DraftKings NFL Week 12 Positional Breakdown

fantasy football draftkings strategy

DraftKings NFL Week 12 Positional Breakdown

 

Last week was an interesting one to be sure, so congratulations if you managed to navigate the injury bug. That will certainly open up some interesting value plays this weekend to compensate for the players that went down. I’m going to include the Thanksgiving games so you can get some insight on those as well.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

HIGH OWNERSHIP: With Andrew Luck most likely out for the week, I wouldn’t be shocked if Ben Roethlisberger ($7300) will be the highest owned quarterback on Thanksgiving. He’s got a good matchup, but hasn’t been very good on the road. Kirk Cousins ($5900) will challenge him for that on Thursday, due to his price and recent play. I think I’d probably go with Cousins, but either should be fine. Russell Wilson ($6700) gets a really good matchup against the Buccaneers this week, and once again will be the quarterback I use most in my lineups. Eli Manning ($6500) will look to continue the tradition of taking quarterbacks against the Browns, and you can get him at a really nice price. Derek Carr ($6100) seems underpriced going against a Panthers defense that can’t defend the pass, and Oakland has an unstable running game.

 

LOW OWNERSHIP: Even though he didn’t do very well the last time they played, Sam Bradford ($5100) is cheap and could very well get over the 20-point mark. The rushing offense is awful, and Detroit is still really bad at pass defense. Just due to price, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tom Brady ($7800) not on a ton of lineups. He is always a viable play. Drew Brees ($7100) is playing a tougher defense at home, and that will affect his ownership. He should be able to get between 22-25 points, with the potential for more, and the light ownership could help you if the popular plays fail. Ryan Tannehill ($5500) hasn’t been very good at all this year, but if the run game can’t get going against San Francisco, the passing game will. I don’t hate the play, but Tannehill just makes me nervous. Last, Josh McCown ($5000) isn’t in a horrible position against the Giants pass defense. It isn’t awful, but I think there is very little the Browns will be able to do other than throw the ball. I can imagine they will score at least once or twice, and that is basically all you’ll need form McCown to make value.

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN CASH GAMES: Wilson/Cousins/Carr

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN TOURNAMENTS: McCown/Brady/Wilson/Manning/Carr

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

HIGH OWNERSHIP – As usual, Le’Veon Bell ($9000) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8500) should see a ton of ownership, and I will be shocked if 25% of lineups on Thanksgiving don’t have both of them in it. Rob Kelley ($4300) could threaten that, due to his low price and a three-touchdown performance on Sunday night. David Johnson ($8900) is a lock each and every week, reaching 100 yards from scrimmage in each game so far this year.  A game against Atlanta will absolutely keep that trend going. Jay Ajayi ($7600) is the next contestant on “Who is playing San Francisco” and I expect through the roof ownership. He should have a monster game here. Melvin Gordon ($7000) could see a ton of ownership as well as a result of touching the ball so much. With the injuries that occurred on Sunday to the Seahawks, Thomas Rawls ($5700) is the last man left in a favorable matchup. If LeSean McCoy is unable to go Sunday, Mike Gillislee ($4600) will be a value option that everyone flocks to.

 

LOW OWNERSHIP – I’ve gone back and forth on how I think ownership of Frank Gore ($5200) will go on Thanksgiving, but I think he will get overlooked. I’ll gladly use him in some of my lineups, as he has been good, and overlooked, yet again this year. LeGarrette Blount ($5900) will get overlooked after he failed to reach the end zone for only the second time in a game this year, but I like him in tournaments against a tough Jets run defense. Todd Gurley ($5700) scored a touchdown on a 20-yard run last week, but that was about it.  19 runs for 56 yards isn’t going to get it done. Still, I’ll give him a look again in an ideal matchup against the Saints defense. This is it, though, or at least I hope it is. Despite being in a good matchup, I think Rashad Jennings ($5600) will go wildly overlooked, and he really shouldn’t. He’s trending up right now and he’s cheap. Tim Hightower ($5400) could be the last man standing in the Saints backfield, making him a tournament option by default. Carlos Hyde ($4800) is very cheap, and makes a great cash game play, but actually has enough upside for tournaments as well. Dion Lewis ($4000) is so cheap, but has an uncertain role right now. I think he’ll take back over sooner than later. Kenneth Dixon ($3800) makes a decent punt option, as he is running much better than Terrance West right now. Last, Rex Burkhead ($3000) is likely to be a low owned punt option, filling in for Giovani Bernard.

