Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 13

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 13

I’m back for more in Week 13, and I’ve once again narrowed down the DFS choices to a handful of plays on most price levels that I view as strong. I’m focusing a little more on price and value this week, so the picks may be volatile, but my selections are not just about price, so I still think 100% of these will hit (which they won’t).

QUARTERBACKS

Aaron Rodgers (GB, vs. Phi - $6800 on DK and $8500 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-2 value on both sites this week, per our projections. Rodgers has been disgustingly good this year, and he’s now thrown for 3+ TDs and/or 280+ yards in 5 of his last 6 with 23+ FP in 9 of his 11 games. Russell Wilson posted 230/1 passing in this matchup last week, but he’s been on the decline for weeks now while Rodgers is balling every week and matriculating the ball down the field with ease via the forward. The Packers probably won’t run well against the still-strong Eagles run defense, so I’d expect them to come out slinging it, per usual, and Darius Slay is not 100%, so DeVante Adams should feast yet again. We also like the matchups for Marquez Valdez-Scantling (6’4) and/or Allen Lazard (6’5) against CBs Avonte Maddox (5’9) and Nickell Roby-Coleman (5’7).

Taysom Hill (NO, at Dal - $6300 on DK and $7700 on FanDuel) - Yeah, I have to go back to this well this week. He’s a top-8 value on both sites. You can’t count on 2 TDs on the ground every week, but that’s what Hill is giving up the last two games with 10 carries and 44+ rushing yards. The Falcons are tough to run on, so he will have to throw the ball in this one, but he faced this Falcons defense two weeks ago and averaged 10.1 YPA and he completed 78% of his passes. He did get the ball to Michael Thomas, who had 9/104 receiving on 12 targets, so I’m expecting 200+ yards and a passing TD, so if he runs for 40+ and rushes for 1 TD, he will come through with 18-20 FP at least.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, at Cin - $6000 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s not cheap so he’s actually not a great value on either site, and he’s not even a lock to start (so remove him if he’s not set to start Sunday). But Fitzpatrick continues to have fun out there, and he’s made putting up strong fantasy digits look easy. He’s topped 18+ FP in six straight starts with 23 FPG in his starts since the opener. He gets a great matchup against a Bengals defense that’s allowed the second-most passing TDs per game to QBs (2.2), and it’s another revenge game against a former team. Their running game is in dire straits this year, so I can see OC Chan Gailey letting Fitz toss it all over the yard most of the day. If Fitz goes, he seems to be a lock for 18-20 FP the way he’s playing.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Patrick Mahomes (KC, vs. Den - $8200 on DK and $9000 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-2 value on both sites this week, and I actually don’t think he’ll throw nearly as much as he’s been throwing against a bad Broncos team. But he’s been on such a tear, and it’s a bad week for high-end QBs with guys like Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Deshaun Watson having issues. Mahomes is averaging 45+ attempts with 399.5 passing yards and 3.5 passing TDs per game the last four weeks, which are insane numbers. Mahomes actually had his worst fantasy game of the season against the Broncos in Week 7, but he attempted only 23 passes. A lack of volume is a small concern, but Denver just put CB Bryce Callahan on IR, which is a big loss. If I’m paying up for a QB this week, it’s either Rodgers or Mahomes.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, vs. Det - $5400 on DK and $6900 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites. I’ve been down this road before the last few times Trubisky has faced the Lions. Each time, the matchup looked tasty, but each time I worried about backing Trubisky, yet I did and he came through. He now has 3 TD passes in four straight games against the Lions, including Week 1 this year. I’m still worried about backing him this week, and Nick Foles will be available, which is a concern, plus teams usually respond well when a head coach is fired, but the matchup is too good to ignore. Per Bears beat writer Jason Lieser on twitter, in 18 career games against bottom-10 pass defenses (which the Lions are), Trubisky has 31 TD passes vs. 9 INTs with a 103.2 passer rating and a 13-5 record. Part of his success stems from them playing a lot of man to man coverage, which is easy to decipher for a QB. The may play more zone, but they just put corner Demond Trufant on IR and rookie #1 pick Jeff Okudah is out. The Lions have a bad pass rush and Trubisky has more than enough weapons at his disposal to put up strong numbers. I’m fully expecting 2-3 TD and 250+ yards.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Lamar Jackson (Bal, at Dal - $6700 on DK) - He was a top-7 value on DK with his price pending on FanDuel as of this writing. But I like Lamar this week - assuming he goes. Dallas has been run over all season, and that’s a big part of my “gut” feeling that Lamar will deliver this week. But the Cowboys are also giving up 2.3 TD passes a game the last four weeks and still don’t have corner Trevon Diggs, which helps. I will say, though, that I’d probably pass on Lamar if Mark Andrews doesn’t return.

