Week 12 Daily Fantasy Advice
Before I dive headfirst into this Daily Fantasy advice article I want to remind you that Thanksgiving is a special time of year you should cherish with your family and friends. Make sure you don’t spend every second in front of the TV watching the games or checking your iPhone for Fantasy Football updates. Put in the effort to spend time with your loved ones, don’t worry about your diet for a day, and avoid talking politics altogether.
Ok, let’s jump into this. Week 12 features three interesting matchups that include two divisional battles and an injury-filled must-win team trying to hang on to playoff hopes.
- Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Detroit Lions | Over/Under 44.5
- LA Chargers (-1) at Dallas Cowboys | Over/ Under 48
- New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-7.5) | Over/Under 45
Week 12 Breakdown
|Matchups||Season Long||Last 4 Games|
|Week 12 Teams||PPG||PPA||DIV||PPG||PPA||DIV|
- PPG – Points per game
- PPA – Points Against
- Div- Differential
The table above is something I like to focus on throughout the year. It’s a watered down version of a formula called “Outlook.” Originally, I created it to help to pick games against the spread, but it’s also helpful to spot trends. It’s no surprise to see how DFS and sports betting are different, but betting lines can be helpful in painting a picture towards the outcome of the game. I think one of the biggest misconceptions in sports statistics is that season-long stats do not really apply today. An offense two months ago is more (or less) in rhythm than a team playing this weekend, yet we constantly rely on season stats to guide us. A great example of this the New England Patriots defense, we still think they’re bad, but in fact, their much improved from the first half of the season.
After Week 11, the Patriots are (somehow) still 32nd in Total Defense and Pass Defense. But they are now 12th in Points Allowed after allowing just 12.5 ppg over their last six. Major progress.
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 21, 2017
- Looking over the Thanksgiving games, the one thing that is the most obvious is just how much trouble the Cowboys are in with all their recent injuries and the loss of their elite running back Zeke Elliott. The table above goes back four weeks, but in the last two games without Zeke, Dallas has scored just one touchdown. They have also been outscored by opponents 16-64. I know there are a lot of Cowboy fans out there, but I strongly recommend you avoid all Cowboys in your Daily Fantasy lineups this Thursday.
- The Vikings offense is really picking up steam, improving its points per game average by 5.6 points in the last four games in comparison to their season average. While all the love seems to be going to the passing game, the team has been getting a great deal of production from it’s RB combo.
- The Giants are a mess. It’s hard to look at what they’re doing from a statistical output as the locker room is likely divided. Some players are still playing hard, while others just want this disastrous season to be over. This is where you need to look at a team as a whole and back away from stats in general.
- The Lions and Chargers offenses seem to be making improvements and are two teams I like this Thursday.
Thanksgiving Daily Fantasy Picks
**Please Note** One strategy I will constantly mention throughout this article is a player’s “3X goal.” This is converting the Daily Fantasy salary into fantasy points. If a player costs $6,000 daily fantasy dollars, they need to reach 18 fantasy points to hit their 3X goal ($6,000 x 3 = $18,000 /100 = 18 points). The logic here is most tournaments or GPPs reach the money when an owner can create a lineup of 150 points or more. So your goal should be to covert your budget of $50,000 into 150 points at Draftkings. Fanduel has $60,000 budget but does not have PPR scoring or award player bonuses, so 150 points still works.
DraftKings Salary: $6,000 | Fanduel Salary: $7,700
Last Sunday was the first time in the last four games Stafford didn’t reach his 3X goal falling just short at DraftKings scoring 19.26 points while costing $6,600. He’s priced a little cheaper this week due to his off performance and his week 12 matchup.
Stafford historically steps it up on Thanksgiving. The Lions are two games back of the Vikings in the NFC North standings making this game huge for the Lions playoff chances. The last meeting between the Lions and Vikings was week 4 and was very defensive. The Lions won that game 14-7 yet Stafford was sacked 6 times in that contest as both QB’s leaned heavily on their running games to generate points. This time around I feel both squads are more comfortable in their offenses and should be able to generate more points.
One added luxury for the Lions in this matchup that they didn’t have in their previous meeting is Kenny Golladay. The Lions rookie WR caught two of three targets for 52 yards during Sunday’s 27-24 victory over the Bears and has big-play ability that I feel Stafford could lean on more in this contest.
