If you want to reach the top, you can’t be afraid to stir the pot every once in a while.
That’s decent life advice, but it’s better advice for daily fantasy football, where winning lineups often feature a few sleeper picks who came out of nowhere to put up big numbers.
Ideally, your lineup should feature a combination of both sure bets and deeper dives. With that in mind, here are our top plays and value picks at every position for Week 13.
Best play: Tom Brady, New England Patriots. Here are Brady’s stats in his last three games in Buffalo: 3-0, 1,142 passing yards (380.6 per game), 11 touchdown passes, zero interceptions. Case closed.
Value pick: Geno Smith, New York Giants. Wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts! Eli Manning’s perplexing replacement is an absolute bargain, and with good reason: He’s thrown exactly two passes this season. But the Oakland Raiders’ decimated secondary has allowed five touchdown passes in its last two games, and something tells us Smith will get to air it out Sunday.
Best play: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints. It’s not the juiciest matchup against a solid Carolina Panthers run defense, but Kamara is the hottest running back in fantasy right now, with 22 or more fantasy points in four straight games (PPR leagues). If you’re spending big, look here first.
Value pick: Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins. Don’t be scared off by the Denver Broncos’ defense, which has allowed 10-plus fantasy points to six different running backs in the last four weeks. With Damien Williams likely sidelined, Drake will have a great opportunity to rack up points in the run and pass game.
Best play: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. Jones probably won a lot of DFS matchups by himself last week, and there’s reason to expect an encore: The Minnesota Vikings’ top cornerback, Xavier Rhodes, allowed 109 yards and two touchdowns to Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones Jr. on Thanksgiving.
Value pick: Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars. Our patience with Westbrook finally might pay off Sunday. After amassing 16 targets over his first two NFL games, the rookie wideout could break out versus the Indianapolis Colts’ 30th-ranked pass defense.
Best play: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots. Like his quarterback, Gronk loves playing in Buffalo: The Williamsville, N.Y., native has 11 touchdowns in 11 career games at Ralph Wilson Stadium/New Era Field. As if you needed more proof why he’s the best tight end out there.
Value pick: Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals. “RSJ” has three touchdowns in two games since Blaine Gabbert took over in Arizona. He’s still a risky play, of course, and only has seven catches in that span, but if you’re going to roll the dice, why not do it here?
Best play: Jaguars. The No. 1 defense in fantasy gets a lovely matchup against the Colts, who just so happen to allow the most sacks in the NFL. Expect the Jags’ ferocious pass rush to make life miserable for Jacoby Brissett and Co.
Value pick: Dolphins. Denver’s offense hasn’t scored more than 20 points since Week 2. More importantly, it has a seven-game turnover streak and has surrendered eight sacks in its last two contests. The Dolphins have enough playmakers on defense to take advantage here.
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