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FFL: Week 12 | NFL: Week 12

RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 7

Fri Oct 18 10:05am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Engram poised for big Week 7


With the Browns, Panthers, Steelers and Buccaneers all on a bye for Week 7, we are missing some of the most impactful players in the world of DFS. However, that doesn’t mean there still aren’t a lot of great options to consider. Let’s break down each position and discuss both some players to target and some to keep out of your lineup-making process.

QUARTERBACKS

Top-tier option: Jared Goff, LAR at ATL ($6,100): Goff might not be the most expensive quarterback on the slate, but he’s certainly one of the most appealing ones. Despite compiling just 78 passing yards last week against the 49ers, he can be productive in the right matchup. Case in point, he had 517 passing yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 against a bad Bucs’ secondary. The Falcons have been almost as dreadful, allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game in the league and 15 touchdown passes.

Cheap target: Gardner Minshew II, JAC at CIN ($5,800): I had Minshew here last week, as well, but he flopped with 163 yards and a pick against the Saints. Don’t let one bad performance get you down on Minshew Mania. This is a prime spot for him to bounce back with a great stat line considering the Bengals will likely be without two of their top cornerbacks in Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and William Jackson (shoulder).

Player to avoid: Teddy Bridgewater, NO at CHI ($5,800): Minshew wasn’t the only quarterback to have a quiet performance in that Saints-Jaguars game. Bridgewater wasn’t as bad, but he finished with only 240 passing yards and one touchdown. He’s thrown for 240 yards or fewer in three of his four starts and has two games with one or no touchdown passes. Facing a Bears’ defense that is one of the stingiest in the league is not the time to deploy Bridgewater in DFS.

RUNNING BACKS

Top-tier option: Leonard Fournette, JAC at CIN ($7,200): The secondary won’t be the only area of concern for the Bengals. They have been chewed up by opposing running backs, allowing the most rushing yards per game and the most rushing touchdowns. Fournette has been a workhorse with 115 carries and 36 targets, leaving him with a tremendously high floor in this matchup.

Cheap target: Devin Singletary, BUF vs. MIA ($5,700): Singletary hasn’t been on the field since going down with a hamstring injury in Week 2. The good news is the bye week seems to have helped him since he’s been listed as a full participant in practice. While he’ll still have to share the workload with Frank Gore, being priced this low makes him a viable target against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards per game.

Player to avoid: Melvin Gordon, LAC at TEN ($6,700): It hasn’t been pretty in two games since Gordon returned from his contract holdout. The Chargers have given him 20 carries, but he’s only turned that into 49 yards while failing to find his way into the end zone. Austin Ekeler will continue to steal some snaps from him and the Titans have only allowed three rushing touchdowns this season, so I’m not taking a chance on Gordon at this price. Pay the extra $500 and roll with Fournette.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Top-tier option: Cooper Kupp, LAR at ATL ($7,100): With Goff tanking last week, Kupp had only four catches for 17 yards on six targets. Considering he had at least 101 receiving yards in each of his previous four contests, I’m largely ignoring last week’s dud. With the Falcons’ struggles to defend the pass already detailed, a Rams stack with Goff and Kupp has a great chance to be profitable.

Cheap target: John Brown, BUF vs. MIA ($5,600): The addition of Brown to the Bills’ offense has been seamless so far, catching 28 of 39 targets for 390 yards and a touchdown through five games. He hasn’t received fewer than five targets in any game, reaching at least 10 targets two times. The Dolphins have allowed 14 touchdown passes and the seventh-most passing yards per game, leaving Brown with plenty of upside at this reasonable price.

Player to avoid: Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. SF ($5,600): If there is someone to be excited about on the Redskins, it’s McLaurin. The rookie looks like one of the building blocks for the franchise, posting 23 catches, 408 yards and five touchdowns through five games. However, the 49ers defense has been excellent, resulting in them allowing the fewest passing yards per game. There will be plenty of weeks down the road in which you’ll want to target McLaurin, but this isn’t one of them.

