DraftKings Week 12: Pick On The Saints

For many of us, Week 11 was one to forget. From the early departure of Devonta Freeman due to a concussion, to the complete wet fart of a game that was supposed to be a shootout between Oakland and Detroit. Suffice to say that if you owned any shares of those players, you’re probably ready to move on to week 12. And you know what, it’s already off to a good start because the Saints, and more specifically the Saints defense, returns from a bye week. What a time to be alive.

Houston gets the dream matchup this week as the Saints roll into town, and the obvious target will be none other Deandre “Nuk” Hopkins. On the season, Hopkins now ranks third in receptions (76), yards (1,045), and first in touchdowns (9), all the while doing so with quarterbacks the likes of Brian Hoyer, TJ Yates, and very briefly Ryan Mallet.

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He will come in as the second highest priced receiver ($9,100) behind Julio Jones, but the juicy matchup combined with the sheer amount of targets he will see basically locks in a very safe floor. You’ll likely hear some rumblings about how he’ll likely be covered by Delvin Breaux, but don’t let that scare you; just go watch what Nuk did to Darrelle Revis last week.

Additionally, Hoyer, who is expected to return from his concussion suffered two weeks ago against Cincinnati, is also in play at a measly $5,000. The Saints have been gashed three games in a row by the Giants, Titans, and Redskins, giving up 13 touchdowns through the air over that span. Needing only 15 points to return value, Hoyer is an excellent cash game option, with upside for tournaments, as well.

Here’s who else I’ll be targeting in week 12:

*Note*: I will not be including the Thanksgiving day games in my analysis. 



Marcus Mariota/$5,500 vs. Oakland

You can tell by the fact that I’m leading off with a $5,500 quarterback, that it’s an excellent week to save at the position. Mariota highlights a group of sub-$6,000 signal callers (including the aforementioned Hoyer), and it’s thanks to a juicy matchup against Oakland. Despite a strong-ish showing last week against Detroit, the Raiders still rank near the bottom of the league in pass defense (23rd in Football Outsiders DVOA). Another reason to love Super Mario (not just this week), is he’s beginning to utilize one of his best, God-given gifts: his legs. He’s now rushed five times in back to back games, including his first rushing touchdown last week.

Brock Osweiler/$5,300 vs. New England

I live in Colorado. I’ve had endless conversations with family, friends, and mostly stubborn coworkers about how Osweiler should have been starting ahead of Peyton Manning, even before the injuries. Well, it was only one game, but it’s no coincidence that Denver’s offense looked infinitely better last week against the Bears than it had at any point earlier in the year. He gets the nod again this week against New England, in a game where Denver will be rare home dog and will need to put some points on the board.

Other Considerations: Jameis Winston/$5,500 @ Indianapolis @ Washington, Kirk Cousins/$5,400 vs. NYG


Eli Manning/$6,500 @ Washington

Manning and his mid range price tag settles into an excellent spot for tournaments this week, because I think most people will either spend up and grab Brady, Brees or Palmer, or, they will go cheep and roster perhaps someone I’ve already mentioned. This, plus the fact that the Giants are coming off of a bye week will probably cause most to overlook Manning in a great spot against a week Washington secondary.

Running Back


Adrian Peterson/$7,300 @ Atlanta

The top of the running back heap this week is pretty ugly, especially with a couple of the options having questions marks due to injuries. But one that I will be considering is Peterson. Yes, his performance was ugly last week in a matchup he should have dominated, but the Vikings fell behind and only gave their stud runner 15 touches. That simply won’t do. Teddy Bridgewater is a fine young quarterback, but he’s still – at least for now – not much more than a game manager that needs an effective running game. Look for the Viking’s to get back to pounding the rock this week against Atlanta.

Thomas Rawls/$4,500 vs. Pittsburgh

Marshawn Lynch is expected to be sidelined again, and that leaves us with another excellent value play in Rawls. The matchup against Pittsburgh isn’t stellar as they rank 6th in DVOA against the run, but $4,500 for a starting running back expected to get 20-plus touches is simply too cheap.

