RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 13

Fri Dec 3 11:08am ET
Contributing Writer

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Williams provides good value

With the Packers and Browns among the four teams that will be on a bye in Week 12, we’ll be missing some big names for the main DFS slate. Still, there are some great options to consider at various salary points. Let’s highlight a couple of them at each position, as well as discuss some players to potentially avoid.


Tom Brady, TB at ATL ($7,200): With Leonard Fournette racking up 100 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, Brady had a quiet performance against the Colts last week. He threw for a season-low 226 yards to go along with one touchdown pass, which marked the first time that he threw fewer than two touchdown passes in a game since Week 4. He could bounce back in a big way against the Falcons, who are tied for the fourth-most touchdown passes allowed in the league. When he faced them in Week 2, Brady had five touchdowns through the air.

Derek Carr, LV vs. WAS ($6,000): Despite their defense standing tall against the Seahawks last week, Washington is still tied for the most touchdown passes allowed in the league. They have also allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Carr, who threw for 373 yards in an upset win over the Cowboys in Week 12, could be worth considering in tournament play.

Player to Avoid

Russell Wilson, SEA vs. SF ($6,400): Wilson’s overall stat line of 247-passing yards and two touchdowns against Washington last week doesn’t look horrible, but he was bad for much of the game. A lot of his production came on the final drive when the Seahawks scored a touchdown, but failed on the two-point try to force overtime. Since returning from the IR, Wilson has thrown for 615 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions across three games. A matchup against a 49ers team that has only allowed 15-passing touchdowns all season might not help him get out of his slump.

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison, MIN at DET ($7,600): Mattison is one of the best backup running backs in the league. Across two games that Dalvin Cook (shoulder) has missed, he recorded 225-rushing yards, 99-receiving yards and a touchdown. Cook will miss this game, as he did the first time these two teams met. In that contest, Mattison had 153 total yards and a touchdown.

Jamaal Williams, DET vs. MIN ($5,400): Williams stepped in when D’Andre Swift (shoulder) went down against the Bears in Week 12, turning 15 carries into 65 yards. He also had five receptions for 15 yards. He’s performed well in a complementary role to Swift, but with Swift likely out for this matchup, Williams should be busy. That could mean a juicy stat line is coming against a Vikings team that has allowed the third-most rushing yards per game in the league.

Player to Avoid

Damien Harris, NE at BUF ($5,900): When Harris missed a game with a concussion, Rhamondre Stevenson proved that he can be productive when given a significant role. The two have moved to more of a time share since Harris has returned, leaving Harris with just 21 carries across the last two games. Prior to that, he had gone five straight games with at least 14-rushing attempts. Add in a tough matchup against the Bills and this might not be the week to roll with Harris.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans, TB at ATL ($6,700): With Brady providing a muted stat line last week, it’s not a surprise that Evans also struggled. He only caught three passes for 16 yards, while also snapping his streak of four straight games with at least one touchdown. After catching five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons previously, Evans could also bounce back quickly. If there was anything positive that came out of last week’s dud, it’s that his salary decreased by $500.

Josh Reynolds, DET vs. MIN ($3,500): Reynolds could be set up for a productive finish to the season. He’s now on a Lions team that badly needs help at wide receiver, and he has a relationship with quarterback Jared Goff from their time together with the Rams. They showed some of their past chemistry last week with Reynolds catching three of five targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. At such a cheap salary, he’s a viable tournament option.

Player to Avoid

Stefon Diggs, BUF vs. NE ($8,400): The Patriots do a good job of shutting down the opposing team’s top skill player. That makes Diggs a risky option. They couldn’t stop him in two meetings last season considering he had a total of 237 yards and three touchdowns. However, with how well their defense is playing right now, Diggs’ lofty salary is difficult to justify.

Tight Ends

Kyle Pitts, ATL vs. TB ($5,600): Operating under the belief that the Buccaneers will be able to score plenty of points in this game, that means the Falcons will likely have to throw a lot to try and keep pace. With Calvin Ridley (personal) still out, that means Pitts could receive plenty of targets. When the Buccaneers hung 48 points on them in Week 2, Pitts was able to turn six targets into five catches for 73 yards.

Logan Thomas, WAS at LV ($4,000): After missing the last six games, Thomas made his return from a hamstring injury in Week 12. He logged 79 percent of Washington’s offensive snaps, catching three of six targets for 31 yards. He also narrowly missed a touchdown late in the game that would have made his final line look better. Across his first three games before suffering the injury, he had 12 receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. As his health continues to improve, so should his production.

Player to Avoid

T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. MIN ($5,200): Hockenson finally caught a touchdown pass last week, marking his first score since Week 2. The problem was, he only had three receptions on three targets for 35 yards. The Vikings held him to two receptions for 22 yards in Week 5 and have played well against tight ends, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to the position.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

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