DK Buffet Week 12: Key Stats and Matchups for the Main Slate

When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes, either positive or negative reason. It informs us of how we should be attacking each slate.

Arizona Cardinals

Implied Team Total: 16.5

Spread: +11.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers

I don’t want to keep piling on Mike McCoy (I do) but what a difference a coaching change makes. David Johnson ($7,300) was averaging just 15 PPR points under McCoy. Under new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Johnson has averaged 22.6 PPR Points per game over the past three times they’ve taken the field. Targets are up a little and he’s seeing five more carries per game. Hopefully, they can begin to get him involved a bit more downfield, but we’ll take the bump in usage.

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Baltimore Ravens

Implied Team Total: 27.25

Spread: -11 vs. Oakland

After barely seeing the field for double-digit snaps over the past month, Gus Edwards ($4,400) burst onto the scene last week. He was on the field for 49 of 79 snaps and turned his 17 carries into 115 yards and one touchdown. Throw in Alex Collins ($4,500) seeing just seven carries and the disappearance of Javorius Allen ($3,400) and you had an unmitigated disaster. Baltimore plays Oakland in a game script that should be friendly to running backs so Edwards could make sense as a punt play.

Buffalo Bills

Implied Team Total: 17.25

Spread: +3 vs. Jacksonville

Prolific passer Josh Allen ($4,400) appears to be on track to return this week. He hasn’t hit an AYA of 7.0, which is considered league average, when targeting any of his passers. If you feel an undeniable urge to make a play on this side of the ball, it’s LeSean McCoy ($4,200). He’s coming off of his first 25-plus-point performance of the year and his price is as low as it’s been all season.

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Carolina Panthers

Implied Team Total: 25.25

Spread: -3.5 vs. Seattle

D.J. Moore ($4,600) is coming off of his best performance of the season. He’s averaging twice as many targets per game over the past two weeks as he had for the first eight games of the season. Moore will be catching passes from Cam Newton ($6,200) who’s the third most expensive QB this week. He’s now thrown for multiple touchdowns in nine straight games. Newton hasn’t had a game that kills you this year as he’s been over 15 points in every contest.

 

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Cincinnati Bengals

Implied Team Total: 25.25

Spread: -3 vs. Cleveland

A.J. Green ($7,600) is on track to return from his toe injury this week. Over the past few weeks, in Green’s absence, we’ve seen what Tyler Boyd ($6,000) can do as the featured option. The answer? Not much. But Boyd is a great complementary piece that should see higher efficiency with Green returning. This is the third highest total on the slate and a stack of Andy Dalton ($5,300) with either receiver makes sense this weekend. For what it’s worth, the Stat Explorer has a wide range of outcomes for Dalton.

 

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Cleveland Browns

Implied Team Total: 22.25

Spread: +3 @ Cincinnati

Something clicked with Baker Mayfield ($5,500) last time out. It was his first game as a pro with an 85 percent completion rate. Mayfield avoided the turnovers that have peppered his young career and finished with three touchdowns. If he continues to produce, this might be the lowest price that we see him down the stretch.

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Denver Broncos

Implied Team Total: 22

Spread: +3 vs. Pittsburgh

I’m quite confused by the entire Courtland Sutton ($4,400) situation. Three weeks ago, he was over 25 percent owned in the Millionaire Maker. The following week, after seeing the same exact volume he had seen to that point in the season, he was less than 5 percent owned because he “burned” so many people the previous week. If his aDOT can stabilize around 13 like it has the past two games, we can expect big things from Sutton.

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Indianapolis Colts

Implied Team Total: 30

Spread: -9 vs. Miami

Andrew Luck ($6,400) has thrown at least three touchdowns in every game since Week 3. He’s already thrown the ball 400 times this season. Since Week 4 his worst QB finish is 17 and has no other finishes outside of the top 12.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Implied Team Total: 20.25

Spread: -3 @ Buffalo

The Stat Explorer Projections loves some Leonard Fournette ($6,700) this weekend. He’s seen at least 29 opportunities in both games since his return. Fournette gets a matchup in Buffalo that has been below average against RBs and this could be the last time we see the Jags as favorites in a game.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Implied Team Total: 28

Spread: -11.5 vs. Arizona

Melvin Gordon ($8,600) is probably in the best spot a running back can be in. When favored by more than a touchdown, Gordon averages nearly nine more PPR points than in other game environments. The Cardinals are dead last against RBs in fantasy points allowed and have given up five 20-plus PPR Point games.

