Week 11 DraftKings Breakdown
By: Nick Zylak
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Every week is unique from a roster construction standpoint. Some weeks the value is at QB, some weeks it’s at RB, and others it’s at WR. The skill in DFS is taking advantage of the people who don’t recognize this. In wee 11 it’s not about which position has the value, it’s about which position has the most sure fire plays.
You MUST start at least two high priced RB’s in your lineup this week. Your ONLY decision from a RB/RB/FLEX standpoint is if you want to use two high priced RB’s…or three. But there is not a case to be made for fading the studs. You have heard me say time and time again that RB’s are far easier to predict than WR’s, and they come with just as much, if not higher weekly ceilings. Well, this week takes that to a whole new level. There are 7 RB’s above 7K that I desperately want to fit into my main lineup. SEVEN. We can assume that at one of these guys will bust. This is the NFL after all and variance does exist. However, there is no way that all of them bust, and it’s more likely that 4-5 of them post some monster scores this week. Barkley/DJ/Zeke in particular are all in dream matchups, and all come at a more than reasonable price tag. My goal in this weeks article is going to be finding which pieces you can use to fill in the rest of your lineup so that you can play as many high priced RB’s as you can. There is also a case to be made for some lower end RB’s in the FLEX spot, so I’ll go over the case for them as well.
Just remember, there are some solid WR options this week. But if you end up landing on one of them, it better not be at the expense of the RB position.
Top RB plays
Saquon Barkley - $8,700
Over the past 4 weeks the Bucs have allowed the following stat lines to opposing RB’s:
Nick Chubb: Rushing 18/80/1
Joe Mixon: Rushing 21/123/2 Receiving 3/15/0
CMC: Rushing 17/79/2 Receiving: 5/78/0
TB opened the season elite against the run and as one of the worst teams in history against the pass. Now however, they are terrible against both! They severely miss Kwon Alexander (ACL) and Lavonte David(MCL), who have both been out of the lineup in recent weeks.
Barkley has TARGET counts of 2/14/5/6/4/9/9/9/4 this season…and has at least 22 touches in 4 consecutive games. Last week was his first under 20 fantasy points, and I’d be shocked if he was under 20 again this week. Barkley is a safe cash game play and one that I’m fully considering on my main team.
Ezekiel Elliott - $8,500
Speaking of dream matchups….guess who gets to play Atlanta this week? These are the stat lines of every lead RB to face the Falcons this season. As you can see…there was essentially one bust. And it was part of an Alex Smith lead offense. Zeke is averaging a career high 5.3 targets per game and, as per Evan Silva, the Cowboys have created the third most yards per carry before contact. Zeke has over 20 touches in all but one game since week 4, and has shown us his ceiling with over 35 points twice in the last 6 weeks. Zeke is another strong cash game play…and yet another guy I’d like to get into my main lineup.
Week 1: Ajayi/Sproles Rushing: 20/72/2 Receiving: 4/22/0
Week 2: CMC Rushing: 8/37/0 Receiving: 14/105/0
Week 3: Alvin Kamara Rushing: 16/66/0 Receiving: 15/124/0
Week 4: Giovani Bernard Rushing: 15/69/2 Receiving: 4/27/0
Week 5: James Conner Rushing: 21/110/2 Receiving: 4/75/0
Week 6: Peyton Barber Rushing: 13/82/0 Receiving: 4/24/1
Week 7: Saquon Barkley Rushing: 14/43/1 Receiving: 9/51/1
Week 9: Washington fell on their face
Week 10: Nick Chubb/Duke Johnson Rushing: 23/191/1 Receiving: 7/64/2
David Johnson - $7,500
DJ rounds out the RB’s with a dream matchup this week, as he gets a home matchup against the Raiders. It’s very likely that this will be the only game all season that we can get David Johnson as a home favorite. The Raiders have completely given up on playing football. They have been stomped 5 weeks in a row, and will look to make that 6 weeks in a row on Sunday. DJ was finally featured last week as it looks like Leftwich is smart enough to realize who the best player on their team is. DJ is coming off a 28 touch 183 yard and 2 TD performance on the road against the Chiefs. The Raiders have been gashed by Melvin Gordon and Marlon Mack in recent weeks, and have fallen to 2nd to last in sack percentage and YPC allowed to RB’s. DJ is under priced by at least 1K, and is probably the lock of the week. He’s going to be chalky, but you can mitigate that by just playing 100%.
James Conner - $7,200
We now exit the RB’s in “dream spots” to RB’s who are under priced. Conner has touch counts of 25/23/29/31/14 in recent weeks. Last week he saw less volume simply because he left early due to a head injury. He’s practiced in full Wednesday and Thursday so he’s good to go for the Steelers road matchup with the Jaguars. The Steelers are 5 point road favorites implied to score 26 points. The public seems to believe that the Jags haven’t been that great on defense this season, but that just isn’t true. They have been great in really all aspects of defense, and have been especially good at preventing RB’s from getting to the second level. With that said, volume is king in fantasy, and Conner is going to get the volume. This sets up very similarly to the Steelers road game against Baltimore in week 9. In that week Conner, who was again priced at $7,200, had a rushing stat line of 24/107/0 with a receiving line of 7/56/1. Look for Conner to again go over 20 touches, and again be heavily involved near the goal line.
