THE AMBUSH, WEEK 12
This article is not only intended to help YOU the reader out with your NFL DFS enjoyment for the week, but it’s also my Bible that I will rely upon each week to do my lineups, contest selection, bets, GIFs, angry twitter rants or whatever else I need for that given weekend of NFL action. You can expect this article to come out on Saturday’s as Friday nights are my grind time (… no, not that kind of grinding, cmon people …) to get this article done and ready for the weekend. I’m a big CFB player so Saturday’s are reserved for watching college football (or doing actual life stuff), but I will then come back to my article on Saturday night and make sure all my lineups and entries are set before eventually going to bed for the evening. You can expect me to not want to change a single thing on Sunday’s and I’ll likely not even want to answer any questions you have on Sunday’s. If you want the best time to get your lineups done, it should be Saturday night’s when you are reading this article.
Here’s a recap of what this article covers
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my MAIN lineup & what that is being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my SECOND tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my THIRD tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover my favorite weekly BETS for the weekend games.
- This article will cover who I feel is chalk and how it should be addressed.
- This article will cover all my NFL thoughts in one spot.
What are The Ambush plays? These are my plays that I feel warrant the most attention for a given week. It’s a mix of three types of players/teams each week. We’ll cover the stud you gotta have no matter what. We’ll cover the contrarian pivots. We’ll cover my favorite games/stacks of the week.
Heads up … There won’t be any Sunday morning updates this week. I will be down in New Orleans for the Panthers-Saints game.
Back by popular demand again, the weekly game by game quick notes…..
- TB vs ATL: Popular DFS game for good reason between these teams this week. Of note, the Falcons have two former Bucs HC on their staff (Morris, Koetter) and the Bucs have Arians who always did well vs Seattle Style Defenses, which of course Quinn has tried to run in Atlanta.
- SEA vs PHI: From the Sunday night game of the week to the 1PM spot. Should be a very entertaining game.
- MIA vs CLE: Hey cool, Jarvis Landry revenge game people will be celebrating.
- NYG vs CHI: Ew. Just has ugly football all over it but the RB should both get the ball every single snap in this game.
- CAR vs NO: Last time I saw these teams play in New Orleans I ran into Cam Newton at the hotel. He hasn’t traveled to New Orleans for a game since.
- DEN vs BUF: What the hell is this garbage?
- DET vs WAS: Imagine being forced to watch this.
- OAK vs NYJ: How many bad Heidi Bowl references will there be in this game?
- PIT vs CIN: Thankfully we don’t have to deal with the whole Ben sucks in Cincy thing this year.
- JAC vs TEN: I just want to say that as much as I love the Texans-Colts when they get together, I equally hate when the Jaguars and Titans play. This has to be a bottom 5 divisional match-up each year in my books and the sad part is the games are usually a little competitive at least. But my god name two more depressing in division matchups that dont involve the Redskins?
- DAL vs NE: It is week #12 and Brady wears #12 obviously. Narratives folks!!!!
WEEK 12 AMBUSH PLAYS
This is his game to shine and I have him winding up as the RB1 for the entire weekend as a little icing on the cake and that really should not come as any shock as there’s plenty here going in his favor. First off, he’s drawing the match-up that I/we have been hammering for the past month plus and that is go after the Panthers rush defense when they are on the ROAD and as you saw last week they were able to limit a terrible backup RB in Brian Hill at home. They won’t have that luck this week against the Saints combo of AK41 and Latavius Murray and in the case of Kamara we saw the rust from his injury lay-off break last week as he averaged nearly 5 YPC against a very good Tampa rush defense and was the Saints #1 receiving taret — which is really why I went heavier on him as Sunday drew closer last week. The only thing missing were the touchdowns and he had one called back due to a Jared Cook hold, so there’s zero reason to be concerned with him not getting red zone touches at all as he has proven over the years to be an elite red zone threat. Kamara has not scored a touchdown since week three against Seattle when he found the end-zone multiple times. That streak ends this week and to cap it off he’s getting a CBS game with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo. What you say??? Why does that matter!?!?! Well, it just doesn’t, but in 7 career CBS games Kamara has 10 touchdowns including 7 in the last 3 on CBS — all of which were done by everyone’s friend Jim Nantz and favorite Corona hotline master Tony Romo. So yeah, you want random narratives in the AMBUSH? We just gave you one. AK41 is going to score twice, catch plenty balls and be the star RB in this game.
