Josh Allen, BUF vs. LAC ($7.6K DK | $8.6K FD | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 29.0)
We all know Josh Allen has been one of the premiere DFS QBs this season. That said, it’s always possible that we end up seeing his ownership dip a little here against Los Angeles. He may pop his head a little above 10-15 percent, but I will still consider him in play under that scenario with surrounding players with low ownership (i.e., Gabriel Davis for starters). Buffalo has been vulnerable to the run over their last three games, surrendering the seventh-most pure rushing FPG to opposing backfields. That will be a boon to the LAC offense, forcing the Bills’ offense to keep pace.
With Casey Hayward Jr. ruled out, we have a near guarantee that Allen will have a big game. Allen hasn’t exactly erupted against Cover 3 schemes over the last two seasons -- 3.9 percent of TDs on 19.4 percent of snaps -- but his YPA increases by 12.2 percent, and he’s completed 75 percent of attempts against the shell this season. And let’s be upfront here, everything he’s done through the air has pushed him into the elite tier when factoring his top-five production on the ground. The Chargers are kindly allowing the fourth-most backfield FPG to opponents over their last four.
The Bottom Line: If you think Allen will continue to see a lot of play, take a look at Justin Herbert now that his salaries have spiked upward. Allen with Stefon Diggs and -- since John Brown has been ruled out -- Davis to along with Keenan Allen as your run-back is one sexy option. Running that in reverse, “Hairbert” with Allen, Mike Williams, and a Diggs run-back represent my two favorite stacks for Sunday.
Phillip Rivers, IND vs. TEN ($6.1K DK | $6.8K FD | O/U: 51.5 | Implied: 27.25)
I find it very surprising that more attention hasn’t been paid to Phillip Rivers’ recent production. Rivers has been searching for a WR to step up to become his true No. 1 option. That individual finally revealed himself as Michael Pittman Jr. has shown off the abilities that enticed Indianapolis enough to select him with the second pick of the second round of the 2020 draft. In the last two games with Pittman featured, Rivers is averaging 20.9 FPG.
However, that improved play actually began a bit further back. I’m going to cheat a bit here in removing the results of Week 9 when Rivers was bottled up by the Ravens for 8.1 FPs. In the remaining four most recent games, Rivers is averaging 23.4 FPG, which would rank him 10th among all QBs with that average extrapolated over the entire season. Not too shabby from a QB who averaged 12.6 FPG over the first five weeks of the season.
The Bottom Line: Rivers’ outlook is even sweeter since his salaries have dipped a bit heading into this rematch. The bottom-10 pass rush of Tennessee already gave us plenty of evidence of that ranking when they only managed to pressure Rivers on three dropbacks. When teams face off in games this close together, I’ve always felt that the offenses will be the beneficiaries. With both DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry testing positive, Derrick Henry is going to chew his way through the remainder of that Indianapolis defensive line. With that in consideration, we are going to see both of these QBs’ fantasy upside benefit. The play action game will be in full effect for Ryan Tannehill, Rivers will need to push the envelope a bit further in response.
Taysom Hill, NO at DEN ($6.2K DK | $7.3K FD | O/U: 43.5 | Implied: 24.75)
Derek Carr, OAK vs. ATL ($5.7K DK | $7.1K FD | O/U: 54.0 | Implied: 28.5)
Brandon Allen, CIN vs. NYG ($4.8K DK | $6.0K FD | O/U: 43.5 | Implied: 18.75)
Kenyan Drake, ARI vs. NE ($5.4K DK | $6.2K FD | O/U: 49.0 | Implied: 25.0)
Say what you will about Kenyan Drake, maybe not the universal sentiment, but he is simply Arizona’s best option on early downs. That is taking nothing away from Chase Edmonds. They are actually the perfect compliment for what Kliff Kingsbury and Tom Clements want to do. We will have a front-row view of that in New England this week.
Now that Kyler Murray has been removed from the injury report, the narrative of the Patriots’ ineffectiveness in stopping mobile QBs will be in full effect. We already know Stephon Gilmore will shadow DeAndre Hopkins this week. If Gilmore’s history of ghosting Nuk continues, additional pressure will fall on the Cards’ backfield.
New England ranks 15th-best in their allowance of pure rushing FPG to RBs (13.9), and 17th in FPG gained on the ground by opposing QBs (3.32). For that latter data point, the Patriots have regressed to 5.85 FPG to QBs over their last four (5th-most). Since they’ll be facing the most dangerous QB rushing threat in the NFL, we will end up with a trickle-down effect benefiting Drake as they attempt to hold contain on Murray.