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Miami Dolphins

Implied Team Total: 21

Spread: +9 @ Indianapolis

It’s Frank Gore ($3,600) week. Over the past six games that Miami has played, Gore has out-touched Kenyan Drake ($4,600). With Drake sporting a non-contact jersey to start practice this week, you’d have to assume that it’ll be difficult for them to give him a full workload. Between a bump in workload, his price, and the revenge narrative against his former team, I’m not sure how you fade him in tournaments this weekend.

New England Patriots

Implied Team Total: 27.75

Spread: -9.5 @ New York Jets

From a raw touchdown perspective, Rob Gronkowski ($5,100) probably has the highest ceiling of any tight end to ever play the game. He represents a $1,400 discount from the most expensive tight end on the slate and is at the lowest price he’s ever been. This seems like a spot where you shouldn’t overthink things.

New York Giants

Implied Team Total: 20

Spread: +6 @ Philadelphia

Last week was the exception, not the rule, with Odell Beckham ($8,800). Beckham had never played in a game where he saw less than five targets before last week. Even on very limited targets last week, he just missed being a top 15 WR. Beckham is right at the top of every relevant receiving stat on a per game basis this season.

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New York Jets

Implied Team Total: 18.25

Spread: +9.5 vs New England

Over the past two games, Elijah McGuire ($3,600) has seen at least five targets and added at least a half dozen carries. While those might not be record-breaking numbers, you could do worse for a guy who’s barely above minimum salary. He’s occupying the Bilal Powell role in a game that the Jets will likely be playing from behind. If this were Powell, he’d likely be in the mid-$5,000 range.

Oakland Raiders

Implied Team Total: 16.25

Spread: +11 @ Baltimore

No one on the Raiders is more than a GPP dart throw. Jalen Richard ($4,300) is cheap enough to make some sense. He’s had at least nine opportunities in four of his past five games. Baltimore’s defense has been stout through every phase of the game though, so it’s mostly a stay away situation for me.

Philadelphia Eagles

Implied Team Total: 26

Spread: -6 vs New York Giants

Let last week’s performance of Zach Ertz ($6,400) scare other people off of him. We preach not to overreact all the time in DFS. In fact, most of the best plays come because so many overreact to the most recent thing to have happened. A three target game from someone who’s seen double-digit targets in seven other games isn’t something to be scared of.

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Pittsburgh Steelers

Implied Team Total: 25

Spread: -3 @ Denver

Speaking of bounce-back candidates for Week 12, we have a very affordable James Conner ($7,800) going against a giving Broncos run defense. The Stat Explorer projections are giving him a median projection of 22 PPR Points. Conner is relatively game script proof given his involvement in the passing game, but he’ll need to become more consistent in that area to keep the trust of Ben Roethlisberger moving forward.conner

San Francisco 49ers

Implied Team Total: 25.75

Spread: +3.5 @ Tampa Bay

This 49ers team is utterly stackable against a Tampa Bay defense that seems to lay down every chance they get. The Bucs are allowing nearly 90 percent of drives that come to the red zone to end in touchdowns. They’re worst in the league and are one of only four teams that are above 70 percent. Nick Mullens ($5,400) has played well and the Stat Explorer projections reflect that with a 35-point ceiling for Mr. Mullens. If he reaches that ceiling, then everyone is in play. The two obvious stacking partners are Marquise Goodwin ($5,600) and George Kittle ($6,200). This will be a popular game and exposure in different combinations makes a ton of sense.

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Seattle Seahawks

Implied Team Total: 21.75

Spread: +3.5 @ Carolina

If Russell Wilson ($5,600) can keep throwing touchdowns for every eight completions, he’ll continue to be a good play. He’s outperformed his salary expectation in six straight games and faces off with a Panthers defense that isn’t the dominating force it once was against opposing wide receivers. He’s only put up one dud so far this season, but otherwise has scored at least 15 points each week.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Implied Team Total: 29.25

Spread: -3.5 vs. San Francisco

This game has all the makings of a shootout. Both defenses haven’t quite gotten their heads wrapped around the idea of preventing the other team from scoring. Jameis Winston ($6,000) is (at least the first half) QB for the Buccaneers this week. If you’re willing to trust a Tampa Bay quarterback, he gets a matchup against a San Francisco pass defense that is allowing an average of 2.1 touchdowns per game.