This game should be a lot closer than the 9-point spread indicates and for a team like the Raiders that love to run the ball, not having Josh Jacobs is going to hinder their offense. Nobody wants to play Carr after he put up a complete no-show against the Falcons in one of the best matchups for quarterbacks. When do we like to play players in DFS? When nobody else wants to! The Jets still allow an average of 284 passing yards per game and a league worst 71.8% completion rate and with no Jacobs, I expect the Raiders to lean on Carr a bit more than usual. Get rid of that recency bias!
Another yucky play, nobody and I mean nobody, likes to play Cousins. But, he gets the nice matchup at home against the Jaguars who allow nearly 280 passing yards per game with a 70% passing completion rate and a league worst 82 yards per attempt. The Jags have also given up 23 passing touchdowns and while we know Dalvin Cook could just run all over this defense, the Vikings defense isn’t much better. I expect Jacksonville to be able to put some points up and keep this closer than we think. Do not be afraid to play Cousins with Jefferson or Thielen. It’s not a big game and it’s not a primetime game, and Cousins usually plays well in games he is supposed to win against teams he is supposed to beat.
The game with the highest total on the board with two unlikely teams in Tennessee and Cleveland. The Browns actually bring a good run defense with them and with Myles Garrett expected to be back, I think I see the Browns selling out to stop Derrick Henry and the run game. But guess who has the third worst secondary in the NFL? Cleveland. The Browns have allowed only 10 rushing touchdowns all season but have given up 22 touchdowns through the air. With Denzel Ward still expected to be out, I think the Browns force Tannehill to throw so look for a big game from AJ Brown, Corey Davis, and a sneaky play in Anthony Firkser with Jonnu Smith on the sidelines.
This could be the chalk play of Week 13. Team that loves to run? Check. Matchup with the Jets defense? Check. Everything lines up for Booker to succeed, and while his salary is not the bargain bin price tag we would like, he should be able to deliver his value with ease in this matchup. I would not expect 200 yards and 3 touchdowns from Booker, but he definitely allows you to pay up at other positions, especially if you stack him with Carr in a contrarian play on this game.
Look, Taylor has been disappointing this year no doubt, but it has gotten to the point where he is priced too low for his potential output against the Texans. I expect the Colts to run and run some more against the Texans to keep Deshaun Watson off the field. We saw Jordan Wilkins underwhelm as the starter and Taylor should get the early downs and goal line work back this week. If you want to be a little contrarian you can play Nyheim Hines , but I think Taylor showed us enough in his last game before he sat out with COVID-19, that we can trust him as an undrowned play against one of the worst run defense in the NFL.
Not exactly a contrarian play, but Cook underwhelmed last week as he missed a chunk of the game with injury. The narrative this week is that Cook is banged up and I think that will turn a lot of players off of him at his price tag. I have no problem going back to Cook this week against the Jaguars who are allowing 136 rushing yards per game, 4.5 yards per carry, and 14 rushing touchdowns on the season. I think Cook could have one of his monster lines this week at depressed ownership.
Hold your nose again, as Mitchell Trubisky starts his second week in a row for the Bears when they host the Lions this week as field goal favorites. One positive from last week was that Allen Robinson was peppered with 13 targets, of which he caught 8 for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Packers. The Lions are allowing 262 passing yards per game, and 22 passing touchdowns this season. The Lions are also playing their first game without ex-head coach Matt Patricia, and could be packing it in for the season.
Texans cornerback Bradley Roby is out for the season after being suspended for PEDs so I expect no resistance from this defense against the Colts. Sure, the Colts could run it on this defense but they still have Phillip Rivers under center and he should still chuck the ball around a bit. A lot of people are talking about TY Hilton and his history against the Texans, but I think Michael Pittman has looked much better the last while and the Colts passing game is always under owned. I don’t mind playing both Taylor and Pittman in a lineup, and bringing it back with Brandin Cooks.
Cooks could be a chalky play this week but I think players will look at the matchup against the Colts and be hesitant to play him as the number one option in Houston. Deshaun Watson is playing on another level right now and the way the Texans are operating their offense, Cooks does not need the deep shots that Will Fuller had. Cooks takes the intermediate routes in the slot and turns them into huge gains down the field, and he still has the speed to do this. Cooks could have a massive game in a game script where the Texans should be playing catchup.
With Jonnu Smith on the sidelines, expect Firsker to step into the number one tight end role for the Titans against a Browns defense that is allowing an average of 15.69 fantasy points per game to tight ends this year. I went over why Tannehill is a nice play this week and I think a stack with Firkser could be a contrarian way to attack this slate. Bring it back with Chubb or Landry and I think you could have the makings of a solid and under the radar lineup.
Am I writing up Hockenson again? That must mean that Kenny Golladay is out. Hockenson has been Stafford’s go to target in the red zone and gets to face a Bears defense that is actually terrible against tight ends, as they allow an average of 15.59 fantasy points per game good for third worst in the NFL. Hockenson led the Lions in receiving last week with 5 catches on 8 targets for 89 yards, and I expect him to be able to put up similar numbers with a touchdown against the Bears.