NFL DFS DEEP DIVE: WEEK 11

Week 10 Review

A very up and down week for the column with the most ‘bad’ plays since Week 3. In general, this was a tricky week in DFS and you can read about my lineups and what went right and wrong for me over on my $100 Bankroll Challenge article. The biggest surprise of the weekend came with all of the chalk running backs working out. Often we see maybe one hit in similar scenarios, perhaps two, but for all to hit is a strange feeling. I tipped Mark Ingram and D’ernest Johnson to do well and both finished as top ten options at the position. I must say, I didn’t expect Stevenson to get so much work as a rookie in New England, coming off a concussion, so I never wrote him up and he shoved it in my face! Leonard Fournette had a very nice afternoon with 17.2 points and was excellent leverage off the more chalky Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. James Conner salvaged his play with a late touchdown and J.D McKissic fell victim to a game script nobody expected when Washington dominated the Buccs and Gibson looked healthier than he has in weeks. 

If you played Matt Ryan this week you probably didn’t cash, just ask my lineups. After the form he was in it’s a particularly bitter pill to swallow. Carson Wentz also failed to perform with Jonathan Taylor sucking up all the points. Trevor Siemian outperformed my expectations with a QB3 performance and I regret not playing him myself. At receiver, Mike Williams was a big disappointment coming close to big plays but not close enough and he finished as WR32. Jerry Jeudy also disappointed in a disappointing Bronco’s performance where the Bronco’s tight ends were relied upon. Punt plays, Washington and Valdes-Scantling came in with 9.5 and 5.1 points each. Nothing to write home about, but given their $3500 price, they didn’t kill you. It’s worth mentioning that Robby Anderson was noted and he finished as WR17 with a healthy 13.7 points. Tight end was mixed, as per usual, with regular of the column, Dan Arnold, scoring 13.7 points and finishing as the TE4. Zach Ertz came in at TE9 and Dalton Schultz bust heavily with the Cowboys finding other ways to score. 

Great plays (3x$) – 53 (43%)

Good plays (2x$) – 36 (29%)

Bad plays (<2x$) – 35 (28%)

All in all, it was a frustrating week and not my favourite type of slate. It was a good reminder of how hard it can be to predict the value plays of a slate whilst also showing us that the theories we take as scripture in DFS can often be wrong. For more on that check out my $100 Bankroll challenge article on Friday, where I get deeper into the theory takeaways of this week. For the season I’m still very happy with the 43% ratio of ‘Great plays’ that have returned 3x the value of their salary. Onto the next one. 

Week 11

With only a few teams on bye weeks, it feels like the studs are all in play this week. Many people will aim to get as much exposure as possible to the Chiefs Vs Cowboys and its whopping 56.5 over./under. QB and TE in particular have plenty of high priced options and some alluring stacking options. Before we jump into this week’s plays I want to shout out Scott Rinear (@MunderDifflinFF) I use a lot of different resources to come to my decisions and this week the charts he puts out on Twitter have saved me a lot of time. If you’re not following Scott already, please change that.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo $5600 @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 45.0 over/under 

Followers of my Twitter account (@BestballUKNFL) might just be familiar with my disdain for Garoppolo. Truthfully it’s much more of an affection for Trey Lance and the future of that team than an outright hatred for Jimmy, but I’ve definitely been scathing of him and it’s warranted to an extent. Whether you want to attribute Jimmy’s play to himself, or if you merely think it’s a product of Shanahan and Deebo Samuel, it’s hard to argue with the fact that in the last three games Garoppolo leads the league in fantasy scoring at the position. My best ball teams with 19.4% exposure to Trey Lance feel that cut deep. Deep. This weekend the Niners travel across the country to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that has allowed a top twelve quarterback performance in five of their nine games. It’s a low floor play, but it’s a nice price and attractive to stack with Deebo whilst Jimmy continues playing for his supper. 

Tua Tagovailoa $5500 @ New York Jets – 44.0 over/under

I’d expect Tua Tagovailoa to be fairly chalky this week as his price is attractive in an absolute smash spot against the perennially hopeless Jets. Tua’s season has been marred by things outside of his control, namely injuries and trade talk, yet he has acquitted himself well at every turn. In Tua’s four games that he’s played over 90% of the snaps, he’s averaged 21.82 Draftkings points. That’s a healthy return and if he can continue that level of performance he can strengthen his grip on his job. If you need convincing that the Jets are a good matchup then how about the fact that in the last five games no team has given up more points to the QB position than the Jets. Lastly, per Underdog’s Josh Norris (@JoshNorris), ‘The Jets have allowed 175 points in their last 4 games. The 2000 Ravens allowed 165 points in 16 games.’ 

