Affording the best plays on FanDuel’s Week 13 DFS slate won’t be easy. While players like Christian McCaffrey ($11,000) offer the best floors and highest ceilings, they also come with a steep price tag. The best way to jam them in is by identifying “lineup makers.” These cheap DFS options give us the lineup flexibility necessary to afford the best plays on the slate. Here are some lineup makers this week based on advanced stats, metrics and analytic player profiles.
Andy Dalton, QB: $6000
After three straight contests with multiple turnovers and under 200 yards passing, the Bengals have had enough of Ryan Finley. The team announced that Andy Dalton, who is the stone-minimum price on FanDuel at just $6000, would get the starting nod.
Check out Andy Dalton on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
His price alone makes him an undeniable value on a tight slate, but he also draws a favorable matchup with the Jets. New York has a stout front capable of shutting down the run, but their pass rush is lackluster. They are tied for the 10th-fewest sacks on the season and, according to numberFire’s net expected points model, rank 23rd against the pass.
Dalton has shown a strong floor with at least 14 fantasy points in all but one start this season. He has also shown the ability to turn his 11.20 (77th-percentile among qualified quarterbacks) Agility Score into rushing production with three touchdowns on the ground. Dalton is the ideal cash game quarterback to build around this week.
Miles Sanders, RB: $5800
Without Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders has seen double-digit touches and played at least 88-percent of snaps in back to back weeks. He just hasn’t been able to turn that into fantasy production, but at least played against two strong run defenses in the Patriots and Seahawks.
This week he has been gifted the Dolphins, who rank 28th against running backs in fantasy points allowed on FanDuel. With upper-percentile athleticism across the board and a solid pass-catching floor, Sanders is a no-brainer in this matchup.
With Howard still banged up and Jay Ajayi being a non-factor (8.8-percent snap share last week), Sanders should dominate.
David Johnson, RB: $5700
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It was not long ago that David Johnson was considered the best running back in the NFL and received the richest RB contract to date. Now he averages 3.6 (No. 45) True Yards Per Carry with a 10.6-percent (No. 52) Juke Rate. Johnson looks neither elusive nor explosive, and that was before a high ankle sprain that cost him two games and held him to seven total touches across two others.
This hollow shell can’t be the real DJ. The 28-year-old is still in the prime of his career and has one of the most incredible athletic profiles you’ll find on this site. With a Week 12 bye, Johnson may have received the necessary time off to regain his explosiveness.
His price has also dropped significantly with his declining play, creating a buying opportunity. Playing Johnson as a contrarian tournament option is one way to leverage everyone’s recency bias.
Sterling Shepard, WR: $5900
With Golden Tate still not practicing due to a concussion, Sterling Shepard will be the center of the Giants’ pass attack this Sunday. He would slide into Tate’s 70-plus percent slot role, escaping the clutches of Jaire Alexander this week.
Shepard has shown the ability to post big weeks with seven games of at least 100 yards or a score over the last two seasons. With his projected increase in volume, he’s a screaming value this week.
Dede Westbrook, WR: $5700
Nick Foles and Dede Westbrook showed a strong connection in the preseason. That was short-lived in the regular season due to Foles’ broken collarbone, but he’s looked Westbrook’s way 15 times over the last two weeks.
Foles clearly likes targeting his slot receiver, and he has a soft matchup against Sean Murphy-Bunting and a Tampa secondary that allows the most fantasy points to wide receivers. Any game with Jameis Winston has the potential to shoot out, and the best way to beat the Buccaneers is through the air.
Zach Pascal, WR: $5400
Zach Pascal operated as the alpha for the Colts for three weeks. In those games, he ran 91 routes and saw 20 targets. With T.Y. Hilton hitting a snag with his calf injury, Pascal will reclaim that role.
Also, Pascal will be running routes against LeShaun Sims, who is filling in for the injured Malcolm Butler. Sims has played at least 50-percent of snaps in three games this season. In those games, he’s seen 30 targets and allowed 20 catches for 252 yards and a touchdown. Pascal will smash in this matchup.
Jack Doyle, TE: $5000
The Colts have had horrible luck this season. Between Andrew Luck‘s retirement and the litany of injuries suffered on both sides of the ball, it’s amazing that they’re in the postseason hunt. Eric Ebron is the latest casualty, as he landed on Injured Reserve with injuries to both ankles.
This will thrust Jack Doyle into a featured role, which is something he needs to return to fantasy stardom. Doyle hasn’t caught more than four balls in any game this season, but he’ll absorb a chunk of Ebron’s 15.5 percent (No. 13) Target Share, giving him a strong floor. If you are looking to pay down at tight end, Doyle is the way to go.