The Fake Football DFS Optimizer & Cheat Sheet, Week 12 (UPDATED)
November 26, 2017 | Ian Goldsmith
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INJURY/FILL-IN REPORT (UPDATED)
Paxton Lynch STARTING. He takes over from The Osweiler.
Matt Moore STARTING. Cutler out, Moore in.
Jalen Ramsey ACTIVE. This is unexpected. The Jags are full strength against Blaine Gabbert. Watch out, Zona.
Seahawks Secondary in shambles. There is a ton of opportunity for San Francisco to have a decent passing day this week, especially at home.
Jimmy Graham PLAYING. He’s playing.
Ty Montgomery DOUBTFUL/Aaron Jones OUT. Jamaal Williams gets the start once again, though it’s not an easy one away at Pittsburgh.
Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley OUT. We could see a shootout in LA with both of New Orleans’ top DBs out. Goff’s stock is looking up, and Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp are both in play here.
Martellus Bennett DOUBTFUL. More targets for Lewis/Amendola/etc.
Chris Hogan still OUT.
Albert Wilson PLAYING. His presence would be a huge boon to the KC receiving corps.
Cordarelle Patterson PROBABLE. I love Jared Cook in this matchup, no matter Patterson’s status. TE’s feast on Denver. Crabtree should also have a better floor, and Seth Roberts could see some looks.
Will Fuller OUT. Now confirmed out. I’m avoiding the Texans against Baltimore.
John Brown (AZ) OUT.
Rishard Matthews OUT. If he’s a no go, then Corey Davis and Eric Decker get big bumps in a favorable matchup against the Colts. Delanie Walker is also a more solid play in his absence. Note: he’s in a tournament lineup below, but that will be changed if he is indeed out.
Allen Hurns OUT. More looks for Dede Westbrook.
JuJu Smith-Schuster OUT. Martavis Bryant gets the big bump, but we’ll see if he actually gets used. He’s a tournament flier at best.
Jordan Matthews PLAYING. He should play, however.
Kelvin Benjamin OUT. Now confirmed out. He was pretty much a non-factor anyways.
Matt Forte PLAYING. Bilal Powell gets downgraded if Forte plays.
Devonta Freeman OUT. Tevin Coleman gets the start and is a very solid play this week, especially with his reasonable pricing everywhere.
Greg Olsen PLAYING! He’s off of IR and back on the team. He will start Sunday, which is a huge bonus to the entire Panthers offense.
Note: These aren’t all official injury tags. These are our best guesses based on news.
WEEKEND SLATE PICKS
Note: Write-ups will be up Saturday. Injuries, players, and lineups are currently posted.
Note2: Obviously, guys like Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown are always startable. I’m detailing other players below.
Russell Wilson (SEA): Wilson has quietly taken over as the QB1 in fantasy this season. His past few games against division rival San Francisco have just been OK, but the 49ers are playing so poorly right now that it is hard to pass using him this week. SF is bottom-5 against the position, and Wilson should have no trouble hitting value in cash. Useful in all formats.
Matt Ryan (ATL): Ryan is my favorite QB on the slate in a matchup against a Bucs defense that is giving up the 7th most points to QBs and the 2nd most points to WRs. Atlanta’s implied total of 29.25 (3rd highest on the slate) bodes well for Ryan’s fantasy chances. He’s a bargain on DK at only $6,400.
Tyrod Taylor (BUF): Taylor will no doubt be playing with a chip on his shoulder, and his matchup couldn’t be much better going against a Chiefs D that ranks bottom-8 against the position and has allowed five QBs to run for at least 20 yards. There is a wild card here with KC signing Revis at CB. He may be old, but he’s no doubt an upgrade over Gaines, who single-handedly gave the Giants the win last week. Tournaments only.
Joe Flacco (BAL): Houston has been hemorrhaging points to quarterbacks since JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost in the same game against the Chiefs. Since then, they have allowed 250+ yards and 2+ scores in five of six games. If you are playing a Monday slate, there may be no higher upside play for the price.
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (NO): There has not been a better running back duo that I can remember in quite a while, and they have only gotten better as the season has gone on. Both Ingram and Kamara are averaging over 7 yards per carry in November, which is simply insane, especially when you consider over 20 QBs aren’t averaging 7 yards per attempt. The Rams have been a sieve against the run this season, and this has all the signs of a shootout. Kamara is the safer play in PPR formats, but both are worth using. I especially like Kamara on Yahoo for $28.
Tevin Coleman (ATL): Freeman is out once more, which puts Coleman in the spotlight. He scored in a tough matchup last week, and this week is cake in comparison, at home against a Bucs team that has allowed four running backs to top 25 PPR points in a game this season. The Falcons should win big (11-point favorites), so Coleman should get plenty of work in the second half to wind down clock.
Dion Lewis (NE): Simply put, Belichick trusts Lewis. That is why he has risen to the top while Gilislee and Burkhead have been cast aside. He should continue to get the bulk of the work in a game script that should see New England running often.
