Week 12 Daily Fantasy Football: Building the Optimal Lineup

Our week 11 daily fantasy football optimal lineup was a borderline success, save for a major whiff on Martellus Bennett and a so-so outing by Jordan Reed.

That team would have placed nicely in most cash game leagues, but lacked the overall upside of other teams that featured the likes of Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson.

Week 12 could be another interesting week, as several options stand out above the rest – especially with the main slate showcasing just 12 games due to a three-game Thanksgiving Day slate on Thursday.

While some stellar options are already off the board thanks to Turkey Day, there is still a gem of a NFL DFS lineup to be had. Here’s our favorite version, showcasing some serious value and our favorite elite plays for week 12:

QB: Carson Palmer – Cardinals ($5.3k)

You always want value at the quarterback position, but Carson Palmer almost being the minimum is insane. It’s true that he hasn’t been great in 2016 and he’ll be on the road this week, but the talent, weapons and matchup are all there for the veteran to have a huge game.

Palmer has been a bit better from a DFS perspective lately, too, with two games over 20 fantasy points in his last three tries. This week Arizona has a huge game ahead of them, and it’s against a weak Falcons defense that ranks dead last against quarterbacks on the year.

Palmer may not be safe, but at this price and with this matchup, we can’t pass on him.

RB: Lamar Miller – Texans ($5.8k)

Ditto for Miller, who can be a total stud – as evidenced by a stout 22 fantasy points last week. Miller is a bit banged up, but we’re firing him up as long as he’s active, as he’s been good to great all year long and in week 12 has a tasty matchup.

Miller will be running against a shaky Chargers defense, which has been better ever since adding Joey Bosa to the front line, but over their last four games still rank just 21st against running backs.

Houston needs to run the ball to win, so as long as Miller is out there, he’ll be worth a look at this low price.

RB: Thomas Rawls – Seahawks ($5.7k)

The same goes for Rawls, who has been sprinkled into the offense more and more the past two weeks and in week 12 looks to have Seattle’s backfield all to himself with C.J. Prosise (shoulder) out.

That could be huge, especially since Rawls will face a middling Tampa Bay defense that ranks just 21st against opposing rushers. The Bucs aren’t the most amazing matchup out there, but Seattle wants to run the ball and Rawls is cheap with a good role. This feels like the week to dive all in with Rawls.

WR: Amari Cooper – Raiders ($7.7k)

Cooper looks like a fine elite play at wide receiver this week, seeing as he’s chipped in 10+ fantasy points in three straight games and will be at home with a plus matchup.

Carolina has undeniably improved on defense lately, but they’re also a bit banged up and come in ranking 25th against wide receivers.

Cooper can kill them with the big play or a litany of targets. Either way, the price isn’t bad and the matchup is good enough to feel good about Cooper this week.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals ($7k)

If we’re taking the dive with a cheap Palmer, we might as well stack Fitzgerald, who happens to be his top target. The living legend continues to get the job done, as he’s topped at least 10 fantasy points in every single game this year and still possesses strong upside.

That’s even more so the case this week, as Fitz and co. get a porous Falcons defense. Atlanta isn’t just giving up numbers to quarterbacks, either, as they also rank just 28th against wide receivers in 2016.

WR: Tyler Boyd – Bengals ($4k)

Boyd is certainly a risk for the GPP gamer in you, but there is logic behind using him with both A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard out.

Green’s exit opens Boyd’s role up tremendously and it’s quite possible the rookie finally is allowed to spread his wings in Cincy’s offense. He actually scored last week and at this low price, may be a must-try value play against a Baltimore pass defense ranking 30th against wide receivers on the year.

TE: Greg Olsen – Panthers ($5.8k)

Olsen has had a rough stretch lately (fewer than 10 fantasy points in three of his last four games), but this week he gets a very beatable Oakland pass defense and it really feels like his next big game is just around the corner.

Not only does everything set up for Olsen well this week (Raiders rank 25th versus tight ends), but he’s also a solid price in a week where the tight end position is sapped greatly on the main slate at DK. He seems like the best play and even if he’s chalk as can be, we don’t see another option that will steer us away.

FLEX: Todd Gurley – Rams ($5.7k)

There is no getting around Gurley’s lack of upside in 2016, as opposing defenses are shutting him down at all costs and limiting his big play potential.

Even with that being the case, he’s just too great of a value at this low price and he still offers the ability to exceed what you’re paying.

Gurley especially could come up big in week 12, when he draws a matchup with a shaky Saints defense that ranks 30th against running backs on the year. It’s quite possible Gurley gets held in check yet again, but if there was a week for him to blow up, this might be it.

DEF: Tennessee Titans ($2.8k)

There is still some chatter about Jay Cutler (shoulder) possibly not being out for the year, but it doesn’t sound good for him to play in week 12.

That places the erratic Matt Barkley in a tough spot versus a capable Titans defense that needs to keep winning for a shot at the AFC South crown. Heck, even if Cutler did hit the field, the Titans still possess upside at a discounted rate.

That does it for our look at the best week 12 daily fantasy football lineup. Even if you don’t use this exact lineup in your NFL DFS contests, we hope you win big this week!

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