The 2020-21 NFL season has kicked off and there are huge Week 13 DFS contests being offered on FanDuel with big prize pools and exciting new formats such as Best Ball.

In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.

Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats, which require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risks in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.

Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick-off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.

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Top NFL DFS FanDuel Plays for Week 13

Quarterback

Best Play: Justin Herbert ($7.9k)

Our best per-dollar option this week is the likely Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert is coming off a down game at Buffalo in terms of TD passes, but he still tallied 316 yards on a career-high 52 attempts. The Chargers coaching staff simply decided to try and finish drives on the ground. Only the Jets are allowing a higher completion rate than the Pats (71.4%) over the past 3 weeks and New England is coughing up a league-high 12.9 yards per completion on the road. Herbert is averaging 346.3 passing YPG with 8 TDs and 0 picks over his last 3 home games.

Value Play: Kirk Cousins ($7.3k)

Dalvin Cook is dealing with an ankle injury and the Vikings are being forced to take to the air more with defenses loading the box to stop their potent rushing attack. That’s led to increased production from Cousins, who draws another juicy matchup this week against Jacksonville’s 31st-rated pass defense. The Jags are tied with the Pats for the most yards per completion (12.9) allowed on the road and only the Cowboys have allowed more passing TDs (23) this season.

GPP Play: Mitchell Trubisky ($6.9k)

Much of Trubisky’s production at Green Bay on Sunday night came during garbage time. He’s barely holding off third-stringer Tyler Bray and could lose his starting job when Nick Foles (hip) is healthy, but for now he’s the Bears starter in a much easier matchup. Detroit has given up the third-most pass plays (42) of 20-plus yards and allows the highest percentage of receptions (43%) for first downs. The Bears lead the NFL in pass-play percentage (72.1%) over the past 3 weeks and should turn Trubisky loose despite his turnover-prone tendencies.

Fade: Russell Wilson ($9.0k)

The Seahawks should control the action from the opening kick against the Giants. With Colt McCoy slated to start for Daniel Jones (hamstring) the G-Men are likely to use a conservative approach in this matchup and that could limit the upside of players on both sides of the ball. The Giants are coughing up 5.0 YPC over their last 3 games and Seattle’s RBs are healthier than they’ve been in weeks, so Wilson could once again disappoint in the box score while happily guiding his team to a win.

Running Back

Best Play: Austin Ekeler ($7.0k)

There are two good options for the rarely used QB-RB stack on this slate. The Bears have a low-cost GPP stack to consider and the Chargers have a stack to consider in any format now that Ekeler is back healthy. The shifty RB caught 11-of-16 targets for 129 yards at Buffalo and saw 5 carries/targets in the red zone while playing on 76.3% of offensive snaps. Bill Belichick’s tendency is to limit the opposition’s top WR and he should throw double teams at Keenan Allen, forcing Herbert to find his talented RB underneath. 

Value Play: David Montgomery ($6.2k)

Here is another stack to consider, with Montgomery, Trubisky, and Allen Robinson ($6.9k) all offering excellent upside at low cost. As bad as the Lions are in pass defense, they’re even worse in run defense. Detroit is yielding the third-most rushing YPG (144.8) and second-most YPC (5.1) on the road. The Lions are even more ripe to target following the firing of HC Matt Patricia. Surprisingly, Montgomery has run the second-most routes (253) among RBs and his workload is secure with a 73.8% snap share.

GPP Play: Damien Harris ($5.9k)

The Patriots offense has become increasingly predictable with Cam Newton struggling to pass downfield. The Pats have scored a league-high 68% of their TDs on the ground and no other team is over 57% in that category. Harris is averaging 4.8 YPC despite facing the most stacked boxes of any RB and his red zone workload is far more secure now that Rex Burkhead (knee) is on I.R. The Chargers are allowing the fifth-highest TD percentage (72.7%) on opponent’s red zone possessions over their last 3 games.  

