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The A List at DFS Academy | NFL DFS Week 13

Welcome to the NFL DFS Week 13. Anyone else still hungover from last week? No, not that type of hangover. I mean the socialization hangover. You know, the one you get after spending too much time with family and friends, particularly around the holidays. You get back home from a weekend of events and meals, only to realize you’re behind on housework and work and have seemingly no motivation to tend to either.

Yea, that’s been me this week as well. And what better way to cut loose and relax than another week of DFS Cash plays? You may be behind in your preparation for the Sunday slate, but I’m here to get you caught back up to speed and ready to win some money. 

My DMs are always open for feedback and questions on Twitter and Instagram at @Austin_FFL. 

Cash is in session.

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NFL DFS Week 13

NFL DFS Week 13

Teacher’s Pet

Travis Kelce (DraftKings: $7,900 / FanDuel: $8,400)

If you’ve followed me closely this year, you’ll know I typically punt at tight end. I tend to feel that spending the money elsewhere is better and hope whichever tight end you selected falls in the end zone. However, I’ve started to change my tune, as my lineup feels much more secure with Travis Kelce in them. And while it shouldn’t take much convincing why, I’m going to belabor the point anyways.

Travis Kelce is the 11th-best player in DraftKings scoring. Yes, the best player. Including quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. He has more points than Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Justin Fields, and Cooper Kupp. He has 100 more DraftKings points than Mark Andrews, who is the second-highest-scoring tight end of the season. So ya, I’ll be looking elsewhere for my punt plays for the foreseeable future.

Honor Roll

Trevor Lawrence (DraftKings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $7,500)

The 2021 number-one overall pick has been up and down throughout this season but has started getting rolling over the past several weeks. In DraftKings scoring, Lawrence has been QB8 since Week 9, even while having a bye week. 

Now he gets the Detroit Lions, who have given up the most points to opposing quarterbacks, and have been especially bad since Week 9, averaging over 30 points allowed. In fact, Daniel Jones threw for 300 yards against them. I feel fairly confident that Lawrence is a better passer than Jones (and has better receivers as well), so look for him to succeed in this matchup that has the highest line on the slate.

David Montgomery (DraftKings: $6,200 / FanDuel: $7,000)

David Montgomery has started trending upwards since Khalil Herbert was placed on injured reserve. With Herbert out, Montgomery has little competition for touches outside of Justin Fields. Over the past couple of weeks, his pass-game usage has started to return to typical levels, hitting four targets in each of the past two games.

As Chicago seeks to hold onto the record for the most wins in NFL history, they matchup against Green Bay, who have given up the second most points to opposing running backs since Week 9. Further, Montgomery is a free agent next year, so needs a late-year push to bolster his contract negotiations for next season. Time for Monty to cook.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (DraftKings: $7,100 / FanDuel: $8,000)

At this rate, there’s only one Detroit Lion I’m interested in having in my Cash lineups, and that’s Amon-Ra St. Brown. Sure, this offense is flashy enough for tournament lineups, but individual players are volatile enough to steer clear in Cash. Since Week 8, when St. Brown returned from injury in earnest, he has been the sixth-best receiver in DraftKings scoring, averaging nearly 19 points per game. 

Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars are giving up the 12th most points to opposing receivers, which isn’t eye-popping but significant given that St. Brown gets most of the usage. This matchup has shootout potential, with the highest total line at 51.5 points and a 1.5-point spread.

Deebo Samuel (DraftKings: $6,600 / FanDuel: $6,800)

The San Francisco 49ers seemingly have one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, with a plethora of talent. Because the 49ers have four players competing for high-value touches, it can be challenging to predict who will be successful on any given week. That said, Deebo Samuel has remained consistent in terms of his opportunities per game. 

Additionally, Elijah Mitchell is out for several games, which should increase Samuel’s touches as the 49ers continue to manage Christian McCaffrey’s load. Further, the Miami Dolphins can put up quickly, and if the 49ers get behind, they’ll need to rely on Samuel to keep them in this contest. And if Samuel ends up not playing (he’s currently listed as questionable), then Brandon Aiyuk is sitting right there at $6,100 on DraftKings and $6,700 on FanDuel. 

Check the Chalkboard

Austin Ekeler (DraftKings: $8,500 / FanDuel: $9,200)

What more can be said about Austin Ekeler? He continues to be the fantasy darling, in large part because he is effectively a wide receiver at this point. No, not in the sense that he lines up as a receiver. But if you just looked at his stat line, you’d start to ask questions. Ekeler ranks fourth in receptions this season, with 80 catches on 98 targets. He averages nearly two more catches per game than the next-best running back and has a nearly 21% target share. 

Further, this is an important game for the Los Angeles Chargers, with playoff implications on the line. And it should be a high-scoring, close affair, with a 50-point total line and 1.5-point spread. Add in the fact that Las Vegas has given up the fourth most points to running backs since Week 9, and this looks like a dream matchup.

Participation Grade

Kyren Williams (DraftKings: $5,200 / FanDuel: $5,500)

The Kyren Williams hype train has left plenty to be desired, as has the entire Los Angeles Rams offense. That said, I like Williams as a punt play this week. He has seen an increasing snap share week over week and has been the primary pass-catching back in this offense. 

Further, the Seahawks have struggled against running backs (see last week against Josh Jacobs), giving up the most points to opposing backs since Week 9. And that’s not just a small-sample-size issue. They have given up the second most points to running backs on the season. The Rams will almost certainly be playing from behind, which should mean even more targets for Williams. 

