Week 12 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

Week 12 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

The following article appears on OccupyFantasy.com every Friday! Become a member for as little as $2/week with an annual subscription for NFL DFS analysis, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL and more.

The Daily Plug is our weekly NFL DFS picks write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model. The Plug then provides actionable information for each slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly what types of contests to play — all depending on the type of player you are.

Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Be sure to read all the way through to the end!

Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page – updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player in Week 12? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our partner, DFS Magic, is offering an optimizer FREE for all Occupy members through the end of November.


Biggest Favorites:
Browns, -12
Saints, -11
Bears, -7
Patriots, -7
Steelers, -7

Highest Game Totals:
TB@ATL, 51.5
SEA@PHI, 47.5
GB@SF, 47.5 (Yahoo! only)
CAR@NO, 47
OAK@NYJ, 46.5

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Saints, 29
Browns, 28.75
Falcons, 27.5
Patriots, 26
49ers, 25.25 (Yahoo! only)

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
Bengals, 15.5
Giants, 16.5
Broncos, 16.75
Dolphins, 16.75
Panthers, 18


Each week, we’ll point out three games to stack based on the Occupy Model, betting line information such as game totals, implied team totals, line movements, and more. 


Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas are playable in all formats every single week. It just so happens we have a chance to try and stack them together in the same game – no easy task. While this game only has a Vegas total of 47 points, it is tied for second highest on the slate. The Saints 29 point implied team total is the highest – which means we should prioritize Drew Brees (the third highest QB in the Occupy Model) over the Panthers’ Kyle Allen. Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey are the two highest ranked RBs in our model, while we project each of Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore and Michael Thomas for over 8 targets. Jared Cook and Greg Olsen are both top 5 TEs for us in Week 12, as well.

The Falcons and Buccaneers have the highest total game in Week 12 in betting markets. Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston each project to see some of the least pressure from opposing defenses on the slate; Ryan, however, is our favorite QB in the Occupy Model. Somewhat surprisingly after last week’s disappointing performance, Brian Hill is our highest projected owned RB on DraftKings (2nd on FanDuel), and brings a 23.0 weighted opportunity score in the Occupy Model.

Those of you who’ve been reading this weekly know the drill – the way to beat the Bucs is through the air. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage should be in your game stack player pool as a result. Although Atlanta’s defense has played well for the last two weeks, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both in the top 3 in the NFL in overall receiving yards – it’d be wise to get exposure to them in ATL/TB stacks at minimum.

Just look at Dak Prescott – look at his work ethic! The Cowboys head to Gillette Stadium to face the Patriots in the late game window as 7 point underdogs. This presents a situation where nearly every Dallas asset is underpriced on DraftKings. Dak himself is just the 7th most expensive QB on the slate (3rd most on FanDuel), while perennial high-ceiling threat Amari Cooper comes in at just $6,600 on DraftKings and $7,700 on FanDuel. Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb have also each been involved heavily in recent weeks.

The Patriots return to Foxborough with question marks – Mohamed Sanu is battling a high ankle sprain and Phillip Dorsett has a concussion. If neither can go, this likely locks Julian Edelman in for an even higher workload than normal, while creating opportunities for rookies like N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. James White is also effectively another receiver for New England the way he’s used. Both Ezekiel Elliott and Sony Michel should be considered as ground game options if you choose to stack the marquee game of the slate.

Saturday: Phillip Dorsett hasn’t been cleared to resume football activities, and Sanu is unlikely to play per report. 

Sunday morning: Adam Schefter thinks there’s a chance Sanu might play.

The weather in NE is brutal today. If that bothers you, consider focusing on top two stacks. We like SEA@PHI as a pivot, or MIA@CLE if looking for alternatives.


Once again, Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas are playable in all formats every single week. We’ve reached the point where you can consider them in addition to all of these options below for low-risk contests:


Stud: Matt Ryan (vs. Tampa Bay)

The top quarterback in the Occupy Model projects for over 300 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes against the Buccaneers. Teams throw against the Bucs an average of 40.6 times per game this season, while Atlanta itself throws the ball 41 times per game. This, coupled with the fact that Ryan averages 7.6 yards per attempt (Y/A) and a touchdown on 5.1% of his throws is how we arrive at that projection. The Falcons seem to have found something after their bye week – Ryan will look to make it three wins in a row this Sunday against the 30th ranked pass defense in the NFL.

