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Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 11
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Lamar Jackson FD 7000 DK 4700
Proj Points FD - 19.95 DK - 19.47
The big news in the NFL as we lead up to week 11 has to be the likely emergence of Lamar Jackson as the starter for Baltimore. With Flacco likely done for the season, we could see the Ravens finally unleash Jackson, who they already seem to be very impressed with. The Ravens have carried three quarterbacks all season (with RG3 being listed inactive each week), and have found a way to get Jackson on the field almost regardless of the game script. While we have limited data on what Jackson can do through the air, that data is pretty good (4/5 for 46 and a touch against the Panthers). To be honest, though, all we really care about is the price and his legs. Jackson has gotten 3-5 carries in most games as a back-up quarterback, because the Ravens simply can't help themselves. If you give him 8-10 carries and, say, 25 passing attempts it will be nearly impossible to avoid playing him for $4,700 on DraftKings. Heck, our system thinks you can even consider him at $7k on FanDuel, though I'd be a little more cautious there. One thing is clear, though - Jackson is cheaper than he'll be at any other point in the season going forward, and he'll see heavy DK ownership as long as he starts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick FD 7600 DK 5600
Proj Points FD - 21.36 DK - 21.89
Did Fitzpatrick have the unluckiest week of all time? I say yes. The crazy Jacquizz Rodgers fumble, Evans' blatant end-zone drop, and even Fitzy's own red zone fumble aside - the guy through for 406 yards on a 70% completion percentage and had a 0/3 TD/turnover ratio. Simply a joke. With the Bucs committing to Fitzpatrick for week 11, I'll be thrilled to double down on a guy that burned 60% of the cash game field in week 10. He had a bad fantasy week for all the right reasons - bad luck - and I'm banking on a significant turnaround against the Giants here. The G-men have been an essentially league average passing defense this season, but the main thing I'm excited about is playing a very good quarterback who is 10% too cheap on both sites.
Carson Wentz FD 7700 DK 6300
Proj Points FD - 20.7 DK - 21.99
It seems like forever since I even had the opportunity to write up any Eagles, so I was pleasantly surprised to see Wentz start showing up in a couple of our main slate lineups. Philly's young QB is having a solid fantasy season in the most cash-game-viable way possible: by dropping consistent scores every single week. He's put up between 19 and 25 fantasy points in each of the last six weeks, meaning he hasn't won you any big tournaments, but he hasn't killed you either. And frankly, the lack of any blow-up weeks has actually kept the price down a little bit. While many would have called Wentz's 2017 campaign his breakout season, his improvements this season frankly looked more significant and sustainable. Last year Wentz's completion percentage actually dropped by 2% from his rookie year, but his TD/INT ratio went from 16/14 to 33/7. I had Wentz as a bust candidate this season based on what looked like a lucky year. This year? His completion rate is up to 71%, and he's posted a still excellent 15/3 TD/INT ratio. He's completing more of his passes than guys like Phil Rivers or Patrick Mahomes in spite of having a less impressive supporting cast. New Orleans, meanwhile, has been a very polarized defense, allowing the 2nd lowest YPC on the ground while allowing the 3rd highest YPA through the air. Love Wentz here, and I actually think he has a breakout game in him as well.
Ezekiel Elliott FD 8400 DK 8500
Proj Points FD - 20.32 DK - 22.9
Zeke continued his bell-cow ways in Week 10 with 19 carries on the ground and seven targets in the passing game. On the season, only Todd Gurley has had more opportunity per week than Elliott. The latter is averaging 24 looks per game (19 carries, 5 targets) and will now face an Atlanta team ranked 31st in defensive DVOA against the rush (30th overall). Elliott remains in the very top tier of usage running backs with nothing to suggest a shift in approach from the Cowboys going forward. It helps that he’s the fifth-most expensive running back on FanDuel with such a high cash-game floor. I suspect we see him as a chalkier play on both sites considering the matchup and opportunity.
