The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 13 FIRST LOOK December 2, 2015  |  Doug Shain


The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary where I’ve got your FIRST LOOK at Week 13 NFL DFS. No giant blurb up here today as I have a lot to say below. I’ll bring you guys a three quarters of the year KWL next week. Enjoy!

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tom Brady – NE Matthew Stafford – DET Kirk Cousins – WSH
Drew Brees – NO Derek Carr- OAK Matt Schaub – BAL
Matt Ryan – ATL Jay Cutler – CHI Blake Bortles – JAX
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT Carson Palmer – ARI Marcus Mariota – TEN
Brock Osweiler – DEN Alex Smith – KC Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ
Aaron Rodgers – GB Andy Dalton – CIN Matt Hasselbeck – IND
Cam Newton – CAR Philip Rivers – SD Ryan Tannehill – MIA


– For the most part, I’m done paying up for QB. There are just so many good values at the position that it’s almost irresponsible to pay up for a guy like Rodgers or Brady and then get skunked because you can’t afford to make a solid lineup. If I’m paying up then I’ll look at the back end of the upper tier and go with Big Ben (assuming he plays, which he should) or Cam Newton. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cam Newton this week (but so will 50% of the GPP world as he faces the Saints).

– I really like some of the lower priced QB’s this week such as Brock Osweiler, Alex Smith, Ryan Tannehill, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. None of these guys are going to break your bank and most should be fairly low owned (perhaps not Tannehill). What I like best about all four of these guys is that they give you multiple stacking options that won’t set you back too far (Osweiler with either Thomas/Sanders; Smith with either Maclin/Kelce; Tannehill with either Landry/Parker; Fitzpatrick with either Marshall/Decker). Having multiple stacking options means a lower ownership for the stack itself. My two favorite of those stacks are Tannehill/Parker (for major HuLo potential) against the Ravens or Fitzpatrick/Marshall (for a little more safety) against the Giants.

– If you want relatively safe plays that’ll help you cash, but probably not win, a GPP then I’d take a long look at Dalton and Palmer. Both are so boring but neither should kill you. They are the QB’s that really make you ask yourself “am I trying to cash or am I trying to win?” If you answer that you’re trying to win (but understand that you could lose badly) then you might want to go with a Matt Hasselbeck/TY Hilton stack against a Pittsburgh pass D that has been torched by everyone. They will play well under the radar but I could totally see a GPP being won by that stack (as I could see it killing your team completely…HULO!!).


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL Latavius Murray – OAK Lamar Miller – MIA
Adrian Peterson – MIN Christopher Ivory – NYJ Jonathan Stewart – CAR
Thomas Rawls – SEA Javarious Allen – BAL Eddie Lacy – GB
DeAngelo Williams – PIT CJ Anderson – DEN Shaun Draughn – SF
Matt Forte – CHI David Johnson – ARI Jeremy Landford – CHI
LeSean McCoy – BUF Spencer Ware – KC Alfred Blue – HOU
Doug Martin – TB Joique Bell – DET


– RB is littered with question marks this week. Here are some of them that are making this week tough:

– Has Todd Gurley hit a productivity wall? Will Matt Forte get all the carries for the Bears or is he in a full time share now? Is CJ Anderson for real or are we all going to roster him only to watch Ronnie Hillman get the carries this week? Can David Johnson handle a full workload if Ellington and Chris Johnson are out? Is Charcandrick West healthy enough to start, or just healthy enough to make himself and Spencer Ware useless? Are we really at a point where Doug Martin, DeAngelo Williams, Christopher Ivory and Jonathan Stewart are among the 7 safest plays at RB (along with Peterson, Gurley, and Rawls)? Is Shaun Draughn actually a thing now? Can we trust Buck Allen? Is Eddie Lacy ready to finally pay off?

– That’s A LOT of question marks. I won’t answer all of them, but…ah, screw it, yes I will.

– Yes, I think Todd Gurley has hit a wall but not because he’s bad. He’s hit a wall because the Rams can’t throw the ball and defenses know this. He’s about as risky a “safe” play as there is. No, Matt Forte won’t get all the carries. Yes, he’s in a time share. Yes, I do think CJ Anderson is for real and I’m going to love playing him against the awful SD run defense this week (along with 30% of the tournament fields). Yes, David Johnson CAN handle a full load, but I’m not sure he’ll GET the full load. I still like him this week. I’m good with Ware only if West sits. If West plays then I’ll play West. Reid doesn’t mess with his starter so whoever it is works for me. Yes, we are at the point where those guys are among the 7 safest RB plays (I may include McCoy and make it 8 players) and I’m good to play all of them this week. Yes, Shaun Draughn is a thing. No, I won’t play him this week against Arizona. I do think we can trust Buck Allen, especially considering his inexpensive price. Yes, Lacy is going to win people leagues this year (both season long and daily).