Value: Baker Mayfield (vs. Miami)

The quarterback with the best matchup is Baker Mayfield. The Dolphins are 32nd by Football Outsiders’ DVOA – dead last. After being a little too turnover prone to start the year, Mayfield has gone three consecutive weeks without an interception. He now enters the easiest part of his schedule with the Browns’ playoff hopes in the balance. Miami allows QBs to throw for 7.8 Y/A on average; you can bet Mayfield and the Browns look forward to stringing some wins together, while their opponent looks forward to the offseason. Mayfield projects to see the lowest amount of pressure from his opposing defense on the Week 12 slate.

Running Back

Stud: Alvin Kamara (vs. Carolina)

The Panthers remain the easiest matchup for opposing RBs in the NFL – 32nd by DVOA. Kamara seems to be over the midseason ankle injury that ailed him in mid-October, as he has resumed ownership of his massive passing game role. He’s had double digit targets in back to back weeks. Expect Drew Brees to look for his talented back early and often; the Saints will look to gain control quickly against the Panthers as they vie for the top overall seed in the NFC.

Stud: Nick Chubb (vs. Miami)

The return of Kareem Hunt to NFL action hasn’t hurt Nick Chubb’s rushing volume – he’s had 20 and 27 carries in the last two weeks, while playing over 70% of the snaps in each game. Hunt does have a massive 25% target share in his two games, but his price makes it difficult to see him hitting value without a touchdown. Chubb, on the other hand, averages just over 5 yards a carry, owns about 75% of Cleveland’s rushing volume, and faces a Dolphins’ defense that allows teams to rush over 30 times a game. Even with a reduced passing game role, Chubb is a good bet to meet value if he can go over the 100 yard mark and find the end zone. Chubb has a 25.7 weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model.

Value: David Montgomery (vs. NY Giants)

Montgomery’s lack of box score results has kept his price in check, which allows us access to an RB with 70% of the touches out of the backfield who is also a 7 point home favorite. With Mike Davis no longer in the picture, it’s just Montgomery and pass catching specialist Tarik Cohen who project for any kind of relevant volume. Montgomery projects as the 4th highest owned on DraftKings, and 6th highest on FanDuel in Week 12. He has a 23.8 weighted-opportunity score in the Model.

Value: Brian Hill (vs. Tampa Bay)

This would be the part of the Plug where we try and convince you Brian Hill is in a flop lag spot – the idea being he disappointed in Week 11, so Week 12 at lower ownership, get exposure. Just one problem – Hill actually projects as the HIGHEST owned RB on DraftKings, 2nd highest owned on FanDuel at this point of the week. We know not to mess around, #TrustTheModel, and play high owned RBs in low-risk contests. Hill has a 23.0 weighted opportunity score at an affordable price.

Note: none of us on staff really love the Hill play at all. James White in PPR formats or Phillip Lindsay in his new expanded role are viable pivots off of Hill.

As of Saturday night, Brian Hill is no longer the highest projected owned RB in our Model. As a result, feel free to ignore entirely unless stacking TB/ATL. Miles Sanders and Kalen Ballage each rank higher for us than Hill at his price point.

Wide Receiver

Stud: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley (vs. Tampa Bay)

What we do like for the Falcons is that passing game matchup against the Bucs (see Matt Ryan above). Julio Jones is one of just 3 players who projects to see 10+ targets in the Occupy Model, and is our 4th highest ranked WR overall. Ridley should see plenty of action as well – we have him projected for 7 targets. The Buccaneers continue to let WRs feast in fantasy, with Tyler Lockett, Christian Kirk and Michael Thomas all posting huge scores in the last three weeks. You probably should have at least one of these guys in your low-risk lineup as a result.

Stud: Odell Beckham Jr (vs. Miami)

Without a touchdown to his name since Week 2, Beckham continues to pop at the top of our “underperforming WRs” list (found below). He came close in Week 11, but was marked down short of the goal line. That primetime game against the Steelers should’ve clued you in to Beckham’s massive usage deep down the field, though – his 4 catches for 60 yards came on 10 total targets, and he’s now seen double digit targets in consecutive weeks. Beckham will look to find his ceiling against Miami, much like the player below did in Week 11.

Value: John Brown (vs. Denver)

Brown has a patently absurd 33% target share for Buffalo since Week 8, having pulled far ahead of his teammates in that regard. Most think of the matchup with the Broncos and Chris Harris Jr to be a difficult one; the Broncos, however, are just 26th by Football Outsiders DVOA against WR1s on the season. Brown is still at an affordable price despite being the highest scoring WR in fantasy last week, which keeps him in play for low-risk contests.

