Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 12

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 12

Coming off a solid Week 11, I’m going to continue to be very selective with my recommendations below. As usual, I’m not including every single player I like for the week; I’m simply isolating the players who stand out to me based on price, matchup, weather, and any other extenuating circumstances that I believe improve a player’s outlook.

Here’s what I’m looking at for Week 12.

QUARTERBACKS

Justin Herbert (LAC, vs. NYJ - $7200 on DK and $8400 on FanDuel) - He’s the second-best value at QB on FanDuel but “only” the seventh-best value on DK. I decided several weeks ago that I’d just put Herbert here every week until that’s proven wrong, and it hasn’t been wrong yet. The Bills defense is improving, but they haven’t been as sharp all year, and they lack a consistent pass rush. Considering the potency of the Bills’ offense, Herbert should produce here yet again, since they are 5-point road dogs in a game with a high total of 53. Herbert’s throwing it plenty, with 42+ passes in four of his last five, and the Bills have allowed 19+ FP to eight of the nine QBs they’ve faced this season with Sam Darnold being the only QB who has failed to post good numbers. Oh, and key defenders LB Melvin Ingram and CB Casey Hayward won’t play, which is big.

Taysom Hill (NO, vs. Atl - $6200 on DK and $7300 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-8 value on both sites and a little better on FanDuel (fifth-best value). I went with HIll last week, which was a leap of faith, and it worked, so I’m going to list him every week he starts until he flops. I don’t really see him flopping, though, given the success he had getting the ball to Michael Thomas last week, and, of course, his running. Hill actually completed all three of his passes that traveled 15+ air yards on his way to averaging 10.1 YPA last week, and the matchup is good enough against a Broncos defense that has given up 7 TD passes to QBs in their last four games and a 66% completion rate. HC Vic Fangio will make things tougher on Hill than last week, but he’s run for 35+ rushing yards in four straight games and started only one of them, so we should trust that he’ll add 5+ points to his fantasy totals with his legs. Last week, he added 17+ points to his totals with his legs.

Cam Newton (NE, vs. Ari - $6400 on DK and $7700 on FanDuel) - He’s the third-best value on DK and he’s fourth-best on FanDuel, so he stands out this week as a play. I still have some trust issues with Cam, but a lot of that stems from his 3/6 rushing line from Week 11. In his previous four games, he had run 30 times with 4 rushing TDs, so last week looked like a fluke. Cam is also progressing as a passer, throwing for 360 yards last week. The Cardinals have allowed 2 or more passing TDs to four straight QBs they have faced, and likely because they play a lot of man-to-man (fourth-most in the league), they’ve been hit hard on the ground by running QBs. Six of the last seven QBs they’ve faced have run for 20+ yards, even freakin’ Joe Flacco. In their last four games, QBs have run on them 7.5 times a game for a whopping 50 yards per game. Surely, with another former Heisman-winning running QB on the other side, Cam will run this week.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Patrick Mahomes (KC, vs. NYJ - $8000 on DK and $9000 on FanDuel) - Despite his high cost, he’s the top QB value on the board this week on both sites. Mahomes has now thrown for 345+ yards on 42+ attempts in each of his last three games, which is a trend that should continue this week against a Bucs run defense that can likely contain KC’s week-to-week rushing attack. Teams tend to throw the ball a lot against Tampa, and in their last four QBs, are attempting 39 passes a game with a high 73% completion rate, and they have struggled, giving up 2.8 TD passes per game in that span. Jared Goff last week attempted 51 passes against the Bucs, and even Goff got it done with 376/3 passing. It may not be explosive, since the Bucs will play a lot of zone, so Mahomes may have to stay patient, but he should be used to that by now, since most teams zone up against them this year. Getting Sammy Watkins back this week will help, since we don’t know much about Mecole Hardman’s status (although I’d assume he’s better off than he was last week).

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Daniel Jones (NYG, at Cin - $5500 on DK and $7200 on FanDuel) - He’s the #2 value on DK but he’s only the #10 value on FanDuel, so I may use him only on DK. The Giants may not need much from Jones this week, but that fact will probably help him play loose, coming off the bye, and he’s been enjoying better OL play up front and is playing well lately. Jones has scored 18+ FP in three of his last four, and he’s added a healthy 6.5 FP to his totals in his last four games with his rushing. Considering the Bengals are giving up 3 TD passes per game to QBs their last four games, it shouldn’t be too hard for Jones to get to 18 points again, which would represent 3X return on his $5500 DK salary. He’s always a threat to run for a score, too, so unless Wayne Gallman scores multiple rushing TDs, Jones actually looks like a can’t-miss this week.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

None of note.

