The Professor’s NFL Week 12 Low-Cost DFS Targets

The Professor's NFL Week 12 Low-Cost DFS Targets

The three-game Thanksgiving Day NFL slate opened up an opportunity for more traditional DFS formats instead of the usual single game Thursday Night Football format, but NFL fans still have a full weekend of DFS action to look forward to after the holiday. This article will cover The Professor’s low-cost options for DFS in the upcoming slate of NFL action.


Jimmy Garoppolo, MIN @ SF, $6500 FanDuel, $5700 DraftKings

The threat of rookie Trey Lance entering the game as a red-zone weapon may be keeping Garoppolo’s cost low, but while the 49ers employed that tactic early in the season, it has been Garoppolo at the controls as the 49ers have ripped off two straight wins to get back in the NFC playoff race. The 49ers’ offense is rolling; Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle are all in a rhythm and Jeff Wilson Jr.’s return provides depth for a running back room that had its depth tested by injuries. The 49ers’ offense should have a productive day against Minnesota’s defense and Garoppolo has scored at least 15 fantasy points in each of his last four games and topped twenty 20 in that period.

Joe Burrow, PIT @ CIN, $7100 FanDuel, $6200 DraftKings

The Bengals got a win against the Raiders coming out of their bye week but Joe Burrow once again posted modest numbers. After posting at least 20 fantasy points in five straight games, Burrow has posted roughly nine points in each of the last two, but his upcoming matchup with the Steelers isn’t against the dominant unit Pittsburgh fielded in 2019 and 2020. Burrow’s draft classmate, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, put on a clinic against the Steelers last week; Burrow doesn’t have Herbert’s ability as a runner but will offer value at this price if he gets back in rhythm as a passer.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT @ CIN, $6600 FanDuel, $5200 DraftKings

The Bengals put up a solid defensive performance against a fading Raiders offense but had struggled in several games prior to that. Receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool should have the advantage over Cincinnati’s outside cornerbacks and the Bengals have had some difficulty against receiving threats from the running back position, which could mean a big day for Najee Harris. It is difficult to imagine Roethlisberger putting up enormous numbers given the emphasis the Steelers put on using Harris but Roethlisberger should offer solid value at this price while opening up room for the rest of your DFS lineup.

Running Backs

Miles Sanders, PHI @ NYG, $6100 FanDuel, $5100 DraftKings

The injury to fellow running back Jordan Howard thrusts Miles Sanders back into the lead running back role for the Eagles. Sanders fumbled last week but also put up good yards-per-carry numbers in this Jalen Hurts-centric Eagles run game. Philadelphia faces a reeling Giants team this week; in this run-heavy approach on offense, Sanders should see ample opportunities to finally get his 2021 season in gear.

Leonard Fournette, TB @ IND, $7100 FanDuel, $6800 DraftKings

Ronald Jones got a rushing touchdown for Tampa Bay last week but Leonard Fournette continued to be the lead back in their split and handled the bulk of the receiving work. The Indianapolis defense is stouter in the front than in the secondary, so Tom Brady and the Bucs offense could elect to do more of their damage through the air, but that would create red-zone opportunities for Fournette to finish off drives as well as chances to rack up points on short receptions.

Javonte Williams, LAC @ DEN, $5700 FanDuel, $5200 DraftKings

It is a guessing game with the Denver backfield of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams; the rookie is the cheaper option and worth a roll of the dice against a Chargers-run defense that has been less than dominant. Williams has shown off incredible contact balance and leg churn in his half-season in the NFL and makes the most of his touches; the only thing that prevents him from being an every-week starter in fantasy is a lack of volume in a Denver offense that features a deep cast of playmakers.

Wide Receivers

Russell Gage, ATL @ JAX, $5700 FanDuel, $5100 DraftKings

Russell Gage has emerged alongside Olamide Zaccheaus as quarterback Matt Ryan’s top wide receiver threats with Calvin Ridley still absent for the Falcons. The duo does slot in behind do-it-all weapon Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Pitts in the pecking order but Gage gets his opportunities as the third target and has an advantageous matchup against the Jaguars. Atlanta’s scoring numbers have been atrocious the past two games but the Falcons were able to move the ball down the field early in their losses to the Cowboys and Patriots; they failed to finish those drives, but it’s a silver lining for Falcons fans looking for reasons to expect a rebound against the Jaguars.

Brandon Aiyuk, MIN @ SF, $6300 FanDuel, $5300 DraftKings

Brandon Aiyuk got off to a frustrating start in his second NFL season and was not helped by San Francisco’s offensive issues earlier this season, but Aiyuk has found a rhythm and the 49ers’ offense has been clicking the past two weeks. Minnesota’s Patrick Peterson returned for the Green Bay game and was able to play for most of the contest, but the Vikings have issues at cornerback behind him and Aiyuk should be able to capitalize on those matchups.

Tee Higgins, PIT @ CIN, $6200 FanDuel, $4300 DraftKings

New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore was another consideration but The Professor elected to go with Tee Higgins to break out of a slump rather than Moore to post big numbers in back-to-back games. The Bengals offense has not been consistent, but this passing game has too many talented pieces not to get things back on track at some point. Quarterback Joe Burrow and Higgins are an interesting value-stack this week.

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth, PIT @ CIN, $5300 FanDuel, $4300 DraftKings

There are many tight ends playing complementary roles for their offenses this NFL season, but few command as many red-zone targets as Pittsburgh’s Pat Freiermuth. The sure-handed rookie is a touchdown or bust proposition who has yet to top 58 passing yards in a game, but he has had at least four catches and six targets in each of the last five games and is more prominently featured in the red zone than the other options in his price range.


This article covered The Professor’s low-cost DFS plays for the upcoming week. For more fantasy content from The Professor check out his weekly appearance on Razor’s RedZone and the rest of his content on BeerLife Sports!

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Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.