TIGHT ENDS

Top-tier option: Evan Engram, NYG vs. ARI ($5,900): The Giants sorely missed Engram last week against the Patriots. He’s been one of the staples of their offense, posting 33 receptions, 373 receiving yards and two touchdowns across five games. He hasn’t received fewer than seven targets in any contest and should be back this week for a prime matchup against a Cardinals’ defense that has been destroyed by opposing tight ends. No need to overthink this one.

Cheap target: Hunter Henry, LAC at TEN ($5,000): In need of some help in the passing game, the Chargers finally got some relief last week with the return of Henry. He immediately made his presence felt, catching eight of nine targets for 100 yards and two touchdowns. While the two touchdowns will likely be hard to replicate this week, the target share shouldn’t. With that kind of volume, he can provide value at this price.

Player to avoid: Eric Ebron, IND vs. HOU ($4,400): Since we’re talking about volume, now’s a good time to bring up Ebron. He hasn’t been overly involved in the Colts’ offense with only 20 targets through five games. That has resulted in three games in which he caught only one pass. While he’s always a threat in the red zone, having a healthy Jack Doyle will continue to limit his opportunities. Henry has significantly more upside, and while the $600 price difference is nothing to sneeze at, it isn’t large enough to warrant rolling with Ebron.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Player Notes
Aaron Rodgers Nov 21 3:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers draws a Week 12 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, who have allowed only 142.5 passing yards a game, best in the league. Rodgers has thrown for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in just four of 10 games this year, as the Packers have gone more run-heavy at times. There's no doubt the 49ers have been good, though Rodgers will be just the fourth quarterback they've faced who ranks in the top-10 in QB fantasy points. The 35-year-old will be under duress against the league's best pass rush and could take off and run several times- the 49ers have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to QBs. Rodgers is talented enough to do damage, but he's just a low-end QB1 this week at best.

From RotoBaller

Mason Rudolph Nov 21 3:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's suspension appeal was upheld by the NFL, and he is suspended for the rest of the season and postseason. He can apply for reinstatement when the season ends. Garrett lost his cool at the end of last Thursday's game and hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet. Garrett claimed in his appeal that Rudolph used a racial slur before the incident, but Rudolph is denying those allegations. Losing Garrett the rest of the way is a big blow to Cleveland's defense, but they'll remain a strong streaming consideration with the Dolphins coming to town in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Nov 21 2:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) is not at practice again on Thursday. Green was close to returning to action a few weeks ago, but a setback has now made it questionable as to whether he'll even play at all in 2019. As of right now it looks like that won't happen, so most fantasy owners have dropped Green in recent weeks. Even if he were to suit up down the stretch, he wouldn't be a recommended starting option with the playoffs quickly approaching. Auden Tate (concussion) looks doubtful for Week 12 against the Steelers, so Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson and Stanley Morgan Jr. could comprise three-receiver sets. Look elsewhere for fantasy production.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Nov 21 2:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers Auden Tate (concussion) and Stanley Morgan Jr. missed their second straight practice this week on Thursday. With A.J. Green (ankle) likely to miss another game, Cincy's receiving corps is in dire straights. Expect Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson to be the top two receivers, but they won't have much fantasy appeal with rookie Ryan Finley looking bad under center the last two games. Rookie Damion Willis would be the No. 3 wideout if both Tate and Morgan are unable to play. This is obviously a situation to avoid at all costs.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Nov 21 2:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf), who is questionable for Thursday night against the Texans, believes he's good to go. The Colts don't have any issues with him not practicing and playing in Week 12. The Texans have been game-planning for him to play and expect him to be on the field. You'll still want to check the inactives later just to make sure, but Hilton will immediately return to WR2 value against a team that he's typically destroyed in the past. Houston's secondary continues to be vulnerable again in 2019 as well. Hilton's return boosts quarterback Jacoby Brissett's outlook, while it will hurt Zach Pascal the most.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Nov 21 2:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (foot) wasn't seen at practice on Thursday for the second straight day. Freeman is expected to miss at least another game, so he should be planted firmly on benches for Week 12 against the Buccaneers. Tampa has surprisingly been one of the best against the run in 2019, so backup Brian Hill shouldn't be expected to do any better than his disappointing performance in Week 11 in place of Freeman. Hill should be considered a low-end RB3 as the leader of this backfield until Freeman is ready to return.

