DraftKings NFL: Week 13 Tournament Breakdown

DraftKings NFL: Week 13 Tournament Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Sunday's slate features 11 games. Only two, LAC-CIN (50.5) and TB-ATL (50.5), have point totals over 50. The Rams have an implied total north of 30. Other than that, only the WAS-LV (49.5) matchup has a total above 48. I can't remember another slate this season with as much cheap value at running back. The likes of Jamaal Williams, Elijah Mitchell, Antonio Gibson, James Conner, Darrell Henderson and David Montgomery will be significantly rostered. If you choose to roster the chalky RBs in tournaments, make sure to differentiate elsewhere. On the other hand, fading some in favor of less popular players would be an easy way to get leverage. There are always plenty of good options that go overlooked each week and those are the players that vault lineups to the top. A weekly reminder to avoid entering cash-game lineups in GPPs. Good Luck.

Note: All prices listed come from DraftKings, but most of the logic can be applied to other sites across the DFS industry. Discussion is limited to players from the "main slate" of games kicking off at 1 p.m., 4:05 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. EST on Sunday. The strategy below is meant for large-field tournaments, where payouts typically are limited to ~20 percent of lineups, with the vast majority concentrated at the very top.

The Games

Over/UnderRoad Team

Road Implied 

Total

Home Team

Home Implied 

Total

45.5Philadelphia Eagles26.25New York Jets19.25
43.5Arizona Cardinals25.5Chicago Bears18
46.5Minnesota Vikings26.75Detroit Lions19.75
40.5New York Giants18.25Miami Dolphins22.25
50.5Tampa Bay Buccaneers30.75Atlanta Falcons19.75
50.5Los Angeles Chargers23.75Cincinnati Bengals26.75
45.5Indianapolis Colts27.5Houston Texans18
47.5Jacksonville Jaguars17.25Los Angeles Rams30.25
49.5Washington FT23.5Las Vegas Raiders26
46San Francisco 49ers24.75Seattle Seahawks21.25
44Baltimore Ravens24.25Pittsburgh Steelers19.75

Point-Per-Dollar Value

These are the players with the best projections relative to their salaries — good plays both for cash games and large-field tournaments. While we don't want our GPP lineups to look like cash-game lineups top to bottom, there's nothing wrong with using a few chalky plays. These players, along with a couple passing-game stacks, tend to form the core that remains fairly consistent throughout my lineups.

Gibson is coming off his best game of the season Monday night when he had 29 carries for 111 yards and seven catches for 35 yards. He wouldn't be as cheap this week if DratKings hadn't released the salaries before that game. Washington has a plus matchup against Las Vegas and it's also without J.D. McKissic (concussion), which should insure Gibson's involvement in the passing game. He had 36 touches last week and that type of volume is exactly what to look for when searching for value. And $5,700 is just too cheap for his expected role in this matchup. 

Williams will start in place of the injured D'Andre Swift. He had 15 carries and five catches on Thanksgiving when Swift left injured late in the first quarter and should be in line for 20-plus touches in a home matchup against the Vikings on Sunday. Similar to Gibson, he's just too cheap for that type of projected volume. He isn't game-script dependent either based on his receiving ability, so he should see plenty of touches whether the Lions are winning or losing. 

Other Cash-Game Options

QB Lamar Jackson at PIT ($7,800)

QB Tom Brady at ATL ($7,200)

QB Justin Herbert at CIN ($6,700)

QB Taylor Heinicke at LV ($5,600)

RB Jonathan Taylor at HOU ($9,200)

RB Joe Mixon vs. LAC ($8,100)

RB Alexander Mattison at DET ($7,600)

RB Leonard Fournette at ATL ($7,300)

RB Darrell Henderson vs. JAX ($6,100)

RB Elijah Mitchell at SEA ($6,000)

RB James Conner at CHI ($5,900)

RB Antonio Gibson at LV ($5,700)

RB Jamaal Williams vs. MIN ($5,400)

WR Cooper Kupp vs. JAX ($9,000)

WR Keenan Allen at CIN ($7,500)

WR Diontae Johnson vs. BAL ($6,800)

WR Chris Godwin at ATL ($6,600)

WR Hunter Renfrow vs. WAS ($5,800)

WR Brandon Aiyuk at SEA ($5,600)

WR Darnell Mooney vs. ARI ($5,600)

WR Josh Reynolds vs. MIN ($3,400)

TE Foster Moreau vs. WAS ($2,700)

D/ST Miami Dolphins vs. NYG ($3,300)

D/ST Detroit Lions vs. MIN ($2,300)

Passing-Game Stacks

Stacks are the centerpiece of any tournament lineup, seeking to take advantage of positive correlations between players. It rarely makes sense to use a quarterback without one or two of his pass catchers, even if the player in question scores a decent portion of his fantasy points with his legs. Ideally, a stack also includes a pass catcher from the other side of the game, hoping to take advantage of a back-and-forth shootout. (Implied team totals are listed in parentheses.)

