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 13.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson draws a Pittsburgh Steelers team drawing near dead. Over their past three games, the Steelers have played to a tie against the winless Lions followed by allowing 41 points apiece to the Chargers and Bengals.
Justin Herbert dropped 382-3 through the air against Pittsburgh and, perhaps more relevant to Jackson, 90 yards rushing. Joe Burrow also ran for a TD against Pittsburgh last week. Jackson hasn’t been as consistent this season, but he does still possess a sky-high ceiling (35-plus DraftKings points in three games this year). A ceiling game is in the cards against his struggling divisional foe.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon has been on fire, posting at least 25 DraftKings point in four straight games thanks to 2 total TDs in each of those games. In fact, after scoring just once in the first three games, Mixon has found the end zone every week since.
And now the workhorse gets a top matchup against the Chargers, a bottom-five unit in terms of fantasy points given up to RBs (fourth-most on FanDuel, fifth-most on DraftKings, fourth-most on Yahoo, fourth-most on SuperDraft). The Chargers have allowed the third-most rushing TDs (15) and the second-most rushes from inside both the 20 and the 10. It’s hard to find a rushing stat that makes the Chargers D look good. Mixon has thrived on volume and TDs. He’ll get both in spades this weekend.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Alexander Mattison is as close to a plug-and-play replacement for Dalvin Cook as it gets. In his two games with a full workload this season, Mattison went 25-113-0 on the ground and 7-7-40-1 through the air (30.3 DraftKings points) and 26-112-0/8-6-59-0 for 26.1 DraftKings points.
And now he’ll carry the load again against the bottom-feeding Lions D, which has allowed the third-most fantasy points to RBs on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft. Mattison price saw a big hike, but he still pops in our DFS Optimizer.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp was down so bad at one point last week that the Rams resorted to a trick pass play just to get him the ball. He still finished the game with 7 catches for 96 yards on 10 targets. That’s a good floor, for those of you counting at home. But we’re taking about ceilings here, not floors, and of course Kupp has that too, with four 2-TD games and six 100-yard games so far this season.
The team he’ll terrorize this week? The Jacksonville Jaguars. Namely Jacksonville’s slot corner, Rudy Ford, who has allowed 0.36 fantasy points per route covered on the year, second worst among all starting slot CBs. Ford has allowed a 79% catch rate against.
And when Kupp isn’t in the slot (70% of the time), he’s at left WR (18% of the time). The Jaguars have allowed the second-most fantasy points to LWRs on the year. In short, they won’t be able to escape Kupp in Week 13.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Mike Evans boom is coming again. It last arrived in Week 7 when he dropped 3 TDs on the Bears. In Week 13, his DFS salary has reached its lowest point — since that Week 7 game.
According to our Advanced DVP Wide Receiver tool, no team has allowed more fantasy points to Left WRs than the Atlanta Falcons, Evans’ Week 13 opponent. Evans runs the majority of his routes from the LWR position (41%). Tom Brady will attack Atlanta’s area of weakness, which sets up for a big Evans game.
The Bucs are implied to score nearly 31 points, which you can equate to between 4-5 TDs. And, for what it’s worth, Evans has produced better stats across the board against the Falcons throughout his career, according to our NFL Splits tool.
Tyler is a 20-year fantasy football vet specializing in redraft, DFS, and dynasty. He has earned multiple FSWA nominations and won the Best Football Series award in 2017. Tyler previously wrote for PFF Fantasy, RotoViz, and Bleacher Report.