Trevor Siemian $5300 @ Philadelphia Eagles – 43.0 over/under

The below tweet from Ian Hartitz definitely surprised me, but when you look back it really shouldn’t be surprising. Trevor Siemian has come into this offence and been above average to good. Yes, he’s no Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes, but for fantasy, and the Saints, he’s got the job done, finishing as the QB10 and QB4 in his two games as the starter despite a lack of weapons around him. Philadelphia isn’t a great matchup, and I would expect this game to be a low scoring and slow pace game, so this really only makes sense if you’re entering multiple lineups and want to be very different, but it would make a good leverage play from some of these other QB’s in the cheap range. 

Cam Newton $5100 v Washington Football Team – 43.0 over/under

Cam Newton is back, in case you haven’t heard. Whilst I have my doubts about Cam’s ability to keep his shoulder healthy and throwing well for a long spell, after a couple of months out of the league he should be fresh and ready to go. Whilst he is returning to the Panthers, it’s worth noting he hasn’t played in this offence before and Matt Rhule and Joe Brady haven’t had a rushing quarterback whilst in Carolina so it may take some time to hit the ceiling. However, Cam’s floor is always incredibly high due to his goalline ability that is as good, if not better, than any other quarterback in the league. Washington’s season rolls on in a semi-directionless kind of way, missing their top two pass rushers, Chase Young and Motez Sweat (Young and Sweaty – ™ Dan Hanzus). No other team has allowed as many top twelve performances to Quarterbacks as the Football Team has (6), and they also lead the league in points allowed to the position. At this price expect Cam to be very chalky and potentially cash game viable. McCaffery makes a nice pivot if you fancy his chances to steal the TD’s on the ground. ** Saturday Update ** On Friday Matt Rhule said that Cam doesn’t know the entire playbook as of yet so they may still use P.J Walker at times. Keep this in consideration and keep an eye out for further news.

Elite Mention

Joe Flacco $4600 v Miami Dolphins – 44.0 over/under

Joe Flacco brought me and other Ravens fans a Superbowl. Don’t play him… unless you really like to live dangerously. I just wanted to write his name in a column.

Running Backs

D’Onta Foreman $4900 v Houston Texans – 44.5 over/under

I would start you, yes you, the reader, against the Houston Texans if push came to shove. A team in such a mess that they can’t decide whether to start a rookie or Tyrod Taylor. It’s hard to believe Tyrod is the future of that franchise and it’s very hard to see many players on that team who will be there in a couple of years. Until the team is built back from the ground up we’ll continue to enjoy it as a fantasy matchup. The Titans are dealing with issues of their own, albeit far lesser issues than the Texans. Despite The Big Dawg Derrick Henry being sidelined, along with Julio Jones, the Titans continue to lead the AFC and slowly figure out an identity that can work for them. Foreman looks the better runner of the backfield and even if Adrian Peterson gets some goal-line work, Foreman should be able to wrack up yardage and if McNichols misses out as he deals with a concussion, it’s possible Foreman could enjoy some added receiving work as Tennessee target their backs at a rate of 19.2% of Tannehill’s throws. The Texans face 28.9 rush attempts per game, the second-highest in the league and with Foreman seeing the majority of the backfield work in week 10, I’m counting on it to continue.

AJ Dillon $6200 v Minnesota Vikings – 47.0 over/under 

A more expensive and popular option will be A.J Dillon who can enjoy true workhorse potential with Aaron Jones out through injury and Kylin Hill on I.R. The Vikings have allowed a top 24 running back performance in all nine of their games this season and with Michael Pierce set to miss out at nose tackle, they have an uphill task to stop Dillon adding to that streak. Last time out the Vikings allowed 21.9 DK points to Chargers running backs and in their previous game allowed 39.6 to Baltimore’s running backs and full back. 