James Conner FD 8200 DK 7200
Proj Points FD - 22.39 DK - 23.74
Conner only carried the ball 13 times in Week 10 against the Panthers, a sharp reduction in what we’d come to expect from the Steelers’ running back. But there’s some context in those numbers. Pittsburgh had the game well in hand by midway through the third quarter and Conner exited with concussion symptoms before the fourth quarter started. He should be able to suit up for Week 11 and remains a top-tier running back option even against a tougher Jacksonville defense. The Jags rank in the top 10 against the rush this season, but Conner’s projected usage and depreciated price tag because of the matchup (7th most expensive RB on DK, 6th on FD) put him in cash game consideration. This is a situation where the price is overcorrected relative to his projected usage. He ranks third in the league in running back touches per game behind only Gurley and Zeke, and would probably be second had he not left last game early. While others will be scared off by the matchup, buying Conner at a lower price point is the way to go on both sites.
Kerryon Johnson FD 6200 DK 5800
Proj Points FD - 13.9 DK - 15.72
Could we be nearing the end of the LeGarrette Blount-era in Detroit? Let’s sure hope so. Johnson has been so much better than Blount this season in every single facet of the game that frankly, it’s a bit embarrassing the former has had to split time. Johnson averages 5.4 yards per carry (Blount 2.6) while also working effectively in the passing game (37 targets, 30 receptions/ 203 yards). He overwhelming out-snapped Blount in Week 10 (55-10) and picked up 89 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and 6 targets. It stands to reason we see this trend continue for Johnson, especially if Detroit continues playing from behind (4-point home dogs this week). If he pushes up against 20 touches again then these prices are simply too low for such an effective runner.
Some notes on the other expensive running backs:
With so many cheaper options at both QB and WR this week, there’s a case to be made for going double (or maybe even triple) expensive at the running back position. The upper tier of plays are also almost all the best points/ $ plays in our system. While I do think Conner and Elliott are the best of the bunch relative to price, there are strong cases to be made for the other options.
Saquon Barkley draws a prime matchup against a sieve-like Bucs defense that’s been crushed by opposing running backs, especially through the air.
Melvin Gordon is a -7 home favorite against the Broncos. His usage isn’t in the same class as the guys above, but it’s close.
Alvin Kamara is a -9 home favorite against the Eagles. This is usually the sweet spot for running back production, but I’m a bit concerned about the continued use of Mark Ingram especially in games where the Saints get up early.
Kenny Golladay FD 6400 DK 5800
Proj Points FD - 13.18 DK - 15.86
So this pick changes in value based on the Marvin Jones Jr. news, but if Jones misses the week 11 game in advantage of the Lions' Thursday Thanksgiving game, Golladay could be the highest owned wide receiver this week. A lot of people took a chance on him in week 9 after Tate went down, and were burned by a four target game against the Vikings. Well, Golladay was targeted 13 times in week 10, and it looks like Stafford has found a way to keep him involved in the offense. It's a league average match-up for the Lions' passing game this week, but the decided price/opportunity mismatch if Golladay is a 10+ target receiver makes him a play almost regardless of the match-up at this point.
Amari Cooper FD 6600 DK 5400
Proj Points FD - 13.86 DK - 16.55
If you've been a DFSR reader for any period of time you'll likely know that I hate to be "that guy" that pretends to know what's going on inside the heads of coaches and owners. That being said, you kind of have to think that Dallas has a lot more reason than usual to give Cooper outsized target share right now, right? The Cowboys acquired him in a trade that was widely panned, and promptly sent him 8 and 10 targets in his first two games. He's been pretty efficient, turning those 18 targets into 11 catches, 133 yards, and a touchdown. The Cowboys also find themselves with next to no offensive options right now. Atlanta has allowed the 5th highest yards per attempt through the air this season, and I think Cooper continues his upward trajectory for at least one more week.
Tyler Boyd FD 7000 DK 7000
Proj Points FD - 14.68 DK - 17.39
Being a DFS analyst is a funny thing, because you can find yourself making the argument for a guy one week and the argument against him in the following week when seemingly nothing has changed. But you know what has changed about Boyd? His price. I still think the concerns we had about Boyd in an AJ Green-less offense hold merit. Teams can focus on him more, he isn't a natural fit to get some of Green's targets, and the offense should be worse in general. I don't think we should pour one out for him just yet, though. Last week's New Orleans game was truly nuts. Dalton attempted just 20 passes, and Boyd was targeted in 20% of those. While this game won't have the same huge total, it should be a heck of a lot closer. I didn't seen anything last week that should justify Boyd's price dropping by more than 10%, and while this is a worse match-up on paper the game script should be considerably better. I'm ready to hop back on the Boyd bandwagon for week 11.