Value: Taylor Gabriel (vs. NY Giants)

Would it surprise you to learn that the WR who leads the Bears in both targets and air yards since Week 8 isn’t Allen Robinson? Gabriel’s 29 targets and 346 air yards are good for respectable 23% and 31% shares of each in that time frame. Put simply, his role is much larger than that of a $4,200 DraftKings or $5,600 FanDuel WR. Gabriel ran 46 routes on 50 Chicago QB dropbacks (Trubisky and Daniel combined) in Week 11 (per Pro Football Focus). Of note – teammate Anthony Miller also ran 47 routes, and played 86% of the snaps in Week 11. Gabriel, however, has averaged more snaps played in addition to the metrics outlined above, so Gabriel is ahead of Miller for us. The Giants are just 28th in the NFL defending the pass; these WRs for Chicago are set up nicely as a result.

Tight End

Stud: Zach Ertz (vs. Seattle)

It’s going to be difficult to pay up for Ertz in low-risk contests on a slate with very little value elsewhere, but his 8.4 targets projects to be the highest at the position in Week 12. He is our 2nd highest ranked TE in the Model, and once again the Eagles may be forced to rely on him if Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard (all questionable) can’t go against the Seahawks. If you can find your way up to Ertz, he’s in a great spot.

Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard all OUT today.

Value: Noah Fant (@ Buffalo)

The matchup against the Bills isn’t the best, but Fant actually leads the Broncos in targets since the Emmanuel Sanders trade (25 to Sutton’s 24), so he’s one of the few players on this slate under $4000 on DraftKings we can project for reasonable volume. We have him at 5.8 targets in the Occupy Model, which is the 4th highest. Denver’s team total has increased by 1.75 points since lines opened, which is the largest positive team total move for all teams on the main slate.

Value: Jason Witten (@New England)

Not going to mislead you – there’s just not much of a ceiling with Witten. But on a slate where we’ve struggled to find reliable value, his floor seems to make sense. He’s had 4+ targets in every single game this season, and has 7 red zone targets on the season. The Patriots are 18th by DVOA against the TE position, which actually grades out as their weakest position (Ertz posted a 9-94 line on 11 targets last week, while Goedert had 3-36-1 on 6 targets). If there’s one player Dak Prescott can hone in on to exploit a weakness in New England’s defense, it’s the wily old veteran Witten on Sunday.


Defenses are not typically going to be written up in detail in our Daily Plug on main slates. One of the optimal ways to select defenses for low-risk contests? Focus on defenses facing opponents with low Vegas team totals. We also want to target turnover prone quarterbacks when it makes sense. You shouldn’t ever pass on a player at another spot just to jam in a defense. We’ll always provide a list of low and high risk defenses in the player pool below.


There’s not much value to be found on the Week 12 slate. If you’re uncomfortable because of that, scale back. We like playing a bit more of our bankroll on NFL Sundays because of all the prize money available, so we still think 4-6% of your bankroll is reasonable.

If you can settle on a build you like for low-risk contests, continue to play 60-70% of that allocation in low-risk, and take some careful shots for your bankroll tier (recommendations below) at tournaments with the other 30-40%. If you don’t like low-risk this week, just play tournaments.

For low risk, remember to focus on H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).

Our studs and values by position are intended to be a roadmap to help you win in low-risk contests. For high-risk, there are plenty of strong GPP plays in the player pool, as well as contests for you to target.

For more information on contest selection and bankroll allocation, check out our MUST-READ Ultimate Guide e-book.


Check out the player pool below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from the write-up and low-risk sections. Often, the highest projected owned RBs in the Occupy Model end up being the sharpest low-risk plays. Smart players have all week to figure out who to run, ownership projections reflect that. 

It’s always a good idea to lock in a high volume, cheap RB in your low-risk lineup, and in the majority (if not all) of your high-risk lineups. This week, Joe Mixon, David Montgomery, Brian Hill and James White are options for that.

Building 5-10-20 or more lineups for these large-field GPPs? Stick to a core of top plays (outlined below) that are projected to be highly owned, and build game stacks around that core. We strongly recommend stacking the highest total games on the slate above to accomplish this. Our partner, DFS Magic, has a lineup builder you can use to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings!


Smaller Bankrolls

First and foremost, always play freerolls. The AutoNation Free Football Challenge and the Straight Cash Free Contest Series are the 2 options on DraftKings.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.

This is likely most people reading this – single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.

The first place you can do that are with “Contests” – these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests – you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats – it’s a great place to play.

