Below I’ve got some position-by-position recommendations and commentary for week 12 DraftKings contests. But before we get to the individual players, let’s talk general roster construction strategy.
The type of roster you want to build depends on the type of contest that you’re playing in. If you’re playing in a 50/50 contest where roughly half of the contest entrants get roughly double their entry fee back, you want to play it somewhat safe. But if you’re playing in a big contest with a top-heavy payout structure (aka a GPP), you’re going to have to take some chances.
In GPP contests, I usually go cheap on quarterback and sometimes tight end so that I can get an elite option or two at running back and receiver along with other fairly high priced options. And if I’m going to go cheap on one of the RB/WR/FLEX spots, I’m going to do it with a receiver. Rarely will I take a shot on a running back since their value is so dependent on heavy usage. Significant changes in usage don’t happen often, so it’s hard to find significantly undervalued running backs.
In 50/50 type contests, I avoid the elite option or two at running back and receiver and get a more reliable quarterback to go along with reliable mid-priced backs and receivers. If there are enough value plays at back and receiver, I’ll buy one of the big two tight ends. And regardless of the type of contest, I’ll almost always go cheap at kicker and defense.
All that being said, below are a selection of players to choose from in week 12 DraftKings contests. There should be options at different price ranges to help you build a lineup for any type of contest.
DraftKings uses a PPR scoring system.
- If you don’t need to take a risk at quarterback, Colin Kaepernick is the best reliable option this week. The Redskins have allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and are the worst team in pass coverage according to ProFootballFocus. He’s got a ton of big point upside and not a lot of downside given that he should get a few fantasy points with his legs even if he doesn’t go off in the passing game.
- If you need or want to save money at QB, Mike Glennon and Eli Manning are your guys. I’m partial to Glennon because I like to pair QB/WR combos in GPP contests, and I think Vincent Jackson is a must start at his price. But you can pair Eli and Cruz for almost the exactly the same price if you like that combo better.
- Your absolute must start of the week in any contest type is Andre Brown. The matchup with the Cowboys is as good as matchups get. They’ve allowed the most fantasy points per game to running backs, and they’re a bottom five run defense according to both Football Outsiders and ProFootballFocus. I have him ranked as my #2 back for the week, and he has the 9th lowest cost per projected point among position players. It’s rare that you can find an elite option at such a good value. Of course it’s not all that rare this week as Zac Stacy is my #5 ranked RB and his cost per projected point is only $310.
- If you’re looking for a cheap option at RB (you probably shouldn’t be), Bobby Rainey is probably your best bet. The matchup isn’t great, but he may get quite a bit of usage. And if you happen to save enough money elsewhere to spend big at RB, go really big with my #1 back for the week, Jamaal Charles.
- Dwayne Bowe and Torrey Smith are about as cheap as I can recommend at receiver this week. You may be hesitant on Bowe as disappointing as he has been this year. But he’s got a great matchup. But Smith is a much more comfortable pick that I would recommend you make. But if you need the extra $200 to spend somewhere else, I could live with Bowe.
- Wes Welker and Josh Gordon are the nice mid-price options who should be priced among the elite. Of the two, Welker is the better play so long as he is healthy.
- As mentioned above, Vincent Jackson is a must start this week.
- There are a lot value plays at tight end this week, but John Carlson is just so much cheaper than guys like Greg Olsen and Garrett Graham. I took in all contest types this week. But if you can’t go with me on that one, I’d bite the bullet and spend big on Rob Gronkowski.