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN CASH GAMES:  Johnson/Elliott/Ajayi/Bell/Jennings

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN TOURNAMENTS: Jennings/Hyde/Blount/Gurley/Gordon

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

HIGH OWNERSHIP – As if he doesn’t already see high enough ownership, Antonio Brown ($9200) will see sky high ownership with a pretty flexible pricing structure this Thanksgiving. He’s an excellent play, coming off one of his worst games of the year this weekend. He just wasn’t needed. Should Stefon Diggs get ruled out prior to the game, Adam Thielen ($4000) becomes a lock as he should see double-digit targets. I would assume just because of his opponent, Odell Beckham Jr. ($8800) should see a ton of ownership, and I am certainly not opposed to it. Without Brown on Sunday, I would assume that Julio Jones ($8500) will be highly owned as well. Amari Cooper ($7700) against a bad Carolina defensive backfield is likely to carry high ownership as well.  I like the spot for him and he should be able to put up a nice game. Should Rob Gronkowski miss this game again, Julian Edelman ($6800) should be in for another big day with a ton of targets.  I think the secret is out that Doug Baldwin ($6400) appears to be back, and I have few doubts that he will end up in at least 60% of my lineups this weekend. Rishard Matthews ($5800) continues to see tons of targets from Marcus Mariota, and I think he’s an excellent option in either format. Tyreek Hill ($4800) still seems too cheap for what he has done, but the matchup isn’t great. Tyler Boyd ($4000) should have all the opportunity in the world here with A.J. Green out, and I see him having high ownership.

 

LOW OWNERSHIP – Golden Tate ($5600) looked about as bad as you can imagine someone looking this past weekend, but we have to look past that and I think he’s a nice pivot from some of the higher owned options on Thanksgiving. Pierre Garcon ($3900) could as well go overlooked, despite his production trending upward over the last three weeks. I’d prefer not to use him, but there is certainly an argument for using Mike Evans ($7500) in tournaments. Yes, Seattle is tough, but volume alone could end up helping his cause here. Against a tougher defense, despite being at home, Brandin Cooks ($6800) could very well see his ownership numbers pretty low. Michael Crabtree ($6500) has a pretty brutal game Monday night, and I feel like this price is too high, which may keep players off of him. Brandon Marshall ($6100) is the cheapest he’s been in years, and with Fitzpatrick at quarterback, I think he’ll end up worth the risk in tournaments. . DeVante Parker ($4700) is trending in the right direction, and gets a wonderful matchup here.

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN CASH GAMES: Brown/Baldwin/Edelman/Matthews/Marshall

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN TOURNAMENTS: Parker/Cooks/Garcon/Marshall/Baldwin

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

HIGH OWNERSHIP – I could definitely see Jordan Reed ($6900) dominating ownership on Thanksgiving. He’s in a great position and will have to be utilized a lot if the Redskins want to win. Greg Olsen ($5800) finally gets a nice matchup, and I could certainly see him having a nice game here. I think it is likely that we’ll see  a lot of Gary Barnidge ($3600) ownership this week as a result of Josh McCown coming back and McCown liking to target him. Delanie Walker ($4900) will always see high ownership, being a vital part of the Tennessee passing game. Honestly, I think those guys are going to dominate. If Rob Gronkowski ($6900) plays, he of course is in play, and if he doesn’t, I’m sure we’ll all flock back to Martellus Bennett ($4500), who sees his price rise after doing nothing.

 

LOW OWNERSHIP – I would have put both Eric Ebron ($4000) and Kyle Rudolph ($3700) in the high owned section, but I think they will vulture each others ownership. I think both are set up to have a pretty big game. Tyler Eifert ($5600)  sets up to be a nice play with Green and Bernard out, but I still think he’ll see lower ownership than expected. Antonio Gates ($4200) is cheap, but in a poor perceived matchup, but will likely be low owned, despite being a high volume tight end. That makes him a great tournament play. Travis Kelce ($4000) is irrationally cheap, even for a matchup like this, and is someone I will target often in tournaments.

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN CASH GAMES: Ebron/Rudolph/Reed

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN TOURNAMENTS: Kelce/Gates/Eifert

 

DEFENSES

 

HIGH OWNERSHIP – I know they aren’t great, but I cannot imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers ($2800) not being the highest owned defense on Thursday. Scott Tolzien shouldn’t strike fear into anyone’s hearts. Picking on Jacksonville is a thing again, so we can roll out this Buffalo Bills ($3800) defense at home. I think they should be  in a good spot this week. Seattle Seahawks ($3500) are playing a team that can certainly give up points to defenses when they visit Tampa Bay this weekend.

 

LOW OWNERSHIP – There are a few teams in this low owned section that I think make for attractive plays. The first is the Atlanta Falcons ($2900) going against the suddenly awful Carson Palmer led Cardinals. They are giving points up to defenses like crazy. Next, you can actually look to the New Orleans Saints ($2800) as they take on rookie quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams. Finally, I wouldn’t sleep on the Tennessee Titans ($2800) against the Chicago Bears without a starting quarterback.

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN CASH GAMES: Bills/Seahawks/Titans

 

HOW I’M USING THEM IN TOURNAMENTS: Saints/Falcons/Titans

 

I hope you enjoyed this article, and I will be back next week. I hope to see you on the leaderboards!

 

Nicholas Volinchak is a correspondent at FF Nation. To read more from Nicholas, follow him @researchandwin. You can find more of Nicholas’ football work at Research Fantasy.

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Jason Nation
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