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Fantasy football, DFS, and betting primer for Week 13

Your one-stop shop for NFL fantasy football, DFS and betting advice for Week 13.

Adam Thielen #19 of the Minnesota Vikings catches a pass from Kirk Cousins #8 against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter of the preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Welcome to Week 13 of the fantasy football season. My apologies for missing last week’s primer. I had to have my gallbladder removed post haste. But have you no fear reader, your gallbladder-less host is back and ready to dole out some NFL info that will blow your gallbladder right out from under your liver. First, I’ll give you my favorite DK individual plays at each position. Then I’ll go through the relevant injuries for this week. And I’ll wrap it all up with my favorite wagers for this Sunday.

I’ll also be answering start/sit questions in our War Room starting two hours before early game kickoffs. Do give a click if you’re reading this between 11 am - 1pm EST Sunday morningish.

Weather

The weather looks great for this weekend.

Favorite DK plays

QBs:

Aaron Rodgers, $6,800

Rodgers has been on fire, averaging 25.5 DK points per game with only one game under 19 DK points all season. And his price is still in a range where you don’t need to sacrifice too much for that kind of consistency in your cash lineups. Cousins has the better matchup, but Rodgers is more trustworthy. Plus, the Eagles pass defense isn’t one to write home about.

Kirk Cousins, $6,400

Cousins will likely be chalky, as he’s been playing well, isn’t expensive and gets a top matchup against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed the most quarterback DK points per pass attempt over the last eight weeks while Cousins has hit 30 and 27 DK points in his last two games. He’s also has 17 touchdown passes to six interceptions in six home games and will face the hapless Jaguars in Minnesota Sunday.

Other QBs I like: Ryan Tannehill, $6,200, Derek Carr, $5,800, Jared Goff, $5,800

RBs:

Myles Gaskin, $5,900

He’s not quite as cheap as I hoped, but he’s still a value play based on his likely workload in a good matchup. Gaskin has been taken off IR and will play, while the Dolphins are down to just Patrick Laird as their only healthy active roster running back. Before his injury, Gaskin averaged 20.8 touches for 87.4 yards and two touchdowns in his five starts. With the Bengals rolling Brandon Allen out at quarterback and the Dolphins defense playing well, the Bengals shouldn’t force Miami to pass, giving Gaskin plenty of work in a solid matchup.

Austin Ekeler, $7,100

In his last two full games, Ekeler has caught 22-of-27 targets for 169 yards. The Patriots are middling in most statistical points against running backs, so they aren’t a smash spot, but they aren’t a shutdown defense either. They do rank 28th in run defensive DVOA, but Belichick does often manage to slow down opponent’s best players. But what we’re paying up for here is Ekeler’s great usage and PPR upside at DraftKings.

James Robinson, $7,300

James Robinson ranks fourth in running back touches per game with 20.9 and since Week six has raised that to 23 touches per game. His usage continues no matter game-script and makes him a safe cash game play most weeks. The Vikings have been stingy at giving up touchdowns to running backs, but they’ve been middling across the board.

Jonathan Taylor, $5,700

Over their last eight games, the Texans have allowed an average of 183 yards on 31 touches to running backs. Taylor had 26 touches, including four receptions, against the Packers before going on the Covid-19 list. But he had just 17 touches in his two previous games. The inconsistency is worrisome, but with Will Fuller and Randall Cobb out, the Texans likely won’t force the Colts to abandon the run, giving Taylor a good floor of touches this week.

Other RBs I like: Dalvin Cook, $9,500, David Montgomery, $5,500, Devontae Booker, $5,500, Chris Carson, $6,300, James White $5,000

WRs:

Adam Thielen, $7,300

Thielen will return from the Covid list this week and gets a dream matchup with the Jaguars. He and Justin Jefferson get great matchups and are both worth a start, but I’m leaning toward Thielen, as he is still the veteran and target leader

Keke Coutee, $3,500

There aren’t any cheap plays that I absolutely love this week, but Coutee sure is in a good spot to see targets with Randall Cobb and Will Fuller out. The Colts defense is strong, but they aren’t impossible to beat through the air and we don’t need him to do all that much to give us value.

Jarvis Landry, $6,200

I expect the Titans to be able to put up points on the Browns and get them throwing the ball to make up ground. The Titans allow the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers and Landry is coming off his best game of the season. I expect more of the same this week, as he is by far the best receiver on the team and should see work funneled his way.

