NFL DFS – Main Slate Optimizer Groups & Stack Rankings – Week 13 – Sunday Update & Game Notes

This article focuses on building lineups with a quality foundation by utilizing the powerful Groups and Rules/Limits tools within the industry’s optimization tools. All of the concepts and pairings included below can be applied to hand-building as well. The goal is to create lineups that have high-scoring correlation and take advantage of combined outcomes within stacks while limiting the likelihood of building inefficient or negatively correlated entries for a full slate of NFL DFS lineups.

This video was made in a former life and features a detailed demonstration of how to apply these concepts in one leading optimizer tool: Fantasy Cruncher – How-To Video

All references to Sims were done via friends of the site:

Don’t miss the new Above/Below feature article for a few of our top picks, coming Sunday morning

Join us on Saturday for a marathon game-by-game breakdown of every little piece of the slate, check back for a link or subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Week 13 DraftKings & FanDuel NFL DFS Stack Rankings

The following stack rankings were created by pairing each team quarterback with his top three scoring options, whether they are three wide receivers, two wide receivers and a tight end, a wide receiver, tight end, and running back, or any viable combination. In some cases, an expensive running back, such as Tony Pollard, can push the overall price point of his team stack in the value rankings.

TEAMFD RankFD Val RankDK RankDK Val RankHR RankFacingOpp SP Rnk
BAL11133Jose Berrios, RHP10
NYY242141Chris Paddack, RHP13
LAD3113124Paul Skenes, RHP8
SEA42412Joey Estes, RHP7
TEX5165165Kenta Maeda, RHP15
CHC68856Erick Fedde, RHP11
KC667515Nick Sandlin, RHP (O)18
SDP8105711Jose Soriano, RHP12
CLE91691716Brady Singer, RHP9
MIN10410108Carlos Rodon, LHP3
TOR1113111412Albert Suarez, RHP14
PIT1215121710James Paxton, LHP16
TB131313818Braxton Garrett, LHP5
CWS1431427Jameson Taillon, RHP4
OAK15816128Logan Gilbert, RHP2
DET16715413Jose Urena, RHP17
LAA1711171017Dylan Cease, RHP1
MIA181818814Zach Eflin, RHP6

Week 13 DraftKings & FanDuel NFL DFS Stacks & Optimizer Groups


Rules and limits are powerful tools for lineup creation for NFL DFS where our primary focus is creating highly correlated lineups via stacking players from the same game. Lineups will typically be coordinated around the quarterback selection, which informs at least one pass-catcher choice, establishes a budget, eliminates a defense, and sets the tone for the lineup. We will typically look to correlate a quarterback and at least one of his pass-catchers in every lineup, with most of those including a skill player from the opposing team who will have a chance to support the stack in a high-scoring game that drives offense on both sides to create additional correlated scoring potential. Stacking multiple pass-catchers in the same lineup is a sound approach as well, though there are typically overall ceilings on how much volume is available at any given position. We do not typically include running backs who are not pass-catchers as priorities in NFL DFS groups, they typically stand alone with the selection of the quarterback-based stack informing remaining salary which then informs the running back selections. High-volume backs and pass catchers out of the backfield can be included in the groups utilized below, but it is frequently not necessary to do so with the very best players, they arrive in lineups without help.

The following rules and limits are typically applied in an optimizer’s Advanced Options menu. Notes are included to elucidate the reasons behind each rule and to explain what it does during the lineup creation process. These settings can typically be saved for re-use, which is highly recommended. Saving the Week 1 groups that will be created below is also a very good idea to save time with updates instead of recreation each week. These groups are created manually, but most optimizers include automated group creators that can help accelerate the curation process.

DraftKings + FanDuel Settings & Advanced Options

Unique Players Per Lineup– This setting forces the optimizer to utilize at least X new players who were not in Lineup 1 when it creates Lineup 2, and so on. It is recommended to utilize at least two, and more can be applied depending on the degree of differentiation desired within lineups.