From RotoBaller

Darius Slayton Nov 21 2:10pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton finds himself in a tough spot on Sunday, even with injuries to Evan Engram (foot) and Sterling Shepard (concussion). The rookie wide receiver has been a revelation as Daniel Jones' deep-ball option, but the Bears are the fourth-best defense in the NFL against the pass and have only given up four touchdowns all season. More problematically, the average yards per target against the Bears is only 7.36 yards, which is fourth-fewest in the league. With a strong secondary and a fierce pass rush, quarterbacks get the ball out quickly on underneath routes, which are not the type Slayton runs. He's more of a WR4 and wouldn't be playable if Shepard returns to action.

From RotoBaller

Aldrick Rosas Nov 21 2:10pm ET

New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas hasn't been much of a fantasy option all year, but he's certainly not going to be one against the Bears. Chicago has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing kickers, and the short-handed Giants offense will likely find it hard to move the ball against the Bears Defense. Look for value in another place.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Nov 21 2:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) is back at practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Jones was just being rested as a precaution on Wednesday. He'll be just fine to face the Buccaneers in Week 12. The veteran hasn't scored since Sept. 22, but he should be peppered with targets with tight end Austin Hooper (knee) out another game, and Tampa's secondary continues to get roasted this season. We'd be surprised if Jones didn't go over 100 yards or score a touchdown in Week 12. He's a must-start.

From RotoBaller

Saquon Barkley Nov 21 2:00pm ET

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley gets a surprisingly strong matchup on Sunday against the Bears. Despite the widely-held belief that the Bears are an elite defense, they actually rank 23rd in PPR fantasy points allowed to running backs at 25.7 points per game. They gave up 29.8 points to Todd Gurley and a struggling Rams offense last week, and the Giants figure to have spent the bye week trying to get Barkley back on track after his historically bad 13-yard game last week. Fire him up with confidence in season-long leagues, and he might a solid DFS option since he's likely to be under-owned.

From RotoBaller

Golden Tate Nov 21 2:00pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate will be a risky play on Sunday, even with Evan Engram (foot) and Sterling Shepard (concussion) possibly out. The Bears Defense has been 12th in the NFL in points allowed to slot receivers over the last four weeks, giving up only 39 yards per game and no touchdowns over that stretch. Tate might be the Giants' top option, so he figures to accrue better numbers than that, but his upside is severely limited against a good secondary that can focus on him with other guys out. He's more of a WR3 in PPR leagues and a player to avoid in DFS.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Nov 21 1:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (knee) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Agholor is on the wrong side of questionable unless he returns to practice on Friday. The 26-year-old hasn't really been a fantasy option unless Alshon Jeffery is hurt, and even then he has mostly underwhelmed. He had four catches for 40 yards with Jeffery out in Week 11 against the Patriots. Even if Jeffery misses another game and Agholor is active, he'll be a low-upside WR4/flex this Sunday against the Seahawks. Jeffery has been practicing this week, too, so he could be on track to return. Nobody else in the receiving corps is trustworthy in Philly.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Jones Nov 21 1:50pm ET

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is down his top receiving target and facing a top-five defense against the pass this week. That's all you need to know if you're thinking about playing Jones in fantasy. With Evan Engram (foot) out and Sterling Shepard (concussion) still not cleared to play, the rookie quarterback will be short-handed against a Bears Defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Bears meanwhile have the 22nd-best run defense, so Saquon Barkley will be the focus for the Giants. Look elsewhere at quarterback.

