Top 5 NFL DFS slate-breakers for Week 12


The phrase “break the slate” is tossed around often in the DFS world, and for good reason. First, it just sounds cool. And second, because it’s actually true. 

Think of all fantasy points scored each week as a gravitational pull. When fantasy points are bell-curve distributed like they are most weeks, the DFS solar system works. When one player starts gobbling up more and more fantasy points, that player’s gravitational pull on the slate becomes stronger. If they score enough fantasy points, they become a black hole of sorts and “break the slate.” 

Eventually, black holes become truth for all. If you own a slate breaker one week, you’re going to win. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s that simple.

Here are the five players most likely to break the slate in Week 12.



Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady, plus a tight spread (Bucs -3), plus a high total (over/under of 53 points, by far the most of Week 12) is a formula for success in and of itself. According to our NFL Splits Tool, Brady has scored 27% more fantasy points in gams with an over/under of 51 or higher over the last three season.

Now layer in the facts that the Colts have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs and that Tampa’s receiving corps is nearing full strength again, and Brady is the best QB play on the board bar none.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

What is left to say about Jonathan Taylor? Looking at nothing but his recent game log from Week 5 is enough to make your jaw drop. 

 We know his usage and efficiency are elite (first in red-zone touches, second in yards per attempt, first in yards after contact per attempt, first in missed tackles forced, first in rushes of 10-plus yards, first in touches inside the red zone, inside the 10, and inside the 5). 

The Buccaneers do have a legitimately good rush defense, but they have been put on notice by several RBs this season, especially those that can’t be game-scripted out lIke Taylor. Cordarrelle Patterson (21.4 points), Myles Gaskin (26.9 points), Khalil Herbert (133 total yards) and Antonio Gibson (20.8 points) have all found fantasy success against the Bucs. And Taylor is many, many rungs above them. In a potential shootout with the Bucs, Taylor’s upside is still fully intact. 

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey faces the Dolphins, who technically rank among the hardest matchups for RBs for fantasy — but that’s very deceiving in this case. Overall, the Dolphins have faced a weak list of RBs, with Jonathan Taylor (18.9 PPR points) and Leonard Fournette (19.0) serving as the biggest names they’ve faced, and both of those players fared at least decently well.

Miami ranks in the bottom 10 in yards after contact allowed, bottom 10 in rushing attempts against from inside the 10, third-worst in rushing attempts against from inside the 20, and they rank dead last in yards allowed while one of their would-be tacklers was getting dragged by the rusher. 

Further, fears of Cam Newton hurting CMC in the passing game were misguided, as McCaffrey still racked up 7 receptions with Newton under center last week. The Panthers are 2-point favorites, which should keep McCaffrey involved all game.

McCaffrey is expensive, but he still pops as one of the best per-dollar values in our NFL LineupEDGE DFS Optimizer.



Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Top WR/CB matchup of Week 12 against the Vikings, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Deebo Samuel lines up all over the formation, and he’ll run nearly 70% of his total routes from Slot of RWR. The Vikings have allowed the second-most points to slot WRs and the third-most points to RWRs, per our Advanced DvP WR tool.

We rave about Samuel so often, and the stat remain impressive: Top two in yards (994), first in YAC (525), second in RACR (yards versus Air Yards), and third in target market share (30%).

The following charts are courtesy of our Advanced WR/CB Matchups Tool:

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Lockett almost went bananas last week, gaining 115 yards on just 4 receptions, and it served as a reminder of the numbers he’s capable of when he gets real volume. The stars could align this week against Washington, who rank in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to WRs this year and are particularly prone to deep passes.

Washington has allowed 19 deep completions (balls throws at least 20 yards in the air), the fifth most in the NFL. They have allowed a 51.4% completion rate on deep basses, third worst. Lockett ranks third in the league with 16 deep targets.

But here’s the real potential final puzzle piece: Washington has allowed 8 deep-ball TDs, tied for most in the league. Lockett scored three times in Weeks 1 and 2, but he hasn’t scored since. That changes in Week 12.

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