AMBUSH PLAY #1: The touchdown God’s will shine on Alvin getting two and leading the way for the Saints offense.
LOOK!! BEANS, GREENS, POTATOES, TOMATOES, LAMB, RAMS, HOGS, DOGS, CHICKENS, TURKEYS, RABBIT! LETS EAT THAT W. SOUTHERN COOKIN GAME OF THE WEEK
We stay in the NFC South with the DFS game of the week between Tampa and Atlanta. There’s no doubt this game should gain the highest QB-WR ownership this week as the Tampa Defense has been atrocious all year long and Atlanta despite two good weeks in a row will still be a nice target to pick on for a few reasons which I can outline below for you on how to attack and deal with this game. But first, let’s actually do some REAL analysis and background on this game. Why is the game so popular and how can it be a shootout? On the Tampa side they are very stout against the run and although New Orleans mauled them up front to do well last week on the ground, they’re not gonna have as hard of a time against an Atlanta rushing offense that hasn’t existed all season and doesn’t have a true work horse #1 RB to exploit a good rush defense. So this means Atlanta’s best bet to move the ball is gonna be through the air and Matt Ryan will certainly have a hard time NOT getting over 300 yards passing this week. So we know what we get on the Atlanta side, it’s just a matter of how they do in the red zone and what pace they try to play at.
For Tampa, the ground game should have some success, but Tampa plays at such an aggressive down the field pace that Jameis Winston will put up numbers every week — even when he has zero time to throw like last week and ends up just chucking the ball straight into the ground half the time. The guy still got close to 20 fantasy points on FD with four INT’s and his history against Atlanta should prove as further reason to like him to find a way to get his this week as well. But there’s more! Who does the Atlanta defense typically try to resemble? Seattle! They want to play fast and aggressive under Dan Quinn. Who has had the most success against Seattle type defenses over the years? Bruce Arians. The Atlanta mini two game run of playing good defense should come to a halt this week and I love the Tampa side to win by 10+ points in this game as they get contributions from both the passing game and Ronald Jones on the ground. The Main WR target in the 50/50 prop between Evans and Godwin this week is going to be Mike Evans. He’s just too physical for the Atlanta WR and last week was another case of New Orleans dominating him no matter who they put on him (Breaux, Lattimore, PJ Williams, doesnt matter, theyve shut him down over the years). But here’s the juicy part! Jameis Winston in his last five games against Atlanta …
He finds the end zone and given what we know about the Atlanta vs Tampa D match-up I would suspect Ryan finds the end zone through the air as well. This game should have points, it’s just a matter of does it end up 28-24 or 42-28. Make that decision when building the lineup and do not be afraid to play 2 pass catchers or even a RB (Jones) in a stack. Here’s two examples that I personally like…
- Winston – Evans – Ridley
- Winston – Jones – Evans – Julio
I am definitely leaning on the Jameis Winston side as I see this being more Tampa 42-28 or 32-17 than 28-24 Atlanta…. So lets make that bold call shall we? Winston throws 4 TD, Jones rushes 1 in.
AMBUSH PLAY #2: Southern Cookin in the A-T-L as Tampa comes in and wins big.
BIRDS OF PREY?
The other HUGE game at 1PM this weekend that has good offensive potential on both sides features the mighty flying Seahawks coming off a big road win at San Francisco and then a BYE and the Philadelphia Eagles who really need this win this weekend to sustain ground with Dallas in the NFC East and have any hope of earning a first round playoff game where they could likely end up facing these same Seahawks again. But enough about that, let’s dig into the obvious here.