Myles Gaskin $5700 v New York Jets – 44.0 over/under

Another week, another piece of humble pie for your humble writer who advised everyone listening to the excellent Dynasty podcast ‘The Fantasy Wildcard‘ in the summer to sell Gaskin whilst you could and whilst Gaskin’s usage and production haven’t been fantastic, there have been days that have rewarded those who kept the faith. Even if Gaskin hadn’t have been productive I’d be looking at him heavily here, the Jets are deep in the Mariana Trench with no sense of which way is up or down and there’s little hope they reemerge in 2021. Amongst the many things the Jets are bad at, rushing defence is right at the top, with 15 backs managing top 24 days against them this season. On average they have faced 27.8 attempts per game, which is the fifth-most in the league and per the brilliant Rich Hribar ‘Running backs have accounted for a league-high 62.5% of the touchdowns scored against the Jets, with a league-high 20 TD’s scored by RB’s.’ If Gaskin somehow fails to get it done on the ground he remains in play in the passing game where he has averaged 5.3 targets per game in his last six games and now plays against a team that has allowed a league-high in PPR points to RB’s (150.3).

Injury Related Plays

D’ernest Johnson $5600 v Detroit Lions – 43.0 over/under

Detroit has allowed 10 top 24 games to RB’s. In just nine games. If Chubb misses out again this is a no brainer. If Chubb plays Johnson may remain in play, although a little pricey. Johnson has become a trusted part of the passing game with eight targets in week 10 and might be able to sustain that in an injury-hit offence with plenty of pass-catchers struggling. ** Saturday Update ** Nick Chubb was removed from the Covid-19 list on Friday and is expected to play. At this price, I’ll probably not play Johnson now unless we’re considered a multi-entry scenario.

Jeff Wilson $5100 @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 45.0 over/under 

This is well and truly injury/sickness corner and if Eli Mitchell misses out with his injured finger Wilson may well be the top choice to face a poor Jacksonville side. It’s hard to see Kyle Shanahan stopping his vendetta against ‘Trey’s’ at this point and Sermon hasn’t particularly earned an opportunity. If the 9ers don’t believe a banged-up Mitchell could pass block fragile but handsome Jimmy, expect Wilson to see a majority of snaps but this one really needs to be paid attention to between now and kick-off. 

Mark Ingram $5400 @ Philadelphia Eagles – 43.0 over/under

As of Thursday Alvin Kamara was still not practising with an MCL sprain and barring a sudden turnaround we may be treated to another week of Mark Ingram as the RB1 in New Orleans. Whilst Ingram acquitted himself well in week 10 his week 11 trip to Philadelphia will be another test of what he still has left in the tank. Through their last five games, the Eagles have allowed the seventh-most points to running backs and whilst they kept Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon to a reasonable 17.2 points in week 10, we shouldn’t be afraid of using Ingram here as the Saints were happy to roll him out on 85.1% of snaps in week 10 and give him a full Kamara-esque workload of 14 rush attempts and 7 targets. Philly is susceptible to running back targets having given up the fourth-most receptions to backs with 66. ** Saturday Update ** On Friday Kamara was ruled out of week 11. Also worth noting is that Taysom Hill is listed as doubtful. Ingram’s stock continues to rise.

Wide Receivers

Marcus Johnson $3500 v Houston Texans 44.5 over/under

With Julio Jones on I.R, household name Marcus Johnson led the Titans in team target share in week 10 with 22.2%. In part, this was down to A.J Brown seeing double coverage or Marshon Lattimore as the Saints sought to cancel him out and it succeeded. Meanwhile, Johnson put up 100 yards and an 18 point DK haul. Houston has the leagues lowest coverage grade per PFF and has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers over their last five games. This looks like the cheapest WR play of the weekend. For more on Johnson check out my Stack of The Week article.

Hunter Renfrow $5800 v Cinncinati Bengals – 50.5 over/under

Since the disgraceful choices of Henry Ruggs led to his exit from the team, Hunter Renfrow has been a stud… well, almost. Renfrow leads the team in target share over the last two games and is coming off a career-high 9 targets in week 10. Cincinnati rank 8th in adjusted fantasy points allowed and whilst their defence has been better than many expected this year, they’ve still allowed the league’s fourth-most receptions to receivers with 128. The Raiders tend to score more often through the passing game, as would most teams sporting Josh Jacobs as their primary back, and in the red zone, Renfrow leads the team in catches (9) and touchdowns (4). Renfrow could make for a good bring-back on a Bengals stack or correlation. 

