RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 12

Fri Nov 22 10:39am ET
Contributing Writer

Ryan is setup for big Week 12

There are four teams on a bye in Week 12, which will have a significant impact on DFS. There will be several of the top players missing in action with the Chiefs, Chargers and Vikings among the teams gaining the added rest. Let’s discuss some players to consider that are still set to take the field, as well as a few to avoid.


Top-tier option: Matt Ryan, ATL vs. TB ($6,300): After back-to-back games with fewer than 200 passing yards, Ryan bounced back against the Panthers last week to throw for 311 yards, although he did record only one touchdown. He’s shown an ability to rack up yards this season, starting out with six games of at least 300 passing yards. Facing a Bucs’ defense that has allowed the second-most passing yards per game certainly works in his favor here.

Cheap target: Nick Foles, JAC at TEN ($5,800): If you’re looking to differentiate yourself in tournament play, taking a chance on Foles might not be a bad idea. The Titans have struggled to defend the pass lately, allowing nine touchdowns and an average of 327 passing yards across their last four games. Foles didn’t show much rust in his return from the IR, throwing for 296 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts last week.

Player to avoid: Jared Goff, LAR vs. BAL ($6,200): Goff looked to be a rising star at quarterback after recording 32 touchdowns and averaging 293 passing yards per game last season. However, he’s gone in the opposite direction, throwing only 11 touchdown passes to go along with 10 interceptions through 10 games. On top of that, he’s averaging just 278.3 passing yards per game. The Ravens have allowed nine passing touchdowns all season, so stay away from Goff while building your lineup.


Top-tier option: Alvin Kamara, NO vs. CAR ($7,200): Kamara was once again heavily involved in the passing game last week, catching all 10 of his targets for 47 yards against the Bucs. That marked his second straight week with 10 targets and the third time across eight games that he’s reached that threshold. He was also plenty active on the ground last week, rushing 13 times for 75 yards. With the Panthers allowing the sixth-most rushing yards per game, Kamara carries a high floor into this matchup.

Cheap target: Joe Mixon, CIN vs. PIT ($5,500): I’ve been down on Mixon for most of the season. He plays in not only a bad offense, but he has a terrible offensive line trying to create holes for him. Despite being the Bengals’ top option, he has recorded fewer than 20 rushing yards in a game four times this season. With that being said, the Bengals seem committed to giving him a heavy workload with Ryan Finley now at quarterback. Since he took over for Andy Dalton, Mixon has turned 45 carries into 200 yards and a touchdown across two games. With that kind of workload, he could provide value at this price.

Player to avoid: Latavius Murray, NO vs. CAR ($6,800): Murray couldn’t get much going against the Bucs last week, gaining only 27 yards on 10 carries. Although Murray thrived in a leading role when Kamara was hurt, he’s received a total of 15 carries since Kamara has returned. That brief run of success has inflated his price tag, which makes him too expensive for his current role.


Top-tier option: Michael Thomas, NO vs. CAR ($8,500): Thomas has been basically automatic. He’s currently on a streak of four straight games with at least 100 receiving yards, giving him a total of 1,141 yards over just 10 games. He’s caught 94 of his 113 targets, leaving him with a gaudy 83.2 percent catch rate. While pricey, it’s not difficult to argue that he is the safest wide receiver on the slate.

Cheap target: James Washington, PIT at CIN ($4,400): The injury report for the Steelers is not ideal, to say the least. It looks like both James Conner (shoulder) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion/knee) are trending in the wrong direction, so they could be without their top two offensive weapons. Diontae Johnson suffered a concussion last week, but his prognosis looks more favorable. Still, if Smith-Schuster is out, Washington is likely to assume a larger role, or possibly even be their top wide receiver this week.

Player to avoid: Tyler Boyd, CIN vs. PIT ($6,100): Boyd saw his production fall off a cliff in Week 11. He was targeted only three times against the Raiders, catching one pass for no gain. His only positive contribution was one carry for 10 yards. The Steelers have allowed the ninth-fewest passing yards per game and Finley still has a long way to go before he can be considered a reliable quarterback, which makes Boyd awfully risky at this price.


Top-tier option: Zach Ertz, PHI vs. SEA ($5,500): While it might seem like Ertz has taken a step backward this season, it’s hard to complain about a tight end who has 55 catches for 621 yards through 10 games. Although, his two touchdowns are a disappointment. Still, he’s on pace to easily surpass 100 targets for the fifth straight season. That type of volume could leave him with a big day against a Seahawks team that has allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game.

