The Atlanta Falcons have been a favorite offense to target in our Fanduel Core Four picks each week, and that holds true for Week 12 as we try to win some GPP tournaments. Matt Ryan has been our most frequently used QB this season, and he adds to that total with another spot in our example lineup this week for NFL DFS action.
If you're new to this article, we pick four players every week we'll be overweight in our lineup builds. Then, we give an example of how we'd fill in around them in tournaments. Our "Core Four" this week is Matt Ryan, Leonard Fournette, Julio Jones and DeVante Parker. This isn't an "optimal lineup"; rather, it's an example of one you could build if you start with our "Core Four". If you're looking for more great NFL, NBA, or MLB, or PGA DFS advice, check me out on Twitter (@DFSBenj).
FanDuel Picks Week 12: NFL DFS example lineup for GPPs
CORE PLAY QB Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Buccaneers ($7,900)
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 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.
CORE PLAY RB Leonard Fournette, Jaguars @ Titans ($7,000)
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 past 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.
RB Ronald Jones, Buccaneers @ Falcons ($6,000)
If the Atlanta passing attack is going to have a ceiling-type game, then the Tampa offense is going to need to do their fair share and keep this game close. Running backs have hammered Atlanta this season, and Ronald Jones is one of the few sub-$6,500 running backs that I’m considering this week. Jones isn’t getting the volume that we would like to see, but this lineup’s game-scripting projects the Bucs to lead at points in this game, which could lead to 15-20 touches for Jones.
CORE PLAY WR Julio Jones, Falcons vs. Buccaneers ($8,400)
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.
CORE PLAY WR DeVante Parker, Dolphins @ Browns ($6,000)
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.
WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons vs. Buccaneers ($6,700)
I’m going all-in on the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game stack for the GPP lineup example. I think that Ridley is overpriced at $6,700, but for Ryan to have a slate-breaking game, he will need to throw for 300-plus yards and three-plus touchdowns. With TE Austin Hooper (knee) questionable to play and Atlanta having zero ability to run the ball, Ridley could easily have a nice game alongside Jones.
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 (core) and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) 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.
FLEX Chris Godwin, Buccaneers @ Falcons ($7,800)
It’s always a toss-up on who to roster between Godwin and Mike Evans, but for this lineup, I’m going with Godwin because his price fits given the defense that I want to play. Godwin salvaged last week’s game with a touchdown, and he has the best matchup among Tampa pass catchers in the slot in this matchup.
D/ST New Orleans Saints vs. Panthers ($4,900)
For the defense, we’re going with the Saints, who are not only coming off a four-turnover week against Tampa Bay but now return home to the Superdome to face the Panthers and Kyle Allen, who is coming off of his own four-turnover showing. Allen is starting to show some serious cracks, and it looks like the NFL is starting to figure out his game once teams started to get some tape on him. This is an incredibly high upside spot for an aggressive defense like the Saints, and they are far and away my favorite spend-up option at the position.