If you followed my Thanksgiving daily fantasy (DFS) football picks, to quote the great Adam Sandler, not too shabby! And on a related note to that, I'd like to wish a Happy Chanukah to all of my menorah-lighting readers before getting into the Week 13 DFS picks.
I know Sunday is also the last night of Chanukah, but I'm hoping we can earn you a little bit of gelt with my DFS picks before you light that last candle.
And no, I don't mean the chocolate kind that comes in the gold and silver plastic wrappers. I'm talking about actual cash.
And speaking of cash, that brings us to our weekly reminder that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. The first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites. And in week 13, there is some definitely varied pricing, but we'll get to that! For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
There's a bad joke to be made here about a potential Chanukah miracle, but I'll ignore it and get right to my Week 13 DFS picks.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tennesee
Safe Quarterback Week 13 Pick
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (DK $7200, FD $8100)
Suggesting that you should play Brady seems akin to suggesting you should live a healthy lifestyle. Sure, there are reasons not to do so, but why not? Okay, one of those reasons is his salary cost. But you can make salary accommodations elsewhere. There's no really good reason not to grab Brady and his league-leading 30 touchdown passes and 3,403 passing yards, which are second. Even the matchup is cake since Atlanta is giving up the second-most fantasy points to QBs this season. Easy cash game pick this week.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 13 Pick
Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (DK $5300, FD $7000)
Meanwhile, at the other end of the salary scale, you have the very affordable Taylor. Whether by air or by land, Taylor has at least two touchdowns in four of the five games he has started this year.
The Colts meanwhile are just a few spots better than Atlanta, having given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks at just under 26 points. If Taylor can give us anything close to that, he should provide plenty of profit and at likely very low ownership.
Safe Running Back Week 13 Pick
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers (DK $8100, FD $9400)
So Mixon is having a pretty good season:
But there is more than him just having a phenomenal season. For one, he could have even more yards but the Bengals rested him in the fourth quarter last week, making his 165 rushing yards even more impressive. Secondly, there were reports that after their bye the Bengals would feature Mixon more. And they have, having given him 58 carries the last two weeks.
Should he see another 25-plus carries, we should expect another huge day against the Chargers who are giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs. I definitely like Jonathan Taylor this week as well, but Mixon is about a grand cheaper and should give us nearly the same production.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 13 Pick
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings (DK $5400, FD $6500)
Williams is priced right in that mid-range with a lot of other attractive options around him like Antonio Gibson, Miles Sanders, and Myles Gaskin. That should help keep his ownership levels low, making him a high-leverage play.
For additional reasons why you should start Williams, see my Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em suggestions.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 13 Pick
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (DK $6500, FD $7100)
As I have previously stated, the Pittsburgh D is a shadow of what it once was. Meanwhile, Brown has half a dozen TDs on the year. Despite the emergence of Rashod Bateman, Brown still has 23 catches since the Ravens' Week 8 bye.
We'll take Baltimore's target leader and hope he scores against Pittsburgh for a fourth consecutive game.
High Risk/High Reward Wide Receiver Week 13 Pick
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (DK $4900, FD $5500)
But I do love the pivot to Baltimore's WR2, Bateman. With the Steelers allowing 37.26 PPR fantasy points per game to WRs (Tied for seventh in the league), there are plenty of fantasy points to go around.
Safe Tight End Week 13 Pick
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raider, (DK $4000, FD $5600)
I discussed Thomas early in the week in my Week 13 TE Rankings. Sometimes my opinion changes between Monday and the end of the week. This is not one of those times. I still love Thomas this week and I expect to him outproduce at least half of the TEs priced above him.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 13 Pick
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers (DK $3200, FD $5200)
He's obviously priced lower on DraftKings, but even proportionally Uzomah is a much better buy on DK than FD. However, even on FD I might be willing to pay the price. Only four more TEs have more touchdowns than Uzomah's five. And he's a good bet to score any week. However, I really like his chances to do so this week against the Chargers, who along with the Eagles, have allowed 10 scores to opposing TEs, the most of any team.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 13 Pick
Los Angles Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $4000, FD $4900)
I didn't see this Tweet until late Friday night, but it made me smile.
Gaines is one of the more unheralded players on Los Angeles' defense. I am sure he and the rest of the Rams will be pumped after laying waste to the Jaguars on Sunday.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 13 Pick
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants (DK $3300, FD $4000)
Daniel Jones is out this week and Mike Glennon will start in his place. I could have just stopped there. And I do think Glennon is better than his reputation. But even in his best year, he still averaged barely more than a TD per game.
This is going to be a low-scoring game. The Giants D might be able to keep New York in the game. But if not, this game could get real ugly for the G-Men real quick. And the biggest beneficiary will be the Dolphins' D.
— 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.