Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Total: 44

Cowboys: 23.5

Vikings: 20.5

Here is what we have learned this season: Ezekiel Elliott cannot be stopped, and playing him when his price is lower and his ownership might be mildly suppressed because of a modestly tough road matchup are even more reasons to load up on him.

The Cowboys are good because of Elliott and that offensive line. It won't even stop him that the Vikings have allowed just three rushing TDs all year. Elliott might get three here alone.

The trick is deciphering the rest of the matchup. We will stay stubborn with Dez Bryant because of consistent volume. He gets around eight targets and six catches.

We just cannot see this game getting real loose, though. This might be more of a 6-80-0 performance for Bryant. We will fade the rest, including Dak Prescott, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten.

For the Vikings, the running game is a mess, and the Cowboys are No. 3 against the run and fantasy RBs. Ignore Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon and the guy you likely haven't considered all season: Sam Bradford.

Stefon Diggs is an intriguing sleeper, so if his knee doesn't hold him out, toss him in there if you have to have some kind of Vikings exposure. The Cowboys have been eighth worst in fantasy against WRs.

Kyle Rudolph is another solid, value play, but his issue is the limitation of Bradford and Las Vegas' modest line. There just won't be much more than 60 yards and a TD for him in a best-case scenario. We admit his cash-game floor is solid, especially against a Cowboys defense that has been fifth worst against fantasy TEs.

If you're playing one of the defenses, go with the Vikings. They are at home, hungry for a victory and they have posted solid DFS point totals against run-heavy offenses this season. They are also cheaper than the Cowboys defense that has hardly made a dent in DFS contests.

This one looks fairly bland, but the best part of playing DFS for this one is the paths to points appear fairly clearly and trustworthy.

Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons

Total: 49

Chiefs: 22.5

Falcons: 26.5

This is an exciting game for DFS purposes, if only because the Falcons allow numbers as much as they produce them. The Chiefs put up numbers on the Denver Broncos defense, so keeping up at Atlanta shouldn't be a difficult.

The Chiefs are getting the most mileage out of rookie WR Tyreek Hill, who is a threat to score from anywhere on the field, in any fashion. If Jeremy Maclin (groin) remains out, you have to assume there is going to be heavy volume on Hill and TE Travis Kelce, two premium DFS plays at fair prices. Maclin, even if he plays, likely will be less than 100 percent and only enough to deter some off Hill or Kelce.

The problem with trusting the Chiefs passing game is Alex Smith. He just is no better than 280-2, even in the most favorable of matchups. Andy Reid's teams are famously RB-friendly, so Spencer Ware should be good for 100-combined yards and a TD.

All of the Chiefs are viable against a Falcons team that is dead last against fantasy QBs, fourth worst against RBs and sixth worst against TEs.

The Falcons side is equally intriguing, despite the talent on the Chiefs defense. Matt Ryan should get his 300-3 against a unit that has been fifth worst against fantasy QBs and second worst against WRs. Julio Jones is going to be a popular play coming off a dud effort, so expect many to load up on him for a 8-120-1 rebound and Taylor Gabriel as the sheik pick.

Both of the Falcons backs should be candidates for 100 yards and/or a TD, too. Tevin Coleman is a bit riskier, because he is reliant on the short TD runs for his points, but he is also the pass receiver and a cheaper option. We like it all to varying degrees here, so mix and match with any of it.

As the game should be wide open, only consider the defenses if you're looking for really low ownership. Neither is real forgiving in the turnover category, even if they do give up sacks.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

Total: 53.5

Lions: 23.75

Saints: 29.75

If you are to believe the Saints offensive voodoo in the Superdome, you should find some value in your Lions play this week. Matthew Stafford, Theo Riddick, any number of their wideouts, TE Eric Ebron? The answer is yes, any.

Riddick (ankle) is banged up, but he is facing the third-worst team in fantasy vs. RBs, so he'll hit double digits, even if its because of pass receiving playing catchup. Ebron will do that, too.

