Friday - Dec 9, 2022

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DFS GEMS: Week 12

Thanksgiving is upon us which means a day full of friends, family, turkey and the greatest gift of all – a three-game daily fantasy slate! Detroit, Buffalo, Dallas, the New York Giants, Minnesota and New England are all off the main slate as they provide our Thanksgiving entertainment. With Philadelphia, Green Bay, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh occupying the Sunday Night/Monday Night prime time slots we’re left with an 11-game main slate featuring eight games projected for 44 total points or less. Ownership is likely going to pool around the late afternoon contests but there are always gems to be found!

Thanksgiving isn’t all about football, of course, so we’re going to keep this week’s edition of DFS Gems short and sweet. Be sure to take the time to be with your friends and family, call those you can’t be with, and be sure to reflect on things you are thankful for – especially Josh Allen dunking on Detroit!


Fresh off a rare four-touchdown performance, Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600) is a prime candidate to regress to his usual output levels. His quarterback matchup along with the matchup for his wide receivers, specifically on the perimeter, presents an interesting value opportunity.

If Garoppolo is a little too spicy for your Week 12 pallet, his former teammate, Tom Brady ($5,800) looks like a solid play coming off the bye. This game lines up well for both sides of the ball and Cleveland can certainly put up a fight. There are a handful of games that should outperform their current projected point totals and this looks like it could be the first one out of the gate.

Joe Burrow ($6,700) continues to look impressive, with or without Ja’Marr Chase who might be back as early as this week. Coming off a four-touchdown outing, he’ll be heavily rostered but could easily be the QB1 on the slate with a ceiling projection of 31.7, fourth among quarterbacks and the highest ceiling of any sub-$7,000 quarterback on the slate.

The most expensive quarterback I’m willing to reach for this week is Justin Herbert ($7,000) as his receivers have excellent matchups and the fact that Mike Williams is likely out this week helps us focus our stacking options. I’m expecting Herbert and Burrow to be among the highest-owned quarterbacks but again the ceiling is there and both players present a value just south of the elite-priced passers this week.

Running Backs

Kenneth Walker III ($6,900) jumps off the page this week facing the 29th-ranked rush defense when Seattle hosts Las Vegas in the late afternoon window. With the volume he receives and two 30-plus point outings in his last four contests, he just makes too much sense to pass on despite the projected ownership.

There are some backs up at the top of the expense sheet this week but I don’t think we need to reach for them this week aside from Austin Ekeler ($8,500), whose game script-proof status makes him one of the safest investments despite the price. This game against Arizona and its 20th-rated rush defense could be a blowout or a shootout. Either way, Ekeler will be heavily involved.

On the other side of the ball, James Conner ($6,600) has equal usage security after the surprising release of Eno Benjamin. Conner is currently dominating snaps among Arizona running backs and should have ample opportunity to exploit the league’s third-most generous run defense.

As we dig deeper down the trough, Jeff Wilson remains one of the best values on the slate. With Raheem Mostert not practicing, Wilson is likely going to be pretty chalky this week but the matchup is simply too good to pass on. Get unique elsewhere, Wilson is my lock of the week with Miami favored 13 at home.

If you get really strapped for cash, Rachaad White ($5,100) is very interesting if Leonard Fournette sits. Fournette is still recovering from a hip issue and is at risk to sit this game out against the 31st-ranked Cleveland rush defense.

Lastly, Isiah Pacheco ($5,500) appears to finally hold the reigns in Kansas City and while the matchup isn’t great on paper, he’s a real home run hitter. With Kansas City heavily favored, this could be the week Pacheco pays off on the hype. I’m all-in at the price with Kansas City favored at 14.5 as of this writing.

About David Olivarez

David has been writing fantasy football content steadily since 2012 on the web and has been a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association since 2014. He focuses on Daily Fantasy Sports and Trade Analysis. Feel free to ask him questions on Twitter!