Top Tier :
Kirk Cousins vs. Miami Dolphins ($6200)
This won't be a popular play on the main slate this week. Coming off a terrible showing in Seattle last week, and the firing of their offensive coordinator, I think people will be staying away from Cousins this week. I like him in this spot a lot.
The Vikings are 7 point home favorites in a game they have to win – they now only have a 42.4% chance of making the playoffs. They're projected to score 26 points and their points are typically scored through the air. Miami is ranked 26th, in terms of DVOA, vs. the pass and they just got beat up by Tom Brady last week. To expound on that, they're 22nd vs. WR1 and 18th vs. WR2, so both Thielen and Diggs are in play.
Mike Zimmer clearly has an offensive game plan in place, or he wouldn't have fired his OC at such a critical point in the season. I could see Minnesota scoring a ton of points in this spot.
Derek Carr @ Cincinnati Bengals ($5400)
Over his last 2 games, Derek Carr has completed 75% of his passes, thrown 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, averaged 307 pass yards and 23.5 Draftkings points per game. He's finally putting it together, and at $5400 vs. the Bengals defense, he should have another great weak for DFS.
The Bengals are allowing the 2nd most DK points per game to QBs ( only 0.02 per game fewer than the Falcons). They're giving up 283 passing yards and 2.08 touchdowns per game.
The Bengals are going to score points in this game, and Oakland will be passing in response. The price, the spot, and the ownership are right for Carr this week.
Lower Tier :
Nick Mullens vs. Seattle Seahawks ($4800)
Mullens is coming off back-to-back 22+ DK point performances; the best of those – 26.66 – came in week 13 @ Seattle. Now, he gets to face them again, but at home. At $4800, in a week where the main slate QB selections are very ‘up-in-the-air', Mullens is in play in all formats, and may end up being my cash game play.
He's thrown 81 times the last 2 weeks and has averaged 373 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think it's safe to say they'll be playing catch up in this game (they lost 43-16 in week 13) so you can expect a lot of volume from him.
Top Tier :
Ezekiel Elliott @ Indianapolis Colts ($9000)
The Cowboys have finally figured out that they can throw Zeke the ball, and when they do, their offense can be very successful. Over the last six weeks, Elliott has 40 receptions; that's 2nd to only Christian McCaffrey, at the RB position, over that period.
There's a lot of talk about how Amari Cooper has changed that offense. He's put up incredible numbers since joining the Cowboys, but it's been Zeke's increased early-down usage in the passing game that has opened up their passing game and allowed Cooper to dominate as he has.
The Colts are ranked 26th in DVOA vs. pass-catching RBs, and they haven't faced any of the elite pass-catching RBs; Lamar Miller is arguably the best ‘combo-back' they've seen since Joe Mixon in week 1, and Mixon went for 25.9 DK points. Zeke is a plug and play in cash and tournaments for this week.
Chris Carson @ San Francisco 49ers ($5600)
Carson has emerged as the go-to guy in the Seahawks backfield. It's always tough to fully trust Pete Carroll, but at this price and perceived gamescript, Carson is a pretty safe play with big upside.
The 49ers are 14th vs. the rush; 16th in terms of adjusted line yards. The Seahawks look to run and run and run some more, week after week. This game flow should allow them to do that, and I expect Carson to get at least the 22 touches that he got last week.
Price and low-ownership put him in play in both cash games and tournaments.
Lower Tier :
Doug Martin @ Cincinnati Bengals ($4700)
It's odd to be talking about Doug Martin as a DFS play, but he's in play this week. The Bengals defense is climbing the ‘all-time worst defense' rankings, they've given up the most DK points to RBs this season, Martin is the lead RB for Oakland, he's scored in three straight games, and he's only $4700.
It's the ‘brand' that will keep people away from playing Doug Martin this week, not the spot. He's currently projected to have 1% ownership in tournaments, making him a great option there.
Top Tier :
Juju Smith-Schuster vs. New England Patriots ($8000)
This game looks to be the best on the main slate. Lots of star-power, and a very, very important game for the home team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots defense struggled last week vs. the Dolphins, and they have much more to worry about this week at Heinz Field.
Juju has seen 48 targets in the last 4 weeks – 10, 17, 9, and 12 last week. That kind of volume in that kind of offense (4th highest scoring in the NFL) is exactly what we're looking for when paying way up for a WR. In his last (and only career game vs. the Pats) he caught all 6 of his targets for 114 yards. He'll largely avoid Stephon Gilmore in coverage, and Pittsburgh will be pass-heavy, as usual.
Smith-Schuster is a cash game play for me, and I'll have a lot of tournament exposure, as well.
Tyler Boyd vs. Oakland Raiders ($5700)
Once again, the Raiders must be picked on. They have the worst pass defense in the league, and they're on the road this week. Add to that the fact that their offense has actually come alive the last couple of weeks, and should be able to produce points again this week against the 27th ranked Bengals pass defense, and Tyler Boyd is the guy for Cincinnati now since A.J. Green is on IR.
He's averaging 19 DK points in home games, and has 33 targets in his last 4 games; $5700 is too cheap for a #1 WR facing the Raiders, especially in a game that will likely be competitive.
Boyd is definitely a viable cash game play, and with a projected ownership of 10%, is in play for tournaments.
Lower Tier :
Marquise Goodwin vs. Seattle Seahawks ($4500)
I like Nick Mullens this week, and I like pairing him with Marquise Goodwin. You've already read what Mullens did to the Seahawks in week 13, and that was without Goodwin.
The Hawks are 13th overall vs. the pass, but they're 26th vs. WR1. The 49ers will in all likelihood be trailing, and Mullens will be slinging it. Everyone will be playing George Kittle – and he's a solid play – but the Hawks are 8th vs. TEs; they funnel passes to the outside.
At $4500, Goodwin can easily pay off his salary with one big play, and I think he makes one. I really like the Mullens / Goodwin salary-saver stack this week.
Top Tier :
Eric Ebron vs. Dallas Cowboys ($5900)
Ebron is having a fantastic season with the Colts; the change of scenery has served him well. He's the second highest priced TE this week, and he's underpriced. He's been underpriced every week.
In games that Jack Doyle has missed, Ebron is averaging 10.7 targets per game; that's #1 amongst all TEs. He has 12 touchdowns on the season; that's also #1, and he's averaging the 4th most DK points per game @ 15.6.
In terms of the matchup: The Cowboys funnel 8 targets per game to TEs; that's 3rd most in the league, and they give up the 10th most yards per game to TEs – 62 per game. Ebron can be looked at as a $5900 WR, basically. He's a cash game play, and you'll want exposure to him in tournaments as well.
Lower Tier :
Vernon Davis @ Jacksonville Jaguars ($3200)
It'll be another Big Vern week, for me. Jordan Reed is out, it looks like Josh Doctson will be out and Josh Johnson will be getting the start. The Jaguars have given the 5th most touchdowns to TEs this season, so I'll spend the $3200 on Davis, and hope he catches 3 or 4 passes and finds the endzone.
Good Luck in Week 13!