The trick is the rest of the Lions. How to figure their wideouts. We suppose you can just play Stafford to be exposed to all his off 320-3, but wouldn't you just play Drew Brees in this one instead?

Boldin is the cheapest Lions target and the heaviest on volume of late. He stands out as the best play of the bunch, but again, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones (thigh) are favorable plays, too.

The Saints' side we will fade the RBs. The Lions are No. 1 in fantasy with just two rush TDs to RBs allowed all season. Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower are timeshare backs who do not project to get TDs this week.

Michael Thomas has been Brees' favorite receiver, so he can be put into myriad lineups. Then, Brandin Cooks coming off his no-target outing is a strong rebound play. Finally, Coby Fleener against the worst team in fantasy against TEs – yep, he's good to go to.

Like every game the Saints play at home, you need pieces of both sides. There are high ceilings, and values, in so many places in this one.

Los Angeles Rams at New England Patriots

Total: 44.5

Rams: 15.75

Patriots: 28.75

The Las Vegas line suggests a huge Pats blowout, even without Rob Gronkowski (back surgery). That makes us believe the GPP way to play this is get some Rams exposure for garbage time.

No, not Todd Gurley. He has proven to be a waste of DFS budget, failing even to produce at New Orleans. The better values are TE Lance Kendricks, a QB Jared Goff security blanket, and WR Tavon Austin, a potential home-run hitter.

For the Pats, it all runs through Tom Brady, so get their exposure by playing him and tagging him with one of his bargain threats. There are a number of them.

TE Martellus Bennett becomes a must-play option with Gronk down, while Julian Edelman gets volume and WR Malcolm Mitchell pics up end-zone targets. Any of the above is great value stacked with Brady.

Our favorite Patriots play is Dion Lewis, though. The Pats are a Brady team, but everything tends to fall on the backs of the backs, Lewis being the one ready to emerge in Gronk's wake.

Lewis played 23 snaps last week: six rushes and seven targets. That's a lot of volume for so little playing time as he builds up coming off the PUP list. Jump on Lewis' RB value for a 100-combined yards and a TD. Blount is also a good volume play and a candidate for multiple short TDs.

We tend to believe this game will disappoint and play below a low number, but every time we project that with a banged-up Brady cast, the GOAT goes off for 400-4 and makes us feel dumb all over again.

Pats D/ST, struggling Stephen Gostkowski – yeah, yet another DFS contest that looks like a resource for lineups in so many ways … and values.

Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars

Total: 40

Broncos 21.5

Jaguars: 18.5

Punt. That's what both offenses will be doing. After those DFS-friendly contests above, we have come to a game of stones.

The Broncos defense, especially coming off a loss, will be widely played. QB Blake Bortles and the Jags offensive line has gotten sacks totals in check, but it hasn't trimmed back the turnovers.

The Broncos offense runs through the RB, so play Devontae Booker on volume – even if the all the talent is in the WRs. We just cannot trust Trevor Simien to get the ball to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders against a Jags secondary that has been top 10 against fantasy wideouts. Sanders went off in a shootout against the Chiefs. We also do not see this game playing so wide, no matter what blind faith you still have in Bortles in garbage times.

We do see Bortles getting his 200-2, so you can throw Allen Robinson in there for a 6-80-1 effort, despite the difficulty of the matchup. That latter fact, along with price, will make Robinson a fairly low-owned GPP play.

We will fade the frustrating and timesharing Jags RBs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, just like we should with TE Julius Thomas.

The only good to come off this game is someone is going to find the end zone at a modest price and a low ownership. Good luck figuring out whom that might be.

Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers

Total: 45.5

Texans: 19.75

Packers: 25.75

If there is anything that can shake QB Brock Osweiler and WR DeAndre Hopkins out of their mediocrity, it has to be the Packers' banged-up and exposed corners, right? The Packers are third worst against fantasy wideouts, making this week as good as any to hope for the Nuke breakthrough of 150-2 – even with that scrub Osweiler.

