The weekend after Thanksgiving is made for bargain shopping, and that can extend to your fantasy football team as well as you put together your team for the DraftKings Week 12 main NFL slate that is well-stocked on Sunday afternoon. While there are no teams on a scheduled bye this week, the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day, and those teams won’t be on the main slate as a result. Additionally, the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears are the four teams in primetime games.
Eight of those games are scheduled to kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET in what should be a frenetic start to the day. The Arizona Cardinals will travel to Foxborough coming off their bye week to take on the New England Patriots in one of the intriguing early matchups, while the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts meet up again in another critical AFC South contest. In the three late games, the New Orleans Saints continue the Taysom Hill ($6,200) experience as they take on the Denver Broncos, and the San Francisco 49ers meet the Los Angeles Rams in a divisional matchup. The marquee game of the day, though, is the only 4:25 p.m. ET start, which features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to bounce back from another bad primetime loss as they host the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
As you look through all the matchups and set your DraftKings roster, make sure to take a look at the affordable plays listed below that come loaded with upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Check out the plays I like the most this Sunday.
Set your DraftKings fantasy football Millionaire lineups here: NFL $2.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st]
($6,000 and under)
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons, $5,700 – The Raiders almost pulled off the season sweep of the Kansas City Chiefs, but Patrick Mahomes ($8,000) had just a little more late magic than Carr. Despite a late interception, Carr had a solid total with 22.6 DKFP with 275 passing yards and three scores. He has gotten inconsistent volume at times this season based on game script, but when called upon for more work, he has typically delivered a good game. In run-heavy game scripts like against the Broncos, Chargers and Browns, Carr attempted 25 passes or fewer and produced 15.0 DKFP or under. However, he attempted 30 passes or more against the Bucs, Chiefs twice, Bills, Patriots, Saints and Panthers. He has over 20 DKFP in five of his past six games against those opponents and should be in for a similar, up-tempo style of play in this matchup against the Falcons in Atlanta.
The Falcons’ DST ($2,200) has given up the fourth-most DKFP to QBs on the season and last week were beaten up by Taysom Hill in his first NFL start. In 10 games, they have surrendered 22 passing touchdowns and six rushing scores to opposing QBs along with an average of 313.6 passing yards per game. Carr should be able to find mismatches all over the field and put up a good total. If he gets to 20 DKFP from under $6K, he sets up the rest of your lineup for success with more salary to spend.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals, $5,500 – Jones and the Giants have battled their way back into the mix in the NFC East with back-to-back wins over Washington and Philadelphia. They played the Bucs tough on Monday Night Football in Week 8, and haven’t lost by more than three points since Week 4. Is it fortuitous timing that they catch the Bengals the week after Cincinnati loses Joe Burrow? Definitely, but it’s also a great matchup to grab Danny Dimes at an affordable salary with the potential for him to exploit the Bengals’ defense. While the secondary of the Bengals has been around league-average, they have the worst pass-rush grade (56.1) in the NFL, according to their PFF pass-rush grade, which should give Jones time to take his time to break them down.
Jones has posted over 18 DKFP in three of his past four games, including 22.16 DKFP last week against the Eagles. In that contest, he threw for 244 yards and ran for 64 more along with a rushing touchdown. He has been a consistent contributor on the ground, averaging over 50 rushing yards over his past five games, and he has been relatively efficient, completing over 60% of his passes in all but one of his 10 games this season.
Other Option: Tua Tagovailoa ($5,900), Ryan Tannehill ($5,800)
($5,000 and under)
Wayne Gallman Jr., New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals, $5,000 – Gallman has been pretty solid for the Giants during their run of recent success, scoring five touchdowns over his past four games. Although the yardage hasn’t been elite at just 49.8 yards per contest, his usage near the end zone has helped him put up over 12 DKFP in each of those four contests and average 15.8 DKFP per contest.
