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Jim Coventry for Bookies.com

By Jim Coventry | | 10 mins

NFL DFS Week 12 Value Plays & Best Picks

NFL DFS Week 12 Value Plays & Best Picks
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Defenses still continue to rule the league this season with scoring being down from past years. But there’s always value in exploiting particular matchups to gain an advantage in daily fantasy sports.

NFL DFS Week 12 Main Slate, Ranked by Over/Under

  • Chargers vs Cardinals - 48
  • Raiders vs Seahawks - 47.5
  • Texans vs Dolphins - 47
  • Packers vs Eagles - 46.5
  • Ravens vs Jaguars - 43.5
  • Buccaneers vs Browns - 43
  • Saints vs 49ers - 43
  • Rams vs Chiefs - 43
  • Bengals vs Titans - 42.5
  • Falcons vs Commanders - 41
  • Bears vs Jets - 38.5
  • Broncos vs Panthers - 36

Highest Implied Team Totals

  • Bills - 31
  • Dolphins, Chiefs - 29
  • Cowboys - 27
  • Eagles, Seahawks, Chargers - 26
  • 49ers - 25
  • Ravens - 24
  • Commanders, Jets, Buccaneers - 23
  • Vikings, Bengals, Raiders, Lions, Cardinals - 22
  • Titans, Colts - 21
  • Falcons, Browns, Jaguars - 20
  • Packers, Patriots, Broncos - 19
  • Giants, Bears, Steelers - 18
  • Saints, Texans - 17
  • Panthers - 16
  • Rams - 15

NFL DFS Week 12 Quarterbacks for FanDuel & DraftKings

Patrick Mahomes - Chiefs vs. Rams - DK $8,200 FD $9,000

Mahomes has been on a ridiculous run. Of course, for him, is it really that ridiculous? He’s thrown for at least 329 yards in each of his last five games, He’s also accounted for 21 TDs over his last seven games, On the year, he has at least four scores on three occasions. He’s facing the Rams, which on the surface, looks like a tougher matchup. 

However, Los Angeles has had a very favorable schedule this year. Recently, Andy Dalton threw three TD passes while Jimmy Garoppolo threw two against them. But the most important point is that the Rams have arguably the best run defense in the league. And Andy Reid never needed much of an excuse to avoid the running game. With the Chiefs unlikely to waste much time running, Mahomes should put the game on his shoulders. Expect that to end very well.

Justin Herbert - Chargers at Cardinals - DK $7,000 FD $7,900

Herbert finally started to get some weapons back and he immediately threw for 280 yards and two TDs. He’s beginning a stretch of five amazing matchups. This week, he’ll face an Arizona defense that is playing on a short week after playing in extreme altitude in Mexico City on Monday night. 

Expect this defense to be functioning at less than full capacity as a result. Even at full strength, the Cardinals give up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. When removing the game played by Rams’ backup QB John Wolford, this defense has given up 12 TD passes over their last four games. And with the Chargers not being a team that’s committed to the run game, Herbert should be in attack mode for four quarters, which could lead to one of his best outings of the year.

Geno Smith - Seahawks vs. Raiders - DK $6,000 FD $7,600

Although Smith hasn’t had a slate-breaking week, he’s had a strong scoring floor this year. He’s thrown multiple TD passes in seven of his last eight games. He also shook off a string of low-yardage games by throwing for exactly 275 yards in each of his two games before Seattle’s bye last week. 

He has a ridiculously easy matchup against the Raiders. Despite facing one of the easiest schedules of opposing QBs, they allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Davis Mills and Andy Dalton each threw for two TDs against them while Justin Herbert threw for three scores. 

Las Vegas has also been without their top cornerback, Nate Hobbs, for the last five weeks, and even if he returns, facing DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett is sure to be problematic. In a game that could easily feature high scoring, Smith has a great floor with upside potential at a discount price.

Also Consider - Taylor Heinicke, Tom Brady

NFL DFS Week 12 Running Backs for FanDuel & DraftKings

Jeff Wilson - Dolphins vs. Texans - DK $5,900 FD $7,700

For those who are still concerned that this is a shared backfield with Wilson and Raheem Mostert, let’s go back to the last game Miami played. In Wilson’s first full week after being acquired by the Dolphins, Wilson played 40 snaps, leading to 17 rush attempts and five pass targets

In that game, Mostert played 19 snaps, while handling eight rushes and four targets. Coming out of the bye, the split may be more drastic. Already averaging 6.5 yards per carry with his new team, Wilson couldn’t ask for a better matchup. 

The Texans give up the most fantasy points per game to RBs. They also allow 5.3 yards per carry. Wilson is severely underpriced at DraftKings Fantasy and has immense upside in this game.

James Conner - Cardinals vs. Chargers - DK $6,600 FD $7,000

To be clear, Conner is not the same player he was last year, when he was winning his investors fantasy football titles. But since coming back from injured ribs, he’s taken on significant volume. He’s averaged 20 touches over the last two weeks. He’s also been targeted four times per game. With Eno Benjamin no longer on the team, Conner has become nearly a full-time player. He will have a great matchup this week. 

The Chargers give up a league-high 5.75 yards per carry. They also allow four receptions per game to RBs. In addition, they’ve given up 1.3 TDs per game to opposing RBs. Regardless of game script, Conner should be heavily involved. And his DFS price doesn’t reflect his recent usage and production. Grab the savings and add up the points!