Team Salary– a minimum or maximum salary spend can be applied here as needed, though this is not a part of the recommended process in this space as leaving salary on the table is an easy path toward creating unique lineups while not necessarily making a negative expected value play.

FLEX position– allows restrictions on what positions can be rostered at the FLEX spot. The only position to consider in this case is tight end, but that is something to be restricted at the individual level via Groups, rather than at the global level.

Global Exposure Settingallows caps on the maximum percentage of lineups a player can appear in within a given pool of lineup construction. This is a powerful tool for shaping lineups but if settings are too low attempts to build a full set will fall short due to a lack of available players, one of the most common errors in optimizer building. Most optimizers include the ability to calculate ownership caps continuously or at the end of the pool creation process. If caps are calculated continuously, a player with a 25% cap who is utilized in Lineup 1 will not be available for use again until Lineup 5 , we recommend turning OFF continuous calculation.

Randomness – provides a random multiplier to each player’s projected point total based on the set values. This is a valuable tool that helps differentiate lineups instead of simply creating them in order of highest median projected scores. Using some randomness for lineup generation is strongly recommended but the degree to which it is applied is down to personal preference, but 15-25% is fine to get started. We suggest heavier randomness to more event-based players like wide receivers while tracking volume-based positions like running backs more toward their median or ceiling projections.

DraftKings + FanDuel Team Stack Rules

This set of rules will force optimizers to build lineups with certain combinations. We are looking to stack at least one skill player, almost always a pass-catcher, with his quarterback while also playing a skill player from the opposing team in the lineup. The theory behind this build is that a high-scoring stack will require some response from the opposing team to deliver a ceiling score in most situations. When that is not the case, the team that is winning will simply slow down and run out the clock. Most optimizers utilize a “complete the sentence” approach for rule creation with selections from drop-down menus following a very straightforward logic. Exceptions to these rules can be added for specific teams and players on most optimizer products.

  • QB with at least one WR/TE from Same Team (note: It is fine to set this to two or to utilize two versions of this rule, one with WR/TE and one with RB/WR/TE, but we refine this via Groups)
  • QB with at least one RB/WR/TE from the Opposing Team (we typically prefer the pass-catchers but high-volume running backs can be effective here)
  • QB with at most zero DST from the Same Team (this is a personal preference; high-scoring teams and quarterbacks tend to leave their defenses on the field, exposing them to simple point-scoring negatives)

Limits & Custom Rules and Requirements

Limit rules can be applied to restrict certain combinations from coming together. This is powerful for limiting multiple running backs from the same team or getting overweight to a certain stack within a lineup.

  • Limit QB/RB/WR/TE from Same Team to three
  • Limit RB/WR/TE from the Same Team to one unless paired with QB from the Same Team OR the Opposing Team
  • Limit RB from Same Team to one (we also do this with WR in a separate rule that adds an “unless paired with QB or opposing QB” but it’s a personal preference for NFL DFS, we typically do not want two pass-catchers from the same team without their quarterback)

We will maintain the list of rules and limits throughout the season, with occasional tweaks, if needed. Each week sees yet another fresh crop of value plays as situations change and injuries create opportunities around the league. These changing roles and emergent value plays are accounted for in the process of creating these groups from week to week. After a large pool of lineups is created utilizing these groups, it is still of critical importance to filter them for factors including ceiling projections and leverage potential. These groups should help ensure that a highly correlated premium set of options that rotates through a variety of combinations is utilized to create the full lineup pool.

Sunday Updates

Any changes and recommended boosts to specific players will be provided in an early morning update each Sunday.