Los Angeles Chargers (23.75) at Cincinnati Bengals (26.75)

Chargers

Not only does the LAC-CIN matchup have the highest total on the slate, but it's likely to be competitive, unlike the other matchups that feature teams with big implied totals. Despite not playing his best football lately, Justin Herbert ($6,700) continues to be one of the top QBs in the league from a DFS point of view. He's put up at least 34 fantasy points in two of his last four games and scored 25 last week even though the Chargers only scored 13 points. He's been doing it through the air and with his legs. He's thrown for at least 300 yards in three of his last four games and he has 13 carries for 126 yards in his last two. Keenan Allen ($7,500) had drawn double-digit targets in five consecutive games and has scored at least 15 fantasy points in each. He's one of the best values at the position from a point-per-dollar perspective. Mike Williams ($5,700) has been underwhelming, failing to reach double-digit fantasy points in five of his last six games. It was encouraging to see him draw eight targets last week and even though he's been inconsistent, the ceiling potential is still there based on his big-play ability as a deep threat. Austin Ekeler ($8,300) won't be popular at all this week with so many other RBs in great spots. He could offer considerable leverage if you'd rather target the Bengals passing game instead. 

Bengals

The Bengals have scored 73 points the last two weeks as they seem to have righted the ship after some midseason struggles. Most of their recent success has come as a result of the running game. Joe Mixon ($8,100) has a 62 touches and 288 rushing yards in his last two games and has scored 10 touchdowns in his last five. Those are massive numbers and the matchup against Los Angeles should be a great spot as the Chargers have struggled stopping the run all season. Joe Burrow ($6,300) has taken a back seat while the Bengals have leaned on the running game. He's hasn't reached 200 yards passing in back-to-back and has scored fewer than 17 fantasy points in three straight. Those numbers are a bit misleading, however, as all three games were blowouts. Ja'Marr Chase ($7,000) is the cheapest he's been in five weeks, likely because he hasn't scored more than 13 fantasy points in any of his last four. The string of down games will cause him to go a bit overlooked, but he still has big ceiling potential, especially if the game shoots out. Tee Higgins ($5,800) is coming off his best game of the season when he caught six passes for 114 yards and a TD. The salary is still quite affordable for a player who's averaging eight targets per game. 

  • Favorite Stack: QB Herbert + WR Allen + RB Mixon or WR Chase

Jacksonville Jaguars (17.25) at Los Angeles Rams (30.25)

Jaguars

This stack is more about the Rams side. It's understandable if you don't want to roster players from a team with a 17.25 implied total. If you decide to stack the Rams, don't feel obligated to run it back with Jaguars. They do have a few cheap options that make for worthy gambles, however. Playing from behind, they'll likely be forced to pass. Dan Arnold and Jamal Agnew are out, which should condense the target share. Marvin Jones ($4,700) hasn't been priced less than $5K since Week 3. Laviska Shenault ($4,400) has 13 catches on 22 targets the last three weeks. James O'Shaughnessy ($2,600) has played two full games this season and has 13 targets in that span. For near minimum salary, he'd offer leverage off of the chalky Foster Moreau

Rams

The Rams have lost three consecutive games and Matthew Stafford ($7,300) has thrown pick-sixes in each of those games. They have an implied point total above 30 in a prime matchup against the Jags that should be a great spot to get right. Stafford has already topped 25 fantasy points in six games this season; don't expect the Rams to let up if they get out to an early lead. Cooper Kupp ($9,000) is in the midst of an historic season. He projects for the most raw points at the position and has considerable ceiling potential in such a soft matchup. Odell Beckham ($5,500) drew 10 targets last week and caught a 54-yard touchdown. Van Jefferson ($5,300) drew nine targets and caught a 70-yard touchdown. Both are favorably priced and one is likely to catch another long TD. There's also a chance that it's Darrell Henderson ($6,100), who scores the TDs, similar to the way Leonard Fournette did last week to bust all the Tom Brady lineups. Henderson would bring nice leverage with multiple other RBs in that range expected to be chalky. 