The Packers are going to score points, so taking the low ownership and garbage-time numbers of Nuke, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz and perhaps even RB Lamar Miller (for his pass-receiving exploits) are reasonable ways to find value in this one.

For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers is a 300-3 machine again, but the Texans do limit passing games with the No. 5-ranked pass defense. It won't stop Rodgers as much as perhaps give you pause for this being a game that plays a bit lower paced than most Packers games.

We will fade Jordy Nelson outside cash games, because of his modest ceiling, while the vastly improved, if not streaky, Davante Adams provides the better value. James Starks also has a nice, low price for someone of such high volume of late, especially against a Texans defense that is far more forgiving against the run than the pass.

We do not hate this game for DFS purposes, but we like it for probably different reasons than others. There are values from the non-obvious guys like Starks, Adams and even – finally, hopefully? – Hopkins.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals

Total: 42

Eagles: 20.5

Bengals: 21.5

Yuck. This game pits too limited offenses against defenses capable of ruining a DFS lineup, if only because it bends but doesn't break.

The Eagles don't do anything particularly well offensively, while the Bengals are not overly awful at anything in particular on defense. We just cannot see the DFS ceilings for Carson Wentz, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor or Zach Ertz.

We do love the value of the emerging Dorial Green-Beckham, though. Not only is he cheap and taking advantage of Matthews' recent injury woes, but he can hit double digits in targets and DFS points at a bargain-basement price.

With Ryan Mathews (knee) out, Wendell Smallwood does the rushing and Darren Sproles does the receiver, but neither truly moves the DFS needle at their price(s).

For the Bengals, the best news is the bad news: A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard are out. So, top offensive threats Jeremy Hill and Tyler Eifert will get volume at reduced prices. Again, their ceilings are low, but their floors are high. Consider them more of cash-game options.

The Eagles defense does give you a huge value on their price, but the Bengals figure to play conservatively and not turn the ball over, even if they might give up sacks.

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

Total: 40.5

Dolphins: 18.5

Ravens: 21.75

Another game of yuck. There are so many unfortunate circumstances for DFS plays here.

First, the Dolphins have been streaking outproducing their prices, but now they face the NFL's No. 2-ranked defense on the road. And that boasts the No. 2 run defense to take away the Dolphins' No. 1 threat, RB Jay Ajayi. You have to fade him outside of the rare contrarian play that hopes for 65 yards and a pair of short TDs.

Downfield, we have to fade Ryan Tannehill because of how slow of a pace you have to expect in this one. Two run heavy teams playing not to lose. That makes DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry low-ceiling options.

The Ravens' unfortunate circumstance is their run-heavy attack finally gets the third-worst run defense, but you will not get enough of either Terrence West or Kenneth Dixon to truly love their prospects. A game of 15 carries for 60 yards is nice for either or both, but it would be better with a TD – and only a handful of teams have given fewer of those to RBs than the Dolphins.

Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta have had their moments, but DFS isn't about finding who might make a play. It's about finding who is going to be play after play after play. That's no one on either side of this contest – save for perhaps the Ravens defense or Justin Tucker.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Total: 43.5

49ers: 21.25

Bears: 22.25

Many will be chasing the points Colin Kaepernick has been producing, so we are going to look away. Even if you get those points, will it truly put you over the top? We doubt it, especially if others on following last week's DFS star.

We won't this week's top producer and we doubt it will be a 49ers, or a Bear.

If you like anything for the 49ers it should be the RB and TE. Carlos Hyde and Vance McDonald have emerged as volume guys in Chip Kelly's offense, which gives them a chance to trump their price(s). McDonald has been particularly intriguing since Kaepernick has taken off, so that's were the 49ers get our DFS attention. The Bears have given up a TD to a TE in each of the past three games.

