Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Welcome to week 13 of the NFL season! Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
Each week, the Basement Brewed Fantasy Football team pumps out free content to help you become a better fantasy football player - in DFS, in season long, in dynasty leagues, and more. If you feel inclined to donate to keep this website running (that part isn't free!), with half of the proceeds going to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, please use the donate button below. Thank you from all of the Basement Brewed Fantasy Football team!
If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how I did in previous weeks, you can find that here:
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
I know. I picked a beer from Georgia during #FalconsHateWeek for me as a Saints fan. But hear me out.
First off, this beer is delicious. Also, it is full of a ton of hops, and Matt Ryan will be doing a bunch of hopping in the pocket this week before Cam Jordan eats him for dinner. Roasted Falcon is on the menu, and washing it down with a Hopsecutioner is a perfect pairing.
All lines via Bovada, current as of Saturday afternoon.
Cleveland at Tennessee -5.5, 53 total (unchanged)
Indianapolis -3.5 at Houston, 50.5 total (opened at 52.5)
Detroit at Chicago -3, 44.5 total (opened at 45)
Jacksonville at Minnesota -10, 51 total (opened at 50)
Las Vegas -8 at NY Jets, 46.5 total (opened at 48)
New Orleans -3 at Atlanta, 46 total (opened at 47.5)
Cincinnati at Miami -10.5, 42 total (opened at 42.5)
NY Giants at Seattle -10.5, 47 total (opened at 48.5)
LA Rams -2.5 at Arizona, 48 total (opened at 48.5)
New England at LA Chargers -1.5, 47 total (opened at 49)
Philadelphia at Green Bay -9, 49.5 total (opened at 48.5)
Favorite games to target
What a weird week. We only have three games over a 50 total, and we have a bunch of games with really, really high point spreads. I think this might be a week where I'm more likely to target teams than target games, with a focus on Minnesota and Green Bay for me.
Aaron Rodgers, $6800, GB (vs. PHI)
What? How? Rodgers has scored 14 total touchdowns in his past four games and he's under 7K at home as a nine point favorite. I just don't know how you don't make him your cash game QB, and I also don't know how he won't be one of my most exposed QB in GPPs either. Just a baffling price.
Kirk Cousins, $6400, MIN (vs. JAX)
Jacksonville's defense has been marginally better of late, and at this high of a total, there's a much greater than 50% chance that Dalvin Cook just runs the ball the whole second half. But Cousins - even without Thielen at times - has been excellent of late, with 11 touchdowns in his past four. Now with Thielen returning, he'll have his full compliment of weapons again. The price is a bit elevated to the point that you have to at least stop and think about it, but it shouldn't take too long to decide he's worth a GPP play.
Derek Carr, $5800, LV (at NYJ)
Cross-country trip coming off a game where his team lost 43-6 and he scored a grand total of 4.6 DK points? Time to get back on! Also, the Jets are horrible and Adam Gase should've been fired over a year ago. Carr doesn't have a ton of upside, but he's typically pretty efficient, and with no Josh Jacobs this week, it's possible they lean a bit more on the passing game.
Potential GPP pivots: Kyler Murray ($7600, vs. LAR, nobody will own him because "his shoulder" and "he's not running", but what if he does?), Ryan Tannehill ($6200, vs. CLE), Jared Goff ($5800, at ARI)
James Robinson, $7300, JAX (at MIN)
Yes, the first player on my list is a running back over $7000 who is a 10 point road underdog. But Robinson is singlehandedly keeping Jacksonville in these games, and he's doing it with not only a massive amount of touches, but also a massive share of the touches. There is literally nobody else in that backfield. Minnesota's defense is not that great that we need to worry about him not getting his.
Chris Carson, $6300, SEA (vs. NYG)
Seattle hasn't be letting Russ cook lately, as they've shifted a bit more towards their old "run first" model. In a game where they're heavy favorites and that could still climb once Daniel Jones is ruled out officially (he's doubtful as of this writing), the Seattle backfield could be busy early and often. I don't think Carson gets all the work coming off an injury, but 65% of it in this game environment could still mean 16 meaningful touches against a bad team. I hope he goes a bit overlooked.
