Week 12 wasn’t perfect, but it was close. We whiffed on Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson, but otherwise it was a smashing success. Even Wilson was a D.K. Metcalf drop and bad overthrow of a wide open Jacob Hollister from a much different result. Alvin Kamara continued his passing game dominance, finishing as the RB7 on the back of nine receptions. Odell Beckham Jr. had his best performance since Week 2 and the continuously underpriced DeVante Parker landed in the top-21. Calvin Ridley was the WR8 while Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb finished as the RB3 and RB4, respectively. Finally, Leonard Fournette and Zach Ertz paced their positions for the week. This week, we present eight more lock-button players primed for success. These players should be in your lineups based on usage, opportunity, matchups, advanced stats and metrics. Let’s assume PPR scoring with four points per passing touchdown.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
Coming off the bye, Patrick Mahomes is another week removed from the scary knee injury he suffered in Week 7. He should have wide receiver Tyreek Hill back on the field as well after he suffered a minor hamstring injury in Week 11. Despite missing two-and-a-half games, Mahomes is top-10 in passing yards, deep attempts, and passing touchdowns. His 110.0 True Passer Rating is in the top-three and he ranks fourth in fantasy points per game.
Mahomes draws a great matchup against a Raiders secondary that was just shredded by Sam Darnold and the Jets for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Mahomes picked apart the Raiders in their first matchup back in Week 2. He threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns and finished the week as the overall QB1. This week’s contest has the highest over/under of any game on the Week 13 slate and the Chiefs have the highest implied team total.
D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars
D.J. Chark is experiencing a second-year breakout and he has done it with two different quarterbacks. In the two games since Nick Foles returned to the lineup, Chark has received 21 targets and a 22-percent Target Share while seeing a significant increase in Snap Share. Chark has utilized his 4.34 speed and 96th-percentile Speed Score to exploit defenses down the field. He is third in deep targets and fifth in Target Distance. Chark has eight touchdowns and averages 17.2 (No. 5 among qualified wide receivers) fantasy points per game.
Check out D.J. Chark on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
The Jaguars will be enticed to throw the ball a ton against the Bucs who are elite against the run but vulnerable to the pass. They have allowed the most yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to opposing wideouts. This game currently has the third-highest over/under of Week 13 so there will be plenty of opportunity for Chark to score, especially considering his top-12 red zone target rate. Chark is priced at $6,600 (WR16) on DraftKings and $6,900 (WR20) on FanDuel.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
Let’s be clear, Christian McCaffrey is a lock button play every week. With his price soaring to $10,500 on DraftKings and $11,000 on FanDuel, it’s important to reiterate that he remains a weekly must-play. That is especially true when he has a favorable matchup like Washington, who has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and an average of 26.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. They have also surrendered the ninth-most receiving yards to running backs.
McCaffrey is in the midst of one of the best fantasy seasons ever and he is doing it with incredible usage. He has a 99.0-percent Snap Share and 91.0-percent Opportunity Share. He is first among running backs in targets and receptions, and is second in carries. McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing yards, total touchdowns and fantasy points per game. No running back has evaded more tackles (74) and only Nick Chubb has had more Breakaway Runs. Don’t let the price scare you away from playing the ultimate lock-button player.
Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
Zach Ertz smashed in this spot last week and with the Eagles struggling with injuries at wide receiver, we go back to the well for Week 13. Ertz has seen double-digit targets in each of the last three games, averaging 23.6 fantasy points over that span with two overall TE1 finishes. Ertz now leads all tight ends in targets and receptions and is second in Target Share, receiving yards, Completed Air Yards and Target Distance. With Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and DeSean Jackson all injured, Ertz is a lock for another healthy target share against the struggling Dolphins.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens vs 49ers: Keep it rolling with the league’s hottest quarterback. The Niners have a good defense, but no one has been able to stop Jackson and is price actually went down this week.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars vs Buccaneers: Hallelujah, Fournette finally found the end zone (twice) in Week 12. Though his price remains down against Tampa’s stout run defense. His usage, particularly in the passing game, makes him matchup-proof in what should be a high-scoring game.
Davante Adams, WR, Packers at Giants: Adams has seen double-digit targets in all three games since returning from injury with a 33-percent target share over that span. He now draws a great matchup against a Giants defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs vs Raiders: Kelce has finished as the TE2 and TE1 over his last two games and will see a Raiders defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.