FanDuel NFL Week 11: In-Depth Player Pool With Expert Analysis
My second three-week win streak of the season was not extended in Week 10. RBs Aaron Jones (GB, 12 points) and Mike Davis (CAR, 6.4) were real let downs. Time to turn the page and start a new steak. This week should be particularly interesting because the Saints have named TE Taysom Hill ($4,500) as their starting QB. That’s right. it’s a two QB week on FanDuel
I’m playing four QBs in FanDuel this week. Well, five when counting Hill every time in the TE sport.
We are now at the point of the NFL season, where it is critical to check the weather before adding a player to your FanDuel lineup, no matter how good the matchup is. NFLWeather.com is a great source. As of Friday afternoon, the one game that has weather issues is Eagles and Browns. It appears that it will be raining in Cleveland. I have no interest in any offensive players in that game, but the rain does boost the defenses that could provide some value at a discount.
Research, The Mikes
As regular readers of my column, you will not only see my research of stats but the analysis of some of the best experts in the industry (If you can’t beat them, join and credit them). Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros and Mike Woellert of 4for4 are quoted frequently.
Tagliere’s weekly column, The Primer, is the most compressive look at Fantasy Football. It’s typically about 20,000 words and had well thought out information on every fantasy-relevant (and not so relevant) player. Tagliere takes into account defensive injures, schemes, matchups, and historical numbers. I admire Tagliere’s work. This article is somewhat modeled after The Primer but reduced to only the players I’m using.
Woellert is an expert at WR vs CB matchups. He continually finds low owned undervalued players that have huge weeks. When spending up at WR, it’s great to know they are in advantageous situations. As the season progresses, patterns emerge, and it becomes clear which CBs should be exploited. Our goal will be to play WRs covered by CBs, who average near or above 2.0 fantasy points per target.
While my articles give you free exposure to a sliver of the information, at FantasyPros and 4for4, I would recommend subscribing to help with your research.
Week 11 FanDuel Player Pool
Lamar Jackson ($8,400) will likely be a bit off the DFS radar this week. Jackson hasn’t had many monster games of late, but he has had three tough matchups in a row. Jackson’s rushing numbers have been solid in the last four games after suffering a leg injury in Week 4. In week 5, Jackson only rushed for three yards against the Bengals. Since then, he has averaged 72.5 yards per game. (108, 68, 58, 55). Jackson faces the Titans, who had an amazing game against in playoff loss last season. In that game, he completed 31 of an astonishing 59 pass attempts for 365 yards and a TD and one INT in a playoff loss. He also rushed 20 times for 143 yards with a fumble lost to score 30.9 points.
Justin Herbert (LAC, $8,000) is no longer cheap. That’s because he keeps scoring fantasy points. Herbert’s average of 24.61 points a game is the highest among all QBs on the Main Salte. He is facing a Jets defense that has allowed a fourth-most 20.94 fantasy points a game to QB. Herbert has three rushing TDs on the year and has a decent chance of scoring on the ground again as the Jets have allowed a third-most four rushing TDs to QBs.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT. $8,000) has put together back-to-back great fantasy outings (25.04 @ DAL, 29.32 vs. CIN). Roethlisberger has thrown for a combined 639 yards (306 and 333) and seven TDs (3 and 4) in those games. Roethlisberger faces a Jaguars defense that has allowed a third-most 23.02 fantasy points a game to QBs.
Matt Ryan ($7,800) provides the opportunity to essentially play the Main Slate like a single-game showdowns matchup with both QBs. You can accomplish this with Saints QB Taysom Hill ($4,500) at TE. Really, why wouldn’t you do that? Ryan has been solid during the last four games (31.64, 17.52, 18.94, 23.36) with a 22.87 average. While the Saints have been above average against QBs, having allowed just 18.25 points a game to QBs, that’s only 2.69 fewer than the fourth-worst Jets defense.
Julio Jones (ATL, $8,100) is healthy and has one of the slate’s best matchups. Jones should be covered by CB Marshon Lattimore, who has allowed a 63.2% catch rate and 2.20 fantasy points per target. Olamide Zaccheaus (ATL, $4,700) makes for a nice addition to a Falcons stack. Zaccheaus is coming off a great performance against the Broncos where he caught four of six targets for 103 yards and a TD to score 18.3 points. Again, he should see a fair amount of targets if Calvin Ridley (questionable, foot) were to miss. Fortunately, this is a morning game, so we will know Ridley’s status before starting the slate.