RUNNING BACKS

Nick Chubb (Cle, at Jax - $7400 on DK and $8000 on FanDuel) - He’s the top value on the board on DK, and this despite us giving him only .9 points for his receiving work (.5 catches for 4 yards). While there is concern about how Kareem Hunt is vulturing TDs, the matchup is too good to not list Chubb here as a play. The Jaguars are giving up the eight-most FP per carry, and when looking at production given up to RBs in just the running game, they’re giving up the fourth-most FPG to RBs. The Jags have also been vulnerable to outside runs, the staple of the Browns’ rushing attack. With Mike Glennon starting and DJ Chark out (as well as some key defensive guys like DE Josh Allen and CB DJ Hayden), the Jaguars are in big trouble and might give up 200+ rushing yards to Chubb and Hunt. Chubb will have to score to come through, and even if he gets 100+ rushing yards and a TD he won’t be a brilliant pick on DK. But I’m listing him because I believe he may get 100+ with a TD in the first half.

Derrick Henry (Ten, vs. NYJ - $7200 on DK and $8300 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-3 value on both sites. This is the time of the year you want to get behind Henry, and Henry for the second week in a row faces off against a tough defensive front - but one dealing with some major absences due to injury. The Colts won’t have impressive LB Bobby Okereke, but more importantly, they’ll be without stud DE DeForrest Buckner, and they also won’t have starting DE Denico Autry, so they won’t be their usual stout self. The Buckner loss alone is enough to push Henry, quite frankly. The Colts kept Henry out of the end zone two weeks ago, but he ran very well in the second half against them when they were worn down, and Henry posted a solid rushing line on 19/103. I can see Indy stopping Henry the whole game without the key players listed above about as effectively as they were stopping him in the second half two weeks ago, when he had runs of 5, 5, 9, 1, 3, 9, 12, 6, and 11 yards in the second half.

James Conner (Pit, vs. Bal - $6200 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - I can’t say he’s a great value on DK as the 14th-best value, but he’s a value on FanDuel as the fifth-best based on our projections. Assuming this game goes off on Tuesday and you can use him on DK or FanDuel, this game sets up well for Conner, who did look good last week with 89 yards rushing on only 13 carries. I know the Steelers have been a passing team these days, but I’d expect that carry number to rise for Conner, since the Ravens still have their top corners on the active roster, so they are not on the Covid list. Of course, DT Brandon Williams and DE Calais Campbell are on the Covid list, which is terrible news for their run defense, as we saw last week with Derrick Henry popping off a walk-in TD run in OT. Conner got vultured by Benny Snell last week, but he’s still seeing 67% of their RB opportunities in their last three games, so he remains their bell cow. The Ravens will have trouble sustaining offense with Robert Griffin III (heck, they did a few weeks ago with Lamar), so I think the Steelers will re-acquaint themselves with their running game and feed Conner 20 touches. He may not go over 18.6 PPR points to deliver a 3x return on DK, but I think he’s a good bet for 15+ points.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Dalvin Cook (Min, at Cin - $9500 on DK) - He’s $11,000 on FanDuel, which ranks him as only the 14th-best value on that site, so this is DK only. On DK, thanks to his recent receiving work, he’s the sixth-best value on DK.

Josh Jacobs (Atl, vs. LV - $7200 on DK and $8000 on FanDuel) - I don’t have him as a value on either site, but then again I can’t project him to score more than 1 TD, yet he could score 2-3 in this one. The Falcons are a mess and won’t have Todd Gurley or Julio Jones, and their OL has not been good. Matt Ryan has been brutal without Julio, as well, ranking as the QB27, QB23, QB25, and QB27 in the four games Julio has missed or missed time in. The matchup isn’t actually great, but I can see Jacobs getting 25+ carries in this one to ensure a victory, and he’s scored in three straight games.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Wayne Gallman (NYG, at Cin - $5000 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-3 value on both sites. Gallman has been TD-dependent in his four-game run that has Gallman as the RB8 from Weeks 7-10. He’s only at 3.7 YPC in that span with 7/54 rushing, so it’s been all about the TDs for Gallman. For one, he’s a good bet to score again, since they tend to go conservative in tight. But the Giants are also 6-point road favorites, so Gallman should get some volume in this one. The matchup is also a lot better than what he’s seen the last month (Eagles twice, Washington, Tampa), as the Bengals defense is 5.2 YPC on the season and 5.3 YPC in their last four with RBs averaging 23/122 rushing in that span. The Giants will play other backs like Alfred Morris, so Gallman isn’t a lock. But 75+ total yards with 1-2 catches and TD seem very likely. It would be wise for the Giants to evaluate Gallman more, since he’s the only back on the roster with a chance to return in 2021.

