Week 12 is shaping up to be a week where I pay down at quarterback and running back so that I can afford to fit in DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones. With the lack of RB matchups to take advantage of among top-tier RBs and top-tier QBs, this is exceptionally easy. The injuries to Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett have opened up some value at the RB position, along with Chris Ivory’s decreasing price. Those are just my quick thoughts on how I will be approaching cash games in Week 12, so let’s get to it!
Note: Sign up for FanDuel today and receive a FREE ENTRY into a one-week fantasy football league for real money. Finish anywhere in the top-half to win cash. Enter now.
Blake Bortles ($7,300): On paper, Blake Bortles has one of the best matchups we could exploit against a San Diego defense that ranks 28th in pass DVOA and 19th in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted average fantasy points allowed to QBs. For $7,300, Bortles will need to hit just 14.6 points to return value. This game boasts the weeks’ second-highest over/under at 46.5 points and the Jags have an implied team total of 25.25 points. With the shortened slate and lack of upper echelon QBs, Bortles should be a fine cash play at home against San Diego.
Brian Hoyer ($7,100): The ole’ “target QBs against the Saints defense” will be in full motion come Sunday. The Saints rank last in just about every defensive aspect. They rank 32nd in pass DVOA and 32nd in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted average fantasy points allowed per game to QBs. This putrid defense has allowed more total yards than any other defense in the league, including giving up a league-high 6.7 yards per play. Playing at home against a defense that has allowed 28 passing touchdowns (seven more than the next closest team), Hoyer should be in for a respectable outing.
Chris Ivory ($7,000): While Chris Ivory has struggled as of late, he’s also been subject to rather poor game scripts. He played just 25 percent of the snaps in Week 11 after they were trailing much of the game against Houston. Vegas likes the Jets as they are 4-point home favorites against a defense ranking 22nd in rush DVOA and 30th in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted average fantasy points allowed to RBs. Earlier in the year when Ivory faced the Dolphins, he went rampant, rushing for 166 yards and one touchdown on 29 rushes. If game script stays in Ivory’s favor, I think he gets back on track.
Thomas Rawls ($6,300): The matchup against the Steelers isn’t appealing as they rank sixth in rush DVOA and have allowed the fourth-fewest FPPG to opposing RBs. The Steelers are allowing just 3.8 YPC and have only surrendered three rushing touchdowns on the year. However, this is all about the volume Thomas Rawls will see, along with his cheap price tag. We’ve seen a few cases this season where volume can outweigh the matchup. The Seahawks are set up as 4-point favorites at home and since Rawls is involved in the passing game, he won’t be suspect to game script if the Steelers are able to force some points against Seattle.
DeAndre Hopkins ($9,400): Since I’m a fan of Hoyer, obviously I’m a fan of DeAndre Hopkins (who isn’t) as Hopkins sees a massive 31.5 percent of the Texans market share, including 23.5 percent in the red zone. This game boasts the weeks’ highest over/under and if the Saints are able to force some points against this middling defense, Hopkins could be in for a big day against this defense that ranks 32nd in pass DVOA.
Stevie Johnson ($5,500): Julio Jones will be the other WR I rostered, but instead of listing him as my second WR, I thought I’d list the WR3 that helps make that scenario possible. The Jags are weaker versus the pass (30th in pass DVOA) and stronger against the run (2nd in rush DVOA), so Stevie Johnson is someone that I am looking to target at $5,500. Johnson played 100 percent of the snaps in Week 9 and 92 percent in Week 11, while Antonio Gates has admitted that he’s not 100 percent healthy. Gates and Ladarius Green basically split snaps last week. Johnson is one of the few steady fixtures in this offense in terms of targets and snaps.
Delanie Walker ($6,100): The Raiders have consistently been exploited by tight ends this year, allowing 11 touchdowns in 10 games to that position. Combine that with the fact that Delanie Walker leads the Titans in market share and red zone market share, we have a mixture for something beautiful. Tight ends are also responsible for 39 percent of the Titans’ receptions, per 4for4.
Heath Miller ($5,300): If you want to dig around in the lower tier for TEs, Heath Miller is the first guy I am considering. The Seahawks have been vulnerable in the middle of the field, allowing 17.6 FPPG to opposing tight ends. The Seahawks rank 31st in pass DVOA at defending the tight end position, as they’ve given up seven touchdowns in 10 games versus tight ends.