RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 12

Fri Nov 27 1:02pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
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.

Quarterbacks

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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Player Notes
Martavis Bryant Jan 26 3:13am ET

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

Chicago Bears impending free-agent RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson is likely a player the Bears will look to re-sign this offseason.

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Marvin Jones Jan 25 10:13pm ET

Detroit Lions impending free-agent WR Marvin Jones could be an option for the Tennessee Titans if the Titans decide not to re-sign impending free-agent WR Corey Davis this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Turron Davenport.

Fantasy Spin: Jones is coming off a terrific season and should receive interest from multiple teams in free agency. He would be a starter if he signed with the Titans and can be at least a No. 3 fantasy receiver no matter where he signs.

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Jordan Whitehead Jan 25 6:53pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Jordan Whitehead's (shoulder) availability for Super Bowl LV is uncertain at this point because of the shoulder injury he suffered during the NFC Championship game, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Jan 25 6:33pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews is one of the players the team will try to sign to a contract extension, according to general manager Eric DeCosta.

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.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Jan 25 4:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (leg) suffered a broken fibula in the Week 16 game against the New England Patriots. Beasley sat out the regular season finale in Week 17 before catching 14 passes for 145 yards in three postseason games against the Colts, Ravens and Chiefs. "It was bad the first game I played but after that, you take a few meds and suck it up," Beasley said with a chuckle. The injury wasn't a full break, but Beasley said it was painful in the wild-card win over the Colts. The 31-year-old veteran hauled in seven of his nine targets for 88 yards in the AFC Championship loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. Beasley set career-highs in catches (82), targets (107), receiving yards (967) and yards per catch (11.8) while visiting the end zone four times in 15 regular season games in 2020. He'll be back as Josh Allen's most trusted third-down weapon in 2021 and will be more expensive in PPR leagues as a result of his career-best season.

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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

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach/wide receivers coach David Culley are expected to interview for a second time for the Houston Texans head coaching vacancy, according to multiple sources. Frazier is expected to interview Tuesday, Jan. 26, while Culley's interview date has yet to be disclosed.

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Cole Beasley Jan 25 2:23pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley (leg) told reporters Monday, Jan. 25, that he broke his fibula in Week 16 but that it wasn't a full break. He also added that he won't need surgery.

Fantasy Spin: Considering he was able to play with the injury throughout the postseason, Beasley should be ready for offseason work if the league allows teams to hold OTAs and minicamps. Otherwise, he should be fine well in advance of training camp. Beasley just finished the season in which he set career highs with 82 catches and 967 yards. He should be viewed as a low-end WR3/high-end WR4 in fantasy drafts this spring and summer.

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Justin Herbert Jan 25 12:10pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen on Monday as their new offensive coordinator, according to a source. Steichen was key in the development of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert in 2020. New head coach Nick Sirianni and Steichen worked together with the Chargers for four years until Sirianni left for the Colts in 2018. Steichen started coaching in the NFL in Cleveland in 2013 as a quality control coach. He left for San Diego the following season and was their quality control coach for 2014-15. The 35-year-old took over the Chargers offense last season and helped nurture Herbert to a record-setting rookie season. Steichen will try and help Carson Wentz rebuild after the worst season of his career.

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Justin Herbert Jan 25 12:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi is expected to become the new offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers, according to sources. New head coach Brandon Staley played under Lombardi for one year at Mercyhurst University in 2005 when Lombardi was the offensive coordinator. Lombardi is the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi and was the offensive coordinator for the Lions in 2014-15, but he was fired after a 1-6 start in his second year. He started his NFL career as a defensive assistant with the Falcons in 2006 before being hired by the Saints as an offensive assistant in 2007. Lombardi spent 12 seasons working with head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees in New Orleans and has also tutored QBs Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston in recent seasons. He'll be tasked with working with Justin Herbert, who became the youngest QB in history to throw 30 touchdowns in his rookie season.

