How can we get people to gamble more? Strike Drew Brees with lightning...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Bud Light:
- QB reinforcements are here.
- Rankings Update. An Eagles' WR flying HIGH.
- Dear Cooter. If Tevin Coleman was a coffee...
- Bets from the group chat. A dynamic duo.
- Building Blocks from OWS.
- 2 RB injury updates.
- Its 12/3. Take it away, Dwain McFarland...
In a season where the gap between the top QBs and mid-to-low-end options is as wide as ever, finding reinforcements is key to winning your Week 13 matchups. If your playoffs are beginning this weekend, there is a good chance you are facing Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts — which is a tough positional battle to overcome.
However, this weekend we have two options returning that can provide the high-upside counterpunch needed to neutralize the advantage high-end-QB managers have enjoyed.
🔥 QB – Justin Fields
Fields practiced in full the last two days and was removed from the injury report. Matt Eberflus indicated the second-year QB is healthy enough to protect himself, but we don’t know if that means the team will take precautions with play calling.
Fields’ fantasy eruption coincided with more involvement in designed-run plays. Over the first six games of the season, he averaged 12% and delivered 13.3 fantasy points per game. Then, during Weeks 7 to 11, his designed runs jumped to 25%, and he averaged a sizzling 31 points per game.
There is a chance the coaching staff tries to limit contact to their young QB’s shoulder by reducing his rushing attempts. However, he could just as easily play his normal role, given his full practice participation and removal from the injury report.
He has finished QB5, QB5, QB1, QB1 and QB7 in his last five games — that is a lot of upside to leave on the bench — especially if you are facing a top-end option in your matchup.
Fields moves up to QB7 thanks to his proven QB1 overall upside.
🧨️ QB – Deshaun Watson
It's been a long time since we have seen Watson on a football field and there is certainly a chance he could be rusty. We could also see the Browns lean into their running game against a terrible run defense in Houston.
However, Watson could immediately play like the dual-threat QB that averaged 23.1 points per game over his first four seasons and never finished outside of the top five.
The Texans have the worst-graded PFF coverage unit (44.2), and the Browns have the second-highest team total on the slate. The veteran QB could go absolutely bonkers via efficiency without much volume.
Watson ranks as the QB9 — ahead of names like Dak Prescott, Trevor Lawrence and Geno Smith — thanks to his QB1 overall upside.
🤝 Bud Light Fantasy Life
📈 RB – Zonovan Knight
Micheal Carter is doubtful after missing practice all week, which sets Knight up to lead the team in rushing attempts. Last weekend, James Robinson was a healthy scratch because the team wanted to get the rookie involved, and he delivered with 14 attempts for 69 yards and three receptions for 34.
After Carter left the game, Knight handled 67% of snaps and 59% of the rushing attempts, playing a role similar to Brian Robinson Jr. in Washington.
Ty Johnson will handle the passing down role, but Knight saw a 38% TPRR last week and could still be involved. Knight should be in line for 15 to 18 touches, even if Robinson steals a few snaps.
Knight is a mid-range RB3 with RB2 upside.
📈 WR – Amon-Ra St. Brown
St. Brown averages a 34% target share in healthy games, and his 32% TPRR is No. 2 behind Tyreek Hill. Some will argue St. Brown is another ho-hum slot WR, but his fifth-ranked 2.62 YPRR doesn’t align with that assessment – this is a top-12 fantasy WR.
This week, the Lions get a Jaguars defense with the third-worst PFF coverage grade in a potential shootout with a 51-point game total. Detroit has the second-highest team total (26) on the slate.
St. Brown is a SMASH play and climbs into the top-five WRs.
📈 WR – Christian Kirk
Kirk is on pace for 1,120 yards and 11 receiving TDs, leading the Jaguars with a 24% target share. He has turned into a solid mid-range WR2 for fantasy managers.
The Jaguars face off against the Lions in Week 13, which pushes Kirk further up the ranks thanks to a juicy game environment and matchup. Detroit has the fourth-lowest PFF coverage grade (49.6), and the Jaguars have a top-six team total.
Kirk is a SMASH play as a low-end WR1.
📈 WR – DeVonta Smith
Smith has target shares of 31%, 39%, and 33% over the last three games. The passing attack has condensed around the second-year WR and AJ Brown with Dallas Goedert out.
