Every week, when setting a DFS lineup (in this case on DraftKings where the below costs are taken from), managers rely on their studs to reward them and set the foundation to win money that week. But DraftKings sets budgets to limit managers on how many stars they can have. In order to succeed, while playing into DraftKings’ budgets, a manager must discover multiple sleepers week in and week out, who have the potential to break out and be week-winning players. There are three main aspects that factor into choosing bargain plays for managers’ lineups. The first is that player’s opportunity; when a bargain play has an opportunity it’s predicated on a player above them on the depth chart getting hurt or being limited, or that player has shown something to their coach and has earned a bigger role. The second is talent; even if a player has a decent opportunity, as a manager, if you don’t believe in the talent then you can’t be confident in that player. The third is match-up; bargain plays are the most appealing if that player has a favorable opponent. If they are playing a tough defense then it makes it tougher for them to break out that week.
Here are the bargain plays for Week 12.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts, $6,100
The QB position is very bleak this week when it comes to bargain plays, but Philip Rivers has been serviceable. Sometimes you just have to cover your eyes when he plays, and that throwing motion is never trustworthy, but at the end of the day he’s been producing. He had a decent fantasy game against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago, and the Colts will be facing the Titans again this week. The Titans defense has been struggling, and to make things worse, DE Jadeveon Clowney might miss the game. Rivers thrives when he has time to sit in the pocket and find his receivers, which should be the case in this contest. I’d trust Rivers if you’re trying to find a cheap QB option.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, $5,900
I’ve never seen a fantasy QB like Matt Ryan whose performance solely depends on if their star WR is healthy. Matt Ryan is a top 10 QB whenever Julio Jones plays and is a bottom 10 QB whenever he is hurt. Jones got hurt mid-game in Week 11, but has a chance to play in Week 12. The Falcons will be in another competitive shootout with the Las Vegas Raiders, where Ryan will be forced to throw the ball. Disclaimer though. Only start Ryan if Julio Jones is active. If he is not, you can make the switch to Derek Carr in this same match-up or Philip Rivers.
Wayne Gallman, New York Giants, $5,000
Gallman will be in all my lineups this week as he has had great games every time he’s alone in the Giants’ backfield. That will be the case again as Devonta Freeman is on the Injured Reserve. Gallman will also benefit from a positive game script as the Bengals are forced to start QB Ryan Finley who might be the worst QB in the NFL, meaning the Giants will control the game script by feeding Gallman. No other RB in this price range will have a workload similar to Gallman and I expect him to capitalize on that handsome volume.
Zach Moss, Buffalo Bills, $4,800
The Buffalo Bills running game has been a disgusting fantasy minefield, and prior to the bye, Zach Moss put up 2.7 fantasy points even though he was on the field for 53 percent of snaps. Yes, it was a disappointing output, but let’s look at the positives. In Weeks 9 and 10, Moss saw more snaps than Devin Singletary and I expect it to continue in that direction after the bye. In fact, I expect Moss to see an increase in snaps and would be surprised if he didn’t surpass the 60 percent snap mark. In a positive match-up with the Los Angeles Chargers, Moss will be heavily utilized as both a rusher and pass-catcher, which should lead to an exceptional fantasy game.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets, $3,500
I’m going to continue to suggest Denzel Mims until he pops off because starting him doesn’t hurt you at all. He never busts due to his heavy snap count that has surpassed 95 percent the past two weeks and his abundance of targets from Joe Flacco. So he offers a fine floor for his price and when a talented player like Mims is on the field the entire game, and sees numerous targets, that eventually leads to a complete breakout. The Miami Dolphins secondary has been decent this season, but I’m more worried about Breshad Perriman who will see the tougher CB match-up. Mims should benefit from a competitive game script and a hefty amount of targets. He’s going to pop off eventually, and I want to be the one to call it, but I really do think this is the week.
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts, $5,000
This has been a year of rookie breakouts, especially at the WR position. My bargain plays articles have been carried by rookie wide-outs such as Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, and many others. In Week 12, it’s Michael Pittman’s turn to show up and show out. We saw a breakout in Week 10 against the Titans as Pittman caught seven passes and turned it into 101 yards. That production scaled back this past week as Pittman faced a tough Packers secondary. In Week 12, Pittman has a match-up with the Titans secondary again, and I expect him to exploit them. Stacking Pittman with Rivers is a possibility as well, so don’t be afraid to do that. That is a risk I’m willing to take in order to afford Dalvin Cook against the Carolina Panthers.
Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers $3,600
Rule 86, or Rule 81 now: when Jordan Reed is in the game he’s in your lineup. With all the injuries and COVID complications going on in San Francisco, Jordan Reed might be the first target in the offense. After returning to full health in Week 10, Reed saw six targets, which he turned into five catches for 62 yards. Now he’s had another week to rest up and I expect him to be a huge part of the offense against a Rams defense that seems solely susceptible to the TE.
Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks, $2,900
In years past, the Seahawks TE has been valuable. The issue this year is that they had three possible options that don’t translate to fantasy success. Now, starter Greg Olsen has been placed on the IR, leaving the door open for a clearer picture at TE. Will Dissly seems like he’s in line to receive the bulk of the TE snaps and he has.
New York Giants, $3,200
Like I stated before, Ryan Finley might be the worst QB in the NFL, so this is a smash defensive play. To be fair, the Giants’ defense has been surprisingly serviceable in 2020 and they will put pressure on Finley and force him into multiple turnovers. I would not be surprised if they scored a defensive TD as well.