The Bottom Line: With an average of 15 FPG over his last two, Drake has shown us two things: (1) his ankle injury is behind him, (2) the Cardinals have every intention of featuring him on early downs, and in goal-to-go situations. You may not love Drake, but you will want a piece of him this week in GPPs under these conditions in conjunction with the eighth-highest goal-line attempts per game (1.56).
Zack Moss, BUF vs. LAC ($4.8K DK | $5.6K FD | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 29.0)
If I told you that you could snag a RB with an ownership percentage under one percent who has essentially seized the starting role against a struggling run defense, would you bite? That is exactly the case with Zack Moss. Take a look at his carry shares over the last three weeks: 52, 82, and 64 percent. I definitely need to point out that the Bills are passing on 65 percent of snaps (eighth-highest), Josh Allen is keeping a 15.1 percent carry share (fourth-highest at QB) for himself, and Buffalo’s pace of play is only 15th (67.1 plays/game).
As long as we are containing this tout to GPPs, Moss could have some sneaky value in the face of those qualifiers. The Chargers are allowing 25.1 FPG to opposing RBs this season (10th-most) that remained consistent over their last four. However, that output has shifted from receiving FPs allowed to the side of the pure rushing FPs. The end result is Los Angeles permitting the fourth-most pure rushing FPG (18.0) during their last four contests.
The Bottom Line: Do not discount the fact that they’ve handed opposing RBs the 10th-most red zone touches (4.75), and eighth-most goal-to-go touches/game (2.0). Considering that Moss has been provided with 13 percent of goal-line carries (seventh-highest), has scored 100 percent of Buffalo’s goal-line TDs, we have ourselves an overlooked recipe for success.
Raheem Mostert, SF at LAR ($5.6K DK | $7.0K FD | O/U: 45.0 | Implied: 19.25)
Austin Ekeler, LAC at BUF ($6.1K DK | $6.5K FD | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 24.0)
Andy Isabella, ARI at NE ($3.0K DK | $4.7K FD | O/U: 49.0 | Implied: 25.0)
We’re definitely not going to catch anyone unaware that Andy Isabella is going to start in the slot for Larry Fitzgerald after testing positive this week. However, I don’t think it is going to be widely understood on the opportunity we have to catch fire in a bottle. First of all, we need to remember where Isabella earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering: the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
To save you some time, the distance from Amherst to Foxborough in Massachusetts is 1 hour, 37 minutes. Close enough that the Minutemen actually split their home games between Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Hadley and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough from 2014 until 2018. It just so happens that Isabella attended UMass from 2015 until the 2018 season, the entirety of his college career falls within that window.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to sell you on some nostalgic factor completely outside of the realm of analytics. The meat and potatoes of this tout is centered around Isabella’s ability to tear up man coverage. On 15 percent of career routes run facing Cover 1, Isabella has extracted 36 percent of his yardage, and 67 percent of TDs. He is only behind Justin Jefferson in FPs/route (FPRt, 0.81) against the scheme. That FPRt average is 151 percent higher than his overall number, increasing his yards/route run (YPRR) by 140 percent, and carried along with a 42 percent spike in air yards/target.
The Bottom Line: I should probably mention that the Patriots play Cover 1 at the league’s fourth-highest rate, third-highest rate of man coverage shells. For some perspective on a potential target share, the graphic above is telling. I’ve already explained that Stephon Gilmore will shadow Nuk Hopkins, but we can also expect J.C. Jackson to man up on Christian Kirk. If you want to attack New England with the pass, you do it out of the slot against Jonathan Jones. I don’t have updated ownership expectations since the Fitzgerald news broke. But I seriously doubt we’ll see him rostered in more than five percent of lineups.
Michael Pittman Jr., IND vs. TEN ($5.0K DK | $5.7K FD | O/U: 51.5 | Implied: 27.25)
Since I’ve already justified my reasoning behind Philip Rivers consideration, it is only fitting that we would want to stack him with his shiny new No. 1 WR. Savvy GPP practitioners might immediately cross out Michael Pittman Jr.’s name since he’ll likely be owned between 10-to-15 percent. That would be a mistake in the case of lineups with Rivers exposure. In fact, if Derrick Henry is able to eat up this short-handed Indy front, we should actually be viewing Pittman as vastly underowned.
Coming out of Southern California, Pittman was considered as one of the most physical, after the catch types from a talent-stacked WR class. He perfectly profiles as a complement to the current iteration of Rivers. Not that Rivers is unable to push the ball deep, but he is at his best setting his receivers up on crossers, slants, and horizontal routes. For a perfect example, take another look at this45-yard TD to Pittman from last week.
The Bottom Line: We are only just now receiving reliable data from Pittman with 199 routes under his belt. Within those snaps, he has put together an average of 2.23 YPRR against Cover 1. On 26 percent of snaps facing Cover 1, he has collected 39 percent of his total yards. Best of all, we already have a game from him against this exact defense, producing 22.2 FPs from a 7/101/0 line. Another matchup with Malcolm Butler, the weakest link in the Titans secondary, and opposed by the seventh-highest rate of Cover 1 snaps … you do the math.
D.J. Moore, CAR vs. MIN ($6.2K DK | $7.3K FD | O/U: 51.0 | Implied: 23.75)
With Teddy Bridgewater fully practicing this week, the Panthers’ passing offense will be a common DFS target. As much as I wanted to highlight Curtis Samuel here, it’s expected that he’ll be fired up in twice as many lineups as D.J. Moore. An ownership under seven percent for Moore is without a doubt a great opportunity. He’ll face a Vikings secondary offering up the eighth-highest YPA, sixth-highest percentage of 20-or-more completions, and eighth-highest rate of 40-or-more yard completions.
With that in mind, it should come as zero surprise to learn that Minnesota is giving up the fourth-most FPG, second-most TDs to WRs. As for Moore, he’ll face the Vikings’ Cover 2-heavy scheme with a 22 percent target share, 2.11 YPRR, and 52.4 air yards/game (14th). With four TDs scored through 11 games, Moore has already matched his season total from 2019 when he played 15 games. This will be a perfect spot to potentially see that number increase.
The Bottom Line: Moore is easily the most effective Carolina receiver when facing a Cover 2. He has collected 0.38 FPRt compared to 0.31 for Robby Anderson, and 0.18 for Samuel over the last two seasons. The best part about the stacking formula is that it presents a further avenue toward distinguishing your lineups. Were you to stack Bridgewater and Moore with Samuel, you would differentiate your lineup from every other possessing Samuel missing that triple stack.
If we take that a step further to include a run-back of, say, Kyle Rudolph, any concerns you would have in exposure to Samuel can be significantly reduced should the lineup dink. To be clear, don’t read too far into Samuel’s Cover 2 FPRt numbers. He is finally being utilized in a way that properly takes advantage of his skillset. To get you fired up on Moore for Week 12, take another look at his74-yard TD from Bridgewater that just so happens to be against a Cover 2 from the Saints.
Nelson Agholor, LV at ATL ($4.9K DK | $5.2K FD | O/U: 54.0 | Implied: 28.5)
Hunter Renfrow, LV at ATL ($4.0K DK | $5.1K FD | O/U: 54.0 | Implied: 28.5)
Breshad Perriman, NYJ vs. MIA ($4.2K DK | $5.9K FD | O/U: 44.0 | Implied: 18.5)
Tyler Boyd, CIN vs. NYG ($5.0K DK | $6.9K FD | O/U: 44.0 | Implied: 19.0)
Gabriel Davis, BUF vs. LAC ($3.0K DK | $4.8K FD | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 29.0)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. TB ($7.0K DK | $8.0K FD | O/U: 56.0 | Implied: 29.5)
Yeah, I’ve already covered why Travis Kelce should be targeted this, pretty much every week in the Week 12Advanced Matchups. Running 40 percent of his routes from wideout, Kelce has nearly doubled that rate from every other TE. You would also be correct if you guessed that “Zues” is likely to be chalk -- along with Darren Waller -- this week. Does that mean both should be eliminated from GPP contention? The answer should: No. One only needs to look to Week 11 to see that the winning Milly Maker lineup on FD had Taysom Hill lounging at their TE slot.
If 15 percent ownership eliminates Kelce and Waller, how can you explain away Hill’s 68 percent? Not only is Kelce pacing the league’s TEs with 20.9 FPG, he’s running the second-most routes/game, and provided the most targets/game (9.0). He’s tied with Jonnu Smith for the lead in TDs (seven), but with 62.3 percent more receiving yards. In fact, the next closest TE in yards, Waller, is 44.3 percent behind in spite of the fact that Kelce has only caught nine additional passes (90 to 81). Just take a look at the graphic below for proof as to the level of historic pace of production being generated by Kelce.
The Bottom Line: When you’re deciding on your TE options, either look to the sky, or down into the bottom of the well. I’ve provided a trio of TE punts as alternatives below. Anthony Firkser is a tremendous value on DK. Unfortunately for the Colts, Darius Leonard’s immense talent will be focused on trying to help contain the run more than usual.
Will Dissly is the best TE on Seattle’s roster when facing Cover 1. And, yes, I am fully aware that Robert Tonyan is the No. 1 guy in Green Bay. But Jace Sternberger is one of the only TEs in the entire league who has scored a TD against a Cover 6 shell. The reason for that is most teams do not consider their TEs as options over their WRs against the Half-Half-Quarter zone scheme.