Cheap target: Ryan Griffin, NYJ vs. OAK ($3,400): If there is a bright side regarding Chris Herndon’s lost season, it’s that his absence has opened up an opportunity for Griffin to shine. He caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins last week and has now recorded at least 50 receiving yards in three of his last four games. With his role now secure, he’s a viable option at such a cheap price.

Player to avoid: Jimmy Graham, GB at SF ($4,500): Graham already isn’t a very exciting option with just 27 catches for 320 yards through 10 games. He’s received more than five targets in a game one time all season, leaving him with just 40, overall. To make matters even worse this week, he has to face a 49ers defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards per game.

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
Marquise Goodwin Dec 11 12:50am ET

The San Francisco 49ers placed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (foot, knee) on injured reserve on Tuesday. The seven-year pro has been dealing with chronic leg issues and will be shut down to undergo treatment. Goodwin managed just 12 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown in 2019 and its probable his three-year tenure with the Niners is over. The speedster will likely find his way onto another roster next year but at 29 years old, Goodwin holds minimal dynasty value. With Goodwin shelved, wideout Kendrick Bourne will continue operating as the primary third receiver. With five scores over his past six games, Bourne has emerged as a red zone threat and will be a low-volume WR5 in Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Goodwin Dec 10 5:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Dec 10 5:23pm ET

New York Jets S Jamal Adams (ankle), OT Chuma Edoga (knee), TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), CB Arthur Maulet (calf), CB Brian Poole (concussion), RB Bilal Powell (ankle, illness), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) and DL Quinnen Williams (neck) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 10. OT Kelvin Beachum (ankles), S Matthias Farley (ankle), DL Steve McLendon (knee, hip), RB Ty Montgomery (foot, hip) and DL Nathan Shepherd (ankle) were limited. RB Le'Veon Bell (illness), CB Maurice Canady (shoulder), OL Tom Compton (ankle), QB Sam Darnold (knee, thumb), QB David Fales (elbow) and LB Paul Worrilow (quad) participated in full.

From TheHuddle

Mark Ingram Dec 10 5:13pm ET

Baltimore Ravens LB Chris Board (concussion), DB Anthony Levine (ankle), OT Ronnie Stanley (concussion), RB Mark Ingram (non-injury), S Earl Thomas (non-injury) and DT Brandon Williams (non-injury) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 10. TE Mark Andrews (knee), QB Lamar Jackson (quad) and DE Jihad Ward (elbow) were limited.

From TheHuddle

Calvin Ridley Dec 10 4:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (abdominal) and CB Desmond Trufant (forearm) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday, Dec. 10. LB Ahmad Thomas was signed to the active roster, while TE Carson Meier and LB Quentin Poling were added to the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

Alshon Jeffery Dec 10 4:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury he suffered in Week 14 against the New York Giants, according to a source. The team is still reportedly gathering opinions about the exact injury, however.

Fantasy Spin: This injury wraps up yet another injury-shortened season for the 29-year-old, who has played a full season once in the last five years - averaging only 12 games over that span. Jeffrey is still due $12.75 million over each of the final two years of his deal, so he's probably not going anywhere this offseason. With Nelson Agholor also ailing, the Eagles could be forced to finish the season with Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and a few practice squad players at the position.

From TheHuddle

Rodney Gunter Dec 10 4:33pm ET

Arizona Cardinals DL Rodney Gunter (toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a toe injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10. DL Caraun Reid (Cardinals) was re-signed to an undisclosed contract to replace him on the roster after getting released over the weekend.

From TheHuddle

Simeon Thomas Dec 10 4:23pm ET

Washington Redskins CB Simeon Thomas was handed a four-game suspension by the NFL on Tuesday, Dec. 10, for violating the league's policy and program on substances of abuse.

From TheHuddle

Marvin Jones Dec 10 4:23pm ET

Detroit Lions WR Marvin Jones (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Fantasy Spin: The hits just keep coming for Detroit, which figures to lean on Kenny Golladay even more the rest of the way. Danny Amendola should also see more targets as well.