Fade: Dalvin Cook ($10.5k)

As mentioned above, Cooks is a bit banged up and he’s facing a ton of stacked fronts since he set the league on fire with 478 yards and 6 TDs in a two-week span. He was the bust of the week last Sunday at an elevated price tag and is barely cheaper this week despite the risk that Alexander Mattison starts to eat into his workload. The Jaguars are more vulnerable against the pass and allow just 1 rushing TD per game on the road. Cook wouldn’t even necessarily meet value with 100-plus yards and a score.

Wide Receiver

Best Play: Davante Adams ($9.5k)

Pricing is generous enough on FanDuel to pay up for Adams, who offers the best floor-ceiling combination of any WR most weeks. Adams leads all WRs with a 33% target share and an insane 43.9% red zone target share. More importantly, he’s caught 15-of-18 red zone looks from Aaron Rodgers and has scored in 6 straight games with 9 total TDs in that span. The Packers are scoring the third-lowest percentage of TDs on the ground (20.5%) and the Eagles allow a 68.9% TD conversion rate in road games. 

Value Play: Cooper Kupp ($6.6k)

The Niners second played fantastic last week thanks in part to the return of Richard Sherman. Jared Goff had little time to throw and Kupp managed just 2 catches for 41 yards. He’s likely to bounce back this week against a Cardinals team he torched for 164 yards and 2 TDs over 2 meetings last season. Cardinals slot CB Byron Murphy allows 10.3 yards per catch and Kupp has an excellent floor in a game with shootout potential.

GPP Play: Adam Thielen ($7.8k)

The Vikings will be able to activate Adam Thielen off the COVID list in time for a juicy matchup against Jacksonville’s porous pass defense. The Jags have allowed the fourth-most receiving YPG (185.6) to WRs and cough up 2.6 passing TDs per game on the road. Thielen is Kirk Cousins favorite option with the highest red zone target share (48.4%) in the NFL and he caught 2-of-3 red zone looks for TDs in each of his last 2 games before missing Week 12. 

Fade: Calvin Ridley ($8.4k)

Even on the road, the Saints defense is not a unit to target. New Orleans has yielded just 1 TD over its last 3 outings and only trails Pittsburgh with a 51.7% completion rate allowed during that span. If Julio Jones (hamstring) is out, the Saints will be able to divert even more resources towards stopping Ridley. The Falcons rushing attack is feeble and the Saints have been able to pressure Matt Ryan relentlessly, sacking him 17 times over their last 2 meetings.

Tight End

Best Play: Darren Waller ($7.0k)

The entire Raiders offense dropped a dud in a plus matchup at Atlanta, but they should bounce back in an even better matchup this week. The Jets rank dead last in DVOA pass defense and allow the second-highest completion rate (70.3%) in home games. With Josh Jacobs (ankle) banged up, the Raiders will be even more likely to throw in the red zone and Waller commands the highest target share (27.1%) among TEs. He’s caught 14-of-18 red zone targets this season and has far more upside than the rest of the field at this position.

Value Play: Jonnu Smith ($5.7k)

Smith could be overlooked after failing to record a catch or even a target during a 45-28 drubbing of the Colts. But he should be more involved against a Browns team that yields the second-most FD PPG (12.8) to TEs. Cleveland is giving up 5.7 receptions per game to the position and Smith is seeing high quality looks with a 28.9% red zone target share.

GPP Play: T.J. Hockenson ($6.1k)

Targeting the Lions offense is extremely risky given their recent performances. Yet if you want to stack some Bears against Detroit, Hockenson makes sense as a correlation play. With OC Darren Bevell taking over as HC, the Lions could feature their athletic TE even more. Hockenson has the third-most receiving yards (530) and YAC (286) among TEs and the Bears have allowed the second-most TDs (8) to TEs this season.

Fade: Robert Tonyan ($5.9k)

Tonyan has caught a TD in consecutive outings and might look appealing against an Eagles team that yields the 10th-most FD PPG to opposing TEs. But Philly has shored up some of it’s issues in coverage against the position and the Packers have depth at TE with Jace Sternberger and Marcedes Lewis combing to draw 5 targets against the Bears last week.

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