NFL DFS Week 13 Features & FREE Projections


Construction Concept

Team groups are built by utilizing the quarterback as the KEY player in group settings. The quarterback decision in each lineup is the driving factor in which stack is utilized in that lineup and which corresponding plays are then made to work within the structure and requirements. Built to specification, each team will have two groups, a team group, and an opponent group, both of which utilize the same quarterback as the key player. Each game will have a total of four groups. This is the best approach to truly capture the requirement of playing individual “run-back” plays from the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to include all of the skill players from a game in each quarterback’s group and rely on rules and limits to restrict any potential overflow. It is highly recommended to save the Week 1 groups as a foundation that will be updated for the rest of the season. The recommended groups will include skill players who have an active role in their offense and provide significant correlation with their quarterback’s scoring, often bell-cow running backs who do not specialize in the passing game will not be included in groups as they are projected highly and appear on their own in basically correct distributions, while also not always providing the strongest positive correlation plays. Stacking quarterbacks with pass-catchers and allowing running backs to fall into the lanes then created by settings, available salary, and randomness should create a well-distributed set of quality lineups. These groups are updated weekly to account for changes in utilization, schemes, injuries, target shares, and more.

Team Groups for DraftKings & FanDuel – Week 13

The goal is to create a large pool of well-built lineups that can be utilized in any large-field GPP contest. Our approach is to build far more lineups than needed and utilize a sorting table or sim process to filter to the best set of lineups for entries. The lineups created in these crunches should provide a broad distribution that includes some of the lower-owned high-upside skill players from each stack. Applying boosts is critical in pushing and pulling ownership to individual players within their team’s stacked lineups if they are appearing too much or too little.

The groups below are designed so that each quarterback will have two groups to create, one with his skill players and another with the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to add them all to one large group with an “at least three” and let rules and limits set things, but there is a more granular level of control in creating them separately.

Utilizing two groups also allows us to place running backs into the “run-back” position in certain teams while not including them in the primary stack for their team. This is useful when there is a situation with an extremely highly projected running back who does not necessarily fit into his team’s passing game. These players are threaded throughout the following construction recommendations.

Note for the Rotogrinders optimizer, we recommend trimming the automatically created groups that can be accessed under Team Groups, Opponent Groups, and Max Position Groups to match these groups for lineup building. We typically utilize the Stacks tab to enforce constructions as well, but a key requirement is missed in the automated groups. The Max Position groups need the manual addition of the running backs and tight ends to the group that is created with the wide receivers with a setting of max 1 and the team’s quarterback selected as a key player with the designation of using that group when the quarterback is NOT in the lineup. This is done to eliminate the possibility of three skill players from the same team appearing at running back, tight end, and wide receiver together without their quarterback involved. A simple limit of three players per team will keep things to just a quarterback with two skill players in stacks after that. Update: if one were to reset their saved settings on RG’s optimizer new options will reveal themselves, including thankfully a toggle to take care of this from the main build rules page. There is also a non-QB group with a max-1 setting that works better for this purpose because the toggle on the main page will limit stacks to just a 1-1 combination, seemingly as a bug.

Note for all optimizers the rules can be utilized to force bring-back plays in some sets of crunches and turned off for others as a global function instead of changing each group to “exactly one” bring-back play, wherever applicable, but it will apply to all teams.

Arizona Cardinals

Key Player: Kyler Murray

Setting: at least one

Team Group: James Conner, Trey McBride (Q), Marquise Brown (Q), Greg Dortch, Rondale Moore

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth

Lineup Notes: Michael Wilson is out, and Greg Dortch should continue to see an uptick in targets in his absence. Over the past two games, Dortch has received 17 targets, turning the opportunity into nine catches, 103 yards, and a touchdown combined. Dortch is joined by a capable running back in James Conner, and, assuming they play, strong options in Trey McBride at tight end and Marquise Brown at wide receiver. Rondale Moore is a gadget receiver with a bit of big play upside. The Steelers are not an ideal team for bring-back plays, but either of the running backs in the team’s two-headed backfield or either of the primary receivers are serviceable, while tight end Pat Freiermuth could be primed for another strong day and works as an option as well. The Cardinals are an interesting value defense against the weak Steelers offense. Marquise Brown remains questionable but is reportedly expected to play.