For the Bears, we like the value of the D/ST, the emergence of Marquess Wilson now healthy and with Matt Barkley under center and the RB Jordan Howard capable of getting 100-2 against the suspect 49ers run defense, which is dead last against the run and fantasy RBs. Howard is going to be a high-ownership play best left for cash games, though.

Wilson will have a lot of exposure, too, against the 49ers defense that is dead last against fantasy WRs, too. Wilson and Cameron Meredith are well-priced for the matchup – even if we see the Bears hunkering down and winning a defensive game head coach John Fox prefers to play and usually only gets his wish when he is at home against a low-end opponent – the bull's-eye this game is for that.

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders

Total: 49

Bills: 23

Raiders: 26

This is going to be an entertaining game. Unfortunately, we don't believe that value is going to translate to DFS fireworks.

The Bills have a downfield weapon ready to produce in Sammy Watkins (foot), but their offensive is still more reliant on LeSean McCoy than Tyrod Taylor. Watkins and Justin Hunter might be good for a receiving TD, but McCoy is the only true play on volume – perhaps 100-combined yards and a TD or two. He is a cash-game bull among RBs.

If you're looking for a contrarian D/ST, how about the Bills? The Raiders can score points, but the Bills can get after Derek Carr better than most – he is the least sacked QB in the NFL – and force some rare turnovers.

The Raiders' side is a bit less intriguing. Carr will be held back to 250-2 against a tough Rex/Rob Ryan defense, failing to produce up to his price. That makes Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Clive Walford a bit less than high-ceiling'd.

The Bills do one thing consistently defensively, and that's give up rushing TDs to RBs (11) in 11 games. It makes Latavius Murray the best of the Raiders' options, although you have to watch is ankle injury designation up until game time. Jalen Richard is a premium play if Murray is held out, but Murray has played through the issue and might be capped at 60-1.

The high Las Vegas total is far more optimistic for DFS points in this one than we are, but we admit, the Raiders tend to be a fun team to watch and expose your lineup to.

New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers

Total: 48

Giants: 21

Steelers: 27

This one is an enigma. As much as you might want to see this as an Eli Manning-Ben Roethlisberger shootout, the reality is this game could wind up a 20-16 battle of field goals – or worse.

The Giants passing game has been great at times, and Manning is averaging three TDs in the past four games as the offense is as healthy as it has been all season, but the Steelers are top 10 against fantasy QBs and WRs. We believe a better way to forecast volume for the Giants in this one would be RB Rashad Jennings against the Steelers' bottom-five team against fantasy RBs.

Manning and Beckham are going to have too high of ownership numbers in GPPs anyway. Sterling Shepard and/or Victor Cruz are better values to go 5-50-1.

The Steelers side features huge volume on Le'Veon Bell. Yes, the Giants are a top-five run defense with DT Snacks Harrison but Bell is not limited to rushing attempts. He can expose modest Giants LB in the pass game, too.

That makes Big Ben a candidate to do his normal 300-3. Look at the production in his past home games: 408-3 (Dallas), 380-4 (N.Y. Jets), 300-5 (Kansas City) and 259-3 (Cincy). Those are not slug defenses either. Loading up on Big Ben at home is as sure as Brees in the Superdome. Stack him with Bell and Antonio Brown in cash-game lineups.

If you truly believe this game to be a shootout we are skeptical about, then you have to consider Eli Rogers as a bargain wideout to go 6-60-1. Brown and Bell cannot do all of the 300-3 Big Ben lifting.

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

Total: 49

Redskins: 23.5

Cardinals: 25.5

You would not guess the Cards boast the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense, but that is what red-hot QB Kirk Cousins is up against on the road. We are going to fade everything in the Redskins offense against it.

Rob Kelley's price has risen after a bad performance against a good Cowboys defense that is No. 3 against fantasy RBs. Now, Kelley gets the No. 2 team against fantasy RBs. Fade him, too.

The best Redskins play will come in the form of Vernon Davis, assuming TE Jordan Reed (shoulder) is ruled out. Track this close for a huge volume bargain in GPPs.