Michael Thomas (NO, $8,200) is tempting because he has not yet had a big game this season, and his ownership will be low and provide a significant edge in a GPP if he does go off. Winston targeted on five of Winston’s 10 throws last week. That’s a great sign despite only catching two of seven targets for 27 yards. I will only have one share of Thomas because we haven’t seen how frequently QB/TE Taysom Hill will target him, and he has a brutal matchup. Thomas should be covered by CB Darqueze Dennard, who has allowed a 42.3% catch rate and a measly 1.11 fantasy point per target.
Keenan Allen (LAC, $8,000) with Jaylen Guyton ($4,900) could be a lethal double stack with Herbert. Woellert finds Allen is arguably the most enticing WR on the Main Slate. “It’s going to take restraint to not just lock Keenan Allen into my lineups this week and just figure the rest out,” wrote Woellert. “He’s dominating the target share among receivers and has a 16.2% target per snap rate. His matchup this week gets a significant upgrade. Brian Poole has been a solid nickel corner this season, but he has landed on IR. Arthur Maulet should get the first crack in the slot. Maulet has just 17 snaps this season, so I think Allen should be able to take full advantage this week.” CB Bryce Hall should cover Guyton in limited action has allowed a 100% catch rate and 3.0 fantasy point per target. Hall is a rookie who had not played in a year due to a leg injury. He played his first snaps last week and will likely see a larger role this Sunday, and the Jets recently released CB Pierre Desir on Tuesday. Mike Williams ($5,900) is the less risky option for a Chargers double stack. Williams should be covered by CB Blessuan Austin, who has allowed a 60.6% catch rate and 1.72 fantasy points per target.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,500) costs $100 more than teammates Chase Claypool ($6,400) and Diontae Johnson ($6,400) but has the best of three excellent CB matchups. Tre Herndon should cover Smith-Schuster, who has allowed a 69.2% catch rate and 2.23 fantasy points per target. Claypool has the next best matchup and should be covered by C.J. Henderson, who has allowed a 62.2% catch rate and 2.02 points per target. Johnson should be covered by Sidney Jones, who has allowed a good 44.4% catch rate but a still relatively high 1.67 fantasy points per target. “Since their COVID-related bye week, the Steelers have scored fewer than 26 points just once,” wrote Woellert. “The Steelers are 10-point favorites with an implied total of 28.75. So, how does the blowout happen? I think Ben Roethlisberger takes advantage of the slot matchup with JuJu on Tre Herndon. Smith-Schuster has seven or more targets in four straight games, including two games of 13+. He also has TDs in consecutive weeks, and I think that streak continues. Herndon has allowed two scores and is yielding a 69% catch rate, resulting in 2.2 fantasy points per target.”
Take A Side
DJ Chark Jr. (JAX, $6,200) makes sense to add as an opposing WR for a Steelers stack. Chark should be covered by CB Steven Nelson, who has allowed a 62% catch rate and 2.01 fantasy points per target. Chark took advantage of a great matchup two weeks ago when he caught seven of 12 targets for 146 yards and a TD to score 24.1 fantasy points.
Marquise Brown ($5,900) will likely be very low owned along with Lamar Jackson. The duo is projected to provide the best stack value with 33.6 points for a 2.35X return on the 4for4 stack value report. Brown should be covered by CB Adore Jackson, who has not yet played this season after recovering from a knee injury.
Taysom Hill (NO, $4,500) is the starting QB back for the Saints. Don’t overthink it. It’s a two QB week.
Dalvin Cook (MIN, $10,500) scored 85.8 fantasy points in the two games prior to last Monday when he scored 13.2 points against a good Bears run defense. Cook faces a Cowboys team that is in the middle of the pack against RBs with a 22.74 fantasy point a game average. That would likely be higher if it were not because opposing teams find it so easy to throw against Dallas as allowed a sixth-most 43.38 fantasy points a game to WRs. Cook can get it done on the ground and through the air.
Alvin Kamara (NO, $9,000) was supposed to have a tough matchup last week against the 49ers. Sure he only rushed for 15 yards on his eight carries, but he scored two TDs. He also caught seven of eight passes for 83 yards and two more TDs to score 31.3 fantasy points. “Alvin Kamara is now up to 1,134 total yards and 11 TD, putting him on pace for 2,000+ yards and 19 TD,” Field Yates of ESPN Tweeted.
