Well, there goes Johnny Manziel. Thanks to video of Johnny Football partying over Cleveland’s bye week, the Browns have benched him for what seems to be the remainder of the regular season. That takes Manziel off of our week 12 list of daily fantasy football value buys, but it also open the door to another stellar option.
Let’s take a look at who else joins McCown as quality value plays this week:
Note: All bargain buys for week 12 are listed at $6k or cheaper based off of DraftKings pricing.
QB: Marcus Mariota – Titans ($5.5k), Jameis Winston – Buccaneers ($5.5k), Kirk Cousins – Redskins ($5.4k), Jay Cutler – Bears ($5.1k) and Josh McCown – Browns ($5k)
Mariota destroyed the Saints three games ago and has regressed a bit against two tougher matchups, but should have another tasty matchup again this week. The Raiders don’t defend the pass all that well and Mariota is at home, so there’s a chance he gets it going. He’s a low risk/high upside play at this price.
The same can be said for fellow rookie Winston, who is fresh off of an insane 5-touchdown outing. I doubt he’ll be good for five scores again, but the Colts aren’t the scariest defense in the world and his price is still solid. He’s also been safe for most of the year, so the recent progress he’s shown is rather encouraging.
I’m not overly into Kirk Cousins or Jay Cutler, but they’re both worse cursory glances. Cousins was lights out two weeks ago and again has a nice matchup this week. Cutler struggled a bit against the Broncos last week, but has mostly been strong all year and also gets a beatable Green Bay defense.
The most obvious value of the week was Johnny Manziel, but he made an idiot move and is now probably done as a Browns player. McCown is thrust back into a huge role and we’ve seen him fare quite well at the controls. In fact, he absolutely destroyed the Ravens in a thriller earlier this year, so the ceiling is fairly high for him this week. For the minimum, he’ll be worth the gamble.
RB: Chris Ivory – Jets ($5.8k), Doug Martin – Buccaneers ($5.8k), DeAngelo Williams – Steelers ($5.7k), LeSean McCoy – Bills ($5.3k), Eddie Lacy – Packers ($4.7k) and Thomas Rawls – Seahawks ($4.5k)
Ivory routinely crushes heads at home, as he’s averaging 22 fantasy points per game in New York. He’s regressed a bit recently, but his two worst games of the year have been on the road. I like him to bounce back this week, while the Dolphins aren’t really a defense to fear (he dropped 166 yards and a touchdown on them last time).
Doug Martin is also very much in play in daily fantasy football this week. Obviously he crushed last week with over 200 yards rushing, but a matchup with a shaky Colts defense also is tempting to chase after. Shady needs to be mentioned just because his price is absurdly low for how talented he is, while his role and upside make him a borderline must-use running back. D-Will could be in a similar discussion, as he has a monster role and crazy upside, but will face a strong Seahawks defense in Seattle. I like all three of those guys, but they may have lower floors than usual.
I like Lacy to a degree, as long as he can get the touches he needs. He ran with a purpose in last week’s win over the Vikes, getting 100 rushing yards and looking good in the process. His second best game of the year came in week one versus the Bears, so I like his chances to post solid back-to-back games.
Rawls may be the value play of the week for running backs, as he put up even more yards than Doug Martin last week and should be the starter with Marshawn Lynch still banged up. Rawls doesn’t have the easiest matchup in the world but he’s at home and will have a monster role to lean on.
WR: Eric Decker – Jets ($5.8k), Sammy Watkins – Bills ($5.2k), John Brown – Cardinals ($5k), Vincent Jackson – Buccaneers ($4.7k) and Stevie Johnson – Chargers ($4.5k)
Eric Decker didn’t score last week but he still topped 10 fantasy points for the 9th time this season. That’s every single game he’s played, for those keeping score at home. He’s one of the safesty plays there is at wide receiver, albeit with a little less upside than some more expensive plays around his price range. Watkins is a shade below Decker due to a lack of stability, but he carries much more upside. He’s a value heading into week 12, even though a daunting battle with an increasingly scary Chiefs defense awaits.
John Brown has slipped lately with Michael Floyd ascending the Arizona ranks, but he scored last week and it looks like anyone can go off in this Cardinals offense at any time. He’ll carry some risk but he’s a good value and has a solid matchup against the Niners.
Vincent Jackson can be hit or miss at times, but he’s back to full strength, scored last week and is a pretty ridiculous value. He’s worth a shot for a score with Vontae Davis likely trying to slow down Mike Evans first in week 12. Stevie Johnson drops down in the upside department, but considering how much DK rewards you for receptions, he’s a pretty solid play for his price. Johnson is locked into a key role in San Diego’s passing game and has notched 7 catches in each of his last two outings. He’s a safe, cheap play this week.
TE: Tyler Eifert – Bengals ($5.8k), Jimmy Graham – Seahawks ($4.8k), Gary Barnidge – Browns ($4.8k), Antonio Gates – Chargers ($4.7k) and Heath Miller – Steelers ($3.1k)
Rob Gronkowski has now disappointed as a proposed stud in two of the past three weeks, so you may want to find value at tight end more than any other position in week 12. Eifert feels like the most obvious choice, as he’s still not even $6k and can get you top shelf production fairly easily. Even when he’s catching just three balls he can still threaten for 1-2 scores, so he’s a low risk/high upside play.
Graham has been really spare for about three games now, but he’s bound to bust out again soon due to his sheer talent. Russell Wilson seems to have come alive a bit after last week and facing a Steelers defense that struggles against tight ends could help their connection a lot.
I felt pretty good about Barnidge even with Manziel under center, but the switch back to McCown helps him a ton. McCown has had a ton of success with Barnidge, with the tight end specifically sporting a nasty 8-139-1 line against the very Ravens Cleveland face this week.
Antonio Gates is always worth a mention and he faces the lowly Jaguars this week. Just keep in mind he doesn’t seem to be healthy. The other play could be Heath Miller, who seems to carry some solid upside when Big Ben is playing. It doesn’t hurt that Seattle hasn’t exactly shut down tight ends in 2015.
All team defenses are well below $6k, so we’ll keep it at or under $3k for our value buys column. The Bengals kick things off, as they’re generally a pretty steady unit and they face a Rams offense led by Case Keenum. St. Louis does have Todd Gurley, but they have little else going for them. The Bengals should be a pretty popular DFS play.
Baltimore is definitely going to be in play this week just because the Browns seem to be a hot mess in general. Josh McCown could light them up like he did earlier this year, but the Browns can’t run the ball and haven’t been generating many points on offense.
Houston doesn’t have the easiest matchup against Drew Brees in the Saints, but it’s worth noting New Orleans isn’t quite as formidable out on the road. The Texans play host and they’ve been quite dominant over their past three games. At their super low price, they’re worth a shot. The Buccaneers can be thrown in that conversation, too, as they’re the same price and are coming off of a strong performance in Philly. They get Matt Hasselbeck and a lackluster Colts offense.
The Browns are dysfunctional as can be, but they’re facing Mr. Pick-Six, himself, Matt Schaub. The Ravens are down Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett and Steve Smith, so their offense could be as close to lifeless as it gets.
That does it for our week 12 DFS value picks. Keep in mind that there are always more value plays to be had and we can’t possibly touch on every true value for the week. Regardless of which way you lean, good luck in daily fantasy football this week!
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