The Player Models are the lifeblood of our NFL product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. After all, a projection is just part of the equation: salary, ceiling and projected ownership all factor into which players stand out as the best plays each week.
Let’s dive into our models and look at a few players with the highest ceilings, value ratings and projected ownership for the Week 12 NFL slate.
We’ll use the Koerner Model as the foundation.
Also, don’t forget you can use our Trends tool to test your DFS theories. And for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams.
Top Ceiling: Tom Brady vs. Indianapolis Colts – $7,600 on DraftKings, $8,200 on FanDuel
Tom Brady projects for the highest ceiling in a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts—a prime matchup against a Colts defense ranked 20th in pass DVOA (per Football Outsiders). Brady benefits from an array of weapons in the receiving corps, including Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski, while Antonio Brown (listed OUT with an ankle injury).
The future Hall-of-Famer leads an offense that is one of the more pass-friendly in the league, calling a 67%/33% pass-to-run ratio (per RotoViz) and leads the league in touchdown passes (29). Opening as a 53-point total, the highest on the slate, look for Brady to have the potential to reach a ceiling outcome through the air in what looks to be a high-scoring matchup.
Top Value: Tyrod Taylor vs. New York Jets – $5,300 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel
Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor leads the Houston Texans in a matchup against the New York Jets, who rank as the worst defense, according to Football Outsiders. Look for Taylor to involve wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who leads the Texans in target share, seeing 28% of the Texans’ looks. With a discounted price and likely passing volume as part of a slightly-skewed 59%/41% pass-to-run play-calling ratio, Taylor can reach fantasy relevance in an ideal matchup against a weak defense, with savings for spend-up options.
Top Rostered: Cam Newton vs. Miami Dolphins – $5,100 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel
Cam Newton looks to be the most popular option at the position this week. It appears the veteran quarterback has ignited a spark in the offense, given his dual-threat ability. In a Week 11 27-21 loss to the Washington Football Team, Newton completed 21 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, also rushing for 46 yards and one touchdown. With a receiving corps of DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and the ever-versatile Christian McCaffrey, Newton is worthy of the projected 14.5% ownership and is a viable option in rosters, facing a Dolphins defense ranked 20th in DVOA.
Top Ceiling: Jonathan Taylor vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $9,100 on DraftKings, $10,000 on FanDuel
Jonathan Taylor has been one of the more dominating options at running back as of late and projects for the highest ceiling this week. Since Week 6, Taylor has rushed for more than 100 yards five times, including a 185-yard, four-touchdown performance against a tough Buffalo Bills defense, as part of a 41-15 win in Week 11. The Colts’ leader in backfield work has consistently seen his volume of carries increase and has the potential for a 75th-percentile, slate-breaking performance given his league-leading 60 red-zone attempts (per AddMoreFunds).
Like last week, Taylor faces a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense ranked fourth in run DVOA and should be considered a bring-back option for Tampa Bay stacks, given the high game total and his involvement in the offense.
Top Value: Eli Mitchell vs. Minnesota Vikings – $5,400 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel
After missing the Week 11 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell is expected to return to action Sunday in a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. The leader in work in the 49ers’ backfield, seeing a 58% share of carries, Mitchell has seen 17 or more rushing attempts in six of the first eight games he has played this season, highlighted by a 27 carry, 91-yard performance in a Week 10 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The volume should be there for Mitchell this week, in an ideal spot, facing a Minnesota Vikings defense ranked 27th in rush DVOA. The 49ers, who are 3.5-point favorites, already take a more balanced approach to their play-calling, using a 53%/47% pass-to-run ratio, but could increase the frequency of run plays, especially if in the lead which should allow Mitchell to reach fantasy relevance, based on opportunity.
Top Rostered: James Robinson vs. Atlanta Falcons – $6,200 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel
Projected for 23.4% ownership this week, Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson will likely be a popular option for rosters, facing an Atlanta Falcons defense ranked 30th in DVOA, setting up an ideal spot for the lead back. Responsible for 56% of the work in the backfield, Robinson should see an uptick in production with news of Jamal Agnew expected to miss the rest of the season.
