We’re on the hunt for another solid DFS performance with our Week 12 DraftKings tournament lineup. There’s enough value on the table to pick a good mix of guys with high ceilings (even if some have low floors). Of course, also we’re going to lean on an enticing stack with an “all-of-nothing” vibe. Byes and five standalone games take away some key daily fantasy football studs, but our picks feature a nice mix of stars and boom-or-bust sleepers at wideout, which is usually the mix you want in GPP contests.
Before we break down our picks, here are the most notable scoring rules for DraftKings contests: Full-point PPR, four-point passing TDs, three-point bonuses for 100 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards, and 300 passing yards.
DraftKings Picks Week 12: NFL DFS lineup for GPP tournaments
Sunday main slate, $50,000 budget
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons @ Jaguars ($5,500). We won’t sugarcoat it: Ryan has been abysmal since Week 8. He did deliver a wonderful 31.5-DraftKing-point performance in Week 9, but his output across the other three weeks totaled 14.9 DK points. His recent run of poor play will likely ward off much of the field; an added benefit of including him in the lineup. Ryan should benefit from the presumptive return of Cordarrelle Patterson, and Kyle Pitts should be able to get open more frequently without Bill Belichick going out of his way to smother him.
RB Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. Eagles ($6,300). We won’t act as if Barkley was electric in his return from an ankle injury — he delivered a modest 11.6 DK points on 12 touches. However, we’re hoping the firing of Jason Garrett and promotion of tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens sparks this offense. The Giants offensive line would have trouble blocking a Twitter troll, but sometimes a coaching staff shakeup can be the change a team needs to achieve more success. Ultimately, the upside mixed with the affordable price makes Barkley worth the gamble.
RB James Robinson, Jaguars vs. Falcons ($6,200). Robinson has cooled off a bit since reeling off four straight games of at least 19.1 DK points, but the Jaguars will host what appears to be an evenly matched squad on paper. Robinson is a strong bet to make an impact on the ground, through the air, and in the red zone. Wide receiver Jamal Agnew (hip) is out for the season, so some of his short-area targets will likely be redistributed to Robinson, perhaps setting him up for a chunky DK score.
WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers @ Bengals ($6,600). Johnson has dominated targets in recent weeks, drawing 13 in five of his past seven games. He’s not limited to the low-yield looks he’s seen over his first two seasons either — he’s averaging 12.7 yards per grab over that span. If he’s going to continue serving as the clear No. 1, we’re going to lock him into our lineups. The price is nice, too.
WR Brandin Cooks, Texans vs. Jets ($5,800). Our selection of Cooks straddles the line between insanity and persistence. He’s burned us a few times this season, but there’s still reason to like him here. Last week’s dud can be explained by poor weather and a run-dominant approach. We’re still attracted to his four games of double-digit targets and what should be a favorable matchup. With his tantalizing target upside and friendly salary, Cooks remains in our good graces. He’s scored 20-plus DK points four times this season.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers vs. Vikings ($5,300). It’s been a scenic journey for Aiyuk to this point, but he finally appears to be firmly entrenched as one third of the 49ers’ three-headed monster alongside George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Even though Aiyuk will share the pie with those two dominant figures, he (and Samuel for that matter) offers enough versatility that he can still receive a full plate of opportunity in a given matchup.
TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons @ Jaguars ($6,100). The good news is Pitts won’t have to contend with a Bill Belichick-led defense committed to blanketing him. The better news is he’ll return to the state of Florida, where he produced 26.3 DK points in his most recent visit — a 30-28 Falcons win over the Dolphins. The Falcons have been humiliated in back-to-back outings and will have more to play for than just a tally in the win column.
FLEX (RB) AJ Dillon, Packers vs. Rams ($5,900). It wasn’t the 2021 breakout we were hoping for from Dillon, but he played better than his fantasy line suggests, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and reeling in all six of his targets. He’s expected to lead the backfield again and is a solid bet to increase his tangible fantasy output this time around.
DEF Texans vs. Jets ($2,300). Picking on the Jets is an obvious strategy, but the Texans have played well defensively of late in their own right. They’ve surrendered just 30 points while generating six sacks and 10 takeaways over their past two games. The production has been good for 31 DK points over that span.