The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 13 WEEKEND UPDATE December 3, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 13. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night, but this is my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. These have been pretty accurate over the last few weeks and have gone a long way in helping to find value we might not have realized existed.



Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Tyrod Taylor (BUF) @ OAKBen Roethlisberger (PIT) vs NYGPhilip Rivers (SD) vs TB
Colin Kaepernick (SF) @ CHIEli Manning (NYG) @ PITKirk Cousins (WSH) @ ARI
Russell Wilson (SEA) vs CARDerek Carr (OAK) vs BUFMatt Ryan (ATL) vs KC
Drew Brees (NO) vs DETAlex Smith (KC) @ ATLJameis Winston (TB) @ SD
Matthew Stafford (DET) @ NOAndrew Luck (IND) @ NYJAaron Rodgers (GB) vs HOU
Matt Barkley (CHI) vs SFTom Brady (NE) vs LA
Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) vs IND


– I said this on Tuesday, “The good thing about doing an update for the weekend is that we should be able to slim this list of chalk QB’s down quite a bit. I mean, you can’t have 10 players that are the actual chalk.” Well, it’s the weekend and, lo and behold, we have slimmed down our chalk list. Much to nobody’s surprise, Brees and Kaepernick are looking to be the clear chalk at QB this weekend with Matthew Stafford pulling in a high ownership as well. What did surprise me was seeing the ownership on Barkley, Wilson, and Fitzpatrick. We have to take these numbers with a big ol’ grain of salt though as Aces uses 2 QB and many people might have just wanted to spend down at their QB2. That said, I do like Fitzpatrick’s matchup this weekend and understand the love for Barkley at a cheap price after last week’s big game. He looked like an actual NFL QB, and it wouldn’t shock me if he ended the week in the top 10 in QB ownership. The one thing that did shock me was the love for Russell Wilson. He’s not particularly cheap nor is he particularly appealing. I suppose he could take advantage of a seemingly rough Carolina defense, but the Panthers have been playing a little better as of late and Wilson just doesn’t stand up to some of the other big name QBs on the slate this weekend. I’ll let him be someone else’s problem.  Despite the high ownership, I’m still going to be looking heavily at Brees and Kaepernick, although neither are among my top three favorite QB plays (due to the ownership issue).

– I was in love with Roethlisberger earlier in the week and although I’ve simmered down a little bit with him, he’s still one of my top three favorite GPP plays this weekend. Ben is an animal at home, the AFC’s version of Drew Brees. I don’t care how good the Giants are defensively, Ben is going to get 300 yards and threaten for 3 TD’s. He’s cheaper than Brees, has the same upside, but will be at about one-third the ownership. I can totally buy into that. Eli and Luck are two other guys who are in good spots, but things just don’t sit right with me for either of them. For Eli it’s the potential for a blow up game on the road, he always seems to disappoint in good spots like this. For Luck it’s the combination of his injury and the injury to T.Y. Hilton. I’ll stick to Ben and Fitzpatrick in those games.  I’ve been hearing Alex Smith’s name a lot, but I just don’t buy it. He doesn’t have nearly the upside I want at QB when I can spend around the same amount and get Matt Barkley (yes, I prefer Barkley to Smith).

– My two favorite plays this week not named Big Ben reside right here in the HuLo group. Those two plays are Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins. Both are suffering from people thinking they don’t have good matchups. People are wrong. KC gives up a ton of points to both QB and WR. ATL is the highest scoring offense in the league and are great at home. I don’t see what’s not to like about this matchup…and please don’t quote me about Marcus Peters. First of all, Julio Jones will rarely see Peters this weekend and even if he does, there’s a reason Peters gets so many interceptions (QB’s don’t fear him because he can be beat deep). A Ryan/Julio stack is right at the top of the list for me this weekend. Cousins has a better matchup than people would realize as well. I know that Patrick Peterson is a shutdown corner, but ARI has been rolled by #2 WR each of the last two weeks. Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon are better than either Adam Thielen or Taylor Gabriel. Let’s also not forget that Cousins is averaging 375 yards passing per game over his last 5 weeks and has thrown for 3 TD in each of his last two outings. The guy is a fantasy stud and is being overlooked a lot this weekend. Rodgers and Brady are getting no love, but I can totally understand both of those. Rodgers is banged up and they’re expecting heavy snow in GB this weekend, while Brady doesn’t have Gronk to throw to, which makes him a completely different QB. With great matchups for many other big name QBs, there’s no reason to risk ARod or Brady, contrarian or not.

