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NFL DFS: Week 13 Best Bets, High Leverage, and Safe Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel

Tight end has been a tough position to figure out this season but Pat Freiermuth has been pretty reliable and has an appealing matchup.

After a bit of an abridged article last week, we return with our usual format for the NFL Week 13 best bets and daily fantasy (DFS) picks.

Lots on my mind, but I know this is already late, so I'm going to try and keep this opening short.

Week 13 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Teams on bye: Arizona, Carolina

This slate promises to be a very intriguing one. For one, we have only two teams on bye this week. We also have a bunch of matchups where you want to take the favorite, but there's just enough doubt that we need to consider the underdog taking it to them.

Finally, we have quite a few injuries wreaking havoc on the slate, providing some potential value plays as well as a slew of questions. But let's get to some of the things I am not questioning, including this week's best bet.

Best Bet Week 13: Micah Parsons, Myles Garrett, Maxx Crosby to all record 1+ Sacks Each (+600)

This is a FanDuel special. I don't typically suggest defensive bets in this space, so when I do, it's worth noticing.

In case you haven't been paying attention, all three of these players are in the top five in sacks this season. Nick Bosa and Matthew Judon are ahead of Crosby and Garrett, but that doesn't lessen what those latter two have accomplished. Parsons, Garrett, and Crosby have a combined 32.5 sacks between them. Obviously, the "possibility" of each of them doing it is very strong.

But let's break it down a little further, and start by looking at their matchups. Let's start with the easy one, the Houston Texans. They are allowing three sacks a game and that number gets even worse when you look more recently. They have allowed 4.7 sacks in their last three games, including five last week. Frankly, I would be surprised if Garrett didn't register a sack on Sunday.

According to PFF, Garrett leads the NFL in pass-rush grade (93.7) and win rate (26.4 percent) among qualifying edge defenders. In addition, he has a pass-rush win rate of 35.2 percent on true pass sets, which also leads the NFL. Garrett also has registered double-digit sacks for five straight seasons. If there is any doubt as to how good Garrett is, check out the tweet above. Closest to him however is Parsons.

Parsons' opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, has been better than the Texans of late, but allowing a league-worst 3.6 sacks a game this season. And remember Parsons is second in the league with a dozen sacks, only behind Judon. Parson gets even more lift from his team's scheme than Garrett does, but Parsons is the current leader to win DPOY for a reason. He's more than held his own against some of the best OL including but not limited to Christian Darrisaw, Jonah Williams, and Andrew Thomas. All three should be Pro Bowlers this year and let's keep it simple and say that the Colts have had trouble up front this season.

Finally, we have Crosby, who might have the toughest matchup of the three. The Chargers have only allowed two sacks a game this year, tied for the seventh-best rate in the league. However, cracks are definitely starting to develop in the Chargers' OL as they allowed four sacks last week and have also surrendered that many per game over the last three weeks. While the Chargers' OL is getting weaker, Crosby seems to be getting stronger. He has 4.5 sacks in his last three games. Those 4.5 sacks are part of his best year yet, as he has 10.5 sacks through 11 games.

I've got this bet as just under 20 percent likely to happen, thereby giving us a small sliver of value as well. It will be nice to root for some individual accomplishments on the defensive side of the ball. I have already placed a unit on this bet. Onto the DFS picks...

Safe Quarterback Week 13 Pick

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers (DK $6700, FD $7800)

I recommended Tua in this space last week and he responded well, but now finds himself even cheaper than he was last week, thanks to a tough matchup. But even Vegas isn't scared off by the matchup. This game has an over/under of around 46 points with the Dolphins having an implied total of around 21 points. Because I promise you, the Dolphins are going to pass the ball.

Yes, the 49ers are a top-10 team defense against the pass, but they are even tougher versus the running game. They are the league's No. 1 rushing defense. And who would you rather try to win with –Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. or Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle?

And let's not forget that Tua has 10 touchdown passes alone in the last four weeks and is averaging 317 passing yards in that stretch. Maybe Tua's ownership is lower than I expect, but he feels like a very affordable safe bet to me.

High-Leverage Quarterback Week 13 Pick

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins (DK $5700, FD $7000)

And then on the opposite side of this game is a very enticing option. Garoppolo hasn't posted more than 240 passing yards since Oct. 23 and didn't even notch 14 DKFPs last week. But I got faith in Jimmy G this week.

For one, Miami is surprisingly horrible against the pass this year. The Dolphins are the fourth-most generous team in the league when it comes to allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Garoppolo is also just one of 10 quarterbacks completing more than two-thirds of his passes. My bet is he completes quite a few more on Sunday.

