Week 12 DraftKings Picks
Baker Mayfield, Browns ($5,900)
It’s been a rough year for Baker. But he’s played better lately, averaging 18.9 DraftKings points over his last 3 outings. And all 3 of those games were against top 10 QB defenses in the Broncos, Bills and Steelers.
Now Mayfield gets a home game for a Dolphins defense ranked 26th in DK points allowed to QBs and 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed. Miami has coughed up multiple passing scores in 8 of 10 games and just placed both starting safeties on IR this week.
The Browns’ 28.25-point implied total is 2nd highest of the week.
Matt Ryan, Falcons ($6,700)
Falcons-Bucs pits the league’s pass-heaviest offense against a defense that’s faced the 3rd most pass attempts. Tampa Bay is much tougher against the run than the pass, so expect big volume for Ryan in this one.
And expect him to be uber-efficient. The Bucs rank 21st in completion rate allowed and 23rd in yards per attempt. Football Outsiders ranks Tampa 30th in pass defense.
Five QBs have already topped 30 DK points against the Bucs this season. Ryan has a shot to make it 6. Stack him with both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Sam Darnold, Jets ($5,800)
Darnold is coming off his best game of the year by most metrics. He set season highs in QB Rating, adjusted yards per attempt and Pro Football Focus pass grade.
Now he gets a home game for a bad Raiders secondary that traveling across the country for a 1 pm ET start. Oakland sits 23rd in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings and 27th in DK points allowed to QBs. Prior to facing the inept Ryan Finley last week, the Raiders had allowed multiple passing scores in 6 straight games.
Jamison Crowder is my preferred stack with Darnold, but you can also consider Ryan Griffin and Robby Anderson.
Alvin Kamara, Saints ($8,200)
It’s possible (although maybe not optimal) to play both Kamara and Christian McCaffrey. But if you’re picking between the 2, go Kamara and the $2,300 savings.
He’s carried just 17 times in 2 games back from knee and ankle injuries — but he’s racked up 18 targets and played 71% of New Orleans’ offensive snaps.
Kamara will continue to play a huge role in the passing game and should see more work on the ground against the Panthers this weekend. Carolina is much tougher against the pass than the run, so the Saints figure to deploy a run-heavy attack here. The Panthers sit dead last in Football Outsiders’ run defense rankings and have coughed up 4.8 yards per carry to RBs on the season.
The Saints are sporting a week-high 28.5-point implied total, making Kamara a strong TD bet.
Le’Veon Bell, Jets ($6,400)
I told myself a few weeks ago that I was done playing Bell on DraftKings. But his price is too good — and the RB position too barren this week — to ignore him.
Bell has racked up 68 opportunities (carries + targets) over the past 3 weeks. Only 4 RBs have more during that stretch.
Now Bell gets a home game against a Raiders run defense that’s sagged lately. After allowing just 4.0 yards per carry over the first 5 games, Oakland has surrendered 4.5 over the last 5.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys ($7,500)
Elliott is at his lowest price of the season yet is projected for just 9.4% ownership. What gives?
Folks are clearly scared of the Patriots matchup. Yeah, the Pats have allowed the fewest DK points to RBs. But that’s largely because they’ve allowed just 1 RB TD all season.
TDs tend to be volatile, though. More telling is that the Patriots have surrendered a big 5.3 yards per carry to RBs over the last 5 weeks. That includes a 20-carry, 131-yard outing from Nick Chubb and a 15-115 rushing line from Mark Ingram.
New England can be run on. And the Cowboys remain 1 of the most efficient rushing offenses in the NFL, ranking 3rd in Football Outsiders’ run offense DVOA. It’s a sneaky good spot for Zeke.
Derrick Henry, Titans ($6,900)
Henry comes fresh off a bye week for a prime spot. His Titans are 3.5-point home favorites for a bad Jaguars run defense.
Jacksonville allowed TWO 100-yard RBs last week. I could just stop there, but here are a few more nuggets on the matchup …
Football Outsiders ranks Jacksonville 30th against the run. Only 5 teams have allowed more RB rushing yards — and that’s despite the Jags facing the 19th most RB carries. They’ve coughed up a whopping 5.4 yards per carry on the season.
