Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 12 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: QUARTERBACK
|Russell Wilson||SEA||at TB||6700||5||1||1||2||3||8||-||4||1||4||3.8|
|Carson Palmer||ARI||at ATL||5300||1||-||-||3||6||2||2||3||-||1||4.5|
|Cam Newton||CAR||at OAK||6800||-||8||2||5||2||-||-||-||3||5||6.1|
|Aaron Rodgers||GB||at PHI||7000||3||-||-||-||1||-||-||1||-||-||6.8|
|Eli Manning||NYG||at CLE||6500||-||5||8||6||4||-||-||-||-||7||7.5|
|Kirk Cousins||WAS||at DAL||5900||7||-||-||-||-||1||8||-||-||-||7.9|
|Colin Kaepernick||SF||at MIA||5700||-||-||-||7||-||-||7||-||2||-||7.9|
|Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||at IND||7300||-||4||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||-||8.0|
|Tom Brady||NE||at NYJ||7800||-||6||-||-||7||-||-||5||8||-||8.0|
|Marcus Mariota||TEN||at CHI||7200||-||-||6||-||-||6||-||-||7||-||8.2|
|Andy Dalton||CIN||at BAL||5400||-||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.4|
|Sam Bradford||MIN||at DET||5100||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||8.4|
The top value quarterback this week is Russell Wilson ($6,700) at Tampa Bay. The last few games we have seen Wilson return to form after dealing with lingering knee and ankle issues for most of the season. He has six touchdown passes in the last three games with zero interceptions. Wilson had a strong second half of the season in 2015 and it's looking like we may see a similar finish this year. Seattle has a favorable schedule from here on out, including this week's matchup at Tampa Bay. The Bucs have allowed the second most DK points per game to quarterbacks since Week 8. It's no wonder why the consensus is high on him, especially with a decent price of $6,700.
Carson Palmer is an intriguing possibility this week. At only $5,300 he is a cheaper alternative with a favorable matchup. Prior to last week at Minnesota, Palmer had three straight 300+ yard passing games. The Falcons have allowed 24, 28, 32, 33 and 26 points in the last five games. Atlanta has a way of keeping their opponent in the game, especially in the second half. If the game script plays out to a back and forth point battle, this favors Palmer and makes him an excellent play for over $2,000 less than the top quarterbacks.
Drew Brees at home is always an option. 3, 1, 4, 3, 4 - is the number of touchdown passes thrown at home this year for Brees. That's an average of 3 per game. The Rams give up a multiple touchdown pass game 40% of the time. Those aren't super odds, but I lean in favor of Brees in this one.
Derek Carr vs. Cam Newton. Carolina has gotten off to a good start in nearly all of their games, but the second half is nearly always a complete meltdown on defense. Derek Carr has two ways to hit big - start off strong and coast to a victory or struggle, while coming back in the second half. Both scenarios are positive outcomes. Newton has struggled to reach the level he was at last year. He's not running as much as he has in the past and the zone read isn't doing well because the Carolina offensive line has struggled. It all points to a down year fantasy wise. I'd lean Carr in this battle, plus he's the cheaper option. Carr has 20 touchdown passes this year, while Newton has 11. If Newton isn't running and scoring on runs, his value drops off considerably.
Kirk Cousins - This game is going to be a shoot-out and Cousins is going to have a good game against the Cowboys on Thursday
Ben Roethlisberger - With Luck out, this could be a big game for Big Ben on Thursday night
Marcus Mariota - Chicago defense is going to be on the field a lot in this game and without some of their key players
Russell Wilson - Tampa Bay has been playing tough, but Wilson is going to eat them up this week
Russell Wilson - Wilson has found his groove after a rocky start for the second straight season
Eli Manning - Ben McAdoo's offense hasn't replicated last year's success, but the Browns matchup will help
Scott Tolzien - A true punt play, but Tolzien has a cadre of weapons to help return value
Aaron Rodgers - This is essentially a must win game for Rodgers and company. They have all but abandoned the running game, and will come out throwing. The Eagles have been a good defense, but Rodgers will have to throw the ball 50 times this game
Russell Wilson - Seahawks offense is heating up. Wilson is underpriced.
Kaepernick has a high floor due to his rushing yardage.
