Oof. The Week 12 DFS Matchups to Target have to be better. My Week 11 picks absolutely imploded like International Men’s Day on Twitter. Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, and Allen Robinson didn’t play. Darnell Mooney went off, but without the help of Justin Fields, who dealt with an injury to his ribs. Meanwhile, Joe Mixon went off… with zero receptions. Darren Waller was the only other player you wanted in the Bengals-Raiders game. Michael Carter left with an injury, and Mike Gesicki gave you nothing. Overall it wasn’t a great week, but it wasn’t all bad.
As I mentioned, Mixon beat the 25-point threshold. In addition, Myles Gaskin and Elijah Moore did exactly what I expected them to and offered you a significant ROI. Last but not least, The Cowboys-Chiefs game fell flat as the Packers-Vikings crushed. Long story short, If you didn’t play Jonathan Taylor, you didn’t win big.
Finding a way to get Taylor in with a stack from the Packers-Vikings game was key to winning a significant payout. Although I didn’t mention him in my column, I’m focused more on matchups than I am on individual players, and if you tried to stack this game with anyone outside of Dawson Knox and arguably Stefon Diggs, you lost. So for the Week 12 DFS Matchups, let’s see if we can not pick such volatile matchups and discover the ones worth attacking.
Games to Target in Week 12 DFS Matchups
Eagles @ Giants
Weather: 41f Clear
Fact to Know: Jalen Hurts is an all-or-nothing type quarterback. He has 27 (No. 3 among qualified quarterbacks) Interceptable Passes with 25 (No. 3) Money Throws. Only Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford have more than 20 of each, while both have attempted at least 40 more passing attempts. All three have an Average Depth of Target over 8.4.
Players To Attack in Week 12 DFS Matchups
Jalen Hurts $7,300
DeVonta Smith $6,400
Saquon Barkley $6,300
Evan Engram $3,800
Dallas Goedert $4,800
Miles Sanders $5,100
Kenny Golladay $5,100
Chris Myarick $2,500
John Ross $3,300
Collin Johnson $3,000
As mentioned above, I got cold feet in Week 12 with the Packers-Vikings. I still referenced them and gave some insight, but they weren’t my featured matchup. I started to get the same vibe from the Eagles-Giants. However, the vibes I’m getting aren’t from lack of scoring, but rather who will score.
The Eagles side is easy. You’re paying up for the second most expensive quarterback in Jalen Hurts. You stack him with Devonta Smith since James Bradberry struggles against quick-twitch type players. The Giants, outside of a three-game stretch, have struggled against tight ends, so you include Dallas Goedert in some stacks.
You can also mix in Miles Sanders after he registered a season-high in carries with his second-most red zone attempts, returning from his first game since getting injured. His pricing alone makes for a sexy play, not to mention the Giants rank No. 28 against the running back. He is just $100 above Chuba Hubbard and $200 above Giovani Bernard and Mike Davis.
The Giants side of the ball gets tough with Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney likely out. The area to attack against the Eagles is the slot. Avonte Maddox has been getting torched week after week. So far in 2021, roster percentages have dropped for players coming off an injury, making the slot an elite option. But who will man the role?
The Giants top three wide receivers leading the team in snaps out of the slot are out. However, Evan Engram technically has the most on the team. Will new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens take advantage of the matchup? Will they use Engram as a slot receiver, or continue to treat him as the fourth or fifth read?
But wait; this gets even more complicated.
With both Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith out, Chris Myarick steps in off the practice squad. His subpar athleticism makes him an uninspiring option. However, he did catch a 34-yard pass for a touchdown in the preseason. Keep in mind the Eagles are the worst team against the tight end position. So if you think Engram will play the slot, but you don’t trust him, Myarick is a sneaky dart throw for deep tournaments.
In DFS, this is the exact keyhole which gives advanced players who are paying attention an advantage. Myarick is a great play in the flex spot for a double tight end if you’re attacking this next matchup.
Buccaneers @ Colts
Fact to Know: Since Week 3, the Buccaneers have had one of the easiest schedules against wide receivers—possibly in NFL history. Across seven games, the best fantasy receiver they faced was Terry McLaurin (WR16). None other finished inside the top 30 in points per game.
Players To Attack in Week 12 DFS Matchups
Michael Pittman $5,600
Mike Evans $7,200
Tom Brady $7,600
Carson Wentz $5,800
Jonathan Taylor $9,100
Rob Gronkowski $4,400
Nyheim Hines $4,000
Chris Godwin $7,000
Michael Pittman is criminally underpriced, so I’m starting with him. As mentioned above, the Bucs haven’t been challenged in the secondary, which has allowed them to focus on stopping the run. Looking forward to him crushing DFS slates for Week 12.
Of course, you have to play the person delivering him the ball in Carson Wentz, who is wildly dependent on touchdowns over volume. Some weeks he’ll throw it 20 to 30 times and give you over 20 fantasy points. Others he’ll throw it 50 times and give you the same level of production. However, as long as they are moving the ball, he has opportunities for touchdowns.
Against the Bucs, they should move the ball just fine and what they do in the red zone is key.
The Bucs have allowed 13 receiving touchdowns to only six rushing touchdowns on the year. The Wentz-Pittman connection will be alive and well. Not only does Pittman have 81 (No. 17) targets, he also has 11 (No. 16) red zone targets and 516 (No. 11) Completed Air Yards. Regardless of who is in coverage, Pittman is going to eat.
The major decision then becomes: who is going to run the routes at running back? What would have once been an easy decision in 2020 – or even in the beginning of 2021 – is now complicated, since Nyheim Hines has only run 15 or more routes in one game since Week 3. Jonathan Taylor is not just a workhorse as he once was. He has developed into a bell-cow; however, is the role due to the schedule?
The Colts have only played in two competitive games since Week 3 and one of the two (versus the Titans), he ran 16 routes. He didn’t produce, but that was to be expected as the Titans have a 5.71 (No.12) DOCE Score. The Bucs are quite the opposite, as they don’t allow backs to run on them—unless their name is Khalil Herbert. However, they do allow teams to dump it off to their backs regularly.
Against subpar competition, the Bucs have allowed a 7.59 (No. 28) DOCE Score and although the majority of the damage was done earlier in the season, expect for either Hines or Taylor to get eight-plus points against the Buccaneers receiving.
On the other side of the ball, I’ve predicted the weekly winner of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin correctly in nine of ten games this season. In Week 12, it will be an Evans week. I’m running out stacks of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Evans across many DFS lineups.
There is a chance Ronald Jones sees an uptick in snaps after last week’s performance, but neither he nor Leonard Fournette interests me. This should be a pass-heavy game in which 300 yards passing should be eclipsed relatively easily. With the Colts getting beat outside the numbers consistently, Evans and Gronkowski will be a big reason as to why. Look for Evans to run the go routes while Gronk hits the out and corner routes time and time again. Smash plays for DFS.