Week 12 Contrarian DFS Angles


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Week 12 Contrarian DFS Angles

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Hopefully you had a better turkey day than the Ravens, who’ve had a massive COVID outbreak that now includes Lamar Jackson and at least a dozen other players. Ravens-Steelers has been moved to Tuesday night and is off of the main slate. The Ravens were supposed to play the Cowboys on Thursday night next week, so that game will have to be moved as well.

Between the Pittsburgh game getting moved again, a few less severe COVID situations (Broncos and Rams have positive tests), and a slew of injuries — this slate is shaping up to be a little messy.

Let’s go through all of the angles that will help you get to the top of leaderboards this weekend.

Note: The ownership projections referenced in this article are from our dashboard, which is powered by FanShare. These are updated constantly throughout the weekend.

Some low-owned angles into Chargers-Bills

I wrote about this game in Pace Points as one of the best scoring environments on this slate and getting this spot right for DFS will be one of the keys for the week. With Justin Herbert balling out and the Chargers defense giving up points in spades, all of their recent games have turned into massive shootouts. Each of the Bolts’ last seven games have totaled at least 50 points, and 6 of those contests have combined for at least 57 points.

Now, we combine the high-flying Chargers with an equally explosive Bills offense that is very pass-heavy and we get a perfect scoring environment for DFS. Buffalo has gone 61% pass when their games have been within a score, which is tied with Kansas City for the fifth-highest rate in the league. If this game stays tight throughout, we could see both Herbert and Josh Allen throw it 40+ times.

In this game, our ownership projections are centered around Josh Allen ($7,600 DK; $8,600 FD) who is projected as the highest-owned QB on the slate; Stefon Diggs ($7,600 DK; $7,900) who should end up being the highest-owned WR with John Brown ruled out; Keenan Allen ($8,000 DK; $8,200 FD) because, well, duh; and Kalen Ballage ($5,800 DK; $5,500 FD) because he remains too cheap for the volume he’s getting — especially on FanDuel.

With most people flocking to the expensive options and a too-cheap Ballage in this game — and for good reason — it’s going to leave some of the secondary pieces in this game under-owned. Mike Williams ($5,000 DK; $6,100 FD) and Hunter Henry ($4,800 DK; $5,900 FD) are both projected to catch 6-7% ownership according to FanShare, which is a massive leverage opportunity. We’re looking for unique angles into this game and it just so happens two of the best plays in the game are going to go under-owned just because of the way the field is building their rosters.

Henry is my favorite pass catcher not named Diggs or Allen in this game. After a streak of bad luck, Henry has 4/30/1 (on 6 targets) and 4/48/1 (on 7 targets) over the last two weeks and now catches a Bills defense that is yielding a league-high 5.9 receptions and 65 yards per game to tight ends. If you’re not playing Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, you’re playing the TD-or-bust game and Henry not only has a great matchup to exceed his usual yardage output, but he has a great chance at a score, too. Only Rob Gronkowski (10) has more endzone targets than Henry (9) among tight ends.

On the Bills side, it’s going to be really hard to ignore Stefon Diggs at his price tag. With John Brown out, Diggs is in the conversation for the WR1 status on this slate. In the three games that Brown has missed or left early due to injury, Diggs has gone for 4/49/1, 10/106, and 6/48 with 16 and 11 targets in the latter two contests Brown outright missed. And the Chargers will be without their top CB Casey Hayward. Oh boy.

However, no one ever plays Cole Beasley ($5,500 DK; $5,400 FD) and that will especially be the case this week on DraftKings because he’s slightly over-priced. Beasley is only in play if you’re stacking up this game, but he pasted the Jets for 11/112 in Brown’s last missed game back in Week 7. Brown’s absence also elevates rookie Gabriel Davis to a full-time role and he’s very interesting because he’ll allow you to get up to some of the more expensive options on the slate because he is the minimum price on DraftKings. Davis is going to play nearly every single snap this week after he ran a route on 95 of Allen’s 96 dropbacks when Brown missed in Week 5 and 7. Our DFS projections have Davis pegged as the top point per dollar receiver on the slate.

TL;DR — Don’t be afraid to fade one of Keenan Allen / Stefon Diggs and stack Allen or Herbert with some of their cheaper, lower-owned ancillary pieces. And Hunter Henry is an amazing play.

Bucs’ stacks in tournaments?

Right now, our ownership projections have Tom Brady ($6,600 DK; $7,900 FD) and all of his pass-catchers slated for under 8% ownership despite what should be a pass-heavy shootout against Mahomes and the Chiefs. If the Buccaneers defense continues to crack as we’ve seen in recent weeks — they allowed 376 yards and 3 TDs to Jared Goff last week and let Drew Brees go for 222 yards and 4 TDs on just 32 attempts back in Week 9 — the Chiefs should dictate the flow of the game.

And if the Chiefs are up on the scoreboard, Brady is going to have to throw. A ton. In fact, no team is more pass-heavy when they are trailing than Tampa Bay (73%). Kansas City has been somewhat stingy on defense all season long, but Brady is still capable of putting up big scores on volume alone. Brady scored 34.5 DraftKings points on 46 attempts back in Week 5 vs. the Chargers, he put up 39.9 DK points on 49 attempts in Week 8 vs. the Raiders, and had 34.8 on 39 attempts two weeks ago vs. the Panthers.

