It looks like yet another week where Tom Brady and the aerial weapons on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be popular in NFL DFS. However, if you were someone that gained leverage on the people that were overweight on Brady and the pass-catching weapons of the Buccaneers in Week 12 by playing Leonard Fournette, you were probably in the green this past Sunday.
Gaining leverage somewhere can be advantageous in tournaments and it can simply be deciding to play the running back in a pass-heavy offense, or you could go with the lower-owned pass-catcher in an offense that is loaded with talent. There are other ways to gain leverage in tournaments, including stacking a quarterback with at least one of his skill players and then bringing it back with a player from the opposing team. Taking that into consideration, here are my favorite stacks and bring-back options in DraftKings’ Week 13 main slate.
TB: Tom Brady ($7,200), Leonard Fournette ($7,300), Mike Evans ($6,700), Chris Godwin ($6,600), Rob Gronkowski ($5,300)
It was a rare let-down week for Brady in Week 12 as he had a favorable matchup versus the Indianapolis Colts. Brady had just his second game of the season where he didn’t throw or score two touchdowns as it was Fournette that would lead the Buccaneers to a 38-31 victory over the Colts with four touchdowns of his own. I expect Brady to bounce back in Week 13 against an Atlanta Falcons team that is giving up the fourth-most points per game (20.16) to quarterbacks on DraftKings this season. Using Fournette to gain leverage over the people that use Brady and the wide receivers in Tampa Bay is viable again this week, but I’m also not against a Buccaneers onslaught as Fournette has seen 4+ targets in all but one game this season. It appears as if Antonio Brown is going to miss the next few weeks of action, making Mike Evans and Chris Godwin easy plays at sub $7,000 salaries. The last time Tampa Bay faced Atlanta — back in Week 2 — Evans and Godwin combined for 40.7 points on DraftKings. Rob Gronkowski led all pass-catchers on the Buccaneers with seven receptions for 123 yards last week and he’ll likely be finding the end zone soon.
Bring-back options: Cordarrelle Patterson ($7,000), Kyle Pitts ($5,600), Russell Gage ($5,300)
There isn’t much to like about the offense of the Falcons outside of Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts. Patterson would be my first choice if you’re looking for someone to bring it back with on Atlanta. The king of doing it all returned to his role of being the lead running back for the Falcons in Week 12, recording 30.5 DraftKings points. While the Buccaneers have a stout run defense, they do allow the third-most receptions per game to running backs. Pitts has been disappointing in recent weeks, failing to post 5+ receptions since Week 7. Even though Pitts is a supremely talented player, he’s in an offense that is having issues hitting their stride. Russell Gage would be the third-best option of the bunch as he’s combined for 15 targets and 28.1 points on DraftKings in the past two weeks.
LAC: Justin Herbert ($6,700), Austin Ekeler ($8,300), Keenan Allen ($7,500), Mike Williams ($5,700), Jared Cook ($3,100)
My favorite game to stack this week is going to be in the anticipated showdown between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals. You could make the argument that the Bengals are the better team to stack, but the Chargers operate at a faster pace, and I believe Justin Herbert gives me a slightly higher ceiling than Joe Burrow. Even in a game where he tossed two interceptions — including a pick-six — Herbert still finished with 24.7 points in Week 12. Herbert is also beginning to use his legs more in recent weeks, which gives us even more upside. Austin Ekeler is a dual-threat stud and is always a viable player to use when stacking with Herbert, especially with the Bengals surrendering the second-most receptions per game to running backs this season. Keenan Allen gives us a safe floor to work with on a full-point PPR site like DraftKings, and when he begins scoring touchdowns, he’ll be approaching 30+ points. Mike Williams has been hit-or-miss after a strong start to the season, but a couple of big plays and a touchdown are enough to pay off his salary of $5,700. While the Chargers utilize a few tight ends in their offense, Jared Cook remains the best option, and the Bengals have given up the second-most points per game to tight ends in the past four weeks.
Bring-back options: Joe Mixon ($8,100), Ja’Marr Chase ($7,000), Tee Higgins ($5,800), Tyler Boyd ($5,000), C.J. Uzomah ($3,200)
In the majority of my Herbert/Chargers stacks, I’ll be bringing it back with Joe Mixon. Not many running backs have seen a workload like Mixon this season. Just in the past two weeks alone, Mixon has touched the ball 62 times for 286 yards and four touchdowns, resulting in 62.6 points on DraftKings. After scoring 2+ rushing touchdowns in three straight games, Mixon now gets a Chargers defense that has surrendered the second-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL this season. Ja’Marr Chase isn’t putting up the gaudy numbers he was putting up earlier in the season, but he continues to be a big play waiting to happen. Speaking of touchdowns, Tee Higgins finally found the end zone for the first time since Week 2 in Week 12. Tyler Boyd is going to be hard to insert into lineups as long as Chase and Higgins are healthy. The same can be said for C.J. Uzomah, though Los Angeles does allow the third-most points per game to tight ends this season on DraftKings.
