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, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations inform us of how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +10 @ Seattle | Total: 51
Kyler Murray ($6,100) has been inefficient through the air since the Week 12 bye. He has the fourth-lowest marks in the league over that span.
As you can see, though, it’s back on the rise. A bump in DraftKings scoring came along with that mini regression last week. Murray was still a QB2, but things seem to be looking up. This game features the highest over/under on the slate, so getting exposure to this potential shootout1 feels important.
Spread: -7.5 vs Jacksonville | Total: 46.5
Julio Jones ($8,000) saw 20 targets last week. Twenty. Two-Zero. There are only six wide receivers that have seen 20-plus targets over the past two weeks combined.
They actually used him in a much different way than they have all year. Jones saw his lowest aDOT of the season in Week 15. It was the first time his aDOT dropped below 9.5 since Week 10 of 2017. If he’s seeing high percentage throws come his way with the occasional deep shot, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get away from him at that volume.
Spread: -9 @ Cleveland | Total: 49.5
If someone tells you that Lamar Jackson ($8,000) is too expensive, you need to block them on social media and possibly file a restraining order. Jackson has averaged more points per game from his rushing alone than the following RBs:
- Tevin Coleman
- David Montgomery
- Sony Michel
Jackson has finished as a QB1 in 11 of 14 games this year and has only been below 20 DK points on one occasion.
Spread: +6.5 @ Indianapolis | Total: 46
The Will Grier ($4,300) era is going to be underway as of Sunday. While I do think that affects the rest of the offense, Christian McCaffrey’s ($10,100) outlook doesn’t change in my eyes. He’s going to get his typical 15-20 rush attempts. I don’t see a situation where a rookie QB making his first start is less likely to dump it off to his All-Pro running back. Now, let’s just admire how consistent CMC has been all year.
Spread: -1 @ Miami | Total: 45.5
Andy Dalton ($5,200) has been objectively bad. He’s done next to nothing since returning from his benching.
Over the past three weeks, his Passing FPOE is -19.9. That’s right next to David Blough ($4,900) for the worst in the league by a pretty significant margin. Only five QBs are in the negative double digits. The argument for Dalton can only be made from a matchup perspective, and my feelings on that decision point have been well-documented.2
Spread: +10 vs Baltimore | Total: 49.5
Nick Chubb ($6,900) will be one of the lowest owned running backs on the entire slate. If Cleveland can keep it somewhat close, they’re going to use Chubb.
He’s more of a GPP flier but the workload he receives, even with Kareem Hunt ($5,500) back, is valuable. Half of his games this year have resulted in RB1 finishes.
Spread: -1.5 @ Philadelphia | Total: 46.5
The line has moved closer to a pick ‘em on the news that Dak Prescott ($6,400) is dealing with a shoulder injury. Either way, this feels like another Ezekiel Elliott ($7,900) week. The Cowboys are obsessed with establishing the run. In cold weather, with the playoffs on the line, and with a less-than-100% quarterback, it’s hard to imagine that Elliott doesn’t touch the ball 25+ times.
Zeke is top-ten in virtually every category that we’d care about for running backs. Over the past five games, he’s averaging exactly 23 DK points per game.
Spread: -6.5 vs Detroit | Total: 37.5
Since the Broncos’ Week 10 bye, Courtland Sutton ($6,200) is averaging nearly 8 targets per game.
This game is one of the lower totals on the slate, so I wouldn’t advise heavy exposure. Sutton can put together a ceiling game and pay off at his price, though. He’s top ten in target share and should be a priority as a lost season in Denver comes to a close.
Spread: +6.5 @ Denver | Total: 37.5
The other side of that game is, shall we say, less than enticing. Kenny Golladay ($6,500) is putting together one of the more impressive performances of the year.
He’s seen a bit of a drop off without Matthew Stafford, which was to be expected. But, he’s still had ceiling games with the quarterback firm of Driskell and Blough. Golladay’s been a boom-or-bust option, but a lot of people would’ve thought his ceiling is lower without Stafford and that hasn’t been the case.
Spread: -6.5 vs Carolina | Total: 46
Jack Doyle ($4,500) should’ve been a smash once Eric Ebron was put on IR. But, that hasn’t been the case. He had one glorious week with nearly 20 DK points and hasn’t even combined for 10 DK points in the last two weeks.
Doyle’s target share has seen a sharp drop during that span. He’s completely out of play this week.
Spread: +7.5 @ Atlanta | Total: 46.5
If you looked at the workload, you’d assume that the running back going up against Atlanta would be chalk. Leonard Fournette ($7,200) defies all logic, though. Word on the street is that Fournette is so allergic to the end zone that he keeps an EpiPen on the sideline in the rare event that he scores a touchdown.
Fournette has seen the second-most opportunities of anyone in the league and is 162 in fantasy points over expectation.