Atlanta Falcons

Key Player: Desmond Ridder

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Van Jefferson, Mack Hollins (Q; large field), KhaDarel Hodge (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Breece Hall (Q), Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Tyler Conklin

Lineup Notes: Mack Hollins returned to practice and could see action on Sunday. Both of these teams are limited and the game is carrying the week’s lowest total in Vegas at just 33.5 with the Falcons favored by only 1.5. Both teams have good defenses and those may be the premium options to select from these squads. The next preference would be to take individual shares of skill players, rather than relying on Desmond Ridder or Tim Boyle. Bijan Robinson will be challenged by a tough run defense and also shares a bit of the volume with Tyler Allgeier, who could poach touchdowns any given week. The same is true for tight ends Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith, though Smith’s volume decreased notably in the team’s most recent outing. The remaining depth chart wide receivers are downfield big play dart throws at lost cost, but there is only a narrow path to success for any one of them. The Jets offer two strong skill player options for bring-back plays in Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson, but they are not a good offense and they will be at least somewhat limited by inept quarterback play.

Carolina Panthers

Key Player: Bryce Young

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Adam Thielen, DJ Chark Jr., Jonathan Mingo, Chuba Hubbard

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rachaad White, Cade Otton, Trey Palmer

Lineup Notes: Hayden Hurst is out and Tommy Tremble is doubtful, the Panthers’ tight end pool is unappealing in this game but their entire offense leaves plenty to be desired, even against a very weak Tampa Bay pass defense that has allowed 7.4 yards per pass attempt this season. Adam Thielen has standalone value but it is ultimately derived from the play of quarterback Bryce Young who has rarely been good. The team’s two running backs are splitting the carries evenly with limited production on both side, neither has seized the job and neither is worth more than a few token dart throw shares. The additional wide receivers are also longshot options for value-base pricing but none of them rates well in our receiver rankings. The Bucs provide solid bring-back options with Rachaad White providing strong running back value once again and two premium receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.


Cleveland Browns

Key Player: Joe Flacco Jr. (checks notes…) Joe Flacco… actual Joe Flacco.

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Amari Cooper, Jerome Ford, David Njoku, Elijah Moore, Cedric Tillman (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams, Tutu Atwell, Tyler Higbee

Lineup Notes: Flacco is 38 years old and nearly a year removed from his last NFL game, let alone the multiple seasons since his last truly relevant work. Flacco has two decent running backs who can soak up touches in Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt, lead receiver Amari Cooper may be dependent on big throws from the quarterback while David Njoku seems like the most reasonable option from the Browns. Elijah Moore sees a few touches per game and has big play ability with limited overall output. The Rams have excellent skill players to utilize in bring-back roles. This game has limited appeal with Flacco at quarterback and a 40.5-point total.


Denver Broncos

Key Player: Russell Wilson

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Marvin Mims Jr., Adam Trautman, Brandon Johnson (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Nico Collins, Tank Dell (Q), Noah Brown, Robert Woods, Devin Singletary, Brevin Jordan

Lineup Notes: The Broncos look like a good stack option this week with Russell Wilson pulling in a top quarterback projection at a fair value price on both sites. Wilson ranks as QB4 by fantasy points and QB2 by points-per-dollar value on DraftKings and 4/3 on the FanDuel slate. Wilson has a strong connection with lead receiver Courtland Sutton but Jerry Jeudy has fallen off somewhat this season. Running backs Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine have both provided a bit of value recently, but the volume clearly favors Williams, who ranks as RB8/RB2 on DraftKings and RB9/RB3 on the FanDuel slate in what could be a sneakily good spot, the Texans have allowed just 3.7 yards per rush attempt and 95 yards per game, but they have given up more than a touchdown per game on the ground this season. Marvin Mims is a dart throw receiver with big play ability but limited targeting. The Texans are a high-priority stack on the other side of this game, which has a 47-point total and lands as one of the more appealing overall spots of the week. Houston has four strong wide receiver options and a pair of playable running backs, though Devin Singletary seems to have more of a hold on the job at present. Tight end Dalton Schultz will miss Week 13 but that will put Brevin Jordan on the board for a value option at the position.