Henry is as good a bet as any RB on the slate for the 100-yard bonus.
Odell Beckham, Browns ($7,000)
This has to be the spot for Beckham.
He’s in the same matchup that John Brown was in last week, expected to see primary coverage from Dolphins CB Nik Needham. Brown, of course, led the entire slate with 37.7 DK points.
Beckham hasn’t lit up the box score recently, but there have been encouraging signs. In 4 games since his bye week, OBJ ranks 9th among all WRs in targets and 7th in air yards. That includes 22 targets and 290 air yards over the last 2 weeks.
Beckham came inches away from scoring last week but is now sitting on a career-high 8-game TD drought. He’s too talented for that to continue — especially in this spot.
N’Keal Harry, Patriots ($3,300)
If we want to play guys like Kamara, Bell and Beckham in cash, we need a cheapie to make it work. Harry is our guy.
The rookie made his debut last week, playing 43% of New England’s offensive snaps, running a route on 42% of Tom Brady’s drop backs and garnering 4 targets.
Expect Harry’s role to grow this Sunday with Mohamed Sanu (and potentially Phillip Dorsett) sidelined. The matchup isn’t ideal against a Cowboys defense ranked 6th in DK points allowed to WRs. But Harry’s volume projection is helped by the fact that the Patriots are deploying the league’s 12th pass-heaviest offense.
Jarvis Landry, Browns ($6,300)
As much as I love OBJ this week, it might make sense to pivot to Landry in tournaments at about half the projected ownership.
He’s actually seen 5 more targets than Beckham over the last 4 weeks — and scored more DraftKings points. Landry has hit pay dirt in 3 straight and easily lead the Browns in targets inside the red zone (14) and the 10-yard line (9).
Tyrell Williams, Raiders ($5,900)
Attacking the Jets’ perimeter CBs has worked all season. New York has allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to left WRs and the 9th most to right WRs, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams has run 78% of his routes at those spots this year.
His volume has sagged lately, with just 19 total targets in his last 4 games. But this would be a spot to feed him. And Williams has the TD and big-play upside we’re looking for in tournaments. He scored in 5 straight games to open the season and is averaging 15.4 yards per catch.
Williams is projected for just 6.7% ownership.
Vance McDonald, Steelers ($3,500)
It’s uglier than usual at TE this week. McDonald gives us a cheap source of targets in a good matchup.
He’s seen 7 targets in 3 straight games. And his volume could grow this Sunday with WR JuJu Smith-Schuster expected to be out.
The Bengals sit 31st in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings and have allowed opposing TEs to haul in 74% of their targets and average 13.2 yards per catch.
Jared Cook, Saints ($4,500)
He saw just 2 targets last week. But that followed a 10-target Week 10. Cook remains a fine volume bet.
More importantly, he’s as strong a TD bet as any TE on the slate with the Saints’ big 28.5-point implied total. And Cook is projected for just 3.3% projected ownership.
Consider me still skeptical about Bills QB Josh Allen — despite his big game against the JV-quality Dolphins defense. He’s still turned it over 16 times through 10 games.
The Broncos arrive in Buffalo sporting the league’s 9th-best defense, according to Football Outsiders DVOA. They also rank among the top 10 in points allowed, yards allowed and yards per play allowed.
Broncos-Bills sports a week-low 37.5-point over/under. This projects as an ugly, low-scoring game, giving Denver’s defense a nice floor at this price tag.
Did you watch Kyle Allen last week?
It was 1 of the worst QB performances I’ve seen in a while. Maybe he bounces back — but I’m not betting on it in a tough spot in the Superdome.
The Saints rank 5th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA and are 1 of only 2 teams to rank top 10 in both run and pass defense. So they have a shot to limit Christian McCaffrey on the ground and force Allen to beat them.
New Orleans is averaging 9.2 DraftKings points per game — 3rd highest on the main slate — and has tallied 10+ points in 5 of 10 outings.