The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 12 WEEKEND UPDATE November 28, 2015  |  Doug Shain


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The Huddle – Opening Statement

All new thoughts and information will be in bolded italics.

Welcome to the Hail Mary, where I’ve got your updated look at the Week 12 NFL DFS slate.

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 Brock Osweiler – DEN Kirk Cousins – WSH
Drew Brees – NO Derek Carr- OAK Russell Wilson – SEA
Matt Ryan – ATL Jameis Winston – TB Blake Bortles – JAX
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT Carson Palmer – ARI Marcus Mariota – TEN
Eli Manning – NYG Philip Rivers – SD
Andy Dalton – CIN Josh McCown – CLE
Brian Hoyer – HOU


– There aren’t a lot of changes this weekend, but I would be a little more cautious with Tom Brady now that we know Amendola isn’t playing and Dobson is on IR. I don’t know how many more hits he can take to his skill position players (don’t forget that Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman are hurt too) before it starts to hurt his productivity. This is especially pertinent given his matchup against a strong Denver defense.

– Every week it feels like there are fewer and fewer big name QB plays. With guys like Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, and Cam Newton playing on Thanksgiving there are even less this week. Of all the Public Plays, I like Drew Brees best this week, but none of them really do it for me.

– Carson Palmer is playing like an elite QB right now and his matchup against SF is phenomenal. Even if this game is a blowout he should be able to do enough to make him worth a play for you. Eli Manning should have no issue with a Washington defense that Cam Newton just tore up. Speaking of QB’s who threw 5 TD’s last weekend, Jameis Winston should once again have a nice game against Indy. It’s never a terrible idea to throw Andy Dalton into a lineup.

– While I do think Eli is going to have a good game against Washington, it’s the QB on the other side of the field (Kirk Cousins) who could have an even bigger game. Cousins specializes on having big games against terrible pass defenses. The Giants surely qualify as a terrible pass defense. Russell Wilson against Pittsburgh is extremely intriguing, as are Josh McCown and Brian Hoyer against two of the worst pass defenses in the league. Neither of those two guys is a safe play but there’s a ton of upside in both.

– I keep coming back to Hoyer every time I look at these QB’s. New Orleans doesn’t stop anyone. He’ll be a lot more highly owned that you’d want, but he gives you a ton of upside and roster flexibility.

My guys: Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, Brian Hoyer, Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL Latavius Murray – OAK Lamar Miller – MIA
Adrian Peterson – MIN Christopher Ivory – NYJ Ronnie Hillman – DEN
Thomas Rawls – SEA Javorius Allen – BAL Bilal Powell – NYJ
DeAngelo Williams – PIT Tevin Coleman – ATL Jeremy Hill – CIN
LeSean McCoy – BUF Mark Ingram – NO Chris Johnson – ARI
Spencer Ware – KC Alfred Blue – HOU
Shaun Draughn – SF TJ Yeldon – JAX
James White – NE


– Stop me if you’ve heard this before but RB is WEAK this week.

– Besides AP I’m not sure if there’s a real safe play amongst the Public Plays. Gurley is going to find 8 guys in the box until the Rams can figure out how to throw the ball, Pittsburgh should be throwing against Seattle as should Seattle against Pittsburgh, and if Matt Forte plays you can throw the Langford love out the window. Hey, that was a Thursday game, way to pay attention there, Doug. This is another week where we’re going to load up on WR and go cheap at RB.

– For his cost Thomas Rawls seems like an obvious play. He might be too obvious. I’m going to mostly fade him today due to an expected ownership higher than I can count. There is value elsewhere that you can exploit at a much lower ownership (Allen, Ware, CJ2K, Blue, Yeldon, White, Hill).

– Some of the best plays this week are going to be a few guys who should get a ton of playing time due to injuries (Allen, Ware, Draughn, Coleman, and Blue). The best of the bunch should be Buck Allen against an awful Browns run defense. Alfred Blue gives you a relatively high floor because of his pass catching ability. Ware has a tough matchup but looked great last week in relief of Charcandrick West (although it was against the worst run defense I may have ever seen). Draughn has had 20 touches each of the last 2 weeks, which should be enough to get him to value this week. Coleman had 17 touches in relief of Freeman last week but he didn’t catch a pass and could cede some touches to Terron Ward who actually can catch passes out of the backfield. If Freeman plays all of this is moot. I will be using most of these guys in some form to help give me guaranteed touches for a cheap price.

– Two of my favorite plays this week are Chris Johnson and TJ Yeldon. Both come in at a really nice price considering their matchups. Given 20 touches (not a lock, but a possibility) they could each approach 100 yards with a shot at a score. Yeldon, all in. That’s a scary thought but this is the matchup to target. SD’s run defense is awful.

– Someone has to touch the ball for New England and James White is slowly gaining steam in this offense. He had 2 TD on four touches last week and, while he won’t continue that level of productivity, he should be able to increase his touches based on his ability to make people miss in open space. Even with 12 touches he has some value.