RUNNING BACKS

Devontae Booker (LV, vs. Det - $5500 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s the #2 RB value on both sites. I know I’ve been burned by the old banana in the tailpipe trick at RB this year backing these replacement starters like Brian Hill last week, but this one is going to work out. Booker is a bigger back who can catch the ball, and it’s a little surprising he hasn’t shown better in the NFL. But we figured out his issue several years ago: his vision stinks. That won’t be as much of a problem this week because he’s a lock for 20+ touches. The Raiders are 8-point road favorites, and Josh Jacobs was averaging 26 touches per game with 8 TDs in Las Vegas’ six victories, and that’s with Booker in the mix. Booker will own this backfield, and if he doesn’t put up 15+ FP, I’d be shocked. His upside is 25+ for sure.

David Montgomery (Chi, vs. Det - $5500 on DK and $6200 on FanDuel) - He’s the top RB value on both sites, per our projections. He will be quite chalky, so if you want to fade him in a cash game, that’s fine. He will be popular this week, but remember this: I had him here last week when no one wanted anything to do with him, so I’m willing to stick my neck out with him even though he’s burned me in DFS 3 of the 4 times I’ve backed him. I’m backing him again with Mitchell Trubisky giving him and the running game some life. Montgomery has now averaged 6.5 YPC (38/249/0 rushing) in his three full games with Trubisky. The Lions are giving up 4.7 YPC to RBs this season and RBs over the last four weeks are getting 30 touches a game against them, including 5.3 catches. With 20+ touches a lock, and with the Bears passing game looking as good as they possibly can in this great matchup, it would be a shock if Montgomery didn’t deliver at least 15+ PPR points this week.

Jonathan Taylor (Ind at Hou - $5700 on DK and $6400 on FanDuel) - He’s a slightly better value on FanDuel, but he’s top-14 on both sites. The thing to consider with Taylor is the fact that our projections on him are somewhat conservative, since I have to take into account the chance that Nyhiem Hines or Jordan Wilkins wind up being the “hot hand,” or if their coaches once again out-think themselves by not playing their best back enough. Taylor was on the Covid list last week, but he didn’t have Covid, so hopefully the week off did him some good and he’s ready to break out. Also hopefully, we don’t see Jacoby Brissett vulture a short TD because it should be all Taylor inside the five. The Texans have been the worst run defense in the league all year, giving up a generous 5.4 YPC and a league-high 132.5 rushing yards per game to RBs, and they give up 6/54 receiving to RBs the last four weeks. With the Texans likely missing WR Will Fuller and faced with a tougher matchup, their offense may struggle and put Taylor in a position to grind out a win late. Even if the game is close, Taylor has a better chance than usual to have a blowup game this week, so I’m rolling the dice.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Austin Ekeler (LAC, at NE - $7100 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s actually a much better value on FanDuel, but I like him for catches in this one, and DK is a full PPR. Ekeler came roaring back in his first game back in months with a career-high 25 touches with a whopping 16 targets, which is insane. Ekeler has 20+ touches in each of his four games this season, and per SIS, the Pats are allowing a league-worst 70% success rate on passes behind the line of scrimmage, the worst in the NFL (league average is 55%). Also, Kenyan Drake posted 25/93/2 scrimmage against the Patriots last week, so in some way, shape, or form, Ekeler is a good bet to deliver against this bend-but-don’t-break defense.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Frank Gore (NYJ, vs. LV - $4400 on DK and $5300 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-2 value on both sites. Adam Gase is going to continue to feed Gore the ball, and Gore has 10, 14, 17, and 21 opportunities in his last four games, so his role is going up, not down. Gore has now posted 59+ yards and 2+ catches in three straight, so 10 PPR points should be easy. If he scores, catches 3-4 balls, or rushes for 80+ yards, he’s close to a lock to come through on DK at least. The Raiders are giving up 4.6 YPC and have given up five rushing TDs in their last four games.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

JD McKissic (Was, vs. LV - $4400 on DKl) - This is DK only. He’s a bargain-basement guy, but he’s playing on Monday night so I’ll place him here. The thinking is simple: it’s a tough matchup for Antonio Gibson on the ground, and the football team is a 7.5 point road underdog, so you have to think they will be playing from behind, perhaps the whole game. Gibson has run one more route than McKissic the last two weeks, but I’d bet to turn to McKissic if they are in hurry-up mode most of the game, so a 6-7 catch game is very possible.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Allen Robinson (Mia, at Cin - $6700 on DK and $6900 on FanDuel) - He’s a way better value on FanDuel, but I’d use him on either site, and that’s despite his knee issue from Friday, which should scare some people off him. He was questionable with a knee issue going into a game two weeks ago on MNF, and he showed no ill-effects from the injury. Believe it or not, Mitchell Trubisky is good for A-Rob. Trubisky has targeted Robinson 38 times on 132 attempts this season (29% share), and A-Rob is averaging 18.6 fantasy points per game in Trubisky’s four starts — which would make him the WR5 on the season over Adam Thielen (18.1). The matchup is outstanding, with CB Desmond Trufant on IR and Jeff Okudah out. Starting CB Amani Oruwariye got smoked by Will Fuller last week, so unless the knee is an issue (there is downside due to his knee issue), Robinson should clean up here.

