NFL DFS Projections Preview | DraftKings & FanDuel Lineup Optimizer Values Week 13
We got a break from bye weeks last week, but they’re back this week with the Cardinals and Panthers on bye. Josh Jacobs broke the slate in week 12 going for over 50 FP, which was around 20 FP more than any other player on the main slate, and his ownership was miniscule, as it was a late game and he was questionable with a calf injury that popped up late in the week, so he became an elite GPP play against Seattle. Kudos if you got him in to some lineups! Chris Godwin, Zay Jones, and Garrett Wilson were other standout plays of the week, so let’s dive in to week 13 and start figuring out who this week’s breakout players have a good chance of being.
This is a weekly NFL article that can hopefully show you some lineup-building tools on RG as well as provide some picks and analysis based on those tools.
This Week’s FanDuel & DraftKings NFL DFS Projections Preview
There are ways to get edges in DFS NFL, such as stacking a WR or TE with your QB, correlating a RB or WR on the opposing team of your stack, and targeting volume guys with high floors who get goal-line carries and/or endzone targets that can maximize their ceilings with TDs. I will be focusing on the “main slate” for the week, but you can still find plenty of analysis for the Thursday and Monday NFL games on RG, and feel free to leave suggestions in the comments sections for any strategies/tools you’d like to see here!
This article is meant to highlight some of RG’s most helpful tools for NFL, including our industry-leading NFL DFS projections and NFL lineup optimizer, with some picks and analysis along the way. Let’s get to it!
NFL DFS Injury Roundup
Before we take a look at the projected lineups and picks for the week, it’s important to get a feel for any injuries that we’ll need to monitor as the week goes on and how these injuries will affect our builds if a questionable player ends up out. For cash games, I’m looking for safety, volume, and upside. I tend to avoid players who are dealing with an injury, as they are more likely to aggravate it or possibly have their snaps limited compared to someone coming into the week fully healthy with a full week of practice under their belts.
Looking at The Situation Room we can see who is still out for Week 13, how likely guys who missed week 12 are going to play in Week 13, and any new injuries that we’ll need to monitor ahead of Sunday and how it will affect lineups if certain questionable players end up sitting.
Important guys on the main slate who are out for Week 13 include Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Brandin Cooks, Mike Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Darnell Mooney, Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Romeo Doubs, KJ Hamler, Joe Mixon, Elijah Mitchell, Michael Carter, Chase Edmonds, Khalil Herbert, JK Dobbins, Rex Burkhead, Travis Homer, Darrell Henderson, Darren Waller, Dallas Goedert, David Njoku, and Kyle Pitts.
NFL Projected Lineups – Analysis & Top Stacks
Let’s take a look at NFL Starting Lineups to see any major lineup news, such as guys missing or interesting depth chart changes (main slate for this article) as well as which teams or games I’m looking to stack. This page is my favorite tool for NFL DFS as we get betting lines, DFS salaries, projected ownership, and updated depth charts that we can refer to as we build our lineups or see what is affected by any news throughout the week. Make sure to take advantage of this page to keep you up to date on a variety of beneficial DFS info.
- The biggest news this week is the return of Deshaun Watson, who will start for the Browns against his former Texans team. It’s a prime matchup for an electric player, and his presence should boost the ceilings of all the pass catchers for CLE.
- Elijah Mitchell will be out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury, so Davis-Price and/or Mason will back up McCaffrey, who should see more touches now.
- Jaylen Warren said he expects to play this week, and he could be looking at a big role if Harris is unable to go with his abdomen injury, although Benny Snell would be likely be in the mix after his strong performance last week.
- Michael Carter is doubtful, so Zonovan Knight has a good chance to be the Jets’ RB1 and is extremely cheap in DFS.
- Darnell Mooney is out for the year after undergoing ankle surgery, so Chase Claypool is the clear #1 WR now while Pringle, Pettis, and St. Brown will all fight for targets behind him.
- Daniel Bellinger has a good chance of returning for the Giants, and he could step in to a big role immediately, as their TE production has been awful without him, and their WR situation is even thinner with Toney traded and Robinson out for the year.
- For the Rams John Wolford will start this week while Perkins will be available and could see some playing time as well, while Allen Robinson went on IR, so Van Jefferson will be their WR1 now. Kyren Williams looks to be the RB1 with Henderson traded away, and he out-touched Akers last week 14 to 8, so he’s an intriguing DFS play in a great matchup with Seattle.
- Both Joe Mixon and JaMarr Chase have a good chance of playing this week in a potential shootout with the Chiefs in what is my favorite game stack of the week.
- Other games I like stacking are LAC/LVR, JAX/DET, and NYJ/MIN.
NFL DraftKings & FanDuel Lineup Optimizer Picks
With a good feel for injuries, projected lineups, and strong stacks to consider, let’s check out LineupHQ, where you can create lineups in seconds with our lineup optimizer tool as well as the “build” tool where you can create up to 300 lineups at once based on your custom settings.
If we click on the “P/$” column header in the LineupHQ grid, it will rank all the available players from high to low based on their expected fantasy points per dollar of salary on the specific DFS site you have selected — this is one of the best starting points for finding value on any slate.
- Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) is the most expensive QB but is still projected as the 6th best p/$ play with the 3rd highest ceiling, as this game with the Bengals is projected to be very close and high scoring, which is what we’re looking for to unlock a Mahomes’ 5+ TD ceiling game. CIN will be at full strength on offense if Chase and Mixon play, so Mahomes and the Chiefs will have to keep the foot on the pedal all game, and Mahomes is my favorite QB of the slate because of that.
