Written by: Alex McKinnon – Staff Writing Intern (@1ReturnOfTheMac)
Welcome to Week 13’s Ultimate Guide for DraftKings which will include ownership projections, value picks, sleeper selections and my personal picks. The ownership reported below is based off of FantasyAces.com’s Thursday-Monday contest.
Highest Ownership Projected for QBs
- Drew Brees $7600 (28%)
- Colin Kaepernick $6100 (22%)
- Matthew Stafford $7000 (15%)
- Russell Wilson $6300 (14%)
- Tyrod Taylor $5700 (13%)
Ownership: The FantasyAces contest included the Thursday and Monday Night games. FantasyAces is also a two QB lineup so the percentages above may not be correct, but the disparagement between each QB should be as accurate as possible. Outside of those five quarterbacks above, Matt Barkley is the only other play caller who landed above 10% ownership. The most notable low ownership quarterbacks would be Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers. Brady, $7500, just lost his elite tight end this week with Gronkowski ending his season with a back surgery. That being said, Brady and the Patriots offense is the most prepared it’s ever been in the wake of a Gronkowski injury and looks to remain a top Super Bowl contender. Facing a poor Rams team, Tom Brady is a great option this weekend and should only be around 1% owned. In the last two games against Jeff Fisher teams, Brady has outscored Jeff 104-7 in the last two games against him. Matt Ryan, $6800, is my favorite under the radar QB this weekend. Likely to be around 5% ownership, Ryan looks to continue his MVP caliber season against a Chiefs defense that is 27th against the quarterback position. I LOVE a Ryan-Julio stack this week.
Derek Carr is slightly underappreciated as a QB who brought his team back from the dead with Dak Prescott doing what he is doing in Dallas. At $6500, he is still in the mid-tier of QBs and is also expected to be around 5%. With the super chalky plays at hand this weekend (Brees, Kaepernick and Stafford), Carr is a great contrarian choice for the week. Aaron Rodgers’ team officially stinks landing at 5-6 heading into week 13. The one thing that doesn’t stink is Rodgers’ points per game on DraftKings, and that is all that matters when putting together a lineup. At $6700 and also landing around 5% ownership, Rodgers is somehow a great value pick with guys like Brees and Brady at $7600/$7500. Rodgers averages 25.6 points per game on DK and has 26 or more points in the last SIX games. That is consistency (despite going 2-4 during that period) and should continue against Houston.
Value: Colin Kaepernick. I am not comfortable suggesting any of the options below $6000 on this week’s slate. I have experimented this season with low cost QB’s in hopes of using the extra cash for big name receivers. As we have all noticed, the NFL works it’s ass off to make sure there is plenty of offense to keep their ratings afloat. The quarterback position is still super relevant in the fantasy game and it’s not intelligent to go cheap here. Kaepernick at $6100 is an outrageous value when you look at his production. If you take away the passing numbers, his rushing performance alone would be a solid pick at running back including 113 rushing yards last week. He also has 8 TDs and only 2 INT’s in the last four games and is above 20 points per game on average thus far on DK. The Bears are awful but Barkley performed well enough to suggest this game will be at least competitive. Kaepernick should clean up this weekend.
Sleepers: Jared Goff. As you will see below, I also like the Patriots defense this week so this could be a disaster. The Patriots will forever be known for their ‘bend, but don’t break’ atmosphere under Admiral Belichick and allow for plenty of yardage but little TD output. They have given up the 10th most fantasy points to QBs this season. This is Goff’s team now and is expected to perform like a #1 pick. For $5000 and basically 0% ownership, why not take a risk on him if you want to spend elsewhere.
