Each week I plan to give you what I feel are the best FanDuel plays at each position, as well as the plays that I am staying away from. My DFS methodology is a little different than the typical player. I don’t make separate cash and tournament lineups. I simply make the best possible lineup that I can, period. I feel like it distracts me too much to make different lineups for different contest types. I end up splitting up plays I really like for the sake of qualifying a guy as cash or tourney. Therefore, I put together the best lineup I can with the best plays, and that’s what you will see reflected in this article. With that said, I primarily enter GPPs, with anywhere from one to four lineups each week on with a mix of my core plays.
Week 11 NFL FanDuel Plays
This week we jump straight into our quarterback plays, but I’m conflicted. Typically I have a guy that I’m favoring the most by this time each week, and while I’ve got my list narrowed down to four guys at the position, I can’t decide exactly where I’m leaning yet. So let’s just talk about all four, in order of price, highest to lowest.
The first guy on that list is Ben Roethlisberger ($8,400). Roethlisberger is where I want to go the most, but his matchup scares me. Of course it doesn’t scare me for the reasons that we would typically scare us. This is a matchup that is so good, that I worry about how much Big Ben will actually need to do. The Cleveland Browns have been very giving to opposing quarterbacks, making average guys look like fantasy studs. What I worry about here is that the Browns won’t be able to keep up and the Steelers will be fully content handing the ball off, controlling the clock, and cruising to a comfortable win. If not for that reason, I would lock him in as my QB of the week no questions.
The next two guys I’m looking at are playing in the same game, starting with Andrew Luck ($8,100). The Tennessee Titans are a bottom 10 defense against opposing quarterbacks, and Luck had his second best game of the year against these same Titans just four weeks ago. This game has the highest over/under of the week, with only a three-point spread. There is a good chance that this will turn into a shootout, and I can reasonably see a path for Luck to finish as the highest scoring QB of Week 11.
On the other side of the field we have Marcus Mariota ($8,000). Mariota has been on fire over the past six weeks, with five games at 19.9 FanDuel points or better. He had more than 27 points in four of those six. That’s an impressive feat. His only game under 20 in his last six was the game against these Colts. That doesn’t bother me too much. The only reason I may lean towards Luck between these two (since their prices are virtually the same), is because I can better identify the receiver(s) that he is most likely to favor. With Mariota, he’s doing a great job of spreading the ball around to a hodgepodge of average receivers, as well as targeting his running back and tight end. If I end up on Mariota, I’ll probably roster him naked.
The last quarterback I’m considering is Kirk Cousins ($7,600). There are four reasons I’m looking at Cousins this week. First, he’s currently about a two point favorite in the second highest over/under on the main slate. Second, he’s playing the Green Bay Packers, who let Marcus Mariota shred their secondary in Week 10 to the tune of 295 yards and four passing touchdowns on only 26 pass attempts. Even DeMarco Murray threw a passing touchdown against the Packers. Their secondary looks abysmal and that’s a recipe for disaster when related to my third reason. Cousins has been exceptionally consistent and has big upside. In nine games this year, he has been at 260 yards or more in eight games. He’s been over 300 in four games. This shapes up as a game where Cousins will see increased pass attempts, because of my fourth reason. Green Bay has had an elite run defense this year. Surely we’ll see the Redskins take the path of least resistance this week after what they saw from the Packers last week.
Running back has some excellent options this week. I won’t try to talk you out of any of the four guys. But it all starts with Le’Veon Bell ($9,100). Bell has high and higher upside this week. He’s going to be heavily involved in the running and pass game regardless of game flow. If the situation I was worried about with Roethlisberger above plays out, that means that Bell gets even more carries than normal. Right now he is the one guy that I know with 100% certainty will be in my lineups.
My strategy again this week will likely be to pay up for both RB spots, so I think I’ve narrowed it down to deciding between DeMarco Murray ($8,500) and David Johnson ($8,300). I don’t mind Ezekiel Elliott ($8,700), but I think we can expect a similar or better outcome and save a few hundred dollars. While I don’t expect him to get shut down (because he’s been matchup proof), it is worth noting that Elliott is facing the number one rush defense through 10 weeks.
So, let’s start with Murray. For similar reasons to Luck and Mariota above, he’s in play. It’s the highest total of the week and he’ll be heavily involved. As bad as the Colts pass defense is, their run defense is even worse. Murray continues to produce every single week. If I decide to not use one of the QB’s in this game, Murray is an excellent way to get exposure to the high total. I won’t rule him out as a stack target with Mariota, though, although I’d probably prefer that more on DraftKings.
