DFS Plays: NFL Week 12 DFS Game-by-Game Analysis

week 2 NFL schedule

With three games already played – on Thanksgiving – to kick off Week 12, we are presented with a slightly smaller slate of games, despite no teams on bye weeks. There does appear to exist a common thread throughout the matchups, as we could be in store for a high number of close games and back-and-forth matchups.

As always, the game flow projections tend to favor the side of the game most likely to be attempting to keep pace with the other. This leads to an inflated number of targets across-the-board, as the passing game – in the form of quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends – favors the team expected to be trailing while running backs come from the teams most likely to be protecting late leads.

Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 12 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.

DFS PlaysLuke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.

San Francisco 49ers at Miami Dolphins

Luke’s DFS Take: The matchup between the 49ers and Dolphins has the secret potential of turning into a shootout. Miami has been hit-or-miss all season, but they have a fantastic matchup against the 49ers that the Dolphins should be able to exploit. Ryan Tannehill, Jarvis Landry, and DeVante Parker are all in good positions to succeed. However, the best option for the Dolphins is Jay Ajayi. The running back is coming off his worst game in the last five weeks – 16 carries for 77 yards. Needless to say, he has been great lately and heavily involved in the Dolphins’ hot streak. He has an ideal matchup as the 49ers are allowing an incredible 179.5 yards per game rushing, so expect Ajayi to feast. On the other side of the game, Colin Kaepernick may come back into relevancy. This Dolphins defense can be beat and, if the 49ers fall behind – certainly a possibility – Kaepernick may be forced to pass in an attempt to mount a comeback. It is always a shot-in-the-dark to try to pinpoint which receiver Kaepernick will utilize on a given week, but both Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde make for decent options in what may be a high-scoring outing.

Mario’s DFS Take: One of my favorite games of Week 12, the Miami Dolphins – fresh off one of the most impossible wins of the season – play host to the San Francisco 49ers and their horrific defense. Immediately, Jay Ajayi is back in play as one of the best running back options for Sunday but, after Ajayi and Jarvis Landry – who should, as usual, thrive in point-per-reception formats – the best fantasy options might actually come from San Francisco. Despite the Dolphins’ win streak, they are still extremely vulnerable on the ground – allowing the third-most rushing yards in the league – and the 49ers are primed to attack via the run. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is a great option on Sunday – possibly one of the best – thanks to his rushing ability and the high likelihood that he will be throwing in an attempt to mount a comeback. In addition, Kaepernick has played well of late, throwing for 814 yards, five touchdowns, and only one interception over his last three games. Using one of the 49ers’ running backs is also preferable but, even with Carlos Hyde healthy, San Francisco still utilizes a number of options out of the backfield. Hyde is still the best fit.

New England Patriots at New York Jets

Luke’s DFS Take: It will be no surprise if-and-when Tom Brady comes out and carves up this Jets secondary. The Jets’ run defense has been solid, all year, but its passing defense has been just the opposite. Feel free to roll out Brady with confidence – as you can most weeks – but it may be tough to decide which receiver to use along with him – between both injuries and the high number of players he utilizes. If you want to specifically use a Patriots receiver with Brady, wait until Sunday for the list of inactives to be released. The Jets will likely be playing from behind for a large majority of the game, so the ball will be in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hands. I don’t like the idea of using Fitzpatrick, himself, but this might be the week to roll out Brandon Marshall. Marshall has been quiet for the past four games – probably due to the shuffling of the quarterback position. The Jets are finally settled back on Fitzpatrick – for this game – and the team is coming off a bye week in which it should have been able to regain some form. The Patriots’ defense may be allowing the third-fewest points-per-game in the league, but it is still beatable enough – 17th in yards allowed – for Marshall to have a big day.

Mario’s DFS Take: Arguably the game with the widest range of outcomes possible, the divisional showdown between the Jets and Patriots – that was moved out of the Primetime slot because of how poorly the Jets have played, thus taking away some luster from the game – is actually dangerous to attack. Of course, quarterback Tom Brady is easily talented enough to dismantle a horrible Jets secondary, but New York is coming off a bye week and has had some success in the past when it comes to limiting their rival. If Rob Gronkowski plays, he always creates a mismatch with the defense, and is one of the better tight end plays of the day. New England’s defense is worth a look against a turnover-happy Jets offense, but there is simply too much uncertainty in this contest to recommend much else.

Featured Image Credit: By Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (Tom Brady) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola