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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.

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Player Notes
Dustin Hopkins Nov 26 9:50pm ET

Washington Football Team kicker Dustin Hopkins was perfect on Thanksgiving making both of his field-goal attempts and nailing all five extra points in a win over Dallas. Hopkins had been questionable with a groin injury, but wound up suiting up and having one of his best games this season. Despite the perfect day, Hopkins is still making just 73 percent of his field goals this season, a career-low. Washington will be in Pittsburgh in Week 13 which has a chance to be a brutal kicking environment. Hopkins can be avoided for that matchup.

From RotoBaller

Montez Sweat Nov 26 9:50pm ET

The Washington Football Team Defense had a great day for fantasy managers in a Thanksgiving win at Dallas. The highlight of the afternoon was Montez Sweat batting down an Andy Dalton pass which he intercepted and returned for a touchdown. That was just an appetizer, however, as Washington's vaunted defensive line feasted on the Cowboys to the tune of four sacks and a fumble recovery. Washington has been a good defense in fantasy for a few weeks now, but all good things must come to an end. Washington is scheduled to face the Steelers next and is not a recommended start in fantasy for that matchup.

From RotoBaller

Logan Thomas Nov 26 9:40pm ET

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas caught all four of his targets for 20 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Thomas added one carry for three yards and threw a pass for 28 yards in the contest. Thomas has at least 60 yards or a touchdown in four of his last six games and has seen at least four targets in every game Alex Smith has started. He's a must-roster tight end in 12-team fantasy leagues and should be a quality start in a road matchup with the Steelers in Week 13.

From RotoBaller

Alex Smith Nov 26 9:30pm ET

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith completed 19 passes on 26 attempts for 149 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a win over the Cowboys. Smith played well in this game with Washington putting up 41 points, but it didn't translate into a ton of fantasy points as Antonio Gibson ran the ball in for three scores. Smith has played well since taking over for the injured Kyle Allen (ankle) and is a must-start QB2 in two-quarterback formats. He can be a decent streamer in one-QB leagues when he has a good matchup, but that is not the case in Week 13 versus a stout Steelers Defense.

From RotoBaller

Peyton Barber Nov 26 9:10pm ET

Washington Football Team running back Peyton Barber rushed 11 times for 57 yards in a Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys. Barber did most of his damage in the second half as Washington was looking to manage the clock with a big lead. Head coach Ron Rivera seems to prefer Barber to J.D. McKissic on running downs, but both are well behind Antonio Gibson who logged 20 carries. Barber wasn't targeted in the passing game so he lacks fantasy appeal unless something were to happen to Gibson.

From RotoBaller

J.D. McKissic Nov 26 9:00pm ET

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic wasn't very involved against the Cowboys as he logged just three touches in the win. McKissic handled one carry for six yards as head coach Ron Rivera continues to use Peyton Barber as the change-of-pace back from Antonio Gibson. McKissic had been highly involved in the passing game as he logged 29 targets in Alex Smith's first two games as the starter, but McKissic had just four targets last week and just two targets on Thursday, which were turned into 21 yards. McKissic is one of the more game-script dependent backs in the league as his role in the passing game is amplified when Washington is trailing. He'll be a flex-option in PPR formats next week versus Pittsburgh.

From RotoBaller

Terry McLaurin Nov 26 8:40pm ET

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught seven passes for 92 yards in a win over the Cowboys. Thanksgiving may be a national holiday, but for McLaurin, it was just another day at the office as Mr. Consistent put up another solid stat line for fantasy managers. The second-year receiver has seven catches in five of his last six games and has gone over 70 yards in six-straight contests. It would be nice if he found the end zone more often - and fantasy managers can dream of his 100-plus yard, multi-touchdown effort that feels imminent - but McLaurin is one of the best receivers in football and a true matchup-proof WR1 in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Greg Zuerlein Nov 26 8:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked three short field goals and an extra point on Thanksgiving. His field goals came from 33, 32, and 28 yards out. Zuerlein has been good when called on this year, but has had fewer chances than expected. His Thanksgiving Day performance was solid, but he's still not being called on for too many long attempts. He could have a similar performance on another Thursday game next week against the Baltimore Ravens.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Gibson Nov 26 8:30pm ET

