RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 12

Fri Nov 27 1:02pm ET
Contributing Writer

Carr brings good value Week 12

The NFL pushing the contest between the Ravens and Steelers from Thursday to Sunday means we have another game to choose from in DFS. There are also no teams on a bye, which adds even more options. Let’s try to narrow down the field by discussing a couple of players to consider at each position, as well as some to possibly avoid.


Josh Allen, BUF vs. LAC ($7,000): This is shaping up to be a high-scoring game with the total set at 53 points. That could mean a big afternoon is in store for Allen, who has at least two passing touchdowns in all but two games this season. He’s also done plenty of damage on the ground, rushing for 279 yards and five scores. To top it off, he’s had an extra week to prepare with the Bills being on a bye in Week 11.

Derek Carr, LV at ATL ($6,000): Points could be bountiful in this contest, as well, with an implied total of 54. Carr threw three touchdown passes against the Chiefs last week, marking his third game with at least that many score through the air. His 275 passing yards in that contest also broke a streak of three games with under 200 passing yards. While those poor performances might seem concerning, one was a game in terrible weather against the Browns and he wasn’t needed to throw much in a blowout win over the Broncos. Expect him to be busy in this contest.

Player to Avoid

Ryan Tannehill, TEN at IND ($6,200): When these two teams met in Week 10, Tannehill threw for only 147 yards and one touchdown. He hasn’t thrown for more than 259 yards in a game since Week 6 and he has only two 300-yard games this season with the Titans relying heavily on the run. The Colts have allowed just 14 passing touchdowns all season, so when you combine their success in that area with Tannehill’s general lack of passing yards, it’s difficult to justify adding him to your entry.

Running Backs

Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. CAR ($9,100): Cook had another monster game in Week 11, finishing with 160 total yards and a touchdown. He had 27 carries in that contest, marking his sixth game of the season with at least 22 carries. The Panthers have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to running backs and 12 total touchdowns to running backs this season, which means we could be looking at another juicy stat line from Cook.

Wayne Gallman, NYG at CIN ($6,500): The Giants are lucky to have Gallman. They signed Devonta Freeman to replace Saquon Barkley (knee), but Freeman has missed the last three games with an ankle injury. In his absence, Gallman has rushed for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Freeman remains on IR, which leaves Gallman in a favorable spot against a Bengals team that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game.

Player to Avoid

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC at TB ($6,900): Edwards-Helaire doubled his rushing touchdown output for the season with two scores last week against the Raiders. His 14 carries in that contest were also his most in a game since Week 6. While those are both encouraging stats, this matchup is about as bad as it gets against the Bucs, who have allowed a league-low 73 rushing yards per game. As crazy as this might sound considering he was a first pick in this year’s draft, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gallman outproduce Edwards-Helaire based on their respective matchups.

Wide Receivers

Travis Fulgham, PHI vs. SEA ($6,400): You might not need to spend up at wide receiver this week based on some of the options that come in with cheap salaries. Fulgham is one budget-friendly options that stands out given his matchup against the Seahawks, who have allowed the most passing yards per game. Although Fulgham has just two receptions across his last two games with Carson Wentz struggling, he did receive 12 targets, so he’s still had a sizable role within the offense.

Michael Pittman Jr., IND vs. TEN ($6,000): Pittman scored his first career touchdown last week in what ended up being an overtime win for the Colts. He finished with three catches for 66 yards, although his three total targets weren’t great. Prior to that, he had 15 targets across his last two contests. That included a matchup against these same Titans, who he torched for seven receptions and 101 yards. Given that the Titans have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game, Pittman could give them problems, once again.

Player to Avoid

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB vs. CHI ($6,500): The Packers are finally getting healthy at wide receiver with Allen Lazard making his return last week against the Colts. He was eased back into action since he hadn’t played since Week 3, so expect him to be even more involved this week. That could spell trouble for Valdes-Scantling, who will already be facing an uphill battle against a Bears team that has allowed the 10th-fewest passing yards per game and only 12 passing touchdowns.

Tight Ends

Darren Waller, LV at ATL ($6,200): This has the makings of a great spot to deploy Waller given that the Falcons have allowed the second most receiving yards (622) and are tied for the most touchdowns allowed (eight) to tight ends. The touchdowns are a significant stat to note given that Waller has at least one red zone target in every game this season and 17 red zone targets, in total. If you go with Carr and his reduced salary at quarterback, it makes adding Waller to your entry even more appealing, and feasible.

Noah Fant, DEN vs. NO ($5,100): For those who don’t want to spend up with Waller, Fant should also be considered. He posted four catches for 55 yards last week against the Dolphins and had at least five targets in a game for the eighth time this season. Even with Drew Brees (ribs) out, the Saints showed that they could be a potent offense last week with Taysom Hill under center. If the Broncos fall into an early hole, Fant could see even more passes thrown his way in a comeback attempt.

Player to Avoid

Jared Cook, NO at DEN ($5,200): As impressive as the Saints looked last week without Brees, we didn’t see much of Cook, who was only on the field for 37.9 percent of their offensive snaps. That marked the third straight game that he was on the field for fewer than 40 percent of their snaps, so it’s not a big surprise that he only recorded three catches for 36 yards during that span. Until we start to see signs of him playing more, he’s too risky, especially when Fant can be added to your lineup for $100 fewer.

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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Free-agent WR Martavis Bryant (Raiders) signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League Monday, Jan. 25.

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Cordarrelle Patterson Jan 25 10:53pm ET

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Marvin Jones Jan 25 10:13pm ET

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Jordan Whitehead Jan 25 6:53pm ET

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Mark Andrews Jan 25 6:33pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Andrews is a big part of the passing game for the Ravens and probably will receive a new deal at some point this offseason. He should be a weekly starting option in fantasy leagues in 2021.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan 25 4:30pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense was shredded by Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the first quarter of their Week 12 matchup, as Hill went off for 203 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns. Cornerback Carlton Davis was left on an island with Hill, and it didn't yield pretty results. "We'll help a little bit more than we did in that ballgame," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. Tampa's D allowed 462 yards passing to quarterback Patrick Mahomes and three touchdowns. Hill finished with 269 yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches (only 59 yards in the second half). Tight end Travis Kelce had eight catches for 82 yards. With offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz out, Bucs pass-rushers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul must get pressure on Mahomes to have a chance at getting last year's Super Bowl MVP out of his rhythm.

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Cole Beasley Jan 25 4:20pm ET

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Lamar Jackson Jan 25 4:10pm ET

Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said that the team could reach a long-term contract extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson this offseason, and the GM plans to speak to the reigning NFL MVP in the next 10 days. Jackson just finished his third season and will command at least $40 million per season on an extension. He's scheduled to make $1.77 million in 2021 on the final year of his rookie deal, which currently ranks 25th among QBs in base salary. "[He] certainly deserves a contract," DeCosta said. Jackson has won more games (30) than any other QB since he took over as the team's starter in 2018 and became the fastest QB in history to reach 30 regular season wins (37 games). Jackson is also the first in NFL history to produce 5,000 yards passing and 2,500 yards rushing in his first three seasons. The young signal-caller has been more effective with his legs than his arm and has won just one playoff game, but Jackson should be locked up long term in Baltimore and will be a top-five fantasy QB yet again in 2021.

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Leslie Frazier Jan 25 3:23pm ET

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Cole Beasley Jan 25 2:23pm ET

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Justin Herbert Jan 25 12:10pm ET

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Aaron Rodgers Jan 25 11:50am ET

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Jan 24 10:20pm ET

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Darrel Williams Jan 24 10:20pm ET

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