Corey Davis FD 6200 DK 5600
Proj Points FD - 13.01 DK - 15.41
Davis missed our optimal lineups by a hair in week 10, and promptly went off for 125 yards and a touchdown on 7 catches. He's been targeted 10 times in two straight weeks in spite of Mariota not touching 30 pass attempts in either of those games. Davis is essentially a WR1 at WR3 prices based on the lack of passing game opportunity that the Titans provide. From my perspective, though, I think this has just established him as an extremely high floor player. We know that the Titans will give Mariota 40+ passing attempts if the game script works out that way, and Vegas does like this as a slightly above average total for the slate. In a week where the savings will likely matter, I won't be working to get Davis out of my lineups for sure.Anot
Zach Ertz FD 7600 DK 6600
Proj Points FD - 14.54 DK - 18.26
We aren’t often in the game of recommending (and then playing) the most expensive tight ends on a given slate simply because the production at the position is so variable. But Ertz is one of the exceptions this season. He’s fourth in the NFL in targets per game at 11.1 and the only tight end in the top 15 overall this season. Ertz ranks 6th in red zone targets and the Eagles stand to play from behind against the Saints in this game. The guy is getting expensive, for good reason, but based on the overwhelming target numbers, still represents something of a bargain. In our system, he’s projected for a full five more DraftKings points than the next-closest tight end.
Evan Engram FD 5800 DK 4100
Proj Points FD - 10.61 DK - 12.67
Jared Cook FD 5500 DK 3900
Proj Points FD - 10.06 DK - 12.3
Ricky Seals-Jones FD 5200 DK 2900
Proj Points FD - 7.47 DK - 9.28
After Ertz, we are once again in the morass of cheaper tight end options who we hope in a given week will simply see 5-6 targets, 50-60 yards and if a touchdown happens, well praise be. Cook returned to a solid target share in Week 10, seeing 9 looks and finishing with a 4/52 line. The Cardinals rank in the bottom-third in DVOA against tight ends this season and Oakland is still thin at WR after the Amari Cooper trade. Cook has a solid enough floor, especially for sub-$4K on DraftKings.
Meanwhile, sticking in the same game, Ricky Seals-Jones draws the best tight end matchup around against the Raiders who rank dead last defending the position this season. Seals-Jones is averaging close to six targets per game over his last four with last week being is best week (5/51 on 9 targets).
And finally, Engram draws one of the best matchups of the week against the bottom-feeding Tampa Bay defense which ranks second to last against tight ends on the season. The yards haven’t been there for Engram over the short term, but if we are playing the matchup/ price game then he’s still something of a bargain.
This week in Defense
Another week, another opportunity to decide between cheap defenses in bad match-ups and over-priced defenses in good ones. Alas.
One defense that jumps out early on is the New Orleans Saints. They are $200 more expensive than the very cheapest defense on FanDuel and $100 more than the cheapest on DraftKings. The Eagles' 23.75 point implied total is solid, but still basically middle of the pack this week. The Saints are 8.5 point favorites, which means that the Birds should be playing from behind as well, which tends to be a much better environment for creating turnovers. The Saints are far from an amazing defense, but getting them for free might be too tempting to pass up on.
After the Saints, I'm wondering if it's crazy to just grab the Cincinnati Bengals against a back-up QB in Jackson. Yes, he's dynamic on the ground, but would anyone be THAT surprised if he went out there and threw for four picks? I certainly wouldn't be. Like we saw with the Bills/Jets game last week, back-up quarterbacks can get absolutely dumpstered in short order, and the Bengals are the same price as the Saints. Still, there's a chance that Jackson is just better than the aged Flacco, and things could get awkward if he's just running for 7 yards a carry and dancing in the end zone a couple of times.
Our system also thinks you can consider the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals against a couple of terrible offenses in games with low totals.
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