NFL DFS predictions post here every week, including projected outcomes and players to watch for every matchup. For more player selections, check out our free NFL Lineup Builder (now in beta).
Thursday, Dec. 9th (TNF)
STEELERS (6-5-1) AT VIKINGS (5-7) — 8:20pm ET FOX
Favorite: Minnesota (-3) O/U: 44
The Steelers and Vikings were involved in two of the biggest upsets of week 13. The Steelers pulled off a gem against Baltimore, thanks to the Ravens going for the win instead of the tie on a two-point conversion. The Vikings, meanwhile, gave the Detroit Lions their first win of the year, allowing Jared Goff to march 75 yards down the field to score the game-winning touchdown with 8 seconds left. Their loss to the 49ers last week was huge but this loss was backbreaking. Instead of being the 7th seed, now the Vikings sit 3 slots out of the playoffs. The Vikings have home field advantage but the reality is that they continue to find ways to lose games. All the talent is there but they seemingly can’t get out of their own way. Big Ben had an adequate day against the Ravens, going 21-31, with 236 yards and 2 touchdowns. If Pittsburgh wants to escape with a victory, they’ll need Ben to pick apart the banged up Vikings defense. Fortunately for him, Minnesota has allowed the 5th most Fantasy points More to QBs in the last month.
DFS Player to Watch: Najee Harris | RB | $7,700 DraftKings | $9,000 FanDuel
Najee Harris only had 71 yards rushing against the Ravens but the Ravens run defense (#1 over the last 4 weeks) is much more formidable than Minnesota’s. Harris will get over 20 opportunities this game and could hit value for the first time in weeks.
Sunday, Dec. 12th (Early Games)
RAVENS (8-4) AT BROWNS (6-6) — 1:00pm ET CBS
Favorite: Cleveland (-2.5) O/U: 42.5
These two teams faced off two weeks ago and it was a turnover-fest for both parties. Lamar Jackson threw no less than four interceptions. After a last-minute loss against the Steelers last week the Ravens are under A “pressure” in NFL parlance is when the quarterback is hurried, hit or sacked. Defenses that pressure the opposing QB more than average allow fewer points and win more games, for obvious reasons. QBs under pressure throw away the ball more and make more mistakes (e.g., throw... More if they want to retain a top seed. Lamar Jackson has thrown one touchdown against five interceptions in the last two weeks and now he faces a top-10 defense against QBs in the last four weeks, and top-5 defense overall, according to PFF grades. The Browns are still very much in the AFC playoff picture. Yet, they continue to be an up-and-down football team with no consistency from an ailing Baker Mayfield. If the Browns’ defense can limit Lamar’s running lanes and force him to pass, they can pull this one off.
DFS Player to Watch: Jarvis Landry | WR | $5,400 DraftKings | $6,400 FanDuel
Jarvis Landry battles a Ravens secondary that is bottom 10 in coverage. The last time these two teams played he was able to put up 111 receiving yards — and that was with Baker having a rough night. Now that Mayfield has given his body some time off, and with head coach Stefanski looking to push the ball down the field, look to Landry as a beneficiary.
JAGUARS (2-10) AT TITANS (8-4) — 1:00pm ET CBS
Favorite: Tennessee (-9) O/U: 44
This game doesn’t mean much for the Jags but it’s critical for the Titans. The Titans looked nearly invincible this time last month. But now they’ve lost two in a row and find themselves in must-win mode — not only to hold on to their lead in the division but also for a realistic shot at the 1st seed. Losing a player of Derrick Henry’s calibre would be tough for any team but when your quarterback turns the ball over repeatedly, winning is a crapshoot. The Titans already lost to the hapless Texans, at home no less. They can’t afford another embarrassment against the Jags.
DFS Player to Watch: Ryan Tannehill | QB | $6,400 DraftKings | $7,300 FanDuel
Ryan Tannehill has been the engine of the Titans’ offense since Henry and Jones got hurt. While he’s been less than impressive (averaging just 231 yards a game) he’s also had to play without Julio Jones and AJ Brown for several weeks. Coming off the bye he should be much sharper, especially with Jones back and a suspect Jaguars pass defense.
