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NFL DFS Value Plays: Week 12 Bargain Bin for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo Including Tom Brady, Tyler Lockett, George Kittle, More

tom brady fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Welcome to the Week 12 Sunday main slate edition of RotoBaller's NFL DFS Bargain Bin, where the goal is to touch on some potentially mispriced players across the industry that find themselves in favorable match-ups and/or suddenly expanded roles.

Each week I’ll give you my thoughts on where there may be some value spots to exploit on the Sunday main slate and I hunt for value that might be site-specific on Yahoo, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

We have an interesting Week 12 slate on tap, as there are a total of 10 teams off the main slate due to the three-game Thanksgiving slate. The caliber of some of those offenses also robs us of  bit of upside in the player pool as a whole, but fortunately, we still have multiple viable value candidates to consider at each spot, including a few site-specific selections in addition to the standard suggestions.

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NFL DFS Bargain Bin Intro

Before we go NFL DFS Bargain Bin hunting, a few particulars about format and content.

The nature of the beast with value plays is at least a modest amount (and sometimes substantially more) of risk. Therefore, the Bargain Bin may prove to be a bit more of a roller-coaster ride on some slates than your typical “tout” article! Naturally, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an upside to be had. All of these selections are therefore suitable for GPPs and can also often serve as solid cash game plays, while often helping you accommodate multiple higher-priced studs into your lineup.

Typically, I’ll suggest players that are value-priced across three major DFS sites (DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo). However, there are certainly occasions where one or more sites price a player significantly lower than others. Whenever possible, I’ll typically at least note those players as an “XYZ site special.”

This article is by no means intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all value options for the week. Rather, it’s meant to take a deeper dive into those I feel offer some of the best combinations of savings and upside.

The goal is to recommend truly affordable players, as opposed to, say, a player priced just $300-$400 away from the highest-priced option at his position. I don’t have set-in-stone price limits in mind for each site, but I do consider legitimate affordability a very important criterion.

 

Quarterback DFS Value Plays              

Tom Brady, TB at CLE | DK: $5,800, FD: $7,400, Yahoo: $26

It's certainly an eye-opener to see Brady at his current salaries, especially his DK figure. While on the surface, the reduced investment required seems justified given the overall perception of the Buccaneers as a highly underwhelming offense, the reality is Brady's numbers aren't really far off his career norms. The future Hall of Famer is averaging a robust 280.5 passing yards per contest and has generated a 12:2 TD:INT, while his 66.0 percent completion rate is actually his second highest since 2017. Now, Brady and his offensive teammates come into this Week 12 battle fresh off a bye and with two straight victories in tow, giving them some notable momentum.

The Browns check in tied for second-most points per game allowed (26.9), and they're also surrendering the fourth-most yards per completion (11.1). Cleveland's secondary has also picked off just three passes all year while surrendering 14 touchdown tosses, and the Browns have a modest 21 sacks through 10 games. Brady has been highly reliable from a yardage standpoint game to game and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all but the outlier loss to the Panthers on the road. With a strong return on his current salaries very much within his reach, he's certainly in play as a value option that can open up plenty for you elsewhere.

Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. ATL | DK: $5,300, FD: $6,500, Yahoo: $23

Heinicke admittedly isn't the most scintillating option at quarterback on any week, but on a main slate like Week 12 that sees the likes of several big names out of the player pool due to having played on Thanksgiving or because they'll be taking the field Sunday night (Aaron Rodgers, Jalen Hurts), he's certainly in play when also factoring in his matchup. Heinicke also brings some solid upside as a rusher when he needs to exit the pocket, and he'll be facing a Falcons secondary that can certainly give up big plays through the air and is one of the most inept teams in the league at applying pressure.

The Falcons have surrendered a league-high 298.2 passing yards per road game, along with 10.8 yards per completion and 16 touchdown passes overall. Atlanta is also tied for the NFL's second-lowest adjusted sack rate (4.6%), which should set Heinicke up with plenty of time to scan the field and target the talented members of what is now a healthy receiving corps loaded with speed in the form of Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Cam Sims and Dyami Brown, along with a do-it-all asset in Curtis Samuel.