Seattle’s passing game. The only path I see this failing would be if for some drastic reason the Philly stout rush defense bleeds a little bit giving that run first Seahawk offense enough temptation to keep pounding the rock on the ground and killing the game clock. I don’t think that happens and we’re gonna see both sides throw the ball A TONNNNN. If you wanna go bold, you game stack this one and tell the Bucs-Falcons to go pound sand. The Philly passing game HAS TO GO THROUGH THREE GUYS. Zach Ertz. Dallas Goeddert. Miles Sanders. Yes, that Miles Sanders. He will quadruple what he did last weekend and anyone who says F THAT he screwed me last week is going to be ripping down whatever Christmas Tree they already put up before Thanksgiving like a knucklehead when he scores his second touchdown on Sunday. He scores. Dallas G scores and Zach Ertz scores. Sooooooooooooo, you know who I think is sneaky here then right? Yup. Carson Wentz.
For the ‘Hawks a lot depends on Tyler Lockett’s status, but whether or not he plays, it’s a DK Metcalf special this week.
AMBUSH PLAY #3: BIRDS Stack. Wentz, Sanders, Dallas G & DK Metcalf from Seattle’s side. This game is going to OT and will be the game of the day.
Coming into the NFL season there were two pretty loud narratives that the casual analyst and NFL fan was fully on board with. First off the Miami Dolphins are going to suck — and they did for a while before balancing out prior to last week. The second was that the Cleveland Browns were going to cure cancer, break every NFL record known to man and march their way into the Super Bowl behind Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and OMG WHEN THEY GET KAREEM HUNT BACK YA’LL THEYRE GONNA BE SO LIT!!!! Yeah, um, no.
So now we have the Browns at home against those same Dolphins and …. crickets …. that’s right. Nobody will touch the Browns this week and if all these games were being played in Week 1 or Week 2 of the season this would be a c-h-a-l-k stack. But with Cleveland having 10 days and the Dolphins thinking about Thanksgiving plans, Christmas plans and how they can get into the Gronk South Beach party later this year this is setting up to be just like last week when the Bills … the BLEEPING BILLS walked into Miami and nearly dropped 40 *cough* *cough*. But now this is in Cleveland and everyone on the Browns is going to eat. Specifically, the last guy you would suspect to finally have a 2 Touchdown game. As I went through this, I thought yeah Chubb should do well. Yeah, Hunt should do well when he gets it and oh yeah Jarvis Landry revenge game! But wait. What if. Uh. Oh boy. Yeah. What if Baker gets OBJ right against the worst team in the league this week? We’re doin the same thing we did last week. Full four man stack here.
Baker, Chubb, OBJ, Browns D.
AMBUSH PLAY #4: Browns Dominate with OBJ going off
OLD MAN RETURNS? TOM BRADY THROWS THREE TOUCHDOWNS!
What if I told you … No, this isn’t a 30 for 30 introduction on anything but it’s more just maybe having to pay attention to what is in front of our eyes but nobody wants to admit it. Sorry, I’m not referring to Tom Brady being done as a week in and week out consistent QB who can be a threat, that’s actually been the case for a while now. I’m referring to the Cowboys Defense just not being a defense you should be scared of attacking in fantasy.
The natural instinct is to look at the Dallas season and say that Dak Prescott is having a great (and in some foolish eyes MVP) season for Dallas but lets pause for a second and look at some of the defensive performances they have had this year. Gave up 34 to Green Bay, gave up 24 to the Jets, 18 to the Giants 28 to the Vikings and 27 to the Lions. Are those Tampa Bay horrible type numbers, no. But are they shut down dominant defense numbers? Absolutely not. Vegas was telling us something last week when they had the total on the Lions-Cowboys game at 51. They’re telling us more with the Cowboys-Patriots game being at 46! The Patriots have had the best defense in the league this year. The Patriots have had a horrible offense this year. You’d logically think this is a 10-9 game. Not so fast my friends.
The juice isn’t on the Cowboys side. The juice is on the Patriots side at home and with Tom Brady looking like he can’t complete a pass past 5 yards the whole world will be afraid to use him and I get it. He shouldn’t give you any confidence to imagine him throwing 300+ yards this week. But three touchdowns? Absolutely! You don’t think Brady knows he is #2 in all time passing TD and could be at the end this year (Brees right behind him)? That ball might be at the 1 yard line, but its going through the air. Brady is throwing three touchdowns this week and going over 200 yards and at his prices on both sites, he can actually be viable — but it’s the receiving options such as Sanu and rookie N’Keal Harry who are my sleeper guys to catch those touchdowns. It’s only a bad 2 game 4PM slate this week, but no doubt Brady wins it and is my deep sleeper out of nowhere do well QB this week.
