NFL Week 12 Cash Pool: Below are the players that I consider to be viable plays on DraftKings in Cash Games (H2H, Double-Ups, 50/50s). This article is updated throughout the weekend with a final update at 12:00 PM EST on Sunday to account for surprise inactives and late-week news.
OUT: Kalen Ballage
Patrick Mahomes ($8,000): The Chiefs boast the highest implied team total of the week (30) and Patrick Mahomes is projecting for the most raw-points at the position. In terms of price on DraftKings, Mahomes is sandwiched between two players with much better rushing floors, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen. Still, Mahomes is always a good bet to throw 40+ times and with a slate-high 57 total in this game, Mahomes will be hard pressed not to hit value.
Josh Allen ($7,600): The pride of Buffalo, Josh Allen sets up extremely well in what should be a fast paced game with a lot of pass attempts from both teams. The Bills have the second highest implied team total on the slate (28.5), and Allen has a realistic chance of being involved with every score the team puts up. Allen’s utilization as a rusher sets him apart from other strong QB plays in his price range; Allen has rushed 7 or more times in five consecutive games and leads The Bills in rushing touchdowns. While John Brown’s absence is a downgrade for the offense as a whole, the Chargers will be without two defensive studs in Melvin Ingram and Casey Hayward which mitigates those concerns.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,500): The Dolphins are playing it safe with their star rookie Tua Tagovailoa battling a thumb injury, and Ryan Fitzpatrick will get his second chance this year to hand it to The Jets. When these two teams previously met in Week 6, The Jets’ lifeless offense put up 0 points, which put no pressure on Miami to #LetFitzCook. With Sam Darnold set to return, there is a good chance New York’s offense will be able to generate enough production to justify Fitzpatrick YOLO’ing his way to a solid fantasy day.
QB Positional Notes: The sheer amount of value on this slate leads me to believe that we are in for a high-scoring week in DFS cash games. So while Fitzpatrick, and to a lesser extent Derek Carr, both profile as strong pay-down options, I’m not comfortable sacrificing the upside of what I ultimately believe will likely end up 30+ point games out of both Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Despite The Chiefs game having the highest total on the week (57), I’m most bullish on The Bills and Chargers game developing into a true back-and-fourth shootout. For that reason, combined with his boosted floor as a rusher, Josh Allen is my preferred play at QB in Week 12.
Dalvin Cook ($9,500): Not much needs to be written about the top fantasy play of Week 12. Since returning from injury in Week 8, Cook has been arguably the most explosive skill position player in the league and an absolute volume machine. Over the past four weeks, Cook has averaged over 30 touches per-game and scored seven touchdowns. Cook is a home favorite RB (-4), with a healthy ITT (26.5) facing a bottom five run defense.
Nyheim Hines ($4,600): Jonathan Taylor was added to the COVID list on Saturday, immediately propelling Nyheim Hines into cash consideration. With Frank Reich’s donkey-like infatuation with the RBBC approach, Jordan Wilkins is a good bet to be involved a decent amount in Week 12, which caps Hines’ touch upside. Still, even if the two backs split work, Hines usage in scoring position and in the pass game make him a superior play. Hines has out-targeted Wilkins 45:8 and seen 23 red zone opportunities to Wilkins’ 10. Hines is top 5 in RB red zone targets (9) in 2020.
Brian Hill ($4,000): With Todd Gurley ruled out, Brian Hill should handle the bulk of carries for The Falcons in Week 12. Hill has more than doubled Ito Smith’s snaps this season and that trend should continue this week. Hill averaged 14 touches per-game in his two opportunities to start in 2019. Despite being a strong value at the min-price in the second-highest totaled game of the week (54), Hill offers nothing in the pass game and is entirely touchdown dependent.
RB Positional Notes: This is one of the weakest RB pools we’ve had all year for cash games. While there are certaintly strong plays at the position: Derrick Henry ($7,900), Nick Chubb ($7,100), Kareem Hunt ($5,600) – the range of outcomes for these players is too wide to embrace in cash. Dalvin Cook is a stone lock. That leaves us to decide whether or not we want to play Hines, Hill, or both. I think 4 WR is very much in play this week. If I were choosing one more RB for a 2 RB build, I would lean Hines > Hill for the potential he offers as a receiver. Hill is a low-ceiling option with a strong chance of underperforming. I’m not sure that I will fade him in cash due to what will probably be extremely high ownership, but I’m not committed to playing him either.
Keenan Allen ($8,000): The NFL leader in targets and receptions, Keenan Allen is poised to follow up a career performance with yet another monster game. Allen is one of three WRs in the league seeing more than 24% of his team’s targets (24.3%). Tre’Davious White is unlikely to follow Allen into the slot, and because of his elite route running and massive target share, Keenan is truly match-up proof.
Stefon Diggs ($7,600): Leading the league in percentage of team targets (27.6%), Stefon Diggs is in arguably the best spot on the slate. With John Brown out and Casey Hayward slated to miss for the Chargers, Diggs could realistically see <30% of Josh Allen’s targets in a back-and-fourth shootout. Diggs has been extremely consistent, producing double-digit fantasy points in every game he’s played this year and 15+ DK points in 8/10.