Kerryon Johnson - $5,800
KJ is another RB’s that’s far too cheap. Blount has snap counts of 7/11/9 over the last three weeks, so Patricia is finally starting to realize what he should have 3 months ago. The departure of Tate predictably ensured both KJ and Riddick can be useful. The duo has a combined 26 targets over the past two weeks, and will look to keep that up against a mediocre Panthers defense. Carolina has allowed RB’s to go over 100 yard in two of their last three games, including a combined 27/111/1 on the ground and 4/30/1 through the air to Steelers RB’s last week. KJ has double digit fantasy points in 7/9 weeks this season, and will look to build off last week’s two TD performance. At just $5,800 he offers an interesting option as a FLEX play with two higher priced RB’s.
Top WR Plays
Odell Beckham Jr. - $8,400
I’ll start off by saying that it’s extremely unlikely Odell finds his way into my lineup this week. WR carries much higher variance than RB…so it’s more optimal in the long run to take the RB’s in this price point. With that being said, if I do find the salary to pay for ones stud WR, then it’s going to be Odell. By this point I don’t need to tell you how good of a matchup the Bucs are. They have been one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, and the Giants are one of the more pass heavy teams in the league. Odell has double digit targets in 7 consecutive games, and has been over 22 fantasy points 6 times already this season. He also has elite red zone usage, and the Bucs are the leagues worst red zone defense, and give up the league’s highest catch rate. Odell is going to smash, but so are the RB’s…
Kenny Golladay - $5,800
With Marvin Jones out Golladay becomes a very interesting, and very chalky play. In tournaments don’t be surprised if he pushes 25% ownership. The news came out before many people have even begun to make their lineups. The ultimate question you will have to decide is whether or not you think the targets will be there. We’ve seen it happen recently with Boyd last week and Thielen a few weeks ago where the #2 WR goes down and that just doesn’t translate into increased production for the #1. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, but it’s worth pointing out. Since week 2 the Panthers have used James Bradberry to shadow one of the opposing team’s WR. The image to the left (credit to PFF) shows how that’s worked out for that WR. Only Odell, and to a lesser extent Alshon, have posted games that would be worth playing Golladay at chalk. He’s shut down Julio/A.J. Green/Evans this season and I wouldn’t be shocked if he held Golladay in check on Sunday. I’m not telling you to fade him…and it’s worth pointing out that it could be a scary fade in cash games…but there is absolutely a path for Golladay to bust this weekend at chalk ownership.
Corey Davis - $5,600
Last week’s performance from Davis surprised me more than it should have. The $4,500 price tag was obviously too cheap, but Gillmore has been a top 5 CB this season, and the best way to attack the Pats is with pass catching WR’s and slot CB’s and TE’s. What I failed to think about enough was how important Davis was to this offense. According to NFL Next Gen stats Davis is 3rd in the NFL in percent of team air yards…with a massive 42.26%! With Henry having a terrible season, and no other real threat for targets, Davis has been in a break out spot all season. Unfortunately Mariota had been dealing with numbness in his throwing hand due to an arm injury he suffered earlier this season. Well, in recent weeks he’s seem to finally move past this injury, and that has resulted in plenty of targets and air yards for Davis. If we remove Baltimore and a matchup with Tre’Davious White, Davis’s targets since week 4 look like this 15/7/10/10. This week, the Titans are two point road underdogs, in a game environment that has seen it’s total rise to 49 points. Davis has also finally been lining up in the slot on a higher percentage of routes these past two weeks. That’s going to lead to more targets and a better catch rate, especially against the Colts slot corner Kenny Moore.
Amari Cooper - $5,400
Amari is far too cheap for his talent and role in this offense. Dak has been throwing the ball more in recent weeks, with over 30 attempts in three consecutive games. Amari has been targeted 8 and 10 times in his two games since joining the Cowboys, and now he gets a favorable matchup against the Falcons pass defense. Cooper runs his routes fairly evenly across the formation, lining up in the slot, LWR and RWR depending on the play-call. Front offices love to appear right, even when everyone knows they are wrong. Look for Dallas to feature Cooper, especially near the goal line, as they want to prove to the world that he was worth the first round pick they gave up. My early build has Cooper paired with Davis.
