I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had success on the three-game NFL slate as well. We’re already getting into the home stretch for the NFL season, even though it feels like it just started a few weeks ago.
At this time of the season, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to defensive injuries on top of the injuries to skill position players. With that in mind, let’s get into my favorite quarterbacks and running backs for FanDuel and DraftKings.
Cash Game Targets
Russell Wilson @ San Francisco 49ers
With all the injuries to the running game for Seattle, Wilson has provided us with an amazing floor for daily fantasy. He’s attempting 37.7 passes per game and is also averaging 6.1 red-zone attempts per game, both of which rank second in the NFL among QBs. Sticking to the theme, Wilson is second in passing yards, while he's also averaging 280.1 per game this season. He’s had at least 19 fantasy points in five straight games and seven of the last eight games. As far as the matchup goes, the 49ers are allowing the third-most fantasy points and are giving up 1.8 passing touchdowns per game to quarterbacks this season. Wilson has an amazing floor this weekend, but he has a lot of upside in this matchup as well.
Marcus Mariota @ Indianapolis Colts
I don’t typically like picking road quarterbacks, but if you’re paying down this weekend, I think Mariota against the Colts is a strong option. The Colts rank 27th in DVOA against the pass this season, and they’re allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. And while Mariota is only averaging 232.1 passing yards per game this season, the Colts are allowing 287.4 passing yards per game. That’s a one to two point bump in fantasy for Mariota, and if you add that with his rushing floor, he’s a solid cash game option in this matchup. This game has a 45.5 implied total and is one of my favorite games to go over the number in Week 12.
Jacoby Brissett vs. Tennessee Titans
If you’re not paying up for Wilson or Brady, I love the idea of paying down at quarterback this weekend. Like I mentioned above, I like this game to go over the implied total, so it’s a game I want to target. Brissett is on pace to pass the league’s concussion protocol, meaning he should play against the Titans. Going into the bye week, he was able to post three straight games with at least 16 fantasy points, and he has multiple passing touchdowns in three straight games. The Titans rank 26th in DVOA against the pass this season, and they’re allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They’re giving up an average of 2.1 passing touchdowns per game, and they’ve allowed eight passing touchdowns over their last three matchups.
Paxton Lynch @ Oakland Raiders
This is purely a DraftKings play, and just know there is a lot of risk playing Lynch this weekend. He’s a guy I will look at only in large-field tournaments, and I don’t think he will be too popular, but he is dirt cheap on DK. In the three games he played last season, his highest fantasy output was 13.7 fantasy points. At $4,400 on DK, that’s over 3x value, and he has upside to get to 15+ in this matchup. This is simply a price and matchup play for me. Oakland ranks 32nd in DVOA against the pass this season, and they’ve allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of the last four games. I like the idea of playing a bunch of studs around Lynch in large-field tournaments.
Cash Game Targets
Mark Ingram @ Los Angles Rams
This could turn into the best game of the weekend, and I'm looking at both Saints running backs in this spot. While the Rams rank third in DVOA against the pass, they're 20th in DVOA against the run, and they're allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Ingram has at least 75 rushing yards in six straight games, and he’s fourth in rushing yards overall in 2017. Over the last six games, he’s been a top 10 fantasy running back five times, and he’s been a top three back in three of those games. He’s scored at least 19.9 fantasy points in five of the last six weeks. Ingram presents a nice floor in this matchup, as the Saints have been running the ball really well this season.
Kareem Hunt vs. Buffalo Bills
I’m going back to the well with Hunt one more time, and if he fails in this matchup, I might have to ban myself from playing him. He has an amazing matchup this weekend, as the Chiefs are 10-point favorites at home against the Bills and have a 28.3 implied team total. The Bills have struggled badly against the run this season, as they’re ranked 31st in DVOA and have allowed nine rushing touchdowns in the last three games. They just can’t tackle anyone right now. Hunt is averaging five yards per carry this season (which ranks fourth in the NFL), and he’s touched the ball more than 20 times in three of the last four games. I’ve been wrong on him a lot lately, but I’m giving him another chance this weekend.
Alvin Kamara @ Los Angles Rams
I absolutely love Kamara on full-point PPR sites this weekend, and I’m hoping his price tag scares people off. On full-point PPR scoring, he’s been a top 10 running back in five straight games and six of the last seven. He has over 100 yards rushing in four of the last five, and he’s scored at least one touchdown in four straight games. On top of all that, Kamara is still getting plenty of work in the passing game, as he has at least five catches in four of the last five games. The Rams allow an average of five catches per game to opposing running backs, and like I mentioned with Ingram, they’re allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs. I don’t hate playing Ingram and Kamara together, though I do think Kamara has the lower ownership this weekend.
J.D. McKissic @ San Francisco 49ers
This pick depends on the Mike Davis news, but right now, it doesn’t look like he is going to play this weekend. If this is the case, I expect McKissic to get a lot of work in both the running and passing games. With all of the injuries, McKissic, who's had nine catches on 11 targets over the last two games, has a lot of upside at his current DraftKings price. He played 50 of the 74 snaps last week, and I would expect a similar workload if Davis is out again this week. The 49ers are 31st in DVOA against pass catching running backs this season, and they’re allowing 61.7 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. That is the most of any team this season. They’re also allowing 117.4 rushing yards per game, which is also the most in the NFL. Watch the Mike Davis news -- if he sits, McKissic is an amazing value play this weekend.