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Mike Evans – TB Alshon Jeffery – CHI Dez Bryant – DAL
Antonio Brown – PIT Brandon Marshall – NYJ Kamar Aiken – BAL
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Brandin Cooks – NO Sammy Watkins – BUF
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI Allen Robinson – JAX Demaryius Thomas – DEN
Odell Beckham – NYG Amari Cooper – OAK Jamison Crowder – WSH
AJ Green – CIN DeSean Jackson – WSH Martavis Bryant – PIT
Calvin Johnson – DET Emmanuel Sanders – DEN Eric Decker – NYJ
Julio Jones – ATL Jarvis Landry – MIA Stefon Diggs – MIN
Michael Crabtree – OAK Randall Cobb – GB
Jeremy Maclin – KC TY Hilton – IND
Doug Baldwin – SEA Devin Funchess – CAR
Seth Roberts – OAK
DeVante Parker – MIA


– You can never go too wrong with guys like Julio, DeAndre, or Antonio. They are all super expensive and should see a high ownership with the value you can find elsewhere (if you roster Lacy/Chandler at RB/TE then you have a LOT of room for a stud WR or two). This might be the week to fade the most popular guys in a GPP and focus your attention on some higher priced guys who are going to be underappreciated.

– Some of those underappreciated players this week should include TY Hilton, Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Jeremy Maclin, and Alshon Jeffery. None of these plays are cheap and all come with some level of risk. I think that the least risky of this bunch are Jeffery and Landry, while the most risky would be Hilton and Demaryius. I really like Demaryius this week because nobody wants to touch him after last week’s debacle. He’s not a bad WR he just had a bad game. Take advantage of the skepticism and get a stud at a low ownership. I’d be comfortable with any of these 6 WR in my GPP (even rostering all 3 in some cases).

– A couple of HuLo players I really have my eye on this week are Devin Funchess and DeVante Parker. I want exposure to both of these guys this week. Both have fantastic matchups and are slowly starting to become major parts of their offenses. Their prices are so low that even if they don’t go off they can still have value for you with a line somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-50-0. Anything more than that and you’re looking at a real bargain for your fantasy dollar. Parker, in particular, intrigues me greatly.

– Eric Decker scores every week. That is all.




Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Scott Chandler – NE Delanie Walker – TEN Luke Willson – SEA
Gary Barnidge – CLE Julius Thomas – JAX Kyle Rudolph – MIN
Tyler Eifert – CIN Antonio Gates – SD Zach Miller – CHI
Greg Olsen – CAR Travis Kelce – KC Vernon Davis – DEN


– Tom Brady loves his TE’s and if he can’t have his Gronk he’ll turn to Scott Chandler. The price on Chandler is so low that he’ll probably be highly owned (which is bad) but on the other hand he doesn’t need to do much at all to pay off his price and gives you so much roster flexibility (which is good). I’m apt to give him a go and differentiate elsewhere. Some other top plays for me this week include Tyler Eifert, Julius Thomas, and Travis Kelce. I really like the prospects for both Kelce against the Raiders and Thomas taking on Tennessee.

– Delaine Walker is in consideration every week right now. He’s a big, athletic TE that Mariota loves.

– I’m a little concerned about how Gary Barnidge is going to be used with Josh McCown deemed out for the season. I’ll probably pass on him this week and see how Austin Davis (why not Johnny Manziel at this point??) utilizes him.

– If I’m going super cheap at TE, but not using Chandler, then I want Kyle Rudolph against Seattle or Luke Willson against the Vikings. Neither is guaranteed a thing but both have their own bit of upside (Rudolph because Seattle can’t cover the TE and Willson because Russell Wilson seems to like him).



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Arizona Cardinals Cincinnati Bengals Miami Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars
Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears
Denver Broncos Washington Redskins


– The best matchup on the board is Arizona taking on St Louis. You could make a strong case for the Bengals, Broncos, and Panthers as well for top defense of the week. The fact that there are four strong teams should keep the ownership down enough that you can go any way you want in your lineup.