Brian Hill (Atl, vs. LV - $4000 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - With Todd Gurley OUT in Week 12, it set Hill up nicely for 15+ opportunities, and he’s been a better receiver than Gurley, who has four more targets than Hill, but the same number of catches (16) for almost 2 fewer yards per catch. Hill has also been a better runner, averaging 4.4 YPC to Gurley’s 3.7 (and Gurley is at 2.7 YPC his last four). I don’t see Ito Smith or Qadree Ollison getting much play behind Hill, so if Hill can stumble into the endzone, he is a mortal lock to deliver at this incredibly low price because he will undoubtedly catch 2-3 balls with 12-14 rushing attempts at least. The Raiders have allowed 12 rushing TDs this season after allowing three rushing TDs to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell last week.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

David Montgomery (Chi, at GB - $5300 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I actually like Montgomery’s chances to come through at his lower price, plus he’s sneaky and will be used by few people. Of course, I say “sneaky” because most people in their right mind wouldn’t use him, so let’s go with “contrarian” as the operative word. Mitchell Trubisky is healthy and ready for his Week 12 start, and while he’s obviously shaky, he does bring a lot more mobility, and I’d bet they get him on the move in this one, which can help Montgomery. As bad as Montgomery has been, he had between 10-18 FP in each of his first five full games after Tarik Cohen’s season-ending injury, and 15-16 points this week mean he came through for DFS purposes. It’s a good week to try him out with the Packers allowing 156.9 scrimmage yards per game to RBs this season. They’ve given up 4 TDs rushing to RBs in their last four games, and all Montgomery needs to come through is a cheap TD because he’s a mortal lock for 20+ opportunities.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Justin Jefferson (Min, vs. Car - $6300 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel. Obviously, someone has to catch the ball for the Vikings with Adam Thielen not expected to play and TE Irv Smith doubtful. The Panthers do play a lot of zone, so Jefferson may not make any big plays, but he’s such a good route-runner, even as a rookie, that I have confidence in his ability to get open consistently, which he will need to do with the Panthers keying on Dalvin Cook. The matchup overall is below-average, but I’m still not impressed with any of their corners. I could see 10+ catches for Jefferson. Their best corner, Donte Jackson, is also doubtful, which certainly helps.

Curtis Samuel (Car, at Min - $5100 on DK and $5900 on FanDuel) - He’s actually not a great value on either site, but I still like Samuel this week. Samuel has put up 20+ FP in three of his last four, but I’m not chasing points here in this matchup. The Vikings have allowed the second-most WR TDs (17) and give up the second-most PPG out of the slot (27.2 PPG). Last week Ceedee Lamb came through with a TD and the week before Danny Amendola put up 14 PPT points. Samuel had only 1 rushing attempt last week, but he may see more with Teddy Bridgewater back and with Christian McCaffrey not expected to play. At least 15 PPR points should be in order with the upside for 20+ easily.

Michael Pittman (Ind, v. Ten - $5000 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites and a slightly better on FanDuel. We had Pittman as one of the top value plays on the board back in Week 10 when he had 7/101 on 8 targets and a 21-yard run to post 19+ FP, and that was before he fully broke out. He’s already the glue that is holding this passing game together and he now has 55+ receiving yards in three straight games and 15+ FP in two straight contests. He saw just three targets last week, but he led all Colts receivers with 30 routes on 37 QB dropbacks (81%). The weak Titan secondary won’t have Adoree Jackson yet again, and the Titans are giving up 17 WR receptions per game their last four.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Tyreek Hill (KC, at TB - $7800 on DK and $8600 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-8 value on both sites, but the #1 value on FanDuel. I basically put him on this list every week now, and he’s been coming through with 25+ FP in each of his last three games. We saw Robert Woods go off in this matchup last week with 12/130/1 receiving and the struggling Bucs secondary is now giving up 16.5 WR catches a game and 44.5 FPG their last four. I expect a lot of throwing by both teams.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Corey Davis (Ten, at Ind - $4900 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - I liked two Thursday nights ago in this matchup, and while he didn’t go off, he led the team in targets (6) catches (5) and yards (67). He almost certainly would have added 1-2 more catches for 15-25 more yards had they put Ryan Tannehill in the game in garbage time with 4:00 minutes left. I always like Davis most against zone, and the Titans, while playing a little more man lately, are usually zone-based. They won’t have Adam Humphries, so Davis should continue his current hot streak that has him putting up 11+ FP in seven of his eight games this season. If he scores in this one, he’ll be a slam dunk.

