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Break The Slate: DraftKings DFS Lineup Picks for Week 12


Hello again friends! If you've had a chance to look at this slate, then you are probably aware that it is a tough one. Bad players, bad matchups, and bad DFS pricing unfortunately seems to be the theme of Week 12. However, we are all working from the same player pool, which means can still grab an advantage over our competition by putting in the required research and work. Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller, let's dig in and find some huge scores this week!

These DraftKings lineup recommendations are based on matchups, projected ownership, overall upside/talent levels, opportunity, and other factors such as Vegas odds, home-field advantage, and more. There are quite a few great plays available, so read on to find out which players are the best for Week 12.

Good luck with your DraftKings DFS lineups, let's Break The Slate together!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks - Week 12 Picks

Matt Ryan - TB @ ATL ($6,700)

This isn't a pretty slate for the QB position (or any position really!). We've got a lot of just-plain-bad QBs and most of the elite signal callers are in less-than-desirable matchups. Matt Ryan is the exception in Week 12, and has been one of the easiest QBs to roster in DFS this year, but DraftKings finally woke up and raised his price tag this week. No matter, I'll gladly pay the freight on him in this matchup. If we throw out the game against the Rams in which he left early with an injury, Ryan has eclipsed the magic 300-yards passing mark in all but one of his starts this season. Throw in the fact that he's facing a Bucs pass defense that is 31st in the NFL in both DraftKings points and passing yards allowed to opposing QBs, and Ryan is a no-brainer on this slate.

Sam Darnold - OAK @ NYJ ($5,800)

This one feels a little gross, but this slate is going to force us to make some uncomfortable decisions. Sam Darnold and this Jets offense hasn't been good, in fact they are last in the NFL in pass offense DVOA, but this game environment should funnel both teams to the air. The Raiders have been competent at stopping the run, but stand just 27th in the NFL in yards allowed per pass this season. Darnold has struggled for the most part this season, but does still show flashes of his franchise-QB potential, with his 293 yard, four TD day against the Redskins last week being a prime example. He has attempted 30 or more passes in every game he's played this season and that volume should once again be there in Week 12 in this winnable matchup.

 

DraftKings DFS Running Backs - Week 12 Picks

Alvin Kamara - CAR @ NO ($8,200)

It's fair to call Alvin Kamara's season a disappointment. The electric Saints back has been inconsistent when on the field and has battle injuries for a good portion of the year. That being said, we're looking for 'slate breakers' in this article and Kamara still possesses the ability to post a tournament-winning score, despite his underwhelming output this season. He draws a good matchup in Week 12, as the Saints are home favorites against a Carolina team that funnels work to the RB position. The Panthers are a solid seventh in pass defense DVOA, but rank DEAD LAST in the NFL in run defense DVOA. Latavius Murray has cut into Kamara's work a bit, but we should still see somewhere from 12 to 16 carries and around 10 targets for AK in this good matchup.

Derrick Henry - JAX @ TEN ($6,900)

If you spend much time listening to DFS podcasts or reading DFS articles, at some point you have probably heard: "I love how this week sets up for Derrick Henry, but you just can't play him on DraftKings!" It's a legitimate argument, as it truly is hard to roster a back that is probably just gonna get 1-3 targets a week in the passing game on a full-PPR site like DraftKings. However, Henry has repeatedly proved that he is capable of posting smash-worthy scores on DK, even without those pesky receptions. He's in a surprisingly good spot against the Jags this week, a team that has a good defensive reputation, but ranks just 30th in run defense DVOA this season. Jacksonville is DEAD LAST in the NFL in yards per carry allowed to opposing RBs and we know that the big Titans back will be steadily fed carries in this run-heavy Tennessee offense, while also handling a huge red zone role.

 

DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers - Week 12 Picks

Odell Beckham Jr. - MIA @ CLE ($7,000)

High-profile acquisition Odell Beckham Jr. has failed to make much of an impact yet, but the Browns are finally beginning to make a concerted effort to get him involved, as OBJ has been targeted a massive 22 times over Cleveland's last two games. The matchup against the lowly Miami Dolphins presents OBJ with a true breakout opportunity. This Dolphins team is playing hard, but just has very few NFL-quality players on the roster. That is especially true on the defensive side of the ball, where Miami ranks as one of the worst defenses in the NFL by basically any metric and grade out 32nd in the league in pass defense DVOA. The Dolphins have allowed 16 TDs to opposing WRs this season on just 179 targets. This matchup, combined with Beckham's newfound usage in Cleveland's fledgling offense, presents him with a great chance to explode this week.

