RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 13

Fri Nov 29 10:57pm ET
Contributing Writer

Foles is worth using Week 13

Week 13 is already well underway after we had three games on Thanksgiving. There are no teams on a bye, though, so we still have plenty of options available for the Sunday-Monday slate of DFS. Let’s take a look across each of the positions and highlight some of the better players to consider for your entry, as well as a few to avoid.


Top-tier option: Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. OAK ($6,900): In terms of something you don’t see very often, Mahomes threw for fewer than 200 yards in Week 11 against the Chargers. He finished with only 182 yards, to be exact, to go along with one touchdown and one interception. As disappointing as that was, he’s had a bye week to rest and prepare for this matchup against the Raiders, who he torched for 443 yards and four touchdowns in Week 2. The Raiders have allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game in the league, so look for Mahomes to bounce back in a big way.

Cheap target: Nick Foles, JAC vs. TB ($5,800): The Jaguars were smoked by 22 points by the Titans last week, scoring only 20 points of their own in the process. Foles threw for 272 yards, but he failed to register a touchdown pass. Like Mahomes, Foles is also poised for a big rebound performance based on this matchup against a Bucs team that has allowed the second-most passing yards per game and is tied for the second-most touchdown passes allowed

Player to avoid: Philip Rivers, LAC at DEN ($6,000): We may be witnessing the end with Rivers. He’s thrown seven interceptions across his last two games, giving him 14 for the season compared to just 15 touchdown passes. The last time he faced the Broncos, they held him to 211 yards and no touchdowns while picking him off two times in Los Angeles. The Broncos have a stout secondary, so I can’t justify taking a chance on Rivers when Foles has a much more favorable matchup and is $200 cheaper.


Top-tier option: Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. WAS ($9,000): Fading McCaffrey can prove costly. His floor is as high as anyone’s in the league with him posting 1,123 rushing yards, 586 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns. He’s been a workhorse with 221 carries and 83 targets through just 11 games. With the Redskins allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which they can slow down McCaffrey.

Cheap target: Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. LAC ($6,300): It’s ugly at the quarterback spot for the Broncos right now. Brandon Allen has not played well in place of Joe Flacco (neck), so there is a chance that rookie Drew Lock replaces him under center. Regardless of who starts, expect the Broncos to rely heavily on their ground attack. That could result in a big afternoon for Lindsay, who had 114 rushing yards, 33 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Chargers in Week 5.

Player to avoid: Tevin Coleman, SF at BAL ($6,800): Even with Matt Breida (ankle) sidelined the last two weeks, Coleman has only totaled 53 rushing yards on 23 carries. He did find his way into the endzone against the Packers last week, but that’s still not enough production to justify his price tag. Add in having to face a Ravens team that has allowed third-fewest rushing yards per game and Coleman is a hard pass in my eyes.


Top-tier option: Cooper Kupp, LAR at ARI ($7,200): The Rams’ offense has gone cold, scoring 17 points or fewer in three straight games. It’s no surprise that Kupp only has nine catches for 88 yards during that stretch. After targeting him only seven total times in Weeks 10 and 11, the Rams finally smartened up and threw 10 balls his away against the Ravens last week. He caught six of them for 35 yards, which was a bummer of a stat line. Still, with the Cardinals allowing the most passing yards per game, Kupp could go off in this contest if he receives a similar workload.

Cheap target: DeVante Parker, MIA vs. PHI ($5,700): From a fantasy perspective, the Dolphins trailing as often as they do is a good thing for their wide receivers. That means they have to throw a lot to try and keep pace. When Preston Williams (knee) recently went down, Parker was left with a heavy workload to shoulder. He’s received 31 targets across the last three games without Williams, catching 18 of them for 295 yards. While he didn’t find his way into the endzone, his new role provides him with plenty of upside at this price.

Player to avoid: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU vs. NE ($8,000): This has nothing to do with Hopkins’ performance. He’s once again been a monster for the Texans and is coming off a performance against the Colts last week in which he posted 94 yards and two touchdowns. However, he’s the most expensive receiver on the slate and is facing a Patriots defense that has allowed only four passing touchdowns all season. On top of that, they have a staggering 20 interceptions. It might be best to spend your money elsewhere.


Top-tier option: Travis Kelce, KC vs. OAK ($6,300):  With the aforementioned stellar performance by Mahomes against the Raiders earlier this season, it’s no surprise that Kelce registered seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in that contest. He’s also playing well heading into their rematch, posting at least 62 receiving yards in four straight games while catching a touchdown pass in three of those contests. Even though he is pricey, he’s arguably the safest tight end on the slate.

Cheap target: Ryan Griffin, NYJ at CIN ($4,400): The Jets didn’t get Griffin involved in the offense much out of the gate, but he’s become a revelation for them down the stretch. He’s registered at least 50 receiving yards in three of his last five games, which included a 109-yard performance against the Redskins in Week 11.  He also has four touchdown receptions during that five-game stretch. At this cheap price, he’s worth considering if you want to fade Kelce in tournament play.

