NFL DFS Lineup Optimizer Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel - Week 12


NFL DFS season is in full swing as Week 12 approaches, and our expert analysts are breaking down NFL DFS lineup optimizer picks and projections for FanDuel and DraftKings. Sign up for RotoGrinders Premium for full access to our NFL lineup optimizer and fantasy football projections all season long.

No teams are on bye this week, but with eight teams playing before Sunday, we have a reduced main slate with ten games. The good news is that six of those games have totals above 42, and all but one game have spreads of four points or less. PIT and CLE are both in the two of the three lowest projected scoring games of the slate against CIN and DEN respectively, while BUF/PHI and JAX/HOU are the best games of the slate with totals above 47.

It’s another wild week on the ever moving QB carousel, as Jake Browning takes over for the Bengals with Burrow out for the year, Jameis Winston will likely start for the Saints with Carr in the concussion protocol, Desmond Ridder is getting the starting job back for the Falcons, Bailey Zappe is a strong candidate to take over for Jones, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson has earned another start for CLE after getting the win last week.

Other big injury news includes the return of Kyren Williams for the Rams, although both Kupp and Nacua are dealing with injuries, and at least one of them may be out this week. Michael Thomas will be out this week and potentially longer with a knee injury, and the status of Tee Higgins, Dameon Pierce, and Noah Brown will have big DFS implications for guys like Boyd, Singletary, Dell, and Collins.

Let’s get into some of my favorite plays of the slate!

NFL DFS Lineup Optimizer Picks for DraftKings

Kamara ($8,400), Brown ($9,000), Diggs ($8,800), and Kelce ($8,200) are dominating the salary at their respective positions, and given the matchups along with available value below them, Diggs is my favorite spend up of that group against the Eagles. Unsurprisingly Josh Allen ($8,100) is my favorite spend up at QB to stack with Diggs, and at DST I’m loving the value of the Chiefs ($3,100) against the Raiders.

Rachaad White ($6,100)

White’s price has been creeping up since week 7, but it’s only gone up a total of $1,000 since then, and he is still way too cheap given his role and this week’s matchup. The Colts are allowing 129.7 rush yards/game and just released top LB Shaq Leonard, so even if we don’t include the receiving upside of White, he is looking at an excellent matchup to put up 100 yards and a TD just as a pure rusher. Adding in his 4.4 targets/game just makes him that much more of a steal on a full PPR site like DK, and with four straight games of 17.8+ FP, keep using him in cash games until he gets a tougher matchup or his price starts to actually reflect his production.

Derrick Henry ($6,400)

With two straight games under 6 FP, Henry’s price remains historically low, and back at home against the Panthers is exactly the matchup he needs to get back to being the King Henry we know he can be. Carolina is allowing 129.4 rush yards/game, and it’s hard to see a scenario in which Henry gets game-scripted out of 20+ touches as the Titans are favored by four. Assuming this game is close to the end or the Titans start to pull away late, they will absolutely lean on Henry in order to get back in the win column after losing three straight, and his upside is just way too high for me to fade in cash games at this low of a price.

Diontae Johnson ($4,900)

I’m not sure if Johnson has even been below $5k on DraftKings, but with back-to-back games under 4 FP he has finally dipped below after dropping another $100 in price. The Steelers fired their OC Matt Canada after putting up 10 points on Cleveland and not scoring over 24 points in any game this year, so with a new play-caller this week and a very important divisional matchup with the Bengals, Johnson is looking like a steal at his price. Cincinnati is allowing 249.1 pass yards/game, which ranks 28th of 32, and even with all of the struggles on offense Johnson is still seeing almost 8 targets/game, so with a likely 7 target floor against a bad pass defense, I would strongly consider DJ in cash games at one of his lowest salaries of his entire career.

NFL DFS Lineup Optimizer Picks for FanDuel

The Chiefs DST ($5,000) are far from a value as the most expensive defense, so I’ll likely only use them in cash games on DraftKings and go with a cheaper option on FanDuel like the Titans ($4,300) or Falcons ($3,800). Henry ($7,800) and White ($7,000) are still two of my favorite p/$ RBs, and Johnson ($6,400) remains a top WR value target. Overall it’s looking like a lot of mid-range priced guys will make my main build along with a top-six priced QB.

Isiah Pacheco ($6,600)

The Chiefs are coming off a tough loss to Philly and now get a divisional matchup against a Raiders team who they have dominated of late, and as 9.5 point favorites we should see a heavy dose of Pacheco as the game wears on. Las Vegas is allowing 132.3 rush yards/game and Pacheco is coming off a 20-touch game in a much tougher matchup and close game throughout, so in a softer matchup as big favorites I think he could push for 20+ carries and a couple of targets, and as the 17th priced RB I think he’s a top value for cash games.


Calvin Ridley ($7,100) / Nico Collins ($6,900)

We’re going to want exposure to this JAX/HOU game sitting at a 47.5 total and just a 1.5-point spread, and for the price, these two WRs are my favorite p/$ cash game targets. Ridley is coming off his best game of the year turning 9 targets in to a 7-103-2 line, and now gets another great matchup against a Texans defense allowing 241.4 pass yards/game. His price only went up $600 from last week and will take another big jump towards $8k after he likely puts up another good game this week. Collins returned from his one-game absence and went right back to being a high volume option for Stroud, turning 11 targets into a 7-65 line. The Jags are allowing 254.4 pass yards/game so there should be plenty of opportunities for all of the Houston WRs to put up big numbers, and after dropping $300 in salary and being $900 cheaper than Dell now, Collins is my preferred cash game play from Houston.

Dalton Kincaid ($6,000)

The Bills find themselves as 3.5 point road underdogs this week in Philly, so the passing game will be relied on heavily especially against a pass-funnel Eagles defense that has been extremely stout against the run. Kincaid has seen 6+ targets in each of the last five games and has gone for 11+ FP in four of those, yet his salary continues to be way too cheap and he shouldn’t be priced below guys like Schultz and Hill anymore like he is again this week. Kelce will almost certainly get a lot of exposure by the field in cash games, so I’ll gladly go with Kincaid for $2,300 cheaper and likely lower ownership, with arguably a similar ceiling as Kelce if he can find the endzone once or twice. Trey McBride ($6,100) is another fantastic value at TE and I don’t mind using both he and Kincaid in cash games with one in the flex spot.

Use Our DFS Lineup Optimizer for Week 12

Make sure to check out our in-house NFL DFS lineup optimizer, LineupHQ, to get a great look at even more top projected plays. It is by far the best place to build a large number of lineups quickly using your personalized build rules, ownership preferences, and stacks you want covered. You can also look at projected ownership to help you decide between players if you’d rather get leverage on the field with someone likely to see much lower ownership than similar plays at his position or price point.

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About the Author

Erik Wardenburg (naapstermaan)

Erik Wardenburg (aka naapstermaan) has been playing fantasy sports since 2005 and DFS since 2010. He went to UC Davis, majoring in Economics, and began working with RotoGrinders in 2015. He currently manages the lineups page for MLB, NBA, and NFL, provides Consensus Value Rankings for MLB and NBA, and manages The Situation Room for NBA. Erik has made multiple Live Finals in MLB, NBA, and NFL on a variety of sites and enjoys grinding small/medium stakes every day. Follow Naap on Twitter – @naapstermaan