Jonathan Taylor, $5700, IND (at HOU)
Let me start by saying this: I think David Montgomery ($5500) and Devontae Booker (also $5500) will both be really, really popular this week, and for good reason. Montgomery gets a Lions defense that is atrocious against the run, and Booker is slotting in as the starting back for Josh Jacobs as a nearly double digit favorite against another bad defense. However, if you're looking to get a little different, I think Taylor might be the way to do it. There's a ton of risk here, of course - Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins still exist - but Taylor had 26 touches two weeks ago before he ended up on the COVID list. He practiced in full all week, which to me signals that he was a "close contact" provision and not actually the person who tested positive. Houston's defense is, like the other ones, horrible against the run, and the total in this game is over 50. In my mind, absolutely worth a dart throw, and I'll be on full tilt when Hines catches two touchdowns instead.
Potential GPP pivots: Dalvin Cook ($9500, vs. JAX), Nick Chubb ($7700, at TEN), Myles Gaskin ($5900, vs. CIN)
Davante Adams, $9000, GB (vs. PHI)
He's obviously expensive, to the point I don't think I'll play him in cash games, but he's as consistent as they come and he's scoring all of the touchdowns (six straight games, a total of nine in that span). He might as well just have a place in my column each week at this point so I don't get the question of "why don't you play Davante Adams?"
Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, $7300/$6900, MIN (vs. JAX)
These guys are good at football. The thing I like the most about playing the Vikings week after week is that they play really, really condensed. We pretty much know that 90% or more of the touches are going to Cook or these two guys. If I had to play only one, since they're so close in price, I would lean Thielen since he tends to get utilized more in the red zone, but both are excellent plays for all the reasons I listed under Kirk Cousins above.
Brandin Cooks, $5600, HOU (vs. IND)
I fully expect Brandin Cooks to be the highest owned wide receiver on the week, and possibly the highest owned player on the entire slate. With Will Fuller taking the Robinson Cano route and getting suspended for PEDs, the receivers on this Texans team are all getting elevated roles at not elevated prices. I think I might be well, well under the field on him in GPPs, as there is still risk here, but his ownership might be high enough in cash games that even if you think he might be a bad play, you might have to consider playing him just to block in case you're wrong. (That's typically a pretty rare statement for a wide receiver.)
Denzel Mims, $4100, NYJ (vs. LV)
His price finally broke above $4000, which kind of sucks, but his targets are still worth the price - nearly an 8 target per game average over the last three games. He's struggled to translate those into catches, but it's not like he's goose-egging out there. If 4 catches turns into 6 catches, we're still looking at 3x value, and it's definitely possible with Darnold back at the helm against a flailing Raiders team.
Potential GPP pivots: Allen Robinson II ($6700, vs. DET), Cooper Kupp ($6100, at ARI), Christian Kirk ($5200, vs. LAR), Corey Davis ($5100, vs. CLE)
Mike Gesicki, $4200, MIA (vs. CIN)
I'm not sure this is a week where I want to pay up for a tight end. This low 4K range down to the middle 3K range feels like the sweet spot, and Gesicki is near the top of the list, especially if it's Fitzpatrick back as the starter. This game is a low total, but it's because the Bengals are an absolute train wreck right now on both sides of the ball. We get relatively consistent target share here in a positive matchup with touchdown upside.
Robert Tonyan, $3700, GB (vs. PHI)
Those passing touchdowns that aren't going to Davante Adams are pretty much going to Robert Tonyan. He's also been extremely efficient with his targets, catching 19 of the last 22 balls thrown his way over the past five games. There's a bit of inconsistency to the target share, and that efficiency rate is definitely high, but this cheap in a high powered offense as heavy home favorites doesn't seem like the time to worry about that stuff.
Potential GPP pivots: Dallas Goedert ($4300, at GB), Trey Burton ($3500, at HOU)
Good luck, and may your screens be green!