SAMAJE PERINE (DK Only)
DraftKings Salary: $5,000 | Fanduel Salary: $7,600
There isn’t a lot of running back depth to choose from in the three games on Thanksgiving slate. Melvin Gordon (DK $8,100 | FD $8,400) is the obvious choice leading the pack, but his ownership percentage will likely be through the roof. You can add him if you like, but the contrarian approach might be to avoid him altogether and beef up your wide receivers. To save on spending, I would suggest Samaje Perine. Perine (finger) was listed “limited participant” on Monday’s injury report for Thursday’s game against the Giants but I’m confident he’ll play.
Perine racked up 117 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in Sunday’s 34-31 overtime loss to the Saints. He’s a great bang for buck and should easily reach him 3X goal of 15 points.
Perine’s Price seems too high at Fanduel. He’s the second most expensive RB avilable.
DraftKings Salary: $4,900 | Fanduel Salary: $6,500
Truth be told, I’m actually a bigger fan of Jerick McKinnon, but Murray is getting all the goalline touches as of late. What’s interested is Murray is the cheaper Vikings RB at DraftKings opposed to Fanduel, so depending on which DFS site you play at pick and choose accordingly. The Detriot Lions have allowed the second most rushing Touchdowns (12) in the NFL.
DFS Tip: One thing I have been doing lately is building similar DFS lineups with both RB’s. So in this example, I would build one Lineup with Murray and one with McKinnon. The two Vikings RB’s have each taken turns having big weeks, so it would be smart to cover both scenarios.
DraftKings Salary: $7,300 | Fanduel Salary: $6,500
Thanks to the New York Giants upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs in week 11, the LA Chargers playoff hopes are still alive and well, believe it or not. Currently, Phillip Rivers and company are second in the AFC West and sit two games back of the Chiefs. With a win on Thursday, the team would have an extended period off before hosting the Cleveland Browns in week 13. The Chargers will be very motivated to steal this game on the road, which is why linemakers have them favorited by one point in this contest.
Allen caught 12 of 13 targets for 159 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday’s 54-24 victory over the Bills. It was by far one of the biggest games of Allen’s career. I think the Chargers will stick to what’s working and continue to throw the ball. whether your picking games or picking DFS players, you have to go to the hot hand. I like the Chargers to win this game and rack up points in the process. I’m confident Allen hits his 3X goal of 21.9 Fantasy Points.
MARVIN JONES JR + GOLDEN TATE
Double Stack Wide Receivers
I have had a lot of success this season double-stacking my quarterback with two targets from the same team. As I mentioned earlier, Kenny Golladay could have a big game this Thursday so you may want to mix and match with Jones or Tate. Nevertheless, I believe you need to go all-in on your QB targets in DFS. With the exception of Big Ben and AB, or Dalton and A.J Green, most quarterbacks tend to spread the love around. I have had more luck with this strategy than trying to pick which player Tate or Jones to go with.
DFS Strategy: Some would argue that the Vikings passing attack is more potent than the Lions and that you should build a lineup with Case Keenum and his WR’s. I will not argue against that, however, the Lions rushing defense is not great, where the Vikings rushing defense is second in the NFL. The Vikings only allow 3.3 yards per rush on the ground, where the Lions are 4.4 yards per carry. If I would have to guess, I would say Stafford has at least 30 passing attempts in this game.
DraftKings Salary: $5,500 | Fanduel Salary: $6,400
The Tight End options for Thursday’s Thanksgiving games are even more bleek than the running backs. Evan Engram is the top choice but is likely to be the most owned TE. While Kyle Rudolph caught my eye, I think I’d go Vernon Davis this week. Davis is having an excellent season in relief for Jordan Reed and with the loss of Chris Thompson, I think Davis could see even more targets than he’s already been getting.
Los Angeles Chargers DEF
DraftKings Salary: $4,900 | Fanduel Salary: $6,500
This is a risky pick, but sticking with the breakdown chart at the top, the Chargers are allowing just 16.2 points a game and are facing a team with a broken offensive line. The Chargers should be able to get to Dak Prescott just as the Eagles and Falcons did in the last two weeks. Joey Bosa is a nightmare and I don’t think the Cowboys will have an answer on how to stop the bleeding on the short week.
Thanks for reading!
James is a diehard fantasy football fan who has been playing for over 20 years. He doesn’t have a favorite team, mainly from moving around a lot when he was a kid. This has to lead to many fantasy championships as James drafts with his head, not with his heart. James also plays heavily in Dynasty Football and loves DFS and Picking games. He’s excited to see where he can go writing for Gridiron Experts