RAIDERS (6-6) AT CHIEFS (8-4) — 1:00pm ET CBS
Favorite: Kansas City (-9.5) O/U: 48.5
Andy Reid’s Chiefs are on fire, having won five in a row with a defense that’s finally found itself. The Raiders? They laid an egg against the Washington Football Team after pulling off an incredible road win against the Cowboys. The last time these two teams duelled, the Chiefs put a biblical beatdown on the Raiders in Sin City. They’ll seek to do the same in Arrowhead. The Raiders are sitting at 6-6 so they’re still in the hunt, but the loss to Washington exposed their offensive gaps. The way to beat KC remains on the ground (4th worst rush defense, per PFF), so Josh Jacobs needs a big first half for Vegas to have a shot.
DFS Player to Watch: Patrick Mahomes | QB | $8,000 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel
Patrick Mahomes still has the occasional interception but he’s settled down from his early season struggles. He didn’t throw a touchdown against the Broncos last week but if his previous performance (406 yards + 5 TDs) against the Raiders is any indication, the fantasy points should be flowing come Sunday.
SAINTS (5-7) AT JETS (3-9) — 1:00pm ET CBS
Favorite: New Orleans (-5.5) O/U: 43.5
The Saints are stuck in no man’s land. Neither Taysom Hill nor Trevor Siemian have what it takes to run Sean Payton’s offense. It’s frustrating for the Saints given their defense is one of the most talented (graded #2 by PFF). Unfortunately that defense spends too much time on the field. The Jets have football’s worst defense and 7th worst offense, as per PFF. But while they seem like an easy win on paper, with their QB in flux the Saints can’t claim any opponent as an easy win.
DFS Player to Watch: Alvin Kamara | RB | $7,900 DraftKings | $9,000 FanDuel
QB Taysom Hill can’t be relied on, the Saints receiving corp is depleted, RBs Mark Ingram and Ty Montgomery are likely out due to COVID and the Jets’ run defense is beyond futile (graded worst in the NFL by PFF). Say no more.
COWBOYS (8-4) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-6) — 1:00pm ET FOX
Favorite: Dallas (-4) O/U: 48
Mike McCarthy has promised the Cowboys are “going to win this game.” Washington head coach Ron Rivera called that a “big mistake.” What drama. At the start of the season this looked like a lopsided affair but, as often happens in the NFL, time changes all. The Cowboys are still a potent offense but they aren’t putting up the breakneck numbers they were during the first third of the season. Meanwhile the Washington Football Team’s defense, even without Chase Young, has seen a magnificent turnaround — holding both the Seahawks and Raiders to 15 points in their past two games. Add in some inspired, if uneven, QB play from Taylor Heinicke and the Washington offense, and you have the makings of an interesting matchup between two old rivals. The Cowboys are still the favorites but they’re on the road and vulnerable to the run. Cue up Antonio Gibson’s highlight reel.
DFS Player to Watch: Antonio Gibson | WR | $6,000 DraftKings | $7,400 FanDuel
To say Gibson has momentum is an understatement. He’s tallied over 21 fantasy points in three of his last four games and squares off against a Dallas run defense graded third worst in the NFL by PFF. Washington backup RB J.D. McKissic (concussion) missed a few days of practice and could be limited.
FALCONS (5-7) AT PANTHERS (5-7) — 1:00pm ET FOX
Favorite: Carolina (-3) O/U: 42.5
It’s the battle of two 5-7 NFC South teams. Each remain in the hunt for wild card berths despite being two games under .500. The Falcons’ offense put up a decent fight against the Bucs last week but Brady picked apart their defense most of the game. This week they get the much more manageable task of taking on a Panthers team trotting out a demoralized Cam Newton and no Christian McCaffrey. Fortunately for Newton, Atlanta’s NFL-worst pass rush and below-average coverage and tackling make the Falcons a Christmas gift to QBs and receivers.
