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Week 12 DraftKings Cheap Tournament Plays: Ryan Tannehill, Ronnie Hillman, Tyler Lockett & More


Everyone has now feasted on their turduckens and we're ready to roll out of our food coma and check out what the deal is with Week 12 DFS for the weekend.

The game with the highest projected point total from Vegas is the Washington-New York tilt which has a line of 47.5 points. Tampa Bay/Indianapolis, San Diego/Jacksonville, and Seattle/Pittsburgh are also 46 and up, with the latter being pegged by many sharps in the industry as being the one with really sneaky shootout potential.

This doesn't mean that there isn't cheaper fun to be had though. There is still plenty of value calling far down on the player lists in DraftKings' player pool. We'll note the chalkier plays in the "other names" quick hit, but the full blurbs will be reserved for plays that require some context.

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Week 12's Cheap DraftKings Quarterback DFS Plays

Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA): $5,200 - @NYJ

This is based on the Jets still being a good unit against the run, combined with Lamar Miller being utilized well as a receiver lately, as well as Darrelle Revis being out. All of this comes together to give Ryan Tannehill a pretty high ceiling against a Jets team that appears to be in pretty low spirits lately.

The Jets just got worked by the Texans, and while Jarvis Landry isn't DeAndre Hopkins, with no Revis going it means that Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine will see heavy action (both rating out as under 50 according to PFF) and Marcus Williams steps into Revis' spot (Williams has a 66 rating...not great either). Look for the Dolphins to attack the Jets' weakness in the secondary with their myriad of weapons (Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Rishard Matthews, Jordan Cameron, and Lamar Miller) and while Tannehill's own inconsistency gets in his way, the chance is there and that's what tournaments are about.

Josh McCown (QB, CLE): $5,000 - vs. BAL

Baltimore's defense has played a bit better as of late, but they are still a very weak unit overall and no one knows how well they're going to respond to the loss of Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett as a team. The Browns get McCown back under center with the news of Johnny Manziel's party rocking and subsequent demotion, and as such now we have McCown at minimum price going against a bad Ravens' defense. McCown had been running well (three straight 23+ DK point efforts in Weeks 3-5) and then ran into a tough part of the schedule, his last three games came against the Broncos, Rams, and Cardinals.

He managed to put up 20.24 against the Cardinals though which is rather impressive, and while the Cardinals are 12th in FPPG on DK, the Ravens are 31st. The concern here is gameflow and the low projected point total thanks to Matt Schaub leading the Ravens, but the potential is there for McCown to do well against a poor defense in a game where he should want to show why he deserves the starting job.

Other cheap plays: Brian Hoyer aka one chalk play to rule them all, $5,000 vs. NO, Ryan Fitzpatrick, $5,000 vs. MIA, Matt Hasselbeck, $5,400 vs. TB.

 

Week 12's Cheap DraftKings Running Back DFS Plays

Ronnie Hillman (RB, DEN): $4,000 - vs. NE

Hillman should be very low owned considering the reputations surrounding this game. You have the Patriots' juggernaut rolling into Denver with young Brock Osweiler standing in their way. It was clear that in their game against the Bears they wanted to keep the gameplan fairly simple and not put too much on Brock. He responded well regardless, and perhaps after the Thanksgiving dominance of the Packers the Bears defense should be taken a little more seriously, but this isn't so much about Brock as it is about Hillman and C.J. Anderson and the Broncos wanting to be able to utilize their running game in a similar fashion to how the Bills attacked the Patriots with LeSean McCoy.

Now McCoy is a better runner than either Hillman or Anderson, but with Belichick's propensity to take away the opposition's favorite weapon (in this case Demaryius Thomas) along with the Broncos being likely to rely on their defense and somewhat conservative gameplan (at least at first), Ronnie Hillman is a solid lottery ticket. He broke through the 100 yard barrier last week against Chicago, and should get the goal line looks. Now the Patriots have a good defensive line (Sheard, Easley, and Jones are each playing very well), but the opportunity should be there for Hillman, even if it's just from some check downs and screen passes as they keep passes short and safe. They need to win the turnover battle, and running back passing routes are usually very desirable for that.

Shaun Draughn (RB, SF): $3,800 - vs. ARI

Speaking of running backs getting those check down routes, Shaun Draughn has 12 catches in the past two games thanks to Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers not really being able to generate much downfield action. The Cardinals have a good, aggressive overall defensive unit that should be pressuring Gabbert all game.

How do you mitigate this? Well conventional wisdom would have you allow the blitzers to get upfield and satiate their aggression, only to dump it over their heads to your running back on a screen or flat route. Draughn and the 49ers shouldn't have much need for a running game, and the 49ers should find themselves playing catch up pretty quickly in this one. Look for Draughn to rack up the PPR points as the safety valve for Gabbert in a game where he shouldn't have much time to operate.

Other cheap plays that should have higher ownership: Spencer Ware, $3,800 vs. BUF, Tevin Coleman, $4,300 vs. MIN, Thomas Rawls, $4,400 @PIT, Javorius Allen, $4,600 @CLE, T.J. Yeldon, $4,800 vs. SD.

 

Week 12's Cheap DraftKings Wide Receiver DFS Plays

Cecil Shorts (WR, HOU): $3,600 - @NO 

As chalky as the Brian Hoyer/DeAndre Hopkins stack is probably going to be, the other Texans' receivers shouldn't be forgotten about either. Nate Washington is probably the more tempting option for tournaments as he is the boom/bust stretch the field type of guy, but Cecil Shorts should not be overlooked.

