This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
We have an interesting Week 12 slate, with a relatively limited number of games despite no teams on bye due to the three Thursday games and typical primetime games Sunday and Monday. The week is fairly easy to dissect from a broad viewpoint, as there are several running back values that will be chalk but worth taking advantage of nevertheless. There are a few strong stacking spots, but no games with a total higher than 50 and only three with a total higher than 45. Let's jump into the details.
|Total||Away Team||Implied Total||Home Team||Implied Total|
|42.5||LA Rams||13.5||Kansas City||29|
|43||New Orleans||17.25||San Francisco||25.75|
These are the players with the best projection relative to their price point. Using a combination of the best point-per-dollar plays is an ideal way to build cash lineups and is a strong way to create a core pool of players to mix in with stacks in tournament contests.
- Rachaad White ($6,400) at Cleveland
The Tampa Bay backfield was going to be ambiguous heading into Week 12, as White started Week 10 against Seattle, but Leonard Fournette ultimately evened out the workload by the fourth quarter. Then, Fournette exited the game with a hip injury, which continues to bother him and has him doubtful for Sunday's game. The Browns have the worst rush defense DVOA in the league, so this could be a huge breakout game for White.
- Jeff Wilson ($7,700) vs. Houston
The reasons to play Wilson are almost identical conversation to that of White, as Raheem Mostert was downgraded to doubtful Friday. Wilson already seemed to wrestle the lead-back role away from Mostert, but there should be little doubt of that Sunday. The Texans are 31st in rush defense DVOA.
- Davante Adams ($9,000) at Seattle
Adams has seen 44 total targets across his last three games, and no game with fewer than 13 in that span. With some of the elite receivers not on the main slate (Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown to name a few), Adams combines a safe floor and ceiling that arguably no other player at the position can match. Seattle has a decent pass defense, but I'm willing to overlook matchup given the level of talent and volume that Adams possesses.
Other Cash Game Options
QB - Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) vs. Los Angeles Rams
QB- Tua Tagovailoa ($8,300) vs. Houston
RB - Latavius Murray ($6,200) vs. Carolina
RB – James Conner ($7,000) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
RB – Samaje Perine ($6,600) at Tennessee
WR – DK Metcalf ($7,200) vs. Raiders
WR- Tyreek Hill ($9,000)vs. Houston
TE – Travis Kelce ($8,200) vs. Los Angeles Rams
TE – Greg Dulcich ($5,300) vs. Carolina
Stacks are a powerful way to give your lineup first-place equity due to correlation. Instead of attempting to predict nine things correctly, you can reduce that number significantly by stacking. Typically, the most popular stacks come from the team with the highest game totals or implied team totals, but finding a team with condensed target rates — even in a projected poor game environment — can accomplish the same goal and in some cases be more under the radar.
Las Vegas (22) at Seattle (25.5)
This angle was already covered with Adams, but he's an easy player to build around in both cash and tournament contests. Admittedly, there's not much else in the Las Vegas passing game, but this could be a rare instance where I would be willing to stack the top pass catcher and running back on a single team. Josh Jacobs ($8,700) popped up on the injury report Friday and is now questionable, so be sure to check his status. Assuming he checks out from a health perspective, Jacobs and Adams have combined to account for 17 of the team's 22 offensive touchdowns by the team this season. Jacobs has all seven rushing scores for the team, while Adams has accounted for 10 of the 15 touchdowns thrown by Derek Carr ($7,300). Overall volume is a similar story. Adams has a 32.5 percent target share (first in the league) while Jacobs ranks third in carries (183). If the Raiders hit on three touchdowns, there are plenty of scenarios where Adams and Jacobs account for all of them. The hope would be this game environment exceeds expectations and both pop for big games. While the duo aren't correlated in the typical sense, they don't perform well at the expense of each other. Adams has hit for 25 or more FD points five times this season, and Jacobs three. They overlapped on one occasion, but Jacobs has finished as an RB1 (top 12) in four of the five games that Adams has topped 25 FD points. Foster Moreau ($5,400) is a way to get more exposure to the offense, but for the reasons already explained above regarding the concentrated nature of the offense, there's no reason to force him into lineups.
Despite their record and status as the favored team in the game, the case is thinner to make for Seattle. DK Metcalf ($7,200) is cheaper than Tyler Lockett ($7,400) but still would have returned value 3X his current salary exactly zero times this season. However, the Raiders are the worst defense in the league as measured by DVOA. With one of the highest totals on the slate, the hope would be one of Lockett or Metcalf finds the end zone twice. Metcalf has six targets inside the 10, as compared to two for Lockett. Meanwhile, Lockett has eight catches of 20 yards or more as compared to five for Metcalf. That ultimately pushes me ever so slightly to Lockett as my favorite receiver on the Seattle side of the stack. Game environment is really the only reason to bet on Noah Fant ($5,100), but he's priced fairly cheaply and is worth mentioning. Geno Smith ($7,600) has finished as a top-12 quarterback in six of his last eight games and is priced reasonably as the eighth-highest salary at the position.