Calvin Ridley ($7,100): After missing Friday’s practice, Julio Jones seems more doubtful than his official ‘questionable’ tag would indicate. Calvin Ridley flourished in the two games that Jones missed this year, seeing 10+ targets and accumulating over 100 yards in both contests. Ridley will become an elite play in all DFS formats if Julio is indeed ruled out.
Justin Jefferson ($6,300): With Adam Thielen reportedly unlikely to be activated from the COVID list in time for Week 12, Justin Jefferson will assume WR1 duties for The Vikings. The argument could be made that Jefferson has already been the best WR in Minnesota this year. While the talented rookie has seen inconsistent usage on a week-to-week basis, the downside of potentially being overshadowed by Thielen will not be present this week and that will mitigate the risk of a potentially disappointing target game for Jefferson.
Antonio Brown ($5,700): Since joining The Buccaneers in Week 9, Mr. Big Chest has consistently been getting more involved in the offense. His targets have risen in three consecutive games from five, to eight, to a team-leading 13 last week. Brown also led the team in yardage and receptions in Week 11. The Bucs have a rising ITT (27) and this spot sets up well for the offense as home underdogs who will be forced to keep pace with the high-powered Chiefs offense.
Keelan Cole ($3,600): The mere thought of playing a Jacksonville pass catcher in cash with long-neck Mike Glennon throwing the ball makes my face scrunch up in disgust like I regretfully took a bite of black licorice. That being said, Keelan Cole profiles as a strong value play with DJ Chark and Chris Conley both ruled out for Week 12. The Jags will likely be playing catch-up against a Browns defense that will be without its top two players: Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward.
Gabriel Davis ($3,000): In the two games John Brown missed this year, Gabriel Davis played on 95% and 100% of snaps. While he was only productive in one of those games (5-58 on 9 targets in Week 5), the opportunity is what’s most encouraging. If not for the overwhelming amount of value on this slate, Davis would likely be the highest owned player in cash games for Week 12.
WR Positional Notes: As mentioned above, 4 WR cash builds are viable this week. Due to the quality of both the value plays, and the top-tier pay-up options, it almost seems optimal to run 4 of these players in cash despite the overall volatility of the position. I would consider jamming at least one of Keenan Allen/Stefon Diggs a mandatory part of cash builds this week. Gabriel Davis is the clear-cut best value play on the board this week. Keelan Cole could see more targets but the scoring environment is significantly worse. Andy Isabella is one of DFS Twitter’s darlings, and will likely be a popular option over Davis. Keep in mind; it took a world-altering virus removing the ancient Larry Fitzgerald from the field to allow this bonafide scrub Isabella to get into the starting lineup.
Darren Waller ($6,000): Proving that his fourth-year breakout was no fluke, Darren Waller is on pace for another phenomenal year. Waller is in the top three for TE targets (84), receptions (53), yards (519), and Air Yards share (23%). The Falcons have given up the most FPPG to opposing TEs and will have their collective hands full trying to limit Waller’s production this week.
Hunter Henry ($4,800): Quietly allowing the most receptions and yards to opposing tight ends, The Bills defense is unlikely to hinder Hunter Henry’s second half bounce back. After finding the end zone only once in The Chargers first eight games, Henry has scored a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. While you can find similar or better target projections at TE for cheaper, Henry’s involvement in one of the best scoring environments of the week cannot be overlooked.
Kyle Rudolph ($2,800): With Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr. both on pace to miss Week 12, Kyle Rudolph could see an increased opportunity in The Vikings passing attack. While his upside is certainly capped, Rudolph could easily finish second in targets behind Justin Jefferson this week. A few catches and a lucky touchdown could be enough to make Rudolph the best pt/$ play on the slate at fantasy’s least important position.
TE Positional Notes: Darren Waller is in SUCH a good spot, that I’m legitimately considering paying <$5,000 on DraftKings for a TE for the first time in 2020. Still, the low salary floor on TEs makes it so easy to smash if you find a good pay-down option. Kyle Rudolph only needs to score 9-points to essentially match value if Waller scores 20. My current lean (Saturday afternoon) is to stick with what works, which is #NeverPayUp for TE.
Priority Plays: Josh Allen, Dalvin Cook, Nyheim Hines, Gabriel Davis
Fades: Derek Carr, Wayne Gallman Jr., Tyreek Hill, Andy Isabella
Cash Game Results 2020:
Week 1: 185.1 Points. 87% Win Rate (83.3% of 78 H2Hs, 100% of 22 DUs)
Week 2: 161.9 Points. 91.3% Win Rate (90.3% of 103 H2Hs, 100% of 12 DUs)
Week 3: 112.1 Points. 17.7% Win Rate (21% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 22 DUs)
Week 4: 139.50 Points. 81% Win Rate (77.9% of 104 H2Hs, 100% of 17 DUs)
Week 5: 143.68 Points. 31.1% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 16 DUs)
Week 6: 138.12 Points. 32.45% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 11 DUs)
Week 7: 199.40 Points. 37.5% Win Rate (32.5 % H2Hs, 91.6% of 12 DUs)
Week 8: 112.66 Points.55.5% Win Rate (61.9% of 105 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs)
Week 9: 162.60 Points. 97% Win Rate (95.7% of 119 H2Hs, 100% of 11 DUs)
Week 10: 94.10 Points. 2.2% Win Rate (4% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs).
Week 11: 167.82 Points. 92.5% Win Rate (92% of 161 H2Hs, 100% of 13 DUs)