The Fantasy Football Ghost will attempt to shepherd us safely through the last week of NFL bye with his FanDuel cash plays for Week 12!
All good things come to an end and so is the case with our three-week winning streak. Between Weeks 8 through 10 we were able to surpass an average of 2.5 times value for the players identified weekly in this column. However, in Week 11 we came up a bit short with an average multiplier of 1.92 times value. The biggest bust last week was Brian Hill — filling in for an injured Devonta Freeman — who scored only 4.3 points as Atlanta pivoted away from the running game. The best play of the week was Ross Dwelley who posted an exceptional 3.14 times value while filling in for George Kittle. While one streak ends, we get to start another this week with some really exceptional plays to take advantage of in FanDuel cash.
To measure the success of the players I recommend to our RotoViz readers, I will review the players I recommended the prior week, determining their value multiplier. I will then calculate the average multiplier across the recommended players to give me a barometer of success for that week. My stated goal is to produce an average greater than 2.5 times value. If I can manage to surpass that goal, I will consider the week a success. If I fall short of that goal, obviously, the week would be considered unsuccessful.
You can find much of the data presented in this piece in the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer and Game Level Similarity Projections. I also want to encourage readers to check out the RotoViz NFL Lineup Optimizer so that everyone can squeeze the most value out of their lineups each week.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Week 12
Quarterback: Matt Ryan ($7,900)
It is remarkably odd but after eight weeks of bleeding points to opponents, with no opponent scoring any less than 20 points, following its bye week, Atlanta has suddenly secured two straight wins against division rivals New Orleans and Carolina, holding both offenses to single digits. The Falcons now face a third straight divisional opponent, Tampa Bay, and will rely heavily on their quarterback, Matt Ryan, to exploit a Buccaneers defense that has been pummeled by opposing quarterbacks all season long. Over the past five games, Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 27.8 fantasy points to the quarterback position, the fourth-most points allowed in the NFL. The Buccaneers have also allowed the fourth-most Fantasy Points Over Expectation (FPOE) (6.0 points) and Expected Points (EP) (21.7 points).
This trio of fourth-place ranks are due to Tampa Bay allowing the second-highest Quarterback Rating (QBR) in the league with an average of 114.2. Paired with Ryan sporting the third-highest Game Level Similarity Projection (GLSP) on this week’s main slate, this play is very low risk.
Running Back: Bo Scarbrough ($6,400)
Once we started hitting the double-digit mark of NFL weeks, I’ve found myself suggesting players I never thought I would be promoting as FanDuel cash game starts once the injuries started to pile up. The newest addition to that club is none other than Bo Scarbrough who was signed by Detroit roughly a week ago. Following that signing, he found himself as the main ball carrier for a Lions team that sorely misses their lead running back, Kerryon Johnson. In last week’s game, Scarbrough performed very well, posting 11.5 fantasy points just 24 hours after he signed. This week, he will have a full week to prepare for his opponent, Washington, while also simultaneously, as luck would have it, drawing one of the most exploitable matchups of the week. Washington has allowed the most rushing attempts in the league over the past five games and, as you may have guessed, that has resulted in the most rushing yards allowed over that span as well. Furthermore, the Fantasy Streaming App views the Washington defense as the best play for opposing running backs this week. For a very affordable $6,400, the upside here is well worth the risk as it frees up a significant amount of cash to use elsewhere in our lineups.
Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas ($9,200)
I haven’t suggested Michael Thomas thus far in the season but that has been primarily due to his price, which even this week, isn’t exactly cheap. However, this week he faces divisional rival Carolina and, finally, his price isn’t prohibitive given his risk and upside. The Panthers have allowed the league’s most receptions to opposing wide receivers over the past five games and the second-most receiving yards over that period. This is exceptionally bad news for the Carolina defense as Thomas is the league leader in both receptions and receiving yards. Even against much tougher competition with New Orleans’ backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throwing to him, Thomas has still found a way to register a full 70% of his performances as a WR1. Call me crazy but I don’t foresee him performing at a lower level against a defensively-flawed divisional rival this week.
Tight End: Tyler Eifert ($5,000)
I’ll be frank, there simply aren’t many straightforward tight-end plays this week. Between bye weeks, scheduling outside of the slate, and a bevy of injuries to the position, there are slim picking this week. One of the better plays this week, strictly on paper, is Tyler Eifert which is just as surprising to me as it is likely for you to read.
However, Eifert and the Bengals will square off against Pittsburgh who has allowed the sixth-most PPR points to the tight end position over the past five games with an average of 16.4 points allowed per week. The Steelers have allowed the fourth-most receptions to opposing tight ends with an average of six receptions surrendered per game, and the eighth-most receiving yards allowed over that five-game span with an average of 56.2 yards permitted per game. Given Eifert’s low price tag of just $5,000, he need only to hit 12.5 points to surpass our 2.5 multiplier, which is below the 13.36 point average that Pittsburgh has allowed over the past five games.
I’m very excited to see us turn around that loss last week on the backs of Michael Thomas and Matt Ryan. With just a little luck thrown in, we might see some solid performances from Tyler Eifert and Bo Scarbrough as well. I’ll be honest, I just want us to finish the bye weeks strong as it should get a little easier from here on out. As always, good luck to everyone, and feel free to both reach out to me and follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have.