My guys: Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Fitzpatrick



Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Kenneth Dixon (BAL) vs MIASpencer Ware (KC) @ ATLDevonta Freeman (ATL) vs KC
Jordan Howard (CHI) vs SFTevin Coleman (ATL) vs KCJeremy Hill (CIN) vs PHI
Carlos Hyde (SF) @ CHIDevontae Booker (DEN) @ JAXMark Ingram (NO) vs DET
Melvin Gordon (SD) vs TBTim Hightower (NO) vs DETMatt Forte (NYJ) vs IND
Theo Riddick (DET) @ NODoug Martin (TB) @ SD
LeSean McCoy (BUF) @ OAKRashad Jennings (NYG) @ PIT
David Johnson (ARI) vs WSHFrank Gore (IND) @ NYJ
Le'Veon Bell (PIT) vs NYG


– RB is awful this week. If I could find a way to only play one I definitely would (it’d be Carlos Hyde based on price/matchup). There are really only two ways to look at it: pay up for DJ, Bell, or McCoy or drop down to Carlos Hyde territory. I think that Jordan Howard, Melvin Gordon, and Spencer Ware and stuck in no-man’s land and that makes them hard to play. They are all too expensive to allow you to go big at QB/WR and if I’m going to spend that much for them, I might as well pay up for one of the three truly elite plays. This is a bummer because I could see good weeks coming from Howard and Ware, but I just don’t want to miss out on the low ownership for guys like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of value in the mid-tier at WR but I’d rather have Hyde/Julio than Bell/Britt. The once scenario where I could see you making a play on the top RB (and in this case you’d go with two top RB plays) is if you go all value at WR with Marquess Wilson, Malcolm Mitchell, and Dorial Green-Beckham. I’d rather get two elite WR rather than two elite RB or one elite RB and one elite WR. Personal preference, I suppose.

– Along with Hyde, I will probably be taking a long look at Doug Martin and Kenneth Dixon. Both guys figure to have enough involvement in their offenses to at least pay off their salary. You could lump Theo Riddick into that category as well, I suppose, but something doesn’t sit right with him for me. Tevin Coleman could be another interesting play if game flow dictates that ATL will be throwing a lot.  I’d love to find a way to get Spencer Ware into my lineup (after swearing him off last week because I don’t think Andy Reid knows how to use him) because of how bad ATL is against pass-catching RB. KC is going to need to throw and Ware does a really nice job out of the backfield. He’s just a bit too expensive on some of the sites to make him viable. Booker is in play for me on sites where he’s priced down a bit. I don’t love that Lynch is in at QB, but Denver is going to have to rely on Booker to help shoulder the load so his volume should be there.

– There are some pretty big names that aren’t getting any love at RB, names like Forte, Gore, Freeman, Hill, and Ingram. I don’t love any of them, but if I was going to use any of them it’d be Forte and Ingram. Both are in games with expected totals near or in the 50’s, and I do love me some high scoring games. Forte, in particular, has a really nice matchup against the Colts on Monday night.

My guys: Carlos Hyde, Doug Martin, Spencer Ware, Kenneth Dixon, Matt Forte, Mark Ingram, David Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Tevin Coleman, Devontae Booker




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Brandon Marshall (NYJ) vs INDTyrell Williams (SD) vs TBKenny Britt (LA) @ NE
Taylor Gabriel (ATL) vs KCMichael Thomas (NO) vs DETJulio Jones (ATL) vs KC
Marquess Wilson (CHI) vs SFMike Evans (TB) @ SDJamison Crowder (WSH) @ ARI
Malcolm Mitchell (NE) vs LAGolden Tate (DET) @ NOAntonio Brown (PIT) vs NYG
Amari Cooper (OAK) vs BUFQuincy Enunwa (NYJ) vs INDOdell Beckham Jr (NYG) @ PIT
Brandin Cooks (NO) vs DETLarry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs WSHSammy Watkins (BUF) @ OAK
Davante Adams (GB) vs HOUDonte Moncrief (IND) @ NYJJarvis Landry (MIA) @ BAL
Doug Baldwin (SEA) vs CARDorial Green-Beckham (PHI) @ CIN
Tyreek Hill (KC) @ ATL


