Week 12 Sunday Morning Update


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Week 12 Sunday Morning Update

Hello and welcome to the Week 12 Sunday Morning Update. What is this article? Mostly it’s a follow-up to yesterday’s big DFS piece – Scott Barrett’s Week 12 DFS Breakdown. But this article should also offer some utility of its own for redraft and dynasty players.

Each week Graham Barfield and I will be breaking down the key injuries, news, and notes from Saturday / Sunday and will be updating this article up until kickoff (1PM EST). And we’ll also be providing a sort of TL;DR to yesterday’s big DFS article. Who are my core cash game plays? Who are Graham’s preferred low-owned plays for tournaments? You can find that at the end of this article.

Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes

Sunday Morning Update

(11:30 AM)

Cordarrelle Patterson is ACTIVE.

Corey Davis is INACTIVE. It’s a slight boost to Elijah Moore’s target projection.

Jordan Howard is INACTIVE. It officially locks in Miles Sanders as one of the best values on the slate.

Vita Vea is ACTIVE. The Bucs’ run defense is back to full strength.

Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, and Kyle Rudolph are all INACTIVE.

Terrace Marshall is a HEALTHY SCRATCH. Not that it really matters.

(9:30 AM)

– It sounds like Aaron Jones is a true game-time call. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said that there’s “optimism” that Jones will play, but the Packers want to test Jones’ knee before the game. With their bye looming, common sense would point to sitting Jones – but we may not know if Jones is going to play until 3pm. AJ Dillon ($5.9k DK / $6.9k FD) could become the nuts late-swap option.

Saquon Barkley and Eli Mitchell are both expected to play, per Schefter.

Cordarrelle Patterson is a true game-time call. We’ll know at 11:30.

Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are good to go.

Per Dianna Russini: “Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, has been dealing with pain in his throwing arm, his elbow, a sore ankle, and chronic back pain, per sources. He will play today.” It’s probably worth downgrading all Rams players at least slightly. The Rams have a 24.5-point implied total, just 0.5 higher than the Falcons.

Saturday Update

- Per Adam Schefter: "Players expected to play Sunday include Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Kareem Hunt, James Robinson, Darius Slay, T.J. Watt, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Bradley Chubb and Dre Greenlaw."

- Jaguars RB James Robinson is OFF THE INJURY REPORT.

- Buccaneers WR Mike Evans is OFF THE INJURY REPORT.

- Jets WR Corey Davis is QUESTIONABLE.

- Texans WR Nico Collins is QUESTIONABLE.

- Packers WR Allen Lazard is QUESTIONABLE.

- Titans TE Geoff Swaim is QUESTIONABLE.

- Eagles RB Jordan Howard is OUT.

- Titans RB Jeremy McNichols is OUT.

- Jets RB Michael Carter is OUT.

- 49ers RB JaMycal Hasty is OUT.

- Giants WRs Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney are OUT.

- Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown is OUT.

- Steelers TE Eric Ebron is OUT.

- Giants TEs Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith are OUT.

- Steelers CB Joe Haden is OUT.

- Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin is OUT.

Things I Think

I think this is going to be a good week. Historically the main slate after Thanksgiving is a massively profitable one. Competition is typically much softer thanks to the post-Thanksgiving hangover. DFS players and fantasy analysts are tired, overworked, and probably literally hungover. It’s the Thursday Night Football of slates; analysts are working on a short week, losing valuable research time to the Thanksgiving slate. But I was careful not to make the same mistake, pawning off the Thanksgiving Slate Breakdown on Jake Tribbey.

I think I feel really good about everything I wrote up in the Slate Breakdown. The TLDR a little less so, but I think my writeups and overall grasp of the slate was terrific.

We hit on a number of key contrarian plays in that article. Mike Williams as leverage off of Keenan Allen. Leonard Fournette as leverage off of Tom Brady, his pass-catchers, and Jonathan Taylor. Etc. I think this is a good week to go that route, but I’m also a lot higher on some plays who are naturally going under-owned and offer leverage. For instance, I significantly prefer Mike Evans to Chris Godwin straight-up, though Godwin projects as the highest-owned WR of the slate.