My Pick: Matt Ryan. Matty Ice. He is having a fantastic season but the fantasy players in the world are slightly ignoring him due to a pair of average performances in the past two weeks. This is a guy who has had over 30 points on DK three times this season and is working on a playoff race. Stack him with Julio Jones and watch the points climb. The combo will cost you but I will show you where you can make up the missing cash later in this guide.
| Running Backs
Highest Ownership Projected for RBs
- Jordan Howard $6900 (30-35%)
- David Johnson $9500 (26-31%)
- Theo Riddick $5800 (24-29%)
- Carlos Hyde $5300 (23-28%)
- Le’Veon Bell $9200 (17-23%)
Ownership: LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon and Kenneth Dixon are also expected to be around 10% owned. On the flip side, Jay Ajayi and Mark Ingram are the most surprising low ownership notables who should both be between 3-5% owned. Ajayi has had a fall from grace after an outrageous 531 yards in his first three starts. He hasn’t eclipsed 79 yards in the last three weeks and only has one TD. He also faces a defense that is rated 2nd against the run. I still find him interesting being $6700 when you have guys like David Johnson sitting at $9500. Mark Ingram is coming off of a 32.7 point performance and is in the only game this weekend with an O/U of above 50(54). He is also only $6000 and will not be owned highly. Seems like a perfect position for those lineups that spent highly at other positions.
Value: Theo Riddick, Devontae Booker, Jeremy Hill and Kenneth Dixon. Again, with two running backs above $9000 (both being around 20-25%), value takes a different meaning. Theo Riddick at $5800 is a steal for the amount of touches this guy sees. The Lions and Saints game should be electric, one of the 38-35 gunslinger showdowns and Theo Riddick should be right in the middle of the action. He has been struggling with a little bit of the injury bug this season, but has proven his worth with three games above 26 points on DK. Devontae Booker has been pretty disappointing in his new role as premiere back and has seen his DraftKings ‘stock’ plummet down to $5100. Two things makes him a stud this week. The Broncos will NOT stop giving this guy the ball, 48 rushes in the last two weeks. Denver is playing Jacksonville this week and are going to keep them off the field. A Denver defense/Devontae Booker stack is a decent idea for week 13. Jeremy Hill was robbed of a handful of red zone opportunities from Rex Burkhead but still managed to grab 18 touches this past Sunday in the wake of the Gio Bernard injury. He is only $4300 and should see even more touches in week 13. Kenneth Dixon is slowly taking over the backfield from Terrance West. With that being said, he’s a bit of a risk with West still being relevant and the Dolphins defense stepping up in recent weeks. That being said, Dixon is only $3700 and is an excellent play in tournaments.
Sleepers: Denard Robinson. The recent news that Chris Ivory will not play this weekend against the Broncos promotes TJ Yeldon and Denard Robinson up the depth chart. I still hate any Jaguars back against the Broncos this week, but I think Denard Robinson at $3200 is quite exciting. In recent years, Denard has stepped up in an injury situation to perform well and Yeldon will remain mostly a pass catching back.
My Picks: Jeremy Hill, Le’Veon Bell and Theo Riddick. I love the exposure the three of these guys have this week. Without a doubt, I will be using my flex position for a running back this weekend. Jeremy Hill is the true value play for me this week with hopes that Rex Burkhead stays off the field. For $4300, he may not have a huge upside, but I’ll take the risk. Theo Riddick will be one of two Lions I am playing this weekend in anticipation of a Lions win over the Saints. I just think Riddick’s abilities are too perfect for this high scoring matchup and the price is right. Le’Veon Bell is undeniable this week in his matchup against the Giants. I am a fan of fading David Johnson this week despite his epic season, $9500 is way too much for a running back or wide receiver. To have a real chance at winning a tournament, all players must make up 5x their price tag (Example: $9500=9.5 9.5×5=47.5 points). So David Johnson has to get 47.5 points this week to be a good value, that is outrageous. At $9200, Bell is still in need of 40+ points to create good value but I like taking the chance on Bell at the lower ownership. The Giants/Steelers game should actually be competitive until the very end so I expect Pittsburgh to rely heavily on their stud back.
