Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! It’s DFS time, and DraftKings is here to provide everyone with a bit of cash this week. Make sure to monitor Sunday morning for injuries; there’s a ton of game-time decisions this week. Also, take your Steelers and Ravens out of your lineups — the game has been postponed until Tuesday.
All values are subject to DraftKings’ prices and scoring format. All ownership data is courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
Fire ‘em up
Justin Herbert @ BUF, $7,200 (Projected ownership: 6.2%)
Herbert is worth paying up for this week as he travels north to meet Buffalo, who allows the second-most fantasy points to the quarterback. The rookie has been unstoppable and injuries to Kalen Ballage (ankle) could lead to an even greater focus on the passing game. This game has shootout written all over it, and those with some cash left in the budget should blow it on Herbert.
James White vs. ARI, $4,500 (Projected ownership: 6.1%)
Who loves receiving work? White is a great play at a reasonable price tag. In the three games where White has seen 50% or more snaps, he’s finished as the RB21, RB9 and RB15. That’s a nice floor and a surprisingly high ceiling. With Rex Burkhead (torn ACL) done for the season, White will take a larger role in this offense on a Patriots team that will certainly be coming from behind against a high-flying Cardinals offense. It’s the perfect game script for White to catch at least six passes, something he did in each of those three games. Remember; DraftKings is a PPR platform.
Darius Slayton @ CIN, $4,900 (Projected ownership: 3.7%)
Play wide receivers against the Bengals. Slayton’s season has gotten off track after a hot start, but a good get-right matchup exists here against a Bengals unit tied for the second-most passing touchdowns allowed. There’s plenty of upside for the 2019 fifth-round pick who had one of his best games of the season prior to their bye while dealing with a shoulder injury in Week 10. The Bengals also allow the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Jordan Reed @ LAR, $3,600 (Projected ownership: 3.3%)
This Rams defense has been incredibly impressive. Seventh best against the quarterback. Best against the wide receiver. But where it’s vulnerable is across the middle against the tight end, especially athletic ones like Reed. Prior to his bye week Reed caught five of his six targets for 62 yards on just 44% of snaps. That number could rise even higher, but the important thing to note is that this wasn’t just sheer efficiency relative to his snap count. It’s that when Reed is out on the field, he’s always running routes — fantasy gold. Reed is a cheap option that will still finish in the top 10 in a divisional matchup. Just make sure he’s out there. He’s missed several practices this week with a non-COVID-19 related illness.
New Orleans Saints @ DEN (Projected ownership: 6.9%)
This Saints defense has come alive in recent weeks, notably after its trade for linebacker Kwon Alexander. New Orleans is second-best against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, the best against opposing fantasy running backs and the best against fantasy tight ends over the past six weeks.
Colder than ice
Matt Ryan @ LV, $5,900 (Projected ownership: 4.2%)
Good matchup, lower price tag. Why not?
Well, Ryan averages just nine fantasy points per game when Julio Jones misses or leaves early. We saw that on full display last week when Ryan totally fell apart against the Saints. He’s on the road and out of your lineups if he is without Jones. Ryan has just three games with 300-yards and only four games with multiple touchdowns. Avoid the name.
Frank Gore vs. MIA, $4,300 (Projected ownership: 2.2%)
No. Even with a great price tag and a majority snap share Gore should be out of DFS lineups. He provides little in the receiving game (10 receptions through 10 games), not ideal for a PPR format like DraftKings. Even with a positive matchup and La’Mical Perine (ankle) on the injured reserve there’s no price tag that makes Gore a smart play. His ceiling is nonexistent, and a timeshare will still be used with Ty Johnson likely to take the Perine role. View Gore as you would any week in the past — don’t give him a bump with the Perine injury.
Tee Higgins vs. NYG, $4,700 (Projected ownership: 3.6%)
Sigh. It’s a shame but without Joe Burrow (torn ACL) this offense will crumble; plain and simple. Brandon Allen will not be able to get Higgins the deep shots he needs, nor will he be able to throw into tight windows that outside receivers deal with. Higgins could also see a healthy dose of cornerback James Bradberry, who has been outstanding this year.
Noah Fant vs. NO, $4,200 (Projected ownership: 2.9%)
Fant has not been a top 10 tight end since Week 2. The offense just hasn’t been strong enough to give Fant the upside he needs in DFS. The Saints opened the year as a matchup to attack for tight ends, but since New Orleans traded for Kwon Alexander the unit has allowed the least fantasy points to tight ends.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. NYG, $2,500 (Projected ownership: 6.4%)
Don’t get me wrong — I love playing matchups in fantasy football, especially with DSTs. But the Bengals unit is just devoid of talent, and the line has been crossed between the talent on defense vs. the matchup. Cincinnati scored negative fantasy points in two of their last four games with just three sacks in that same span. Don’t get fooled into the matchup.
Taysom Hill @ DEN, $6,200 (Projected ownership: 4.2%)
10 carries are an awesome baseline, but his two rushing touchdowns in Week 11 could be a sign of things to come. Sean Payton has an unlimited amount of designed QB runs for Hill, and each of them is beautiful for his fantasy value. His legs, as well as the threat posed by Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray on the ground, also sets up play-action well. Hill completed nine of his 10 attempts using PA, which is even greater when you consider Hill only attempted 23 passes.
Troymaine Pope @ BUF, $4,000 (Projected ownership: 0.5%)
This is conditional, of course. If Ballage is inactive then Pope is a great start as the primary pass catcher in the offense. This is going to be a high-scoring game and Pope will be a great option. Joshua Kelley is limited in what he can do, and the Chargers know it. At the bare minimum price Pope can be a RB2 with upside — perfect for a $4,000 play.
Gabriel Davis vs. LAC, $3,000 (Projected ownership: 4.3%)
Davis has been a DFS darling all season long but picking the spot to play him has been a challenge. Well, now’s the time in a great matchup with John Brown (calf) inactive. Stefon Diggs should see plenty of star cornerback Casey Hayward while Chris Harris Jr., fresh off the injured reserve, covers Cole Beasley from the slot. Davis should thrive as the one option not covered by a Pro Bowl cornerback. While the coverage will shift throughout the game, he’s well worth the $3,000 gamble.
Kyle Rudolph vs. CAR, $2,900 (Projected ownership: 2.4%)
Deep play. But with Irv Smith (groin) listed as doubtful Rudolph should see plenty of snaps and opportunity. He caught four of his five targets for 63 yards in his one game without Smith this season. That was with Adam Thielen (COVID-19), who is expected to miss this weekend due to the virus. It’s entirely possible that Rudolph has a larger part of the offense this week with a solid matchup. There’s a lot to like about Rudolph this week, but remember that his lack of athletic ability could limit his top five upside.
Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN, $3,000 (Projected ownership: 1.1%)
Once again, DFS owners seem to be underrating the value the Colts defense has for fantasy. They’re scoring 10.5 fantasy points per game and while the matchup isn’t ideal, that’s why the ownership should be low. We have seen Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and this entire Titans offense struggle to the Colts defense two weeks ago. They scored 10 points then and could be around that range again. I chose them as my DFS pick then — I’d advise you to do the same now.