Week 13 optimal DraftKings lineup: Mitchell's time to shine
After a Thanksgiving hiatus, we’re back in action for Week 13 to help you put together a tournament-winning lineup on DraftKings.
Below you’ll find my optimal DraftKings lineup for Week 13’s main slate — tournament edition.
QB: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($6,300)
Wilson is the 11th-most-expensive option on the main slate, and before last week’s clunker, he had strung together three straight weeks with top-seven DraftKings performances. Up next are the Carolina Panthers, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this year. Seattle is a touchdown favorite at home — two things you want to look for in a DFS quarterback. Additionally, despite his poor Week 12 showing, Wilson did gain 80 yards rushing. If he’s continues to rush more, it provides him with a desirable floor.
RB1: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears ($6,900)
If you can’t afford to pay up for Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson — and in this lineup, I had to pass on those players — then Howard is the next-best choice. He’s a good bet for 20-plus touchdowns, and he is easily Chicago’s most reliable offensive weapon right now. It’s a good home matchup for Howard against the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up (by far) the most fantasy points to running backs this year. Lock Howard in.
RB2: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers ($5,300)
I was hesitant to include Hyde at first, because the correlation between Howard and Hyde doesn’t seem optimal at face value. But neither the 49ers nor the Bears are favored in this game, and both Hyde and Howard are relatively game-script-proof — thanks to their use in the passing game — so I’m not too worried about it. Plus, our own Pat Thorman projects “elevated play volume” in this game.
Since returning to full health in the past two weeks, Hyde has touched the ball an average of 20 times per game. And while the Bears have been generally stout against running backs on the year as a whole, they have given up a rushing score in three straight games, and have given up over 100 yards on the ground in two straight.
WR1: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($8,700)
I’m convinced the Julio Jones will be on the millionaire-winning lineup on DraftKings this week, so I made sure to include him here. He has one of the best individual matchups of the week, and he seems destined for an 8-140-1 line — minimum.
WR2: Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints ($5,100)
Most people will want exposure to this Detroit-New Orleans game — in New Orleans — and I’m no different. However, I expect many people to go the Brandin Cooks and/or Michael Thomas route. I’m fading that crowd by jumping on Snead with this lineup. He has a dreamy matchup against Detroit slot man Quandre Diggs, who has given up the 12th-most fantasy points per route run to opposing wideouts among all starting corners this week.
Note that I don’t think Cooks or Thomas are bad plays this week. I just couldn’t fit them into this lineup.
WR3: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots ($3,600)
Given the Rob Gronkowski news, I expect Mitchell to be an extremely popular play this week. And at only $3,600, it’s hard for me to get away from him too. But I’m okay eating a bit of chalk with this pick — not only because Mitchell has proven himself to be a legitimate red zone threat in New England, but also because his individual matchup against Rams RCB E.J. Gaines is fantastic. Gaines has given up the seventh-most fantasy points per route run to opposing wideouts on the year, among Week 13’s projected starting corners.
TE: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks ($5,500)
I’m stacking Graham with Wilson in this lineup. Graham was my favorite tight end play of the week when I first examined the Week 13 slate, and my thought process hasn’t changed. The Panthers have given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Graham, meanwhile, has been a top-12 DraftKings tight end in seven of his past nine games, including six in the top 10.
Flex: Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions ($5,800)
Riddick gets me more exposure to the Detroit-New Orleans game. In the full-point PPR format on DraftKings, it’s always easy to make a case for Riddick. He has been among the 10 most-targeted running backs every week this year, except for Week 9. Additionally, he has displayed an impressive ceiling, having compiled three top-five DraftKings finishes on the year. Two of those games came in domed settings (at IND and at HST).
D/ST: Miami Dolphins ($2,600)
The Dolphins D/ST has finished 12th or better in DraftKings points five times this year, including in three of their past four and four of their past six. They are tied for the 17th-most expensive D/ST of the week, and we have them projected to score the second-most points thanks to their matchup against the lackluster Baltimore Ravens offense.