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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks: NFL Week 13 2022 Top High-Upside DFS Contrarian Targets

Geoff Ulrich shares his top high-upside targets, stacks and contrarian options for this week’s main fantasy football slate on DraftKings.

Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate for Week 13. I’m going to focus purely on upside plays, stacks and strategies to help tackle the largest tournaments on the slate. GPPs are not won by using all of the most popular players on the slate, and finding some relatively lower-owned diamonds in the rough will be the goal of this article.

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Game Stack: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals

Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) — Travis Kelce ($7,900) — Justin Watson ($3,200) — Tee Higgins ($7,200)

The game of the week for DFS is in Cincinnati, where we have a 53.0 points game total — a number that has risen throughout the week — and two of the best quarterbacks in the game going head to head.

There are arguments for starting DFS lineups with either Joe Burrow or Patrick Mahomes in this spot, but ultimately there are better reasons to side with Mahomes. The Bengals’ efficiency on offense has forced opposing QBs to drop back an average of 38 times over the past two weeks and Mahomes himself should be eager to make up for what he called his “worst half of football” against the Bengals in the playoffs last year. Mahomes is also the better rusher and averaging 4.0 more DKFP per game this year than Burrow. With the field likely being more heavily invested in Burrow (given his recent form and cheaper salary), starting lineups with Mahomes feels like the better strategic move in GPPs.

While the combo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce isn’t cheap, that fact alone may keep this duo from being a heavily-owned stack in Week 13. Kelce has been destroying man coverage all season and will face off against a Bengals squad in this game against whom he posted a 10-95-TD line in last season’s playoffs. The Bengals have improved their coverage in the middle of the field — they’ve allowed just two touchdowns to opposing tight end this season — so if Mahomes is going to truly ball out he may also need some deep plays from his wide receivers to get us there.

Justin Watson is a name that most people won’t feel comfortable clicking on in this game but the former Buccaneer has been a relative constant in this offense in 2022 and Mahomes has produced a terrific 122.3 passer rating when targeting him this season. Watson’s already grabbed two TD passes from Mahomes in 2022 and has seen his target share increase of late to the point where he’s averaged three targets per game over the past four weeks. With Kadarius Toney (questionable) banged up Watson feels like a perfect min-priced play to pair with Mahomes and round out your Kansas City exposure.

On the Bengals’ side, even with Ja’Marr Chase back, it’s Tee Higgins who we should be looking to for fantasy purposes. The third-year player has had a terrific two-week stretch averaging 16.1 yards per reception with Chase out of the lineup the past two weeks and his bigger frame and ability to come down with the ball mid-field was a key factor in him posting six receptions and 103 yards last year against the Chiefs in the playoffs. Burrow also has a 115.9 passer rating when targeting Higgins this season and with Chase back on the field creating havoc for opposing defenders, it should open Higgins up for even more deep opportunities in this game.


Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders ($7,200)

Justin Herbert has been a quality performer of late, averaging 24.70 DKFP and completing over 75% of his passes over his past two starts. Herbert’s success can be linked to the health of Keenan Allen ($6,500), who returned last week and landed his first TD of the year. In the four games with Allen in the lineup, Herbert has averaged a completion rate of over 72% and 24.5 DKFP per game.

This game also makes plenty of sense to target for upside in DFS contests as we have a 50.5 Over/Under (as of writing) with the Chargers clocking in with the third-highest implied team total on the main slate at 26.0. The Raiders and Chargers have combined for lots of points in their recent late-season matchups as well (57 points in Week 15 of 2020, 67 points in Week 18 of 2021) and Herbert is averaging a stout 304.5 yards and 2.6 passing TDs per game vs. Las Vegas in five career meetings. The Raiders rank third-to-last in sacks per game and just allowed Geno Smith to throw for 328 yards and 8.84 yards per attempt. It’s a great time to buy in on Herbert and get a piece of the Chargers' offense.

Running Back

Top End: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles ($8,100)

One big change we have seen from Derrick Henry this year is his involvement in the passing game and he enters this week averaging 46 yards receiving over his past three starts. Henry’s already eclipsed his season high in catches (21) and is averaging 13.2 yards per catch, which is also a career-best.

