The NFL is feeling the full effects of COVID-19. Games are getting pushed back multiple times, future games are getting pushed back as a result, and we’re probably going to get a version of Wednesday Afternoon Football to round out Week 12. Basically, no team or player is safe until we get confirmation they are playing, but we still need to do our research and be prepared for each week. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at the Week 13 NFL slate on DraftKings.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts ($7,500) — Watson has been playing tremendous lately, averaging over 35 DKFP in his last two games against New England and Detroit. Without any obvious QB play to pay up for in a strong matchup, Watson deserves consideration. We do have a couple of red flags, though. Indy is the best defense Watson will face since Pittsburgh in Week 3 — a contest he scored just 18 DKFP in. Also, Houston will be without Will Fuller for the remainder of the season due to a PED suspension. Fuller was finally breaking out as a true WR1, and staying injury free. He had a massive impact on this offense.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots ($6,900) — Herbert is already one of the safest QB plays you could roster. He’s scored at least 19.7 DKFP in every start of his career, and still puts up numbers when he doesn’t play well — 20.44 DKFP in Sunday’s loss in Buffalo. The Chargers just sling it no matter what, throwing 52 times in Buffalo, and 49 times against the Jets a week earlier. Since Week 7, Herbert’s attempted at least 42 passes in all but one game. The matchup against the Pats is a favorable one these days.
Colt McCoy, New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks ($4,800) — This is the definition of “value,” when we get starting QBs priced as backups. Do I have faith in McCoy? No way. But we have to acknowledge the tournament upside. Seattle has still allowed the most DKFP to the QB position this season, and the Giants should be playing from behind. Cousins and Rivers are far safer options in good matchups.
Other Options: Kirk Cousins ($6,400), Philip Rivers ($5,900)
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($9,500) — The Vikings have actually been passing more the last couple of weeks, with Cousins putting up at least good numbers for fantasy purposes in favorable matchups. It hasn’t mattered much for Cook, who has also been taking advantage of the matchups. He shredded Dallas for 29 DKFP, and then an injury during the game against Carolina limited Cook to just 11.2 DKFP, while he still managed 22 touches. I wouldn’t be concerned about going back to him at this price this week against a Jacksonville defense that’s allowed the fourth-most DKFP to RB.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns ($9,200) — After being “limited” to just 103 yards on 19 carries and failing to reach the end zone just a couple of weeks ago against the Colts, the Titans made a point to pound the rock this time around. It resulted in a 27-178-3 line (41.5 DKFP) line for Henry in the rematch. Expect a similar strategy against a Browns defense that ranks 20th in DKFP allowed to RB. Nick Chubb ($7,700) has rushed for 100-plus yards in all three games since returning from injury, and is a nice target on the other side if you can’t pay up for a $9,000 RB.
Rostering Montgomery, regardless or role and matchup, can always be a bit uncomfortable, but this has to be a spot he can manage to return value. Despite a blowout at the hands of the Packers, Monty put up a solid line running the ball and catching it. He finished with 11 carries for 103 yards, also catching five of six targets for 40 yards and a touchdown (28.3 DKFP). The Lions are in shambles, and have allowed the most DKFP to RB this season.
Other Options: Latavius Murray ($5,900), Kareem Hunt ($5,400), Frank Gore ($4,400)
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($9,000) — Adams is just about as machine-like as they come at WR. He averages over 100 yards and more than a touchdown per game this season, only failing to score in the game he got injured, and his first game back from injury. He’s a matchup-proof beast playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, with very few other weapons in the passing game. DK Metcalf ($8,200) just torched Philly for 10 grabs and 177 yards, now it’s Adams’ turn.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots ($8,100) — Like Herbert, even bad games for Allen come with a pretty safe floor in fantasy. He hauled in just four of his 10 targets in Buffalo, but managed 40 yards and a touchdown for 16 DKFP. He’s scored in five straight, and averages over 11 targets per game.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts ($5,600) — Houston’s offense is going to struggle without Fuller, but we know Watson won’t stop throwing the deep ball — especially in a lost season that Houston will continue to trail in most games. Ever since the coaching change, Cooks has averaged 17.3 DKFP on over eight targets per game. The matchup isn’t great, but the volume has to go way up now, and it just takes one big play here. Keke Coutee ($3,500) and Isaiah Coulter ($3,000) will also be forced into larger roles.
Other Options: Nelson Agholor ($5,200), Denzel Mims ($4,100), Keelan Cole ($3,800)
Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets ($6,100) — Another week, another dumpster fire at TE. Waller is the only real stud on the main slate, and gets to face the Jets, who as you’d imagine, rank near the bottom of the NFL defending every position. New York has allowed the fourth-most DKFP to the TE position, leaving plenty of upside.
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans ($3,500) — The punt plays are thin, per usual, pending any lineup news. Burton was our value here last week, and he found the end zone for the fifth time this season. Hopefully the red zone usage remains against Houston.
Other Options: Kyle Rudolph ($3,400)
Seattle Seahawks DST ($3,300) vs. New York Giants — I mentioned McCoy as a value play, but the more plausible outcome is that he leads this Giants offense straight into the ground. The Seahawks rank terribly on defense this season, but finally got it together, giving up 20 points per game the last three weeks. Seattle had six sacks and an interception against the Eagles, and can put up similar numbers in this spot.
Atlanta Falcons DST ($2,400) vs. New Orleans Saints — The Falcons were a popular play in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, which was the first game without Drew Brees (ribs). They were a fair play, scoring 5.0 DKFP. However, the defense has been significantly improved in Atlanta since the coaching change, and we saw an insane 28 DKFP last week against Vegas— five sacks, five turnovers and one going back for a touchdown. I’m willing to go back to this spot at home, and at home the Falcons are strong on defense.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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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