My guys: TJ Yeldon, Chris Johnson, Buck Allen, James White, Jeremy Hill, Alfred Blue, Spencer Ware (wow, look at that murderers’ row of RB….what a slow week)


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Mike Evans – TB Danny Amendola – NE Travis Benjamin – CLE
Antonio Brown – PIT Brandon Marshall – NYJ Dwayne Harris – NYG
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Brandin Cooks – NO Sammy Watkins – BUF
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI Allen Robinson – JAX Chris Givens – BAL
Odell Beckham – NYG Amari Cooper – OAK Jamison Crowder – WSH
A.J. Green – CIN DeSean Jackson – WSH Vincent Jackson – TB
Demaryius Thomas – DEN Eric Decker – NYJ
Julio Jones – ATL Allen Hurns – JAX
Brandon LaFell – NE
Tyler Lockett – SEA


What a great week for some high end WR. Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham, and Mike Evans all have great matchups. I’ll gladly put any of them on my roster and if I can find a way to get two of them I’m going to go for it. I’m really not opposed to putting any of the big name Public Plays on my team this week. Odell might be 60% owned, but you should still find a way to get him in your lineup. I don’t see any way that Washington is going to stop him. I feel similarly about DeAndre Hopkins. If you could construct a roster that has both Beckham and Hopkins you could have a big week (and with some of the value at QB/RB you should have no issue doing this).

– If I don’t go with one of the big guys, I’m really interested in looking towards Allen Robinson and Brandin Cooks. Both are playing like true WR1’s, but you won’t have to pay WR1 prices for them. DJax always torches the Giants and the NY pass defense is terrible this year, so he could be in line for a huge game. He’s not safe, but the upside is great.

– Amendola is out, Edelman is out, Lewis is out, Dobson is out, and even Keshawn Martin is hurt. Who is left to catch the ball other than Brandon LaFell? Denver has a solid pass D, but they are going to focus on Gronk. LaFell is not a safe play, but if you want to go contrarian then a Brady/LaFell stack is kind of interesting.

– Jameis Winston is playing really well right now and the Indy defense isn’t playing great. That means a big week for both Mike Evans and VJax. Evans is the more stable of the two, but VJax could give you similar stats for a much lower price and ownership. Decker and Hurns are always in play for me since they are so consistent. They’re not HuLo in the truest sense of the word, but they are pretty safe plays for a reasonable cost. I was really into Travis Benjamin until I heard that it would be Josh McCown and not Johnny Manziel. McCown favors Barnidge while Manziel favors Benjamin. I still like Benjamin, just not as much.

– Russell Wilson is really starting to trust Tyler Lockett. Pittsburgh can’t stop anyone from throwing the ball. Huge upside play for a low price.

My guys: Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandin Cooks, Desean Jackson, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Brandon LaFell, Allen Hurns, Eric Decker, Tyler Lockett


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Rob Gronkowski – NE Delanie Walker – TEN Crockett Gillmore – BAL
Gary Barnidge – CLE Julius Thomas – JAX Kyle Rudolph – MIN
Tyler Eifert – CIN Antonio Gates – SD Heath Miller – PIT
Travis Kelce – KC Vernon Davis – DEN


– Denver, huh? Maybe Gronk isn’t gonna Gronk too much this week. I’m fading.

– You know who I’m not fading? New Gronk, otherwise known as Tyler Eifert. He’s been a beast all year, his price is still pretty low, and his matchup is outstanding (Rams getting killed by the TE recently).

– Johnny Football is out, Josh McCown is in. That means big things are ahead for Barnkowski.

– Besides the Rams being terrible at covering TE, the Raiders and Seahawks also aren’t too good at covering the TE either. That means Delanie Walker (vs OAK) and Heath Miller (vs SEA) are loaded up in the queue.

– Crockett Gillmore could be in line for another good week now that Matt Schaub is at the helm for Baltimore. It’s not that Schaub is better than Flacco (he’s not even close), but the one thing Schaub does well (besides throw pick sixes) is target his TE.

My guys: Gary Barnidge, Tyler Eifert, Julius Thomas, Delanie Walker, Heath Miller


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Arizona Cardinals Cincinnati Bengals Houston Texans
Kansas City Chiefs Minnesota Vikings Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Jets Saint Louis Rams Cleveland Browns


– Arizona against SF almost seems unfair. They will be a lot of people’s top play so you might be better off moving to another team like KC who has been incredibly hot.

– My top play of the week, based on price/matchup/ownership, is the Cincinnati Bengals. They got beat up on Sunday night by Carson Palmer, but whoever is out there at QB for the Rams this week won’t be Carson Palmer. There could be a number of sacks and turnovers in this one.

– The Texans are playing much better defense right now and Drew Brees is significantly worse away from the Superdome. It’s a sneaky play to keep in mind. Cleveland is facing Matt “Pick Six” Schaub and the Jags are up against a demoralized Chargers team. Both make interesting punt plays.

My guys: Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, St Louis Rams, Houston Texans

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


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