- This also makes Joe Burrow ($8,300) a super strong play, especially with him likely getting Chase back, and he will likely be lower-owned than Mahomes in cash games if you want a similar upside QB at a $700 price discount who has the home-field advantage with some rushing ability, as shown by his four rushing TDs on the year.
- Other QBs I like for the price include Lamar Jackson ($8,200), Deshaun Watson ($8,000), Justin Herbert ($8,100), Trevor Lawrence ($7,500), Derek Carr ($7,300), and Mike White ($6,900).
- At RB I really like both in the GB/CHI game, as Aaron Jones ($7,400) and David Montgomery ($7,000) are looking at big workloads, and both are involved in the passing game, which raises both their floors and ceilings. The Bears and Packers are also both top 10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs this season, with the Bears at 2nd in TDs allowed to RBs with 13 on the year.
- Kyren Williams ($5,500) and Zonovan Knight ($5,800) are my favorite super cheap RBs, while Dameon Pierce ($6,500) draws a great matchup with CLE and if you can ignore his last two games and trust he gets going again he could be a steal in cash games. Jeff Wilson ($6,800) has a tough matchup against his former SF team but is still super cheap and should lead Miami in touches, while Christian McCaffrey ($8,200) will be an excellent play if his knee irritation allows him to play.
- At WR Garrett Wilson ($6,600) is my favorite p/$ play, as he was White’s favorite target last week, going for almost 100 yards and two 2 TDs, and now he gets a Vikings defense that has allowed the 2nd most FPPG to opposing WRs over the last four weeks. Christian Watson ($6,500) is also looking like a solid value play, as he gets that same Bears defense that Wilson just shredded, and with 6 TDS over his last three games, he will be hard to overcome if you don’t have him and he goes off again at that cheap of a price tag. Zay Jones ($6,400) is also in that cheap price-range, and with 24 targets over his last two games, he is looking like Lawrence’s favorite option and draws a sweet matchup with the Lions.
- Other WRs that I think are underpriced in nice spots this week include DeVonta Smith ($6,800), Deebo Samuel ($6,800), Brandon Aiyuk ($6,700), Adam Thielen ($6,300), George Pickens ($6,700), Diontae Johnson ($6,500), Donovan Peoples-Jones ($6,100), Treylon Burks ($6,100), Van Jefferson ($5,900), and Chase Claypool ($5,500).
- At TE, I will do my best to pair Travis Kelce ($8,400) with Mahomes in cash games, but it could be tough at that price. He easily has the most slate-winning upside compared to any other TE. I like Cole Kmet ($5,000) if Fields is able to play, while George Kittle ($6,200) is in a great spot for a bounce back week against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the 3rd most FPPG and TDs to opposing TEs this year.
- The Ravens ($4,500) are my favorite defense of the week, while the Commanders ($4,100) are another cheap defense I like.
Looking at DraftKings:
- I will still try to fit in Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) as my cash game QB, although Joe Burrow ($6,900) does come at a nice price discount to still get exposure to my favorite game to target this week. Deshaun Watson ($6,500) is also really cheap for a QB facing Houston, with a high rushing floor and ceiling, while Trevor Lawrence ($5,900) and Mike White ($5,400) are my favorite QBs under $6k.
- Aaron Jones ($6,900) and David Montgomery ($6,200) remain two of my favorite RBs to target in cash games, while Josh Jacobs ($7,900) does come at a nice discount compared to his $9.5k price on FD, and he does have one of the highest projected ceilings of the slate against a bad LAC rush D. If Travis Etienne ($6,400) carries no injury designation heading into Sunday, I think he’s a great target as well against Detroit, while Kenneth Walker ($7,000) should also be considered for cash games against the Rams, who will be without Aaron Donald. Zonovan Knight ($4,600) has emerged as a top value RB now with Carter likely out.
- At WR Garrett Wilson ($5,300), Christian Watson ($5,200), and Zay Jones ($4,900) remain my favorite p/$ plays, and I will likely use at least two from that group in cash games. George Pickens ($5,100) and Diontae Johnson ($5,200) are also super cheap with great matchups against Atlanta, while Tee Higgins ($7,200), Tyler Lockett ($6,000), Amari Cooper ($6,400) look underpriced as well. For super cheap, I’d consider Nico Collins ($4,200), Adam Thielen ($5,000), Donovan Peoples-Jones ($4,900), and Chase Claypool ($3,800).
- At TE Foster Moreau ($3,600) is looking like a top cash game play against a Chargers D that has given up the 3rd most yards to opposing TEs this year while Greg Dulcich ($3,400), Cole Kmet ($3,800), and Evan Engram ($3,000) are other dirt-cheap TEs to consider if you don’t want to spend up on Travis Kelce ($7,900).
- The Ravens ($4,000) remain my favorite defense, while the Commanders ($3,300) and Steelers ($2,600) are where I’d go for cheaper options.
Keep checking LineupHQ for any projections changes throughout the week, as the best p/$ plays could change in an instant if someone gets ruled out or some other type of news makes someone likely to see more or less volume.
NFL DFS – RotoGrinders Premium Tools Pre-Lock
If you have any tough lineup decisions or need some quick picks, be sure to check out the Consensus Value Rankings, Expert Survey, and LineupHQ tags from our DFS experts.
Good luck this week!
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