The Packers are not one of those teams. All three of Sternberger’s receptions, 23 receiving yards were collected against the Colts’ Cover 6 last week. The Bears play from a Cover 6 at the league’s third-highest rate, and will be without Eddie Jackson. It’s a dart throw from distance, as we like them to be. If you want a piece of a TE that’s scored over 25 FPs in four-of-six games with more than 20 in five, you want Kelce. He is the only TE with considerable 30-plus FP potential.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN vs. CAR ($2.8K DK | $4.6K FD | O/U: 51.0 | Implied: 27.25)
While finalizing my list of TE punts, a status update (below) on Irv Smith Jr. gave me my guy.
With Smith sitting on the sideline in Week 10, Kyle Rudolph ran 79 percent of team routes, collected a 25 percent target share, and closed out the game with 4/63/0. A repeat of those 9.3 FPs would actually represent 10 percent over floor value with the drop in salary from $3.4K to $2.8K on DK.
The Bottom Line: As if we needed more reason to be on Rudolph, he’ll face a Panthers’ secondary surrendering the second-most receptions (5.8), third-most yardage (61.9), and 11th-most FPG to TEs (13.6). If Rudolph can also swing a TD, he will prove to be a dynamite GPP addition.
Anthony Firkser, TEN vs. IND ($2.6K DK | O/U: 51.5 | Implied: 24.25) *DK-only suggestion
Will Dissly, SEA at PHI ($2.9K DK | $4.5K FD | O/U: 50.0 | Implied: 27.5)
Jace Sternberger, MIN vs. CHI ($2.5K DK | $4.3K FD | O/U: 45.0 | Implied: 27.25)
Las Vegas Raiders, LV at ATL ($2.3K DK | $3.6K FD | O/U: 54.0)
Seattle Seahawks, SEA at PHI ($2.5K DK | $4.2K FD | O/U: 50.0)
Kansas City Chiefs, KC at TB ($2.7K DK | $4.4K FD | O/U: 56.0)
GPP Passing Game Stacks
Pay particular attention to the labels between each receiving option. Here are the guidelines:
Plus (+) = Optimal receiving stack
Plus/Minus (+/-) = Triple stack option
Plus/or (+/or) = More than one optimal receiving stack and worthy triple stack option
Or = More than one worthy secondary option in a triple stack
The combined salary listings are calculated triple stacks consisting of the QB plus the first two receiving options.
Josh Allen + Stefon Diggs +/- Cole Beasley or Gabriel Davis
Buffalo Bills’ 11 | 10 Personnel vs. Los Angeles Chargers’ Cover 3
Run-Back Option/s: Keenan Allen
Line: -5.0 | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 29.0 | Combined Salary: $20.7K DK | $21.9K FD
Justin Herbert + Keenan Allen +/- Mike Williams or Hunter Henry
Los Angeles Chargers’ 11 Personnel vs. Buffalo Bills’ Cover 1 | 4
Run-Back Option/s: Stefon Diggs
Line: +5.0 | O/U: 53.0 | Implied: 24.0 | Combined Salary: $20.2K DK | $22.7K FD
Derek Carr + Darren Waller +/- Nelson Agholor +/- Hunter Renfrow
Las Vegas Raiders’ 11 | 12 Personnel vs. Atlanta Falcons’ Cover 1 | 2 | 3
Run-Back Option/s: Calvin Ridley
Line: -3.0 | O/U: 54.0 | Implied: 28.5 | Combined Salary: $14.6K DK | $17.4K FD
Taysom Hill + Michael Thomas +/- Emmanuel Sanders
New Orleans Saints’ 11 Personnel vs. Denver Broncos’ Cover 1 | 6
Run-Back Option/s: Jerry Jeudy
Line: -6.0 | O/U: 43.5 | Implied: 24.75 | Combined Salary: $18.4K DK | $20.6K FD
Jared Goff + Cooper Kupp +/or Robert Woods +/- Josh Reynolds
Los Angeles Rams’ 11 Personnel vs. San Francisco 49ers’ Cover 3 | 4 | 6
Run-Back Options: Brandon Aiyuk
Line: -6.5 | O/U: 45.0 | Implied: 25.75 | Combined Salary: $18.2K DK | $20.5K FD
Optimal RB + DST Stacks (Cash/Single-Entry)
Nick Chubb + Cleveland Browns DST at Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: -6.0 | O/U: 49.5 | Implied for Opponent: 21.8 | Combined Salary: $10.2K DK | $13.3K FD
Kenyan Drake + Arizona Cardinals DST at New England Patriots
Line: -1.0 | O/U: 49.0 | Implied for Opponent: 24.0 | Combined Salary: $8.3K DK | $10.2K FD
Wayne Gallman Jr. + New York Giants DST at Atlanta
Line: -6.0 | O/U: 44.0 | Implied for Opponent: 25.5 | Combined Salary: $7.3K DK | $10.0K FD