Expect the Carolina/Oakland game to be a shootout
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: running back
|Melvin Gordon III||SD||at HOU||7000||10||5||11||3||4||11||7||1||2||3||5.7|
|David Johnson||ARI||at ATL||8900||6||2||7||2||3||12||-||2||6||6||5.9|
|Rashad Jennings||NYG||at CLE||5600||1||-||-||1||2||1||-||12||8||1||6.5|
|Jeremy Hill||CIN||at BAL||3900||12||-||1||10||-||9||2||7||5||2||7.4|
|Thomas Rawls||SEA||at TB||5700||-||-||12||5||7||10||4||8||4||5||8.1|
|DeMarco Murray||TEN||at CHI||7700||8||6||-||6||8||7||-||-||1||7||8.2|
|Carlos Hyde||SF||at MIA||4800||7||-||8||7||1||8||-||-||-||12||9.5|
|LeVeon Bell||PIT||at IND||9000||5||4||-||-||-||5||10||-||-||-||10.2|
|Rob Kelley||WAS||at DAL||4300||3||9||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||-||10.7|
|Chris Ivory||JAC||at BUF||4200||-||-||-||9||-||-||3||-||-||11||11.4|
|Todd Gurley||LA||at NO||5700||-||-||6||11||10||-||-||-||-||-||11.8|
|Spencer Ware||KC||at DEN||6100||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||-||-||8||12.1|
|LeGarrette Blount||NE||at NYJ||5900||-||11||-||-||-||-||-||11||12||-||12.5|
|Jonathan Stewart||CAR||at OAK||5000||-||-||-||-||11||-||-||-||11||-||12.6|
|Jerick McKinnon||MIN||at DET||3200||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||-||-||12.8|
The #1 running back this week is Jay Ajayi who received nine Top 12 votes, eight of which were Top 5. At $7,600, Ajayi is no longer someone you can get at a discount, but he has proven his worth and has a favorable matchup this week vs San Francisco. Ajayi has rushing games of 111-1, 214-1 and 204-2 in his last three home games. The 49ers have allowed a 100-yard rusher in eight of the last nine games. Ajayi should reach paydirt once again. Expect high ownership for any back against the 49ers, but because this is Ajayi, consider him the top running back option of the week.
Melvin Gordon III ($7,000), David Johnson ($8,900) and DeMarco Murray ($7,700) are other higher priced options near the top of the rankings. Throw Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) into the mix as well. All are backs who have produced consistently that are going to be heavily targeted in cash games.
Lesser priced considerations: Jeremy Hill ($3,900) is a super price, especially with Giovani Bernard (ACL) now out of the picture in the Bengals offense. A.J. Green is also no longer in the game plan which should yield more opportunities for Hill. If only Cincinnati was facing another opponent other than Baltimore, he'd be one of the top options. He's still projected to see a lot of action, even if it is against one of the best run defenses in the league.
Thomas Rawls ($5,700) has a good matchup on paper against Tampa Bay. He's the primary back for Seattle with Christine Michael out of the picture and C.J. Prosise out with a shoulder injury. Rawls is now the default rushing option and he should see upwards of 20-25 touches in this game and games going forward. Looking at the matchup, Tampa Bay has allowed one 100-yard rusher all season and no rushing touchdowns from running backs since Week 7. Buyer beware.
Rashad Jennings - Start your running backs against Cleveland
Jay Ajayi - Start your running backs against San Francisco
Rob Kelley - He won't have another 3 TDS, but he's going to do well against Dallas this week.
David Johnson - Expensive but he will produce
Ezekiel Elliott - Elliott is pricey but he's also the best RB in football in a prime time game vs a division foe
Lamar Miller - Miller is too low among the consensus, he's fully healthy and is set for a monster stretch run
Rashad Jennings - Over the past five weeks, the Browns have allowed an average of 36.2 DraftKings points per game to opposing running backs.
Melvin Gordon III - The Texans were torched through the air by Raiders running backs who combined for 11 catches, 199 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon should put up good numbers as a receiver in addition to whatever damage he can do on his 20+ carries.
Jay Ajayi - The 49ers have allowed eight 100-yard rushers already this season.
Carlos Hyde - Miami is averaging allowing 126.1 yards per game rushing. To get a running back who is under 5k in this matchup is something I will sign up for.
The Titans offense revolves around Murray.
Melvin Gordon continues to produce with a large amount of touches.