I only have a few small updates this week:

Per Adam Schefter, CB Joe Haden is out for the Steelers. In the two games he’s missed, we’ve seen Henry Ruggs drop 22.5 fantasy points and Mike Williams and Keenan Allen both exceed 20.0. This is worth a significant boost to Ja’Marr Chase. Keep in mind, Pittsburgh already ranked 3rd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG (+4.3).

I’m warming up to Evan Engram a little bit as a pure value. New York will be without two TEs and WRs Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney. It’s a best possible matchup. And although he stinks, he’s a solid play.

And Joe Mixon and Najee Harris are going low-owned and make for better GPP-plays than I initially implied. Our projections have Mixon as the No. 1-overall RB value of the slate on both sites. I don’t really agree with that, but our projections are the best in the business, and I always have a hard time going against them.

Graham Barfield’s Contrarian Angles

Contrarian Plays With Slate-Breaking Upside

(Projected ownership in parenthesis).


Javonte Williams (2% DK | 5% FD) the concerns are obvious (Melvin Gordon), but we always want to play rookies late in the year coming out of their bye. Javonte has been an explosive play waiting to happen all year and now gets the easiest matchup possible with this Chargers run defense.

Darrell Henderson (7% FD only) is chalk on DraftKings because he’s way too cheap, but is projecting to be lower owned on FanDuel. Henderson flopped in Weeks 9-10 because of two terrible game-scripts, but he should catch a good one here. The Rams opened up as slight underdogs but are closing as favorites here as the line has moved in their favor all week. Henderson is also a great late-swap option with AJ Dillon.


Brandon Aiyuk (5% DK | 5% FD) I like JimmyG stacks quite a bit on FanDuel, but the problem is that the field does, too. That said, Aiyuk has totaled 20/245/2 over his last four after having one of his best outings of the year against the Jaguars. The trust factor in Aiyuk is clearly back – he’s seen 7 or more targets in three of his last 4 games and has the same number of total targets (19) in his last three games as George Kittle.


Hunter Henry (3% FD only) We’re chasing TDs on FanDuel and no one wants to chase them with Henry still. He has 9 end-zone targets, no one else on the Patriots has more than three.

Chalk Plays (Ownership Projections)

  1. Chris Godwin, WR (29.3%)
  2. Michael Pittman, WR (25.6%)
  3. Brandin Cooks, WR (24.3%)
  4. Keenan Allen, WR (22.3%)
  5. Christian McCaffrey, RB (21.3%)
  6. Diontae Johnson, WR (20.2%)
  7. Dallas Goedert, TE (20.0%)
  8. Deebo Samuel, WR (19.3%)
  9. A.J. Dillon, RB (16.9%)
  10. Myles Gaskin, RB (16.4%)
  1. Keenan Allen, WR (24.3%)
  2. Chris Godwin, WR (24.3%
  3. Deebo Samuel, WR (23.3%)
  4. Dalvin Cook, RB (20.0%)
  5. Christian McCaffrey, RB (19.1%)
  6. Tom Brady, QB (17.0%)
  7. A.J. Dillon, RB (16.9%)
  8. Justin Herbert, QB (16.5%)
  9. Austin Ekeler, RB (16.4%)
  10. Brandin Cooks, WR (16.3%)

Cash Core (DK/FD)

QB: Cam Newton (DK), Tom Brady (FD)

RB: Christian McCaffrey, Miles Sanders, James Robinson (DK), Austin Ekeler (FD)

WR: Diontae Johnson, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, Michael Pittman, Deebo Samuel, Elijah Moore, Jakobi Meyers, Brandin Cooks

TE: Rob Gronkowski (DK), Pat Freiermuth (FD), George Kittle (FD)