From TheHuddle

Auden Tate Dec 10 3:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (knee) was placed on the injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. Tate sustained a mild MCL sprain in his left knee in the third quarter of the teams Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Damion Willis was promoted to the active roster in a corresponding roster move. Tate took advantage of all the injuries to the Bengals receiving corps this season, racking up a career-high 40 catches for 575 yards and one touchdown, and is a worthy hold in dynasty leagues heading into his third season.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Dec 10 3:23pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp played only 20 of a possible 68 snaps in Week 14 versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Fantasy Spin: By comparison, Kupp logged 57 snaps in Week 13. Head coach Sean McVay defended the move by suggesting it was the cost of doing business in order to establish some offensive balance on early downs. However, the flaw in that reasoning is that Kupp's playing time should not be cut in favor of backup tight end Johnny Mundt. Meanwhile, Brandin Cooks didn't make a catch in his 61 snaps. Expect Kupp to return to his normal snap count in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys.

From TheHuddle

Jamar Taylor Dec 10 3:13pm ET

Free-agent CB Jamar Taylor (Seahawks) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

From TheHuddle

Le'Veon Bell Dec 10 3:03pm ET

New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell is among the players the team is expected to make available via trade this offseason, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: Bell is averaging only 49.1 yards rushing behind one of the league's worst offensive lines in his first season with the Jets, and it is becoming increasingly clear head coach Adam Gase either can't find a way to keep him involved in the offense or doesn't want to. A trade will be hard to accomplish as well, as the Jets would take a $15.5 million cap hit if they deal him and his hypothetical new team would have to find a way to fit one of the larger contracts at his position onto the roster.

From TheHuddle

Auden Tate Dec 10 2:53pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR Auden Tate (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Dec. 10. WR Damion Willis was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.

Fantasy Spin: Tate's emergence was probably the best thing to happen to the Bengals in an otherwise lost season. Assuming A.J. Green re-signs with the team in the offseason, Tate will probably push John Ross for the other starting outside job while Tyler Boyd remains the main slot receiver. Tate, who finishes this season with 40 catches for 575 yards and a touchdown, should be considered a solid late-round flier next summer in fantasy drafts.

From TheHuddle

Cedrick Wilson Dec 10 2:43pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Dec. 10. OT Mitch Hyatt was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.

From TheHuddle

Parris Campbell Dec 10 2:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (foot) has been placed on Injured Reserve ending his season. It's an unfortunate, yet fitting, end to the rookie's season having battled injuries to his hamstring, abdomen, and a broken hand before a fractured foot put him on season-ending IR. Campbell finishes his rookie season with 18 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown. The Colts are still unsure of T.Y. Hilton's (calf) status for their Monday night game vs New Orleans, but it's looking increasingly likely Hilton misses the game. Assuming Hilton is out, Zach Pascal has interesting WR3 value with Marcus Johnson also in the mix in deeper fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Dec 10 2:30pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting to get wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder) back in time for their Week 15 game against the Buffalo Bills. Neither has played since getting injured against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. Both players are expected to practice this week in what would be a big boost to the Pittsburgh offense as the team looks to remain in the playoff picture. Conner's return would come at an especially good time as Jaylen Samuels is looking questionable for this weekend with a groin injury. That being said, fantasy GMs need to temper their expectations for both players as the Bills have been stout on defense this season.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Dec 10 2:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (abdomen) will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering an abdominal injury during the first half of Week 14's win over the Carolina Panthers. Ridley had a big game before the injury, catching five balls for 76 yards and a touchdown but went down before halftime and was unable to stand on his own. He was carted off the field and looked to be in significant pain. With Ridley out look for Russell Gage to slide in as the No. 2 receiver in Atlanta opposite Julio Jones. Gage is worth a look as a flex play in fantasy leagues going forward.

From RotoBaller

Bilal Powell Dec 10 2:20pm ET

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (ankle, illness) is not expected to play Thursday night at Baltimore. Powell, who was filling in for Le'Veon Bell (illness) injured his ankle at the end of the Jets Week 14 win over the Dolphins. Powell is also apparently dealing with the flu but head coach Adam Gase said the ankle is the bigger concern right now. Powell is yet to officially be ruled out, but all signs are pointing to him not suiting up this week. The good news for New York is Bell is reportedly close to 100 percent and should reclaim his starting role with Ty Montgomery working as a change of pace back. Powell can safely be dropped by those that picked him up for the Miami game.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Dec 10 2:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (ankle) was spotted in a walking boot on Monday and left the locker room using a scooter. Head coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Chark is "week-to-week" with the injury, which puts the remainder of his season in jeopardy. Chark broke out in a big way for Jacksonville in 2019, catching 67 balls for 956 yards and eight touchdowns. With Chark sidelined, look for Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and Keelan Cole to all see more chances within the Jacksonville passing attack.

From RotoBaller