AMBUSH BONUS PLAY #5: Tom Brady throws three touchdowns this week.
RECAP OF THE AMBUSH PLAYS
- Alvin Kamara top RB on the slate.
- Southern Cookin is Game Stack #1
- Birds of Prey is Game Stack #3
- OBJ x 2 and the Browns go off
- Tom Brady throws more TD than Matt Ryan this week.
FULL AMBUSH RANKINGS
This is another week with two games that have all of the Quarterback love in them with Tampa/Atlanta and Seattle/Philly being two big games that are projected to have high volume of passing attacks. Realistically
- Jameis Winston over Matt Ryan … If ya think Atlanta wins then by all means, go there. They wont, but by all means, throw your money away. Lets go Jameis!
- Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson … You cannot go wrong with either, but don’t be shocked if and when Wentz has more rushing yards than Wilson this week.
- Drew Brees … 275 and 2 TD for every Brees game at home the rest of the season should be the floor. Brees and Brady are in a pissing match now on Touchdowns and he’ll account for one of Kamara’s TDs this week through the air and get another one to a non Michael Thomas WR. His price is why he’s not higher ranked.
- Tom Brady … Put this down in the category of when I predict some $2900 Third Baseman like Evan Longoria is going to hit a solo home run on a 15 game slate and then do nothing else. Yeah, the HR was nice, but he wasnt the top guy despite being low owned. Well, that’s Brady this week. I wish he was much cheaper given how shitty he has played lately but Brady is getting 3 TD passes. Will he finish as the top QB? No chance IMO. But he has a good game and should be your 2 game 4PM slate (why are you playing a 2 game 4PM slate btw?) Quarterback.
- Derek Carr … Love the spot for Carr on the road at the Jets who funnel it all through the air. Should be a competitive game and Carr throws for over 300 yards.
- Baker Mayfield … Whole world will be on Browns running game. Baker balls too.
My top and most confident play this week is Kamara. My least confident play this week is RB2 and it’s not necessarily finding someone to put there but which player to lock into that spot. Chubb makes sense against the Dolphins but I’m going with Cleveland spreading it around and getting the WR their TD’s as well and at his price he’s not the explosion spot. I am not on Jacobs, Fournette or Henry either this week. You can always make a case for CMC and Barkley there as well and Barkley is definitely my favorite of those two for his price as noted below
MY PRIMARY RB TO TARGET
- Alvin Kamara … He gets the RB lead dog title all alone this week.
MIX AND MATCH RB2
- SaQuan Barkley … The Bears get gashed on the ground (mainly because their pass D is hard to attack) and heck even the Rams went heavy run for the first time ever under wonder boy genius last week, so you have to think if the Giants have any clue off the BYE they give it to Barkley a ton. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Giants having a clue is as clear and obvious as it would seem.
- Christian McCaffrey … The Mike Trout of NFL DFS
- Ronald Jones … Could easily fall into the VALUE category and is also very much in play in my RB to target category as well. Atlanta can still be attacked with RB and everyone seems to have forgotten that Atlanta’s Defense when playing well was an easy target for receptions to opposing RB’s. The past two weeks they have faced a couple elite backs in CMC and Kamara but those two backs got 19 receptions on 24 targets for 171 yards. Granted, both were in situations where they trailed in the 3rd/4th quarters but even if that isn’t the case here RoJo will remain the clear #1 RB in this offense now. He’s getting goal line work, he’s a great play with or Without Winston/Evans combination in a high scoring game and he does get involved in the passing game enough as well. Don’t be bothered by the limited snaps last week.
Going to the two high total games for the value RB and one can even think Latavius Murray as well but I’m full Kamara here this week. Miles and RoJo at their prices in those games are fantastic lock it in FLEX plays this week to hit good value.