Averaging more than five yards per carry this season, Robinson has seen 11 or more targets in seven of his first nine starts. Given his consistent workload and volume, Robinson should garner attention on what is setting up as a less-than-ideal slate.
Top Ceiling: Cooper Kupp vs. Green Bay Packers – $9,600 on DraftKings, $8,400 on FanDuel
Cooper Kupp returns to the main slate, projecting for the highest ceiling among wide receivers. Kupp, who looks to be a preferred weapon for quarterback Matthew Stafford, leads the Rams with a 32% target share and should see an uptick in production with Robert Woods out for the season with an ACL injury.
Despite the lofty $9,600 price tag on DraftKings, Kupp consistently sees 10+ targets every game. The Packers rank 14th in DVOA and a matchup with a 47-point total and shootout potential; look for Kupp to have to potential to have a 75th- percentile outcome, mainly because of his first-look profile and deep-threat ability, averaging 13.4 yards per reception.
Top Value: Laviska Shenault vs. Atlanta Falcons – $4,400 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel
At $4,400 on DraftKings, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault rates as our top value wide receiver, facing a weak Atlanta Falcons defense, ranked 30th in DVOA. This year, Shenault has seen four or more targets in nine of the first 10 weeks, averaging 10.2 yards per reception. The Jaguars, who play at the fastest pace in the league, calling a play every 23.8 seconds, should look to increase their passing cadence, especially as 2-point underdogs, allowing Shenault to reach fantasy relevance.
Top Rostered: Chris Godwin vs. Indianapolis Colts – $7,000 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel
Wide receiver Chris Godwin is an integral part of the high-powered Buccaneers offense, responsible for 19% of the looks from quarterback Tom Brady. With wide receiver Antonio Brown ruled out because of a lingering ankle injury, Godwin should see increased production. This year, Godwin has averaged 12.4 yards per reception and has been targeted eight or more times in six weeks. The Week 12 matchup should set up as an ideal spot for Godwin and the Buccaneers receiving corps, with the weak spot in the stout Colts defense being their ability to stop the pass, ranking 20th in pass DVOA.
This week, Godwin is projected for 23.4% ownership and looks to be a necessary piece in rosters, especially paired with Brady.
Top Ceiling: Kyle Pitts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – $7,100 on DraftKings, $7,300 on FanDuel
Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts projects for the highest ceiling this week, facing a Jacksonville Jaguars defense ranked 31st in pass DVOA. Since Week 7, Pitts has emerged as the Falcons’ leader in target share, seeing a 21.43% share of looks from quarterback Matt Ryan. With a pass-heavy 63%/37% pass-to-run ratio, Pitts should remain the first-look for production in the Falcons’ passing game, potentially reaching a 75th-percentile outcome, given an ideal matchup against a weak defense.
Top Value: Jared Cook vs. Denver Broncos – $3,000 on DraftKings, $5,400 on FanDuel
At $3,000 on DraftKings, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Jared Cook rates as our top value among tight ends this week. With quarterback Justin Herbert under center, the Chargers use a 65%/35% pass-to-run play calling ratio and face a Denver Broncos defense ranked 26th in DVOA, setting up an ideal situation to move the ball down the field at will. Cook, who is fourth in the Chargers receiving corps with an 11% target share, has seen five or more targets in seven of the first 10 games this year, averaging 11.2 yards per reception. Cook should reach fantasy relevance with an established volume and looks to be a form of salary relief, unlocking higher-priced options this week.
Top Rostered: Rob Gronkowski vs. Indianapolis Colts – $4,400 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel
Tampa Bay skill positions players should be trendy this week, playing in the highest total of the week at 53-points, benefitting from a weak pass defense in Indianapolis and a quarterback who relies on airing the ball. Tight end Rob Gronkowski projects as the most popular option at the position this week, currently seeing 19.2% ownership. Gronk has an established rapport with Brady, seeing eight targets, catching six passes for 71 yards in his return from injury.
Before being sidelined for more than five weeks, Gronk saw five or more targets in each of his three starts this year and is averaging 11.6 yards per reception. Alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Gronk should remain firmly an option in the passing game and be considered viable in all Buccaneers and Colts stacks.