Player to avoid: Mark Andrews, BAL vs. SF ($5,800): With the way Lamar Jackson is playing, putting Andrews here might not seem wise. However, I’m leery of the 49ers’ defense since they have allowed an average of just 136.9 passing yards per game. Kelce has significantly more upside and is only $500 more, so taking a chance on Andrews bucking the trend against a great defense seems unwise.

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.

Player Notes
Jameis Winston Dec 15 12:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb) is officially active for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. Winston wasn't able to throw a football in practice until Friday, though he was able to finish off last week's 456-yard, four-touchdown performance with the injury. Winston has a great chance to stay hot against Detroit's suspect pass defense. Fantasy owners must beware the risk- Winston can be erratic even without a fractured thumb.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Dec 15 12:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (ribs, illness) is inactive for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos. Darwin Thompson, LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware will shoulder the load for Kansas City. The Chiefs backfield isn't an ideal fantasy situation, though McCoy, who's had success running in snowy conditions, and Thompson are probably the safest choices.

From RotoBaller

Bo Scarbrough Dec 15 12:20pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is officially inactive for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Scarbrough wasn't able to practice on Thursday or Friday, so it was likely a longshot for him to play anyway. Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, and practice-squad call-up Wes Hills will lead the backfield in Scarbrough's absence. All are shaky plays, considering Tampa Bay possesses the league's best run defense.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Dec 15 12:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans. When healthy, Fuller has been a difference-maker, averaging 7.6 targets and 74 receiving yards per game. He possesses considerable upside and could be worth a start in what should be a competitive divisional game. Fuller's presence is also a boost to quarterback Deshaun Watson's stock for this contest.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Dec 15 12:00pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is active for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Edelman was optimistic about playing, though it's nice to get the official word. He's a must-start considering his eight-game streak with double-digit targets and the fact that Tom Brady doesn't seem to trust any other receiver in this offense right now.

From RotoBaller

Derek Barnett Dec 15 11:53am ET

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Lane Johnson, DL Shareef Miller, OG Sua Opeta, DE Derek Barnett, QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Jordan Howard and WR Nelson Agholor inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Bo Scarbrough Dec 15 11:53am ET

Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is not active for Week 15's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

From TheHuddle

Derrick Henry Dec 15 11:53am ET

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.

Fantasy Spin: Henry should receive his normal workload this week and has been one of the top running backs in the NFL during the second half of the season. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Dec 15 11:53am ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller will return to the lineup after missing some time because of his hamstring injury. He should see a handful of targets in the passing game but may not be more than a flex option in leagues.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Dec 15 11:53am ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 15 game.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Dec 15 11:53am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman should be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots this week and can be a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Freddie Kitchens Dec 15 11:50am ET

According to a report by NFL's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns plan to retain Freddie Kitchens as their head coach after the season ends. Kitchens has gone through some growing pains as a first-time head coach, struggling with play calling at times while trying to manage some big egos in the Cleveland locker room. Despite the rough year, Kitchens is said to have support from the front office barring a late-season disaster. In what has seemed like a lost season at times, Kitchens and the Browns still have a chance to finish with a winning record, which would be just the third time that has happened since the team came back in 1999.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Dec 15 11:43am ET

The New York Giants have declared TE Rhett Ellison, TE Evan Engram, OG Kevin Zeitler, QB Daniel Jones, OG Chad Slade and RB Wayne Gallman inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Greg Olsen Dec 15 11:43am ET

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, OT Garrett McGhin, CB Corn Elder, TE Greg Olsen, DE Marquis Haynes, DL Woodrow Hamilton and LB Ramik Wilson inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Adam Humphries Dec 15 11:43am ET

The Tennessee Titans have declared WR Adam Humphries, CB Adoree' Jackson, LB Daren Bates, LB Sharif Finch, DE Matt Dickerson, DT Isaiah Mack and OG Kevin Pamphile inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Colt McCoy Dec 15 11:43am ET

The Washington Redskins have declared OG Brandon Scherff, TE Caleb Wilson, WR Trey Quinn, CB Quinton Dunbar, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, OG Ross Pierschbacher and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Odell Beckham Jr. Dec 15 11:40am ET

According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is not planning on requesting a trade this offseason. This is a change from what Fox's Jay Glazer reported last week when he broke that Beckham has been telling opposing coaches and players to trade for him on-field before games. While it now appears that Beckham will stay in Cleveland, he is among a group of veterans who are hoping the team makes a few adjustments to the coaching staff and how roles are delegated for the 2020 season. Beckham is also said to be playing through a hernia injury although no decisions have been made in regards to his offseason plans just yet. A source told LaCanfora that the injury is not a major one and that surgery may not be a requirement this offseason.

From RotoBaller

Adam Gotsis Dec 15 11:33am ET

The Denver Broncos have declared DL Adam Gotsis, OG Ronald Leary, CB Shakial Taylor, OT Ja'Wuan James, DE DeMarcus Walker, OT Calvin Anderson and DT Dre'Mont Jones inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Dec 15 11:33am ET

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Nick Allegretti, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton and TE Deon Yelder inactive for Week 15.

From TheHuddle