DFS NFL Money Makers Week 12 | Break the Slate

by Jared Michelizzi · Prop Plays
Week 12 DFS

Welcome to the Week 12 DFS Cash Game breakdown and picks article! If you’re new to this article or DFS cash games, please check out my 10 Rules to Live By article.

Week 12 is one of the more interesting weeks so far this season. There was a pretty solid three-game slate on Thursday I hope you all enjoyed. For the first time this year, there is also a game on Friday, further diluting the available players in the pool for the main slate. We still have plenty to chew on, though, so let’s get into it! 

Last week was an interesting week for me. I easily cashed on DraftKings with nearly the same lineup I had on Fanduel. However, on FanDuel I had my worst week of the year, losing every cash contest I entered. No worries – it happens. I just like to be transparent with you all about the wins and losses. We won’t always win. That is fine. Dust yourself off and let’s get back to finding the winning formula for both sites.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and had a nice break from work. I’d love to see more action in our DFS discord channel so if you have any questions’ please get in there. On to the Week 12 DFS cash game picks!

Week 12 DFS Cash Game Picks:


Jalen Hurts

FanDuel: $6500

DraftKings: $5600

Okay I lied. The quarterback section is going to remain mostly the same this week. The reason for that is yet again for the 1.4 billionth time Jalen Hurts is the best quarterback play on the slate. It is interesting that the other big guns, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, are also on the slate and Hurts still grades out a notch above them.  

Quarterback Projected Points for Week 13

Hurts is projecting for almost 2 points more than Allen and Mahomes. That is significant given how close they all are in salary. What is also interesting is all three have essentially the same floor. Where Hurts separates is in the median projection and upside. I wouldn’t fault anyone for going with Mahomes or Allen, but it’s an easy decision for me.

Running Back

Jonathan Taylor

FanDuel: $7500

DraftKings: $6900

You have no idea the joy it brings me to write up Jonathan Taylor as the top running back on the slate. I believe Jonathan Taylor is the best running back in the league. I’ve thought this since the end of his rookie season and put out this article prior to his full breakout in year two: Fantasy Football King Jonathan Taylor: The First of his Name

Taylor is finally in a prime position to play him in DFS. His salary is very affordable. Although he is facing a solid run defense with the third-rated Bucs defense in both Run Defense DVOA and DvP vs running back, I don’t have any concerns with the matchup. He rates out as the No. 1 play in my model on both sites this week.

Rachaad White

FanDuel: $7000

DraftKings: $6100

Interestingly enough, the next player up here is the running back opposite of Taylor, Rachaad White. The sites decided to give us great running back value in this game. As we have previously covered in this column, the volume White has seen in the pass game is astonishing. The only running back he trails in key metrics for running back receiving is Christian McCaffrey. We thought White would be getting volume, but not this level of involvement in the pass game which gives him an amazing floor.

Isiah Pacheco

FanDuel: $6600

DraftKings: $6200

For our third RB slot, there are too many good options to present just one. However, like I said from day one this is an article where we take stands and don’t hide behind a large player pool. If I had to present just one option, it would be Isiah Pacheco. He comes in at 6600 on FanDuel and 6200 on DraftKings.

Pacheco has really started to break out this year. In a couple runs I saw of his last week, he looked explosive. He still needs his role to grow in the passing game to move to the next level, but this week his matchup is great. The Raiders are giving up 24.9 Fantasy Points Against(28th) to Running Backs and are No. 27 in Yards Allowed Per Carry. 

Other Running Back Options

The other strong option for both sites is James Conner. He is affordable and the Cardinals are vastly improved with Kyler Murray under center. Kyren Williams is returning from his stint on IR. He was priced up on FanDuel but has a great tag on DraftKings at $6600. Also on DraftKings, Travis Etienne at $7100 is very appealing. For tournaments, I will be mixing and matching as these are all strong plays. 

Wide Receiver

Puka Nacua

FanDuel: $6400

DraftKings: $5900

This is fully contingent on Cooper Kupp being ruled out. If Kupp is out, we should see the resurgence of early season Puka Nacua, when he started off with games of 15 and 20 targets. Nacua then had a bit of a down game and went 5-72-0. That was followed up with a 9-172-1 performance. While still turning in solid performances, his production has dipped a bit with Kupp returning. Nacua is a rookie though, so it is expected that he will have ups and downs. If we get word Kupp is going to play then I would look elsewhere for a wide receiver.

A.J. Brown

FanDuel: $8600

DraftKings: $8300

A.J. Brown has been the most dominant wide receiver this year and likely the most dominant offensive player period. Last week he finally turned in a dud. Prior to that, he had seven straight games with over 19 Fantasy Points in PPR Scoring, which included three games over 30. Pairing him with Hurts is a great move in all formats. 

Other Wide Receiver thoughts:

If we lose Puka as an option all of a sudden, we have several positions to fill. With how much I like running back this week, it will definitely be a “three running back week”. That leaves us one or two more wide receiver spots we need to fill. I’m not sure I want to be playing another Colt in addition to Jonathan Taylor, but if it wasn’t for that, Michael Pittman would be a go on both sites. Christian Kirk on DraftKings at $5700 is in borderline MUST PLAY territory. 

As far as other spend ups go, Stefon Diggs is where I would look. There is a good chance Bills-Eagles shoots out and a lot of the offense flows through Diggs. If it wasn’t for Joe Burrow‘s injury, Ja’Marr Chase would be a must play at his price. The problem is Burrow’s injury is very real and Chase stats take knock because of it.

Tight End

Trey McBride

FanDuel: $6100

DraftKings: $4700

Tight end is identical to last week. For the fourth week in a row, Trey McBride is the go to tight end in cash games. We went over all his stats last week and they continue to get better each week he is a starter.

Again identical to last week, Dalton Kincaid is $100 cheaper on FanDuel, and is a viable option in a possible shootout with the Eagles. Evan Engram grades out No. 2 on DraftKings and No. 3 on FanDuel, but I will not be going there. He has let me down too many times in recent weeks.


Unfortunately, it appears FanDuel has gotten better at pricing defenses. Once again there isn’t much in terms of cheap options. I absolutely hate paying up for defense.

New England grades out as the top defense on both sites. On Draftkings, they are affordable at $3200. Fanduel, however, has them priced up to $4500. Right now, I am looking at the Rams as the cheapest option there coming in at $3600 in a matchup against Arizona.  


There is a lot of NFL action this week with no Byes, and it all culminates with the main slate. I love how many good options there are at running back. I’m thrilled to get our safety blanket, Jalen Hurts, back at quarterback. It should be a fun slate. For tournaments, I like the Bills-Eagles game. It will be very popular, but as we have seen in the last year or so, these games end up not being as owned as they should be because people are so obsessed with being contrarian and avoiding ownership. That’s fine with me. Let someone else avoid the ownership and I’ll play the best plays. Thanks for the $$$.

Good luck this week!