Shorts decided to do everything last week against the Jets, passing for a touchdown, rushing four times for 26 yards, and catching two balls for 51 yards. While he probably won't have that Antwaan Randle-El type of game again, going against the Saints in a great matchup does leave him with the opportunity to have a great game in a great matchup. The Texans still don't really have an effective ground game, and Drew Brees should be able to do enough at home against the Texans' defense to necessitate Houston having to air it out.

Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA): $3,000 - vs. PIT

Last week's performance may boost his ownership rates higher than most might expect, but as we mentioned this game has a high projected point toal for the week and Lockett showed last week that he is getting some good looks from Russell Wilson. Add onto this the possibility of Lockett getting a return touchdown for you and you've got a really nice value for the minimum price here.

The Steelers have one cornerback who is performing well, Ross Cockrell, but William Gay and Antwon Blake have both been playing poorly. The Steelers are also sneakily sixth best against the run according to the DVOA metric, and as great as Thomas Rawls was, the game sets up much better for the Seahawks' passing game rather than the rush. Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham might be the beneficiaries this time around, but Lockett is certainly not a bad tourney shot to take here if you want to spend heavily elsewhere.

Dontrelle Inman (WR, SD): $3,000 - @JAX

The Chargers are so beaten up. They have no hope at running the ball effectively, and the Jaguars have actually been really good against the run this year. FootballOutsiders' DVOA stat has the Jags as 2nd best against the run, and 30th best against the pass. This profiles perfectly for the Chargers and how they need to attack.

Many people will be on the usual names like Stevie Johnson, Antonio Gates, and Danny Woodhead. Guess who led the Chargers' receivers in snaps last week? That's right, Inman had 58, Johnson saw 55, and Herndon saw 40. For what it's worth, Gates played 29 and Ladarius Green played 27. Inman is a pretty decent minimum price play with upside given his usage rates and the way the Chargers will need to approach this game.

Other cheap plays that should have higher ownership: Dwayne Harris, $3,800 @WAS, Nate Washington, $3,800 @NO, Donte Moncrief, $4,400 vs. TB.

 

Week 12's Cheap DraftKings Tight End DFS Plays

Heath Miller (TE, PIT): $3,100 - @SEA

Another piece of that Pittsburgh/Seattle touted shootout game is Heath Miller, who should see the most exploitable matchup of the group against a Seattle defense that is giving up the third most fantasy points to the tight end position this year. Ben Roethlisberger knows he has a reliable option in Miller, and in a matchup where the running game should struggle to get anything going against the Seattle front seven, Miller could be part of a heavily used passing attack. The only question might be how much Miller needs to stay in and help block on the edges, but for $3,100 this has solid upside.

Vernon Davis (TE, DEN): $3,000 - vs. NE

Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels both had good games against the Chicago Bears last week, with Davis catching all six of his targets for 68 yards. It was clear that Osweiler was favoring his tight ends in the passing game, opting for those short-intermediate routes as we touched on in the Ronnie Hillman commentary. Osweiler didn't go out there looking to air it out 30-40 yards down the sideline, and instead peppered the routes that were across the middle and shorter. This plays well for Hillman and the tight ends, and it was also the route that Demaryius Thomas scored on with a nice run after the catch. Davis appears to be seeing more usage now, running a healthy amount of routes and he should be leaned on in this game. He racked up 47 snaps to Daniels' 56, but the involvement in the passing game is what you need to see.

Coby Fleener (TE, IND): $3,000 - vs. TB

The Buccaneers have been playing inspired football lately, but their pass defense is still their point of weakness and their linebacker coverage, while it does generate notable turnovers, misses a lot of assignments. Fleener is the one who best exploits this, and could put up a nice 6-50-1 line for owners for a cool three grand. Fleener was tied for second on the team in targets in Week 11 with five (tied with Frank Gore), while fellow tight end Dwayne Allen is used more as a blocker, as he only saw one target. Matt Hasselbeck seems to get Fleener the ball, and with Tampa playing well against the run this year (a top five unit this year according to DVOA), Indianapolis will have to attack through the air.

Other cheap plays that should have higher ownership: Julius Thomas, $3,400 vs. SD, Kyle Rudolph, $3,400 @ATL, Crockett Gillmore, $3,700 @CLE.

 

Week 12's Cheap DraftKings Defense DFS Plays

New York Giants, D/ST: $2,400 - @WAS

The Giants have a chance to really put their foot down on the neck of the NFC East with a win against Washington this week. They are getting Prince Amukamura back to rejoin Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as a very dangerous defensive back duo on the outsides. Their pass rush came alive last week against the Patriots, registering three sacks when they had failed to record a sack in their previous two games. Jason Pierre-Paul's presence is really helpful to them on the edge despite the worries coming into this year about his effectiveness. Kirk Cousins, when he has pressure in his face, is prone to make quite a few mistakes.

Now the Giants have been getting run on recently after this was an early season strength of theirs, but luckily the Redskins have yet to figure out how to consistently run the ball with any success. The Giants linebacking corps just is not good unfortunately for them (which also speaks to the only plus receiving matchup the Redskins have in Jordan Reed against said linebackers). J.T. Thomas, the usual starting weakside linebacker, has gotten in three limited practices, but if he can't go that's an even better set up for Reed. Keep an eye on it, but the Giants are coming off of a heated game against the Patriots where the defense played pretty well overall considering the level of competition, and now they get to go to Washington with the division at stake and could put in a great game for you at $2,400.

Cleveland Browns, D/ST: $2,000 vs. BAL

I mean, the Ravens are without their #1 quarterback, running back, and wide receiver now. The backups are running the team, and as well as Kamar Aiken, Chris Givens, and Javorius Allen have stepped up in their limited capacities, we all remember how terrible Matt Schaub looked the last team he was on a football field. There is little reason to think he has somehow gotten strides better since then. The Browns are as cheap as you can get and offer good upside thanks to Schaub's glorious downside.

 

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