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BOOM vs. BUST: Top NFL Daily Fantasy Picks to Roster & Avoid for Thanksgiving Day | Week 12

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Built similarly to the extremely popular NBA Boom/Bust Tool here at Awesemo, the NFL Boom/Bust Tool has gained popularity as the most user-friendly way to identify the best (and worst) plays on any given slate. Developed by the data team at Awesemo, including Alex Baker himself, this tool makes it simple to identify under-utilized plays for Sunday’s main slate as well highlight which plays are most likely to fail. Simply group players based on their probability of putting up a massive score (boom), the odds of them failing to reach salary-based expectations (bust), and compare those scores to their likelihood of making the optimal lineup. With that process in mind, let’s cover the top player to boom and the most relevant player to bust at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions for Week 12 NFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. Using this tool is imperative when constructing DFS NFL lineups today.

Week 12 NFL Daily Fantasy: Boom/Bust Top Plays & Fades

Boom: David Montgomery – Chicago Bears RB

DraftKings – $6,00, 40.9% Ownership | FanDuel – $7,500, 49.7% Ownership

Despite seeing close to 50% ownership on both platforms, Montgomery has the slate’s best leverage score on DraftKings and the second best on FanDuel. His boom score of 34.6% on DraftKings and 24.7% on FanDuel blows his bust score (14.2%/16.6%) out of the water. This three-game Thanksgiving slate offers few safer options, as Montgomery’s optimal score comes in over 57% on both platforms. He has dominated the snap count out of the backfield, seeing between 85% and 95% of snaps since returning from injury. Chicago faces a Detroit defense that ranks 31st in yards rushing allowed per game (140.5) and have seen their 4.4 yards per rush attempt grow to 5 over the last three games. The Bears enter Thanksgiving Day as the sixth-ranked rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 132.1 rush yards per game.

Boom: Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys RB

DraftKings – $5,600, 16.2% Ownership | FanDuel – $5,900, 14.7% Ownership

This pick may go against the Boom/Bust Tool’s suggestion, but Pollard has been incredibly efficient this season, ranking fourth in yards per carry (5.5) and yards per touch (6.3). Pollard is arguably the best backup running back in the NFL and could help absorb some of the losses at receiver for the Cowboys. The matchup at hand is enticing as well, as the Raiders have allowed 28 DraftKings points to the running back position this year. Ezekiel Elliott suffered a knee injury for which he does not plan on missing time. However, Dallas would be wise to reduce Elliott’s workload and allow Pollard to continue to excel with additional opportunity. In the past two weeks, Pollard has seen 18 carries for 92 yards and nine targets for eight catches and 76 yards. His 90 carries and 27 targets this season would typically result in more than one touchdown, especially when looking at the 18 touches Pollard has received within the red zone.

Boom: Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders TE

DraftKings – $6,400, 36.6% Ownership | FanDuel – $7,300, 36.9% Ownership

 
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As the most expensive and highest-owned tight end on the slate, Waller has seen the second-highest target share at the position (25.2%) thanks to his 79 targets on the year. His 13 red-zone targets are third at the position and increase his target rate to 30.2% in the red zone. Las Vegas faces a Dallas defense that has allowed 634 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends this season, and Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Tyler Conklin, Kyle Pitts and Travis Kelce have all gone for over 50 yards in a game against them. The Cowboys allow 251.9 pass yards per game, which ranks 20th in the league. Waller is seeing the most deep targets (10) at the tight end position, resulting in the fourth-most air yards (407) and third-most unrealized air yards (282). He ranks in the top 10 of nearly every metric measuring opportunity and efficiency at the position and will look to take advantage of a defense that allows 7.1 yards per pass attempt.

According to our Awesemo Top Stacks Tool, Waller is one of the best pieces of the Raiders stack, which is one of the best value stacks on the slate. Check out Alex Hunter’s full breakdown of Thursday’s best stacks in his Thanksgiving Day NFL DFS Top Stacks.

Bust: Khalil Herbert – Chicago Bears RB

DraftKings – $4,500, 1.8% Ownership | FanDuel – $4,900, 0.6% Ownership

Herbert filled in admirably for four weeks as David Montgomery was dealing with a knee sprain. However, since Montgomery returned Herbert has seen only 17 total offensive snaps through two games, resulting in five carries for an unimpressive 13 yards. In Week 9, Montgomery’s first game back, Chicago lost 29-27 to Pittsburgh, and in Week 11 they suffered a 16-13 loss to Baltimore. If these close games gave any indication of Matt Nagy’s plans with his backfield, Herbert has been rendered useless. His bust score sits in the top 10 of the slate on both platforms and tops 75% on DraftKings. If the Bears had a smarter coach that utilized two running backs, there would be reason to take a shot at Herbert, but Nagy is certainly not the one. As long as Montgomery is healthy, he will continue to dominate the snap share and Herbert will settle into a reserve role that does not belong on a DFS roster, even on a limited slate.

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Bust: Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills RB

DraftKings – $4,700, 7.2% Ownership | FanDuel – $5,800, 4.8% Ownership

Buffalo has added another back to their backfield timeshare, with Matt Breida seeing an increase in snaps over the past two weeks. Singletary typically starts for the Bills but has not seen double-digit carries since Week 4 and has five one-catch games in his last eight appearances. His two goal-line touches and 14 touches in the red zone do not offer enough upside to project him for any sort of success, especially with a tough matchup at hand. New Orleans ranks first in run DVOA and only allows 89.8 yards rushing per game. Singletary’s bust score is 69.3% on DraftKings and 65.1% on FanDuel, and with the Saints dominance against the run and struggles against the pass, it makes sense that the Bills would look to attack through the air more than the ground. New Orleans leads the NFL in DraftKings points allowed to the running back position (18.9), and with Buffalo deploying three to four different backs, it is not the situation to exploit.


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Bust: Buffalo Bills Defense

DraftKings – $3,100, 19.8% Ownership | FanDuel – $4,500, 21.2% Ownership

Both teams enter this Thursday Night showdown struggling through their last three games. Buffalo got blasted 41-15 last week against Indianapolis while also losing to Jacksonville just three weeks ago. New Orleans has lost three straight but by only a combined 15 points. They do not allow many sacks (1.7 per game) and do not turn the ball over much (1.1 per game). If the Saints are able to replicate the ground success that the Colts had, it would limit the opportunity for the Bills to capitalize. This is certainly a possibility, with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram creating a powerful two-headed monster in the backfield. As one of the highest-owned defensive units on the slate, New Orleans has the highest bust score on FanDuel and third highest on DraftKings. The Saints, however, have an injury report worth monitoring, as they have four offensive starters with the questionable tag heading into Wednesday.


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If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL DFS rankings, and DFS NFL stacking. We also have showdown projections and NFL DFS showdown ownership projections. View our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings and our FanDuel NFL DFS rankings. Take a look at our inactive players, NFL lineups and NFL depth chart list.
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