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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks: NFL Week 12 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 12. 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: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals

Justin Herbert ($7,000) — Keenan Allen ($6,100) — James Conner ($6,600)

The Cardinals vs. Chargers game total sits at a healthy 48 points, with both teams also ranking in the top five in situation-neutral pace of play, via Football Outsiders. Neither of these teams have elite defenses and their offenses are trending towards being healthier than they have been in recent weeks, making it one of the best games on the Sunday slate to target for stacking.

On the Arizona side, the Cardinals should have Kyler Murray ($6,800; hamstring) back for this game, but given his recent bout with lower body injuries, you have to figure they’ll be looking Conner’s way in this game often. Conner’s game log over the last couple of weeks is underwhelming, but his snap rate and usage continue to be elite. He played over 77% of the snaps last week, even in a blowout loss, and has averaged four targets per game over the last three weeks. Despite Arizona being underdogs, the spread for this game has stayed within three-points all week and the Chargers remain an elite match-up for opposing RBs, allowing 5.5 yards per carry on the season — the worst mark in the NFL.

Targeting Conner for a breakout game also assumes that we’ll get a potential high volume game out of Herbert. Almost nobody throws the ball more than the Chargers, anyways, as they enter this game averaging 41.5 pass attempts per game, and they’ll take on a Cardinals defense that just allowed nearly 7.0 yards per play last week to the 49ers. Herbert’s season has been hampered by injury, but he was elite last week against a good Kansas City defense, completing 76% of his passes for 9.3 yards per attempt and two TDs. He’ll have Allen back for the second game in a row, as well, and the two hooked up for five completions and 18.8 yards per catch against the Chiefs.

Allen’s performance 94-yard performance came on just a 68% snap rate and we should fully expect his participation to be larger in Week 12. With some of the main offensive cogs on both sides looking undervalued in price due to recent injury issues, or just poor overall team play, now’s the time to jump onto this game.


Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals at Tennesse Titans ($6,700)

Burrow should be in a good spot for another big game this week. The pivot has managed a 13-to-3 TD/INT ratio over his last five games and he posted a healthy 9.1 yards per attempt last week against Pittsburgh. The best thing about Burrow’s performance last week was that he was only sacked twice and his offensive line has now given up just three total sacks over their last two games.

If the Bengals can neutralize the Titans’ pass rush, the getting should be good for Burrow against this defense. Tennessee has allowed the third-most passing yards over the last four weeks of play and has a secondary that struggles to contain elite WRs. Burrow’s prospects would obviously get a huge boost if Ja’Marr Chase ($7,600; hip) suits up, but as he proved last week — with a 26.8 DKFP performance — Tee Higgins ($6,900) is a true WR1, and capable of helping Burrow into a big fantasy week. Don’t be afraid to pay up for the surging Bengals QB or his receivers.

Running Back

Top End: Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints ($8,800)

The sentiment around McCaffrey should be quite low entering Week 12. The former Panther has failed to top 18.0 DKFP in his last two starts, despite being well over $8K in price on DraftKings. While the TD variance with McCaffrey will be high week-to-week thanks to Elijah Mitchell ($4,900) and his involvement as a red zone rusher, McCaffrey was also the only RB on San Francisco to see targets in Week 11.

McCaffrey had an elite 73% route participation and 21% target share in Week 11 and faces a New Orleans defense that has allowed 4.9 yards per carry over the last three weeks (and against whom McCaffrey ran for 108 yards against in Week 3). With his salary now having risen by $500, expect lower ownership in large field GPPs across the board, making this a great time to buy in and play for a vintage McCaffrey explosion.

Value: Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns ($5,100)

Leonard Fournette ($5,800; hip) left last week’s game early with a hip pointer issue and has yet to practice in full this week. Given what White was able to accomplish against the Seahawks in Week 11 (22 carries for 105 yards), it feels like there’s a chance that Fournette will either be given the week off or used sparingly against Cleveland.

The Browns are a terrific matchup for the rookie RB, who played on 64% of the snaps last week and took 22 of the team’s 36 carries. Cleveland has allowed 5.3 yards per carry over their last three games — the second-worst mark in that span. The Browns have also ceded the most DKFP per game to opposing RBs over the last four weeks. Fire up White, regardless of the ownership this week, who offers serious value at a $5K salary

Wide Receiver

Top End: Chris Olave, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints ($6,600)

The 49ers defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs over the last four weeks of play. They’ve become a solid start for WRs in fantasy as their elite rush defense and offense has forced opposing QBs into more drop backs and pass attempts. Teams against the 49ers are now averaging 38.0 pass attempts per game over the last three weeks, the fourth-most in the league.

This all makes it a solid week to look to Olave in large field GPPs, as he’s coming off one of his best games of the year. Olave converted five of six targets last week, averaging a hefty 20.4 yards per catch for 102 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season. Olave ranks third in air yards on the season among all WRs (despite having less than 100 targets) and should come in with lower ownership this week given the fact he’s attached to a low sentiment QB in Andy Dalton ($5,300).

Top Value: Drake London, Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders ($4,900)

The Falcons lost Kyle Pitts (knee) for the season last week and while that’s terrible news for the overall development of their top draft pick from two seasons ago, it’s good news for the short-term prospects of their first round pick from this season. London already had an elite 25.9% target share entering Week 12, but with Pitts gone — who himself had a 23.5% target share — there’s a whole lot of extra volume up for grabs.

London’s been a frustrating roster in fantasy this season, but he was already more than doubling Pitts’ in red zone usage and now should be set for a bump in overall PPR production. Washington has been trending better on defense of late, but have still allowed the seventh-most yards to opposing WRs this year. Drake’s an elite upside value in a solid matchup.

Tight End

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens ($3,200)

The Ravens have remained a solid matchup for opposing TEs this season, yielding five TDs to the position already. It’s a more than decent spot for Engram to produce, as he enters this game averaging six targets over his last six starts. Engram has also now produced four games with 10.0 DKFP or more on the season. This is a week where we should expect Engram to potentially hit his ceiling in terms of usage, as well, as Baltimore’s opponents are averaging 37.2 pass attempts per game — the third-most in the league.

The TE position this week will have a lot of concentrated ownership at the top, with Travis Kelce ($7,700) coming off a big game and Mark Andrews ($6,500) now healthy. Paying down to a player like Engram should give your rosters a different look, particularly with leverage off the Andrews owners from this same game.

Defense/Special Teams

Carolina Panthers ($3,000) at Denver Broncos

The Broncos are last in the league in points per game and have the eighth-worst yards per play mark in the league heading into Week 12. They’ve lost the services of two of their top three RBs and will likely be without Jerry Jeudy ($5,700; ankle) again this week. For fantasy purposes, the prospects of Denver putting up 20 or more real points against Carolina seems relatively small, giving the Panthers D/ST a solid floor.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers pressure rate has shot up the last two games under former defensive coordinator, now head coach, Steve Wilks, with Carolina registering a combined eight sacks. The optics of this game and fact the Panthers are somewhat expensive will likely lead to lower ownership on Carolina’s D/ST, but they have a terrific shot at producing double-digit DKFP given how poorly Denver’s played. With the Broncos having allowed 12 total sacks over their last three games, this is a good week to pay up for the Panthers.

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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.