Calvin Ridley - TB @ ATL ($6,500)

Calvin Ridley is a volatile player (as is the nature of the WR position) and I would normally fade him coming off a huge game and getting a $1k price bump, BUT this matchup against Tampa Bay is just too hard to ignore and definitely earns Ridley a mention in this week's article. As I mentioned, Ridley is coming off a monster 8/143/1 outing against the Panthers last week, which demonstrates the type of upside that he has in Atlanta's pass-heavy offense. He's set to square off against a Bucs pass defense that is DEAD LAST in the NFL in DK points, receiving yards, and receiving TDs allowed to the WR position.

N'Keal Harry - DAL @ NE ($3,300)

With not a lot of standout values at the WR position this week, it's worth keeping an eye on the injury status of the Patriots' receiving corps. As of this writing, Phillip Dorsett is in the league's concussion protocol and Mo Sanu is nursing an ankle injury. If either is unable to suit up this week, rookie N'Keal Harry immediately becomes an intriguing GPP option. The explosive receiver's rookie season has been destroyed by injuries and he logged his first action of the season last week, playing 32 snaps against the Eagles and grabbing three of four targets for just 18 yards. This New England offense isn't as explosive as we've seen in the past, but the Patriots drafted Harry in the first round because he's capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. This one depends on the injury situations of the other Pats receivers, so keep an eye on the status of Dorsett and Sanu.

 

DraftKings DFS Tight Ends - Week 12 Picks

Zach Ertz - SEA @ PHI ($6,000)

Is Zach Ertz back? Maybe he never really left. Ertz has been targeted 86 times the year, the second-most targets for a TE, but the production just wasn't there in the first half of the season. He's stepped things up in a big way in Philly's last two, as he's been targeted a RIDICULOUS 22 TIMES and converted for 18 catches, 197 yards, and a TD. We know that the Seattle defense isn't what it once was and they've been especially susceptible to opposing TEs. The Seahawks have allowed 615 yards and four TDs to the tight end position and have allowed an average of 14 DK points per game to the position. With Ertz finally logging some production to go with his massive usage, he's the best option if you're spending up at TE this week.

Vance McDonald - PIT @ CIN ($3,500)

I'm interested in both Jacob Hollister and Ryan Griffin in the $4k range, but if you really need to save some salary at TE you can consider Pittsburgh's Vance McDonald. It's hard to trust any receiver that's relying on Mason Rudolph, but McDonald has been targeted seven times in each of the Steelers last three games. He's likely to see a bump in that already-strong usage both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson is concussion protocol. We've seen splash games from McDonald in the past and he draws a good matchup against a Bengals Defense that has been middle-of-the-road against tight ends specifically, but ranks 31st in the NFL in overall pass defense DVOA.

 

DraftKings DFS Defenses - Week 12 Picks

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense - PIT @ CIN ($4,000)

It will be tough to pay up at the D/ST position this week, but if you can, go straight to the top and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This isn't a home game for the Steelers, but traveling to Cincinnati to face this winless Bengals team and rookie QB Ryan Finley isn't a matchup to worry about. Pittsburgh has amassed 34 sacks this season, the fourth-most in the NFL, and will be able to tee off on Finley and this spotty Bengals offensive line. The acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick has worked wonders for this Steelers unit and they trail just the Patriots for most defensive takeaways this year at 26.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense - PIT @ CIN ($2,000)

Can't afford the Steelers? On the other end of the salary spectrum you can grab the Bengals for the near-min D/ST price of $2.1k. Yes, the Bengals are a very bad football team, but they are squaring off against a Steelers offensive unit that has been inept with Mason Rudolph at the helm. Pittsburgh won't be helped by the absence of JuJu Smith-Schuster and a doubtful James Conner. This is strictly a salary-saving play, but one that has a chance to pay small dividends at the highly-volatile D/ST position.

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