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Week 12 … what a roller coaster ride that was. Thanksgiving started out great. Hit on the cash games with a few OK scores in tournaments. Then Sunday happened. If you read this column last week then you know I was very high on Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. Yuck. Credit the Dolphins defense, but Newton reminded us of his floor, getting benched in the fourth quarter of that game. As for McCaffrey, we've seen it once, we've seen it a million times. I actually compared him to Anthony Davis on the Fantasy Football Today DFS podcast. For anybody who follows the NBA and plays DFS there, you know how maddening both of these players can be. Both McCaffrey and Davis are special talents with the ability to single-handedly win you a slate. They also both leave games with injury way too often.

Ah well, on to Week 13. Onwards and upwards!

We're looking at an 11-game main slate this week with two totals at 50 points or higher: Chargers at Bengals and Bucs at Falcons. The Washington Football Team-Raiders game checks in just below at 49.5 points. We also have three double-digit spreads as of now with the Bucs -11 in Atlanta, the Colts -10 at the Texans and the Rams -13 hosting the Jaguars. Take a glance at the main slate player pool and you'll notice we're without the Chiefs, Bills, and Cowboys. All three of those teams are playing in prime time so we are without a little bit of firepower in Week 13. We're not completely void of superstars, however, leading to the first decision point in our lineups.

Who to play at running back this week?

It's not often we have too many players to use at running back on a main slate but here we are. There are legitimately eight running backs I really like on the slate, ranging from $5,400 on the low end all the way up to $9,200 over on DraftKings. To no surprise, Jonathan Taylor represents the high-end of that range, is the most expensive player on the slate and rightfully so. He now has at least 95 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in nine straight games. Taylor leads the NFL with 1,205 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. No other player is over 1,000 yards yet. He also leads the NFL with 70 red-zone opportunities. Leonard Fournette is next closest with 51, just a massive discrepancy. On top of all that, this is an absolute smash of a matchup. The Texans are allowing 4.8 yards per carry to running backs, the highest mark in the NFL. The only problem with Taylor is that he's projecting to be highest owned player on the slate. He's somebody who makes sense in cash games, but you might want to look elsewhere in tournaments.

I mentioned there were eight running backs I really like. Here are the four priced over $7,000 on DraftKings if you're looking to spend up:

The other four I'm targeting are at $6,000 or less. My two favorites in this group are Antonio Gibson and Jamaal Williams. Gibson is coming off career-highs in both carries (29) and receptions (7) last week and it looks like J.D. McKissic is going to miss this game. That's 15% of the target share gone from their offense and third-string running back Jaret Patterson does not project well in that McKissic role. Give Gibson all of the touches he can handle. The Raiders are also allowing the fifth most Fantasy points to running backs over the past four weeks of the season. As for Williams, he's just too cheap with D'Andre Swift expected out. Williams handled 20 touches with Swift banged up last week, including five receptions. We know Jared Goff will dump off to his running backs and Williams is a more than capable pass catcher. Are you having trouble deciding which running back to play? Let my buddies from Fantasy Football Today DFS help you out:

"I just think Gibson is in for such a giant workload and this is a Washington team that is very motivated… They need to win every single game and Gibson I think is going to be the key to get them there," said Sia Nejad. He wasn't the only one, however. "I think if McKissic is out, Gibson projects almost as well as Najee Harris and Leonard Fournette. I think he's just an every lineup smash play," said special guest Jacob Gibbs.

Here are those four running backs at $6,000 or less:

Figuring out stacks this week

As I mentioned earlier, we're without some elite quarterback talent on this main slate. It has made finding stacks a little harder than usual this week. Before I get into who I like, let me just spread a word of caution on this Chargers-Bengals game. The last time the Chargers traveled east for an early start, they lost 34-6 against the Baltimore Ravens. Plus, both secondaries in this game have played relatively well this season. There's definitely a chance this blows up in my face, but I'm a little more nervous about this one. I'm not completely avoiding stacks here, but they aren't my favorite. One of my main stacks will be Derek Carr with Hunter Renfrow and/or Foster Moreau. Carr is priced at just $6,000 on DraftKings and has the best matchup on the slate. It's also easier to figure out which players to stack him with when you consider their injuries. Darren Waller is likely out and DeSean Jackson missed practice Thursday with a calf injury. Renfrow leads the team with a 22% target share since Week 9 and Moreau went 6-60-1 receiving when he filled in for Waller back in Week 7. The Raiders are a stack I like quite a bit and even one I am considering using in cash games this week.

Here are the stacks I'll be targeting in Week 13:

We don't talk about tight ends often enough here, but maybe we should.

Handling the tight end position

You likely don't need me to tell you this but I just want to caution you on Foster Moreau. He's extremely cheap and sets up for a similar role to Darren Waller, assuming he's out. As a result, Moreau is going to be very popular this week. I have absolutely no issue using him in cash games this week, but I'd recommend getting different in bigger-field tournaments. If you're looking to spend up at the position, I do like George Kittle as a one-off in that game. Drop down a little further and you find Gronkowski, who I like stacked with Brady. Drop down a little further and we get to Dallas Goedert and Pat Freiermuth, who are separated by just $100 on DraftKings this week. Goedert let us down last week, but he's facing the Jets. Enough said. Freiermuth has a fantastic role in the Steelers offense right now, especially with Eric Ebron on Injured Reserve.

If you need pivots off Moreau in his price range, I don't mind Jack Doyle at $3,300 or James O'Shaughnessy at $2,600. Doyle went for 6-81-1 last week and has one of the better matchups for tight ends going up against the Texans. Unfortunately, our boy Dan Arnold went down with injury, but O'Shaughnessy played a bunch in his place. He was on the field for 81% of the offensive snaps and ran a route on 36 of Trevor Lawrence's 45 drop-backs last week.

Here's a single-entry GPP lineup I've already built out for Week 13:

  • Derek Carr, $6,000
  • Antonio Gibson, $5,700
  • James Conner, $5,900
  • Hunter Renfrow, $5,800
  • Justin Jefferson, $8,200
  • Diontae Johnson, $6,800
  • Foster Moreau, $2,700
  • Jamaal Williams, $5,400
  • Cardinals DST, $3,400