NFL DFS: Week 13 DraftKings Plays
It’s an interesting week in NFL DFS, with zero teams on bye and six teams playing on Thanksgiving. Regardless, your cash game goals should still remain the same.
If you’re playing cash games on DraftKings, your goal for each player on your roster should be to score three times his salary.
For example, Jeremy Hill is $4,300 on DraftKings this week. For Hill to score three times his salary, he would need to produce 12.9 points (4.300 x 3).
Finding players who will score three times their salary can be difficult, but a stable set of projections should be your starting point.
Last year, Gridiron Experts’ projections were very efficient in finding these players — we’ll call them our Gridiron 3X.
Our projections are posted every Tuesday morning by Jody Smith — you can find them here.
In the table below, you’ll see how often the average player surpassed 3X his salary last season — only players who were projected for more than 5.0 points were included to remove injured players and those with minor roles). Next to it, you’ll see how often our Gridiron 3X guys surpassed 3X their salary. The difference between the two is in the final column:
So who fits the criteria in Week 13?
Tyrod Taylor, $5700, Projected 3.9x: Because of his dual-threat quarterbacking skills, Tyrod Taylor is always a DFS option every week. He’s totaled 439 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, including a 7-38-1 performance last week against Jacksonville. In Week 13, he’ll travel to Oakland to face the Raiders in a game with one of the highest Vegas totals of the weekend (49).
The Raiders have allowed the sixth-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks this season, with seven of 11 opponents scoring at least 17.1 points — that’s the threshold for Taylor to hit 3X value this week. To keep up with the Raiders’ offense, Taylor will need to do most of the heavy lifting, putting him in a great spot to pay off his salary in cash games this week.
Russell Wilson, $6300, Projected 3.7x: Last week was not pretty at all for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but it was a stereotypical performance for a west coast team traveling to the east coast. Wilson has it easier this week as the Seahawks will host Carolina in Seattle on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game. The Panthers have allowed multi-passing touchdown performances in more than half of their games this season — and that’s with Luke Kuechly on the field. If he’s ruled out again on Sunday with his concussion, move Seahawks’ skill players slightly up your rankings. It’ll be tough to click Wilson’s name after last week’s performance, but just have solace in knowing he’s in a much better situation this weekend.
Colin Kaepernick, $6100, Projected 3.7x: Since taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, here are Colin Kaepernick’s DraftKings totals by game: 18.08, 16.12, 27.22, 19.44, 37.14. With a $6100 salary, he needs just 18.3 points for 3X value this week, a number he’s hit in all but one start. Chip Kelly’s offensive system has unleashed Kaepernick’s rushing ability, as he’s averaging 62.2 rushing yards per game — that kind of added bonus gives Kaepernick one of the highest floors of any fantasy quarterback. He’s playing in a low total game this week (43), but he’ll be facing a banged up Bears defense without their best run stopper in Jerrell Freeman. Rostering a quarterback with both a high floor and a high ceiling is a great way to start your cash game lineups.[wlm_ismember]
Other Gridiron 3X QBs: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Barkley, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dak Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Tannehill, Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian, Jared Goff, Eli Manning, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Brock Osweiler [/wlm_ismember]
[the_ad id=”58837″]Jeremy Hill, $4300, Projected 3.8x: With Giovani Bernard out for the season with a torn ACL, Jeremy Hill was expected to play a majority of the backfield snaps in Cincinnati. But after suffering an ankle injury and with the Bengals trailing most of the game, Hill actually saw one less snap than receiving specialist Rex Burkhead. Even with the timeshare, Hill showed he’d be more involved in the passing game without Bernard, catching six passes for 61 yards against Baltimore in Week 12. His salary has only increased $400 to $4300, which is far too cheap for a running back guaranteed to touch the ball at least 15 times.
Kenneth Dixon, $3700, Projected 3.6x: For the first time all season, Kenneth Dixon received more snaps and more touches than fellow RB Terrance West last week. Whether Dixon will take over as the lead runner or simply be part of an even timeshare isn’t too important at this point — as long as he’s planning to get 15 touches, he’ll be easily in line to reach 3X value on his lowly $3700 salary. With the Ravens as 3.5-point home favorites this weekend, their offense could be running the ball deep into the fourth quarter if this game goes as Vegas plans. Dixon has showed wiggle as runner and skills as a receiver, meaning he’ll be involved in the gameplan regardless of the game script. This will be the last week you can roster Dixon at under $4000.