DeVante Parker (Mia, at Cin - $6400 on DK and $6800 on FanDuel) - He’s actually a much better value on FanDuel with a lower price, but he’s a good option anywhere this week. I loved Parker last week and actually forgot to include him here, so of course he was all over the place and balled out. Receiving a whopping 14 targets, Parker just missed making another couple of plays, or else his line would have been better than the stellar 8/119 he put up. The Bengals are allowing 39.9 FPG to WRs this season (ninth-most), and they play a lot of man-to-man, which Parker crushes. Assuming Ryan Fitzpatrick goes, Fitz is going to be slinging it often to Parker once again, making his upside worth investing in. If he can find the endzone, he’s putting up 20+ FP this week.

Brandin Cooks (Hou, vs. Ind - $5600 on DK and $6500 on FanDuel) - He’s pretty obvious of a play with Will Fuller gone, but his salaries don’t reflect well his newfound role, so he’s a top-10 value on both sites. He’s slightly better on FanDuel. Cooks has looked very good as the #2 this year, so I have confidence in him as the new #1, especially since Deshaun Watson has been so brilliant. Cooks even with Fuller played has had a good 24% target share, and the Colts’ secondary has been ripped by lead receivers A.J. Brown (4/98/1) and Davante Adams (7/106/1) in the last two weeks.

Michael Pittman (Ind, at Hou - $4900 on DK and $5600 on FanDuel) - He’s actually a better value on FanDuel, but I do like that $4900 price on DK, since Pittman still got 9 targets in a bad game last week. Pittman had a rough game last week, but the usage was still great, as he had more targets than TY Hilton and Zach Pascal combined. Since he’s kind of been the #1 the last few weeks, he may have seen a lot of top corner Bradley Roby, but Roby is out and the Texans are in bad shape without him. I’m sniffing a TD for Pittman, which would be his first of the season.

Corey Davis (Ten, vs. Cle - $5100 on DK and $6100 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site, and he’s let me down a little lately, but he’s also played really well and just needs a few more targets. He should have had a TD last week, but it was a bad throw by Ryan Tannehill, so David had to stop and catch the ball in front of the endzone. Still, Davis has reached double-digit FP in eight of his nine games, and he’s been efficient, rolling with a 72.4% catch rate and a 14.7 YPR average. The Browns are allowing 39.9 FPG per game to WRs (10th-most), and they still don’t have top corner Denzel Ward. Teams are paying special attention to AJ Brown, and the Browns are vulnerable to bigger plays, so I like Davis again this week to come through.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Adam Thielen (Min, vs. Jax - $6700 on DK and $6900 on FanDuel) - He’s a way better value on FanDuel, but I’ll use him on either site for the upside. Obviously, the Jag defense is bad and they are down multiple corners (including #1 pick CJ Henderson and veteran DJ Hayden), so they are starting some guy at corner named “Luq Barcoo.”Jacksonville’s 45% man coverage rate (6th-most), 24% pressure rate (lowest), and 10 explosive passing TDs allowed (most) are all big signs for Kirk Cousins, Thielen, and Justin Jefferson. Dating back to last season, Cousins has averaged 9.5 YPA vs. man, and 7.5 YPA vs. zone, and Thielen also usually crushes man. The Jaguars have allowed six WRs TDs in their last four games, and Jarvis Landry posted 8/143/1 receiving in this matchup last week.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Breshad Perriman (NYJ, vs. LV - $3900 on DK) - He’s a much better value on DK, so this is DK only. Perriman has now posted 11+ FP in three straight games, and with two different QBs. After clicking with former teammate Joe Flacco, Perriman with Sam Darnold last week still led the Jets in receiving with 4/79 on eight targets (29.6% share) against the Dolphins. The Raiders won’t have S Jonathan Abrams and we should see some garbage time production at least from them at home.

Anthony Miller (Chi, vs. Det - $3100 on DK) - He’s a top WR value for the week on DK but he’s way down the value list on FanDuel, so this is DK only. The Lions are giving up the 4th-most FP to slot receivers this year, and Miller’s actually averaged over 14 FPG in his last three games against the Lions, so he’s a sneaky play. He’s definitely shown enough with Mitchell Trubisky in his three seasons for me to back him.

