DFS Player Pool Week 11
DFS Player Pool Week 11
Lamar Jackson, $7,700, vs. HOU
Is there anything else Jackson needs to prove? Sure, some critics will question the long term viability of Jackson’s style of play, and if he can have success in the playoffs. DFS players do not have to concern themselves with such matters. Jackson is on an absolute tear right now, doing anything and everything he can to win games. He hasn’t scored single digits with his rushing stats since Week 5. His only two weeks without a passing TD he also had a rushing TD. Nothing has kept him or his receivers out of the end zone all year. For that kind of floor, being the QB1 in terms of salary is palatable.
Additionally, Jackson has a Week 11 opponent capable of pushing the Ravens. Houston is now facing another lost season for J.J. Watt and containing Jackson will be very problematic. On the year, the only QBs the Texans have been able to hold to 1 passing TD or less are two rookies thrown into the starting role, Gardner Minshew and Kyle Allen. In Weeks 5-8, Houston allowed four straight opposing QBs to pass for at least 3 TDs. And the Texans haven’t had any QB attempt more than 6 rushes against them, mostly due to facing exclusively pocket passers. Jackson is a whole new problem. His floor makes him a safe bet to hit 2X, and his ceiling is nearly unmatched in the league right now.
Dak Prescott, $6,700, @ DET
The Dak for MVP train derailed back in Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints, but he has continued to rack up solid days. The current QB3 by average points scored on the main slate, Prescott now has his full offense together and healthy. The WR trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb are capable of attacking the defense at all levels, and their skill sets nicely complement one another. Ezekiel Elliot will be back to an RB1 after a single-digit scoring outlier against the Minnesota Vikings last week.
Dallas’ offense should see plenty of run with Detroit potentially being down their starting QB and multiple starting RBs. Detroit’s defense allows the 7th most points per game to QBs and 5 top-10 QB finishes in 9 weeks. That number should increase as Prescott and the Cowboys look to create some separation with the Philadelphia Eagles. Saving $1,000 from Jackson while keeping a similar floor and slightly lower ceiling will work nicely.
Derek Carr, $6,100, vs. CIN
For some reason the Miami Dolphins keep winning, giving the Cincinnati Bengals the inside path to the first overall pick. The Bengals have been struggling ever since a close Week 1 loss on the road to Seattle. They are up to 4th in points per game allowed to QBs. A lot of that has to do with facing Lamar Jackson twice, but the Bengals have been burned by lesser QBs too. The struggling Jared Goff (that’s his legal name now) threw for 372/2 just before their Week 9 bye, and even Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297/3 back in Week 2. Carr is coming off a down week but went for 3X ROI in his three games before that. The Bengals simply gave up last week down to the Ravens, and will likely offer little to no resistance to anyone else this year.
Kyle Allen, $5,300, vs. ATL
The Falcons can’t possibly be that good two weeks in a row, right? Atlanta now travels to Carolina for another division showdown. So, can Allen do what Brees was unable to? Luckily, the bar for Allen is much lower than for Brees, and he should be able to clear it. Allen has done very well 3 of his last 4 (3X ROI), and the bad game was against San Francisco on the road. Despite the win last week against the Saints, the Falcons are still an excellent matchup at home for the Panthers. They are 5th in opposing QB points per game and passing TDs allowed, while only managing 2 INTs. The INTs makes sense given another 5th place ranking for the Falcons D: pressure %. Allen should have time and space to pass, and given his low price, can be easily paired with some of the higher-priced options on the slate.
Christian McCaffrey, $,10,500, vs. ATL
With a little less snow or if Curtis Samuel moved one yard to his left or right, CMC is well over 3X again, even with the season’s highest salary. The goal-line stand at the end of the Packers game that may or may not have kept CMC out of the end zone. Prior to that, he still had a very good day going. Fading McCaffrey has been a viable play the last two weeks, as there has still been enough production elsewhere to make it feasible. Still, Atlanta is an enticing matchup capable of allowing CMC to hit 3X or better. As 7 point, home favorite, Carolina likely runs a lot on Sunday. This all boils down to lineup construction.
Using CMC means paying down, either a bit in a couple of spots, or WAY down at several. This strategy really narrows the margin for error but can work out if McCaffrey breaks the slate from the top. The advice here is to use him with discretion and keep the exposure limited.
Josh Jacobs, $6,900, vs. CIN
A tremendous RB matchup, Cincinnati has been among the worst rush defenses for most of the year. Up to the 3rd highest points per game average allowed, they lead the league in rushing yards allowed, yards per carry average, rushing first downs, and total yards allowed per drive. Offensively, they are a mess with the transition away from Andy Dalton going about as well as expected (which is bad). The Raiders should see the ball often, as even their sometimes toothless defense should be able to hold the Bengals.