DFS Player to Watch: Matt Ryan | QB | $5,300 DraftKings | $6,800 FanDuel
Matt Ryan didn’t throw for any touchdowns last week but he still threw for 297 yards against a tough Bucs defense. The Panthers defense is nowhere near as formidable and Ryan is finally clicking with WR Russell Gage (130 yards on 12 targets last week). At only $5,300 on D.K., he’s more than just a flyer.
SEAHAWKS (4-8) AT TEXANS (2-10) — 1:00pm ET FOX
Favorite: Seattle (-7.5) O/U: 42
The Seahawks put together an impressive home win against a surging 49ers team, albeit one without Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner. Seattle can now enjoy a Texans team that was shutout last week by Indy. The Seahawks are only 4-8. With Pete Carroll’s job on the line and the wild card still dimly visible, a motivated Seahawks squad should avoid being upset.
DFS Player to Watch: Tyler Lockett | WR | $6,700 DraftKings | $7,300 FanDuel
Tyler Lockett had a solid outing against the Niners with 68 yards receiving and one touchdown. The Texans defense doesn’t have a single corner that is capable of keeping up with Lockett. Houston also allows far more points to the #1 WR. That’s why we expect Wilson to throw at Lockett aplenty.
Sunday, Dec. 12th (Afternoon Games)
LIONS (1-10-1) AT BRONCOS (6-6) — 4:05pm ET FOX
Favorite: Denver (-8) O/U: 42
The Lions actually did it. They managed to win a football game. Not only did they win a football game they won it against a hungry, if depleted, Vikings team in the thick of the playoff race — in thrilling fashion. Now they get a Broncos team that’s about average in all respects. One thing the Lions and Broncos both have going for them is their tenacity and ferocity. That’s been true no matter what the final score. The Lions have their work cut out for them against the altitude and the Broncos secondary/pass rush. But, as we see every week, anyone is capable of beating anyone.
DFS Player to Watch: Josh Reynolds | WR | $4,100 DraftKings | $5,300 FanDuel
With TE Hockenson doubtful, Detroit’s two RBs sidelined and the defensive focus on WR St. Brown, Josh Reynolds could see some action. His targets have been growing each week and he’ll face a below-average Broncos coverage unit.
GIANTS (4-8) AT CHARGERS (7-5) — 4:05pm ET FOX
Favorite: Los Angeles (-10.5) O/U: 44.5
The Giants suffered a brutal loss to the Dolphins after putting together a strong win against the Eagles the previous week. The Chargers had a much different weekend, pulling out an impressive victory against the feisty Bengals on the road after losing to Denver the week previous. Ultimately the Chargers have more to play for and are by far the better coached and more talented team. New York has too many injuries and a bottom-5 run D. This should be a mostly one-sided game.
Late breaking note: The Chargers might be missing some receivers due to COVID. Check the NFL fantasy football injuries page before game-time to see which players are out.
DFS Player to Watch: Justin Herbert | QB | $7,100 DraftKings | $8,400 FanDuel
Justin Herbert continues to have an up-and-down sophomore season but his numbers can impress on a week-to-week basis. Consider that against a stout Bengals defense he was able to put up 317 yards through the air and three touchdowns against only one interception. The Giants defense has had moments of glory this season against Jalen Hurts and Jameis Winston but they have yet to outduel a QB of Justin Herbert’s quality.
49ERS (6-6) AT BENGALS (7-5) — 4:25pm ET CBS
Favorite: Cincinnati (-1) O/U: 47.5
The 49ers dropped a tough one last week against Seattle, a game that would have made them 7-5 and solidified their sixth seed standing. Unfortunately they now have to travel across the country to face a highly potent Bengals offense that just suffered a tough loss of their own. If the 49ers get Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner back then both sides of the ball will be tough for the Bengals to deal with. If not then it could be a long day for the Niners, especially with their secondary being as susceptible to the deep pass.
DFS Player to Watch: Ja’Marr Chase | WR | $6,900 DraftKings | $7,200 FanDuel
Ja’Marr Chase is the breed of receiver that keeps defensive coordinators up at night. His speed, strength and reliable hands can catch almost anything thrown his way. With the 49ers’ secondary being their achilles heel, and RB Mixon and WR Higgins missing practices, Chase should be a productive rebound.