Detroit Lions

Key Player: Jared Goff

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, Jameson Williams, Josh Reynolds, David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave (Q), Juwan Johnson, AT Perry, Lynn Bowden Jr., Marquez Callaway, Taysom Hill

Lineup Notes: The Lions are a team with several very good skill players, including Amon-Ra St. Brown who is one of the top week-to-week wide receiver options and leading tight end Sam LaPorta. Jared Goff is a solid quarterback who is capable of high-end returns but also disappointments. The team wields one of the more effective dual-threat running games in the league with both Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery scoring touchdowns and racking up yardage in several games. The running backs can take ceiling score potential from the passing game more than that have limited one another to this point. The Saints are a good group of skill players, Chris Olave has been questionable but is expected to play, Alvin Kamara is a leading option for touches in both the run and pass game, and the team offers two tight ends who are playable in bring-back situations or as standalone options.


Houston Texans

Key Player: CJ Stroud

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Dameon Pierce, Nico Collins, Tank Dell (Q), Noah Brown (Q), Robert Woods, Devin Singletary, Brevin Jordan

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Marvin Mims Jr., Adam Trautman

Lineup Notes: Dalton Schultz is out, the premium tight end will be missed by those of us who have played him throughout his successful campaign. Brevin Jordan becomes a significant value play in the passing game but he should not be expected to step in as a 1:1 equivalent to Schultz. Houston should have all four of their wide receivers in action, assuming Noah Brown stays on-trend for a return. Each of Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Robert Woods, and Brown have taken their turn as the leading option in the passing game and with a week or two off, there is plenty of potential working with one of the league’s top young quarterbacks. CJ Stroud has been exceptional this season, he look like a terrific option ranking as QB3 by fantasy points on both sites but just QB12 by points-per-dollar value on DraftKings. Stroud maintains his upside on the FanDuel slate where his mere $8,000 price tag has him ranked fourth by value. The Broncos are a difficult defense to judge, they have been entirely inept as in meltdowns against the Dolphins in their 70-point disaster but they have also held the Chiefs at bay effectively this season. Overall, this is a team that has allowed 7.4 yards per pass attempt and 19 touchdowns on the season, there are good reasons to play Texans stacks this week and the Broncos provide several bring-back options for those who prefer to chase that construction.


Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Gardner Minshew II

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Michael Pittman Jr., Zack Moss, Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Isaiah McKenzie, Drew Ogletree (Q)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry, Treylon Burks, Chig Okonkwo, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Lineup Notes: Jonathan Taylor is out which makes running back Zack Moss the top overall value play on both sites this week, the top running back value, and the most popular play of Week 13 on both sites. Moss has a fairly significant ceiling for carries and scoring, he posted a monster game against this same Titans defense in Week 5, carrying the ball 23 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 30-carry game for 122 yards the week before but has not been above 66 yards since. Moss has shared time with Jonathan Taylor in recent weeks, but the backfield is his once again, he has a chance to shine at very cheap pricing this week but the Titans are a stout rush defense that could leave him as a disappointment to many. Moss projects very well, he is RB1 by points-per-dollar value on both DraftKings and FanDuel this week, but the Titans have allowed just 3.9 yards per rush attempt and .73 touchdowns per game on the ground this season. At the same time, Tennessee has yielded 7.3 yards per pass attempt and 224 yards per game this season, with 29 sacks but only three interceptions. This should leave some opportunity in the passing game if the Colts choose to take to the air, which could also leave Moss as a letdown. Michael Pittman Jr. is a high-end talent and Josh Downs is a strong option further down the depth chart, with Alec Pierce and others acting as dart throws. DeAndre Hopkins and Derrick Henry are star-caliber bring-back options when needed.


Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Justin Herbert

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen (Q), Jalen Guyton, Quentin Johnston, Gerald Everett, Alex Erickson (large field), Derius Davis (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Rhamondre Stevenson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry, Tyquan Thornton

Lineup Notes: The Chargers draw a good rush defense but Austin Ekeler has more than enough talent and involvement in the passing game to stay relevant against the Patriots this weekend. New England has limited rushing to just 3.4 yards per attempt, which ranks second in the NFL, but the team has allowed 6.5 yards per pass attempt, the 17th-ranked mark in the league. Los Angeles is a high-flying team when things are going well, Keenan Allen is a premium wide receiver who is among the league’s elite producers, he is questionable coming into this weekend but is reportedly likely to play. Allen was similarly banged up last week and still posted 106 yards on 14 catches. The receiver has at least 10 catches in three straight games and he has scored seven touchdowns this season. The banged-up receiver corps offers Jalen Guyton and rookie Quentin Johnston who are hit-and-miss options at best. Rhamondre Stevenson is the best option for bring-back potential, despite being a running back, in the limited New England offense.


Los Angeles Rams

Key Player: Matthew Stafford

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams, Tutu Atwell, Tyler Higbee, Demarcus Robinson (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Amari Cooper, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku, Elijah Moore

Lineup Notes: Tight end Tyler Higbee scored twice in a standout performance while the ongoing muting of Cooper Kupp has been of increasing concern. Kupp has seen just six targets in the team’s two most recent games combined. The star wide receiver caught four of the six opportunities but managed just 29 total yards and did not score. Kupp has not seen the end zone since his seven-catch 148-yard Week 6 performance that saw him score his lone touchdown of the season. In five games since that performance, Kupp has a combined 12 catches and 127 yards total. Puka Nacua has also been more limited, though he has seen no fewer than seven targets in any game this season with four games of double-digit targets. Nacua had four catches for 27 yards last week but posted 70 yards and a touchdown on five catches the week before. Higbee is a decent option who needs touchdowns to truly make value while anyone else in the passing game is merely a dart throw. Royce Freeman and Kyren Williams are sharing some carries, Freeman managed 13 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown even with Williams returning to 16 carries for 143 yards in last week’s game.


Miami Dolphins

Key Player: Tua Tagovailoa

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert, Braxton Berrios, Durham Smythe

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Terry McLaurin, Brian Robinson Jr., Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas

Lineup Notes: Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, and Raheem Mostert are all free from the injury report and will play. The Dolphins are the top-ranked stack by fantasy points on both sites, Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill are each the top scoring option at their position in our projections and there is virtually nothing to stop them in the Washington defense. The Commanders have allowed a whopping 28 passing touchdowns and 7.5 yards per pass attempt so far this season, which should play up to the strengths of the blazing-fast high-flying Dolphins. Tagovailoa has averaged 34.7 pass attempts per game with 8.5 yards per pass attempt and 22 touchdowns this season while throwing for 293 yards per game. Tagovailoa ranks as QB1/4 on DraftKings and QB1/1 on FanDuel. Tyreek Hill ranks as WR1/1 on both sites, he has a massive projection against this defense even at his extreme high pricing. Jaylen Waddle is a reasonable alternative, the team’s WR2 ranks as our WR6/27 on DraftKings and WR6/6 on FanDuel, where he has a fair share of points-per-dollar potential. The Dolphins are a four-square offense with both running backs Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane landing as strong plays as well. Both running backs can succeed in the same game, they have massive big play potential and breakaway speed for the position. Braxton Berrios and Durham Smythe are more limited options who are afterthoughts in the team’s passing game. Washington has a chance to hang in this game for long enough to support a hefty 49.5-point total in Vegas and the idea of a high-scoring Miami game.


New England Patriots

Key Player: Bailey Zappe

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Rhamondre Stevenson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Tyquan Thornton

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen (Q), Jalen Guyton, Quentin Johnston, Gerald Everett

Lineup Notes: Bailey Zappe will get the QB start, the team reportedly plans at least a few plays at QB for Malik Cunningham as well. Demario Douglas is out. Ezekiel Elliot is questionable but likely to play. The Patriots are a very low-end offense, only Rhamondre Stevenson offers much in the way of appeal. The running back has posted 100 scrimmage yards in three straight games and is a 20-touch running back who lands as RB10/6 on DraftKings and RB10/11 on FanDuel.