The Titans may enter this week as +4.5 underdogs, but the Eagles' rush defense is a concern. They’re ranked just 23rd in defensive rush DVOA on the season and just allowed the Packers’ RBs to combine for 5.35 yards per carry and 13.33 yards per reception last week. Whether or not the Eagles' rush defense holds them back in the playoffs this year is up for debate but it’s certainly an area we can target in fantasy. Henry should chew up lots of yards this week both on the ground and in the air against an Eagles defense that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this year.

Value: Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs Cleveland Browns ($5,900)

This week obviously represents a pretty significant spot for the Texans, who will be going against former franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson ($6,500). With that in mind, we should expect a little extra meanness in the step of the already ferocious Dameon Pierce this week, who likely isn’t thrilled with the 16 yards on 15 carries he’s produced over his last two starts.

Pierce’s lack of production lately has mostly been a product of poor game flow created by a bad defense and a below-average quarterback situation. Luckily, the Browns represent a positive matchup for Pierce and the best one he’s had over the past three weeks. Cleveland comes into this game having allowed the third-most fantasy points to the RB position this season and has ceded at least one touchdown to the running back position in all but two games. Don’t be afraid to target the rookie as a contrarian value this week at running back.

Wide Receiver

Top End: A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans ($7,800)

Tennessee is forcing teams into passing situations at the highest rate in the league (40.1 times per game). This should give a boost to A.J. Brown’s overall usage in this game and it’s something to take note of given the incredible ceiling Brown possesses.

Overall, the former Titan has produced over 17.0 DKFP on four occasions this season, including a 42.6 DKFP game against the Steelers. With his price still up near its peak at just under $8,000 this week, the ownership on Brown is going to be paltry in bigger fields. The Titans represent an obvious “revenge” narrative for Brown but have also allowed the second-most fantasy points to the WR position this season, making this an ideal spot for another breakout performance.

Top Value: Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens ($5,500)

The Broncos' offensive players have all been huge busts for fantasy purposes. To his credit, Sutton has been the least putrid of the bunch, averaging 11.8 DKFP per game on the season. He comes into this game having caught a pass of 20 yards or more in each of his past two games (and in six of his 11 starts) and will be facing off against a Ravens secondary that has allowed the third-most fantasy points and 10 touchdowns to opposing WRs on the season.

Baltimore has benefitted from some easier matchups of late but regressed badly last week, allowing Zay Jones ($4,900) to go off for 11 catches and 145 yards. Sutton has just one TD on the season but leads the team with 11 red zone targets and is a massive positive regression candidate for TDs and fantasy points the rest of the way. He’s a solid GPP target this week and should come with little ownership in big fields.

Tight End

T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets ($5,200)

Since he joined the Vikings, T.J. Hockenson has received 15 targets over two games — just one less than Justin Jefferson ($8,900) has received over that same span. He’s also out-targeted the WR in the red zone, 4-1. That usage paid off last week against another tough defensive team in the Patriots, against whom Hockenson was able to produce a solid 5-43-TD line.

Don’t expect Kirk Cousins ($5,700) to completely shy away from Jefferson — who is in a matchup with top-graded (via PFF) CB Sauce Gardner — but also don’t be shocked if he chooses to rely more on Hockenson either. Given his early usage numbers, the former Lion looks primed for a late-season run of TDs and could also benefit this week from a faster paced-game environment, given the Jets’ improved passing game under Mike White ($5,400). Minnesota and New York have some sneaky fantasy potential this week and Hockenson should benefit from both the Jets' change at quarterback and their strength on the outside at cornerback.

Defense/Special Teams

Miami Dolphins ($2,500) at San Francisco 49ers

The Miami Dolphins take on a 49ers team that is dealing with a multitude of injuries at the moment. Both Christian McCaffrey (knee; $8,600) and Deebo Samuel (quad; $6,600) are questionable for this game and the 49ers will also be without their between-the-tackles pounder in Eli Mitchell (IR). That leaves them in a precarious position against the Dolphins, who come into this game having recorded eight sacks and four turnovers over their past two games.

Miami has improved their rush defense over the course of the season and the addition of Bradley Chubb (who forced a fumble last game) has given them a new disruptive element, allowing Miami to nab fumble recoveries in each of their past two games. San Francisco will almost certainly look to play somewhat conservative in this spot but, at some point, given how well the Dolphins' offense has played, they’ll likely have to air things out more than expected. Even as road underdogs, Miami’s a solid unit to gamble on at the high variance position of DST this week. Their cheap salary and recent trend of creating turnovers make them a great target for Week 13 lineups.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.