4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 13
The beauty of daily fantasy football is that, unlike a season-long draft where someone is tied to their top players all year, any top players in the NFL can make their way into your lineup. While that can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.
Although you're able to roster Joe Mixon, Jonathan Taylor, and Najee Harris all at once if you want, it is unlikely that all three running backs are optimal plays at their respective salaries for a particular week. There are many elements to decide which players are the best plays, and a large aspect of daily fantasy is the matchup a player has.
While usually encompassed in some respects inside the salary figure, a soft matchup can carry a good running back to a great week. On the other hand, a tough matchup can make superstars suboptimal to roster.
Which matchups are lurking in this weekend's games that we can take advantage of on FanDuel?
Rams Passing Attack vs. The Jaguars Secondary
The explosive Rams passing attack probably isn't as well-respected as it was earlier in the year after a couple of primetime duds. However, they're in a remarkable spot in Week 13.
The Jags are allowing 0.25 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back to opposing passers this season -- the fourth-worst mark in the league.
Matthew Stafford is more than affordable at just $7,800, and Cooper Kupp has seen a slight dip to $9,000 despite seeing an absurd minimum of nine targets every game this season. From reports, it sounds like Odell Beckham has an uphill battle to play in what is a super easy opponent for L.A., so he may not suit up.
We can still add Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee to the mix, too, though. Higbee is two full touchdowns short of expectation based on his red-zone usage, and Jefferson has at least six targets in the last five games.
Jamaal Williams vs. The Vikings Run Defense
Williams is just $6,500 on FanDuel, and while Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike have had impressive small spurts, they've been just small spurts. Williams played 30 snaps on Thanksgiving compared to just 7 total for the other two backs. Perhaps that shifts slightly with time to prepare (and I do like Jefferson the player), but it likely won't be enough to justify avoiding the friendly salary.
The Vikings' run defense is as poor as Elijah Mitchell made them look a week ago. They're allowing 0.12 Rushing NEP per carry to opposing ball carries. That's the second-worst mark in the NFL to the Los Angeles Chargers' well-known run funnel.
The implied total for his Lions obviously isn't very high, but the quality of his role and his matchup have Williams as a top consideration in a loaded value running back tier.
Dallas Goedert vs. Jets Linebackers and Safeties
In a sloppy game and Dallas Goedert saw just three targets. He caught one for no yards. Goes without saying -- not ideal for a daily fantasy lineup.
We can just chalk that up to an ugly game environment. Goedert's peripherals were just fine in the game, and he still had one of the best tight end roles in terms of snaps (95.4%) and routes (84.4%) in Week 12. He should have more room to operate against the Jets.
The Jets got their third win of the season last week, but they're still the weakest overall pass defense in football (0.28 Passing NEP per drop back to opponents). According to Brandon Gdula's Adjusted FanDuel points per target metric, they've especially scuffled by allowing the fourth-most to the tight end position.
Philadelphia's 36% pass rate the past five weeks is downright horrendous; it's 11 percentage points lower than the next-lowest team. Still, Goedert is just $5,800, talented, and seeing a team-high 5.2 targets per game in that span. He could easily cash a score against the weak Jets' secondary.
Giants D/ST vs. Dolphins Offensive Line
We're officially into Miami Dolphins playoff scenarios now that the Fins have won three straight to crawl to a 5-7 record.
While the wins are nice, the offense definitely still has some questions to answer, and it starts against a New York Giants D/ST that may be severely under-rostered in place of the home-favorite Dolphins.
Miami's offensive line, on the entire season, is still ceding a league-worst 32% pressure rate. Even more concerning, teams have only converted 10% of their pressures into sacks against the Dolphins. That should regress, and that's the lowest sack rate of any team allowing greater than a 30% pressure mark.
Tua Tagovailoa isn't exactly wildly mobile, so more sacks could be on the way. Pressure can also create interceptions, and the Giants' defense has been doing a great job of picking off opposing passers of late. They have seven picks in their last four games, and Tagovailoa averages 1.25 turnover-worthy plays per game.
At just $3,800, it could be sharp to side with the visiting team in a game that should be a popular choice for defenses. This game has a paltry 40.5-point total with the Giants potentially starting Mike Glennon.