The $3 entry fee, NFL $60K Pylon or $12 entry fee, NFL $200K Fair Catch on DraftKings are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $130K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $25K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $22K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $100K Nickel on DraftKings.

The $40K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $1,500!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $15K Sun NFL Pooch Punt.

On DraftKings, you should continue to play satellites for Millionaire Maker tickets you can use in later weeks. There are also generic “NFL $3 Ticket SuperSatellite” contests – these award 4 tickets and are $0.25 single entry GPPs. This would be a great way to accumulate Pylon or Play-Action tickets.

There is also an NBA Holiday BBall Millionaire contest that has satellites available on DraftKings now for some cross-sport opportunity – you have several weeks to rack up tickets for this. Other strong cross-sport satellite opportunities? The NBA $1M High Flyer, the EPL $100K Boxing Day Classic, LOL $40K Opening Day 2020 and the NAS $10 America’s Race in February.

On FanDuel, look at the satellites for the NBA Spectacular Slam on 11/27, NHL SUPER Monster on 12/3, NBA Legendary Layup on 12/4, NHL Super Deke on 12/10, NBA $1M Alley Oop on 12/18, NHL Super Crossbar on 12/19, NBA EPIC Monster on 12/20, NBA Santa Slam on 12/25 and TEN SUPER Smash on 1/19. Obviously, we like the satellites for “Next Week’s NFL Sunday Million” and the WFFC Fan Championship on 12/15 as well.

Don’t forget we have NBA and NHL Models for you to use for those contests – there will be an NBA Daily Plug as well on all slates with 6+ NBA games.

Larger Bankrolls

100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play – on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.

We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $1.11K Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $100K, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here.

You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size – The $27 entry fee $100K Blind Side and $50 entry fee $150K Red Zone stand out. The $100 entry fee $300K Spy awards $50,000 to 1st place, and is a small 3,333 person field (there is also a $75K Spy with an 833 person field).

For FanDuel users, the best single entry GPPs in the next tier up not mentioned above? The $33 entry fee, $115K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $125K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $50K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

The $150 entry fee, $555K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP on DraftKings with a $100,000 prize to 1st (there’s also a $150K Power Sweep with a smaller field). Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

On DraftKings, the largest expense (and largest upside) play is the $3M Fantasy Football Millionaire, which is a 150-max contest with a $1 million dollar top-prize. We like to say you shouldn’t play contests with your own dollars unless you can max enter them – the Milly Maker is no different.

The next best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $400K Slant. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $40K top prize.

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $1.75M NFL Sunday Million which is a $9 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $300,000 top-prize.


If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition to top plays above. Please remember – the Occupy Model is designed for high-risk contest optimization. Lower-ranked plays may still be great low-risk plays for that reason.


LOW-RISK: Dak Prescott

HIGH-RISK: Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, Kyle Allen, Tom Brady, Ryan Fitzpatrick


LOW-RISK: Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Le’Veon Bell, Leonard Fournette, James White, Jaylen Samuels, Kareem Hunt

HIGH RISK: Ezekiel Elliott, Chris Carson, Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Kalen Ballage, Devin Singletary, Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry, Ronald Jones II, Sony Michel, Patrick Laird, Bo Scarbrough, Rex Burkhead, Latavius Murray, Qadree Ollison, Peyton Barber, Tony Pollard


LOW-RISK: Michael Thomas, Tyler Lockett, Allen Robinson, D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, Julian Edelman, DeVante Parker, Demaryius Thomas, Tim Patrick

HIGH RISK: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, D.J. Chark Jr, Golden Tate, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Jamison Crowder, Jarvis Landry, Terry McLaurin, Randall Cobb, James Washington, DK Metcalf, Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, Chris Conley, Marvin Jones Jr, Sterling Shepard (if active), Robby Anderson, A.J. Brown, Danny Amendola, Tyler Boyd, Tyrell Williams, Josh Gordon, Johnny Holton

THE “UNDERPERFORMING WRS” LIST: Johnny Holton, Odell Beckham Jr, Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffery, Allen Robinson, Chris Conley, A.J. Brown, Scott Miller, D.J. Chark Jr, Davante Adams (Yahoo!)

Agholor and Jeffery are OUT today.


LOW-RISK: Darren Waller, Dallas Goedert, Vance McDonald, Jacob Hollister

HIGH RISK: Ryan Griffin, Jared Cook, Greg Olsen, Cameron Brate


LOW-RISK: Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns

HIGH-RISK: New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars

Plays are listed in order of preference (OF Index, DK Index where applicable).

Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!