Jay Ajayi - Continue to target RBs playing the 49ers
Jeremy Hill - Tough matchup but will see all the RB touches for the Bengals without Gio Bernard.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: wide receiver
|Larry Fitzgerald||ARI||at ATL||7000||5||3||4||7||7||2||12||5||5||3||5.3|
|Julian Edelman||NE||at NYJ||6800||4||-||11||1||2||-||-||1||1||4||6.3|
|Doug Baldwin||SEA||at TB||6400||9||1||-||2||4||9||-||10||2||1||6.4|
|Tyler Boyd||CIN||at BAL||4000||2||-||-||4||6||4||2||-||12||2||7.1|
|Pierre Garcon||WAS||at DAL||3900||8||-||-||-||-||1||5||-||-||-||10.5|
|Rishard Matthews||TEN||at CHI||5800||7||-||-||-||5||11||-||-||10||7||10.5|
|Antonio Brown||PIT||at IND||9200||6||2||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||10.7|
|Stefon Diggs||MIN||at DET||6900||10||4||-||-||-||5||-||-||-||-||11.0|
|Odell Beckham||NYG||at CLE||8800||11||8||7||12||-||-||-||12||11||-||11.3|
|Kenny Britt||LA||at NO||5400||12||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||9||-||11.5|
|Tyler Lockett||SEA||at TB||3600||-||-||3||-||-||-||11||-||-||-||11.8|
|Malcolm Mitchell||NE||at NYJ||3000||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||-||11.8|
|Kelvin Benjamin||CAR||at OAK||6700||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11.9|
|Sterling Shepard||NYG||at CLE||5500||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||12.0|
|Jordy Nelson||GB||at PHI||7400||-||10||-||-||12||7||-||-||-||-||12.0|
|Quinton Patton||SF||at MIA||3300||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||12.3|
|Allen Robinson||JAC||at BUF||7200||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.3|
|Tyreek Hill||KC||at DEN||4800||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||-||12.3|
|Adam Thielen||MIN||at DET||4000||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||12.4|
|Marqise Lee||JAC||at BUF||4000||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||12||12.4|
|Davante Adams||GB||at PHI||6600||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||12.5|
|Jamison Crowder||WAS||at DAL||5800||-||-||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||-||12.9|
Larry Fitzgerald has reached six receptions in eight of his ten games this season, but his yards per catch has fallen to 10.1 this year after averaging 12.9 for his career. The yardage totals may not be there, but he has been consistent catching passes week to week. He has scored five touchdowns this season, but they have come in only three games, which means seven of his ten games, he did not score. The matchup against Atlanta is a favorable one. The Falcons have allowed the third most DK points per game to wide receivers over the last three games, including 7 touchdowns to wide receivers in that span. Fitzgerald might get his cake and eat it too this week. A high reception game and a score.
Julian Edelman has come on strong lately with games of 9-60, 4-37-1, 7-99 and 8-77-1 in his last four. With Rob Gronkowski (chest) likely out again this week, Edelman becomes a heavily targeted option for Tom Brady (He had 17 targets last week). The Jets have allowed a 100 yard receiver in four of the last six games. The chances of Edelman reaching paydirt this week looks promising.
Doug Baldwin has either six receptions or 100+ yards receiving in four of the last five games. He's starting to mesh with Russell Wilson again as the Seattle passing game drifts further downfield. There's a correlation of success for Baldwin when Wilson is on his A-game. Baldwin goes as Wilson goes and right now Wilson is cresting in an upward trend. This week's opponent, Tampa Bay has allowed at least one touchdown to a wide receiver in four straight games. This bodes well for Baldwin to thrive in Week 12. At $6,400 ,he's a mid-ranged price with elite potential.
DeVante Parker has turned the corner in the last two games, reaching 5-103 and 8-79-1 in that span. He has outperformed teammate Jarvis Landry and Ryan Tannehill has targeted him more than any other player since Week 7. At $4,700 Parker is a bargain, and he's a rising threat with a good matchup, which makes the bargain all the more worthwhile. It's well documented that San Francisco has struggled against the run, but their pass defense has also been among the league's worst. Since Week 7 the 49ers have allowed the most DK points per game to opposing wide receivers, giving up 16 catches for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns on average. 3, 0, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2 equals the number of touchdowns to wide receivers San Francisco has allowed in the last 7 games. If Parker really is turning the corner, he should be able to cash in with a great opportunity this week.
Of these three, Matthews is the most intriguing. The Packers have suffered a myriad of injuries on defense this year, particularly the secondary. Teams have feasted on them recently and Philadelphia is next in line for their chance to exploit them. The last two games, the Packers have allowed three 100-yard receivers giving up 8 receiving touchdowns in that small window. Jordan Matthews definitely looks promising this week, and don't rule out Dorial Green-Beckham ($3,000) who has the minimum price, coming off a 5-54-1 game against Seattle.
