FanDuel Core Plays: Week 12 NFL DFS advice, picks for cash games
In case you haven't noticed, our FanDuel lineups love playing players both for and against the Falcons. That holds true again this week, as our "Core Four" includes Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. In this cash game lineup construction, those players have such high floors and ceilings that we should be off to a good start with that passing attack against the Buccaneers -- an NFL DFS dream matchup.
The other two members of our Core Four are Leonard Fournette and DeVante Parker. Together, those players provide a good base to start a lineup with in both cash games and GPPs. Below, we constructed an example lineup that can have success in cash games.
1 QB Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Buccaneers ($7,900)
CORE PLAY: Quarterback pricing on FanDuel is always bunched tightly together, and I have no problem spending up this week on one of the high-end quarterbacks in all formats. Ryan and the Falcons have the best matchup possible in the NFL this season against the Buccaneers, who have the 31st-ranked passing defense. The total for this game is set at 52, with Tampa having gone over the total in a league-high eight-of-10 games this season. This matchup should be a gold mine for points from both teams.
Ryan and the Falcons passing attack took their foot off the gas early last week after they got out to a huge lead against the Panthers, but I don’t see this game getting out of hand with Jameis Winston and the Bucs pass-happy offense coming to town. Ryan has attempted 30 or more passes in every game he has started and finished this season, and I expect Atlanta to follow the trend that virtually every other team has followed this season when facing Tampa Bay and attempt five-to-10 percent more passing plays than usual in this matchup.
2 RB Leonard Fournette, Jaguars @ Titans ($7,000)
CORE PLAY: For the first week in what feels like ages, I won’t be including Christian McCaffrey in my core plays. While CMC is always a great play in all formats, there doesn’t appear to be the same value available that there has been in previous weeks to make his $10,500 salary as affordable as it has been. One player whose price tag is really standing out is Fournette, who checks in at $7,000 on FanDuel.
Fournette hasn’t performed up to salary expectations in any of the past three weeks, but his volume is still where we want it to be for a player at this price point, and his Week 12 price is back to a point where he is a nice value again after being overvalued for the better part of the last month. Fournette has been on the wrong side of touchdown variance this season with only one rushing score this entire season, but we have to think that he gets in the end zone a few more times given his goal-line usage. The matchup against the Titans is fairly neutral, and I believe that Jacksonville will look to get him going early to take the pressure off of Nick Foles and a struggling passing attack.
3 RB Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. Panthers ($8,300)
Kamara has re-established his elite passing-game usage, and he has a prime matchup at home against the Panthers, who have been gashed by all of the elite running backs they have faced this season (sorry Brian Hill).
4 WR Julio Jones, Falcons vs. Buccaneers ($8,400)
CORE PLAY: I want as much exposure to the Falcons passing game as possible, and Jones is my preferred high-end spend this week. Jones has been held out of the end zone in every game since Week 3, but a matchup against Tampa is the cure for any statistical ailment for pass-catchers. Jones has absolutely destroyed Tampa in his career, averaging more than one extra reception, 1.2 targets, and almost 30 yards more per game against Tampa than every other team. His numbers in his past five games against the Buccaneers read like something taken straight from a Madden franchise: 12.2 targets, 8.4 receptions, 140 yards, and 0.8 touchdowns per game.
We haven’t seen a Jones eruption game this season, and this is the prime spot for it to happen at home against the worst passing defense in the NFL.
5 WR DeVante Parker, Dolphins @ Browns ($6,000)
CORE PLAY: It’s always an uneasy feeling rostering Dolphins in DFS, but Parker has been one of the most consistent mid-range wide receivers this season, and his price has yet to fully adjust to his new role in the offense following the loss of Preston Williams. A price of $6,000 is just too cheap, especially in cash games, for a player that has averaged 8.8 targets per game over the past five weeks.
The Dolphins have shown zero ability to run the ball this season, and I would expect them to go pass-heavy again this week against a Browns defense that will be missing multiple keys pieces following the fallout from the ugly brawl last Thursday night. Parker has the highest target projection among all pass-catchers priced $6,000 and below, and he is someone I have zero interest in fading despite ownership that should fall in the 15-20 percent range on FanDuel.
6 WR Curtis Samuel, Panthers @ Saints ($5,700)
Samuel’s upside is always going to be capped with Kyle Allen at quarterback, but in cash games, we can feel comfortable about his role given how concentrated the Panthers’ offense is between him, D.J. Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and Greg Olsen. Samuel has seen at least six targets in nine straight games and has nice upside if he is able to find his way into the end zone.
7 TE Dallas Goedert, Eagles vs. Seahawks ($5,200)
The Eagles' offense is banged up right now, and Goedert is going to be needed in the passing game with DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery ailing. Goedert has seen at least five targets in each of the past three games and has a very winnable individual matchup against a Seahawks defense than ranks 26th DvP against tight ends.
8 FLEX Le'Veon Bell, Jets vs. Raiders ($7,300)
Bell saw a season-low snap rate last week, but the Jets had a rare blowout win against the Redskins, which likely led to the other backs getting more involved. I expect Bell to get back up into the 70-percent snap share that we have seen from him for the majority of the season in a more competitive matchup with the Raiders.
9 D/ST Jacksonville Jaguars @ Titans ($4,200)
There aren’t a whole lot of obvious defense plays, but I don’t mind the spot the Jaguars are in at $4,200 against the Titans. I worry about how Tennessee will likely script this game with a run-heavy approach that leans on Derrick Henry. However, if Jacksonville can get an early lead, then Ryan Tannehill is more than capable of forcing the ball into tight windows and making mistakes.
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