Johnson is arguably the best running back in the league and won’t be very popular this week in a much tougher matchup on paper. However, don’t let the Vikings scare you off Johnson if you like him. His high usage, both on the ground and in the pass game, make him matchup proof. The Vikings also haven’t been the same team they were the first five games of the year. They let Rob Kelley run for 97 yards in Week 10. Back in Week 8 Jordan Howard went 26-153-1 while also catching four passes for 49 yards. Johnson should continue his streak of 100 total yard games to ten (every game this year).
Does anyone remember LeSean McCoy ($7,500)? Yeah, well he’s back, healthy, and is underpriced based on his early season performances prior to getting injured. He has a good matchup and saw 21 carries last week to go along with four catches on five targets for 35 yards. He’s sneaky this week as a salary saving option with upside to match the top guys.
If you want a cheap guy, I’m considering James Starks ($5,500). Starks should be heavily involved in his second game back from injury as the guy in the backfield for the Packers. In a game where there should be plenty of scoring, Starks should see somewhere between 15-20 touches. For his price, we’ll take that. He might be a smart pivot in the price range from the chalk I’ll talk more about below.
If I’m playing Roethlisberger, I will most definitely be stacking Antonio Brown ($8,900) with him. I am choosing to pay up at running back, therefore, I’m going to need savings at WR, so this is going to be difficult. If I choose to not stack the Steelers passing game, then I won’t roster Brown. I’ll just hope the game script follows what I mentioned above and Brown ends up somewhere around five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Not horrible, but I want more than that for this price.
Odell Beckham Jr. ($9,000) is squarely in play and should have a field day against the Bears this week. Due to Brown being $100 cheaper and seeing the way that the Chiefs limited Mike Evans last week, OBJ will probably be lower owned than he should be, making him an excellent pivot off of Brown.
While tinkering with roster construction this week, I keep finding $8,200 for a receiver left over, which gives me A.J. Green ($8,200). I love watching this guy play and on paper, he should torch this Buffalo secondary. He’s got the pedigree to match the two guys above, but he’s a price tier lower. I’m perfectly find with Green as my first or second receiver this week.
As I mentioned above, if I play Luck, I can feel confident playing his top target T.Y. Hilton ($7,900). I feel better about him on DraftKings with a full point per reception, but I’m okay with him here. You just have to hope he gets into the end zone. (As the week goes on, I’m starting to lean more heavily towards Donte Moncrief ($6,500). He’s cheaper than Hilton and I think he projects similarly if not better than Hilton on FanDuel. I am still okay with Hilton though.)
I’m having a dilemma choosing between these next two guys, but I’ll probably end up with one of them due to their upside at their corresponding price range.
Stefon Diggs ($6,800) has been unbelievable the last few weeks, and hopefully you’ve been rostering him as I’ve been mentioning here in this column. I don’t think these good games are just luck, as they have corresponded with an offensive coordinator change. He’s seen 13, 14, and 15 targets the last three weeks. Maybe 16 this week? I hope! The knock here is that Patrick Peterson is supposed to be shadowing Diggs this week, according to Bruce Arians. That worries me, but Peterson has very limited experience shadowing in the slot and those results haven’t been eye-popping. At this price I’m willing to take a chance on another big game from Diggs.
Doug Baldwin ($6,700) has really benefited from Russell Wilson being fully healthy. At this price, he’s priced well below his upside. He has tourney winning upside and that’s what you need from a guy in this price range. We saw that in Week 10. I expect Seattle to rely on the passing game, and we can expect Baldwin to be a big part of that. The matchup isn’t ideal against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Eagles have been much better against opposing tight ends. Therefore, I expect Baldwin to be the one having the big game again this week.
Jordan Matthews ($5,800) still feels underpriced. He has 35 targets over the last three weeks and his individual matchup with the Seahawks isn’t as tough as one might think. I think Matthews is likely to increase his streak of double digit FanDuel games to four in a row here. If he catches a touchdown, he could return decent value on this salary.
Fire up Tyreek Hill ($5,400) again this week if Jeremy Maclin is out. He had his coming out party last week and he would be an excellent play again this week if Maclin sits. The targets should be there again, and if he gets the ball in his hands, he can take it to the house on any given play.