– You don’t see this happen to often in DFS, but this week the impossible happened. Everyone has been talking about what a “sneaky good” play Brandin Cooks is this week with the great matchup coming off a garbage performance. As a matter of fact, he is so contrarian that he’s become the chalk WR play for Week 13. On the Thursday Aces GPP he was the most widely owned WR. Way to go DFS community, you ruined a perfectly good HuLo play. I’m still on Cooks because of his price/matchup, but now I just have to find some other plays to lower the effective ownership of Cooks. Perhaps the best course of action is to use him but not Brees. Stupid smart people making smart plays…making me work harder than I wanted to tonight…change my whole article…*grumble, grumble*.  Not to worry, my friends, we will find the combination that will allow us to continue to win the ownership game.

– Wow, those Thursday Aces plays have gone cuckoo-cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs with their plays this weekend. We’ve got a guy who had zero catches as the most widely owned WR (Cooks), a trio of guys who nobody had heard of prior to the last two weeks or so (Gabriel, Hill, Wilson), a guy that people wrote off before the season because he dropped everything (Adams), a rookie WR that only started catching passes two weeks ago (Mitchell), and a trio of guys bubbling under the elite level (Marshall, Cooks, Baldwin). What’s crazy is that a few of these plays (Cooks, Michell, Wilson, and Marshall) are great plays this weekend. I love all of them and their high ownership hasn’t changed that love. Ty Hill intrigues me a lot, but I’m not playing the ownership game with him. He’s way too boom or bust for my tastes.

– Everyone and their mother will tell you that Andrew Luck and Donte Moncrief have a special kind of connection. Every time they are on the field together, Luck finds Moncrief for a TD. For some reason though, Moncrief isn’t really highly owned despite this fact. What boggles the mind even more is that Moncrief owns the Jets! I love Moncrief on Monday night. If Brandin Cooks is going to be as widely owned as I now think he will be, perhaps the right play is to go back to Michael Thomas. I can make a compelling case that you should roster both guys in a Saints stack. This game is going to be a track meet and Brees definitely will throw enough for both to hit value. Mike Evans should never be under 10% owned regardless of the matchup. SD’s secondary is not great and Evans should have his usual solid game. Word out of Detroit is that Marvin Jones looks like garbage and that Tate is the guy to own. I trust the beat writers, so I’ve moved Jones out and Tate in as the Lions WR I want (the guy I really want is Ebron, so keep reading). Dorial Green-Beckham has a chance to be the #1 WR for the Eagles this weekend. He’s been doing well over the last three weeks and won’t disappoint this weekend (relative to price).

– I know the ownership on Sunday is different than the ownership on Thursday, but are we seriously looking at week where Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones (all in good spots) have a lower ownership than Taylor Gabriel?  Um, OK? I’m going to find a way to get two of those three guys into as many lineups as I can. I think when all is said and done that Brown will find his way to 15% ownership or higher, but I’m really not sure on Julio and OBJ. Those are my top two WR plays this weekend. Sammy Watkins is super boom or bust, but unlike Tyreek Hill, we’ve seen Watkins sustain his booms for weeks at a time. The matchup is right for a big game if he can get on the field. Two other guys that are going way under the radar are Crowder and Landry. Crowder is the #2 WR for Washington. #2 WR’s have been torching the Cardinals. Kirk Cousins will get the ball to Crowder. Landry is in a great spot against the Ravens as they actually allow a ton of points to opposing WRs. They can stop the run, but they are not good in the secondary. Ryan Tannehill is going to feed Landry this week. I like him even more on sites like DK that give you a full point for a reception.

