NFL DFS Week 12 AutoMattek Absolutes
Times have changed in DFS. When I first started writing the AutoMattek Absolutes six years ago, cash games were all anyone wanted to talk about. A majority of players considered themselves cash game grinders and tournaments were secondary to the 50/50’s, head to heads and double-ups.
That is no longer the case. Tournaments are the primary source of discussion and interest for both the casual and serious DFS players. As such, the content has to evolve with time. Throughout the 2019 NFL season, the AutoMattek Absolutes will be a hybrid GPP strategy/individual plays highlight column to help you get prepared for the Sunday main slate of tournaments.
Dakota Prescott SZN
The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFL in yards per play. They have gained the most total yards of any team in the NFL. They have scored 286 points which is more than the Seahawks, Bucs, Packers or Texans.
Dak Prescott leads the NFL in QBR. He leads all quarterbacks in EPA. He leads the entire NFL in yards per pass attempt. Only Patrick Mahomes and Kirk Cousins have added more adjusted net yards per pass attempt (due to sacks).
So why is it that the Cowboys have an 18 point team total? Yes, the Patriots defense is great. They really limited Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, but when they faced Lamar Jackson, it was a different story. I know what all of you reading this are thinking.
“Dak isn’t Lamar Jackson. He isn’t as good of a runner and his coach isn’t as good.”
You are definitely right that the Dallas coaching staff cannot shine a light on the Ravens but the Dallas offense is probably more outright talented than the Ravens. Amari Cooper/Michael Gallup/Randall Cobb has an argument to being the most skilled group of wide receivers in the league, though, a lower-body injury to Amari Cooper might sap his effectiveness a little bit, especially when covered by Stephon Gillmore.
What is really comes down to is this: there is only one game with a total higher than 48 this week and that game is going to feature insane chalk with Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley. On the other hand, players who have been better than that group for fantasy this year (Dak/Cooper/Gallup) are all going to be sub 5% owned against New England. If you buy the central concept that a good offense is more powerful than a good defense (and I do buy this, clearly) then this is really your dream. You are going to be able to get pieces of the best per-play offense in football at absurdly low percentages. Maybe it doesn’t work out. Maybe Jason Garrett and Kellen Moore play scared and run Zeke into Zack Martin’s ass 25 times and take their seven-point loss in New England.
Is this the highest probability stack of your life? It is not. However, the upside is exponential as it may legitimately be unowned.
There are great, game-flow correlated bring backs with Julian Edelman and James White on the Patriots side that makes this pretty interesting from a tournament perspective. You can get a historically good offense (New England) that is in a big dip of form combined with a historically meh offense (Dallas under Jason Garrett) that is having the best offensive season of the last decade and do so in an ownership environment where your rosters are guaranteed to be unique.
Disappointing RBs And You
If you thought that you had seen bad running backs before, you haven’t seen anything yet. Every good play has significant warts and there aren’t that many good plays to begin with. Christian McCaffrey has an 18 point team total and cratering QB play. Alvin Kamara has to contend with Latavius Murray at the goal line (though Kamara is my favorite play of the week at any position or price).
Then you get into the REALLY questionable plays.
Nick Chubb is losing targets, carries and snaps to Kareem Hunt and is priced up at $8,100. Leonard Fournette hasn’t scored a touchdown since he weighed under 300 pounds (it’s been a while). Le’Veon Bell played only 59% of the snaps for the Jets last week while Bilal Powell played in the redzone. Kalen Ballage is projected as a value despite averaging under two yards per carry and being, well, Kalen Ballage. Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry are almost completely reliant on touchdowns to deliver fantasy value and while that is what you need for tournaments anyway, they are very volatile players.
This even before we get into BRIAN HILL and MILES SANDERS. The two highest-profile disappointments from last week are the top two projected values at Daily Roto this week. Hill and Sanders both played over 60% of their team’s snaps and both were targeted in the passing game multiple times. Hill had a touchdown called back by penalty and Sanders well, Sanders did get passed in a few key spots by Boston Scott and will have to deal with Jay Ayaji being in the mix this week but also projects for a target share over 10% even if Jordan Howard is active so with Howard out, HE HAS TO BE A SLAM DUNK RIGHT?
We are likely to get some clarifying information on Howard/Sanders, Brian Hill, and the Falcons, Nick Chubb and the Kareem Hunt split and more running back situations over the next few days but right now the situation is so bad that I think Alvin Kamara is headed for wild levels of ownership and I honestly may not even have the heart to fade him at all in single entry and three-max formats.
The Junk Bowl
In a week where we have only one total over 48, we have to pick SOME other games to get away from the chalk. Looking through the slate, Jets-Raiders really does pop out. The total is not that high but both teams are projected over 21 points, both teams hurry the opposing quarterback less than 10% of the time and both teams are hitting their stride at the right time. The Jets have scored 34 points in back to back weeks and the Raiders are now the seventh-best offense in the NFL in terms of yards per play.
The Jets have easy stack options with Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson and the same is true for the Raiders with Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller and if you want to really lean into it, Hunter Renfrow. I am unlikely to include Derek Carr in my MME mix because he has not shown any modicum of upside this season but I think the path that I am going to take is to slightly increase the total and the plays ran in the optimizer to make this game a little more fantasy-friendly for the Daily Roto tools: