Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian: Week 13

Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian: Week 13

Welcome back for Week 13. This is as unique a week for chalk as I can remember because there is no chalk. A grand total of three players are over 25% owned, and only an additional three players are owned between 18% and 25%. There’s probably not a single player to fade this week due to ownership concerns. We can mostly avoid the higher-ownership players though, and try to get our unique lineups to the top of GPPs. Here are my Week 13 Fantasy Aces GPP picks…


Drew Brees is the most-owned quarterback of the week, and rightfully so. He’s the second best quarterback in the league at doling out extra fantasy points at home. I don’t think you can completely avoid him or this game. In fact, you should probably expose yourself to some extent, as it’s likely the top scoring game of the week. If you’re using Brees stacks, you should probably game stack with Matthew Stafford ($7000, 15%), as it’s unlikely for one to hit without the other. There are also some lesser owned options in this game that I’ll touch on at other positions.

I mentioned Brees is the second-best quarterback at accumulating extra statistics at home, you probably know who the first is…

Ben Roethlisberger – $7100, 6%

Here’s your cheaper, probable arbitrage Brees. The match-up isn’t as good on paper, but match-up rarely matters in Steelers home games. It’s easy to forget how big the numbers he puts up at home are, as he’s only played one in the last seven weeks. Roethlisberger has thrown at least three touchdowns in every home game this season, and you’d have to go all the way back to Week 2 to find the last game that he didn’t additionally throw for 300-plus yards. Take the salary discount on Brees with the equal or better ceiling. His team attacks more aggressively and now gives additional scoring opportunities on random (and perhaps ill-advised) two point conversion attempts.

Stack with Antonio Brown and Ladarius Green. Game stack in a with Eli naked, or Eli with OBJ if you can afford.

Full disclosure:  The majority of my lineups will feature Big Ben stacks. I will mix in Brees and Russell Wilson ($6550, 14%) stacked with Doug Baldwin and some Jermaine Kearse, but I’m all in on Roethlisberger being the tournament play of the week at quarterback.

On slates including the Monday night game, Andrew Luck ($6750, 4%) is somehow flying under the radar in a dream match-up. Roll him with TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief.


Even the chalk at running back this week is very light compared to previous weeks. David Johnson ($6700, 26%) and Jordan Howard ($5300, 33%) both have dream spots at home and are probably severely under-owned relative to what they should or would have been in other weeks.

So how do we make all these pricey guys fit? Here’s a start:

Denard Robinson – $3500, 1%

It’s utterly amazing how many still don’t understand that Denver is a plus match-up for running backs. As recently as this week, I’ve seen some of the largest sites in the industry talk about Denver as a daunting opponent for rushers, which is quite simply false. With Trevor Siemian either not playing or playing hurt, and Blake Bortles facing the Denver pass defense, both coaches should be happy to keep this a low-scoring, muddied-up affair with the running backs being the focal points of both offenses. With Chris Ivory already ruled out and  T.J. Yeldon’s potential workload a huge question mark, this is your value contrarian punt play that may have a built in ceiling.

Here are three other mid-range running backs being ignored with likely full workloads in imperfect match-ups:

Devonta Freeman – $5200, 2%
Jeremy Hill – $5100, 5%
LaGarrette Blount – $5000, 5%


There isn’t a plethora of bargains this week, but there are a couple wideouts cheap enough to make your stacks with the pricier quarterbacks fit. The two sticking out to me are:

Marquess Wilson – $4250, 11%
Steve Smith – $4200, 6%

If you want a couple super-stud wide receivers in your lineup and are punting running back to get them, this is a good week to do so in tournaments. Two of best are largely ignored, but shouldn’t be:

Antonio Brown – $6600, 5%
Julio Jones – $6400, 6%

There are also two supremely talented players with sub-$5000 salaries in amazing match-ups, owned at less than 4%:

Deandre Hopkins – $4900, 2%

Green Bay has made Stefon Diggs, Marvin Jones and others into Randy Moss this year. Nuk could explode if he’s not incorrectly ruled out of bounds on a long touchdown again, and if Brock Osweiler brings some competency.

Sammy Watkins – $4750, 3%

Oakland is no stranger to allowing big plays. Last week, they allowed Ted Ginn Jr. to nearly double his second-best yardage output of the season with 115 yards and a score. Now they face Wakins, the souped-up and insanely upgraded model who doesn’t need full-time snaps to return WR1 output.

The under-owned options in the Detroit-New Orleans game who are their respective teams’ #1 receivers and are inexplicably ignored:

Golden Tate – $5000, 7%
Michael Thomas – $5600, 8% (Brandin Cooks is 16%, as narrative street dictated)


Ladarius Green ($3950, 5%)

Ladarius Green is your play with Ben Roethlisberger stacks, as he’s very affordable and has the best individual match-up of the Steelers’ pass-catchers. In addition, Mike Tomlin has promised him an expanded role.

Outside of Green, it may be prudent to stick with players whose last names start with “E” for value:

Zach Ertz – $4200, 4%
Tyler Eifert – $4800, 4%
Eric Ebron – $4600, 5%


I believe the top scoring defense of the week will come from the Denver-Jacksonville game. The Jaguars are a great punt play to help fit lineups, as well. I’m only hedging with the Patriots’ defensive unit.

Jacksonville Jaguars – $2500, 4%
New England Patriots – $3400, 4%
Denver Broncos – $3400, 9%

As always, good luck and go crack off a big win!

Editor’s Note:  If you’re new to the 2QB DFS scene and would like to give Fantasy Aces a shot you can use our referral code to sign-up.

TJ Calkins

TJ Calkins owns a small business in steel manufacturing that you've never heard of and is sarcastic to a fault. Whether it's dynasty, DFS, best ball or redraft, he's always finding a way to get his fantasy football fix. You can find him on Twitter @tjcalkins

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