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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.

This article is usually handled by the legendary Stan Son, but even our heroes need vacations. Thus, they asked myself to step in for him and break down this Week 12 slate. With some big shoes to fill, I’ll do my best.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @SBuchanan24

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Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, $6,600 — Despite scoring 38.28 DKFP last week against the Steelers, Herbert saw his salary go DOWN $100 for Week 12 against the Broncos. It’s been a bit of a hit or miss season for the quarterbacks sophomore season but this is a fantastic matchup to keep that momentum up. The Broncos secondary is a far cry from what we saw at the beginning of the season and this has been a team you can target against. The Broncos pass rush is also nearly nonexistent, which will suit well for Herbert. Working with a clean pocket, Herbert has 82% adjusted completion percentage (T-5th) 8.1 YPA (9th) and 19 (3rd) of his 22 passing touchdowns. The -2.5 spread in favor the Chargers indicates this could be a close game, which works in favor of Herbert seeing as the Chargers pass on 64.1% of their offensive plays (5th).

Other Options – Tom Brady ($7,600)


Mac Jones, New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans $5,400 — Jones doesn’t bring some of the upside others do in this range. Guys like Cam Newton ($5,600) and Tyrod Taylor ($5,300) can earn production with their legs. Jones is not that guy, however, I do like him a lot this week against the hapless Titans. This team really struggles in their secondary and Jones has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. Amongst qualified quarterbacks, Jones’ 70.2% completion rate is the second-best in the league behind Kyler Murray. Now he faces a team allowing an average of 270 passing yards, 7.02 YPA, and 18 passing touchdowns. With a low salary of just $5,400, Jones could easily go 3-4x his salary in a very favorable matchup with the Patriots projected at 25.5 points (-115).

Other Option – Cam Newton ($5,600)

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Running Back


Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins, $9,000 — The Panthers are slight favorites in this game, with the spread currently set at -2.5. McCaffrey is the second-most expensive option on this slate but the attention is going to be on Jonathan Taylor ($9,100), who is only $100 more and just scored five touchdowns last week. Thus, I like taking McCaffrey in this spot against the Dolphins. Their run defense has been good as of late, holding opposing backs to no more than 84 yards in SIX straight weeks. That said, the competition has been lackluster, aside from the Bills and Ravens. McCaffrey has averaged just under 20 touches per game since returning, including 23 targets. I think he’ll have this way against this Dolphins run defense, who really hasn’t been tested in quite awhile. Over the past three seasons when the Panthers have been favored, McCaffrey has averaged 24.8 DKFP and has scored over 30+ DKFP in six of those games.

Other Options – Dalvin Cook ($8,100), Najee Harris ($8,200)


Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings, $5,400 – Mitchell is currently listed as questionable for this week against the Vikings but if he plays, this salary could be a steal. Having not taken the field since Week 10, Mitchell has seen his salary drop $300 after facing the Rams. He ran the ball 27 times for 91 yards but could only come up with 9.1 DKFP. That said, the amount of volume he gets should put him in a great position against a run defense allowing an average of 24.5 DKFP, 97.7 rushing, 33 receiving and 10 total touchdowns to opposing backs. While the Niners backfield has been a mess, when he’s been on the field he’s seen no less than 31.7% of the total touches in all but one of his seven games. Mitchell has also taken more than double the red zone carries (12) than any other back, despite missing three games. They trust him in the red zone and could easily reach it if he’s playing.

Other Options – Tevin Coleman ($4,000), Javonte Williams ($5,200)

Wide Receiver


Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, $7,400 — Allen has regained his role as the WR1 in this offense. After Mike Williams ($5,700) started off the season as Herbert’s number one target, Williams has averaged just 5.5 targets over the past four games while Allen sits at 12. In those games, Allen has gone over 100 yards twice but has only scored once. This week, he’ll draw coverage against CB Kyle Fuller, when operating out of the slot. Fuller has been targeted against 38 times allowing 20 receptions (52.6% catch rate) 16.3 YPR and three touchdowns against. Amongst qualified corners, the 16.3 YPR is one of the highest averages in the league, which is currently held by CB Marshon Lattimore at 19.8. With the volume that Allen is receiving in this matchup, he has a great chance to be one of the top receivers of the week.

Other Options – Deebo Samuel ($7,900), Davante Adams ($7,900)


Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,600 – It’s been a bit quiet for Pittman Jr, who has seen his salary drop below $6K for the first time since Week 8. With all the attention on Taylor in this offense, Pittman has gone a bit quiet as of late. That said, this could be a tremendous spot to get back on track with the Colts +3.5 underdogs. We all know how horrendous this Bucs secondary is and Pittman Jr should see a lot of CB Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean in coverage. Both corners are allowing an average of over 11 YPR while Murphy-Bunting has allowed a 68.8% reception rate. In a scenario where the Colts are playing from behind, Pittman Jr should benefit from this positive game script. I truly believe this is a let down spot for Taylor, who should grab a ton of ownership. Going with Pittman Jr is a great pivot from the chalky running back and at almost half the price. In the seven games the Colts have been underdogs this season, Pittman has scored 20+ DKFP in three of those games.

Other Options – Laviska Shenault Jr ($4,400), Tyler Boyd ($5,100)

Tight End


Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, $4,800 – This is not a slate I’m looking to pay up at tight end for. Kyle Pitts ($6,100) is going to get a lot of love but I think we’ve said it’s going to be a “Kyle Pitts Week” for about four straight weeks. Goedert has played five games as the solidified TE1 since Zach Ertz was traded and has produced an average of 5.6 targets, 55 receiving yards but only 9.7 DKFP. That said, he draws a very favorable matchup against a Giants team an average of 13.6 DKFP and 56 receiving yards per game. Aside from his two targets in Week 10, Goedert has received five or more since Ertz departed. Something has got to give soon.

Other Options – George Kittle ($6,300)


Pharaoh Brown, Houston Texans vs. New York Jets, $2,800 – If you really want to punt this position, Brown is the guy to do it with. He’s not going to blow you away with his game log and he’s yet to reach the end zone. That said, he’s grabbing a decent number of targets for his salary. While he’s only averaging 2.7 on the season, Brown has seen a total of 14 in the last four games. It doesn’t take much for him to return value at this salary and he’s facing a defense that’s allowed an average of 14.6 DKFP and 64 receiving yards to the position. Will you be excited to play Brown? Nope, but he serves his purpose as a punt.

Other Options – Evan Engram $3,800

Defense/Special Teams


Patriots DST vs. Tennessee Titans, $3,900 – I’m not an advocate for paying all the way up for a D/ST. That said, this is a REALLY great spot for the Patriots, who have allowed a total of 13 points in their last THREE GAMES. Tannehill has been a turnover machine over the past month, throwing seven of his 12 interceptions in the last four games. He’s also under pressure a lot, being so on 33.3% of his dropbacks. The Pats currently lead the league in interceptions with 18 and have totaled nine sacks over the last two weeks.


Jaguars DST vs. Atlanta Falcons, $2,200 – If you want to go all the way to the bottom, I don’t hate using the Jaguars. Granted, the numbers they produce aren’t great, logging just four interceptions and 18 sacks. However, Matt Ryan ($5,500) has been under pressure on 37.6% of his dropbacks, which is ranked 7th in the league amongst qualified quarterbacks. If they can make Ryan uncomfortable, this could be a sneaky play at the minimum.

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