Week 12 Daily Fantasy Football Preview: Sleepers, Busts and More

Week 12 of Daily Fantasy Football has finally arrived, as DraftKings provides us with a loaded 12-game slate on Sunday.

We already got a taste of what week 12 has to offer in NFL DFS this week, with a nice three-game Thanksgiving Day slate. There were plenty of strong options and a lot of points to go around, so hopefully you were able to find some success.

Today’s slate widens up considerably, so there is a little more room for error and better yet, more options to help differentiate yourself from others in giants NFL DFS GPP contests.

There are sleepers, trip ups, chalk and contrarian plays you’ll want to consider or avoid this week, of course, so let’s dive in:

Top NFL DFS Sleepers

  • Derek Carr, QB, Raiders ($6.1k)
  • Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants ($5.4k)
  • Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals ($4k)
  • Will Tye, TE, Giants ($3k)
  • New Orleans Saints ($2.8k)

Carr isn’t a true sleeper, but he’s at home, dirt cheap and has loads of upside. It’s also possible some may be a little down on him because he’s facing an improved Carolina defense, but with star linebacker Luke Kuechley out (concussion), they don’t promise to be the same scary unit.

Jennings is an easier sleeper call, as he comes in hot (20+ fantasy points last game) and faces a really bad Cleveland run defense. The Browns are mush and the G-Men are sure to want to run the ball a bit. Look for a solid outing out of Jennings.

Boyd is understandably riskier, but Cincy is down both A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard right now, so someone is going to have to step up in the passing game.

That very well could end up being Boyd, as the rook scored just last week and should be ready for an enhanced role.

Going back to that Giants/Browns game, we should take a hard look at Giants tight end, Will Tye. I don’t love him as a talent and he hasn’t blown up yet this year, but the matchup and price put him into play. Eli Manning also recently suggested he needs to get more involved, so perhaps that happens in week 12.

The Saints defense are also in play this week, and could be floating a bit under the radar because they’re simply not very good. All bets are off when raw rookie passer Jared Goff comes to town, however. The Saints have been playing a little better defensively, are cheap, are at home and get a really nice matchup. This isn’t a bad spot to roll the dice.

Players to Avoid

  • Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers ($5.4k)
  • Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons ($6.4k)
  • Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers ($7.5k)
  • Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs ($4k)
  • Carolina Panthers ($2.6k)

Anytime you’re going up against one of the top defenses in the league, there is cause for pause. That’s the case in the NFL DFS realm, too, as Winston gets a Seahawks pass defense that is 6th in the league against quarterbacks. They’ll be without stud safety Earl Thomas for the first time in his career, but this is still a situation to avoid.

Devonta Freeman could be totally fine at home this week, but two things throw us off of him a bit: a matchup with a nasty Arizona run defense and the fact that fellow running back Tevin Coleman returns to the field. Considering Freeman isn’t exactly cheap on DK, we’ll be taking a pass.

Ditto for Evans, as he’s the top pass-catcher for Winston in a brutal matchup.

That matchup is probably even worse for Evans, seeing as how he’s likely to have Richard Sherman shadowing him all game. Evans gets targeted a ridiculous amount and with PPR value alone, could still be a good play. However, he’s expensive and the matchup isn’t good, so we’ll look elsewhere for our stud receiver this week.

The same goes for Kelce at tight end, as he’s got a tough matchup with a good Broncos defense on the road. Kelce is hit or miss regardless of his matchup, so despite the solid price tag, we’re using other tight ends in week 12.

Carolina would normally be a fine defensive try, but they’re on the road against an explosive Raiders offense and they’re also without their top linebacker. They’re cheap and still have some upside, but this isn’t the best week to confide in them.

Top Chalk

  • Drew Brees, QB, Saints ($7.1k)
  • David Johnson, RB, Cardinals ($8.9k)
  • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants ($8.8k)
  • Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers ($5.8k)
  • Tennessee Titans ($2.8k)

Drew Brees at home is always a fun try, and that remains the case this week even though he’s facing a talented Rams defense. Los Angeles is hot and cold this year, but with a rookie quarterback possibly putting them in bad spots, this isn’t the day to bet against Brees.

Arizona could be in a difficult spot on the road against the Falcons this week, but don’t corner David Johnson into that tough spot. The stud runner has been amazing all year and in week 12 draws a very favorable matchup with Atlanta’s run defense that is just 29th against running backs. DJ is worth the steep price tag.

The same is probably true for Beckham, who could be shadowed by Joe Haden but still has upside for days against a challenged Cleveland defense. Odell is pricey, but chances are he can escape for a big play or two in this matchup.

Greg Olsen feels like the top tight end play this week, and it’s not even close. With The Gronk banged up and Jordan Reed done playing for the week, Olsen against a beatable Raiders defense feels like the way to go.

Matt Barkley takes the field this week for the Bears, which instantly puts the Titans in the running for team defense of the week. They’re not an elite unit by any means, but anytime you face a bad quarterback, it’s time to dive at defense.

Going Contrarian

  • Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers ($5.7k)
  • LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots ($5.9k)
  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans ($6.3k)
  • Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots ($6.9k)
  • Kansas City Chiefs ($3.2k)

If you want to take a step to the side in daily fantasy football, look no further than Kaep, who has been surprisingly solid lately with 16+ fantasy points in every start he’s made. Miami’s defense has been much improved, but he can run the ball and get some plays down the field. At this price, he’s a solid gamble.

Blount runs in a great offense and is no DFS secret, but many will be off of him this week as he faces a brutal Jets front seven. They’re good, but their pass defense stinks and the Pats will probably move the ball at will. If Blount can muster even 50 total yards and a score, he’s a win.

Nuk is on high alert this week, as his salary has dropped to an all-time low despite a nice matchup with a shaky Chargers defense.

Hopkins is an amazing talent and really has just been held back by the inept Brock Osweiler. As bad as it’s been, the talent/price/matchup combo are too good to ignore.

As banged up as Gronkowski is (chest), he still might play this week. If so, you could be one of the few paying up for him in hopes the studly version hits the field and dominates. While certainly a risky move, it could pay off in a big way in a week where tight end isn’t overly strong.

The Chiefs could also be a sneaky play, as they’ve been dominant lately, yet many will doubt their ability to rule the Broncos in Denver. We need to remember how gifted this defense is, however, as well as how bad the Broncos can be offensively with Trevor Siemian and a banged up running game. It’s not a safe play, but it oddly could be a smart one.

That does it four our week 12 daily fantasy football breakdown. Hopefully our insight helps you win big. Regardless, good luck in your NFL DFS contests this week!

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