Thanksgiving games take two extra teams of the main slate, and with Kansas City and Arizona on a bye, our Week 12 FanDuel tournament lineup is forced to feature some boom-or-bust options that we haven’t called on much this season. Hopefully, we found enough high-upside sleepers to complement studs like Austin Ekeler and Ja’Marr Chase and push us into the green. We like the value available to justify spending up a premium RB and WR, so we’re employing a top-heavy approach for our NFL DFS picks this week.
Before we get into this week’s lineups, here are the basic rules for FanDuel contests. Scoring is pretty standard, with the only notable settings being four-point passing TDs and half-point PPR.
FanDuel Picks Week 12: NFL DFS lineup for GPP tournaments
Sunday main slate, $60,000 budget, no more than four players from one team
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons @ Jaguars ($7,100). Ryan’s recent form — three games of single-digit FanDuel scoring in his past four — will surely keep his ownership low. He’ll have more weapons at his disposal with the presumptive return of Cordarrelle Patterson. Not to mention, Kyle Pitts won’t be smothered to the same degree as he was last week. Ryan and the Falcons will be itching to exorcise the demons that have haunted them in back-to-back games and could take out some offensive frustration on Sunday.
RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ Broncos ($8,400). Ekeler is fresh off of his second 30-plus FD-point performance of the season, and he’ll continue to threaten on the ground and through the air. He has 13 total touchdowns, so another score (or two) could be in the cards. It may be a little greedy to expect another four, though.
RB Miles Sanders, Eagles @ Giants ($6,100). Sanders led running backs with 16 carries in his return from IR. Jordan Howard (knee) is doubtful for Sunday’s contest, opening up more opportunity for Sanders, at least in theory. The Eagles have made a more concerted effort to achieve pass-run balance in recent weeks, and Sanders should benefit from this adjustment moving forward.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals vs. Steelers ($7,700). Chase was relatively quiet in the Bengals’ blowout of the Raiders last week, but he scored his eighth touchdown of the season. Chase scored twice in his first visit with the Steelers, and while they’ll certainly be aware of that fact, stopping him will be a different story.
WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers @ Bengals ($7,100). Johnson has drawn 13 targets in five of his last seven games. He’s averaging a healthy 12.7 yards-per-catch and has scored three touchdowns over that span. If he’s going to continue to receive a high quantity — and quality — of targets in addition to the occasional carry, we’re going to want him in our lineups, especially at a modest salary.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers vs. Vikings ($6,300). Don’t look now, but the 49ers finally have their three-headed monster operating on all cylinders. It took Aiyuk some time to get things going, but he’s scored in two of his past three games and has totaled at least 15.7 FD points twice over that span. He’s going to share with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, but he’ll continue to receive enough volume in most weeks to do plenty of damage.
TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons @ Jaguars ($6,600). The Falcons have been demolished and humiliated in back-to-back weeks, so this is a spot where they should be expected to come out with some juice. Pitts should have much more room to operate against a Jaguars defense that won’t be able to match the Patriots’ performance from last week. The last time Pitts was in Florida, he scored 19.8 FD points against the Dolphins. Another quality performance from him is on tap for Sunday.
FLEX (RB) AJ Dillon, Packers vs. Rams ($6,900). Dillon didn’t have the fantasy tally that we expected, but he played well overall, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and catching all six of his targets. He’s ticketed for another start, and it’s reasonable to expect a more fantasy-friendly performance. Dillon can impact the game in all the key departments — ground, air, and red zone.
DEF Falcons @ Jaguars ($3,800). The Falcons have been atrocious of late. There is no denying that. However, the Jaguars feature one of the game’s worst offenses. Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees has had a few extra days to stew over the 68 points they’ve surrendered over the past two weeks. At the very least, we should get enough production to justify our cheap approach to defense.