Duke Johnson (CLE): Duke is my favorite running back on the slate this week. While he doesn’t get a ton of carries, he has been consistently involved in the passing game. For the season, his 46 catches and 60 targets rank 4th among all running backs. He is the RB15 for the season on DraftKings, yet he is still only priced at a paltry $4,600. What gives? He topped 20 FP against Cincy earlier this season and is in a good position to easily return value once again.
Also…Check out DeMarco Murray this week against Indy. He has topped 15 in each of his three games against them with the Titans. Solid cash value this week.
Julio Jones (ATL): If he can’t bust out this week against a Tampa defense that is virtually tied for KC as the worst WR defense in the league, then I don’t know if he will. The matchup could not be better, and the Falcons have one of the highest implied totals on the slate. At less than $7,700, he could easily return 4X value if he plays up to his skillset (and Ryan looks his way…easier said than done) this week.
TY Hilton (IND): I started TY in this matchup earlier this season and was burned. However, that doesn’t mean the process was wrong. Sometimes bad games just happen, despite a good matchup. Tennessee has allowed big games to Jeremy Maclin, AJ Green, and Antonio Brown in each of the past three weeks. If Brissett can even have a decent game, then Hilton should join that crowd. Given his elevated price, however, he should only be looked to in tournaments.
Doug Baldwin (SEA): Seattle’s offense struggled earlier this season against the Niners, almost losing to them at home. They have completely turned the offense around, however, and Russell Wilson is the #1 QB in fantasy. Jimmy Graham has been a bigger beneficiary than Baldwin. Also, San Fran hasn’t been terrible against WRs. However, those numbers seem better than they are because they give up so much yardage on the ground. Considering the mess that is the Seattle running game, they have to take it to the air and won’t be able to benefit in the same way some other teams have. Baldwin could be in for a breakout game here, but in tournaments only.
Kenny Stills (MIA): As Rich Hribar of Rotoworld (and a former Fake Football writer, to boot) noted the other day on his Twitter feed, five of Matt Moore’s last six touchdown passes have gone to Stills. They certainly showed their chemistry last week, as Stills let loose for a 7/180/1 line. Miami should be down big early (NE is an 18-point favorite), so there will be a ton of passing. Moore could see 40-50 passes, which means Stills should get at least 8-10 looks, if not more.
Jimmy Graham(SEA): It’s refreshing that Seattle finally realizes what they have in Jimmy Graham. He has scored double digit PPR points in his past eight games, and he has seven touchdowns in his past six games. Simply put, the offense is flowing through him. Yet, his price is not climbing dramatically. He’s in line for another heavy workload this week against a 49ers team that is ranked 28th against the TE position over the past five weeks. He’s my favorite high-end TE play this week, though nobody will think you’re crazy for starting Gronk or Kelce instead.
Tyler Kroft (CIN): Kroft has, perhaps, the best TE matchup of the week as he faces a Cleveland defense that is giving up the third most points to the position this season. Kroft dominated the Browns earlier this season with a 6/68/2 TD line, yet his price is still below $4K. That is a winning combination in my eyes.
Jared Cook (OAK): If Kroft’s matchup isn’t the best this week, then Cook wins that award. The Denver Broncos’ once lofty defense has been a shell of itself, especially against tight ends. They rank 31st against the position this season and have given up 73 yards or a touchdown to a tight end in each of the past six weeks. Cook had a tough time against them in their first matchup, but Denver has been on such a downwards trajectory since then. While I’d give a slight nod to Kroft as my favorite TE play this week, Cook makes it close.
Adam Vinatieri (IND): Tennessee has allowed the 2nd most points to opposing kickers, including 12 to Vinatieri earlier this season. The game should be close, and there should be a decent amount of points on the board. For $4,700, he’s as solid a pick as any this week. You can always go with guys like Greg Zuerlein if you want, and I won’t bat an eye.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Bears have allowed the fourth most points to opposing DSTs, have allowed at least 5 points in every game, and have given up at least 10 in seven of 10 games this season. In their four away games, they have given up scores of 19, 10, 20, and 8. Just start the Eagles and make it easy on yourself.
New England Patriots: Miami players (especially Stills) will be popular this week. However, that doesn’t mean that the team they face is a bad option. On the contrary, the Patriots are an excellent option, especially on Yahoo where they come at the bargain bin price of $12. At that price, as an 18-point favorite whose opponent is supposed to score 15, that price is sheer robbery. Start them and don’t look back.
Locks are denoted in green.
DraftKings Lineup (Sunday Main Slate, excludes Sunday night)
Fanduel Lineup (Sunday Main Slate, all Sunday games)
Yahoo Lineup (Sunday-Monday main slate…because Mondays count, dang it!)
I am using this last Yahoo lineup in the Yahoo Cup. I’m all in on New Orleans in what should be a shootout.