Back of the Classroom Studs

Mike White (DraftKings: $5,400 / FanDuel: $6,900)

Remember what Mac Jones did to the Vikings on Thanksgiving? Jones nearly threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns in that matchup. And while I believe Mike White still has to prove it, he has done enough to prove that he can take advantage of a positive matchup. Minnesota’s defense is a pass funnel, giving up the sixth most points to opposing quarterbacks since Week 9. White is cheap enough that this is an effective punt play.

Antonio Gibson (DraftKings: $5,200 / FanDuel: $6,100)

The Washington backfield provides a few cheap options at running back, allowing us to spend up elsewhere. My basic strategy this week is to take the cheaper back in this offense: Antonio Gibson on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

The New York Giants have given up the fifth most points to opposing running backs since Week 9, increasing the odds that both Gibson and Brian Robinson hit 15 points. That said, Gibson is both cheaper and sees more targets, and so is the safer floor play.

Garrett Wilson (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $6,600)

With Mike White at quarterback, Garrett Wilson has suddenly been brought back to life. And everything I said about White above applies to Wilson. In fact, Minnesota has been even worse against receivers, giving up the second most points since Week 9. Additionally, the Jets are three-point underdogs, so will be doing plenty of passing.

If you need to save even more space in your salary, Elijah Moore is only $3,700 on DraftKings and $5,700 on FanDuel. I love this matchup in what should be a close battle.

Christian Kirk (DraftKings: $6,300 / FanDuel: $7,500)

Again, the Detroit Lions have struggled against opposing pass games, giving up the fourth most points to receivers since Week 9. And while Christian Kirk had a down week last week, he still had nine targets. If he hauls in eight of those catches, he likely hits 100 yards, giving you the three-point bonus on DraftKings. I like his chances to bounce back this week and hit the over on Underdog, where his receiving line is at 64.5 yards.

Pat Freiermuth (DraftKings: $4,300 / FanDuel: $5,900)

Believe it or not, the Falcons have been better against receivers in recent weeks, ranking in the Top 10 for the fewest points per game allowed to opposing receivers since Week 9. However, they seemingly cannot defend tight ends, giving up the fifth most points to tight ends during that same time. At the same time, Pat Freiermuth is the leading receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers (wild, right?). Like I said earlier, I’m not looking for a full punt at the tight end position, and Freiermuth provides a solid compromise option. 

Denver Broncos (DraftKings: $2,400 / FanDuel: $3,700)

The defensive options this week leave plenty to be desired. I generally dislike paying up for defense unless there’s a juicy matchup. With nothing appealing to me this week, I’m spending as little as possible, and the Denver Broncos provide an intriguing option to save some money. 

They’re arguably the best defense in the league and have supported the Broncos, hitting the under in 10 of their 11 matchups. Further, the Ravens hit the under more often than not and have been known to give the ball away. I’ll take the cheaper option in what stands to be a defensive battle.

Tennessee Titans (DraftKings: $2,200 / FanDuel: $3,400)

Josh, don’t fire me, okay? Yes, I’m punting with the team facing the Philadelphia Eagles. This route is fraught with peril. But the Titans’ defense has been quietly consistent, not allowing an opponent to score over 20 points since Week 3 (two teams scored exactly 20 points). And in some ways, this matchup can be a “prove it” moment for both teams.

No one takes the Titans seriously, and the Eagles have faced the narrative that they have an easy schedule. I’m looking for the Titans to force some turnovers to bolster their chances to execute the upset on Sunday. 

Report Card

Scoring System

  • A: Scored over three times their price
  • B: Scored over two times their price
  • C: Matched their price
  • F: Scored lower than their price


Player Price Points Grade
Kenneth Walker $6,900 16.9 B
Lamar Jackson $8,000 24.06 A
Austin Ekeler $8,500 25 B
Jaylen Waddle $7,300 13.5 C
Curtis Samuel $5,000 1.3 F
Travis Kelce $7,300 15.7 B
Treylon Burks $4,200 17 A
Taylor Heinicke $5,300 12.42 B
Chris Godwin $6,000 32 A
Rachaad White $5,100 19.9 A
Michael Carter* $5,400 5.6 C
Trey McBride $3,100 1.1 F
Kansas City Chiefs $2,800 11 A
Carolina Panthers $3,000 11 A
Overall $77,900 206.48 B
Season Long $923,500 2378.44 B

*Left early due to injury


Player Price Points Grade
Kenneth Walker $8,400 16.4 C
Lamar Jackson $8,200 23.06 B
Austin Ekeler $8,800 19.5 B
Jaylen Waddle $8,100 11 C
Curtis Samuel $6,500 1.3 F
Travis Kelce $8,200 13.7 C
Treylon Burks $5,900 15 B
Taylor Heinicke $6,500 12.42 C
Chris Godwin $7,000 23 A
Rashaad White $6,400 15.4 B
Michael Carter* $6,200 4.6 F
Trey McBride $4,800 0.6 F
Kansas City Chiefs $4,900 11 B
Carolina Panthers $3,900 11 B
Overall $93,800 177.98 C
Season Long $1,106,000 2077.94 C

*Left early due to injury

Looking for more Week 13 NFL DFS plays with the best possible matchups? Our Weekly Matchup Report gives you that info every Wednesday.