Related: Week 13 Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for QB/TE/DST

Safe Running Back Week 13 Pick

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (DK $8000, FD $9600)

Let's get this out of the way – Deshaun Watson is not coming back this week to throw the ball 30 times for 300-plus yards. Against a lesser opponent, I expect the Browns to hand the ball off to Chubb again and again. And again. Chubb is averaging 18 carries a game and 20 carries this week might be too conservative of a floor.

And it's not like Chubb is some schmoe. He's averaging more than five yards a carry and has a dozen TDs already. Throw in the fact that Houston is allowing the most fantasy points to RBs and Chubb should be the anchor of any cash lineup. Perhaps GPP lineups too.

High-Leverage Running Back Week 13 Pick

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders at New York Giants (DK $5300, FD $6600)

Let's start with this: Antonio Gibson might not even play. Even if he does, I still like Robinson to provide a decent profit this week. Robinson scored last week and also had his first 100-yard rushing game. The Giants have a strong passing defense but are a middle-of-the-pack rushing defense.

I told you last week that in this very same space I liked Robinson to top 20 PPR fantasy points. It's far less of a slam dunk this week than last, but I think Robinson will do it again.

Related: Week 13 Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for RB/WR

Safe Wide Receiver Week 13 Pick

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tennessee Titans (DK $7800, FD $8100)

Am I missing something about the Titans? I feel like folks keep talking about their strong defense. Say what? Do folks realize they have given up the second-most fantasy points per game to WRs? 

Easy matchup or not, I wouldn't bet against Brown. He's averaging more than 75 receiving yards per game. I don't think I need to go into much detail convincing you to start Brown.

High-Leverage Wide Receiver Week 13 Pick

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions (DK $6300, FD $7500)

But I will dive into a little more detail on Kirk. 

The Lions allow the second-most DraftKings Fantasy points to the wide receiver position (41.5). They are also allowing 19.3 fantasy points on average to the slot position. Here is where I will point out that Kirk has 323 snaps out of the slot (51.2 percent) and he is on the field for a 27.4 percent target rate as well 24.5 percent target share.

I know many will flock to Zay Jones after his success last week. Kirk was out-targeted 14-9 by Jones last week. But it is worth mentioning that 70 percent of the fantasy points the Ravens allow to receivers are to those out wide. So we should have expected Jones to have a big game last week.

Despite not blowing up last week, Kirk still saw nine targets, which marks the fourth time in the past five games he’s eclipsed that number. Prior to last week, Kirk had posted back-to-back games with 20-plus DK points, and I expect him to get back on track this week to a team that ranks 31st in yards per pass attempt allowed and dead last in fantasy points allowed to slot receivers.

Safe Tight End Week 13 Pick

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons (DK $4300, FD $5900)

Week 12 was a little alarming, as Freiermuth saw his targets slip to only four. However, previous to that he had topped seven targets in each of the previous three weeks. I think it's worth returning to him this week, but on DraftKings in particular. Averaging more than seven targets per game on the season is more than almost any other TE.

That alone makes him a worthy cash consideration. Throw in the fact that Atlanta is allowing nearly 13 PPR points per game to tight ends and I really like the floor that Freiermuth offers, especially at his price.

High-Leverage Tight End Week 13 Pick

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions (DK $3000, FD $4800)

Engram has been a bit quiet the last few weeks and therefore has seen his price plummet. I don't disagree with his price dropping, but he is just too cheap given his potential upside.

He's still averaging more than four targets per game. And against a Lions team that is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends, Engram should return to the success levels he saw previously this season.

Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 13 Pick

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (DK $3900, FD $5000)

Kyle Allen will start again for Houston this week. And while he might be one of the better backups, he's still at that backup level. He finished with an acceptable line last week of 26-of-39 for 215 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. However, the box score falls short of telling the true story of how bad Allen and the Texans’ offense was.

If you couldn't tell from the Nick Chubb section, I think Cleveland runs roughshod over Houston this week. Take the easy pick.

High-Leverage Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 13 Pick

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (DK $3500, FD $3800)

The Chiefs are tied for fifth in the league in sacks. I'm happy to roll with the Chiefs at this price.

Other Cheap(er) Options I'm Considering In My GPP Entries:

QB: Mike White, Kenny Pickett

RB: Zonovan Knight, Kyren Williams, Kareem Hunt 

WR: Justin Watson, Drake London, Nico Collins, Trenton Irwin (assuming no Ja'Marr Chase)

TE: Hayden Hurst, Tyler Higbee, Foster Moreau

— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.