Each week, I will bring you an early look at which players to target and fade for the upcoming Sunday DFS slate on DraftKings and FanDuel. I’ll do this by using our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models.
Keep in mind that a lot can change between now and when lineups lock. Our Player Models update in real-time to help make quick lineup decisions before rosters lock.
This is a wonderful time of year, so let’s take a deep dive into which players to target in the 13th week of the 2021 NFL season.
Derek Carr ($6,000 DK, $7,500 FD)
Derek Carr projects as one of the better DraftKings values in our projections. Carr now returns home after an impressive Las Vegas win over Dallas on Thanksgiving to face a Washington defense that allows the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (4for4).
Carr brings a projection/ceiling combination that rivals any other Week 13 DFS quarterback, at a much better price tag.
In the past two seasons, Carr has averaged 272 passing yards, 1.7 passing touchdowns, 0.7 interceptions, and 20.3 fantasy points per game in Raiders home games. At this price point, he is one of my favorite plays of the Week 13 Sunday slate.
Lamar Jackson ($7,800 DK, $8,500 FD)
I can’t advocate using Lamar Jackson as the highest-priced DFS quarterback in a divisional road game against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have certainly struggled but only allowed the overall QB11 performance to Joe Burrow in last week’s Cincinnati blowout win. Pittsburgh still has a strong defense that has experience limiting the versatile Baltimore signal-caller.
Jackson’s numbers against the Steelers are shocking.
In a rivalry game on the road with a 44-point total against a desperate Pittsburgh team, I’m fading the most expensive quarterback on both sites for the Sunday main slate.
Running Back Target
Antonio Gibson ($5,700 DK, $6,200 FD)
I am buying the Antonio Gibson late-season resurgence and see him as a great DFS serving as the center of the Washington offense. Gibson has enjoyed a rising snap share over the past three weeks, where he’s averaged 106.3 total yards with two touchdowns. Gibson is coming off a Week 12 win over Seattle, where he caught all seven of his targets.
Fellow running back J.D. McKissic was carted off the field with a neck/head injury and certainly projects to miss Week 13.
Gibson gets to face a Raiders defense that has allowed the third-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing running backs. Gibson is the third-best projected running back on DraftKings and the fourth-best on FanDuel in our projections.
The idea of Gibson getting a full workload in the absence of McKissic makes his price on both sites one of the best overall DFS values in Week 13.
Running Back Fade
Saquon Barkley ($6,300 DK, $7,200 FD)
I’ve reached my limit of 2021 optimism for Saquon Barkley. Yes, he’s a great talent. Yes, he still gets a high workload.
No, he’s not going to produce fantasy value.
Barkley ranks 11th among all running backs in snap share and 12th in opportunity share per PlayerProfiler, yet he ranks just 26th in fantasy points per game. There’s a point at which the waiting for positive regression simply becomes Einstein’s definition of insanity.
He has failed to score a touchdown in his past three games and five of his seven games this season. In Week 13, the Giants travel to Miami to face one of the NFL’s hottest defenses, without their backup quarterback in Mike Glennon. The Miami run defense has held Christian McCaffrey, Michael Carter, and Devonte Freeman to limited touch production the past three weeks. Playing their fourth home game in the past fifth weeks, I expect Miami to facilitate another disappointing DFS performance.
Wide Receiver Target
Josh Reynolds ($3,400 DK, $5,100 FD)
Someone has to catch the ball in Detroit, right?
With D’Andre Swift now sidelined for multiple weeks with a shoulder injury, the likelihood of negative game script in Detroit has increased even more. This is the most shallow depth chart in the NFL, and Josh Reynolds has already emerged as the WR1. Reynolds has seen an 88% snap share since being acquired by Detroit and caught three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on Thanksgiving. He is popping in our FantasyLabs projections as one of the top value plays this week.
Adding to this play, Minnesota ranks as the best defense at limiting opposing tight ends. The Vikings rank first in the fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends and have allowed a total of 37 receptions, 474 receiving yards, and one touchdown through 11 games. With T.J. Hockenson limited, the chance of Reynolds producing goes even higher.
The Lions will need to start attacking via the pass without Swift available, and Reynolds is the clear top receiver among a very limited group.
Wide Receiver Fade
Ja’Marr Chase ($7,000 DK, $7,500 FD)
Ja’Marr Chase is a wonderful receiver and arguably the top dynasty wide receiver in the league. However, his price for a difficult Week 13 matchup makes him a fade.
The Chargers ranks second in the fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, and Chase’s numbers have declined as teammate Tee Higgins has seen positive DFS production with his high target volume. Higgins produced the overall WR2 stat line in Week 12, while Chase has failed to produce better than a WR27 performance in the past four weeks.
The Bengals are coming off a huge offensive performance against Pittsburgh but still do not rate high in metrics such as offensive DVOA. I’m hesitant to back Chase at this high Week 13 cost.
Tight End Target
Foster Moreau ($2,700 DK, $5,000 FD)
Nothing says “Week 13 Stack” better than Derek Carr and…Foster Moreau?
Starting tight end, Darren Waller missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury, moving Moreau into a valuable DFS starting role. Moreau is 6-foot-4, 235 lbs, and runs a 4.66 40-Yard Dash. In the one game Darren Waller missed this season, Moreau tallied six receptions (on six targets) with 60 receiving yards, a touchdown, and the overall TE4 performance. He faces a Washington defense that just allowed five receptions, 37 yards, and a touchdown to Seattle’s Gerald Everett at home.
Moreau is among our top tight end DFS plays on DraftKings for Week 13.
At $2,700 on DraftKings, Moreau is actually cheaper than backup tight ends such as Pharoah Brown, Zach Genry, and Cameron Brate. Moreau will have an insanely high rostership, but at his price and usage, that translates to “good chalk.”