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Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 12

By Paul Wilson in Sports
| November 27, 2015 12:00 am PDT
National Football League Wilson Football

Things may not have gone as planned for many this Thanksgiving. If you’re a Panthers fan, sure, 11-0 and 60 minutes of slapping the Cowboys around went about as good as you could have hoped. The same goes for the Lions crushing the Eagles. But Dallas fans can’t be happy about the loss of Tony Romo, Green Bay fans can’t be excited about losing at home to the Bears and Chip Kelly and co. seemingly can’t be excited about anything at all right now.

Odds are if you started out the daily fantasy football week with a Matthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson pairing, you’re doing pretty well. But there is still a lot of football to be played and you still may need to find that extra edge through Sunday and Monday’s games. There are definitely some positional matchups to exploit, so let’s hone in on them and see a few spots you may want to target as the week rages on:

Brian Hoyer and Texans Passing Game vs. New Orleans Saints Pass Defense

I know, putting your trust in Brian Hoyer isn’t exactly fun but he’s back this week and he actually had been on a bit of a tear before getting concussed two weeks ago. A tear, as in five straight 17+ fantasy point outings before getting knocked out of his week 10 game. Hoyer is far from perfect, but he has a nice 13:4 touchdown to interception ratio on the year and gets a really bad Saints pass defense at home. New Orleans isn’t just bad against the pass, either. They’re atrocious. In the past four weeks, just three other teams have given up more production to wide receivers per game and no team has given up more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. This is a defense that allowed six passing scores to Eli Manning and four to Marcus Mariota. They even made the Eagles look good a few weeks ago. Hoyer could easily face plant as he was one to do in Cleveland, but he still has DeAndre Hopkins and this matchup is simply sublime. The best part is the risk is insanely low for Hoyer, who is the minimum ($5k) at DraftKings this week.

Chris Ivory vs. Miami Dolphins Run Defense

Ivory has been a mixed bag over his past four games. Twice during that span he’s been held under 10 fantasy points and at no point during those last four games did he manage 20+ fantasy points. An elite running back, he hasn’t been. But a quick glance suggests disaster, while a closer look tells us two of those games were on the road and all four contests were fairly tough matchups for one reason or another. This week? Not so much. Ivory gets the soft Miami Dolphins run defense, who he abused in South Beach back in week four to the tune of 166 yards and a score on 29 carries. While Ivory has the talent and the matchup for week 12, it’s where he’s playing that has me excited. He’s at home, where on the season he’s been a total beast (22+ fantasy points per game). Everything is working in Ivory’s favor this week, and at DraftKings he even remains a stellar value ($5.8k). There’s little reason not to test the waters in this matchup.

Russell Wilson and Seahawks Passing Game vs. Steelers Pass Defense

It’s true people could be a bit more on Russell Wilson this week, as he did crush last week with his best fantasy outing of the year (25.4 fantasy points). That was against the 49ers, though, so hopefully most people will pay more mind to the rest of 2015, where Wilson was pretty pedestrian. I’d love that, since I’m game for seeing if Wilson can keep the ball rolling at home against a suspect Steelers secondary. Suspect could be putting it lightly, too, since the Steelers are a bottom five pass defense against wide receivers over the past four games and a bottom five unit against tight ends on the year. They don’t get completely destroyed by quarterbacks, but they do give up 17+ fantasy points to the position on average. Add in Wilson’s confidence boost and superior home game averages (19 fantasy points per game), and I’m digging Seattle’s passing game this week. Oh, and Marshawn Lynch is out for the second week in a row, which by default could inflate Wilson’s numbers.

Jordan Reed vs. New York Giants Pass Defense

Few tight ends are as steady as Jordan Reed and also offer insane upside. Reed is dealing with a mild knee sprain heading into week 12, but he could be good to go for a dreamy matchup against the New York Giants. If healthy, we’re talking about a tight end that has no fewer than 9.6 fantasy points in any game but one in 2015 – and the only time it happened, it was a game he exited with injury! Kirk Cousins loves targeting Reed and we saw him catch six balls last week for a fifth time on the year. That’s all great, but it gets even better. Reed averages over 17 fantasy points at home on the year (the game is in D.C.) and he faces the Giants, who he dropped a strong 6-96 line on in a previous meeting on the road this year. Oh, and the G-Men are second worst against the tight end position on the year and second worst over the past four games. That tells us Reed has a trifecta this week of role, talent and matchup. It’s going to be hard to hate on that at a solid $5.1k price.

Are there more matchups to exploit? There always seem to be, and a lot of them end up being ones we unfortunately never see coming. However, these four matchups are a solid starting point, as these players could specifically find success, or other teammates of theirs could have solid outings based off the opponent’s rating. After a shaky week 11 in terms of daily fantasy football production, I have a feeling the league gets back on track with some big performances and a few high-scoring games. We already got a taste of it in one-sided affairs on Thursday, so buckle up for a bumpy ride the rest of the week. As always, good luck to all who play daily fantasy football in week 12!



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