New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Derek Carr

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Chris Olave (Q), Alvin Kamara, Juwan Johnson, AT Perry, Taysom Hill, Marquez Callaway, Lynn Bowden Jr.

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, Josh Reynolds, Jameson Williams, David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs

Lineup Notes: Rashid Shaheed is out, Chris Olave is questionable in an effort to exit the concussion protocol, he is reportedly on track to play. Alvin Kamara is a strong standalone option on any slate, he sees roughly 20 combined touches each week and has major talent, but he is facing a tough Detroit defensive front that has allowed just 3.9 yards per rush attempt and .73 touchdowns on 91.27 yards per game this season. Kamara can get there on catches alone most weeks, he is a major part of the passing game, though he needs to make plays to provide yards and scoring after the catch. The Saints will be without both Rashid Shaheed and Michael Thomas this week, with AT Perry and others filling the void in limited fashion. Juwan Johnson is the team’s true tight end, he is a good option at the position while Taysom Hill has a significant ceiling but also a very clear cellar for scoring given the gadgety nature of his usage in the offense. The Lions are excellent bring-back plays, both teams land as good options for stacking despite talented defenses on both sides in a game that has a 47-point total in Vegas.


New York Jets

Key Player: Tim Boyle

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Breece Hall (Q), Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Tyler Conklin

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Van Jefferson

Lineup Notes: The Jets are a very unappealing offense in a very unappealing game. Tim Boyle did not look like the answer in last week’s game, he has a limiting impact on the team’s potential overall and both Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall are better as individual plays than in stacks this week. None of the team’s receivers who were brought here to play with Aaron Rodgers is a good option this week.


Philadelphia Eagles

Key Player: Jalen Hurts

Setting: at least one

Team Group: AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, D’Andre Swift, Julio Jones, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus,

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Jauan Jennings

Lineup Notes: Brown, Smith, and Swift are all healthy and will play for this showdown between NFC titans. The Eagles and 49ers are carrying a 47.5-point total in a game in which the visiting 49ers are favored by three points. The Eagles have massive scoring potential at multiple positions, Jalen Hurts has 11 rushing touchdowns this season to go with his 18 touchdown passes and 7.6 yards per attempt. Hurts has excellent options in 1/1A receivers AJ Brown and Devonta Smith, despite any minor downturn the past two weeks for Brown. The standout receiver had six straight weeks of at least 125 yards and six or more catches from weeks three through eight. Smith has touchdown upside and had 106 yards and a touchdown last week with 99 yards the week prior. Running back D’Andre Swift carried the ball 14 times for 80 yards last week, he saw similar volume and put up a touchdown along with 76 yards on the ground in Week 11. The 49ers are an ideal opponent, there are matching skill players at every position and tight end George Kittle can act as a go-to positionally with the Eagles lacking a strong option at the position in the absence of regular starter Dallas Goedert. Philadelphia ranks 3rd by fantasy points on both sites, though they sit 20th by points-per-dollar on DraftKings and 11th on FanDuel.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Player: Kyle Pickett

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, Allen Robinson II (large field), Calvin Austin III (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: James Conner, Trey McBride (Q), Marquise Brown (Q), Greg Dortch, Rondale Moore

Lineup Notes: The Steelers are facing a weak Arizona team that is drawing some interest as a value play against Pittsburgh’s equally bad offense. The situation could easily go against Arizona, the Steelers are not talentless when it comes to skill positions, with Diontae Johnson and George Pickens forming a solid receiver tandem and Najee Harris joining Jaylen Warren to do the same at running back. The two-headed situations are not great, which leaves Pat Freiermuth, the standout tight end, as the top individual player on the team again this week. In the backfield, Warren carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards last week with an additional 3-3 in the passing game for 13 more yards while Harris carried the ball 15 times for 99 yards and a touchdown but was not targeted in the passing game. There appear to be about 30 touches available at the position in any given week, the game prior it was Warren who took the lead with nine carries for 129 yards and a touchdown. Diontae Johnson has issues getting into the end zone but he is the team’s first target with Pickens acting as a serviceable second option. The Cardinals have decent run-back options as a good value stack.