Against the Titans, it might make sense for the Eagles to pass the ball more. Tennessee is the No. 3 rush defense allowing only 84 yards per game in non-overtime play. However, they give up the second-most yardage through the air at 281 yards.
Smith is due for a blowup game – he ranks six spots ahead of industry consensus.
📈 WR – Brandon Aiyuk
Aiyuk is the 49ers' go-to WR against man coverage with a 28% TPRR (targets per route run), and the Dolphins utilize man concepts the second-most at 40%. Additionally, Deebo Samuel is questionable thanks to a quad injury and has struggled heavily against man coverage (12% TPRR).
In a game where the Dolphins' offense could force the 49ers out of their run-heavy ways, we could see a major fantasy-point outburst.
Aiyuk is an upside WR2.
📉 RB – Rachaad White
Leonard Fournette is not on the injury report and will return on Monday night.
White handled 55% of the backfield in Week 10 before Fournette went down, so there is a chance he remains the lead option. However, Fournette had passport issues getting to Germany, which could have irritated the coaching staff. So, there is also a chance White returns to his 30-40% snap role we saw early in the season.
I am forecasting this as a near 50/50 split, making both backs high-end RB3 options, but either could put up high-end RB2 numbers if they take charge against the Saints.
📉 WR – Deebo Samuel
Samuel’s targets have plummeted since the arrival of Christian McCaffrey, with both players vying for low-ADOT looks (4.7 and 1.7).
The addition of Christian McCaffrey has been traumatizing to Deebo Samuel's opportunities:
Deebo target shares pre-CMC:
23%, 24%, 29%, 29%, 30%, 25%
14%, 17%, 32%, 14%
This isn't an Aiyuk > Samuel thing; CMC is battling for same low ADOT targets.
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland)
Nov 30, 2022
Samuel is questionable thanks to a quad injury this weekend and faces a man-heavy Dolphins defense. The veteran WR only has a 12% TPRR against man defenses.
Samuel is a boom-bust WR3.
👀 RB – Antonio Gibson
Gibson is questionable due to a foot injury but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Friday.
If Gibson is inactive, Brian Robinson Jr. would climb into the top 16 and becomes a must-start option against a bottom-six graded PFF run defense.
Good morning Cooterdoodle. My favorite seasonal coffee from Starbucks is pumpkin spice. My wife calls me a basic b*tch for doing so. I don’t disagree with her, but her favorite is Peppermint Mocha. But she claims that Peppermint Mocha isn’t basic.
Can you settle this for me? Is Peppermint Mocha a basic drink? [email protected]
Dear PengsPicksFF: If seasonal coffee flavors were tried and true, you’d be starting them all year long. Instead, you wait until December to break out the cinnamon and mint in hopes that you might feel something again. You see, seasonal coffees are much like waiver wire targets in Week 13 - they only momentarily fill the void.
While I would never judge someone publically for bidding FAAB on Tevin Coleman, I do have to wonder why they feel the need to go that route. Just like pumpkin spice, Coleman won’t be anyone’s first choice for long:
Looks like Tevin Coleman is going back to the waiver wire for my fantasy team.
— chris simoneau (@chris_simoneau)
Oct 21, 2022
So I’ll ask you one question, Peng: Why didn’t you draft a grande, hot oat milk latte with your 6th-round pick? It was right there, waiting for you! But you slept on it. Now, look at you, throwing pumpkin pie leftovers into your mug. (The hot latte is clearly a metaphor for Josh Jacobs in this scenario.) I hope that your family can survive this cold winter without the foundation of a hot-handed bellcow brew.
I won’t roast you guys, but send your wife my most basic regards.
Dear Cooter, Who would you rather spend a weekend with? Josh Allen or Russell Wilson? - @AndrewHallFF
Dear Andrew: While most people might want to peek behind the curtain and hang out with Russell Wilson purely for comedic purposes, I’m just not that interested in hearing about Subway sandwiches or bathrooms. Call it women’s intuition, but I have a feeling I would have to practice my high knees… and you won’t catch me exercising on a day that ends in “y.”
What I would love is dabbling in some team-building exercises with the Bills offense. That’s right. I think Josh Allen and I could get a lot accomplished playing Warzone on the weekend. In fact, Stefon Diggs and Allen credit video games for their strong rapport. Just like football, communication is key when you’re stranded on a war-torn, computer-generated map.
