4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 12
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high salary players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
After the Thanksgiving and Black Friday festivities, we still have a Week 12 main slate that should be a nice way to wrap up the week. Let’s look at one player with a high salary from each position that we could consider this week.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Salary: $8,600
Projected Points: 24.6
One of the most polarizing players in football headed into this season was Josh Allen. The people who were betting on him being good have been right so far this season, both from a real-life and fantasy perspective. His passing Net Expected Points per drop back is .28, which has him only behind Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers among quarterbacks who have started more than one game this season. In fantasy, he's been the QB4 overall. He could easily continue his solid play in the game on Sunday.
The Buffalo Bills come off their bye and face the Los Angeles Chargers at home. When you look at numberFire's daily fantasy matchup heat map, you can see that this game has a high total of 53.5, and the Bills have an implied team total of 29.5. That's tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the highest on Sunday's main slate. The Chargers' defense has some talent, but injuries and some poor play have them ranked 17th in our schedule-adjusted pass defense metric.
An encouraging sign for Josh Allen's fantasy value is how pass-heavy the Bills have been over the past two games. In those two games, Allen has attempted 87 passes and handed the ball off just 23 times. He also trails the team leader in carries, Zack Moss, by only two in those games. It appears as if the coaching staff is just putting the ball in Allen's hands instead of using a ground game that hasn't been all that effective this season, which we like to see if rostering him.
Allen is our highest projected quarterback this week but comes in with the third-highest salary. This makes him a decent value, even for a stud. He has offered great tournament upside all season long, and there's no reason why that isn't the case again on Sunday.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $11,000
Projected Points: 22.7
The Minnesota Vikings game plan has been for most of the season. They've been letting Dalvin cook all season, and it largely has been working out. Dalvin Cook has been fed since coming back from injury in Week 8, averaging 30.5 touches in the past four games. He has seven touchdowns in those four games as well. He's one of a few players we can rely on for volume every week, and this week, he'll have a good matchup to go with that volume.
The Vikings are at home against the Carolina Panthers in this Week 12 game. They have a healthy implied team total at 26.5 points and are 4.5 point favorites. This sets up the game script for the Vikings to run their offense through Cook, just as they would want it. The Vikings have run the ball at the fourth-highest rate in the league. That should suit them well against the Panthers, who rank 20th in schedule-adjusted run defense. They also allow the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to running backs, according to Pro Football Reference.
Cook has the highest salary by far of any player available on the slate, especially if Christian McCaffrey misses another game. Our projections have him for the most points by a running back by over 2.5 points, and he probably has the best floor/ceiling combination of any running back this week.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Projected Points: 14.5
No one has benefited more from Justin Herbert's emergence than wide receiver Keenan Allen. Coming into the season, there were concerns about Allen's fantasy value because he wasn't the style of receiver that meshed well with opening day starter Tyrod Taylor. That theory might have been coming to fruition, when Allen had just 4 catches for 37 yards in the Week 1 game with Taylor at quarterback. Since Herbert took over, Allen is the WR2 in half PPR scoring.
The Chargers' offense will need to be at their best to keep pace with Josh Allen and the Bills' offense. Hopefully, they take a page out of Buffalo's playbook and tone down the running game, with their schedule-adjusted rushing offense ranking 30th in the league, according to numberFire's metrics. More passing plays would benefit Keenan Allen a lot, since he sees 31% of the targets when he's on the field with Herbert. That target share is the third-highest in the league. Last season's stellar defense for the Bills hasn't shown up this season, as they have the 19th best schedule-adjusted pass defense.
With the consistent volume that Allen is seeing, he has been one of the wide receivers we want to consider every week. His 16 catch performance last week only reinforced that. If you want to get exposure to this game that could see a lot of points, playing each team's Allen is a great way to do it.
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $7,100
Projected Points: 13.4
The weekly riddle that is the tight end position continues to Week 12. We won't get a free square at the position like Taysom Hill last week, but we do get the next best thing. A high volume tight end who we can count on like Darren Waller. Waller's 28% target share is the highest in the league for tight ends. He has seen at least five targets in all but one game this season, which doesn't seem like a lot but is rare for a tight end. He gets a great matchup this week to continue to produce.
The Las Vegas Raiders are away from home against the Atlanta Falcons but are still three-point favorites. They also have the third-highest implied team total on the slate at 29.25. The Falcons' defense ranks dead last against the pass in numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. They have been particularly bad against tight ends, allowing the most Fanduel points per game to the position. It's rare that an offense is projected to score this many points, who target the tight end this much and gets this juicy matchup to feast on as well.
Waller is second in our tight end projections, behind only Travis Kelce. He is first in the value metric at the position, so he's worth spending the $7,100 on this week. Rostering Waller gives you access to a high floor and a high ceiling that most players at tight just don't have.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.