DFS Week 12 tournament picks

WR CURTIS SAMUEL, CAROLINA PANTHERS

Just as the field was slow to catch onto Robby Anderson‘s emergence earlier in the season, it appears the field is overlooking Curtis Samuel’s role in the Panthers' offense. Check out Carolina's target breakdown over the team's past five games:


  • Robby Anderson: 31

  • Curtis Samuel: 30

  • D.J. Moore: 19

  • Mike Davis: 17

Mike Davis soaked up a large percentage of Christian McCaffrey’s workload during his first few games, but it's been Curtis Samuel as of late gobbling up those targets along with a handful of carries.

In his past five games, Samuel has racked up the following scores on DraftKings:

  • Week 11: 21.4

  • Week 10: 4.2

  • Week 9: 29.8

  • Week 8: 21.4

  • Week 7: 17.3

DraftKings refuses to raise Samuel’s price — he is at just $5,100 this week, compared to Anderson at $6,100, Moore at $6,200 and Davis all the way up at $6,900. I will gladly take the Samuel discount that should also come with lower ownership.

Additionally, Samuel appears to be the Panthers' preferred option when they're in scoring range. He leads the team with seven red-zone targets over that same five-game stretch (compared to five apiece for Moore and Anderson).

The Vikings' pass defense has allowed a whopping 22 touchdowns (second-most) this season, and I expect Samuel to hit pay dirt Sunday.

The betting market expects points to be scored in this game, giving it a healthy 51-point total and a short 3.5-point spread. There is definite shootout potential here, especially considering the explosive Vikings offense is willing to attack downfield with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.


WR DEVANTE PARKER, MIAMI DOLPHINS

DeVante Parker is quietly reclaiming the alpha role in the Dolphins' offense that led to him being a league-winner down the stretch last season. Over the past three games, Parker has an alpha-level 31% air-yard share and 26% target share. He is establishing himself as the clear go-to guy.

Parker is a beast working downfield — here are his receiving stats on deep balls of 20-plus yards downfield since 2019:

  • 17 catches (10th-most)

  • 551 yards (14th)

  • 6 TDs (fourth)

He has a juicy matchup against a Jets defense that was just shredded by Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Check out the production that the Jets' defense has allowed on deep passes of 20-plus yards downfield:

  • 5 yards per attempt (second-most)

  • 58% completion rate (second)

  • 6 TDs (fifth)

  • 130.8 passer rating (most)

Parker also has a positively rated matchup in PFF’s WR and CB matchup chart.

DraftKings priced Parker at $5,900, and he is unlikely to garner much ownership. He has legitimate smash 30-point upside in this spot.


RB WAYNE GALLMAN, NEW YORK GIANTS

The Bengals have arguably the worst run defense in the entire NFL:

  • 5.0 rushing yards per attempt (most)

  • 3.2 yards after contact per attempt (most)

  • 1,361 rushing yards (fourth)

  • 17% rate of runs for 10-plus yards (most)

In two of their past three games, the Bengals have allowed the opposing running back to crack 90 rushing yards and score a touchdown.

  • Antonio Gibson: 16-94-1

  • Derrick Henry: 18-112-1

Over the Giants' past two games, Gallman has 59% of their carries and a 57% snap rate. He also has four of their five rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line and six of the eight running back carries in the red zone. He is the clear go-to guy in scoring range.

Gallman is coming off a game against the Eagles where he turned 19 touches into two touchdowns and 19.0 DraftKings points. He is priced at just $5,000 this week and could easily smash his value with this cupcake matchup.

Going cheap at RB2 allows you to pay up for one of the studs at your RB1 spot or jam in a few high-priced wide receivers to chase even more upside.


WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

We are going a little off the board here with Demarcus Robinson. Andy Reid is an extremely sharp play caller, and he definitely took note of the Rams' pass-heavy game plan Monday night against this stout Buccaneers' defense.

The Bucs are a pass funnel, having faced 406 pass attempts (second-most) compared to 251 runs (sixth-fewest). Accordingly, expect the Chiefs to go full aerial assault mode with Patrick Mahomes and company.

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are the obvious plays, but we can gain some leverage on the field by going with Robinson, who sneakily has a real role in this offense. Last week against the Raiders, he was on the field for 87% of pass plays and saw eight targets for an 18% target share along with a sizeable 70 air yards.

We tried this strategy with Josh Reynolds a few weeks ago in the Rams' victory over the Seahawks, and it worked to perfection. There is a lot of underrated value in playing the ancillary receiving options on offenses that are expected to score a lot of fantasy points. And there is a real possibility that Robinson is able to post 50-70 receiving yards and a touchdown in this spot. That would crush his bargain $3,700 price tag.

Of course, nobody is expecting Robinson to outscore Hill or Kelce. However, the trio of Mahomes, Kelce and Hill are extremely expensive — we need salary-saving options with upside to fit in these studs.

Robinson can be played several different ways. You could use him as a cheap one-off for exposure to this game, chasing the possibility that Bucs versus Chiefs underwhelms relative to the massive 56-point total. Or you could fully attack this game in anticipation of a shootout — Robinson would make for a great pairing with one of Kelce or Hill to complete a double-stack with Mahomes. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you could even go with the full Chiefs onslaught.

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