And, all of Brady’s pass catchers are all clearly defined and cheap on DraftKings. Antonio Brown ($5,700) will probably catch the highest ownership out of their new trio with Chris Godwin ($6,000) and Mike Evans ($6,100) likely only on 5-8% of rosters. I really don’t have a great feel for who is the best play out of the group and our projections have Brown / Godwin / Evans all projected within a point of each other. People are not going to know who to choose between these three and it’s going to leave all of them far lower owned than they should be. Godwin probably has the highest floor of this group — he’s caught five or more balls in 6-of-7 games — while Evans has the ceiling. He’s cashed in 6 TDs on his 11 endzone targets this season, which ranks third-most among WRs. With just five receptions across his last three games since the team added AB, Rob Gronkowski is a distant fourth option here.

Teddy Bridgewater (28.3 fantasy points) and Derek Carr (21.6) have both posted nice games in this matchup in back-to-back games with both of those games turning into 60+ point shootouts. We’ve seen Brady put up tournament-winning scores three times this season and it seems like everyone is forgetting about that after he flopped so hard on Monday Night Football against a tough Rams defense. Brady + two of his pass-catchers + Hill or Kelce is such a strong way to start tournament lineup builds.

Don’t forget about Kyler

If you want to play Kyler Murray ($8,200 DK; $9,100 FD) at the lowest ownership he’s going to catch this season, now is your chance. On DraftKings especially, most everyone will be looking at the cheaper Mahomes, Allen, and Herbert to start their rosters. It is going to leave Murray completely under-owned relative to what we’re accustomed to. Our ownership projections have Murray pegged at 6% on both sites.

Even with Stephon Gillmore back healthy, this Patriots defense is a shell of itself mainly because they can’t rush the passer. Which is a massive, massive problem this week. No team plays more man coverage than New England and that bodes extremely well for Kyler’s outlook. Because cornerbacks have their backs turned in coverage, it leaves wide open scrambling lanes for the quarterback if their receivers are locked up. The Pats’ lack of a pass rush only further complicates that problem. Mobile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson (5/39), Patrick Mahomes (8/28), Josh Allen (10/23/1), Lamar Jackson (11/55), and Deshaun Watson (6/36/1) have all fared pretty well in this matchup and now Bill Belichick faces his toughest task yet in Murray.

Now, you don’t have to stack Murray with any of his pass catchers because he possesses 35+ point upside based on his rushing ability alone. With DeAndre Hopkins ($8,100 DK; $8,500 FD) priced above Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen and facing a Stephon Gilmore shadow, I’m not sure Nuk is necessary this week. In his Advanced Matchups column, Wes Huber went into more detail about a Nuk fade.

I’m also not really excited to play an overpriced Christian Kirk, either. On DraftKings, Kirk is $100 more expensive than Antonio Brown, the same price as Robert Woods, and only $300 cheaper than Justin Jefferson. Kirk has seen more than 20% of his team’s targets just once all season and should see plenty of J.C. Jackson, who is actually allowing an even lower catch rate (51%) than Gilmore (56%).

This only leaves Andy Isabella at the stone minimum on DraftKings and $200 above minimum on FanDuel. Larry Fitzgerald will miss this game because he tested positive for COVID, which will make Isabella the Cardinals full-time slot wideout against a Patriots defense that is giving up far more fantasy points per game through the slot (22.4; eighth-most) than out wide (13.0; sixth-fewest). I think Isabella will end up being fairly popular as a cheap one-off for rosters that need to save salary, but that won’t matter if Murray is only 5-8% owned.

A few low-owned plays that have tournament-winning ability…

Taysom Hill ($6,200 DK; $7,300 FD) — 5% projected ownership

Between Mahomes, Kyler, Allen, Herbert, Brady, and even Carr, this is a great week for quarterback options. After breaking FanDuel last week and coming through for 25 DK points as everyone’s cash game quarterback, we’re going to see Taysom Hill at far lower ownership this week. Hill’s rushing upside is unquestioned, but what impressed me most was just how good he looked as a passer. Granted, it was against the Falcons, but Hill had a great sense of rhythm and timing on traditional dropback-style passes. Not only did Hill and Michael Thomas’ connection look amazing, Hill just missed out on a nuclear day after an Emmanuel Sanders’ deep TD was overturned because of a penalty. I prefer a few stacks over Hill-Thomas, but this pairing offers high-upside leverage on this slate. Thomas is coming off of a monster workload — he saw 52% of Hill’s targets and 74% of the air yards! — and will be way lower owned than Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen at slightly higher price points.

Kareem Hunt ($5,600 DK only) — 8% projected ownership

Nick Chubb’s return to the lineup has relegated Hunt back into a true committee role. Even though Hunt is the better receiver, Chubb has looked nothing short of incredible when healthy this season. Outside of Dalvin Cook, you could make an argument that no runner has been better than Chubb. In fact, Chubb has now out-scored Hunt in four-straight games largely because he’s been such a beast on the ground. Still, in this matchup against a completely overmatched Jaguars team, there is room for Chubb and Hunt to both go off. The Browns are 7-point favorites over the Jags’ — which should lead to another extremely run-heavy game-script. Cleveland is 54% run-heavy when Chubb has played, which would tie the Ravens for the highest rate in the league. I think Chubb’s ceiling is slightly higher than Hunt’s because he has a 60+ yard TD well within his range of outcomes this week, but at least on DraftKings, Hunt is the far better value. What’s more, Chubb and Hunt’s roles have been near even in positive game-scripts. In their five full games together, Chubb has 51 carries to Hunt’s 44 when the Browns have been ahead of the scoreboard. At his price tag and expected ownership, I love Hunt as a low-owned tournament play on DraftKings. He’s still a little too cheap over on FanDuel ($6,600).

Graham Barfield blends data and film together to create some of the most unique content in the fantasy football industry. Barfield is FantasyPoints’ Director of Analytics and formerly worked for the NFL Network, Fantasy Guru, and Rotoworld.