As we all celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend, DFS players are facing the challenge of making their lineups, despite having only ten games as part of the “main slate”. On Thursday, these three games took place: 1) the Bears beat the Lions 16-14; 2) the Raiders defeated the Cowboys 36-33, and 3) the Bills annihilated the Saints 31-6. In addition to these “prime time” games, the Browns travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens on Sunday night, and the Washington Football Team host the Seahawks on Monday.
Week 11 Review:
Although I got the opportunity to join Doug and Deej on the Sunday live stream (airing weekly from 10:00-11:30 Central Time), I regret that I didn’t have the time to provide you with all this weekly article last week. My 86-year-old mom, who seems to be exhibiting the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s/Dementia, had a really bad episode last week. My wife Sarah and I spent Thursday through Saturday trying to help her get back into a normal routine after she had spent 17 hours at an Acute Care facility on Thursday night/Friday morning.
Fire Them Up!!
Tom Brady, Bucs-$7600-@ Colts: On the season, Brady has completed 284-of-423 pass attempts for 3177 yards and 29 touchdowns. Over his last four games, Brady has amassed 1113 passing yards and twelve of the 29 touchdowns.
In Week 12, Brady and his Bucs travel to Indianapolis to take on a Colts’ defense that gives up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. With an implied total of 28, Brady should finish amongst the top three quarterbacks this week.
Najee Harris, Steelers-$8200-@ Bengals: In his rookie season, Harris has turned into one of the most versatile running backs in the league. Harris has 188 carries for 685 yards and five touchdowns while adding 49 catches (on 62 targets) for 337 yards and two more touchdowns. His 1,022 combined yards(added to seven touchdowns and 49 catches), winds up being a total of 193.2 PPR fantasy points(or 19.3 PPR fantasy points per game).
In what is the Steelers’ most important game to date, Harris will take on a Bengals’ defense that surrenders the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs. With the Steelers currently being the first team outside of the current playoff standings, they will rely on Harris and Diontae Johnson for their best chance to bring home the win. DFS players should expect top 7 production from Harris this week.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers-$7900-vs Vikings: Despite his one catch for 15 yards performance against the Jaguars in Week 11, Deebo has amassed 55 catches(on 88 targets) for 994 yards and five touchdowns on the season. This week, Samuel takes on a Vikings’ defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to WRs. With an implied total of 26, look for Samuel to have a bounce-back performance. He should finish amongst the top ten wide receivers in week twelve.
Rob Gronkowski, Bucs-$4400-@ Colts: As is easy to tell, the Bucs are one of my favorite stacking options this week. Having only had one target (in Week 8) since week three due to a back injury, Gronkowski had six catches (on eight targets) for 71 yards in week 11 vs the Giants. For Week 12, he is at full health, having been removed from the final injury report on Friday. Taking on a Colts’ defense that allows the fifth-most fantasy points to TEs, Gronk should finish as a top 5 tight end option.
Colder Than Ice:
Matthew Stafford, Rams-$7100-@ Packers: In full disclosure, I envision both Stafford and Aaron Rodgers struggling to meet expectations in this one, but chose the visiting quarterback as my top selection. Over his last two games (vs Titans and @ the 49ers), Stafford has completed 57-of-89 pass attempts for 537 yards and two touchdowns (against four interceptions). After winning seven out of their first eight games, the Rams lost these last two games in which Stafford struggled. Taking on a Packers defense that yields the seventh-fewest fantasy points to QBs, look for Stafford to struggle again and finish outside of the Top 10.
Darrell Henderson, Rams-$5800-@ Packers: As much as I hate to choose two players from the same team as “Ice” selections, the Packers are equally tough against the run. They surrender the eighth fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season. As much as Stafford has struggled recently, Henderson has backslid just as much. Over the last four games, Henderson has had only 45 carries for 221 yards and one touchdown. Equally important, Henderson only has 11 catches( on 18 targets) for 35 yards and one touchdown. With the tough matchup on deck, DFS players should expect Henderson to finish outside of the top 15.
Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins-$5900 vs Panthers: Coming off a solid performance (eight catches for 65 yards) in Week 11 at the Jets, I expect Waddle to have a down game against a Panthers’ defense that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Despite having an outstanding rookie season (68 catches for 622 yards and three touchdowns), Waddle has not scored since Week 6 and has 16.3 PPR or less in five straight games. Look for Waddle to finish outside of the top 25 WRs this week.
Hunter Henry, Patriots-$4500-vs Titans: Henry has been the epitome of a “touchdown or bust” tight end option over the last seven games. Over that stretch, he has 13 catches (on 19 targets) for 162 yards and five touchdowns. I am willing to roll the dice that Henry will not score against a Titans’ defense that allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points to TEs. Without the score, Henry should not be viewed as an option as a TE1 this week.
Bargain Bin-Deep Tourney Plays
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers-$5700-vs Vikings: “Jimmy G” has now thrown for two touchdowns in each of the last three games, and has completed 59-of-81 pass attempts for 684 yards. In the last two games (a 31-10 win over the Rams and a 30-10 win over the Jaguars), he has attempted only 41 passes due to the lopsided nature of each game. With the 49ers being only a three-point favorite in a game featuring a high over-under, Garoppolo will likely have to pass more often. With Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle now healthy, he has the upside to be a low-end QB1 option.
Miles Sanders, Eagles-$5100-@ Giants: After missing three games with an ankle injury, Sanders rushed 16 times for 94 yards in a week eleven win over the Saints. The 16 carries marked a season-high for Sanders. Since Sanders got hurt in Week 7 at the Raiders, QB Jalen Hurts has attempted a total of 78 passes. With fellow running back Jordan Howard out with a knee injury in Week 12, look for Sanders to get the bulk of the carries. DFS owners will hope for a TD or slight involvement in the passing game for Sanders, to catapult him to a low-end RB1. No matter what, I project Sanders to finish amongst st the top 20 RBs.
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers-$5300-vs Vikings: To pair up with Garoppolo in a contrarian stack, Aiyuk makes the perfect selection. Over his last four games, Aiyuk has amassed 20 catches (on 26 targets) for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Expected to be a Top 25 redraft wide receiver option, Aiyuk has finally put together the production that was hoped for at the beginning of the season. Taking on a Vikings’ defense that allows the second-most fantasy points to WRs, Aiyuk should finish as a Top 20 option in Week 12.
Evan Engram, Giants-$3800-vs Eagles: In all fairness, I was not overly fond of the tight end options that were priced below $4k (primarily due to their matchups). In a couple of leagues, I selected Josiah Deguara (Packers) at $2600 to allow additional spending elsewhere. Engram should benefit from both Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney sitting out this one. Although Engram’s season stats( 28 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns) have not been spectacular, he should benefit from a matchup against an Eagles’ defense that gives up the most fantasy points to tight ends. DFS players should consider Engram as a low-end TE1 option.
Stack of the Week:
As you can tell. I am relying heavily on both the Bucs and the 49ers with a limited slate this week. A couple of other options for these two stacks are: 1) Chris Godwin-Bucs ($7k); and 2) George Kittle-49ers ($6400). A couple of other stacks that I am also interested in are Justin Herbert/Austin Ekeler($15k) and Kirk Cousins/Justin Jefferson ($14600). The Chargers are facing a Broncos defense that is tough on paper( fourth-fewest fantasy to QBs/6th fewest fantasy points to RBs), but I am willing to take the chance on Herbert, who has thrown for 2,927 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season. Ekeler has amassed 980 total yards and 13 touchdowns on the season while adding 45 catches (on 58 targets). These totals amount to 221 PPR fantasy points (22.1 points per game).
In terms of Jefferson and Cousins, they have connected on 17 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks. The 49ers should provide some restraint, as they allow only the 16th-most fantasy points to QBs and the 20th most to WRs. Although neither of these stacks have ideal matchups, sometimes DFS players have to roll the dice on the better price to expected performance ratios. In a week where options are somewhat limited, I am more than willing to pay up for my stacks.