Todd Gurley, $5000, Projected 3.5x: When you were drafting Todd Gurley in the first round of your season-long fantasy drafts this August, who would have thought that he would have just a $5000 price tag on DraftKings in Week 13? Thankfully he’s been involved in the passing game this season (averaging 1.1 more receptions per game than in his rookie year), as his offensive line has been unable to open many holes for him in the running game. He likely won’t do much on the ground again this week as 13.5-point underdogs against the Patriots, but he could have a career receiving day — the Patriots have allowed the opposing starting running back to catch three or more passes in all but one game this season. His receiving work will play a huge part in reaching 3X value this weekend.[wlm_nonmember]
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Other Gridiron 3X RBs: Melvin Gordon, James Starks, David Johnson, Rob Kelley, Doug Martin, Rashad Jennings, Le’Veon Bell, Carlos Hyde, T.J. Yeldon, Terrance West, Jordan Howard
Dorial Green-Beckham, $3000, Projected 4.2x: It’s amazing that Dorial Green-Beckham’s DraftKings salary remains at minimum price after his two recent performances. He’s finally beginning to look like the receiver the Titans desired when they drafted him in the second round of the 2015 draft. He’s a physical marvel — 6’5” 237 pounds — but the mental part of the game hadn’t clicked yet in his short career. But in the last two weeks, he’s seen 18 total targets while scoring 16.4 and 14.2 DraftKings points in each of those games. He’s not playing in a particularly enticing game in Week 13 (1-point favorites with a 42-point total against the Bengals), but his usage/salary is too much to ignore — he should easily eclipse 3X value.
Tyreek Hill, $4600, Projected 3.8x: In the past three weeks, rookie WR Tyreek Hill has been extremely involved in the Chiefs’ offense. He’s commanded 28 total targets while touching the ball 26 times (23 receiving, 3 rushing). He’s a dynamic athlete and the coaching staff is finding ways to get him the ball in space. He’ll likely never have a high YPC (just 8.4 over the last three weeks), but he’ll pile up short receptions, an incredible value on a full PPR site like DraftKings. In a road matchup in Atlanta this week, Hill has major upside in a game where there should be plenty of offensive fireworks on both sides. As an added bonus, Hill returns both punts and kickoffs, so he also has an outside chance of earning 6.0 DraftKings points on a return touchdown.
Malcolm Mitchell, $3600, Projected 3.4x: After his Week 11 game where he notched 4-98-1 in an increased role with the absences of Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell put on a fantastic encore performance last week against the Jets. He only played 34 snaps, but he saw 7 targets and scored two touchdowns (and was a fingertip catch away from a hat trick). He’s been the Patriots’ best receiver outside the numbers this season, so perhaps he’ll continue to see targets regardless of the health of the other New England receivers. Luckily, his salary is so low that he doesn’t need much involvement to hit 3X value — just 10.8 DK points would do the trick. As near two-touchdown favorites against the Rams at home this weekend, the Patriots should come close to their lofty 29-point team total and give Mitchell the opportunity to continue his production.
Other Gridiron 3X WRs: Eli Rogers, Quincy Enunwa, Brandin Cooks, Antonio Brown, Mohamed Sanu, Tavon Austin, Mike Evans, Jordy Nelson, DeVante Parker, Tyrell Williams, Anquan Boldin, Doug Baldwin, Brandon LaFell, Seth Roberts
Ladarius Green, $2800, Projected 4.3x: Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin recently said he expected Ladarius Green to see increased reps as the season moves forward, which is a good sign for his fantasy prospects this weekend. Despite playing on limited snaps thus far this season, Green has been targeted on 26.4 percent of his snaps — a truly outstanding number. Even if his playing time increases slightly in Week 13, he’ll have enough opportunity to reach 3X value on his $2800 salary. With the Steelers’ home splits, everyone one on Pittsburgh’s offense receives a floor/ceiling bump this week, including Green.
Vance McDonald, $2900, Projected 3.7x: Over the last five weeks, Vance McDonald has seen at least six targets in every game, with only one game resulting in less than 45 receiving yards. His consistent usage in this offense has been key for DFS purposes, especially with a miniscule salary that’s never exceeded $3100. He’s caught at least four passes in each of the last four games, reaching 3X value in each of those contests. Stacking isn’t discussed often enough in cash games, especially if you’re playing head-to-heads. Pairing McDonald with Kaepernick in cash games not only gives you a safe floor, but it also gives you monstrous upside to help scoop 90-plus percent of your H2Hs.
Vernon Davis, $3300, Projected: 3.4x: Redskins’ tight end Jordan Reed has a Grade 3 shoulder separation, an injury that is tough from a pain management and mobility perspective. He’s going to attempt to play on Sunday, but there’s no guarantee that he can play as effectively as he did in the second half of the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. If he’s limited in any capacity, that will mean more looks in the passing game for Vernon Davis. Davis has had standalone value recently — he’s scored at least 11.8 DK points in three of the last four weeks. He has a great chance of reaching 3X value even if Jordan Reed is a full-go, but he has top-five upside at the position if Reed isn’t his usual self.
Other Gridiron 3X TEs: Lance Kendricks, Travis Kelce, Kyle Rudolph, Josh Hill, Julius Thomas, Jermaine Gresham, Coby Fleener, Antonio Gates, Cameron Brate, Tyler Eifert, Clive Walford[/wlm_ismember]
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.