NFL Week 13 wraps up with a Monday Night Football matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are listed as 3.5-point home favorites, while the total sits at 41.0 points.
In this article, I’ll be using various FantasyLabs tools and other industry metrics to break down the slate.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
NFL DFS Stud Picks
This game features plenty of big-name fantasy players, but most of them have underperformed this season. As a result, most of those players aren’t quite as expensive as you would think.
Chris Godwin is the most expensive player in this matchup on DraftKings, and he has been playing well of late. He’s scored a touchdown in back-to-back games, and he had his first 100-yard outing in his last contest. Overall, he’s scored at least 19.1 DraftKings points in both contests after failing to crack 15.5 in each of his first seven games.
Godwin’s increased production can be attributed to an increased workload. He’s racked up a 26.1% target share over the Bucs’ last six games, and he ranks 11th among high-volume receivers in targets per route run for the year. Most of his work comes in the short to intermediate part of the field, but that’s not a huge deal if you’re racking up tons of targets.
However, it is fair to wonder if this price is a bit too steep for Godwin. Outside of last week’s performance, where he finished with 32.0 DraftKings points on 13 targets, he has not displayed a consistent enough ceiling to justify such an exorbitant number. He doesn’t stand out as a bad option at this price tag, but he owns a mediocre projected Plus/Minus in THE BLITZ.
Tom Brady will be throwing to Godwin, and he’s the most expensive option on FanDuel. Brady has shown some decline this season, which is to be expected for a 45-year-old. Brady doesn’t appear to play by the same rules as us mere mortals, but Father Time has finally started to get the better of him.
Still, the Bucs have had no problems leaning heavily on Brady. He’s attempted at least 40 passes in eight of his past nine games, with the lone exception coming against the Seahawks in Germany. The Buccaneers are simply not good enough to pull away from their opponents, so Brady has been extremely active.
However, that hasn’t necessarily led to strong fantasy results. He’s finished with 20.1 DraftKings points or fewer in six straight games, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in just two of those contests. He has just one ceiling performance all year, scoring 29.4 DraftKings points against the Chiefs in a game where his team trailed throughout.
The Saints have also had Brady’s number since moving to Tampa Bay. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -5.08 in six previous matchups vs. the Saints, and he’s had 10.4 DraftKings points or fewer in his past two (per the Trends tool). The Saints rank 12th in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA for the year, so it’s reasonable to expect another mediocre performance on Monday.
However, Brady is very affordable at just $10,400 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%. He ranks second on the slate in projected DraftKings Plus/Minus, so he’s worth some consideration on that site.
What has happened to Alvin Kamara? He’s scored 12.9 DraftKings points or fewer in four straight games, and he’s failed to crack double-digit fantasy points in three of them. His workload as a runner has been slashed – he’s had 12 carries or fewer in each of those contests – and he’s not seeing his usual work as a receiver either. He has just 20 total targets over the past four games, which has not been nearly enough to overcome his poor rushing production.
Still, the biggest difference has been his lack of touchdown upside. He has three touchdowns for the year – way off his league-leading mark of 21 in 2020-21 – and all three came in the same game. Kamara still leads the team in red zone opportunities by a wide margin, but he hasn’t been able to cash in very many of them.
Can Kamara turn things around against the Bucs? It’s going to be easier said than done. Tampa Bay ranks third in pass defense DVOA vs. running backs, where is where Kamara does most of his damage.
Still, Kamara is down to just $10,000 on DraftKings after being priced above $12,000 to start the year. The bar has been lowered significantly in terms of what he needs to do to return value, and he still possesses the top ceiling projection in THE BLITZ.
Mike Evans has taken a backseat to Godwin of late, and his track record against the Saints is terrible. Evans owns an average Plus/Minus of -6.91 against the Saints, and he hasn’t cracked 12.8 DraftKings points in this matchup since 2018.
Of course, most of that stems from his well-documented rivalry with Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is currently sidelined with an injury, and the Saints’ remaining cornerbacks are extremely exploitable. Each of their top three options at the position ranks outside the top 100 in terms of Pro Football Focus grade.
Evans is still the Bucs’ top big-play threat, leading the team with a 40.7% air yards share over the past six games. That gives him some upside, and I prefer him over Godwin given the price differential.