Golden Tate (NYG, vs. LV - $3800 on DK and $5200 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK and a major reach on both, but I do like him as a deep sleeper this week. Tate actually had 9 targets last week and showed something with Colt McCoy, who will start. I think McCoy may look for him in the middle of the field this week, and the Raiders do give up the fifth-most FPG out of the slot, so he’s a sneaky option if you’re looking to go cheap.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Chase Claypool (Pit, vs. LV - $6300 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site, but I like him for one reason: CB Ronald Darby is extremely exploitable in coverage and vulnerable to big plays, so I bet they get Claypool matched up to him as often as possible.

TIGHT ENDS

Hunter Henry (LAC, at NE - $4800 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s not a tremendous value on either site, but top-8 on both and is one of the few higher-end options whose prospects look good heading into this week. The Patriots will make life tough for rookie Justin Herbert, which is a concern, but I’d guess they devote special resources to slow down Keenan Allen first and foremost. That could entail them putting Stephon Gilmore on Mike William outside and doubling Allen. That would be a good scenario for Henry, who has been heating up lately with 4+ catches in five straight and coming off a season-high 10 targets last week. He’s now scored 13-14 FP in three straight and the matchup is good by the numbers, giving up 5.5 catches for 63.5 yards in their last four games. They haven’t given up a TD in that span, but Mark Andrews and Jordan Akins each scored 13 FP without a TD against the Patriots in Weeks 10-11. The Pats last week played a Cardinal team that doesn’t throw much to the TE, or else their numbers may be worse.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

None of note.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Anthony Firkser (Ten, at Cle - $2500 on DK and $4600 on FanDuel) - It sure seems like this is a good week to cheap out on TE. When Jonnu Smith was declared out on Friday, I updated Firkser’s projection and, knowing he may need to block a fair amount of their snaps, I was conservative - and he still came out as the top value on DK and FanDuel. Everyone expects both running games to dominate, since they are major foundations of both offenses. That means they probably won’t, and to that point there is an expected total over 53.5 in this game, which is quite high. Both teams will need to throw the ball well to win, and Firsker will be the #1 TE in the passing game because Geoff Swaim is their top blocking TE. The Browns are giving up a whopping 5.8/62/1 per game to TEs the last four weeks, good for 17.9 FPG. Scrub TEs like Pharaoh Brown, Tyler Eifert, and Richard Rodgers have scored against the Browns just the last four weeks (plus Dallas Goedert). The Titans will get slot receiver Adam Humpries back, but Firkser can easily deliver 3X return by catching 4/40, which is what I have him projected to put up, and 0 TD. If he gets to 4/40 and also scores, then he’s a home run.

Jordan Akins (Hou, vs. Ind - $2900 on DK and $5200 on FanDuel) - He’s the top value on DK and the fifth-best value on FanDuel. Will Fuller is out and he leaves behind a 21% target share, and Akins may be the best bet to benefit the most from Fuller departing the lineup. Akins had only 2 targets last week, but Deshaun Watson threw it only 25 times, and both Akins’ targets were either in the endzone or right in front of it, and he just missed scoring on both plays. Watson actually took the blame for both, but the first one at least was Akins’ fault on what would have required a tough catch. The week before, I watched him closely and he looked great, making chunk play after chunk play and putting up 5/83 on 6 targets. It’s not the greatest matchup, but Watson will be looking for Akins in the endzone, and if he scores he’s a mortal lock to come through at this very low price.

Kyle Rudolph (MIn, vs. Jax - $3400 on DK and $5000 on FanDuel) - He’s the #4 value on DK and only the 10th-best value on FanDuel, so this is ideally DK. I don’t like Rudolph as much as last week when he was here with Adam Thielen back, but Irv Smith is out again, so Rudolph is still looking like a nice play. Rudolph 3+ catches in each of his last four games, but he surprisingly has just 1 TD on the season. But Rudolph has a good chance to double his TD total on the season up against a Jaguars defense that’s allowed the most TDs to TEs this season (.8 per game).

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Noah Fant (KC, vs. Den - $4000 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s the #3 value at TE per our projections on DK and the eight-best value on FanDuel, so I’d much prefer using him on DK. DK is a full PPR, which is key because most of the appeal with Fant is the likely volume, as the Broncos are a good bet to attempt 40+ passes this week playing from behind. Drew Lock has not been throwing to the RBs lately for whatever reason, and Lock-to-Fant did look very good before injuries slowed them down. Fant is off the injury report this week, which is big. Fant only caught 1 pass last week, but that was more than the whole team combined, so there’s that. The matchup is solid by the numbers, as well, with KC giving up a fairly promising 5.3/63.5 per game to TEs the last four weeks, good for 14.3 FPG. I think he has a chance to get hot in December starting now, and if he does I will be referring to him all month as “Fanta Claus.”

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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