From RotoBaller

Adrian Peterson Nov 21 1:40pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (toe) was not spotted at practice on Thursday. If he's officially out of practice, it'll be his second straight missed day ahead of Week 12 against the Lions. Peterson is in danger of missing the game this weekend as he fights through turf toe. Making matters worse for his fantasy value is the return of Derrius Guice last week and the impending return of Chris Thompson (toe), who has returned to practice this week. Even were Peterson to play this Sunday, he'd likely take a back seat to Guice on early downs and could lose even more valuable touches to Thompson. We hope you aren't planning on relying on the veteran back the rest of the way.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Nov 21 1:10pm ET

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said that quarterback Mitch Trubisky (hip) had a good practice on Wednesday, but he's still "day-to-day." Nagy called Trubisky's practice on Wednesday "a step in the right direction." Unless Trubisky has a setback in practice, he should be in line to start under center in Week 12 against the Giants. The matchup is a good one, but Trubisky needs to be far from starting lineups as one of the worst QBs in the league in 2019. He ranks 28th in the league in total yards (1,580) and is also tied with the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Case Keenum with just nine touchdowns all year. Another bad game and we could see Chase Daniel starting in Week 13 or sooner.

From RotoBaller

Atlanta Falcons Nov 21 12:40pm ET

The Falcons Defense has been on a tear since the team's Week 9 bye. Over the past two weeks, they have held the Saints and Panthers to a total of 12 points while recording 11 sacks. They also forced four Kyle Allen interceptions in Week 11. This week, the team plays the Buccaneers, who lead the league in interceptions thrown (18) and have given up 36 sacks on the year. While Jameis Winston and company might put up some points on the Falcons as they average 27.7 points per game, the sacks and turnovers should make up for it. The Falcons were so bad defensively for the first half of the year that their defense should be considered a low-end starting option at best, but there's certainly reason to believe they've turned a corner and could put up good production for the third straight week in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Jaeden Graham Nov 21 12:30pm ET

There is certainly an argument that Atlanta Falcons tight end Jaeden Graham deserves start consideration for Week 12. Austin Hooper (knee) has been ruled out for the game and Graham was the only Falcons tight end to receive a target with Hooper sidelined in Week 11. Furthermore, Julio Jones (foot) is currently questionable for the game and if he sits or plays at less than 100%, Graham would certainly get at least a minor boost. Graham reeled in both of his targets in Week 11 for 23 yards. He was unfortunately out-snapped in the game by fellow tight end Luke Stocker. Stocker played 43 snaps while Graham logged 34. Stocker has nine targets on the year compared with Graham's four. The tight end situation with Hooper out is likely more of a 50/50 split than a one-man show. Avoid starting Graham until further notice.

From RotoBaller

Younghoe Koo Nov 21 12:30pm ET

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has hit seven of his eight field goal attempts and all six of his extra-point attempts in his two games with the Falcons. This week, the Falcons face the Buccaneers in a game where the team should be in position to score a good amount of points. Koo should see at least two field goal opportunities along with multiple extra-point chances. He's a solid starting option for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Dede Westbrook Nov 21 12:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (illness) is not expected to practice on Thursday. Westbrook returned to the field last week and caught four of his six targets for just 32 yards in the loss to the Colts. D.J. Chark got all the love from a returning quarterback Nick Foles. Westbrook was Foles' favorite target before he went down in the season opener with a broken collarbone, though, so it's unfair to say that Foles won't be going back to that well at some point moving forward. Westbrook should be fine to play in Week 12 against the Titans. He had five catches for 46 yards against them in the first meeting, and he'll be a WR3 this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Dorsett Nov 21 12:20pm ET

Although New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (concussion) missed practice on Wednesday, there is mid-week optimism that he could be cleared in time to play in Week 12 against the Cowboys, according to a source. Mohamed Sanu (ankle) could now miss multiple games with a high ankle sprain, so the Patriots could be in trouble this Sunday if Dorsett can't play. They'd likely revert to three-receiver sets consisting of Julian Edelman and rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. Harry just made his NFL debut in Week 11, but he'd have more plug-and-play appeal as a flex over Meyers. If he plays, Dorsett will be a risky WR4/flex. Quarterback Tom Brady should be downgraded either way with Sanu now out two to three weeks.

From RotoBaller