Jaylen Waddle $5600 @ New York Jets – 44.0 over/under

These Miami players are going to be popular this week, riding into this game having an extended break after beating the Ravens on Thursday night football… I’m over it honestly… just stop asking! Waddle has been very impressive this season, amongst a group of very impressive rookie receivers and now will face a Jets defence that allows 0.8 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. The Jets have PFF”s 30th best pass coverage grade and rank 32nd in pass DVOA. Over their last five games, they’ve allowed the second-highest amount of fantasy points in that period. If you need further convincing, put on Gamepass and watch the Jets if you dare…

Rashod Bateman $4500 @ Chicago Bears – 44.5 over/under

According to the excellent Matt Harmon’s reception perception, Rashod Bateman ranks first amongst rookie receivers against man coverage and second against zone. Seems good to me. In week 10 Bateman led the team in receiving yardage, coming up clutch in the last minutes of the game with four receptions for 68 yards as the ravens chased the game. Chicago tends to take the pace out of the game but talent still tends to get there. Only five teams have allowed more yardage to receivers than Chicago’s 1673. We’re yet to see a touchdown from the talented rookie, but with an average of 11.7 DK points in his last three games and no single-digit performances since his debut in week 6, Bateman has become reliable enough to include whilst his price tag stays subdued. ** Saturday Update** Marquise Brown has been ruled out of Sunday’s game and now it looks highly likely Bateman will elevate into the chalk category and will enter cash consideration for many people. Dependant on Lamar Jackson’s status with him currently questionable, due to sickness.

Michael Gallup $4200 @ Kansas City Chiefs 56.0 over/under

On Friday Amari Cooper was placed on the Covid-19 list after being confirmed positive. Michael Gallup looked interesting before this news but now he’ll be in a smash spot, seeing lots of work in a game with the highest over/under of the week. Expect Cooper’s absence to lead to Lamb playing more slot snaps and Gallup featuring mainly outside. Gallup will likely come in over 20% rostered but it’s easy to see why. Despite only playing 53% of the snaps in a blowout win against the Falcons, Gallup saw five targets on his return to the team and turned them into 3-42.

Honourable Mentions 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling $3700 @ Minnesota Vikings – 47.0 over/under

Yeah, I can’t quit my guys. Valdes-Scantling seemed primed for a big game with an early catch for 41 yards in week 10 and then the game descended into drivel. In ten games the Vikings have allowed eight top 24 WR performances and across the last five games have allowed the most points to the position. ** Saturday Update ** Lazard is likely to miss out.

DeAndre Carter $3300 @ Carolina Panthers – 43.0 over/under

Carter has outproduced Terry McLaurin over the last two games Washington has played, with 107 yards to Mclaurin’s 82, and 29.1 points to 18.4. Carolina’s defence is reasonable and they may look to focus on McLaurin, leaving Carter to try and continue his streak of six targets and a touchdown in both of his last two. 

Tight End

Dan Arnold $4100 v San Francisco 49ers – 45.0 over/under

We’re a little thinner at tight end than in the last few weeks, barring any injury news. One constant remains here though, Elite Dan Arnold. The Niners allow the fewest receptions to tight ends but Dan Arnold is no ordinary tight end, with the ninth-highest target share in the league in week 10 and he’s one of only two tight end’s to score 10 PPR points or more in all of their last three games. Whilst he continues to see heavy usage, I’ll continue to play him. 

Adam Trautman $3300 @ Philadelphia Eagles – 43.0 over/under 

Off-season columns were more than familiar with Adam Trautman’s name as many predicted a breakout season. Whilst that wasn’t apparent early in the season, Trautman has now seen six or more targets in each of his last three games. In this New Orleans team bereft of quality pass-catchers, anyone getting that kind of usage is worth a look. Particularly when Trautman faces an Eagles team that has allowed a league-leading 89 tight end receptions, along with a higher rate of touchdowns per game allowed to the position than any other team (0.7). 

As usual, my other weekly columns, The Stack of The Week and my $100 Bankroll challenge will be out on Friday. The Bankroll challenge will feature some more extensive thoughts on DFS this season as well as my usual lineup reviews. I’ll update this page as the games approach and you can always reach out to me on Twitter with any questions (@Bestballuknfl). Good luck folks. 

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