second in the league. Second, Mullens is going to be working with a depleted set of receivers in the game. While Deebo Samuel (hamstring) might be able to return for the game, the team will be without Brandon Aiyuk (COVID), who has been the team's most consistent receiving threat this year. The team also may not have Jordan Reed (illness) for the game. Mullens is a low-end QB2 option in two-quarterback leagues, but you might be better off looking for other alternatives.

From RotoBaller

Nick Foles Nov 27 2:50pm ET

Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (hip) is listed as doubtful to face the division-rival Packers in Week 12. It means that Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), who has practiced in full this week, will return to the starting gig under center after being benched for Foles in Week 3. Neither Foles nor Trubisky have been the answer for the Bears offense in 2020, but at least Trubisky offers fantasy managers in superflex leagues a bit more upside because of his rushing ability. No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson II should also benefit, as he showed some nice chemistry with Trubisky in 2019. Trubisky's fantasy stock is back on the rise as a low-end QB2, but he'll also be facing a Packers Defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to signal-callers this season.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Nov 27 2:50pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr may be in the QB1 conversation this week against a bad Falcons Defense that ranks 29th against opposing quarterbacks. The Falcons defense has allowed the second-most passing yards, tied for the second-most passing touchdowns, and a passer rating of 105.9, which is the worst in the NFL. They have also allowed the most passing plays over 20 yards. Carr has been a very good road quarterback this season, completing about 68 percent of his passes, with nine touchdowns and just one interception. Carr has not put up the volume numbers this season to regularly be a QB1 but is worthy of consideration this week due to a favorable matchup.

From RotoBaller

Raheem Mostert Nov 27 2:50pm ET

It appears likely that San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (knee) will make his return to action in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. Mostert suffered a knee injury in Week 6 and was placed on Injured Reserve shortly after. While he's been out, the team has struggled to find consistent production in their running game. If Mostert is indeed activated prior to this week's game, he should see a heavy workload right out of the gate. The Rams have a tough defense, allowing just 91.3 rushing yards per game, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan should be able to put together a game plan that will allow Mostert to have success regardless. Start Mostert as a high-end RB2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Arizona Cardinals Nov 27 2:40pm ET

The Cardinals Defense has a favorable matchup in Week 12. They face a New England Patriots team that's averaged just 20.9 points per game this year. The Cardinals have allowed at least 28 points in four straight games, but they've faced far more productive offenses over that stretch. Against weak offenses, the Cardinals Defense has shown some value. They held the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys to 10 points each in back-to-back weeks. If you're in a bind, you could do worse than starting the Cardinals Defense in Week 12, but there's certainly a risk that the Patriots find a way to score 25 or more points in a game that could be more high-scoring than they're accustomed to.

From RotoBaller

Los Angeles Chargers Nov 27 2:40pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers have ruled out cornerback Casey Hayward (groin) and defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee) for Week 12 against the Bills. Ingram has already spent time on Injured Reserve for a knee injury, so this is more bad news for the 31-year-old pass-rusher from South Carolina. He's totaled just 10 tackles, four QB hits and one interception in his seven games played this season. The Chargers secondary will be extra vulnerable without Hayward out there on Sunday, giving more upside to both Bills QB Josh Allen and top wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Los Angeles defense should be faded this week in DFS and season-long leagues with both Ingram and Hayward out.

From RotoBaller

Andy Isabella Nov 27 2:30pm ET

If you're in a tight spot going into Week 12, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella could be a decent dart throw option for you. Isabella has been extremely quiet ever since his two-touchdown performance in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. However, this week the Cardinals will be without Larry Fitzgerald (COVID) for the first time this year, which should open up extra opportunities for Isabella. The Cardinals will face the New England Patriots in Week 12. The Patriots Defense is known for focusing attention on No. 1 targets, which could mean DeAndre Hopkins will struggle in the game. Isabella is an extremely risky start, but he could see around five targets, which gives him a solid chance to make a few big plays and deliver a solid flex performance for deep league owners.

From RotoBaller

Indianapolis Colts Nov 27 2:30pm ET

The Colts Defense has a tough test this week against a good Titans offense. The Titans offense is led by Derrick Henry who rushed for over 100 yards on 5.4 yards per carry against the Colts defense in Week 10. Henry has at least 100 yards in six of 10 games and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry on the season. They struggled in stopping the run in Week 10 but were good against the pass. They held Ryan Tannehill to just 147 passing yards and a passer rating of 83.4. They ended up holding the Titans offense to just 17 points in their first meeting and will look for a similar performance this week. It will be a tall task, but the Colts defense should have starting consideration based on how well they have played for most of the season.