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Aaron Rodgers Jan 25 11:50am ET

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was uncertain about his future after the team's 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship on Sunday. The 37-year-old is expected to win the MVP this year and is under contract through the 2023 season via the $134 million extension he signed in 2018. But the Packers also drafted Jordan Love, Rodgers' possible replacement, in the first round last year. Rodgers threw 48 touchdowns and only five interceptions in the regular season in 2020, but he also became the first QB in NFL history to lose four straight appearances in a conference championship. If Green Bay were to move on from Rodgers this offseason, they'd save just $4.76 million on the salary cap and would have $31.556 million in dead money. Rodgers may be contemplating retirement, but the Packers want him back and he'd be a high-end QB1 if he does return after going 33-for-48 for 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the loss to Tampa to end the season.

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Joey Bosa Jan 25 11:50am ET

The Los Angeles Chargers are hiring Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Renaldo Hill as their new defensive coordinator on Monday, according to sources. Hill worked with head coach Brandon Staley in Denver in 2019 and played in the league for a decade. Staley said last week that he will be making the defensive play calls in his first season as head coach in LA. Hill will be replacing Gus Bradley, who left to become the defensive coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. Hill will help oversee a defense that ranked 10th in the NFL last year and features three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa, rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. and standout safety Derwin James, who missed all of 2020 with a knee injury.

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Lamar Jackson Jan 25 10:23am ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson could sign an extension this offseason, according to general manager Eric DeCosta, who will begin talks with Jackson in 10 days.

Fantasy Spin: Jackson ended up the QB10 in traditional leagues as he missed a game due to COVID-19. With the emergence of Josh Allen, Justin Herbert and others, the position has become pretty loaded. Dak Prescott (leg) is expected back to join the flux of QB1s. A midrange QB1 is probably where Jackson is supposed to be considering the plights he faces through the air. Don't overdraft him for the rushing numbers next season because the gap has narrowed.

From TheHuddle

Josh Allen Jan 24 10:33pm ET

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen completed 28 of his 48 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and rushed seven times for 88 yards in a 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 24. RB Devin Singletary was bottled up, rushing for 17 yards and six carries and gaining nine yards on two catches. WR Cole Beasley had seven grabs for 88 yards, WR Stefon Diggs had six receptions on 11 targets for 77 yards, and TE Dawson Knox caught six balls for 42 yards and a touchdown. WR Isaiah McKenzie caught a six-yard touchdown pass on his only reception, and RB T.J. Yeldon had seven touches for 56 total yards. S Jordan Poyer led the defense with eight tackles, including six solo stops.

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Tyreek Hill Jan 24 10:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill put together another strong performance on Sunday versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Hill caught nine of his 11 targets for a team high 172 yards against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Hill wasn't able to get a touchdown in this contest, but he was dominant nonetheless. Hill has had a phenomenal season and he will look to keep that going versus a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense in Super Bowl 55. He remains one of the best at his position and will be a top option for those participating in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 24 10:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes completed 29 of his 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 24. WR Tyreek Hill had nine catches for 172 yards, and TE Travis Kelce had 13 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. WR Mecole Hardman had two catches for four yards and a score to go along with a 50-yard run and a lost fumble on special teams. RB Darrel Williams rushed 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown and added one catch for nine yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had six carries for seven yards and a score. LB Frank Clark recorded a pair of sacks, and S Juan Thornhill broke up four passes.

From TheHuddle

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire scored a touchdown in his return to action versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. The rookie player a minor role on Sunday with Darrel Williams being the featured back and Le'Veon Bell (knee) inactive. CEH picked up just seven yards on six carries and caught one of his two targets for zero yards, but it was good to see him return to action for the first time since injuring his ankle and hip in Week 15. Edwards-Helaire will now have two weeks to rest up before facing a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense in the Super Bowl and he should be avoided in DFS for that contest.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Jan 24 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running Darrel Williams rushed the ball 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown versus the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game. Williams has performed well with Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined, but the rookie returned on Sunday and figures to play a bigger role in the future. Williams will also have to compete with Le'Veon Bell (knee) who was inactive on Sunday and could return for the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are a pass heavy team and will face a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense Super Bowl 55. That will make Williams a risky option in DFS.

From RotoBaller