Other Considerations: Doug Martin/$5,800 @ Indianapolis, Javoris Allen/$4,600 @ Cleveland, Chris Johnson/$4,600


Danny Woodhead/$5,200 @ Jacksonville

Jacksonville has surprisingly been very stout against the run this year, currently ranking second in DVOA. But, it’s a completely different story defending against the pass. San Diego can’t run the ball anyway, so this shapes up well for a “Woodhead” game as he should be fed a steady diet of short passes, and should be one of the most targeted players for the depleted Charges.


Wide Receiver


Odell Beckham Jr./$8,700 @ Washington

Similar to Eli, OBJ should fly a little under the radar this week coming off the bye. Washington does not posses the talent in the secondary to matchup with the freakishly talented wide receiver, who should be the number one look on most passing plays. Vegas has this game pegged with an early 46-point over/under, which isn’t anything to write home about, but it is one of the highest on the slate.

Larry Fitzgerald/$7,400 @ San Francisco

San Francisco is nearly dead last in both defensive categories, so there’s really almost no one who’s off limits in this Arizona offense. Fitzgerald makes for a no-brainer target as he’s seeing a very healthy amount of targets (98 total) and has caught five passes or more in every game but one. Arizona is a huge favorite in this one, but Fitz should get his work done early and often.

Vincent Jackson/$4,700 @ Indianapolis

Jackson generally makes for a better GPP play, but in this case his price and matchup make him a decent cash game option. Mike Evans will likely be matched up with Vontae Davis, leaving Jackson with the much better matchup. This game has one of the higher over/under’s on the slate at 47 points.

Other Considerations: Demaryius Thomas/$7,400 vs. New England, Eric Decker/$5,800 vs. Miami


Antonio Brown/$8,700 @ Seattle

Call this a hunch, but I think Martavis Bryant will see more of Richard Sherman in this game than Brown. The Steelers will move him all over the field to try and take advantage of his sharp rout running to scheme in into open space. Most people will see the red number next to his name on DK, see he’s facing the Seahawks, and just move on. Don’t be that person.

Tight End


Delanie Walker/$5,400 vs. Oakland

Walker is the unquestioned first look in the Titans passing game, and has gelled quickly with Mariota. He’s seen 66 targets, which is good for fourth amongst tight ends, and has an impressive 80% catch rate, which leads all tight ends, too. Oakland is notoriously awful defending the position, which makes Walker the most intriguing option this week. Stack him with Super Mario and watch the points pile up.

Antonio Gates/$4,700 @ Jacksonville

Alright, so the one-catch performance last week doesn’t exactly instill confidence in us going forward, but I’m willing to treat that as an outlier. Yes, Gates’ skill set is in rapid decline, but he’s still a big target that Rivers should have no trouble finding with ease against Jacksonville. Jacksonville is the favorite (is that a first?) and San Diego can’t run the ball; Gates should be featured in the pass game along with Woodhead.


Rob Gronkowski/$7,900 @ Denver

After last week, I’m probably going to never roster Gronk in cash again, and I’m assuming many DFS players will share my sentiment. However, assuming most players will still have a sour taste in their mouth, I will gladly roll out Gronk in some GPP’s to take advantage of some likely low ownership. Denver isn’t an ideal matchup to target opposing passing games, but Tom Brady is losing weapons left and right and will need to find his best weapon repeatedly in this one.


Arizona/$3,900 @ San Francisco

I’m generally not a huge fan of targeting road defenses, but I’m willing to make an exception for a team favored by nine points and going up against Blaine Gabbart.

Cincinnati/$3,000 vs. St. Louis

This game has one of the lowest over/under’s on the slate at 42 points, and the Bengals are a huge home favorite at seven points. Wether Case Keenum or Nick Foles is under center, it doesn’t matter as neither offer anything that can scare a very good Bengal secondary.




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