It is an interesting Week 13 slate. There are not many projected high scoring affairs. Some of the games could be very ugly for fantasy scoring and may be wise to full fade them. Below I will highlight some plays and games to be looking at.
If you are new to this article, this will be a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 13 slate:
Game Script Targets
Rams -2.5 (@ ARI)
WR Robert Woods (LAR, @ ARI)
WR Cooper Kupp (LAR, @ ARI)
QB Jared Goff (LAR, @ ARI)
I am banking on a Rams bounce back this week. Jared Goff has shown to be a sporadic QB but was promising in his two starts against the Cardinals last year. He went for 424 yards and 2 TDs in the first game and 319 yards / 3 touchdowns in the second matchup. The game environment is a clear upgrade for the Rams offense. The Cardinals play at the fastest neutral game script pace and both teams utilize no huddle at a Top 5 rate.
With that in mind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have an improved range of outcomes. Kupp can be limited in games against good pass rushes as Sean McVay will go to more two tight end sets for pass protection. The Cardinals have a below average pass rush giving Kupp less worry with that. They have a 27% pressure rate on the season. Per the DFS SuperModel, Woods ranks as the 3rd best value at WR on DraftKings. Woods’ two Tier 1 finishes at WR in the past four weeks make him a great upside play for GPPs. A Woods and Kupp stack would give you exposure to 47% of the team target share on the season.
Browns +5.5 (@ TEN)
WR Jarvis Landry (TEN, @ CLE)
There have not been many games where the Browns have had to open up the offense and rely on their passing game. This could be a game where they need to. They currently sit as 5.5 point underdogs. In two of his last four games he has seen 11 targets so the upside is there. The Titans also allow the 8th most schedule adjusted FPPG to WRs making Landry a good option in a game that could warrant a game stack. The game has the highest Over/Under on the slate at 53.5 points.
Texans +3.5 (vs. IND)
WR Keke Coutee (HOU, vs. IND)
Things have broken nicely for Keke Coutee over the past week or so. He was an afterthought all season then Randall Cobb got hurt, Kenny Stills was released, and now Will Fuller was suspended six games. Coutee’s two best games as a pro came against none other than the Colts. In 2018 he played in two games against them. In those two games he went 11/110/1 and 11/109. Deshaun Watson is desperate for pass catchers. In a matchup against a scheme he has utilized Coutee in before, he should look his way a lot.
TE T.J. Hockenson (DET, @ CHI)
Kenny Golladay looks unlikely to go again this week (Friday DNP). The Lions should run their offense through Hockenson against a Bears defense allergic to stopping TEs. On the season they are allowing the 3rd most FPPG to TEs and 6th most scheduled adjusted FPPG to TEs. Over the past two games with no Golladay, Hockenson has seen 15 targets on 59 routes. He has been one of the most efficient TEs in the two game stretch with 2.66 yards/route (4th most). If the Lions commit to him in this game he has a good chance at being the top TE on the slate.
RB Austin Ekeler (LAC, vs. NE)
Are we sure Ekeler was injured? It did not look like a player coming off injury last week. The guy saw a 72% snap share, 25 touches, and a crazy 16 targets. The 16 targets are the most by a RB in a game this year. Justin Herbert will likely be forced to look Ekeler’s way in the passing game again. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are likely to see Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson in coverage which is one of the best CB duos in the NFL. Ekeler has a good chance of being among the elite RBs in usage again this week making him a player worthy of exposure.
RB David Montgomery (CHI, vs. DET)
David Montgomery is never a sexy play. He has disappointed in countless spots before. I am open to giving him one more chance here against the Lions. In this same spot earlier in the year he had one of his more effective games averaging 4.9 YPC, but upside was limited due to Tarik Cohen still being in the fold. In a projected positive game script (3-point favorites), he should be a focal point of the offense. There is no denying he has been given his chances to break slates. He is third in percentage of snaps for RBs (72.3%) and has a steady 17.7 touches/game despite some disaster games with efficiency. An aspect that might go under the radar is the threat of Mitch Trubisky as a runner. Defenses do have to respect that, giving him a slight boost on the ground compared to Nick Foles as he has the threat of keeping it and running.
RB Kenyan Drake (ARI, vs. LAR)
Kenyan Drake is coming off one of his best fantasy games of the season. He set a season-high in carries with 22, but the Cardinals will struggle to get their run game going here. They allow the third-fewest YPC (3.56) and a 37% success rate to RBs (SIS). Chase Edmonds has been the more active back in the receiving game and if they abandon the run game Drake’s upside is handicapped (20 targets to 47 for Edmonds). Kyler Murray has also gotten 20 red zone carries to Drake’s 38 so is not the de facto red zone option when they get in close.
RB D’Andre Swift (DET, vs. CHI)
Judging from the Packers game it would appear the Bears have a below-average run defense. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were able to combine for 163 yards and 1 TD. However that was without Akiem Hicks who is the Bears best run defender. With him expected to be back the task of the OL gets a lot harder. On the season the Bears have allowed just a 34% success rate to RBs running. The Lions sound like they are going to play it safe with D’Andre Swift off the concussion and now illness with no playoff implications on the line. Interim coach Darrell Bevell said Swift (illness) would have a "small package of plays" if active this week. He has only 3 games with over 15 touches on the season so it would not be something new for Swift.
WR Justin Jefferson (MIN, vs. JAX)
Justin Jefferson’s fantasy upside has been predicated on game script. In 4 games where the Vikings have won by 3+, he has 12.7 FPPG compared to 18.7 FPPG out of that split. This projects as an extremely bad game script for Jefferson as the Vikings sit as 10 point favorites. Both teams are below average with their pass rates and both rank bottom 10 in pace of play.
Pace of Play
Rams (vs. ARI) - Cardinals fastest neutral game script pace
Packers (vs. PHI) - Packers 5th slowest neutral game pace -> Eagles 10th fastest
Saints (@ ATL) - Saints slowest neutral game pace -> Broncos 6th fastest
Titans (vs. CLE) - Browns 9th slowest neutral pace -> Titans 3rd fastest
Falcons (@ NO) - Saints slowest neutral game pace
Projected Fast Pace Game:
Rams vs Cardinals - Cardinals fastest pace team and both teams are Top 5 in no huddle usage.