The last WR I’m going to recommend is probably going to make you cringe, and that guy is Quinton Patton ($4,600). This is your super sneaky play of the week. No one is going to play this guy, but he has been a favorite of Colin Kaepernick since he took over the starting QB role. The last two weeks he’s seen 18 targets. He only caught 9 of those balls for 158 yards, but the opportunity is there. In an uptempo game where the 49ers should be playing from behind, there will be plenty of targets. I won’t be surprised to look at the box score after this game and see 6-7 catches for 100+ yards and a score from Patton. But he’s just as likely to catch three balls for 28 yards. His opportunity and price make him worth taking a chance on in my opinion. I like him much more on DraftKings due to price and full PPR, but I’m fine on FD as well.
Assuming Rob Gronkowski sits this week, is there any other tight end options worth considering besides Martellus Bennett ($5,200). I’m almost 100% serious here – if Gronk is out, I’ll probably play Bennett and be done with it.
You could talk me into the top tier of guys under Gronk like Reed and Walker, but Tyler Eifert ($6,300) is the one in that price range that I have the most interest in. In his two fully healthy games, he’s looked great! I’m not too worried about his drop in targets last week, he’ll have plenty of opportunities. I also think his ownership will be really low, especially for a guy who could be the top scorer at the position.
Defense is interesting this week because I don’t think I’m going to be able to pay up.
The play if paying down is the Miami Dolphins ($4,800). They get Jared Goff in his first career start, running an anemic offense. On top of that, the Dolphins have been exceptional from a fantasy perspective the past couple weeks against the Chargers and Jets. If you have the money, just play them.
The second team I’m looking at is the New York Giants ($4,700). They haven’t been horrible the last three weeks and they should have a couple of chances to score a touchdown when Jay Cutler gives them the ball.
Going back up the ladder, I also love the Seattle Seahawks ($5,200). They are historically a juggernaut defense at home, and this Eagles offense doesn’t exactly scare me. I also think this will be a low owned option, as everyone will want to take the savings to go down a little.
I like Matt Prater ($4,700) this week if I have a little salary left over. He can boot the ball and the Lions seem to stall rather often.
If I need the $200 savings, I’m looking towards Ryan Succop ($4,500). He’s playing in the highest total game and has double-digit FanDuel points in three of his last four. There’s a path in front of him here to make it four out of five.
Week 11 – Maybe Play/Maybe Stay Away
Well this is a new section… There’s a lot of love for C.J. Procise ($4,900) this week, and for good reason. At this price, it’s hard not to consider him. The Eagles run defense has been pretty good and could bottle up Procise. But at the same time, there are scenarios where he could score 15+ fantasy points and we don’t want to fade him if that’s the outcome. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do here yet, but I do want to take a stand on one side of the fence or the other. Either I will be on him come Sunday, or I want to be in the camp yelling FADE! I don’t want to be in the middle still flip flopping come Sunday.
Therefore, I’ll continue digging in here and seeing where it leads us. It remains to be seen how soon and how much Thomas Rawls will be involved, which is another main piece to this puzzle. To find out where I end up, follow me on twitter (@mrclutchdfs) and I’ll let you know come Sunday morning.
Week 11 Stay Aways
While I don’t hate the plays from a fantasy points perspective, you probably won’t find me on Tom Brady ($9,300) and Aaron Rodgers ($9,100). The main reason here is just because of price. I think we can find just as many points from guys $1,000 to $1,500 less. Either one could have a big game so I’m not going to try to talk you out of playing them, but I like my roster construction better when I start with the guys I mentioned above. Long story short, I don’t think the gap in salary is warranted.
There aren’t many running backs that I’m necessarily taking a stand against, as I just want to pay up and move on. I could tell you not to play certain guys, but they would be guys you probably already know not to play.
Davante Adams ($7,600) has been heavily involved the past four weeks and that could continue. But his price has climbed to a point where I’m not very comfortable rostering him at this price.
Kenny Britt ($6,800) has been pretty good lately, but don’t play him this week. With Jared Goff taking over the QB reigns, we don’t know where his targets will go, besides to the opposing defenders. He shouldn’t cost the same as Diggs and Baldwin.
Box score watchers will be tempted to roster Cameron Brate ($5,600), but this should be the week his three-game touchdown streak ends. Kansas City has been very good against tight ends, so while his price makes him tempting, I think he’s peaked and will begin heading down the other side of the mountain starting this week.
Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to follow me on twitter at @mrclutchdfs if you want to get any updates from me on which way I’m leaning on some of these plays once Sunday gets here.
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