BILLS (7-5) AT BUCCANEERS (9-3) — 4:25pm ET CBS
Favorite: Tampa Bay (-3) O/U: 52.5
The Bills dropped an embarrassing one to the Patriots on Monday night. It happened for a variety of reasons, one of them being Josh Allen’s inability to stay upright during the game. The second being the virtually non-existent Bills’ run game. Now they travel to face Brady and the Bucs on a short week, with the Bucs coming off of a convincing win over the Falcons. The Bucs have the home field advantage with the heat and humidity of central Florida but the Bills have more to prove and a lot more to lose. If the Bills drop this game and fall to 7-6, they could be in trouble come AFC playoffs. A loss would likely put them out of the wild card seedings, or at least at the very bottom with plenty of teams circling around them. The Buccaneers are in firm control over the NFC South crown but the goal is to earn a higher seed so while Buffalo is more desperate the Bucs have plenty to play for as well. This may just be the most entertaining game of the weekend.
DFS Player to Watch: Chris Godwin | WR | $7,100 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel
Chris Godwin hasn’t had a touchdown in the last two games and his production against the Colts was abysmal, only 24 yards receiving. That said, he had a great game against the Falcons with 143 yards — averaging of 9.5 yards per reception, his highest output of the season. The Bills defense is ferocious against the pass but star corner Tre’Davious White is hurt. Either way, Godwin is still one of the best receivers after the catch. He’s also a favorite target of Brady’s, particularly given Antonio Brown is suspended. Expect plenty of receptions on game day.
Sunday, Dec. 12th (Late Games)
BEARS (4-8) AT PACKERS (9-3) — 8:20pm ET NBC
Favorite: Green Bay (-12.5) O/U: 43.5
This is essentially a tune-up game for the Packers. The Bears’ season is all but over and they have no first round pick in next year’s draft to ease the pain. The Bears are playing for nothing but pride and it’s almost guaranteed that head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace are all but out the door after week 18. The Packers are looking more and more like the team to beat in the NFC, with all due respect to the Cardinals. Rodgers has looked razor sharp since his return from Covid-19 protocols, minus the rusty game against Seattle.
DFS Player to Watch: Aaron Rodgers | QB | $7,200 DraftKings | $7,900 FanDuel
Earlier this year, Aaron Rodgers screamed towards Bears fans, proclaiming that he “owns” the Bears. That’s an understatement. In 25 career regular-season games against the Bears he is 20-5, 21-5 if you were to include his NFC Championship victory over the Bears back in January 2011. Rodgers has a high-octane fantasy engine dream, but against the Bears his numbers are turbo charged.
Monday, Dec. 13th (MNF)
RAMS (8-4) AT CARDINALS (10-2) — 8:15pm ET ESPN
Favorite: Arizona (-3) O/U: 51.5
The Rams were served a fat slice of humble pie earlier this season against the Cardinals. The Cardinals beat them at home down 37-20. The Cards’ offense has proven to be borderline unstoppable when healthy. But they haven’t been entirely healthy for a few weeks now. The Rams were able to stop a three-game skid and get a much needed win against the Jaguars — improving their record to 8-4 on the season. The Rams have had trouble getting a consistent running game going. That means Stafford has had to do most of the heavy-lifting for the team, injuries and all (which he’s used to after his Detroit stint).
DFS Player to Watch: Kyler Murray | QB | $7,700 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel
The Rams pass defense is best in the nation, according to PFF. On the other hand, Kyler Murray was effective enough after his return from an ankle sprain, with 123 passing yards and four touchdowns last week. He’s had only two duds this entire season.
About the Author: Steven A. Cravens has been a professional sports better and analyst for over a decade. As a former Fox Sports NFL researcher and data logger, he specialized in player profiling and performance statistics.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all fantasy stats are based on point per reception (Point per reception This is a DFS scoring system that awards offensive players (e.g., WR, RB and TE) one point for each reception. This is the standard scoring method of DraftKings. More) scoring.