LAR: Matthew Stafford ($7,300), Cooper Kupp ($9,000), Odell Beckham Jr. ($5,500), Van Jefferson ($5,300), Tyler Higbee ($3,800)
I get it. Matthew Stafford and the offense of the Los Angeles Rams have sputtered over the past month, leaving much to be desired. Contrary to what some may believe about the Jacksonville Jaguars, they boast a solid run defense that is ranked 14th in rush DVOA. On the other hand, the Jaguars are the 32nd ranked pass DVOA defense, setting Stafford and the wide receivers of the Rams up for a prime bounce-back week. Cooper Kupp remains a steady option as he’s seen fewer than 10 targets just once this season, and he hasn’t scored a touchdown in three straight games, so there is reason to believe he could explode in Week 13. Odell Beckham Jr. looked more comfortable in his second game with the Rams in Week 12, hauling in five of his 10 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Van Jefferson is also seeing an expanded role with Robert Woods sidelined, seeing 6+ targets in each of the past five games. Tyler Higbee has been disappointing this season and the Jaguars are giving up the fourth-fewest points to tight ends in the past four weeks.
Bring-back options: James Robinson ($6,200), Marvin Jones Jr. ($4,700), Laviska Shenault ($4,400), Laquon Treadwell ($3,200), James O’Shaughnessy ($2,600)
Similar to last season, James Robinson remains one of the few bright spots for the Jaguars this season. Robinson is dealing with heel and knee ailments, but there aren’t any signs that he could miss Sunday’s game. Given the fact that Jacksonville will likely be playing from behind, all of their pass-catchers are in play as bring-back options. Marvin Jones Jr. is the most talented of the bunch, but he just hasn’t been utilized to his full potential yet. Laviska Shenault continues to disappoint despite the injuries at wide receiver for Jacksonville. Laquon Treadwell is an interesting salary relief option as he actually saw the second-most snaps of any wideout on the Jaguars in Week 12, only behind Jones. And with the injury to Dan Arnold, James O’Shaughnessy becomes a decent low salary tight end at $2,600 that caught three passes for 29 yards and a two-point conversion in Week 12.
CIN: Joe Burrow ($6,300), Ja’Marr Chase ($7,000), Tee Higgins ($5,800), Tyler Boyd ($5,000), C.J. Uzomah ($3,200)
Just because I didn’t list the Bengals higher doesn’t mean that I don’t like them this week. Once again, I’ll admittedly have a ton of players from the Chargers and the Bengals on Sunday. The only thing that gives me some hesitation is the fact that Cincinnati’s offense operates at the second-slowest pace in the NFL, so they’ve been efficient on fewer snaps. The Bengals only average 31.3 pass players per game (26th in the NFL), and with the Chargers having a putrid run defense, it might be another Mixon game. That being said, Burrow and the wide receivers in Cincinnati have proven they can produce with limited opportunities this season. Chase and Higgins are the two guys I’d focus on the most, while if you are someone that plays multiple lineups, I’d definitely make sure you have a lineup with Mixon to have exposure to the running game in case Burrow and the passing attack aren’t needed or if they struggle.
Bring-back options: Austin Ekeler ($8,300), Keenan Allen ($7,500), Mike Williams ($5,700), Jared Cook ($3,100)
Not much else needs to be said about the weapons on the Chargers that I mentioned above. Ekeler is a relatively safe option at running back due to him being glued to 18-20 opportunities a game and he’s scored a touchdown in all but three games thus far. At the wide receiver position, you can’t get much safer than Allen. While he’s never been a touchdown machine in his career, you would expect Allen to score more than the two touchdowns he currently has. It’s tough to trust Williams every week, but that’s what makes him a fantastic tournament option. Cook is the best tight end option on the Chargers, but beware of other tight ends from Los Angeles stealing targets from the veteran tight end.
BAL: Lamar Jackson ($7,800), Marquise Brown ($6,500), Mark Andrews ($6,000), Rashod Bateman ($4,900), Sammy Watkins ($4,200)
I was torn on having the Baltimore Ravens higher on this list, and by the time the main slate begins on Sunday, I might have more Baltimore than I expected. Lamar Jackson is the most expensive quarterback on the green site, but this week feels like a massive week for the former NFL MVP. Jackson is coming off an ugly outing versus the Cleveland Browns where he threw four interceptions. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without Joe Haden and T.J. Watt on defense, which bodes well for Jackson. Just two weeks ago, Herbert rushed for 96 yards on the Steelers, so Jackson could be in for a big day with his legs. Marquise Brown remains the No. 1 wide receiver on the Ravens, and he’s the big-play threat in an offense where Jackson is second among quarterbacks with 10 intended air yards per throw. Mark Andrews continues to be underrated and he’s basically a wide receiver in Baltimore’s offense but is priced like a second-tier tight end. Using Andrews is one way to get off of the Foster Moreau chalk. Rashod Bateman is growing into a prominent role for the Ravens as he’s seen fewer than six targets just once in his first six games. Sammy Watkins seems to be getting fewer opportunities with the emergence of Bateman, but you never know when Watkins could have an explosive performance.
Bring-back options: Najee Harris ($7,700), Diontae Johnson ($6,800), Chase Claypool ($6,000), Pat Freiermuth ($4,200)
Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson are two of the safest options at their respective positions due to their volume alone. However, Harris has been ceding more touches to other running backs on the Steelers in recent weeks, and he just saw a season-low eight carries in a blowout loss to the Bengals in Week 12. Johnson is my favorite bring-back option on Pittsburgh as Ben Roethlisberger loves to focus his attention on the dynamic wideout. In the past three weeks, Johnson has gotten 40 targets — that he turned into 23 receptions — so touchdowns are a bonus for him. Chase Claypool doesn’t excite me much, as he’s failed to show much consistency this season with Roethlisberger. Pat Freiermuth has scored five touchdowns in the past four weeks and when the Steelers get in the red zone, he appears to be Roethlisberger's go-to guy. There’s also the fact that the Ravens permit the fourth-most points to tight ends on DraftKings this season.