“He’s scored 45.3 more fantasy points than any other RB this season and is the only RB, WR, or TE to finish as a top 10 player at his position in every week this season.” Kamara’s next victim is the Falcons, who appear to be another tough matchup on paper. Atlanta has allowed the 10th fewest fantasy points to RBs at 20.81 per game. The Falcons have also allowed the 10th most receiving yards to RBs at 370 and are tied for the third-most receiving TDs to RBs at four.
Derrick Henry (TEN, $8,200) is playing the Ravens he absolutely destroyed in the playoffs last year for 195 yards on 30 carries. The Ravens will be without DE Calais Campbell and NT Brandon Williams. Patriots RB Damien Harris rushed for 121 yards against Baltimore last week. There is some concern that Henry has seen a decreased workload this week, but at $2,300 cheaper than Cook, he could put up similar numbers.
Nyheim Hines (IND, $6,100) has made those who drafted Jonathan Taylor ($5,700) very sad in their season-long leagues. Everyone that Taylor was going to supplant Taylor as the lead back in Indianapolis. Early on the season, it appeared that would be the case, but it certainly is not currently. Hines has scored 51.5 (19.7, 4.8, and 26) fantasy points in the last three games. Taylor has scored 17.2 (4.1, 8.4, and 4.7). In Week 10 on Thursday Night, Hines rushed 12 times for 70 yards and a TD and caught five of six passes for 45 yards and another score. With 10 days off between games, Hines is likely well-rested and faces a Packers defense that has a league second-worst 33.74 fantasy points a game to RBs.
Kalen Ballage (LAC, $5,800) was signed off the street a few weeks ago after being cut by the Jets earlier in the season. Over the last two weeks, Ballage has averaged a little over 14 points (15.4 vs. LV, 12.7 vs. MIA) a game. Now he has an opportunity to exact some revenge on the team that cut him. “Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen Ballage make his mark on this backfield, racking up 137 yards and a touchdown on the ground while chipping in seven catches for 49 yards through the air,” wrote Tagliere. “Did I think it was possible that Ballage would be a top-12 running back over a two-week stretch in 2020? Nope, but he ranks as the No. 12 over the last two weeks. Don’t expect Kelley to make a resurgence any time soon either, as he’s averaging 0.66 fewer yards per carry than he’s been expected to, according to NFL’s NextGenStats, which is the second-worst number in the league. Ballage gets his “revenge game” against the Jets this week, a run defense that’s underrated by many. They’ve allowed just one 100-yard running back this season, and it was Melvin Gordon when he saw 23 carries on Thursday night football. In the same scheme last year, they allowed just one 100-yard rusher. They’ve lost quite a few players, to be fair, but it’s not an easy matchup. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric that factors in the level of competition, the Jets are the 10th-best run defense in football. It’s no coincidence that they’ve allowed the 12th-fewest PPR points per weighted opportunity to running backs. Running backs have averaged a rock-solid 29.2 touches per game against them, so we should be expecting another 15-plus touch game out of Ballage. Even if efficiency isn’t great, he’s in the low-end RB2 conversation this week.”
Damien Harris (NE, $5,800) has the third-best best matchup against the Texans, who have allowed an average of 30.83 fantasy points a game to RBs. Harris is going to be highly owned because he is coming off a 22 carry performance for 121 yards against a very good Ravens run defense (21.26 fantasy points a game). I personally prefer the pivot to Ballage for his pass-catching abilities or paying an additional $300 for Hines. Harris is dealing with an ankle injury this week and is far from guaranteed to get the goal line touches.
FanDuel Lineup Build
There isn’t an exact science in what a winning FanDuel lineup looks likes. However, they should tell a logical story, and certain elements are frequent.
When building a FanDuel lineup, I’ll try to check off most of the criteria:
1) QB stacked with a WR: This allows for a double score when the two connect.
2) Opposing WRs: A recent analysis of big tournament winners found a high percentage were constructed with two WRs in the same game from both teams. This combination makes sense because high scoring shootouts allow for opportunity on both sides of the ball. Based on matchups, some of our builds incorporate this.
3) RB stacked with Defense: There is a strong correlation between an RB performing well with their team’s defense. That’s something to factor in when choosing a reason, but in reality, it’s often the perceived best available defense with money left from the build that gets plugged in.
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