Kenny Britt - I can't belive I have him listed but he IS facing the Saints this week
Tyler Boyd - Without Green, Boyd is a big value
Antonio Brown - Expect big stats against Indy this week
Jamison Crowder - He'll get into the end zone this week
Julian Edelman - Even if Gronkowski plays, Edelman saw 17 targets last week. In a PPR site, Edelman has a very high floor.
Seattle offense is heating up and Doug Baldwin is the main target.
Sterling Shepard saw 11 targets last week and has a TD in 3 consecutive games.
Michael Crabtree - Expect a shootout in Carolina/Oakland game
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: tight end
|Delanie Walker||TEN||at CHI||4900||1||4||5||3||1||2||-||2||1||1||2.9|
|Jimmy Graham||SEA||at TB||5300||4||2||3||6||-||3||-||-||2||4||5.1|
|Tyler Eifert||CIN||at BAL||5600||-||5||1||7||8||5||-||3||3||5||5.5|
|Greg Olsen||CAR||at OAK||5800||-||3||2||2||2||-||-||8||7||7||5.8|
|Travis Kelce||KC||at DEN||4000||6||-||-||1||4||-||-||4||-||2||6.2|
|Jared Cook||GB||at PHI||2500||-||-||-||-||6||-||3||6||-||-||7.8|
|Antonio Gates||SD||at HOU||4200||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||3||7.9|
|Martellus Bennett||NE||at NYJ||4500||-||-||4||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||7.9|
|Kyle Rudolph||MIN||at DET||3700||-||-||-||-||-||4||4||-||-||-||8.0|
|Vance McDonald||SF||at MIA||3000||-||8||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.5|
|Will Tye||NYG||at CLE||3000||-||-||-||-||7||-||7||-||-||-||8.6|
|Lance Kendricks||LA||at NO||3000||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||8.7|
|Julius Thomas||JAC||at BUF||3000||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
|Jordan Reed||WAS||at DAL||6200||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
It's difficult to sway from Delanie Walker against Chicago, esepcially with Marcus Mariota playing as well as he is this season. Walker was ranked in the Top 5 by nine of ten rankers that includes four #1 rankings.
Jimmy Graham is another option to consider at Tampa Bay. The Seattle offense is becoming more pass oriented with Wilson returning to form and health. Graham has benefited with three touchdowns in the last three games with one 100-yard effort.
Tyler Eifert will see more targets come his way with A.J. Green (hamstring) sidelined, but this week's matchup at Baltimore is a tough one. The Ravens have allowed only one touchdown to a tight end tihs year and the highest yardage total for a tight end against them is a mere 53 yards by Jordan Reed in Week 5.
Greg Olsen has struggled lately with 1-11, 5-52-1, 5-39 and 4-33. That's not exactly a good line over the last four games. I don't expect Olsen to be in a slump long, but until he does, he may not be the best option to use for a cash game lineup.
Tyler Eifert - No Green means more Eifert
Delanie Walker under 5k to a Bears team that allowed 101 yards and a touchdown to Tampa Bay tight ends two weeks ago. The overall Bears stats against tight ends are good, but they have not faced very many tight end focused offenses.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: defense
|NY Giants||NYG||at CLE||3600||3||1||-||2||2||4||3||1||4||1||3.1|
|Kansas City||KC||at DEN||3200||-||-||-||5||-||-||2||-||-||-||5.5|
|New England||NE||at NYJ||3400||-||4||5||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||5.7|
|San Diego||SD||at HOU||2700||-||-||-||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||5.9|
The consensus has leaned in favor of defenses playing against a backup quarterback, particularly against two quarterbacks making their first start of the season this week. Tennessee ($2,800) plays at Chicago (Matt Barkley) and Pittsburgh ($2,800) plays at Indianapolis (Scott Tolzien). Miami ($3,300) tees off on San Francisco and Colin Kaepernick and New England ($3,400) will play the Jets who will have Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the fold. Fitzpatrick has been benched twice before getting the nod once again this week. The is also some love for the Giants ($3,600) at Cleveland, which any team against the Browns has produced solid numbers lately. New Orleans ($2,800) at home against Jared Goff and the Rams is another option if you're looking to spend elsewhere.
Tennesse - The Bears offense is all backups.
Baltimore - A.J. Green and Gio Bernard accounted for 45% of Bengals passing targets
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
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