ALSO CONSIDER:
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. NO | DK: $5,600, FD: $6,800, Yahoo: $24

DK/FD-only Special:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Geno Smith, SEA vs. LVR | DK: $6,000, FD: $7,600

Running Back DFS Value Plays   

Jeff Wilson Jr., MIA vs. HOU | DK: $5,900, FD: $7,700, Yahoo: $21

Wilson is undoubtedly going to sport a sky-high roster rate, and even more so if Raheem Mostert (knee) sits out as expected. Wilson's DK and Yahoo salaries are especially eye-opening, and the combination of the versatile back's body of work thus far with the Dolphins and the Texans' league-worst rush defense make him a leading candidate for the top fantasy-point-per-dollar running back on the slate. The fact Miami also has the slate's highest implied team total at 30.5 is the icing on the cake for Wilson's case.

The Texans are surrendering an NFL-high 184.2 rushing yards per road game, along with 5.4 yards per rush attempt in that split. Houston is giving up 5.3 RB yards per carry for the season as well, and the Texans rank 32nd and 28th in second-level and open-field yards allowed per Football Outsiders. Wilson counters with two rushes of greater than 20 yards across his first 26 carries in Miami, and he's also a good candidate to exploit his opponent's vulnerabilities to the run in the red zone as well -- while the Texans are tied for third-most red-zone rushing touchdowns allowed, Wilson already has 25 red-zone touches in 10 total games this season, including eight in his first two games with the Dolphins.

Cam Akers, LAR at KC | DK: $4,900, FD: $5,900, Yahoo: $15

Darrell Henderson was somewhat surprisingly jettisoned from the Rams on Tuesday, making Akers one of the more intriguing value plays to roll with in tournaments at any position in Week 12. The Rams are fully expected to be trampled by the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium with Matthew Stafford (head) and Cooper Kupp (IR-ankle) unavailable, which does set up a very real possibility of a game script negative to the run fairly early into this contest. However, if the Rams defense is somehow able to keep things close against a banged-up Chiefs offense, Akers, who rushed 14 times for 61 yards with Henderson seeing minimal usage in Week 11 against the Saints, could see a nice workload as Sean McVay endeavors to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes' hands.

The Chiefs are giving up 120.4 rushing yards per home game, along with 4.9 yards per carry in that split. KC has also surrendered the second-most receptions (71) and fourth-most receiving yards (501) to running backs, and while Kyren Williams and not Akers is expected to take on the majority of the receiving work out of the backfield with Henderson gone, it's worth noting Akers, despite being used very sparingly in that capacity thus far with the Rams, is far from devoid of pass-catching ability. The third-year back recorded 69 receptions in 36 career college games, and if he's operating as a clear-cut top early-down option, he could be in for a few targets as well while operating with a backup quarterback that could be looking for some safe completions to keep the ball moving and the Chiefs offense off the field.

ALSO CONSIDER:
Rachaad White, TB at CLE | DK: $5,100, FD: $6,400, Yahoo: $19; Elijah Mitchell, SF vs. NO | DK: $4,900, FD: $6,500, Yahoo: $17

 

Wide Receiver DFS Value Plays      

Tyler Lockett, SEA vs. LVR | DK: $6,200, FD: $7,400, Yahoo: $22 

Lockett has gotten a much-needed week off and should therefore come into this favorable matchup refreshed. The veteran speedster comes into Week 12 with a string of "just ok" games in tow, but he has scored a touchdown in each of the last three contests. Nevertheless, Locket figures to be rostered an appreciably lighter rate than position mate DK Metcalf, yet he has plenty of home-run quality in his game and can therefore pay off his modest salaries with a couple of plays.

The Raiders have given up 248 passing yards per road game, along with 10.2 yards per completion and an NFL-high 74.1 percent completion rate when traveling. Las Vegas has also surrendered a 71.2 percent catch rate to wideouts specifically, along with an average of 33.2 DK/26.8 FD/Yahoo points per game to the position. And, Vegas is tied with several teams for fourth-most red-zone passing TDs allowed (13), which certainly makes Metcalf attractive as well but doesn't discount Lockett by any means given his career body of work inside the 20, including in the aforementioned most recent trio of games.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, KC vs. LAR | DK: $5,700, FD: $6,600, Yahoo: $21    

Kadarius Toney's hamstring has acted up again to the point where he's been ruled out for Sunday's game, while Mecole Hardman (IR-abdomen) is also unavailable for at least three more contests. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster will return from his one-game absence due to a concussion for this matchup, and he could play an especially prominent role since Travis Kelce could also have a difficult time approximating his usual level of production against a defense that's been one of the best at defending the tight end position all season.

