Note: The article has been edited to remove suggestions to play Kareem Hunt since his Friday release
I’ll be helping you navigate this user-friendly and competitive way to play DFS every week this season. My advice is based on 6 team standard fast draft formats.
If you’re not familiar with DRAFT I highly encourage you to jump into your App store or Google Play store and download the most user-friendly and fun DFS app out there. You can try DRAFT by taking advantage of our promo code “Top2”-you’ll get a free $3 entry. My takes are a combination of stats, match-up analysis, and what I’ve seen drafting this week: to draft with me next week add me MattHicks15.
Round 1: 2 (RBS) & I’m Out
There’s only 3 running backs I’m willing to spend my 1st round pick on this week; luckily they aren’t necessarily the first 3 going off the board. Mixed in with the 3 listed below, are Barkley and Conner. Barkley may seem tempting still since Chicago has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, however, they’ve allowed the 7th least receiving yards to running backs, including just 5 touchdowns through the air. Combined that with what’s likely to be a stalled offense and Khalil Mack sealing the edge, and I’m out on an otherwise lock play. Conner has just 35 carries, 143 rushing yards, and 1 touchdown combined in his last 3 weeks-and his match-up against the Chargers doesn’t inspire me enough to burn my top pick. Here’s the guys I would take:
- Todd Gurley
This game is the second highest over/under of the week (55 points) and the Rams have the second highest implied total of the week (32). The Lions have allowed the 7th most rushing yards to opposing running backs this season, and 11 total touchdowns. Gurley is reportedly back to full health after an ankle scare in his last game. He’s my 2ndfavorite pick this week.
- Christian McCaffery
CMC has finished as a top 2 running back twice in the last 3 weeks. Those match-ups were against the 9th best defense against the rush (Pittsburgh) and Seattle, which is ranked 18th against the rush. This week, he gets the Bucs-they’ve ranked 25th against the run and have allowed the 11th most receiving yards to running backs and 17 total touchdowns this season. Vegas pegs this game as high-scoring (54.5) and I peg this as the week Carolina declares they’re back in the conversation as a playoff contender.
The 2nd Round Should be Stacked
The drop off at running back makes it essential to pivot quickly if players don’t drop to you in the back end of the first. It does create the opportunity to reel in a money-making stack: Mahomes and Tyreek Hill.
I’ve already made the case for the Kansas City offense, and Mahomes needs no further explanation. Hill has finished as the WR1 in Weeks 10 and 11, and he’s fresh off a Week 12 bye. In Weeks 10 and 11 he combined for 342 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Oakland has allowed the 6th most touchdowns to opposing wideouts this season and is ranked 28th in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. My suggestion is to take Mahomes in 1st-Tyreek has consistently made it to the early 2nd for me, but if he does get taken you can pivot again (cue Friends reference) and stack Mahomes with Kelce later on.
Backs Run the 3rd Round
Good things will come to those who wait for their 2nd running back this week. Steer right past Johnson and Mixon’s negative game scripts and grab one of these guys, who have consistently been available in the third. Note: Davante Adams makes a great 3rd round value (high floor, high implied total) if you do start with 2 running backs.
- Phillip Lindsey
Lindsey rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in Week 12, on just 14 touches against the Steelers 10th ranked rush defense. In Week 11 he rushed for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 11 touches, against the 15th ranked Chargers rush defense. In Week 13 he faces the Bengals 32nd (aka worst) ranked run defense. Cincinnati has allowed 1,896 total yards and 17 total touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. Add into the mix that Denver is likely to have a positive game script against a Driskell-led Bengals team, and this one is a no-brainier.
- Aaron Jones
Jones has found the endzone in 4 of his 5 games since Week 6. He’s scored 6 times in those 5 games, including 3 touchdowns in his last 2 games. He’s also totaled at least 85 combined yards in all 5 oft hose games and finished as RB4 in Week 10 against Miami. Not only does Jones have a positive game-script, he’s facing the second worst rushing defense in the league. The Cardinals have allowed 1,454 rushing yards (2ndmost) and 14 rushing touchdowns (the most) to running backs this season. Jones is a close 3B to Lindsey’s 3A value this week.