From RotoBaller

Kalen Ballage Nov 27 2:30pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Kalen Ballage (ankle, calf) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Bills. Ballage was limited in practice this week, so he should be able to play, barring a last-minute setback. But we also don't know for sure yet if Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will return yet after being designated to return from Injured Reserve this week. But if Ekeler sits out another game, which is expected, Ballage should continue to be the leader of this backfield while fending off rookie Joshua Kelley and Troymaine Pope. The Bills Defense has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to running backs, too, so Ballage will be in the RB2 conversation if he's active and Ekeler remains sidelined.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Nov 27 2:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton enters the week as the No. 2 tight end on the Colts depth chart behind Jack Doyle. Burton played just 29 percent of the team's snaps last week while Jack Doyle played in 54 percent. Mo Alie-Cox is still in the mix as well, and he played 51 percent of the team's snaps. Despite Doyle and Alie-Cox seeing more snaps, Burton is still the most expensive DFS option this week between the three. The formula for Burton's production is fairly simple. He does not catch a lot of passes, so he relies on touchdowns for decent fantasy days. This makes him difficult to trust from week to week, but he is the only tight end on the team that should be given starting consideration being that Doyle and Alie-Cox hardly ever produce.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Nov 27 2:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has a bit of a challenge ahead against the New England Patriots in Week 12. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is widely known for his efforts to take team's No. 1 options away in games. This week, that will certainly mean Hopkins. Hopkins is coming off a disappointing showing where he caught just five of eight targets for 51 yards. He's followed up every disappointing game with a big one this year, so he's likely going to make it hard on Belichick and the Patriots contain him. Start him with confidence as a WR1 this week, but don't be surprised if it's a bit of a bumpy ride.

From RotoBaller

Salvon Ahmed Nov 27 2:20pm ET

Miami Dolphins rookie running back Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jets. On top of it, the Dolphins are non-committal on whether Myles Gaskin (knee) will play after being designated to return from Injured Reserve this week. If Gaskin is available to play, he should be at least eased in as the featured back in a great matchup against the winless Jets. However, if Gaskin misses another game, we should see some sort of timeshare between Matt Breida, Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington. The matchup is obviously a tasty one, but good luck to any fantasy managers trying to navigate those choppy backfield waters if both Gaskin and Ahmed aren't available.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Nov 27 2:20pm ET

The Cleveland Browns will travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. Jacksonville has benched rookie quarterback Jake Luton and will turn to journeyman QB Mike Glennon against Cleveland in the contest. Glennon has not been particularly impressive in his career, having thrown 20 interceptions in 29 games. The last time Glennon started for a team, he threw five picks in four starts for the Chicago Bears back in 2017. Cleveland's defense has been at or near the league leaders in takeaways this season and should be able to add to that total against a struggling Jacksonville offense that will be without top wideout D.J. Chark in Week 12. Start the Browns as a top-six fantasy defense this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Nov 27 2:20pm ET

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk has had two straight rough outings. He's caught just eight passes for 77 yards over the past two weeks. However, things look favorable for him going into Week 12 against the New England Patriots. The team will be without Larry Fitzgerald (COVID-19) for the game, which should mean more targets will be headed his way. Plus, the Patriots are known for focusing in on No. 1 offensive options, which means that the Patriots Defense may be flooding on DeAndre Hopkins, allowing for more open space for Kirk. Start Kirk as a WR2 in all formats. Look for him to see at least eight targets in the game, giving him a good chance to flirt with 100 yards and find the endzone.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Nov 27 2:20pm ET

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said the team will watch film on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) and running back Myles Gaskin (knee) before deciding if they will play in Week 12 against the Jets. Tagovailoa's thumb injury wasn't deemed serious this week, so it's curious that they are considering sitting him out against the winless Jets in a matchup that he should bounce back in after being benched late in the Week 11 loss to Denver. With the injury and now the chance that he won't play at all, the rookie QB is a shaky low-end QB2 this weekend. Gaskin was designated to return from Injured Reserve this week and could make his return in an excellent matchup with the Jets. With rookie Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) ruled out, Gaskin could have some nice RB2 upside if he returns on Sunday. Check to make sure he's not available on your league's waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Kenyan Drake Nov 27 2:10pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake had an interesting performance last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards and a touchdown while adding four catches for 31 yards on five targets. His 2.6 yards per carry were disappointing, but the touchdown helped save his day. Meanwhile, his work in the passing game was a nice surprise. It was his first time this year with more than two targets in a game and also his first time with over 10 receiving yards in a game. This week, against the New England Patriots, it's unclear whether Drake will still be used heavily in the passing game, but he should get plenty of work regardless. Look for him to see around 15 touches in the game, making him a solid RB2 in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Nov 27 2:10pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Vikings, but head coach Matt Rhule said he's "pessimistic" that McCaffrey will play. McCaffrey has been unlikely to play all week, especially with Carolina having their bye in Week 13. But the All-Pro running back is getting closer and should return in Week 14 to face the Broncos. Fantasy managers can only hope that McCaffrey is ready to roll when the fantasy playoffs begin in most leagues. You shouldn't be holding out slim hopes that he'll play this Sunday, though. Mike Davis should continue to be the featured back with McCaffrey hurt, once again giving him RB1 upside against Minnesota.

From RotoBaller

Austin Hooper Nov 27 2:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper is in the midst of a slow season with his new team. Hooper has caught just 26 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown while missing two games for Cleveland. He draws a plus matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars pass defense that has been generous to opposing tight ends this season. Jacksonville is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the tight end position on the year. Hooper settles in as a low-end TE1 for Week 12.

From RotoBaller