NFL DFS Midrange Picks
Andy Dalton will be under center for the Saints, and as long as this game is competitive, don’t expect him to do too much. He’s scored 11.9 DraftKings points or fewer in three of his past four games, and he is a game manager more than anything else at this stage of his career. The Bucs have also been weaker against the run than the pass this season, and Dalton owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.8 on DraftKings. Quarterbacks are always going to warrant consideration in the single-game format, but Dalton stands out as an average value in THE BLITZ.
Chris Olave is a bit more exciting. The rookie has taken over as the team’s clear top receiver in his first professional season, leading the team with a 26.1% target share and 43.6% air yards share. He racked up nine targets last week vs. the 49ers, which was the top mark among the team’s receivers by a wide margin.
Olave is underpriced for his current role, but that might not matter against the Buccaneers. It’s one of the tougher matchups that he’ll face all season, and Pro Football Focus gives the Bucs’ cornerbacks the edge. However, Olave did have 13 targets in his first matchup vs. the Buccaneers, which he converted into five catches for 80 yards. That game was with Jameis Winston at quarterback, so it remains to be seen if Dalton will have the same willingness to throw it to him in this spot.
Leonard Fournette is currently questionable for this matchup, even though he got in a full week of practices. That means he will likely be in the lineup, but it’s possible that his role could be limited.
How the touches are split between Fournette and Rachaad White is one of the most important questions on this slate. Fournette was the team’s clear lead back before getting injured, but White has played well in his absence. He racked up the first 100-yard performance of his career two weeks ago, and he followed that up with nine catches last week. He ultimately finished with a positive Plus/Minus in both contests, and it seems like he’s earned a larger share of the opportunities moving forward.
The most likely outcome is a 50/50 split between both players, which makes neither a must-play at their current prices. I would lean towards Fournette given his track record with the Buccaneers, but both players have extremely similar projections in our NFL Models.
The Saints gave Taysom Hill a bit more work than usual last week. He played on a season-high 49% of the snaps, and he finished with six carries and two targets. He wasn’t particularly effective with his touches, but his eight opportunities was his fourth-highest mark of the year. With Juwan Johnson currently sidelined with an injury, Hill has the potential for another expanded workload vs. the Bucs. He’s a bit overpriced at $6,400 on DraftKings, but he’s always a threat to vulture a touchdown or two.
Julio Jones is not the same player that he was in his prime, but he still has some big play ability. Since returning to the lineup in Week 9, Jones has actually been targeted on a higher frequency of his routes run than Evans, and he also has more air yards than Godwin. He’s also scored two touchdowns in those four contests, so he’s worth some consideration at a pretty cheap price tag.
The same cannot be said for Jarvis Landry. He has never been a downfield threat, so most of his value came from racking up targets around the line of scrimmage. He has just four targets in back-to-back games, so he’s not doing nearly enough of that at the moment.
NFL DFS Values & Punts
- Defenses & Kickers: These options are always in play in the single-game format, but make sure to correlate the rest of your lineup around them.
- Mark Ingram ($4,400 on DraftKings, $5,000 on FanDuel): Ingram returned to the lineup last week but handled just four carries. It’s possible he could see a slightly larger role vs. the Buccaneers, but he provides very little as a pass-catcher and a touchdown scorer. It’s hard to provide value as a running back when you can’t do either of those.
- Cameron Brate ($3,000 on DraftKings, $5,500 on FanDuel): Brate has played in the past two games for the Buccaneers, but he’s questionable with an illness. If he’s able to go, he has some appeal at his current price tag. He racked up five targets in his last contest, and he has at least five targets in three of his past five games.
- Cade Otton ($1,800 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel): Otton would be worth a shot if Brate is ruled out, but if he isn’t, Otton is basically unplayable. He did play on 36 of 69 snaps last week but failed to record a single target.
- Rashid Shaheed ($1,400 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel): Shaheed has earned a larger role in the Saints’ passing attack in recent weeks. He played on more than 50% of the snaps for the first time all season in Week 12, and he racked up three targets, two catches, and 53 yards. He has some upside at his current price tag.
- Adam Trautman ($1,200 on DraftKings, $5,000 on FanDuel): Trautman is the best play in this range, and he leads the entire slate in projected DraftKings Plus/Minus. With Johnson sidelined, he should assume most of the tight end responsibilities against the Bucs.
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