  • Favorite Stack: QB Stafford + WR Kupp + WR Beckham/WR Jefferson +/- TE O'Shaughnessy

Other Stacks to Consider

QB Lamar Jackson + WR Diontae Johnson + WR Marquise Brown/TE Mark Andrews

QB Tom Brady + WR Chris Godwin +/- WR Mike Evans +/- TE Rob Gronkowski/TE Kyle Pitts

QB Kirk Cousins + RB Jamaal Williams + WR Justin Jefferson/WR Adam Thielen

QB Joe Burrow + WR Ja'Marr Chase/WR Tee Higgins + WR Keenan Allen/WR Mike Williams

QB Derek Carr + RB Antonio Brown + WR Hunter Renfrow/WR Zay Jones + TE Foster Moreau

QB Taylor Heinicke + WR Terry McLaurin + TE Foster Moreau +/- RB Antonio Gibson

High-Priced Heroes

Kupp has been the best WR in DFS this season. He's gone three weeks without catching a touchdown but had at least 95 yards in all of those games. He's drawn double-digit targets in all but one game. The Rams are in a great spot at home against the Jaguars in what should be a get-right spot for the offense after some recent struggles. With all of the cheap value at RB and TE, it's easier to find the salary for Kupp, and without Davante Adams on the slate he's clearly the top option at the position. 

Mixon ran wild against the Steelers last week, rushing 28 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns while adding four catches. It was the second straight game that he touched the ball at least 30 times and fourth time in a row that he topped 25 fantasy points. The matchup against Los Angeles is quite favorable as the Chargers have struggled stopping the run this season. Mixon is likely to go somewhat overlooked as well because the running back position is so deep. Many will spend all the way for Jonathan Taylor ($9,200) while even more will look to $5K-$6K range with the abundance of good value there. Mixon makes even more sense if you plan on rostering Justin Herbert and the Chargers passing game. 

Honorable Mentions: Justin Jefferson, MIN at DET ($8,200); Jonathan Taylor, IND at HOU ($9,200)

Fading the Field

Every week we see at least one or two players who are popular without the backing of a top point-per-dollar projection. In some cases it even makes sense to fade a player with a strong projection, particularly when there are good alternatives at the same position and price range.

Jackson struggled again on a national stage when he threw four interceptions against the Browns last Sunday night. He's now scored fewer than 17 fantasy points in three of his last five games. He's still a decent option this week as he should bounce back against a Steelers team that's given up 41 points in consecutive games. The reason for fading is that he's the most expensive quarterback and I don't expect him to be the highest scorer at the position. I'd rather save some money and roster the likes of Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Justin Herbert

The Smash Spot

Mitchell crushed the Vikings last week with 27 carries for 133 yards and a TD while catching five passes for another 35 yards. It was his second straight game with 27 carries. Just as encouraging was his work in the passing game as he's now caught five passes in two of his last three. He's affordably priced for a favorable matchup against the Seahawks, but what pushes this spot over the edge is the absence of Deebo Samuel. Mitchell's projected volume and touchdown equity get a boost without Samuel in the lineup to steal important touches. Expect upward of 30 touches, 100-plus yards and at least one TD for Mitchell. 

Honorable Mentions: Brandon Aiyuk, SF at SEA ($5,600); George Kittle, SF at SEA ($5,900); Antonio Gibson, WAS at LV ($5,700)

The Bargain Bin

QB Taylor Heinicke at LV ($5,600)

RB Antonio Gibson at LV ($5,700)

RB David Montgomery vs. ARI ($5,600)

RB Jamaal Williams vs. MIN ($5,400)

WR Brandon Aiyuk at SEA ($5,600)

WR Darnell Mooney vs. ARI ($5,600)

WR Odell Beckham vs. JAX ($5,500)

WR Van Jefferson vs. JAX ($5,300)

WR Marvin Jones at LAR ($4,700)

WR Laviska Shenault at LAR ($4,400)

WR DeSean Jackson vs. WAS ($4,200)

WR Josh Reynolds vs. MIN ($3,400)

WR Zay Jones vs. WAS ($3,200)

TE Cole Kmet vs. ARI ($3,600)

TE Foster Moreau vs. WAS ($2,700)

TE James O'Shaughnessy at LAR ($2,600)

Injuries to Monitor

Murray and Hopkins both haven't played since Week 8 but appear on track to return after practicing in limited capacity. We've never Hopkins ($6,200) priced this low before. He clearly isn't 100 percent healthy but if reports sounds favorable, it could be worth taking a shot. If Murray and Hopkins are out, David Montgomery and the Bears D/ST get bumps against a Colt McCoy led Cardinals team. 

Weather

Nothing that should influence decision-making this week. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
Staff Picks: Focused on the 49ers
Staff Picks: Focused on the 49ers
NFL Gambling- Conference Title Picks ATS- Moneyline Underdog Play (Video)
NFL Gambling- Conference Title Picks ATS- Moneyline Underdog Play (Video)
Beating the Book: Conference Title Games
Beating the Book: Conference Title Games
Sneaky Stats- NFL Conference Championships (Video)
Sneaky Stats- NFL Conference Championships (Video)
Dynasty Watch: Top 10 Rookies You Need To Draft (Video)
Dynasty Watch: Top 10 Rookies You Need To Draft (Video)
Dynasty Watch: Gabriel Davis
Dynasty Watch: Gabriel Davis