After a slow first month, Jacobs has been on a roll lately. In 4 out of his last 5 games, he has scored 19+ points while totaling 100+ yards from scrimmage in those games. The volume argument for using Fournette mostly holds here for Jacobs as well. He is the unquestioned leader of the backfield. Hopping onto the Raiders bandwagon might not be a long ride, but for DFS purposes, it doesn’t need to be.
Leonard Fournette, $7,900, @ IND
Rostering Fournette is as close to an RB workload guarantee as you can get. On the season he is averaging 23.8 touches/game and has been the centerpiece of the Jaguars offense. As nice the consistent work has been, Fournette is also a great positive regression candidate. Even with all of his touches, he has just one TD on the season. Among RBs with one or fewer TDs, Adrian Peterson is the next man up in terms of touches, and Fournette has out-touched him 214 to 123. It makes no sense and should be correcting itself soon.
That correction could begin as soon as this week, with the Indianapolis Colts. Even though Indy doesn’t give up a lot of points to RBs, they only rank 23rd in rush defense DVOA per Football Outsiders. The zone scheme employed by the Colts leaves them open to plenty of short receptions, and they are tied for 10th in RB receptions allowed. With Nick Foles coming back as the starting QB after a long layoff, short outlet passes to Fournette can help ease him back into game action. The main thing keeping Fournette as a slightly risky play is the potential offensive mess this game could turn into. Indy will be missing T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell again, and Jacoby Brissett’s health isn’t 100%. Still, Fournette is an unquestioned bell-cow back, a rare breed these days in the modern NFL.
Brian Hill, $4,800, @ CAR
Hill will probably end up as one of the most used RBs this week with his price and opponent combination. With Devonta Freeman already ruled out for Week 11, Hill will be the starting RB for the Falcons. After being forced into the RB1 role last week after Freeman left with a foot injury, Hill has had all week to practice with the other starters. As an injury fill-in, he totaled 61 rushing yards and added a 10 yard TD reception to get 14.1 points. He was a very good RB in college with Josh Allen as his QB in his junior year at Wyoming. Now he’ll get the chance to work as a starter again for the first time since college.
Luckily, this week he’ll go from seeing the 4th toughest RB defense (NO) to the 4th most generous: the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have allowed opposing RBs to score 17 total TDs this year, and that will be meaningful for a Falcons team missing Freeman and fantasy’s TE1, Austin Hooper. With Mohamed Sanu gone to the Patriots, many expect Calvin Ridley to finally show up and produce. But, Atlanta could just as easily rely on the better matchup and control the ball with Hill, as they did against the Saints. Hill allows for a ton of roster flexibility, as starters with this kind of matchup don’t come this cheap often. Using Hill won’t create a ton of lineup leverage, but what you do with the salary savings can.
Michael Thomas, $9,900, @ TB
After an absurd $1,600 price jump, Thomas is just now priced closer to his actual production and is getting the CMC treatment. His counting stats are crazy and he leads the league in targets, receptions, and yards. He is on pace to set a new single-season reception record, fueled by his ridiculous 83.5% catch rate. That number isn’t a fluke, either, as it is actually LOWER than his 85% catch rate last year. He’s a beast and he has one of the best QBs to ever play in the NFL four weeks out from his return from a major ligament tear in his thumb. Tampa is one of the best matchups a WR can face and they have allowed 6 top-5 finishes already this year.
There is only one reason to fade Thomas and that is his price. Using MT comes down to the game theory you want to employ in lineup construction. Thomas will still be one of the highest owned WRs this week and there is enough value to easily get him into lineups. Cash players shouldn’t be afraid to use him, but GPP players can gain some leverage by paying down a bit and spreading the savings out. There are no performance-based reasons to avoid him this week.
Mike Evans, $7,400, vs. NO
Opposite from Thomas, is one of the other best bets in the DFS player pool. Mike Evans is again poised to have a monster day for Tampa. After some early inconsistency, Evans has re-asserted himself as the top WR for the Bucs. He has hit every 10s group in scoring the last four weeks, posting 12.2, 39.0, 45.8, and 20.6 points. While last week was a minor letdown, he is ready to break out again in what is one of several potential shootouts. Early projection models, like DraftKings, may have also missed out on the best news for Evans. Typically, Evans has been matched up against Marshon Lattimore when playing the Saints, but he has been ruled out this week.