- Nick Chubb
Chubb rushed for more than 84 yards just once under Jackson and Haley. Since their dismissal, and the subsequent offensive makeover under Kitchens, Chubb’s rushed for 84 yards in all 3 games. Chubb’s also had two games with at least 33 receiving yards, compared to 0 games with more than 10 receiving yards. Chubb also has 5 total touchdowns since Kitchens took over. Chubb falls below Lindsey and Jones for me, however, because his match-up vs Houston this week (6th best run defense) is significantly tougher than his previous 3 against Kansas City, Atlanta, and Cincinnati.
Be Patient and You Shall Receive in the 4th
Two big names have been hanging around late this week. They’re being pushed down by tough match-ups, mid-round running back value, and a nincreased appeal to tight ends like Kelce and Ertz. Still, these two names bring enough of a floor to justify their weekly upside potential.
- Odell Beckham Jr.
OBJ’s match-up is tough, but not as tough as you may think. Chicago is ranked 1st in DVOA and this game has the 2nd lowest over/under total (with the Giants having an implied total of 20 points). The Bears, however, have been a strong run defense (2nd) than pass defense (18th). They’ve allowed the 7th most receiving yards to wide outs this season and have allowed 14 touchdowns. It’s also worth noting that the Bears will likely be led again by Daniel-who performed well against the Lions but still has very little experience as a starter-a positive game script for the Bears isn’t guaranteed.
- Antonio Brown
I understand OBJ slipping, but Brown makes no sense to me. The Chargers are the 7th best passing defense this season and 9th in DVOA, however, they have still allowed 10 touchdowns to wideouts. Although Brown didn’t catch a touchdown pass in Week12, he has found the endzone in 9 of the 11 games he’s played this season-including two multiple touchdown weeks. He’s worthy of a 3rdround pick, even with the match-up, making him a must grab if he’s falling toyou as far as he’s fallen to me this week.
5, Round 5 Quick QB Pivots
I mentioned earlier Mahomes has 1st round value,I also expect Newton to go off the board in the mid-rounds. I quickly broked own the highlights of my next 5 highest ranked QBs (in order) for Week 13.
- Andrew Luck
Projections will be low for Luck this week because, overall, the Jaguars defense has been solid (17th) against quarterbacks this season. The Jaguars offense, however, is in shambles-with Bortles benched and Fournette suspended. While Jacksonville has been imploding, Luck has quietly racked up 8 straight weeks with top 10 fantasy finishes (excluding his bye week).
- Jared Goff
The red-hot Rams are coming off a huge win against Kansas City and a full week of rest. Prior to his bye, Goff had thrown for at least 300 yards 3 weeks in a row-and posted a 9:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He’s likely to beat up against a Lions defense that has allowed the 11thmost fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, the 4thmost in the last month, and the 4th most touchdowns on the season.
- Kirk Cousins
I’ve seen a lot of hesitancy to play Cousins this week, which baffles me. Cousins is coming off his 2ndbest week of the season-posting 342 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions against the Packers in Week 12. In Week 13 he faces off against the Patriots,who have allowed the 9th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, including the 10th most passing yards and 9th most passing touchdowns. Cousins has a safe floor, and big upside in a prove-it game for a team that still considers themselves a Super Bowl contender.
- Lamar Jackson
If you get past the 5 guys I mentioned above, it’s time to go for upside-and Lamar Jackson is all the upside you could ever want. Since taking over as “starter” in Baltimore, Jackson has averaged 259 total yards per game-including an average of 95 rushing yards. The Falcons have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks,the 2nd most passing touchdowns, the 6th most rushing yards, and the 4th most touchdowns.
- Russell Wilson
Wilson is coming off his best passing game of the season-throwing for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Panthers. This week he faces off a depleted 49ers team, who have allowed the 8th most points to opposing quarterbacks this season, including allowing 23 touchdowns and only pulling in 2 touchdowns. Vegas implies 28 points for Seattle,suggesting at least 2 touchdowns, with upside for much more for Wilson.