The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 13 WEEKEND UPDATE December 5, 2015  |  Doug Shain



The Huddle – Opening Statement

What a muddled week we have. Let’s hope we can clear up some plays for this week in the WEEKEND UPDATE. All new information is in bolded italics.

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 Philip Rivers – SD 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
Cam Newton – CAR Andy Dalton – CIN Matt Hasselbeck – IND
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. I’m still not playing him, but it’s worth noting that Brady was very low-owned in the Thursday slates. 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 still love Cam but he’s really more of a cash game play. Roethlisberger will probably be my choice if I’m going upper echelon in a GPP.

– 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.

– I’m not really comfortable with the matchup, but Philip Rivers should at the very least get a ton of volume against the Broncos.

– 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!!).

My guys: Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Hasselbeck, Ryan Tannehill


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 Alfred Blue – HOU
DeAngelo Williams – PIT CJ Anderson – DEN Shaun Draughn – SF
Matt Forte – CHI David Johnson – ARI Jeremy Landford – CHI
LeSean McCoy – BUF Charcandrick West – KC Charles Sims – TB
Doug Martin – TB LeGarrette Blount – NE
Devonta Freeman – ATL  


– 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? Am I really not recommending a Bengals RB against the terrible Browns D?

– 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. It looks like West will be good to go, so he’s the guy I want. I like this matchup a lot so he’s going to be in lineups for me. 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 Chicago. 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). Or not. That is right, I’m not recommending either Jeremy Hill or Gio Bernard this week. Who knows which guy is going to get the carries at this point? If you’re going to roster a Bengals it should be AJ Green.

– I read a stat the other day that pointed out just how dominant Blount is against bottom 10 run defenses. It made me realize that he’s a pretty good play for a really good price against the Eagles.

– The Atlanta Falcons are one of the worst fantasy defenses against RB, but it’s actually Charles Sims that I like more against them this week over Doug Martin (respective to value). What’s lost in that Falcons stat is that they are by far the worst defense at defending the pass against opposing RB with over 65 yards a game in that area. They are actually giving up under 90 yards per game rushing, which isn’t bad at all. Charles Sims is the pass catching back for TB and he’s really cheap. You could do a LOT worse for a punt.

My guys: LeGarrette Blount, Charles Sims, CJ Anderson, Charcandrick West, DeAngelo Williams, Matt Forte, David Johnson, Jonathan Stewart, Buck Allen


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
Julio Jones – ATL Emmanuel Sanders – DEN Eric Decker – NYJ
Jarvis Landry – MIA Stefon Diggs – MIN
Michael Crabtree – OAK DeVante Parker – MIA
Jeremy Maclin – KC TY Hilton – IND
Doug Baldwin – SEA Devin Funchess – CAR/Ted Ginn Jr – CAR
Seth Roberts – OAK


– 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.

– Revis is not playing this week so Odell Beckham is probably the top WR play this week. He’s more of a cash game play because he should be highly owned but his upside is so high that you can use him in a GPP and then differentiate at other positions.

– 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.

– Looking a little more deeply it’s Ted Ginn, not Devin Funchess, that’s got the great matchup for the Panthers against New Orleans. He’s risky but there’s a ton of upside.

– Eric Decker scores every week. That is all.

My guys: Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Julio Jones, Martavis Bryant, Alshon Jeffery, Jarvis Landry, TY Hilton, DeVante Parker, Ted Ginn Jr, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson


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. Eifert is hurt and looks like he won’t play. Don’t play him.

– 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).

My guys: Delanie Walker, Julius Thomas, Kyle Rudolph, Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen



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.

My guys: Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears

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!

One Response

  1. yazsarmy says:

    In reading your article you stated that you would not be playing Draughn against Arizona but he is playing against the Bears and my thoughts were at that price, even though the Bears D has been better he could easily meet value, just wanted to know your thoughts on him. Thanks, Jeff B. aka yazsarmy

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