Replacing Lattimore on the outside, will either be P.J. Williams or Eli Apple. Neither of those two is suited for full time outside CB duties, and Evans will have a significant matchup advantage over both of them. Chris Godwin will help keep coverage busy and allow Evans to do what he does best: attack downfield. His 17.1 yards/reception average is 7th overall and of the players above him, Kenny Golladay is the closest to him in targets with 18 fewer. He is also still an excellent red zone threat and is second in the league with 14, behind only Julian Edelman. Evans might be one of the best values of the week, even as the WR6 by price.
D.J. Moore, $5,900, vs. ATL
Moore is going to be another very popular play this week and, just like Michael Thomas, has an amazing production and matchup combination. In his second season, Moore will tie his receptions from last year with his next catch and should top his yardage total early in Week 12. He is in the top 15 in targets and receptions and just outside for yardage. He has become the top WR for the Panthers and if not for the breakouts of fellow second-year WRs Courtland Sutton and DJ Chark, Moore would be much more well known. He’s averaged a 2.6 ROI and has balanced his two 3X or better games with two games with less than 2X. He is a very safe bet for a solid return at a reasonable price point.
This is also while facing one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Even while shutting down the Saints last week, Michael Thomas had a top 5 finish. The Falcons allow the 7th most points per game to WRs and now they will travel to Carolina without their starting RB and TE. They are ready for a letdown after their second win of the season.
Jamison Crowder, $5,700, @ WAS
Betting on Sam Darnold is not a fun proposition, but Crowder might be the safest bet for the Jets. There is a long history for both head coach Adam Gase and Darnold’s love of slot targets, and that has proven to be true again this year. Crowder leads the next WR by 15 targets (65 to Robby Anderson’s 50) and 23 receptions (48 to Demaryius Thomas’ 25). Washington has been better against the run than the pass per DVOA rankings, making this a good bet for a 10/80ish type day for Crowder. By playing from the slot, Crowder will have the best WR/CB matchup, avoiding Josh Norman and Quenton Dunbar. Look for the Jets to continue rolling against NFC East opponents, and Crowder to push 20 points again.
Mohamed Sanu, $5,100, @ PHI
Few matchups have been as generous in fantasy this season as the outside WRs vs. Philadelphia. Seven different WRs have gone over 100 yards against them so far this season and Sanu could join them Sunday. In his second game with the Patriots, Sanu had 24.1 points against a resurgent Baltimore secondary. He led the team in targets and should see double digits again vs. Philly. The Patriots have desperately needed a consistent threat outside to relieve Julian Edelman and cover for Sony Michel’s lack of running efficiency. The Eagles aren’t a drastic pass funnel defense, but that certainly has been the more successful way to attack them. Look for the Patriots to try to avenge their Super Bowl LII loss and get back on track after a tough loss to Baltimore.
Deebo Samuel, $4,000, vs. ARI
This will depend on the availability of Emanuel Sanders, but Samuel offers a good bit of upside either way. Last week, with George Kittle and Sanders out, Samuel stepped up in a big way and finished with career highs in targets, receptions, and yards (11/8/112). The 49ers are all kinds of banged up with Kittle and Matt Breida listed as doubtful and LT Joe Staley out. Also questionable for the offense are WR Dante Pettis and RB Raheem Mostert. There will be plenty of touches to go around for Samuel, as one of the only healthy skill position players available. With the volume of plays expected against the Cardinals and their porous defense, Samuel is one of the best values on the slate.
This position is such a mess again this week, with two of the top three priced players out or doubtful (Hooper and Kittle). It’s tough to split these guys up since they all carry some solid risk so they will again just be put in a straight list format. They are sorted by price only, so buyer beware as this land mine of a position has been tough to gauge week to week.
Darren Waller, $5,500, vs. CIN
Waller has fallen off sharply from the start of the year, but he still is one of the best athletes at the position. His skills and the matchup against the Bengals sync up nicely. Mark Andrews has burned them twice this season, and George Kittle is the only other high-level TE they have seen and held. As a featured part of the offense, Waller should see some soft coverage from Cincy’s safeties. If you feel the need to pay up at TE, this is where to do it.
Jared Cook, $4,400, @ TB
Points should be easy to come by in this game and New Orleans has a real WR2 problem. Ted Ginn and Tre’Quan Smith have been either hurt or ineffective for most of the season, leaving Cook as the second-best option. Last week he returned from an ankle injury that cost him two games, but now has a three-game double-digit fantasy score streak going. That should continue as Tampa only trails the Cardinals in TE scoring.
Greg Olsen, $3,900, vs. ATL
Olsen has not been nearly the player he once was, but he finally got on track with Kyle Allen last week against the Green Bay Packers. They were able to exploit a solid matchup and Olsen finished with an 8/98 day on a budget-friendly $3,600 salary. The Falcons aren’t quite as good a matchup, but given the state of the position this week, he is a solid upside play with a sub $4k price.