| Wide Receivers
Highest Ownership Projected for WRs
- Brandin Cooks $6400 (15-20%)
- Tyreek Hill $4600 (15-20%)
- Taylor Gabriel $4000 (12-17%)
- Marquess Wilson $4000 (10-15%)
- Davante Adams $6300 (10-15%)
Ownership: Doug Baldwin, Malcolm Mitchell, Amari Cooper and Larry Fitzgerald should also be around 10% owned. Notable low ownership receivers include Julio Jones, Julian Edelman and Odell Beckham. Julio Jones being low-owned fits right into my narrative of a Ryan-Julio stack this weekend. He should be around 4-5%. I am afraid that Taylor Gabriel ($4000) may take a decent amount of targets away from Julio Jones, but still love his chances for a big day. Edelman is now the primary target in the Patriots offense for the rest of the season after the loss of Gronkowski. Edelman will always have 7 to 8 catches for 50-80 yards but has had trouble getting big yardage or touchdowns. With the loss of Gronk, it’s more likely that Malcolm Mitchell and Martellus Bennett will fill that gap, but Edelman should see a bump in production and shouldn’t be above 3-4%. Finally, Odell Beckham Jr has three games over 20 points on DK in the last four weeks and has 5 touchdowns in the last 4 games. He is projected to be right around 2% ownership somehow despite the recent success. The Steelers have done well against receiver this season, ranked 5th among all 32 teams. I expect Odell to try his hardest to avoid being outshined by Antonio Brown.
Value: Tyreek Hill, Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt. Tyreek Hill, $4600, played on Monday Night which excluded him from the pricing update on Sunday Night. Thanks to that, we have Tyreek Hill still sitting at $4600 despite his 3 touchdown, 32.5 (DraftKings) points performance against the Broncos. The Chiefs face off against the Falcons this weekend who are ranked 20th against the receiver position. Let’s hope the targets still sway towards Tyreek Hill. Malcolm Mitchell was on a warpath in the past few weeks to create his own path to Tom Brady’s heart. Over the past two weeks, Mitchell has 41 points on DK with 3 touchdowns while only receiving 12 targets. With the loss of Gronkowski, Mitchell has pivoted from a nice surprise to a critical part of the offense. He opens up the field in a way that guys like Amendola and Edelman can’t. More importantly, he is only $3600. Kenny Britt, $5000, has quietly been one of the most consistent wide receiver in the league racking up 788 yards on 54 catches. He has 10 or more points on DK in 8 out of the 11 weeks this year. Unfortunately, he only has 4 touchdowns so his performance has floated around 15 points per week. Look for Kenny to grab 8+ catches this week against a small Patriots secondary.
Sleepers: Dorial Green-Beckham and Ted Ginn Jr. DGB is only $3000 on DraftKings somehow this week. Despite his horrible career and super slow start to the season, the tall and talented wide out has 18 targets over the past two weeks and has 30.6 points over those two games. The targets are there and Carson Wentz has started to trust this guy. All he needs is 15 points to bring a GIANT value and I’m pretty sure he can pull that off. Ted Ginn Jr is coming off of a pair of decent games but is only expected to be owned around 3% and is only $4000. He has 40.7 points over the past two weeks and is slowly being integrated back into the offense. The only unfortunate part is that the Panthers face the mighty Legion of Boom in Seattle but he is worth the risk if you want a unique lineup in a tournament.
My Picks: Julio Jones, Dorial Green-Beckham and Tyreek Hill. Julio is apart of the big scheme of a Julio/Ryan huge day and is semi-affordable for a player of his caliber at $8700. Dorial Green-Beckham literally only needs 15 points to be a knockout value, FIFTEEN. I’m riding the wave off of his 18 targets in two weeks, thanks for the free money DraftKings price makers. Tyreek Hill is also a pick based on value. At $4600, Hill is a triple threat (he had a rushing, receiving and a return touchdown last week) and is a lock for 8+ targets this weekend.
| Tight Ends
Highest Ownership Projected for TEs
- CJ Fiedorowicz $3800 (10-15%)
- Antonio Gates $4100 (8-13%)
- Travis Kelce $4700 (7-12%)
- Vance McDonald $2900 (6-11%)
- Josh Hill $2500 (6-11%)
Ownership: This week is a crapshoot when it comes to tight ends. With the Gronkowski injury news as well as Jordan Reed being ruled out, Vernon Davis and Martellus Bennett will fly up the ownership rankings but it still appears the ownership will be well spread. Jimmy Graham is the only notable low-ownership option appearing to only be around 6-8% owned this weekend. Graham is the last remaining ‘star’ at tight end with Reed and Gronk out and still contributed to Seattle’s potent offense. I don’t like Graham at $5500 with better low price options, but he is still an explosive offense.
