There are no NFL byes in Week 13, which means all healthy players will be available for your daily fantasy needs. This is great for flexibility, but it doesn't necessarily make setting your ideal lineups any easier. More top players will be draftable, but this only makes picking the best of the best that much more difficult.
It also makes it harder to sort out the top value picks with which to round out your rosters.
In either case, there are two basic strategies that tend to pay off in DFS in weeks like this. You can either target players in projected shootouts or those going up against poor defenses and usually expect a high fantasy floor. We're going to examine one player at each FLEX position—running back, wide receiver and tight end—for each of these categories, along with their DraftKings and FanDuel values.
Shootout Pick: Austin Ekeler at Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,400 DK, $5,400 FD)
Sunday night's matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers has the potential to be a barn-burner. With players such as James Conner, Tyrell Williams, Antonio Brown and Keenan Allen on the field, there should be plenty of scoring.
This is reflected in the over/under, which sits at 51.5
The potential of this being a high-scoring affair increases the DFS value of Chargers receiving back Austin Ekeler. He and Justin Jackson will be filling in for Melvin Gordon, who is dealing with an MCL sprain. Because of his receiving ability, we like Ekeler the most out of the two in this matchup.
"Now I'm the next guy up," Ekeler said, per Ricky Henne of the team's official website. "It's some big shoes to fill."
Ekeler had 10 receptions and 103 total yards in Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals. These are fair expectations for Week 13.
Matchup Pick: Phillip Lindsay at Cincinnati Bengals ($5,400 DK, $7,000 FD)
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has been one of the most pleasant fantasy surprises of 2018. He also happens to have a tremendous matchup Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. With backup quarterback Jeff Driskel set to start for the Bengals, Denver shouldn't be engaged in a scoring race, either.
This should lead to plenty of carries for Lindsay. While Cincinnati might be ready for a one-dimensional offense, that doesn't mean it will stop it. The Cleveland Browns were in grind-out mode the entire second half against Cincinnati in Week 12, and Nick Chubb still finished with 128 combined rushing and receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Shootout Pick: JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($7,500 DK, $7,200 FD)
We've already talked about how Sunday night's Steelers-Chargers tilt projects as a shootout. This means the top receivers for both teams should have high fantasy values for Week 13.
We're zeroing in on the Steelers' top wideouts in this matchup because of how concentrated the numbers are at the top.
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown have combined for 1,929 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Ryan Switzer is the next wideout on the list with 214 yards and a score.
Though Brown is the clear leader in the touchdown department (11 to 4), we like Smith-Schuster a bit more Sunday. His floor is tremendous because of receptions and yardage potential—he had 13 for 189 yards in Week 12—and he's just a tad cheaper than Brown. This should help you squeeze just a little bit more potential into your lineup.
Matchup Pick: Kenny Golladay vs. Los Angeles Rams ($6,700 DK, $7,300 FD)
The game between the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions may not be much of a shootout. Los Angeles is averaging 35.4 points per game, third-most in the NFL, while Detroit is averaging just 21.6 points per game.
The Lions are also going in without injured running back Kerryon Johnson and wideout Marvin Jones, who was recently placed on injured reserve.
Expect Detroit to spend a lot of time playing catch-up in this game, which could mean quarterback Matthew Stafford force-feeds the ball to wide receiver Kenny Golladay during the effort.
Over his past two games, Golladay has 13 receptions, 203 yards receiving and a touchdown. His floor should be around half this total.
Shootout Pick: Cameron Brate vs. Carolina Panthers ($3,700 DK, $4,900 FD)
Like the Steelers-Chargers game, Sunday's matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has the potential to be a shootout. The over/under for this one sits at 54.5.
In this matchup, Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate becomes a top-tier DFS option. He was thrust back into a significant role when O.J. Howard went on injured reserve. In Week 12, Brate had three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown. He should have an even better outing this week.
We could tag Brate for our matchup pick as well. The Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Matchup Pick: Jared Cook vs. Kansas City Chiefs ($4,700 DK, $6,200 FD)
Brate looks like a bit of a bargain when compared to tight ends like Jared Cook of the Oakland Raiders. However, while we like the floor of Brate a lot, we like the potential upside of Cook even more.
Cook has become the go-to target for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. This is important in a week when Oakland will likely be passing early and often in an attempt to keep pace on the scoreboard.
The Kansas City Chiefs average 36.7 points per game, second-most in the NFL. The Chiefs have also allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2018.
Expect Cook to get a ton of opportunities against a defense that tends to let tight ends do quite a bit against them.