San Francisco 49ers

Key Player: Brock Purdy

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Jauan Jennings

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, D’Andre Swift, Julio Jones, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus

Lineup Notes: If there is a flaw on either side of the high-end 49ers vs Eagles game, it is probably the large volume of touchdowns that Philadelphia has allowed in the passing game this season. Despite yielding just 6.1 yards per pass attempt, the 9th-best mark in the league, the Eagles have given up 23 touchdowns and 8.3 yards per pass attempt this season. Philadelphia has managed a 24.8% pressure rate and 32 sacks on the season and they have a stout defensive front against the run, but Brock Purdy is working with four excellent skill players and has every chance to succeed. Purdy ranks as QB2/1 on DraftKings and 2/2 on FanDuel this week, he and his teammates are very high-priority options across the board. Chrisitan McCaffrey is unavoidably popular, he scores a touchdown in virtually every game he plays and is projected for another very strong outing. The lowest-owned between Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle probably has the most tournament appeal but all three should be utilized heavily in stacks with Purdy. San Francisco ranks as stack 2 by points on both sites while sitting fifth on DraftKings and second on FanDuel by points-per-dollar.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Baker Mayfield

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rachaad White, Cade Otton, Trey Palmer

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Adam Thielen, DJ Chark Jr., Jonathan Mingo, Terrace Marshall Jr.

Lineup Notes: Chris Godwin was limited in practice on Thursday, he is a game-time decision but is likely to play according to Saturday night reporting. The Buccaneers are a decent option for value this week, they sit sixth on DraftKings and 7th on FanDuel by fantasy points with Rachaad White standing out as a very good value and volume option at the running back spot again this week. White had 15 carries for 100 yards last week and he has seen significant involvement in the team’s passing attack. Mike Evans has nine touchdown catches on the season and Chris Godwin is a high-end talent at the position, while Cade Otton offers a bit of touchdown-dependent value at the tight end spot.


Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Will Levis

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry, Treylon Burks, Chig Okonkwo, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chris Moore (large field), Kyle Phillips (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Michael Pittman Jr., Zack Moss, Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Isaiah McKenzie, Kylen Granson

Lineup Notes: While Will Levis has not been bad, he is not a standout option and he has just two true talents to work with if Treylon Burks is out again this week. Derrick Henry has a fair bit of potential against a rush defense that has given up 4.1 yards per attempt but 129.27 yards and 1.36 touchdowns per game on the ground this season. Henry has gained 4.2 yards per rush attempt this season with several strong outings that were not quite apex-Henry level. DeAndre Hopkins ranks as WR17/30 on DraftKings and WR18/22 on FanDuel, his value is difficult to envision in this matchup outside of fond memories, but he is the clear first-read wide receiver in this offense. Burks is questionable but seems likely to return to action, Chig Okonkwo has been lousy for most of the year, and the remaining options are dart throw plays at best.


Washington Commanders

Key Player: Sam Howell

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Antonio Gibson, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert, Braxton Berrios, Durham Smythe

Lineup Notes: The Commanders have hung in with some of the league’s good offenses this season, primarily because Sam Howell has been forced to throw the ball 40 times per game to keep them rolling. Howell has a bit of cheap potential at the position in tandem with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel as well as tight end Logan Thomas, all of whom are playable in stacks or as bring-backs or individual options in lineups. The Dolphins are the top priority offense of the week, the idea of bring-back plays keeping the Commanders alive long enough for Miami to hit ceiling marks is worth pursuing in some lineups but it is not a requirement. The Dolphins defense has been good this season, they have given up  just 6.2 yards per pass attempt and 212 yards per game through the air with 1.45 touchdowns per game. Brian Robinson Jr. is a playable running back but he does not grade out well against a defense that has allowed just 3.8 yards per rush attempt and 92.82 yards per game this year, Robinson ranks as RB 21/21 on DraftKings and RB17/16 on FanDuel, the passing game should be the focus for anything Commanders this week.


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