– If I’m going totally away from any of the four top teams this week then I’m going with either the hottest defense in the league (Houston) or a team with a great matchup against a weak QB (Chicago, Miami, Washington). The team that intrigues me the most out of that bunch is the Bears. They are so far under the radar right now but are really playing great defense. I’d have no issue throwing them out there in a GPP against the 49ers and Blaine Gabbert.

Make sure to check back on Saturday morning for my WEEKEND UPDATE.

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the DraftKings section but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

9 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Have Forte,Ingram,Rawls,Cooks in 1 point ppr season long leagues. I need the best 3 of these 4.
    My other league is the same, but instead of Forte, I have Rawls, Johnson of Arizona,Ingram, and Cooks. Need 3 of 4 here as well.

    I just keep feeling the crappy Saints WILL show up this week. Basically, there super bowl, lol

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for reading and sending in your questions.

      For the first dilemma I think I’m going to actually have to sit Cooks. Obviously if we get any word that Forte will be limited that will change, but for now I just don’t see how I can sit any of those 3 RB for an inconsistent WR.

      For the 2nd dilemma I’m going to sit Johnson for Cooks this time. The only caveat on this is if you’re a big underdog and need a boom or bust guys. In that case I’d go with Johnson. Cooks is by far the safer of the two plays otherwise.

      Best of luck this weekend. Write back and let us know how your matchups turned out.

      • Mike says:

        Doug, I grabbed Parker of Miami off waivers for my 2nd dilemma from above. So, I could go Rawls, Ingram, Johnson then pair them with Jeffrey and Parker Instead of Cooks. Alos, have Stevie Johnson, I just don’t like and Michale Floyd.
        This is a 2 QB league and he is stacked, so I am willing to go upside, all or nothing. I have Tanneyhill, Osweiler, and Cousins, with Luck on IR. He had Rodgers last night with his fantasy gifts.

  2. JFT says:

    Ahem, Draughn plays CHI this week. ARI was last week.

  3. Pete Varrone says:

    Hey Doug,
    Been playing fantasy since before the Internet. NY’er retired in Georgia near son. Never played daily fantasy until this year after I won 2 “Fantasy Pros” site “sit/start” contests about a month ago and received $10 twice which they deposited into a Draft Kings account I set up. I actually came in 1st in that contest 3 times in the last 2 years, beating out over 100 of their experts. Now have that $20 freebie up to almost $400.
    You know what you are talking about and I sense the same intuition, that I try to use, in you.
    I look forward to your Hail Mary column each week now that I’m a daily player (weekly, only football). I also consider your opinions in setting my yearly league lineups. Your opinion on Parker, Julius Thomas, CJ Anderson, the Bears and the Tannehill/Parker/Landry stack are exactly what I feel this week about those players.
    Thanks for taking the time to think these things out and put it in writing for us FF junkies.
    Looking forward to the next column.

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Pete,

      Thank you so much for the nice comment. It always makes me feel good to know that my article is helping people out and that you’re finding it enjoyable. I sure have a blast writing it.

      I’m feeling very strong about some of these upside picks this week. I’m happy to see I’m not on an island (though keeping ownership low would be nice, too).

      Keep doing great and good luck in running that $400 up to $4k.

      Best of luck this week. Enjoy this weekend’s update!

      • Pete says:

        Hey Doug,
        Thanks for the reply, greatly appreciated.
        Sorry for long question but I’d appreciate your thoughts, I have Diggs and Snead on my bench for all playoff weeks 14-16 with exception of Diggs in week 16 vs NYG.
        Desperate for RB in a league where no one available. I only have Ivory and Antonio Andrews and Andrews’ schedule is terrible.
        Would you speculate on adding Daniel Herron and hope Gore breaks down or maybe Ajayi with his upside? Both have great playoff week schedules. To do so I’d have to drop Snead or Diggs. Would you add one or both and if only one who would you drop, Snead or Diggs?
        QB’s: have Dalton (Pitt, @SF, @ Denver), picked up Winston for week 14 vs. THE SAINTS). Playing Winston in week 14, could pick up Alex Smith for weeks 15,16, @BALT, Cleve.
        Pick up Smith and drop aforementioned Diggs or Snead or a third player if you think I should pick up both Herron and Ajayi?
        Sorry for length, just looking to pick your brain in crucial time of season.
        Good Luck this week and in playoffs,
        Go Jets! (Jet fan since old AFL days, even when they were called the Titans, showing my age)

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