I may not be able to bring home 92 yards and a TD against the Patriots like Diggs can, but I’ve taken home a Warzone victory a time or two, and I always revive my teammates. Josh, if you’re reading this… what’s your gamer tag?
🤕 Samaje Perine could start. Joe Mixon is still in concussion protocol.
👕 This QB loves his passing-down RB. They had a connection last year.
💂♂️ A changing of the guard at RB? Things are looking good.
💍 Injury reports can be confusing. You need a decoder ring for the Steelers.
🦁 An early-round RB nearing full health? That's encouraging.
🎨 Amazing artwork from a young Bills fan. Such a heart-warming story.
🤬 A QB loses his cool. He wasn't wrong.
Our resident betting sharps at Fantasy Life have a group chat. Lucky for you, they are leaking the alpha. Here's what Eliot came up with for Week 13...
If you like Tua to go over in this one, you should love Jaylen Waddle, whose success is highly correlated with Tua’s big games. Since last season in games where Tua has thrown over 272 yards, Waddle is averaging 10 targets and 92 yards receiving per game. In games where opponents have scored 20+ points, Waddle is averaging 120 yards per game and has gone over this line by 19 or more yards in every one of them. Waddle has gone for 67 or more yards in five of his last six games, and we have him projected for 87.2 receiving yards in this one.
Chubb ranks 1st in evaded tackles and breakaway runs, averaging 94.5 yards per game this season. He takes on the Texans, who allow 188.5 rushing yards per game this season (31st) and has been decimated by running backs. Yes, Watson is returning, but he has not played football in two years, and I expect the Browns to ease him back into action by feeding Chubb in a dream matchup.
The Dolphins have been one of the most pass-happy teams in football, throwing the ball 60.3% of the time this season. In games where opponents have pushed them (scoring 20+), Tua Tagovailoa has been unleashed, averaging 384.3 passing yards per game. While the matchup is tough against the 49ers, they are a pass-funnel defense. Opponents are throwing it 58.3% of the time, the seventh-highest rate. The volume alone should be enough to get Tua there, and with a projection of 332 passing yards, Tua’s over is our biggest passing edge of the weekend.
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🐅 BURROW + CHASE + HURST + MVS
- COST: $22.4K DK // NOT AS SHARP ON FD
- “Bengals score through the air // MVS hits for a big play or two”
WHY IT WORKS:
Everyone will want to get action from this game, but it’s tough to build around it, given the high price tags on the “certain pieces,” and the uncertainty on the cheaper pieces. A stack like this gets you access to one of the high-upside ways this game could play out, while coming with very low combinatorial ownership.
HOW IT WORKS:
Valdes-Scantling is going to see four to six targets in most games, and could climb above that level if this game shoots out. In that scenario, he has the potential to be a separator at only $4.1k in salary, while this would increase the chances of the Bengals doing damage through the air.
Similarly, if the Bengals are hitting through the air, it will increase the chances of the Chiefs taking a couple of extra shots downfield. While most DFS players are conditioned to think about the ways this stack could fail and to think about the lower floor that comes with that failure, we should think about what happens if this stack succeeds.
Burrow and Chase could combine for 80+, Hurst could score 15 to 20 of his own, and MVS could go for 25+ at near-zero ownership.
⚡️ HERBERT + EKELER + CARTER + JACOBS
- COST: $27.5K DK // NOT AS SHARP ON FD
- “This ends up being the game you had to have”
WHY IT WORKS:
I certainly don’t have to justify the Herbert + Ekeler + Jacobs stack the way I had to in Week 1, when Jacobs was 1% owned and looked like a “What is this guy thinking?” play. But while this stack no longer looks like it’s being played by someone who lost his marbles, it still rolls with a counterintuitive “two running backs from the same game” pairing while paying up for three pieces on a week in which most people are finding it hard to free up salary. Carter adds another layer of upside and lowers combinatorial ownership even further.
HOW IT WORKS:
If this game is high-scoring, Jacobs is “slightly likelier than Davante” to be a big part of the reason why, and he’ll be far likelier than most players on the slate to go for 30+ DK points.
Similarly, if this game is high-scoring, Herbert and Ekeler (who is effectively a wide receiver for fantasy purposes) are almost certainly getting there as well, while Carter would become one of the higher-upside value plays on the slate. If this game provides merely adequate scoring, this stack won’t win you a tourney; but if this game takes off, there’s a good chance that this becomes optimal, and we can get it at very low ownership.