He has also seen his usage climb from just 8% of snaps in Week 6 before the injury to Devonta Freeman (ankle/hamstring) to a season-high with 59% of snaps in Week 10. Gallman is also monopolizing with 11 of 17 RB touches in the red zone over the past four weeks. He is getting plenty of chances for short-yardage scores. With Freeman still on IR, Gallman should continue to get most of the workload in the New York backfield with Dion Lewis ($4,000) and Alfred Morris ($4,000) only mixing in occasionally. The Bengals have the fifth-worst PFF run-defense grade in the NFL, so Gallman should be able to continue his recent run of success, especially since the Giants should be able to dominate time of possession against Brandon Allen ($4,900).
James White, New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals, $4,500 – White is poised to step into a much larger role after a serious knee injury to Rex Burkhead, which is expected to sideline Burkhead until next season. White played a season-high 57% of the Patriots’ snaps in Week 11 with 31-of-39 coming after the Burkhead injury on the first play of the second half. He finished with 14.3 DKFP thanks in large part to six catches on nine targets for 64 yards.
White is well-known for his pass-catching prowess and PPR potential, but now it looks like he should have that role exclusively to himself after Burkhead’s injury. While Sony Michel ($4,000) and Damien Harris ($5,800) will likely get most of the carries, White has a very high floor for a value play, and he will offer good upside if he finds the end zone or if the Patriots have to play from behind and go pass-heavy like they did in the second half against Houston.
Other Options: Zack Moss ($4,800), Frank Gore ($4,300)
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($5,000 and under)
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills, $5,000 – The Chargers have turned into a high-flying offense with Justin Herbert ($7,200) under center, and the rookie QB has completed at least 20 passes in each of his nine starts. While Keenan Allen ($8,000) is clearly his favorite option, Williams has also been heavily targeted with at least seven passes coming his direction in three of his past four games. He hauled in 4-of-7 targets for 72 yards, a touchdown and 17.2 DKFP against the Jets last week and has over 13 DKFP in four of his past six games.
Williams still comes with volatility since he’s not the top option in an inconsistent passing game, but he definitely has upside in what should be a back-and-forth offensive contest between the Chargers and Bills. He is second in the NFL among WR with over 50 targets in average depth of target with a 16.6 yard average over his 52 targets. He’s not a can’t-miss play at $5K, but his ceiling makes him worth mixing into your lineups at this salary.
Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, $3,700 – Grant has been running as the WR2 for the Dolphins since the foot injury to Preston Williams in Week 9. In each of the two weeks since then, he has played over 75% of snaps. He was targeted five times in Week 9, five times in Week 10 and six times in Week 11. Last week in Denver, though, Grant only managed to haul in two of those targets for 3.5 DKFP. He was targeted on one of three red zone passes to WR, but he only managed two yards on that catch in the fourth quarter.
Grant has a ton of play-making ability if he is able to connect with Tua Tagovailoa ($5,900) against the Jets, as Tua tries to bounce back. It’s a great matchup for the Dolphins to get their franchise QB back on track, and getting the ball to Grant is a solid way to make that happen. While Grant’s average depth of target is still behind where Williams was prior to injury, he is being looked at slightly deeper than WR1 DeVante Parker ($5,900), giving him a high ceiling for a sub-$4K play against the Jets.
Richie James, San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams, $3,500 — While the Jets are a favorable matchup, the Rams are a very tough matchup for opposing WR. However, James is still worth a look depending on how the 49ers’ WR depth looks headed into Sunday. As of Wednesday, Brandon Aiyuk ($5,600) is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Deebo Samuel ($5,400; hamstring) is still uncertain to return. With both those young WRs a big part of the future of the team, San Francisco will likely play it cautious, and if they do, that could open a big role for James.