Sterling Shepard - $5,300
Shepard rounds out the mid range WR’s that I’m comfortable playing. As was stated with Odell, Shepard gets the perfect matchup against one of the worst pass defenses I’ve ever seen. Adding to the intrigue for Shepard is that he plays primarily in the slot. The Bucs have been ripped apart by slot receivers this season, and we can expect more of the same in a road matchup against the pass heavy Giants. You can’t play both Odell and Shepard unless you stack them with Eli. That’s not going to be a contrarian stack by any stretch, but it won’t be chalky either since Eli has forgotten how to throw a football this season. That, and only that, is why I am hesitant to recommend Shepard. The matchup is perfect, so even with a slightly below average QB he would crush. The issue is that Eli has been one of the worst QB’s in the league this year. I still like him, but don’t be shocked if Eli doesn’t do as well as he should.
Maurice Harris - $4,500
Another week of no Crowder means another Maurice Harris chalk week! Except this time I don’t think he’ll be as chalky as he has been in previous weeks. Harris is a little more expensive now, and there are some solid options in the 5K range. With that said, I’m not that pumped to play him this week. Washington is projected to score about 19 points, and the return of Thompson should take some targets away from Harris. Also Alex Smith is not a good QB. Can you play Harris? Absolutely…especially in cash. The tournament upside is lacking a bit though. Maybe I’ll warm up to him, and the fact that he makes this article means that he’s on my radar…but I’ve only been making one lineup in recent weeks…and I’m not sure yet if he will be on it or not.
Top TE Plays
Zach Ertz/RSJ - $6,600/$2,900
As per usual recently, TE is extremely gross. Gronk is on bye and has been injured this season, Kelce is on Monday night…and basically every single other TE is just a TD or bust play. You should really never pay up at TE if you can avoid it. TE’s are an extremely volatile position, and there are often some nice savings for cheap. I currently only see the case for two TE’s this week. Ertz and RSJ. If you like your roster and have enough to afford Ertz, then play him. He’s by far the safest option, is in a game with the highest total on the main slate, and could legitimately outscore the next closest TE by 15+. If you don’t have the salary (which seems like the more likely scenario) then go with RSJ. He’s under 3K and has target counts of 5/6/4/4/9 over the last 5 weeks. We’ve already established that the Raiders are #bad, so RSJ offers us cheap exposure to the team on the other side. Just to be clear, I’m not expecting him to post a slate breaking performance. However, when the entire position is trash (aside from the expensive Ertz), sometimes your best bet is to just take the savings and hope something good happens. RJS has the clearest path to double digit points of any sub 3K TE…so I’ll likely be rolling him out there this week.
Top QB Plays
Drew Brees - $6,500
If you have the money then Brees leads the pack this week at QB. He’s expensive, and the QB’s are important, but he’s averaging 29 points per game at home this season, and the Saints are implied to score 32. The matchup with the Eagles sets up perfectly too since they are stout against the run, but have been susceptible to big games through the air. Ronald Darby now has a torn ACL, and the Saints line is a little banged up. This sets up like a typical Drew Brees 350/4/0 game.
Carson Wentz - $6,300
On the other side of this game we have Wentz…and it’s really more of the same. The Eagles have a fairly mediocre run game, while the Saints have allowed a jaw dropping 3.28 YPC to RB’s this season. Wentz has scored over 22 points in every game since week 4…and put up over 300 yards or 3 TD’s in 100% of those games. Wentz is as safe as they come this week. He’s got just as much upside as Brees, but doesn’t come with the same risk that his ground game will take 2-3 of the TD’s. With how that offense works you can play him naked as well. If you do want to stack then I’d order his options as follows: Ertz/Tate/Alshon/The Rest. Wentz is my favorite QB as of writing this on Friday afternoon.
Marcus Mariota - $5,500
Mariota is a solid play this week against the Colts this week. That game total has been bet up to 49 and it wouldn’t shock me if it went over. Mariota can finally feel all of his fingers, and the Colts have been mediocre against the pass as of late. He’s easy to pair with Davis, but there really aren’t a ton of options for him to pass to. He could always run one in, or connect with Davis/Lewis for multiple scores…but his upside is far lower than Wentz and Brees this week. If you need the savings then I’m cool with Mariota, but I prefer the above QB’s.
Dak Prescott - $5,200
Don’t look now…but Dak has over 30 pass attempts in 3 consecutive games. The case for Dak is about pricing more than anything. He’s a great way to fit in the stud RB’s, and can easily be paired with Cooper in a game with a total approaching 50. I’ve even played around with some Dak/Zeke/Cooper lineups that will ensure you have 100% of the offensive TD’s for Dallas. My problem with Dak is two fold. One, his ceiling. Even in a game where he had 82 yards and a TD on the ground…he still failed to eclipse 30 fantasy points. I expect this to be a close, high scoring game, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he had his best game of the season. My second issue is the price. He’s cheap for sure, but it’s only $1,100 more to get up to Wentz. I’d rather just save at TE and D/ST so that I can fit in Wentz.
Top D/ST Plays
Cardinals - $3,100
Washington - $2,700
Giants - $2,400
Jaguars - $2,200
Saints - $2,100
Lions - $2,000