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FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Week 12 (2019)

by Matt Giraldi | @Mgiraldi | Featured Writer
Nov 22, 2019

Matt Ryan is among the top quarterback plays this weekend

Welcome to Week 12. This is the final NFL week with teams on bye, and there are some major powerhouse teams missing from the main slate this week in addition to the teams on bye (Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers).

With a plethora of elite options off the slate, it’s going to be tempting to dive deep into the player pool in order to jam your studs in your lineups. Remember to exercise some caution in that approach though, particularly in cash game lineups. Last week I made a comment of “Some times, bad players are bad plays.” It was directly referencing Kallen Ballage of the Miami Dolphins, however, after last week it also applies to Brian Hill of the Atlanta Falcons. Hill, thrust into a starting role and priced at an affordable $5,900 was very popular in cash games. How else were you going to get both Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas in your lineups? The underlying problem was the production simply wasn’t there, despite the Falcons absolutely dominating the Carolina Panthers, a team that has been gashed on the ground. Ballage burned me already this season and I had no desire to play Hill last week. While I suggested him as an option for cash games due to salary relief (and his 60+% ownership reflected that), I wanted stability and a safe floor. Hill gave neither despite leading the Falcons backfield in offensive snaps (60%), touches (16) and red zone carries (four). His 38 yards from scrimmage were putrid. Hill almost salvaged his day with a fourth-quarter touchdown but came up just short of the goal-line. Of course, hindsight is a pain. Sophocles perhaps said it best, “I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality, and then in retrospect.” As someone who only plays one lineup in my cash games, I opted instead for the combo of Josh Jacobs and Ezekiel Elliott at running back, which worked out fairly well. There was enough value elsewhere on the slate to still get studs at the other positions. As is the case moving forward (essentially since Week 3): Christian McCaffrey doesn’t need to be written about. If you can build a comfortable lineup with his salary, you take him. There’s some value this week that makes CMC very feasible. Again though, there’s no need to mention him. He’s the safest cash game play in the last few years. Here are some of the (other) players I’m targeting for cash game considerations in Week 12:

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Quarterbacks

Matt Ryan (ATL): $7,900 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Atlanta Falcons are suddenly looking like a good team after two consecutive dominant divisional wins. Up next is a home game against the Buccaneers, a team that Ryan has historically dominated himself. Over his last eight meetings against the Bucs, Ryan is averaging 325.75 passing yards and two touchdowns per game completing 70.86% of his passes. He’s thrown just three interceptions in that time span. His 8.3 yards per attempt and 8.99 adjusted yards per attempt in those eight meetings are both higher than his career averages.

The strength of the Bucs defense this season has been against the run. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Falcons have had little to no success on the ground. That’s been with or without Devonta Freeman too. The pass defense, on the other hand, has not been good at all. The Buccaneers this season have allowed six quarterbacks to throw for 300 or more yards. In the last four games, they’ve allowed 14 passing touchdowns and recorded only one interception. The Falcons have an implied team total of 27.5, the third-highest total on the slate. Priced as the QB5 this week on Fanduel, Ryan is a perfect high floor high ceiling option at quarterback.

Baker Mayfield (CLE): $7,500 vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have been a team to target in pretty much every single facet of fantasy football this season. Mayfield gets the Dolphins are perhaps the most important time period this season for the Cleveland Browns. If you haven’t been paying attention, Mayfield has suddenly started to look the part of his overzealous preseason prognostications.

Those three aforementioned games have been the only games this season where Mayfield hasn’t turned the ball over. He’s priced reasonably this weekend to warrant cash game considerations if you’re looking for a slight bit of salary relief.

Other notables

Russell Wilson (SEA): $8,200 @ PHI
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA): $7,100 @ CLE

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara (NO): $8,300 vs. Carolina Panthers
Kamara isn’t (Brian) Hill. Kamara isn’t Hill. Kamara isn’t Hill.

Now that we’ve established that, it’s time to lock and load Kamara into the lineups this weekend. The Panthers’ defense is giving up plenty of points to opposing running backs. The big reason why? Touchdowns. The Panthers have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL (15). In his three career games against the Panthers, Kamara has scored a touchdown in all three.

The lone PSA is that Carolina is actually allowing the fewest receptions to opposing backfields this season, which might slightly hinder the upside of Kamara. Emphasis on “might.”