My guys: Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry, Jamison Crowder, Marquess Wilson, Brandon Marshall, Donte Moncrief, Dorial Green-Beckham




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Travis Kelce (KC) @ ATLVernon Davis (WSH) @ ARITyler Eifert (CIN) vs PHI
Vance McDonald (SF) @ CHIEric Ebron (DET) @ NOLadarius Green (PIT) vs NYG
C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU) @ GBJimmy Graham (SEA) vs CARLance Kendricks (LA) @ NE
Antonio Gates (SD) vs TBMartellus Bennett (NE) vs LAGreg Olsen (CAR) @ SEA
Zach Ertz (PHI) @ CINJermaine Gresham (ARI) vs WSH


– I am not in love with the chalk TE plays this weekend. I really like Vance McDonald if I can get him at a low ownership, but if he’s the chalk then I can totally live without him. I feel similarly about Antonio Gates. His price is up a bit and I can spend way down and get a few guys I’d much rather have. Nobody has been promoting Fiedorowicz more than I have over the last month or so, but he’s the most owned TE on the Thursday slates. That’s insane! I know that snow isn’t a problem for QB’s, in theory, but this is Brock Osweiler we are talking about. Everything is an issue for him.  I’ll pass.

– Jimmy Graham is going up against the 2nd worst pass defense against TEs, but he’s just so darn expensive. Normally I wouldn’t mind making the move up to him given the matchup, but I really don’t want to move off my elite QBs and WRs. I’m going to have to give Graham a begrudging pass this weekend. Eric Ebron is about as expensive as I’ll get at TE this weekend. He’s the pass catcher I want most from the Lions. I know he gave you a big zero last weekend, but he’s in a better matchup and he’s proven to be a borderline top 10 TE this year. Stafford is going to keep his big guy happy (this is why I don’t love Riddick). I love Vernon Davis this weekend and so do a lot of the experts. ARI has given up the fewest amount of fantasy points to opposing TEs, but Davis is a different kind of TE. He’s super athletic and Washington uses him as more than just your standard TE. At his price, he really doesn’t need to do more than go 3-40 to start to approach that value that you’re looking for. Add in a TD or any more receptions and we are looking at a great value. He’s in my top three TEs for Week 13. Those in the know keep talking up Zach Ertz. I’m done with him. He’s just too inconsistent for my liking; I’d rather spend down for that level of uncertainty.

– My favorite TE play this weekend is Jermaine Gresham. He’s gotten himself more involved in the ARI passing game over the last few weeks, including TDs in back to back games. Like David, he is very inexpensive and doesn’t need to do much to pay off for you. I think he gets back into the end zone and Bruce Arians starts to soften his stance on not using TEs. Ladarius Green is another TE that is starting to get more involved in his offense as well. It’s been 10 days since his last game; 10 more days to heal up and learn the playbook. It wouldn’t shock me to see him get 6+ targets against the Giants this weekend. Finally, Tyler Eifert is the only TE I’d consider spending up for in Week 13. He’s pretty much the man for this Bengals offense right now. The ownership is low enough that he provides you a nice bit of value in that respect. Even in a bad game he can still get you 3-50, which is enough to not kill your lineup.

My guys: Jermaine Gresham, Ladarius Green, Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Tyler Eifert, Eric Ebron




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Baltimore Ravens vs MIANew England Patriots vs LASeattle Seahawks vs CAR
Denver Broncos @ JAXOakland Raiders vs BUFCincinnati Bengals vs PHI
Green Bay Packers vs HOUJacksonville Jaguars vs DENPhiladelphia Eagles @ CIN
San Diego Chargers vs TB


– All of the chalky defense plays make a lot of sense to me this weekend. Each of them is going up against a team with flaws. Denver is obviously the most dynamic of those defenses, but they are going to cost you a ton. I don’t love that in a GPP (though I’m good with them in cash). If I was going to play any of the chalky teams it’d be Green Bay in the snow and cold of Wisconsin against Brock Osweiler. GB is cheap and very much a threat to have the highest scoring DST for the week.

– If the Jags were ever going to do anything this year, it’d be this weekend at home against Paxton Lynch. I’m more than happy to spend down and take a shot with them. They are one of my three favorite DSTs this weekend along with GB and CIN. I love the Bengals this weekend and continue to use them even when I have the chance to spend up for another team. They are so cheap and so underrated that I have little incentive to go with anyone else. It’s not like they are going up against the Patriots; Philly is injured all over the place and starting a rookie QB that has clearly hit a wall.

My guys: Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars

Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, and data. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.



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