Value: Martellus Bennett, Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald and Josh Hill. Bennett, $4800, has been a tough player to commit to this season with his unpredictability and the overall unpredictability of the New England Patriots offense. In the previous 3 games that Gronkowski was absent and Bennett had started, two resulted in 14 yard performances and the other (week 2) he put up 114 yards. At his price, I think there is better value lower down the totem pole, but I could understand why you would go with Bennett. Vernon Davis will replace Jordan Reed in Washington after it was announced Reed is out Sunday vs. the Cardinals. In the previous spot starts in place of Reed, Vernon Davis has shown up with 50 or more yards in each game. At his age, he no longer has the moon level ceiling, but he can still give you 6 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown at the cheap price of $3300. I love Vernon this week despite the stout Cardinals defense. Vance McDonald is only $2900 this week and is really the only receiver that Kaepernick uses consistently. Despite his size, he is actually a pretty solid deep threat receiver. With ownership likely to stay below 5 with the uptick for Bennett and Davis, I like McDonald as the contrarian pick of the week at tight end. Josh Hill is the cheap but viable option this week, my ‘Jack Doyle’ pick of the week. At $2500, he quietly presents a great option in the fireworks show that will be the Lions/Saints game this weekend. Last week, he was on the field for 58 out of the 74 offensive plays for the Saints will ‘starting’ tight end Coby Fleener only saw 18 snaps. The Saints are similar to the Patriots in that they never stick with one game plan week in and week out, but I still see the value of having Josh Hill in a lineup that hypothetically wants to use David Johnson/Le’Veon Bell AND a guy like Odell Beckham or Julio Jones. You need to save money somewhere, why not at tight end. And, in my model (5x your price= big bucks), Hill only needs 12.5 points to be successful.
My Pick: Vernon Davis. I just trust Kirk Cousins too much to think Davis won’t get his touches. Many of the other options presented this week seem to be great value or solid opportunity, but Davis seems like the only certainty for a valuable tight end. For those who have extra cash for tight end, I don’t hate Travis Kelce coming off of back to back 100 yard games and facing the Falcons who are 27th against tight ends.
Highest Ownership Projected for Ds
- San Diego Chargers $2900 (20-25%)
- Baltimore Ravens $3000 (9-14%)
- Denver Broncos $3900 (8-13%)
- Green Bay Packers $2900 (7-12%)
- Washington Redskins $2400 (5-10%)
Value: I generally tend to lean towards cheap cheap options on defense because it is such a fluke most weeks when choosing a defense. Unfortunately this week, most of the options below $3000 are terrifying. I don’t know why people are so heavy on the Redskins with such a potent offense on the other side of the field. You need to pay up this week to feel good about your pick on defense. If you have the capital, the Broncos are a relatively safe bet with Blake Bortles and the Jags on the other side of the field. I also really like the Patriots this week against a rookie quarterback and the sketchy Rams offense. Unlike previous games, I think this might be the week the Patriots finally grab a handful of turnovers and possibly even a defensive touchdown. The only team I like from a ‘value’ angle would be the Dolphins at $2600 against the Ravens. The Dolphins are on a tear and really appear to be a legitimate playoff contender. More importantly, the Ravens are not much of a powerhouse offense this season. They have done an adequate job thus far and sit in a division lead for the moment, but I think the Dolphins can get to Joe Flacco and cause some issues.
My Pick: The Patriots. I also really do like the Dolphins so I will likely have them in a few lineups. The Patriots need a big performance on defense after being exposed the past few weeks. The critics have chirped about the change of defensive scheme since letting Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins go, and the Pats need to figure out a game plan for the postseason. I really believe they can grab a touchdown this week to finally have a big DK n