James had his breakout with a huge nine-catch performance for 184 yards and 36.4 DKFP two weeks ago on Thursday Night Football against the Packers. The 49ers were extremely short-handed due to COVID-19 restrictions for that game, but he stayed very active the following game as well, playing the most snaps of any San Francisco WR with 97% of snaps against the Saints. He caught 3-of-5 targets for 26 yards in a quiet fantasy day but was still on the field and running routes, which means he has potential for more. Since the 49ers will likely be playing from behind and throwing the ball, James could be in for another big week, so make sure to keep a close eye on who is available and use James if Aiyuk or Samuel is unable to give it a go.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins, $3,500 – Another cheap WR under $4K loaded with upside is Jets’ rookie Denzel Mims, who has been working his way into a larger role with the Jets since returning from injury for his NFL debut in Week 7. In his four games since then, he has been targeted 26 times and hauled in 13 passes for 217 yards. He set a new career-high with 71 yards against the Chargers last week and also drew a couple of pass interference penalties deep down the field.
Mims currently ranks No. 7 in the NFL in average depth of target, just one spot ahead of Mike Williams. He is getting a high volume of looks and they’re typically deep ones down the field, so he definitely has the potential for a big game if he can convert more of those into catches. The Jets definitely seem invested in making sure their second-round pick from Baylor gets plenty of work now that he’s healthy, and I think he could finally get his first touchdown of his career this week against Miami.
Other Options: Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,000), Nelson Agholor ($4,900), Russell Gage Jr. ($4,800), Damiere Byrd ($4,100), KJ Hamler ($3,500)
($4,000 and under)
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans, $3,200 – Burton is a little tricky to count on since he’s part of a three-man rotation at TE for the Colts with Mo Alie-Cox ($2,700) and Jack Doyle ($2,500). Philip Rivers ($6,100) has spread the love to all three of those TEs and many WRs as well, so it’s sometimes hard to predict who will be involved. Burton has been the most productive of the bunch, though, and has found the end zone four times in his seven games since coming off IR.
During that seven-game span, he has nine red zone looks including two in his most recent game against the Ravens. He hauled in 3-of-3 targets for 24 yards against the Titans two weeks ago and has touchdown-dependent upside in the rematch in Indianapolis this Sunday.
Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants, $2,600 – Sample has been the top option at TE for the Bengals since C.J. Uzomah (knee) was lost for the season in Week 2. He hasn’t done a ton despite playing over 80% of snaps in each of the past four games and seven of the eight games since Uzomah’s injury, but he may be in for an increased workload due to the change at QB.
With Burrow out, Brandon Allen ($4,800) is expected to take over as the starter and during his three games last season with the Broncos he targeted his tight ends a total of 24 times on 30% of his throws. He even threw it to Noah Fant ($4,200) 11 times in one of those games. While that was in a different system, Sample deserves to be on the radar as an ultra-cheap play with Allen taking over at QB.
Other Options: Dan Arnold ($2,900), Tyler Eifert ($2,600)
($2,800 and under)
Panthers DST, Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings, $2,600 – The Panthers’ defense was outstanding last week against the Lions, producing a season-high 17 DKFP with five sacks, a fumble recovery and zero points allowed. Carolina used every single one of their picks in the NFL Draft to fortify this defense, so it isn’t surprising that it is a young group with a lot of growing to do during the season. They have been better lately aside from getting shredded by the Bucs in Week 10 and have now forced 14 turnovers in their 11 games. The Vikings lost last week to the Cowboys, giving up two sacks and losing two fumbles, and they also had two turnovers the week before against the Bears.
Titans DST, Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts, $2,400 — The Titans bounced back from their bad loss to the Colts with a win over the Ravens last week, and they’ll now get a chance for revenge against their division rivals on the road in Indy. Tennessee gave up 441 yards and 34 points in their Thursday Night Football loss in Week 10 to the Colts and finished with 0.0 DKFP. However, they had 3.0 DKFP against the Ravens and showed even more upside earlier in the season, including double-digit DKFP against the Bears in Week 9. It’s obviously not a great matchup, but they have more upside than any of the other plays under $2.5K if you need to go super-cheap to pay up in other spots.
Other Options: Chiefs ($2,700)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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 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.
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