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DFS NFL Week 12 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Here we are again, Rush Nation. Welcome back to DFS NFL Week 12.

I just wanted to start off by saying, first of all, happy Thanksgiving to our brothers and sisters across the pond! Thanksgiving isn’t a celebrated holiday in the United Kingdom, sadly. It does however give us plenty reason to eat good food, and enjoy the Football that comes thick and fast over the Thanksgiving weekend.

For this reason, this is one of my favourite weekends of the season. Rather than the one Thursday night game, we are treated to 3 back-to-back! Two at watchable start times, too. Music to the ears of any keen football fan on these shores.

At the time of writing this, I am still on a high from watching the Rams beat the Buccaneers in Tampa (sorry Murf!). A result I desperately needed, if only to overcome the sorrows of a poor DFS showing in week 11!

The Week 11 Review

Jameis Winston didn’t really pan out the way we had hoped. When i say he didn’t pan out, he never even featured in the game. He was beaten to the starting role by Taysom Hill. This provoked a late pivot on Friday to Kirk Cousins, who did put up a respectable score of 26.96 in the Vikings’ embarrassing loss to the Dallas Cowboys. This was a nicely correlated stack, as we also had Justin Jefferson in the flex position. He finished the game with 17.60 Draft King points, with 86 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Due to the increased price at Quarterback, Diontae Johnson was sacrificed for DJ Moore. There fortunately wasn’t much of a sacrifice in the performance, though. Moore managed a score of 24.80, whereas Johnson clocked in with 26.10. That kind of drop off I can stomach if it helps gain elsewhere.

A Tale of two Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor enjoyed his most productive week since week 6. He rushed for 90 yards against the Packers, his performance arguably merited a touchdown that it was sadly never rewarded with. Still, he finished the game with 15.40 points, not bad for his modest price tag of $5,800.

Our other Running back, Alvin Kamara, flopped. A score of 10.50 is nowhere near high enough for a player of his calibre, nor was it enough to justify his $9,200 price in week 11. The start of Taysom Hill may have had an impact on this. Hopefully it is just an anomaly for the dual-threat Back, who had his worst performance of the season, points scoring wise at least. That could be a situation to monitor in weeks to come.

On the whole, week 11 wasn’t a diabolical showing. The rest of the line up was littered with below average scores, though. That is ultimately what tripped me up. When you invest in players like Alvin Kamara or Terry McLaurin, it has to translate to a respectable output.

DFS NFL Week 12 picks

Right then, on to my DFS NFL week 12 recommendations! The aim as always will be to seek out those players at a bargain price. The players who are potentially underpriced but could over perform their price tag.

As was the case in previous weeks, player prices will reflect Draft Kings prices. The points scored will also reflect Draft Kings point scoring, which differs slightly from standard Fantasy points.

QB – Derek Carr ($5,700) @ Falcons

There’s a nice stack at a reasonable price this week, and it comes in the shape of two Raiders players. We start things off with one out of the two, Derek Carr, who’s quietly having a solid campaign. This season, Carr has 19 passing touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Last week 10, Carr continued his form by taking the Chiefs right to the wire. He threw for 275 yards on 23 completions (31 attempted passes), and managed 3 passing Touchdowns.

In week 12, he has an easier match up against the Falcons. Atlanta are giving up an average of 28.9 Draft King points to the position. They’re also ranked as the worst team in the league against Tight Ends, so this is a great match up for Derek Carr. We’ll come back to the Tight End position a little further on, but at this price, Derek Carr deserves some consideration for your lineup in week 12.

RB – Giovani Bernard ($5,700) vs Giants

In his last two starts, Giovani Bernard has been less than productive. However, two weeks prior, he posted back-to-back 20+ point weeks. Joe Mixon has now been placed on the Injured Reserve list, meaning the lion’s share of the carries should be distributed between Bernard and Perine. In terms of the matchup here, this isn’t a difficult one to recommend. The Giants have given up 26.4 Draft King points on average per game to Running Backs. That warrants a bottom 10 rank against the position. Now that Joe Burrow is sadly out for the season, I can see the Bengals leaning more on their ground game and their experienced heads.

The only threat to Bernard’s production is the presence of Samaje Perine. Up until last week, Bernard had involvement in least 60% of his team’s snaps. That changed in week 11 though, the snap count was more evenly split, 54% to 46% in Bernard’s favour. If for that reason, you want to avoid Cincinnati Running Backs, I completely understand. However, avoiding them all together may be something you look back on with regret, especially given their week 12 opposition.

WR – Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,000) vs Titans

After an injury hit start to his Rookie campaign, Michael Pittman is now starting to show why the Colts placed their faith in him, selecting him with the 34th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. In his last two starts, Pittman has come alive. The former USC Receiver posted a score of 22.2 in week 10 and followed this up with 15.6 in week 11. Though he wasn’t targeted as much last week, he still managed a very efficient 66 yards on 3 receptions, scoring a touchdown in the process. Since week 9, Pittman has seen the field for at least 80% of the Colts offensive snaps.