Rachaad White - Buccaneers at Browns - DK $5,100 FD $6,400

With the Buccaneers’ last game being two weeks ago and not on the main slate of games, many may not realize that White started at running back. After not seeing more than six carries in a game, he carried the ball 22 times for over 100 yards. 

Oddly enough, a player who’s known to be an excellent receiver, didn’t see a single target in that contest. That was likely an anomaly. Even though Leonard Fournette (hip) is expected to play, White is likely to remain the starter, yet he’s priced in DFS as a backup. He’ll have an outstanding matchup against the Browns. 

Cleveland gives up 5.26 yards per carry and the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. In addition, they've allowed RBs to find the end zone 1.7 times per game. And if the Bucs decide to use him as a receiver, the Browns have had RBs post 5.1 receptions per game against them. This may be the last week that White is a value in DFS. Capitalize while you can.

Also Consider - Kenneth Walker, D’Onta Foreman, Antonio Gibson

NFL DFS Week 12 Wide Receivers for FanDuel & DraftKings

Tee Higgins - Bengals at Titans - DK $6,900 FD $8,200

The Titans are definitely one of the top defenses in the league. But they are much better against the run than the pass. Tennessee gives up the second-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Part of their issue is that they allow 14 receptions and 1.3 TDs per game to them. 

This defense has actually been fortunate to have played six teams with very weak passing attacks. So when we look at WRs who have burned them, the list is actually short. Just Stefon Diggs and Dyami Brown have gone over 100 yards and scored against them, But again, the competition hasn’t been great. 

Higgins has gone over 90 yards four times this year. But coming out of their bye last week, Cincinnati made it a clear focus to feature Higgins. He had a season-high 13 targets and 148 yards. It’s hard to see the Bengals going away from him in a great matchup. You shouldn’t either.

NFL DFS Week 12 Value Plays & Best Picks 1

Terry McLaurin - Commanders vs. Falcons - DK $5,800 FD 7,500

Taylor Heinicke may not be a great NFL QB. But he sure understands the importance of getting the ball to his best playmaker. Over the last five games, McLaurin has averaged almost nine targets per game. During that span, he had a pair of 100-yard games. He’ll be in position for a big game against the Falcons. 

Atlanta has a decent run defense, so Washington may have to take to the air. That would be a good idea. The Falcons give up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. They’ve allowed over 2,000 yards and 13 TDs to receivers. Also, the fact that Atlanta has very little ability to bring a consistent pass rush should allow McLaurin to see a few deep shots. If those connect, he could have a massive performance.

DK Metcalf- Seahawks vs. Raiders - DK $6,500 FD $7,200

Metcalf has had a disappointing fantasy season. Even though Geno Smith has been an excellent QB, it hasn’t translated to his WR. However, Seattle is coming out of the bye week. They’ve already had three games in which Metcalf has seen 10+ targets, and two of his best games have obviously occurred when they’ve done that. 

He’s also scored in two of his last three games. Although the matchup against Las Vegas looks neutral, they have literally played two opponents with even average passing attacks. That explains why they allow the 13th-fewest fantasy points per game to WRs. And despite having Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, they have been below-average in pressuring QBs. When all these factors align, Metcalf could be in line for the spike week we’ve been waiting all year for.

Also Consider - Mike Evans, Drake London, Treylon Burks

NFL DFS Week 12 Tight Ends for FanDuel & DraftKings

Mark Andrews- Ravens at Jaguars - DK $6,500 FD $7,300

Andrews was back on the field last week after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 8. With ‘just’ eight targets, it seems that he was eased back into action. Andrews has been targeted at least 11 times in most of the games he’s been healthy since Week 2. Clearly, that type of target volume for a TE is rare. 

And his DFS salary is not through the roof, likely because of his recent injury-related lack of production. He has a middling matchup against the Jaguars. They haven’t played many of the top TEs, but they did give up at least 72 yards to Greg Dulcich, Dallas Goedert and Travis Kelce. Of course, Andrews fits right in with that group.  However, Kelce’s seven targets is the most the Jaguars have seen from a TE this year. With Andrews primed to see at least 10, 100 yards and a score is definitely in the equation.

David Njoku- Browns vs. Buccaneers - DK $3,600 FD $5,600

After missing about a month with an ankle injury, Njoku was eased back into action last week. After averaging nearly 60 snaps per game earlier in the year, he played just 25 snaps in his return. That puts his two-catch, 17-yard performance in perspective. When last healthy, this is a player who posted between 58 and 89 yards in his last five games while averaging seven targets

He should be fully healthy for an excellent matchup against the Bucs. Tampa Bay gives up 55 yards and the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. Three different TEs, including Isaiah Likely and Dalton Schultz, have posted at least 62 yards against them. Njoku is priced as a low-end option, but his discount is likely related to his recent missed time.

Also Consider - Hayden Hurst, Foster Moreau

About the Author

Jim Coventry for Bookies.com
Jim Coventry
Coventry nabbed a No. 1 finish and placed in the top 50 in five large-field DFS contests while entering just a single entry in each. He also was a triple crown winner (total points, best record, and playoff champion) in the 2022 King’s Classic auction league. He began playing fantasy football in 1994 and has been an analyst since 2007. He’s a deputy NFL editor with RotoWire and hosts SiriusXM shows on the weekends, as well as writing on DFS for Bookies.