Gabriel Davis (Buf, vs. LAC - $3300 on DK) - We actually have him as the #1 value at WR on DK, but he’s down the board on FanDuel, so this is DK only. Veteran John Brown is out, so Davis will be quite active in this one and the Chargers have allowed eight different WRs to post double-digit FP in their last three games. They will get Chris Harris back this week, but they also lost star corner Casey Hayward, plus LB Melvin Ingram won’t play. Cole Beasley did have one huge game without Brown in the lineup back in Week 7, but the Chargers have been quite good guarding the slot, so I think Davis may have a big game. All he has to do is put up 10 PPR points and he’s a win, and I list guys here who I think will be wins.

Jakeem Grant (Mia, at NYJ - $3700 on DK) - He’s a leap of faith, and this is DK only, but the Jets are really bad right now on the back end, losing two starters two weeks ago, and Gran actually caught all 4 of his targets in this matchup for 48 yards back in Week 6, when the Dolphins still had Preston Williams. It doesn’t really matter who the QB is, since both can get him the ball. The Jets play a lot of zone, and he can crush zone, so I’m looking for 4-5 catches and one bigger play to give him 12+ PPR points, and a win for this column.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Tyler Lockett (Sea, at Phi - $6900 on DK and $7900 on FanDuel) - He’s not cheap or a good value on either site, but I’m also not ever going to project him to put up 20+ FP, and he could put up 20+ FP. It’s not really reflected in the numbers, but the Eagles are extremely vulnerable to a speedy slot guy like Lockett. The Eagles were playing Cre'von LeBlanc over Nickell Roby-Coleman, but LeBlanc is on IR, so they will likely go back to NRC, the guy they benched. This is definitely a potential 100+ yard game for Lockett, as long as the weather isn’t too bad (looks good as of Friday night).

TIGHT ENDS

Rob Gronkowski (TB, vs. KC - $4400 on DK and $6200 on FanDuel) - He’s a slightly better value on FanDuel, but top-8 on both sites. Gronk has been hurt by Antonio Brown, no doubt. He may be needed to block a little more, too. That said, he almost made a splash last week, and the Chiefs gave up 7/88/1 receiving to Darren Waller with Jason Witten adding a TD in Week 11. I expect Tom Brady to sling it 40+ times in a higher-scoring game, and KC is giving up a promising 14.4 FPG against TEs in their last four.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Darren Waller (LV, at Atl - $6000 on DK and $7300 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-3 value on both sites. He is the glue that holds this passing game together, and Nelson Agholor, Mr. Every-other-week, is due for a down game. Waller 5+ catches in eight of 10 games and he got it down last week with 7/88/1 receiving against the Chiefs. The Falcons have been shaky against TEs all season, and while they have been better lately, they’re still giving up almost 6 catches a game for 63 yards with 8 TDs surrendered to TEs.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Gerald Everett (LAR, v. SF - $3300 on DK and $4700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-2 value on both sites. It’s not looking good for Tyler Higbee, so for this let’s assume he’s out. If he’s active, then I’m out on Everett. Higbee posted 3/56 receiving and Everett had 3/27 in this matchup back in Week 6, so a 5/50+ line is very possible, since the Rams may not have a ton of success running it, at least early, and they have been a passing team the last 3-4 weeks.

Kyle Rudolph (Min, vs. Car - $2800 on DK and $4600 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on DK, where he’s the third-best value. That’s due to Irv Smith being doubtful to play, plus it looks like Adam Thielen won’t go, which is huge. Rudolph has 3+ catches in three straight and the Panthers have given up double-digit FP to six different receivers over their last five games. Over the last four weeks, they’re giving up a healthy 6.3/73.5/.5, good for 18.4 FPG. It should be easy for Rudolph to hit 3X return, with 4-5X in play.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Robert Tonyan (GB, vs. Chi - $3400 on DK and $5800 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on DK… in fact, he’s the #1 value at TE on DK, per our projections. Tonyan got it going again last week with 5/44/1 against the Colts. Kyle Rudolph had his best game (4/63) of the season against the Bears the last time Chicago took the field, and the Bears have allowed 50+ receiving yards and/or a touchdown to a TE in every game this season. In their last four games, they’re giving up a healthy 6.3/73.5/.5, good for 18.5 FPG.

Sample Lineups

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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