Creating a daily fantasy sports lineup is like assembling the Avengers. Just as Marvel can't make a movie with six Incredible Hulks, DraftKings isn't going to let us play with six Justin Jeffersons. Not only am I here to help find your Hulk of the week, but also to get you a few low-cost bow-and-arrow guys. You know, to make the fight a little more of a challenge.
After a Week 12 slate that gave us Josh Jacobs fantasy points and seemingly nothing else, Week 13 looks much more promising. The main slate contains Kansas City at Cincinnati, Tennessee in Philly, Miami at San Francisco, and more to help compensate for last week's games. With plenty of fantasy starts facing off in potential shootouts, your lineups will surely benefit.
The goal? To reach at least 150 points in double-up contests, where half the field is victorious, or go for the grand prize in tournaments.
NOTE: Below are the best picks for either double-up or tournament lineups. DraftKings salary available: $50,000
The Chiefs have waited nearly a year for a chance at revenge after blowing a 21-3 lead at Arrowhead in the AFC Championship Game. The first two matchups averaged a combined 58 points scored and 11 passing touchdowns and more of the same should be expected on Sunday. Since Bengals star cornerback Chidobe Awuzie went down with an ACL tear in Week 8, Cincinnati has been the 22nd-ranked passing defense after it was a top-10 passing defense through the first seven weeks.
With Keenan Allen back in the lineup, Herbert is once again a top fantasy asset. In four games with Allen, the Chargers quarterback averages 22.5 points per game compared to only 14.9 without his best weapon. And against a Las Vegas defense that has allowed a top-12 fantasy QB in nine of 11 games this season, it’s a great sign that the Chargers hate running the ball. Los Angeles passed the ball 47 times in Week 12 compared to nine rushing attempts from running backs, and now trails only Tampa Bay in pass play percentage on the season.
The breakout season is finally arriving for Lawrence, and it doesn’t hurt to go against the Lions defense. Lawrence’s passing yards have increased in three straight games, and it’s bound to become four straight against a Detroit defense that ranks last in the NFL in points per game allowed to quarterbacks and offenses as a whole. The Lions' high man-coverage rate allows quarterbacks to take off and run with ease, providing a high floor and ceiling for Lawrence in this matchup. An underrated runner, Lawrence has 30 fantasy points from rushing over the last six games.
Breaking news: Chubb is very good, and the Houston defense is, well, not. The Texans’ rushing defense is currently the worst of the past decade, allowing 169 yards per game. Kareem Hunt has fewer than 10 rush attempts in five of the last six games after starting the season with 10-plus in each of the first five weeks. The combination of being favored to win by a touchdown and the decrease in Hunt’s touches serves well for a ceiling performance from Chubb.
Aaron Rodgers isn’t the only Aaron that owns Chicago. In his last three games versus the Bears, Jones is averaging 25 points per game. His touches have increased from 15 per game to start the season to 19 over the last five weeks. The Bears haven’t stopped anybody on the ground this season, allowing running backs to score 13 rushing touchdowns through 11 games.
Ja’Marr Chase is back! And yet, we’re going right back to Higgins in another smash spot. Higgins’ strengths match up well against the Chiefs defensive scheme. Joe Burrow and Higgins dominate man-coverage, specifically with Higgin’s ability to win one-on-one contested battles. The Chiefs run a high amount of man-coverage and will likely focus on Chase after he torched them for over 300 yards and four touchdowns in two games last season. With over 100 yards in his last matchup versus Kansas City, Higgins should excel again in a high passing volume day. Over his last nine complete games, Tee is averaging 88 receiving yards on nine targets with no signs of slowing down against a Chiefs secondary that is allowing the most touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
One Wilson died so another could live. With Zach Wilson at quarterback this season, Garrett averaged 8.4 points per game. Without? 19.4. Garrett Wilson is an elite talent, with elite volume, for a low cost of $5,300. We’ve seen the multiple touchdown upside twice already, and now Wilson plays a vulnerable secondary in Minnesota. Not only are the Vikings allowing the most receiving yards to receivers this season, but they are also ranked last against perimeter receivers, while in the middle of the pack versus the slot, aka Elijah Moore’s primary alignment.
Garrett Wilson’s two touchdown performance last week came against a very beat-up Bears secondary. Add star safety Eddie Jackson to the Bears injury list and Watson has another big opportunity to continue his ridiculous breakout run. The last time the Packers played the Bears, Davante Adams had 34 fantasy points. Is Christian Watson Davante Adams? No. However, Watson seems to have the rare trust of known rookie-hater Aaron Rodgers, proven with a 25% target share over the last three games. To add to it, the rookie is top five in the NFL in air yards and end zone targets in that span to amplify his insane upside at a value salary.
Talent will eventually provide production. If Pickens secured a deep touchdown versus Cincinnati or an overthrow in the end zone last week, his fantasy perception would be very different. Atlanta loves giving up receptions to wide receivers, more than any team in the league in fact. This benefits Pickens more than anyone, as he has emerged as Kenny Pickett’s favorite target, leading Diontae Johnson in receiving yards by over 100 since Week 4. As the weeks go on, the rookies have improved together. The upside will break through from Pickett throwing downfield, as his air yards have increased from 3.9 to 6.4 per attempt since the bye week.
Who else do you pair with Patrick Mahomes other than Kelce? A tight end who would be the RB3 in scoring this season yet still priced below $8,000. The last time Kelce matched up versus Cincinnati he went off for 10 receptions, 95 yards, and a score (with Tyreek Hill receiving 10 targets). The Bengals are a good matchup, as they’ve allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to the position despite playing one fantasy-relevant tight end in Mark Andrews entering Week 13.
Kirk Cousins has a new best friend in Minnesota and his name is T.J. Hockenson. The Iowa product already has as many receptions in Minnesota as he did in Detroit in three fewer games. With Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed locking up opposing wide receivers, the Jets have been vulnerable to the tight end. Not to mention, elite 1 o’clock Kirk Cousins will be at home.
Steelers defense at $2,600? It couldn’t be easier for a cash game defense. The Falcons are a one-dimensional offense, going against a defense that’s sixth-best against the run. T.J. Watt may be the most influential defensive player in football. The stats back it up as the Steelers have eight sacks in seven games without Watt while having 14 in the four games when their star pass rusher is in the lineup.