Additionally, the Rams defense has quietly been one of the most generous in the league on the road, making this a potentially sneaky-good matchup. Los Angeles is giving up 260.3 passing yards per road game (187.7 per game at  home), but they've made opponents work for those yards -- the Rams yield only 9.4 yards per completion per away contest, the seventh-lowest figure in that split. That sets up better for Smith-Schuster's typical route tree than that of position mate Marquez Valdes-Scantling's, and the former's solid red-zone role (10 targets in nine games) adds to his appeal in a game the Chiefs have a projected total of just under 29 points in.

Courtland Sutton, DEN at CAR | DK: $5,600, FD: $7,100, Yahoo: $16 

Sutton put together another solid effort as a Week 11 value recommendation, posting a 5-80 line on seven targets. Jerry Jeudy (ankle) and KJ Hamler (hamstring) will remain out in Week 12, which will set Sutton up for what should be another solid workload at minimum. The fifth-year pro has unsurprisingly underwhelmed to an extent this season with Russell Wilson also performing under his career norms, but a matchup against a Carolina defense that's allowed more passing production and big plays through the air at home makes him an interesting option again Sunday at lower salaries than a week prior.

The Panthers have been more notorious for their porous defense on the ground, but in that regard, Sutton makes for very viable leverage off what is expected to be a very highly-rostered Latavius Murray. Carolina isn't exactly impenetrable through the air either, as the Panthers have allowed 10 red-zone passing touchdowns, are surrendering a full yard per completion more at home (10.1) than on the road (9.1) and have given up a 72.3 percent completion rate over the last three. Sutton's targets have a very safe floor at the moment as well, which gives him a nice combination of dependability and upside at salaries.

ALSO CONSIDER:
Chris Godwin, TB at CLE | DK: $6,000, FD: $7,000, Yahoo: $19; Justin Watson, KC vs. LAR | DK: $3,000, FD: $5,000, Yahoo: $15

DK/Yahoo-only Special:
Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. ATL | DK: $5,800, Yahoo: $23

 

Tight End DFS Value Plays  

George Kittle, SF vs. NO | DK: $5,300, FD: $6,200, Yahoo: $16

Getting Kittle at these salaries certainly isn't a common occurrence, so it's worth rolling out the talented tight end for tournaments despite his place on what is an ultra-talented, mostly healthy and diversified offense. Additionally, it bears mentioning Kittle still generated a 4-84-2 line on six targets in Week 11 against the Cardinals on Monday night with all of his skill-position mates available, and over the last five games, he's produced a solid 22-325-4 line on 32 targets that's led to averages of 15.7 DK/13.5 FD/Yahoo points per contest in that span.

It's also worth noting Deebo Samuel heads into the weekend carrying a questionable tag due to the hamstring injury that kept him out back in Week 8. If he were to sit out, Kittle would have an even larger role than usual, and with at least five targets in five of the last six games along with seven catches of at least 20 yards across just 33 receptions, he's a play worth rolling out in tournaments at what could be fairly low roster rates.

David Njoku, CLE vs. TB | DK: $3,600, FD: $5,600, Yahoo: $18

Njoku was healthy enough to jump back into action in Week 11 after a two-game absence due to ankle and knee issues, logging 25 snaps against the Bills and producing a modest 2-17 line on three targets. The athletic tight end is now off the injury report altogether heading into this highly favorable positional matchup against the Buccaneers, and he could very well carry lower rostering rates than he otherwise would with fellow tight end Harrison Bryant having made a solid impression over the last two games.

The Buccaneers have been vulnerable to tight ends despite their impressive group of linebackers and safeties, allowing a 52-555-4 line to the position, as well as a 73.2 percent catch rate. Njoku is one of the best chunk-play threats at the position -- he's already recorded seven grabs of at least 20 yards across 36 receptions -- and he also boasts a career-high 80% catch rate and 9.7 yards per target. While there's some risk associated with him due to Bryant's recent surge, Njoku is certainly play for tournaments at his salaries.

ALSO CONSIDER:
Gerald Everett, LAC at ARI | DK: $4,400, FD: $5,200, Yahoo: $20; Noah Fant, SEA vs. LVR | DK: $3,200, FD: $5,100, Yahoo: $13



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