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
Jarvis Landry Aug 15 1:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) looked good in Friday's practice, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. Landry had hip surgery on February 4 but he was able to participate in team drills on Friday and even found the end zone during 11-on-11 drill where he beat safety Andrew Sendejo deep and connected with Baker Mayfield for about a 50-yard score. Stefanski said of Landry, Ive been able to watch him progress here over the last couple of weeks. Hes doing a nice job. Hes not afraid to work. I enjoy watching him out on the practice field. I enjoy having him around the meeting rooms. Hes progressing nicely. All signs point toward Landry being ready for Week 1 when Cleveland faces off against the Baltimore Ravens.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Aug 14 11:20pm ET

Elite Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey didn't hesitate to say his own name when it came to selecting the first pick in fantasy drafts, per ESPN. The 24-year-old's claim is backed up by an incredible 2019 season which saw him garner 1,387 rush yards, 4.8 rush yards per carry, 15 rush touchdowns, 116 receptions, 1,005 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns. The Panther also finished with the second most fantasy football points in the history of the game at 471 points. It should be no shock that the RB would consider himself the top pick for 2020 and with a role as the focal point of the Carolina offense, along with coming off an astounding fantasy season, there is no disputing that.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Gibson Aug 14 10:50pm ET

Washington Football Team running back/wide receiver could fill the role planned for recently-released running back Derrius Guice. Gibson has been practicing as both a running back and a wide receiver, but with Guice no longer in the backfield, Gibson could be the best bet in a still-crowded running back room. Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, and J.D. McKissic will also be battling for playing time. Gibson is a huge upside/gadget player floor choice right now.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Aug 14 10:50pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said that he is "optimistic" about coming to an agreement with the team on a long-term contract extension after this season. It seems the two sides never got too close to a deal in the offseason, as Prescott wanted more money and fewer years than the Cowboys were offering. He'll play under the franchise tag this year and could be tagged again next year if the two sides still can't agree, although next year's tag would cost the team $38 million.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Aug 14 5:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he's "finding out how to get back to the basics" after a disappointing sophomore campaign in 2019. "I lost myself in that and I wasn't able to be who I am for these guys on the team. I told them that," Mayfield continued. "I told them that if I'm not doing that, hold me accountable." Head coach Kevin Stefanski's zone-run and play-action scheme should fit Mayfield better, but some fantasy owners may still be skeptical. Mayfield was being taken as a top-five fantasy signal-caller in 2019. That won't happen in 2020 drafts, but the 25-year-old from Oklahoma could surprise some as a QB1 with an improved supporting cast.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Aug 14 5:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook plans to be a full participant at training camp while he seeks a long-term contract extension. "I'm out there full go, 1,000 percent," Cook said. The RB1 in fantasy should be present for workouts on Monday for the start of camp. The 25-year-old second-rounder was a top-five running back last year despite missing two games due to injury. With the Vikings passing game less of a certainty now that Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, Minnesota could lean even more on Cook, both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy managers probably won't view the former Florida State running back as elite because of injury concerns, but he's been pretty money in his short career when he's on the field.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Aug 14 4:50pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Marcus Mariota "really fired me up today" at training camp on Friday. He has turned a corner with his ankle (injury) and he is a dazzling playmaker. He had a very nice day. It might just be coach speak, and we all know that Gruden typically loves almost every player he's laid eyes on in the NFL, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Incumbent Derek Carr could easily be on the hot seat early in 2020 if he doesn't impress the coaching staff with his production, and Mariota, despite his failures in Tennessee, remains athletic and is one of the highest-paid backup QBs in the league. If Mariota winds up making starts this year, he'd be a low-ceiling, low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Siemian Aug 14 4:43pm ET

Free-agent QB Trevor Siemian (Jets) worked out for the Detroit Lions Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Bronson Kaufusi Aug 14 4:33pm ET

New York Jets RB Kenneth Dixon (hip), DE Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and LB Jabari Zuniga (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Cordarrelle Patterson Aug 14 4:30pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been meeting with the running backs at camp, instead of the wide receivers. This could be an indication that head coach Matt Nagy is planning to use the speedy receiver out of the backfield more this year. This is Patterson's second year with the Bears. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 83 yards while adding 17 rushes for 103 yards. It's certainly an intriguing development, but we'll need to see it play out quite a bit more before we start to get excited about Patterson for fantasy purposes.

From RotoBaller

Mychal Kendricks Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Seahawks) received interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but the two sides were not able to reach a contract agreement, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Romeo Okwara Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14. The team also waived S Jeremiah Dinson.

From TheHuddle

Jahleel Addae Aug 14 3:53pm ET

Free-agent S Jahleel Addae (Texans) is scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Stefanski Aug 14 3:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter underwent knee surgery on Thursday according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. The veteran lineman reportedly had the surgery to remove loose bodies from the knee. Stefanski would not elaborate on how long Tretter would be out but the NFL Network reported that he will probably only miss a couple weeks. In Tretters absence, rookie center Nick Harris will get a chance to show what he can do. Tretter is a key piece to a revamped Cleveland offensive line this year.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Williams Aug 14 3:33pm ET

New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Frank Gore Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Frank Gore (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Adam Gase said Gore was held out as a precaution.

Fantasy Spin: Gore likely will be the No. 2 running back for the Jets and see a handful of carries each game. He could be a handcuff to Le'Veon Bell in fantasy leagues but probably will not have a big fantasy impact.

From TheHuddle

Pierre Desir Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Baker Mayfield Aug 14 3:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said Friday, Aug. 14, he 'lost myself' in 2019 and started doubting himself after a couple of sub-par performances. Mayfield, though, said Friday that's in the past. 'In a much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll,' Mayfield told reporters at training camp. 'Back to where I need to be to be the leader.'

Fantasy Spin: Drafted as a breakout No. 1 QB last season, Mayfield stumbled badly, throwing for five fewer touchdowns and seven more interceptions than he did as a rookie in 2018. He should bounce back the other way some in 2020, but he's still figures to wind up as a QB2 when all's said and done.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating previous report, New England Patriots RB Lamar Miller received a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes $200,000 in guarantees with $1.5 million also available in 'achievable' incentives.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating a previous report, San Francisco TE Jordan Reed signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract. The deal also includes up to $750,000 in playing-time incentives.

From TheHuddle