Another week in the books and we look ahead to Week 13 which presents some intriguing matchups from a DFS perspective. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and you satisfied your appetites. Hopefully you’re still a little hungry for some DFS success. As we embark into the second half of the NFL DFS campaign, the pricing becomes a little more difficult and this week is no different. The value options are hard to trust this week especially with five games on the slate having totals over 46 points currently. This may be a week we look to the mid-or-top tiers for a D/ST, but this is a position of variance so anything can happen. Here are this week’s NFL DFS D/ST picks.
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS D/ST Top Plays
I don’t quite understand how the Ravens aren’t the most expensive D/ST on FanDuel, but we also don’t need to complain. Regardless of the site, they’re a great option if you’re spending up at the position. The Broncos offense is historically bad. They’re barely averaging over 14 points per game and they’ve scored ten or fewer points in three of their last five games. Russell Wilson still has more toilets in his new mansion than he has touchdown passes on the season. It should come as no surprise the Ravens are currently 8.5-point favorites at home to Denver and the projected total is at just 38.5 points. So Vegas is once again expecting Denver to put up about 14-15 points. Since acquiring Roquan Smith from Chicago, the Ravens stout defense has only gotten better. They’re averaging 9.8 fantasy points per game since the trade and they haven’t allowed over 50 rushing yards to an opposing offense since they faced the Cleveland Browns in Week 7. Baltimore is viable in all formats this week.
I won’t sugarcoat it, I had some concerns over this recommendation. The Eagles have provided an okay floor for DFS in recent weeks, but the ceiling wasn’t great. However, it’s possible Jordan Davis returns this week. Now keep an ear to the ground for Sunday inactives. It’s not a guarantee that he plays, but without him the Eagles’ run defense has been pretty bad. His presence could be helpful in shutting Derrick Henry down. If Davis is unable to go then Philly will once again lean on Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh who have been getting better the last couple games. The Eagles are still top ten in the league in terms of pressure rate, turnover rate, and sacks. I’d find a way to get to the Ravens in cash games, but the Eagles are still in play for Tournaments.
The Seahawks get the luxury of playing the Rams this week. They are favored by a touchdown, the projected total is around 41 points and while Matthew Stafford was cleared to return to practice this week, he hasn’t cleared concussion protocols yet. The Chiefs don’t have an elite defense, but even they returned 11 fantasy points last week against the Rams and they held Bryce Perkins and the Rams to just ten points and 198 yards of total offense with three sacks and a pair of turnovers to boot. Seattle offers potential this week despite being on the road. If you’d rather get to the Browns in the top tier, that’s perfectly fine. The matchup is one of the better ones this week especially if their secondary is at full health.
NFL DFS D/ST Mid-Price Plays
Let’s try this again for what feels like the third week in a row… Chase Young’s return means big things for the Commanders pass rush. It’s quite possible the NFC East gets all four teams in the playoffs and Young’s return solidifies this defense as a top quartile unit. Do they have their holes? Sure. Their secondary is beatable, and they can be burned by opposing team’s slot receivers. But Vegas views the Commanders as favorites on the road by roughly a field goal and the over/under is at 40.5 points. The Giants offensive line isn’t elite by any means and if Young returns he’s going to disrupt and have tons of fun putting pressure on Daniel Jones. Update: Downgrading the Commanders D/ST today. You wanna know why? Because Chase Young will once again be inactive. So now we wait for his return to come after the Bye.
San Francisco 49ers
This is kind of a bold call and initially I didn’t think I’d be going here for DFS. But there are some interesting arguments for the 49ers this weekend. For starters they’ve been playing at a very high level. They’ve allowed 40 points total to their last four opponents, but Miami presents a very stiff test with the up tempo offense and two elite wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Terron Armstead hasn’t been ruled out but there’s a chance he misses Sunday’s game with a tear in his pectoral. There’s a chance he plays but as of Wednesday it’s a little too early to tell. This is definitely a “play it by ear” recommendation but we should monitor the Dolphins’ practice reports heading into the weekend to get a read on this play. Both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. were dealing with injuries earlier in the week as well. I’m of the mindset of jumping on elite defenses when they’re discounted.
NFL DFS D/ST Value Plays
New York Jets
We’re getting the Jets priced down this week and they could be fairly popular if the DFS community is looking for a paydown D/ST. This is a road game and far from a lock. Justin Jefferson is arguably matchup proof and Kirk Cousins has been a better quarterback at home. But I still think this is a D/ST we can pay down to because the secondary is among the elite tier in the NFL. Joe Burrow is the only quarterback this year to throw for over 250 yards on the Jets. New York has held eight straight teams to under 220 passing yards and they have 19 sacks in their last four games.
NFL DFS D/ST Fades
Los Angeles Chargers
The pricing isn’t terrible on FanDuel, but at the same time this feels like a similar game script to last week’s game between the Seahawks and Raiders. That game resulted in a shootout and it doesn’t seem worth the risk. The Bolts D/ST is averaging just 3.4 fantasy points over their last ten games. Los Angeles just doesn’t jump off the page as a great DFS play. They give up points. They bleed yardage to opposing teams. They only have three sacks in their last three games. Let’s just avoid both defenses in this game and look on the offensive side of the ball for DFS production from this contest.
Let’s throw out another D/ST to fade and one that may not be so obvious. This is one that could come back to bite me especially with the Steelers being priced down on DraftKings. Vegas views this game as a pick ‘em and the over/under is at 42 points. But I don’t know if the Steelers have a very high ceiling this week. Atlanta runs the ball a ton which doesn’t present many sack opportunities. And that’s unfortunate because this pass rush has been better with T.J. Watt coming back from injury. The Falcons run the third-fewest plays per game and they have the second-worst average time of possession over their last three games. So, if the pace of their game is slower, and their offense isn’t on the field enough for turnovers and sacks, then we might not have much fantasy potential at our disposal here. Any other week I’d target Pittsburgh at this price tag. I just don’t think I’m willing to go there in Week 13. Update: As I've finalized my lineups for Sunday's main slate I have thrown the Steelers into a couple builds so they aren't a full fade for me. I still don't love the play as much as the rest of the industry does, but I do need the salary relief and the Falcons allow the 12th-most turnovers so I'm hoping for 3X out of Pittsburgh.
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