- Favorite stack: QB Smith + WR Adams + WR Lockett
Houston (16.25) at Miami (30)
This is definitely the less intriguing side of the game, but the hope — emphasis on hope — is that Kyle Allen ($6,100) breathes some life into this offense and keeps the Texans competitive. More specifically, we can bet on him reinvigorating Brandin Cooks ($6,400), who has done little this season. Cooks has shown some signs of life lately, topping 70 receiving yards in two of his last three games. If he repeats that and scores one touchdown, he would deliver about two to three times value as compared to salary. Nico Collins ($6,000) has arguably taken over as the Texans' top pass catcher, racking up 17 targets his last two games. It remains to be seen how Allen will distribute targets, but neither Cooks nor Collins is priced egregiously for their projected volume. This could be another unique game where we could add the running back into the conversation as part of the stack. Dameon Pierce ($6,900) was chalk last week and was a massive bust, so it's extremely unlikely he'll be rostered at a high rate. But he's a safe bet for at least 15 carries. If the bet is on the game environment and the Texans doing enough to force the Miami offense to stay in gear, Pierce is likely to have a role in that.
We're highlighting this stack for the Miami side of the game and it's pretty straightforward. Tyreek Hill ($9,200) has an elite target share and obvious upside. Jaylen Waddle ($8,100) has been more touchdown reliant, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly delivered only three weeks of top-12 production at the position. Tua Tagovailoa ($8,300) is the only viable quarterback in this stack. When he's hit, he's hit big. Specifically, he's performed as a top-12 quarterback in four weeks this season, and in those four matchups, he's finished as the QB2, QB1, QB3 and QB4. He is priced accordingly. Mike Gesicki ($5,000) is the ultimate touchdown or bust play, but so is nearly every tight end with the exceptions of Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. He's at a punt price.
- Favorite stack: QB Tagovailoa + WR Hill + WR Waddle + WR Cooks
- Alternative stacks: QB Tagovailoa + RB Pierce + WR Hill + WR Collins/Cooks
QB Tagovailoa + RB Wilson + WR Hill + WR Cooks/Collins
Other Stacks to Consider
QB Patrick Mahomes + WR JuJu Smith-Schuster + TE Travis Kelce
QB Justin Herbert/Kyler Murray +WR Keenan Allen + WR DeAndre Hopkins
QB Joe Burrow+WR Tee Higgins + WR Ja'Marr Chase + WR Treylon Burks
High Priced Hero
Austin Ekeler ($8,800) vs. Cardinals
The conversation around Ekeler is interesting. His production has been excellent this season, as he's finished as a top-12 running back in seven of 10 games. He's finished as the RB1 three times and also has one week as the RB3, RB4 (2x) and RB 9. The matchup against Arizona is equally attractive, as Arizona's defensive unit has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to running backs for the campaign. The next step of the analysis is more interesting. Ekeler saw only two targets in Week 11, which also happened to overlap with the return of Keenan Allen. However, Arizona's defense is set up to shut down wide receivers, as only three have surpassed 15 half-PPR points this season — two of which came last week against San Francisco. If the defensive attention shifts to Allen, Ekeler should see a lot of those targets funnel to him. There is some risk, but Ekeler should deliver as he has for much of the season.
Note: I also love the spot for Kenneth Walker ($8,400), but there was plenty of space already devoted to the Seattle offense.
Fading the Field
Samaje Perine ($6,600) at Tennessee
Perine was purposefully not featured in the point-per-dollar section. With Joe Mixon being ruled out due to a concussion, Perine will shift to the top spot on the depth chart in Cincinnati in Week 12. He's in the same price range as both Latavius Murray and Rachaad White, so it's worth trying to differentiate the group. There are two primary reasons to shy away from Perine. The first is related to the performance of Mixon, who has finished as a top-12 running back only four times this season. Whether we think Mixon is a top-level running back from a talent perspective or not, it's a difficult case to make that Perine is the more talented of the two. Next is the impending return of Ja'Marr Chase. The Bengals already have the third-highest pass rate over expectation and appear likely to welcome back Chase this week. Joe Burrow will almost certainly want to target his top pass catcher plenty and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Cincinnati rely on the best part of its offense in an important AFC matchup. Finally, the Tennessee defense ranks first in rush DVOA.
Elijah Moore ($5,300)
Before we jump in, we've got to start with the possibility of this pick completely bottoming out. But there is a case to be made for Moore. He's played in four games with Mike White as quarterback — all of which came in 2021 — and he averaged 13.9 half-PPR points. The Bears have struggled defensively since the trade deadline, so the Jets' offense could be in for a surprising performance. Garrett Wilson ($6,000) would be the obvious choice, but the $700 in savings could go a decent way to paying up for a top stack or top RB on the slate.
Honorable mention: Skyy Moore ($5,400) vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Bargain Bin
QB – Jimmy Garoppolo ($6,800); Mike White ($6,200)
RB – Antonio Gibson ($6,100); Brian Robinson ($6,100); Michael Carter ($6,200); Isiah Pacheco ($6,300)
WR – DJ Moore ($6,200)/Terrace Marshall ($5,700); Garrett Wilson ($6,000), Treylon Burks ($5,900); Kendall Hinton ($5,400)
TE- Austin Hooper ($5,000); Noah Fant ($5,100); Mike Gesicki ($5,000); Greg Dulcich ($5,300); Gerald Everett ($5,200)
Injuries to Monitor
- Most major injury concerns have been clarified one way or another by now, but Josh Jacobs popped up on the injury report on Friday. That's always a concern and will be worth monitoring
- The Browns-Buccaneers game is projected to take place in the cold, wind and potentially wet. Hello, Rachaad White.