Other WRs I like: Justin Jefferson, $6,900, Allen Robinson, $6,700, Robert Woods, $5,900, Brandin Cooks, $5,600, Cooper Kupp, $6,100, Allen Lazard, $5,000, Corey Davis, $5,100, Michael Pittman, $4,900, Denzel Mims, $4,100, Breshad Perriman, $3,900, Tyler Lockett, $7,400

TEs:

T.J. Hockenson, $5,000

Bears defense funnels targets to tight ends, as they rank third in tight end targets and first in tight end receptions over the last eight weeks while allowing the fifth most touchdowns. With Kenny Golladay still out, Hockenson should again be a big part of the game plan.

Robert Tonyan, $3,700

Tonyan has back-to-back touchdown games and the Eagles are susceptible to tight ends. IN a Rodgers stack, Davante Adams is of course the best receiver, but he’s also extremely expensive. Tonyan makes for a nice pairing with Rodgers and he has nice upside at a good price.

Other TEs I like: Trey Burton, $3,500. Kyle Rudolph, $3,400, Jordan Akins, $2,900, Anthony Firkser. $2,500

D/ST:

Chicago Bears, $3,100

The Lions will be without Kenny Golladay, D’Andre Swift and Matthew Stafford is still nursing a thumb injury. The Bears will look to rebound after getting smoked by Aaron Rodgers at Soldier Field and I they have a good chance to do just that.

Seattle Seahawks, $3,300

The Seahawks pass rush has improved a lot this season and their weak pass defense will have an easier time with Colt McCoy at the helm instead of Daniel Jones.

Other D/STs I like: Green Bay Packers, $3,800, Los Angeles Rams, $3,200, Miami Dolphins, $4,400

Fantasy Relevant Injuries/Moves

Quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be active which means he should start against the Bengals.

Lamar Jackson could be activated from the Covid-19 list on Sunday, but nothing is set in stone. If he can’t go on Tuesday, Trace McSorley would get the start.

Daniel Jones is doubtful to play, which will give Colt McCoy the start. McCoy is a downgrade for the Giants offensive pieces.

Running Back

D’Andre Swift is doubtful to play the Bears. Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson will share the workload again.

Josh Jacobs is out against the Jets. Devontae Booker should get the lead role and will likely see enough work to be a safe fantasy flex play.

Myles Gaskin was activated from I.R. and should get a big workload against the Bengals with so many Dolphins running backs out this week.

David Johnson is set to return against the Colts. Duke Johnson will return to his backup role.

J.K Dobbins and Mark Ingram have been removed from the Covid-19 list and should play Tuesday. Dobbins has the highest fantasy upside of all the Ravens backs against the Cowboys.

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones is on track to play after not playing last week. He’s always a candidate to miss some time during the game, but he’s still a must play.

Kenny Golladay remains out while Danny Amendola is set to return this week against the Bears.

Allen Robinson is on track to play in a good matchup with the Lions.

D.J. Chark will return against the Vikings after missing last week’s game.

Nelson Agholor will play against the Jets after missing two practices during the week.

Tight Ends

Irv Smith is out, which should boost Kyle Rudolph’s work against the Jaguars once again.

Jonnu Smith is out, so Anthony Firkser will get the lead role this week against the Browns.

Favorite wagers

In Week 11 I went 2-2, putting me at 25-16 on the season. I didn’t have any picks for last week

New England Patriots +2 over the Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers couldn’t win a close game to save their lives and Bill Belichick’s record against rookie quarterbacks is well documented. There’s not much to like about the Patriots other than they are winning games they shouldn’t be and this looks like another good shot for that to happen.

Tennessee Titans -5 over the Cleveland Browns

The Titans are playing the best they have all season while the Browns are a very shaky 8-3 this season. Despite that strong record, they are 4-7 against the spread and don’t really have answers for this Titans offense right now.

Player Props

Jarvis Landry OVER 57.5 receiving yards

Landry has been dealing with injuries and weather since Odell Beckham Jr.’s season ended, but we saw what he could do with better health and weather last week against the Jaguars. The Titans have given up the seventh-most receiving yards to wide receivers and should be able to get a lead on the Browns, giving Baker Mayfield plenty of reason to throw to his best target.

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