Kareem Hunt (CLE): $5,600 vs. Miami Dolphins
I would advocate playing either running back from the same backfield, but the price difference is key here. Once again as mentioned with Mayfield, the Dolphins are bleeding fantasy points to every opposing position. For Hunt, however, he’s severely limiting Nick Chubb‘s upside in the two games since he’s returned from suspension. Per Warren Sharp, the Browns have run 25 plays in 20 personnel and 20 plays in 21 personnel over the last two weeks.

Hunt has seen snap counts of 38 (54%) and 39 (55%), respectively. Funny enough, however, is that Chubb has played 57 (81%) and 51 (72%) snaps in these two games. Chubb has 13.1 and 9.2 Fanduel points in those two games while Hunt has recorded 10.9 and 8.8 Fanduel points, respectively. Again, the difference between the two production-wise has been fairly minimal despite Chubb having 49 touches to Hunt’s 23 touches. The biggest reason is that Hunt has been heavily involved in the passing game, recording 13 receptions.

Other notables

Derrius Guice (WAS): $5,400 vs. DET (If Adrian Peterson is out)
Saquon Barkley (NYG): $7,900 @ CHI

Wide Receivers

Julio Jones (ATL): $8,400 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week Calvin Ridley was my preferred Falcon receiver. This week, however, I want Julio in my cash lineups. Much like the Browns’ running backs, this is a situation where both receivers are in play too from the Falcons. On the season, Jones is one of just seven receivers that has at least 1,000 air yards and a 35% market share of air yards. The #NeverJulio crowd need not show up for the Week 12 banter. Fire him up.

Mike Evans (TB): $8,000 @ Atlanta Falcons
Evans is another member of that exclusive seven-player air yards club Jones belongs to this season. The Falcons defense has played exceptionally well as of late, so there is a small bit of trepidation here in this play. However, Tyler Lockett and Michael Thomas topped 100 receiving yards against the Falcons and D.J. Moore had 95 receiving yards last week. Evans should continue to see a high volume of targets in what’s projected to be the highest total game on the slate.

Other notables

Jamison Crowder (NYJ): $6,500 vs. OAK
Allen Robinson (CHI): $7,500 vs. NYG

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz (PHI): $6,100 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Ertz finally made his presence known last week against the New England Patriots. With the final game of a three-game homestand on deck, Ertz is in a prime position to build off the last two weeks’ performance. This is particularly true if Alshon Jeffery is limited or unable to suit up.

On the season, the Seahawks are allowing the seventh-highest reception yards per game to opposing tight ends. Despite Dallas Goedert playing more than 75% of the offense snaps the last three games, Ertz is becoming the primary focal point of the Eagles passing game. In the last two games, Ertz has 18 catches on 22 targets for 197 yards and a touchdown. If you’re paying up for tight end, Ertz is one of the only “elite” options on the board.

Ryan Griffin (NYJ): $5,600 vs. Oakland Raiders
Perhaps the worst aspect of this slate is the fact that we have to roster a tight end. Seriously, there’s no Travis Kelce, George Kittle, or Mark Andrews. Evan Engram is likely out for the New York Giants. If you’re not paying up for Ertz, Griffin makes the most sense at the tight end position this week.

Over the last four games, Griffin has produced quality starts in three of them. With a total of 16 catches on 18 targets for 223 yards and three touchdowns, Griffin has emerged as a top receiving threat in the Jets’ offense. In that time span, he’s second on the team in receiving yards, fourth in receptions and targets, first in touchdown receptions and fifth in air yards. Thus far on the season, the Raiders have allowed six tight ends to hit double-digit Fanduel points. Expect high ownership though with Griffin.

Other notables

Tyler Eifert (CIN): $5,000 vs. PIT

Defense

New Orleans Saints D/ST: $4,900 vs. Carolina Panthers
The Saints are at home against a team that is turning the ball over and getting sacked. Over the last four games, the Panthers have allowed 18 sacks and thrown nine interceptions. They’ve had a total of nine three-and-outs in that time span too. In three of those games, the Panthers have failed to put up more than 16 points on offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST: $5,000 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Speaking of sacks and turnovers, the Bengals have been excelling at giving opposing defenses fantasy glory. The Bengals offense has scored more than 20 points once this season. Cincinnati has turned the ball over in all but two games this season, with multiple turnovers in six of their 10 games. Bengals quarterbacks have been sacked multiple times in all but one game and have not had a single game where they’ve kept their signal-caller clean.

Other notables

Atlanta Falcons DST: $4,300 vs. TB

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Matt Giraldi is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Matt, check out his archive or follow him @Mgiraldi.

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