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Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Targets, Values for Week 12

Steve Buchanan gives his top studs and values at each position for Sunday’s main DraftKings NFL slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET.

You came here to read about some of my picks for the Week 12 NFL slate on DraftKings, right? Cool. Let’s do that instead of a dumb intro that half of you don’t read anyways.

Oh, but at least follow me on Twitter. @SBuchanan24.

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8,000 — On paper, the Buccaneers’ secondary has not been one to mess with — that is until recently. They seem to be crashing back down to Earth and now have to deal with the highest-scoring team in the NFL. Mahomes has been on a whole different level as of late, averaging 33.1 DKFP, 378 passing yards and 11 touchdowns thrown over his past three games. The Bucs have been one of the worst against slot receivers — such as Tyreek Hill ($7,800) — and will also be down CB Jamel Dean, who has allowed an average of just 8.6 YPR this season. Mahomes should continue to carve up secondaries in this game and I have no qualms about paying up for him here.

Other Option – Justin Herbert ($7,200)


Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons $5,700 — After a couple of quiet weeks, Carr put together a really solid performance against the Chiefs in Week 11, throwing for 275 yards with three touchdowns and 22.6 DKFP. Now, he draws one of the best matchups of the season against a putrid Falcons secondary. The Falcons have allowed a league-leading 28.8 DKFP to opposing quarterbacks and 45.8 DKFP to receivers. Carr has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks according to adjusted completion percentage at 80.5%, which places him fifth in the league amongst those qualified. I think people simply don’t want to play Carr and that’s fine with me because this matchup is one of the best draws on the slate. With one of the highest over/unders on this slate, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook, Carr is in a great spot to produce.

Other Option – Jared Goff ($6,000)

Running Back


Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers $9,500 – Look, I’m not going to tell you anything you haven’t heard already. I think it’s clear that Cook is THE play at running back this week, as he’s been many times already this season. The Panthers are one of the teams you want to target against with opposing backs and this is the matchup he has. This defense is allowing an average of 102 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Cook has carried the ball at least 22 times over four straight games and has 115-plus rushing yards in three of them. He was only four yards short of reaching 100 in Week 10 against the Bears, in what was a tough matchup. Truly, not much to tout here, Cook is the guy in Week 12.

Other Options – Nick Chubb ($7,100)


Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,600 – Earlier this week, I wrote in my Salary Risers and Fallers article that Hunt saw one of the biggest drops this week and quite frankly, it makes no sense. The overall team touches remain extremely close, as Nick Chubb ($7,100) is averaging 20.3% and Hunt is at 34.6%. Hunt is also handling almost all the red-zone work as well with 49.4% of the opportunities. Will Chubb handle most of the early work and rack up the yards in a good matchup? Absolutely. But the huge difference in salary between the two is simply too much. With Chubb expected to be chalky, in tournaments, I’m loving the thought of using Hunt.

Other Options – James White ($4,500)

Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $7,800 – So, let’s talk about the matchup Hill is about to be involved in for Week 12. Primarily operating of the slot, Hill is going to see CB Sean Murphy-Bunting. Do you know how bad SMB (not his nickname, I did that myself) has been in coverage? He’s been targeted against 42 times, allowing 36 receptions for 399 yards, 240 of which have come after the catch, and three touchdowns scored against. Now he has to face Hill? OK, pal. Hill continues to see a huge target share in this offense and has at least 10 targets in three of his past four games and two straight games of at least 100 receiving yards. Sammy Watkins ($4,700) is expected to return and could eat into some of Hill’s targets, but this matchup is too good to pass up.

Other Options – Calvin Ridley ($7,100), Cooper Kupp ($6,400)


Keelan Cole Sr. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland Browns, $3,600 – The Jaguars may not be on your radar, especially with Mike Glennon ($4,600) slated to start but some real value opened up here Friday afternoon. Both DJ Chark and Chris Conley have been ruled out of this game, leaving Cole and Laviska Shenault ($3,300) as the top two wideouts. Cole has carved himself a legitimate role in this offense, grabbing an overall 15% target share and 10.1% in the red zone. We don’t know what this offense will look like with Glennon under center, but we can certainly count on them playing from behind and going into a pass-heavy script. It’s not a bad idea to grab a potential WR1 at such a low salary.

Other Options – Damiere Byrd ($4,100), Josh Reynolds ($4,300)

Tight End


Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills $4,800 – I expect Henry to be a popular play this week and rightfully so. The Bills have been a very, very generous team to opposing tight ends, allowing an average of 16 DKFP, 64.2 receiving yards and six touchdowns to the position. Henry has also been a favorite target for Herbert, drawing an overall 18% target share and a 19% target share in the red zone, both of which are the second-best on the team behind Keenan Allen ($8,000). For a position that’s essentially been a disaster all season long, this is one of those matchups where I’m actually excited to roster someone.

Other Options – Darren Waller ($6,000)


Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers, $2,800 – Rudolph is not a sexy name by any means, but the Vikings are looking as if they’ll be down both Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr. Rudolph would step into the TE1 role, as he did two weeks ago. He was targeted five times and made four catches for 63 yards and 9.3 DKFP. I know, not exciting. However, the Panthers have been susceptible to this position and allow an average of 14 DKFP, 56.2 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Rudolph does have a 15.6% red-zone target share and the two players above him are Thielen and Smith. You could do a lot worse in this salary range.

Defense/Special Teams


Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers, $3,700 – I’m not one to usually pay up much for a D/ST but if that tickles your fancy, the Rams are a great play. Nick Mullens ($5,200) has been under pressure on 37% of his dropbacks and has been sacked 11 times. His adjusted completion percentage drops from an 80.6% with a clean pocket to a 67.3% under pressure. Essentially, you’re paying $3,700 to get Aaron Donald on your roster.

Other Option – New York Giants ($3,200)


Denver Broncos vs. New Orleans Saints, $2,200 – If you want to go way down the list and save some dough, I don’t hate using the Broncos against Taysom Hill ($6,200). The Broncos’ pass rush is quite close to the Falcons, who put Hill under pressure on 40% of his dropbacks, leading to three sacks. At the near minimum, the Broncos could generate similar pressure, forcing Hill to get rid of the ball quickly. I’m surprised how cheap this play is, especially when coming off a six-sack performance against the Dolphins while allowing only 13 points.

Other Option – Los Angeles Chargers ($2,400)

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