Los Angeles Chargers
Spread: +7.5 vs Oakland | Total: 45.5
The passing of the torch from Keenan Allen ($6,300) to Mike Williams ($5,000) should be nearly complete at this point. Williams has had an up-and-down season but he’s averaging the seventh-most air yards of any wide receiver.
He’s also nearing the top 20 in receiving yards despite only having the 48th most receptions.
Spread: +1 vs Cincinnati | Total: 45.5
DeVante Parker ($6,800) showed everyone why he got paid last week. Once he got that Adam Gase stink off of him, he finally enjoyed the breakout we were all hoping for when he came into the league. Parker started slow but since Week 7 he’s averaging over eight targets per game. That’s including a two target game that he left early.
Over that span he’s averaging over 25 DK points in games that he finished, with three WR1 performances.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: -2.5 @ Tennessee | Total: 50.5
We spent a lot of the year avoiding games that involved the Titans. They’ve sped up a bit, though, and this game has one of the highest totals on the board. Michael Thomas ($9,300) is game-script proof, matchup-proof, quarterback-proof — he might even be waterproof.
His efficiency is something that’s unmatched in the league. He’s top five in every single category that we’d care about for a wide receiver besides air yards. But, the incredible volume he sees makes up for his 7.8 aDOT. Thomas is averaging nearly 11.5 targets per game and has seen double-digit targets in 11 of 14 games.
New York Giants
Spread: +2.5 @ Washington | Total: 41
Saquon Barkley ($8,300) finally got it going again last week. On a per-game basis, Barkley is the RB12 in PPR. Unfortunately, he’s missed a few games and just hasn’t been used creatively in the Pat Shurmur offense. When he’s not running directly into eight-man boxes, he’s probably getting a dump-off pass that everyone saw coming.
He’s averaging 22.1 opportunities per game for the season, but has averaged 24 since the Giants’ bye week.
New York Jets
Spread: +3 vs Pittsburgh | Total: 37
I’m not particularly interested in either side of this game. Robby Anderson ($5,700) can put together a 20-25 point performance at any point.
The problem is that he can also put together a 2.1 point performance, too. He’ll be low-owned and only needs a couple of catches to get there … but the game is a stay-away spot for me.
Spread: +7 @ Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 45.5
The mega-chalk this week will be wearing Silver and Black. DeAndre Washington ($4,000) is once again vaulted into the starting job with Josh Jacobs already ruled out. It’s a super small sample3 but he scored over 21 DK points a couple of weeks ago when given the job.
In cash games, he’s a virtual lock. A $4,000 running back that is going to get all the work and has pass-catching upside is too good to pass up in cash. If his ownership approaches 40%, then I’m probably off him in GPPs.
Spread: +1.5 vs Dallas | Total: 46.5
Zach Ertz ($6,400) has been about as good of a TE play as we could get most weeks. He’s the most expensive player at the position this week, and for good reason.
He’s top three in any relevant volume category for tight ends. Julie Ertz’s husband has finished as a TE1 in five of the past six games.
Spread: -3 @ New York Jets | Total: 37
This game, the more I think about it, kind of makes me want to puke. It’s the lowest total on the slate. If you had to pick someone from the Pittsburgh side, maybe James Conner ($6,500) makes some sense. He’s worked his way back from injury and should see more opportunities this week.
It’s been a while since we’ve really been able to use Conner. It’s worth noting, though, that outside of the Cleveland game4 he’s averaging nearly 18 PPR Points per game.
Spread: -10 vs Arizona | Total: 51
Russell Wilson ($7,000) is the second-most expensive quarterback on the slate, but is a full $1,000 cheaper than Lamar Jackson. Going into their Week 11 bye, Wilson was averaging 16.3 expected points from his passing, alone. That’s not to mention 3.2 from his rushing. Since then, that figure has dropped to 13.1 Passing EP and 1.5 Rushing EP.
Spread: +3 vs New Orleans | Total: 50.5
A.J. Brown ($7,000) is in an interesting spot this week. He’s enjoying a late-season breakout on the back of a renaissance from Ryan Tannehill ($6,600).
Brown has had four WR1 performances so far this year, three of which have come since the Week 11 bye. His volume really spiked in Week 15 as he saw double-digit targets for the first time in his career. Brown’s efficiency had been off the charts. If he’s able to keep some of that up and combine it with his new-found volume.
Spread: -2.5 vs New York Giants | Total: 41
Welp. Terry McLaurin ($6,200) toyed with our emotions once again. We’re still in Stage 5 of our metaphor from last week. McLaurin dropped 27 DK points on just five targets last weekend. Over half of his yards came on one reception.
He’s seen the 37th most targets in the league but has managed to score the 12th most touchdowns from the wide receiver position.