The best fantasy football gamble of Week 12

The best fantasy football gamble of Week 12

DFS - Daily Fantasy Football player picks and tips

The best fantasy football gamble of Week 12


Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start as a streamer. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.

The best fantasy football gamble for Week 12

Tracking my predictions: 3-7-1
Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected, leaves with an injury, or lands on COVID-19 list after publishing

2021 record: 8-9-1
2020 record: 5-10-1

Well, well, well … what do you know, I finally returned to the winner’s circle last week with the promotion of New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in this space. I projected 21-for-29, 215 yards, 1 TD pass, 55 rushing yards, 1 TD (26.25 fantasy points), and he finished with a line of 27-for-44, 341 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 50 rushing yards, and 1 TD (28.64 points).

Not. Too. Shabby.

Indianapolis Colts WR Alec Pierce vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This one won’t be as palatable with 26 remaining teams yet to play. What makes Pierce an even riskier play is his lack of production in the last five games. Not only did he struggle to generate fantasy football production in that window, Pierce had barely been in the game plan. In that time frame, we’ve seen Parris Campbell emerge as the safer as well as more prolific option from this receiving corps.

Suffice it to say, Pierce is about as risky as they come and appears to have run face first into the rookie wall without wearing his helmet.

Last week, we witnessed a potential reversal of fortunes when Matt Ryan sent 38.1 percent of the positional targets the rookie’s way. The results were paltry as Pierce landed just three of the looks for a mere 28 yards, which is forgivable vs. a tough Philadelphia secondary. Pierce drew only nine targets over the prior three games combined and landed just four.

On the year, prior to Ryan’s benching, Pierce was consistently involved and rather productive, thanks to his vertical traits. Those skills will come in handy vs. a Steelers defense that has allowed the second-highest average yards per reception (15.6) in the last five weeks. Only three teams have given up a higher efficiency rating for fantasy points generated per catch. The 15th-most receptions a game have produced the fifth-most aerial yards, and a TD every 9.8 grabs is the seventh-highest frequency. Pierce has averaged 15.1 yards per grab in 2022, and he has managed to eclipse that mark in five contests.

On the year, this matchup 25.9 percent better than the league average for PPR points allowed, and this figure jumps to 34.9 percent in formats that don’t reward receptions. Eleven wideouts have scored 10 or more fantasy points — and that’s in standard scoring. Add five more such efforts to the list in PPR leagues.

Running back Jonathan Taylor may have a difficult time finding success on the ground, and that bodes well for Indy being forced to pass more than usual.

If you’re averse to taking wild risks and likely committing unforced errors, you’ll find safer options with similar upside. For gamers who are feeling extra frisky or, better yet, playing in DFS showdown contests, Pierce is an intriguing risk-reward flier.

My projection: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD (16.8 PPR fantasy points)


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