He finds himself in a favourable matchup in week 12, against the Titans. They surrender an average of 43.5 points per game to the Receiver position, ranked 6th worst in the NFL. They don’t allow a huge amount of passing touchdowns, but their yards allowed against Wide Receivers sits at 4th worst in the league, 1873 yards over the season thus far. I can see this being a shootout game, both teams likely needing to pass the ball, which of course will favour receivers. The Colts haven’t had a lot of production from the Receivers position this season, especially with T.Y. Hilton, who looks like a shell of his former self. Therefore, I would expect Pittman to be involved often.

TE – Darren Waller ($6,000) @ Falcons

Picking up right where he left off last season, Darren Waller is the Raiders number 1 target in their passing game. Given that I favour Derek Carr to have a good week against the Falcons, it makes perfect sense to assume Darren Waller will do the same. On the season so far, Waller has 60 receptions on 83 targets, for 519 yards. He has added Touchdowns to his game this season, too. In his last campaign, Waller only found the endzone 3 times. In contrast, through week 11, he now has 5 touchdowns. Everything is trending in the right direction for Darren Waller who is enjoying another good year.

He faces The Atlanta Falcons in week 12, who are the league’s worst team against Tight Ends. So far this season, the Falcons have given up a per game average of 16.8 Draft King Points to the position. They have also given up 8 receiving touchdowns in this category too. I think this game has the hallmarks of a shootout, which should favour Waller. Despite being one of the more expensive Tight Ends available, I would confidently say Waller should be in your lineups this week. The Tight End position doesn’t often see a huge amount of production in terms of points output. However, we don’t have that same risk with a Tight End like Darren Waller, who has a per game points average of 14.4. He’s basically the Raiders WR1.

D/ST – Bills ($2,700) vs Chargers

The only downside to this pick is that this game is likely to be a high scorer. That is if the trend and form is to be considered for both teams involved. The Bills have been involved in plenty of high scoring affairs this season, but it doesn’t stop their defense scoring points. Just looking back to week 9, the Bills conceded 34 points to the Seahawks, but still managed to score 12.0 Draft King points. That score for a defense will likely see them in the top 5 for that specific week’s scoring. Early in the season, the Bills defense was struggling to turn the ball over consistently. This has changed recently, though. In their last 4 games, they have had 9 total turnovers. This gives the Bills Defense the ability to score respectably in this format, even in games where the Bills concede points.

Introducing the starting line up for DFS NFL week 12…

Finally, to round out the picks, here is my initially proposed team for DFS NFL Week 12. As always, this is subject to change come gameday:

QB – Derek Carr ($5,700) @ Falcons
RB1 – Giovani Bernard ($5,700) vs Giants
RB2 – Nick Chubb ($7,100) @ Jaguars
WR1 – Curtis Samuel ($5,100) @ Vikings
WR2 – Sterling Shepard ($5,100) @ Bengals
WR3 – Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,000) vs Titans
TE – Darren Waller ($6,000) @ Falcons
Flex – Stefon Diggs ($7,600) vs Chargers
D/ST – Bills ($2,700) vs Chargers

Budget remaining – $0

Players in form

Nick Chubb doesn’t appear to have missed a beat during his time on IR. Since returning to the Browns starting lineup, he has had scores of 21.6 and 14.4. The higher of these two scores could have been even more, had Chubb not stepped out of bounds at the 1 yard line purposely for the benefit of his team. This week he faces the Jacksonville Jaguars, who on average have conceded 27.4 points to the Running Back position.

There’s a lot of receivers available this week around the $5,000 bracket that you could slot into your lineups for week 12. I have opted to go with the in-form Curtis Samuel. He has averaged 19.2 Draft King points per game over the last 4 weeks. That number would put him amongst the league’s elite at the Receiver position. Carolina appears to have found a way to use Samuel effectively, contributing both in receptions and out of the backfield on sweeps. That dual-threat makes him impossible to ignore at this price. He also has a reliable pair of hands. Samuel ranks second in catch percentage in the whole of the NFL, with just under 85% of his targets caught.

Reliability is key

Sterling Shepard is another receiver with a reliable pair of hands. He ranks 4th in the NFL in catch percentage, with just under 81% of targets hauled in! His price is around the average you will him at now, but he does give good production at that price. In 5 of his 6 games he’s played, he has finished the week with a double figure score. This week, he has a favourable matchup against the Bengals. Their Defense has allowed 14 touchdowns against opposition Receivers this season, and a total of 1753 receiving yards.

Stefon Diggs has become about as safe a pick as you can find. His average points per game sits at 20.0 for the season. He is the Bills clear go-to Receiver with 73 receptions from 101 targets. He sits just behind DeAndre Hopkins for the most receiving yards this season, he has 906 in total. Diggs also sees a huge percentage of his team’s air yards. He is priced like an elite receiver, but he’s almost guaranteed to give you elite level production. I think the Bills and Chargers could be a high scorer, which again should help contribute to Diggs’ output.

Best of luck with your DFS NFL Week 12 picks, Rush Nation. Happy Thanksgiving to our readers from across the water. Be sure to listen to our Daily Fantasy Sport podcast here at 5-Yard Rush! We will be bringing you even more picks and opinions on the best player picks of the week.

-Nick Owen (@nickofwigan)

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