This is the time of year when we put what we are thankful for out in the universe, so I’m going to get sentimental for a second. I’m thankful to get the opportunity to watch Patrick Mahomes play football, I’m thankful to see Tua Tagovailoa thriving in an offense that plays to his strengths, and I’m thankful that NFL DFS exists.
Even with it being the week of Thanksgiving, there is always time to discuss NFL DFS and my favorite plays in cash games. Scoring was down in Week 11 as 108.52 points for my cash-game lineup on DraftKings was enough to easily be in the green in all of the double-ups I entered and 80% of the head-to-head contests I was in.
There are no teams on a bye week this week, though, there are three games on Thanksgiving that will limit the player pool for Sunday’s games. In what should be an interesting slate of games, here are my favorite cash-game plays for the Week 12 main slate on DraftKings.
Tua Tagovailoa vs. HOU ($6,900)
Speaking of Tagovailoa, the former first-round pick is excelling under Mike McDaniel in his first year with the new head coach. While injuries limited the left-handed quarterback earlier in the season, he’s scored 23-plus points on DraftKings in three straight games for the Dolphins and leads all QBs with a 0.63 PER. Even though the Texans have surprisingly been strong against QBs this season, I don’t believe they have the answers to slow down Miami’s efficient passing attack. You shouldn’t need me to tell you that Mahomes is certainly viable in cash games if you have enough salary.
Joe Burrow @ TEN ($6,700)
Another former first-round pick that is playing well right now is Burrow, who has posted 30-plus points in three of his last five games. Burrow has another fantastic matchup in a rematch of last year’s AFC Divisional Round game with the Titans being a pass-funneling defense. Tennessee’s defense is giving up the sixth-most points per game to QBs and the Bengals are expecting Ja’Marr Chase to return to the offense in Week 12. Even if Chase is limited, getting someone like him back on the field is never a bad thing.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. NO ($5,600)
While Garoppolo is the lone quarterback to make this week’s article that wasn’t a first-round pick, he’s playing like one right now. Garoppolo is playing mistake-free football and he’s coming off a performance in Week 11 against the Cardinals where he registered a season-best 25.4 points with four touchdown passes. The Saints have dealt with a handful of injuries on the defensive side of the ball this season and they have the fifth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL. If you’re looking to save salary at quarterback, Garoppolo and Tom Brady are the two quarterbacks I’d consider.
Kenneth Walker vs. LV ($6,900)
Since Rashaad Penny went down with a season-ending injury in Week 5, Walker has become an absolute workhorse for the Seahawks. The rookie back has received 16-plus touches in each of his last five games and his floor is solid as he’s tallied 12-plus points in each of those five games. After posting only 13.2 points in Week 10 against the Buccaneers, Walker gets a nice matchup with the Raiders in Week 12, who are allowing the fourth-most points per game to RBs thus far. With the value that is available in Week 12, there are also ways to get Austin Ekeler or Christian McCaffrey into your cash-game lineups.
Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. HOU ($5,900)
There are a couple of salary-relief options in Week 12 and one of those is Wilson. In his first two games since joining the Dolphins via trade, Wilson has scored 16-plus points in both games even though he’s sharing touches with Raheem Mostert. Wilson is the preferred running back on the Dolphins as he’s been given 31 touches compared to Mostert’s 21 in the last two weeks. The Texans surrender the most points per game and the second-most yards per attempt to RBs this season.
Latavius Murray @ CAR ($5,000)
The Broncos released Melvin Gordon earlier this week, leaving Murray as the de facto starter at running back, at least for the time being. The veteran back received a team-high 21 touches in Week 11 versus the Raiders as he scored a season-high 17.2 points. With the Broncos not really having anyone else to command a decent number of touches at running back, Murray should see around 20 or more touches in Week 12 against a Panthers defense that is giving up the eighth-most points per game and yards per attempt to RBs this season.
Tyreek Hill vs. HOU ($8,800)
Stacking isn’t essential in cash games, so you don’t need to feel obligated to force in one of Tagovailoa’s wide receivers if you use him in cash. Regardless of who I end up using at quarterback, I’m going to try to fit in either Hill or Jaylen Waddle, especially with the value we have available in Week 12. Hill owns a 29.9% target share (third-highest among WRs) and he provides us with a fantastic floor and ceiling at his expensive salary. While the Texans have been strong against WRs thus far, slowing down Hill is easier said than done and I expect the speedy wideout to begin adding to his touchdown total, which is only at four right now.
Terry McLaurin vs. ATL ($5,800)
Playing a wide receiver on the Commanders in cash doesn’t feel great, but McLaurin isn’t going to have many better matchups than he does in Week 12 versus the Falcons. The big-play wideout has notched 18-plus points in three of his five games with Taylor Heinicke as the starting quarterback for Washington. Most importantly, McLaurin has seen seven-plus targets in each of his five games with Heinicke after having only two such games in the first six games of the year. Only the Steelers are allowing more points per game to WRs this season than the Falcons, so it’s tough to ignore McLaurin at a sub $6,000 salary.
Garrett Wilson vs. CHI ($4,300)
There are a handful of quarterback changes taking place this week, including the Jets benching Zach Wilson. Wilson has mightily struggled to move the ball in New York’s offense and get the talented wide receivers in the offense involved. Mike White is the new starter in Week 12 and that could mean great things for Wilson. The rookie wideout has fallen to $4,300 (his second-lowest salary of the season) due to Wilson’s woes under center, but it’s hard to see White performing much worse. Even if Corey Davis returns on Sunday, Wilson should see plenty of opportunities as the Jets want to see what White can bring to the offense.
David Njoku vs. TB ($3,600)
It was a quiet outing from Njoku in his first game back in Week 11 following a three-week absence. The former first-round pick caught only two passes for 17 yards against the Bills last week and he was absent from practice on Wednesday. If Njoku suits up on Sunday versus the Buccaneers, he’s in a prime spot to bounce back in Week 12. Tampa Bay’s defense is giving up the seventh-most points per game to TEs and if Cleveland is playing from behind, Njoku may be needed. Meanwhile, if Njoku is inactive, Harrison Bryant becomes a nice cash-game option on DraftKings at $3,000.
Foster Moreau @ SEA ($3,400)
Targets are certainly tough to come by on the Raiders if your name isn’t Davante Adams. But with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on injured reserve, Moreau has stepped into a starting role for Las Vegas recently. The ceiling isn’t high for Moreau, so I’m not interested in him in GPPs, but he’s seeing a solid 5.2 targets per game in his last five appearances. It also helps that the Seahawks are permitting the second-most points per game and the second-most yards per reception to TEs this season.
Carolina Panthers vs. DEN ($3,000)
When the Broncos acquired Russell Wilson via trade in the offseason, Denver’s offense was expected to be one of the best units in the NFL. On the contrary, they’ve been an offense to target in NFL DFS with opposing defenses as they’re recording a league-worst 14.7 points per game. The defense of the Panthers has posted nine-plus points in back-to-back weeks and they could easily make it three straight in Week 12.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. LAR ($2,800)
The Rams have endured an endless number of injuries this season and there’s a good chance that Matthew Stafford is sidelined in Week 12. Bryce Perkins would be the starting quarterback for the Rams in a road matchup with the Chiefs, making Kansas City an intriguing defense to use in cash games. Even though the Chiefs haven’t gotten many takeaways, they have the fourth-most sacks in the NFL, and the Rams are going to be shorthanded on offense with no Stafford, no Cooper Kupp, and a hobbled offensive line.