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson ran wild on Thanksgiving, rewarding fantasy managers with a cornucopia of points. The rookie rusher turned 20 carries into 115 yards and three touchdowns, the second time this season he's rushed for 100-plus yards versus Dallas. Gibson wasn't done there, however, as the former wide receiver added 21 receiving yards on five catches. Gibson now has eight touchdowns in his last five games while taking over the Washington backfield with at least 15 touches in three straight games. He'll have a tough matchup next week versus the Steelers, but Gibson is a matchup-proof RB1 who should be locked into starting lineups.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Nov 26 8:30pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense struggled against the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving, allowing 35 points while recording three sacks and one interception. They could have scored a defensive touchdown on that interception, but Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin chased down Jaylon Smith and tacked him before he could reach the end zone. The Cowboys defense ended up putting up one fantasy point in this one, unfortunately only one point below their average performance this season. At this point, regardless of matchup, the Cowboys defense cannot be trusted in most fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Nov 26 8:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup made six catches on eight targets in a Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Football team, gaining 41 yards. His catches and targets tied for the team lead with Amari Cooper, but he fell way behind Cooper's 112 yards. Gallup's six catches were his second most of the season, and his eight targets were the third most he's seen this year. He's shown plenty of talent as a receiver, but his usage continues to be too unpredictable to keep him starting in most fantasy lineups. He's best suited for a best-ball league.

From RotoBaller

Dalton Schultz Nov 26 8:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz caught all five of the passes thrown his way in a Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Football Team. His five catches were good for a total of 24 yards. Schultz has developed a strong floor as the tight end safety valve for a team that finds itself passing quite a bit, but he has yet to show much of a ceiling. He's a safe but unexciting fantasy starter in most formats.

From RotoBaller

CeeDee Lamb Nov 26 8:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb caught five passes for 21 yards in a Thanksgiving loss to the division-rival Washington Football Team. He was targeted seven times. Both his catches and targets were second on the team. Lamb dropped a touchdown in the end zone that left quarterback Andy Dalton visibly upset before the game got out of hand. Lamb will hope for better luck next Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens, assuming the game is not rescheduled.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Nov 26 8:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton struggled behind an injured offensive line in a 41-16 loss to the Washington Football Team. On the first Cowboys drive of the game, both Zack Martin (calf) and Cam Erving (knee) limped off the field and into the locker room. Dalton ended up completing 25 of his 35 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He added 17 yards on three carries. Dalton should have had another score, but rookie CeeDee Lamb dropped a touchdown in the end zone while it was still a close game. Dalton was far from great in this one, but he was even farther from being the reason the Cowboys lost. He'll continue as a QB2 but at least is able to make the Cowboys receivers back into startable fantasy assets.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Nov 26 8:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had a tough time on the field in a Thanksgiving loss to the Washington Football Team. Elliott ran the ball 10 times for 32 yards and added one catch on three targets for seven more yards. "Zeke" also lost a fumble and was seen checking in and out of the game in the second half. It was a rough game overall for Elliott, with 11 touches being the fewest he's received in a game so far this season. While he bounced back with a strong Week 11, this performance showed that he's still not quite the every-week RB1 many are used to him being. He'll get the Ravens next Thursday assuming the schedule doesn't change.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Nov 26 8:10pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes after the Thanksgiving matchup against the Steelers was moved to Sunday due to J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram II (among others) also testing positive for the virus. With Jackson now out of the mix for the next few weeks, the team will likely roll with Robert Griffin III as the starting signal-caller. With Griffin not as mobile as he used to be, the door may be open for Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, and Gus Edwards to become more involved.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Nov 26 8:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard ran the ball four times for 12 yards and caught two passes for 10 yards. He was targeted those two times only. Pollard was on the field a bit more than usual with starter Ezekiel Elliott checking in and out of the game with an apparent injury, but the Cowboys just didn't use the running game much in this one, likely due to the fact that two starting offensive linemen were forced to leave the game on the very first drive. Elliott's injury did not appear serious, but Pollard would be an immediate RB2 if Elliott did in fact have to miss a game.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Nov 26 8:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper had a good Thanksgiving despite a loss to the Washington Football Team. Cooper caught six passes, gaining 112 yards and scoring a touchdown. He was targeted eight times. The catches and targets tied him for the team lead, and the yards were almost triple what any other Cowboys receiver gained. Cooper's touchdown came on a 54-yard pass from Andy Dalton in the first quarter, and he continued to play well after that. While Dalton is no Dak Prescott, he's shown that he's certainly good enough to keep Cooper and other Dallas pass catchers relevant.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Nov 26 5:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys tackle Zach Martin left Thursday's game against Washington with what appeared to be a calf injury. He has been ruled out already for the remainder of the game. ESPN's Evan Kaplan points out that the only full game Martin missed this year, Dallas scored three points and allowed six sacks. If Martin misses time with this injury beyond Thursday, the Cowboys offense and quarterback Andy Dalton are in serious trouble.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Nov 26 5:10pm ET

The Houston Texans Defense played their best game of the year against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Houston recorded four sacks, two recovered fumbles, and an interception, which was returned for a touchdown. J.J. Watt did the honors, snatching an errant Matthew Stafford throw and waltzing into the end zone. This was an impressive effort by the Texans, though they should still be left off the fantasy radar next week against a Colts' offense that is starting to put it together.

From RotoBaller