We are far more optimistic on the Cardinals' side of things. David Johnson is a high-exposure play against anyone, but he might be the highest-played RB against a bottom 10 team against the run and fantasy RBs.

The values for the Cards come from QB Carson Palmer, emerging TE Jermaine Gresham and his crapshoot group of wideouts. CB Josh Norman will take away WR Larry Fitzgerald, forcing Palmer to target Johnson, Gresham, J.J. Nelson and perhaps John Brown.

We like the Cards so much in this one, we might take the value of the defense and even consider some Redskins wideouts for garbage time as the game gets loose in the second half.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers

Total: 47.5

Buccaneers: 22.25

Chargers: 25.25

Is there any more sure thing than WR Mike Evans? Not after he torched the Seattle Seahawks secondary. He goes on the road here in a matchup against the capable Chargers offense that should keep this pace up for Evans to go over 100-1, if not completely DFS bonkers.

The Chargers secondary has been a bit surprising in its effectiveness, despite being seventh worst against the pass and allowing monster games to elite wideouts like Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton. Evans is your guilty pleasure premium play.

The rest of the Bucs offense is a dud. Jameis Winston doesn't have enough downfield threats to move the DFS needle, while even if Doug Martin is healthy, he is facing the NFL's No. 6-ranked run defense.

The Chargers' side provides optimism more in the passing game than the run game, too. The Bucs haven't given up a rushing TD since October, so we are going to fade Melvin Gordon at his price. Instead, consider the surging Tyrell Williams or either of the TEs Antonio Gates or Hunter Henry.

Philip Rivers has thrown for three TDs in back-to-back weeks and we like his chance against a Bucs defense that is bottom 10 against fantasy QBs. This will be a game that generates a lot of interest and GPP top performers, we say.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

Total: 44.5

Panthers: 18.75

Seahawks: 27.75

This another a another game we are putting in the unfortunate category. Usually we can load up on the Seahawks at home, but after that performance in Tampa Bay, we are skeptical they can blow it out against a Panthers defensive-oriented team.

Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen are all bad plays on the road in most matchups. Against the Seahawks defense? No thanks. The only saving grace is contrarian value in GPPs – of which we still see as throwing away a lineup.

The Seahawks side provides us more promise, especially with a Russell Wilson-Jimmy Graham stack. The Panthers are third worst in fantasy against TEs and Graham becomes the most premium TE on the board with Gronk done for the year and Olsen getting the Legion of Boom treatment in Seattle.

Thomas Rawls is healthier and should get volume, but trusting the Seahawks offensive line against the Panthers front is shaky. Again, a contrarian play – albeit one with home favorite numbers on his side. Until that Seahawks line shows improvement, we are going to be stingy with our Seahawks exposure to Wilson and Graham.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

Total: 48.5

Colts: 24.75

Jets: 23.75

We get Andrew Luck back in the fold, which makes it a lot easier to trust their downfield options in prime time. Donte Moncrief and TE Dwayne Allen are huge value, if not volume plays, while T.Y. Hilton (back) is banged up, questionable and potentially facing Darrelle Revis on his last legs.

A Luck-Moncrief-Allen stack would be our fave in prime-time only DFS contests, fading a plodding Frank Gore against a still-capable Jets run defense.

We will love one play for the Jets that will transcend the entire DFS Week 13 slate: RB Matt Forte. He didn't get the volume he should have against the Pats last week, but he gets it here against the Colts' bottom-10 run defense and team against fantasy RBs

Run or pass – so even if Luck gets hot in his return in prime time – Forte will get touches and DFS scoring opportunities. We will fade Brandon Marshall (knee) against Vontae Davis; therefore, causing us to – and Ryan Fitzpatrick's Jets – to lean on WR Quincy Enunwa again.

Forte is an all-Week 13 performer, while a Colts stack (perhaps even tossing in the D/ST and kicker) looks like a solid prime-time lineup starter.

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