- Miles Sanders … 50 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving with 5 catches and a high scoring game. Not bad floor.
- David Montgomery … Risky IMO but he makes sense vs the Giants.
MY TRIPLETS THIS WEEK
- DK Metcalf … Big receivers vs the Iggles. Next question.
- Mike Evans … I prefer the physical WR always vs ATL
- Odell Beckham Jr … When he catches his second TD of the game do not tweet at me that I haven’t updated the Taysom vs OBJ standings because I am at the game in New Orleans, okay? Whole world will look at Chubb, Hunt and the Landry narrative and overlook that OBJ has drawn 22 targets the last two games and the Dolphins have been torched by the vertical big play guys all season. OBJ has a HUGE TD this week (like 60 yard catch and run) and might get that second in a Browns blowout.
- Tyrell Williams … Oakland should have to pass a lot this week and Williams hasn’t exactly had a huge game for them in a while but love him to see more targets this week.
- Calvin Ridley … Someone on ATL will score vs the Tampa secondary fo sho and between Ridley/Julio the $ savings on Ridley is hard to pass up.
- Mohammed Sanu … I would prefer to play Brady naked but Sanu is still too cheap
- Amari Cooper… Much like Brady in this game nobody will trust him to go here. This game is a sneaky points late hammer spot and Amari Cooper back of the end zone 9 yard TD is in the oven as we say
- Curtis Samuel
SNEAKY VALUE WR
- Tre’Quan Smith … You know that game where Drew Brees throws all these touchdowns to guys not named Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara? Well, it’s coming and it won’t quite come this week but before it does come there’s always that one game where he gets someone else involved heavily in the pass game and I can definitely see the Panthers just going full double cover Mike Thomas and try to focus on AK as well at times in the passing game which just screams Tre’Quan Smith having another game like he had last year against the Eagles when he went OFF. Don’t fully expect that type of game but ‘Quan has his legs back under him after a long injury break and has always been better at home. He should draw favorable match-ups and is my longshot WR at <1% ownership to have a really good game.
This is a verrrrrry thin position again this week as we continue to feel the affects of no Austin Hooper in DFS who has been the most consistent TE in the league all year. Love the Philly boys because they’re not scoring without them doing well. Dallas G salary saving on DK is very hard to pass him up.
- Zack Ertz (FD) & Dallas Goeddert (DK)
- Vance McDonald … So many Pitt weapons out this week, we have to consider him.
- PITTSBURGH … Ryan Finley is atrocious. He’s gonna try to feed the crying receiver Tyler Boyd this week and Pitt knows it. All the pick sixes coming. Slate breaking potential here.
A new section that I am bringing to my article each week. This is my sneaky way of providing thoughts on lots of the games without actually “touting” or recommending specific plays each week. It’s for those of you who love to ask questions on Twitter, Slack or whatever other method you prefer.
Okay, what’s the game you aren’t heavy on that scares you?
It’s not the Falcons-Bucs or Seahawks-Eagles, I like both games and will have some exposure there. Nope. It’s the Heidi-Bowl game between the Raiders and Jets. New York is playin a little better and the Raiders obviously are pretty balanced on offense but I see them having to do the damage through the air. Perfect spot for that Robbie Anderson random touchdown this week.
Pick three upsets, three locks and three WTF
Three Upsets … Bucs over Falcons, Giants over Bears, Redskins over Lions
Three Locks … Steelers over Bengals, Browns over Dolphins, Alvin Kamara scores a TD
Three WTF … Tom Brady throwing FOUR touchdowns, Steelers defense scores 27+ fantasy points and the Redskins win a home game.
CONTEST SELECTION REMINDERS
Reminder on a couple things you should be looking for each week are as follows
- Tournaments with less than 1k users in them
- Tournaments with less than 300 users in them
- Tournaments that pay 10x to first not 50x to first
- Higher paylines (% of people who get paid)
- How much does 10th place get? 20th place?
Focus on not first place but below that. Make sure you are playing a tournament that is one you can win in and will not have a ton of tilt by entering a lineup and having to worry about every single person who scores on the slate. You’ll find that in the long run any tournament that only pays 10x to first is one you will profit in.