Week 11 is here! This slate should be a fun one as at this point of the week, there are not a lot of the obvious plays that lead to forcing you to make decisions on certain chalk plays.
If you are new to this article, this will be a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 11 slate:
Game Script Targets
Patriots -2.5 (@ HOU)
RB Damien Harris (NE, @ HOU)
WR Jakobi Meyers (NE, @ HOU)
The Patriots offense has gotten a much-needed shot of life from two young promising players: Damien Harris and Jakobi Meyers. Both come at affordable prices this week despite having good holds of their respective market shares. Harris has averaged 17 touches per game over the last three games. That is despite being a nonfactor in the receiving game. In this matchup, while it would be nice to have, Harris really does not need any receiving work to hit value. The Patriots offensive line should dominate in the run game for him to get big chunk gains as the Texans allow the most YPC to RBs (5.5) and most ruFPG (22.8). Harris has had elite efficiency in tougher matchups with 5.5 YPC on the season (3rd among RBs). The Texans allow the schedule adjusted 2nd most FPG RBs.
Meyers on the other hand has been basically the whole Patriots passing game. He has 31 targets over the last 3 games (10.3/game) and a 40%+ target share in each game. With that usage Meyers is going to have some big weeks like we saw against the Jets (12/169). A great metric to see how well a wide receiver is playing is yards/route run. Per PFF, Meyers is 3rd in yards/route run on the season (2.99 yards/route). He steps into a beatable spot against a Texans defense allowing the 3rd most schedule adjusted FPG to WR1s.
Vikings -7 (vs. DAL)
RB Dalvin Cook (MIN, vs. DAL)
WR Amari Cooper (DAL, @ MIN)
Game stacks with the Cowboys were very profitable to start the season. The Dak Prescott injury ruined the ideal high scoring shootouts. We got a taste of Andy Dalton hindering the offense but they should be more competitive with him back. This week sets up as a potential return to the Cowboys game stack. On the Vikings side, rostering Dalvin Cook is never a bad idea who has been insanely productive this year against soft matchups. He has at least 20 touches in his last 6 games. Our DFS projections this week have him as the second-best value based on FPTS/$ (3.10). The upgrade in the game environment gives him a better chance to hit his ceiling. The Cowboys have the 2nd fastest neutral game pace and at 7-point underdogs the pace could be even faster.
For the Cowboys offense, a discounted Amari Cooper is in play. It is a buy-low opportunity with Dalton back at QB and Cooper is priced at his lowest salary of the season ($5,400 DK). As Scott has pointed out before, Cooper is one of the most sensitive wide receivers to shadow coverage. This is not a shadow coverage type matchup to worry about against the Vikings secondary. The Vikings are allowing the 4th most schedule adjusted FPG to WR1s. He is expected to line up against Vikings corner Chris Jones who has bounced around the NFL and was signed off waivers in October. It is a positive game script for Cooper to see more targets and beat up on below-average corners again.
Dolphins -3.5 (@ DEN)
RB Salvon Ahmed (MIA, @ DEN)
With Myles Gaskin still on the Injured Reserve this week, Salvon Ahmed should again be the lead back for the Dolphins. Matt Breida looks likely to return, but the Dolphins have shown a lack of commitment to him when he has been active. I expect Ahmed to be in the Gaskin role that produced 14.2 FPG. The positive game script (3.5-point favorites) that helped him last week should work in his favor again. Last week when leading the majority of the game, he was given 76% of the snaps and 22 touches. Most importantly even with Breida back, Ahmed should receive the valuable goal line carries since Jordan Howard was released.
WR Diontae Johnson (PIT, @ JAX)
The Steelers game script does not look appealing on surface level for the passing game (10-point favorites). However, we saw last week their receiving game is capable of hitting value despite being up big. All three of the top pass catchers (JuJu, Diontae, Claypool) finished with over 20 fantasy points. On the season, the Steelers have the least plays while trailing by 7+. Despite that, their 40 pass attempts per 60 minutes are the most in the NFL. If that trend continues the risk is minimized in a negative game script.
Of the three, Diontae has had the best weekly usage. As mentioned in the Week 11 Stat-Pack, Diontae Johnson is averaging 10.3 targets in the six games he’s finished this season. You will want exposure to the Steelers offense who have the highest team total on the slate (28.25).
RB D’Andre Swift (DET, @ CAR)
It is finally D’Andre Swift Szn. It is safe to say that Adrian Peterson was not the answer for them at RB and they gave Swift the usage that he has deserved for a while now. His 21 touches, 73% snap, and 22 routes were all top 10 among RBs in Week 10. Now, he draws a softer matchup against the Panthers who have the 4th most schedule adjusted FPG allowed to RBs. Talent has won out in the Lions backfield and Swift is primed for a Top 15 week at RB.
QB Andy Dalton (DAL, @ MIN)
This is a pure ceiling play. Andy Dalton is leading one of the best receiving units in the NFL with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Dalton is capable of giving them opportunities to rack up yardage and fantasy points. It was an uninspiring first start for Dalton with 13 fantasy points, but the ceiling was there with 54 passing attempts and 24 XFP. It is a discount priced at QB21 on DraftKings ($5,300). You have flexibility to pay up at other positions if you want to take a shot with the red rifle.
RB Miles Sanders (PHI, @ CLE)
The Browns defense has been a pass funnel this year. They have been a Top 10 defense in limiting RB fantasy points. On the other hand, they are allowing Top 10 fantasy production to QBs, WRs, and TEs. Also, the game environment is not ideal for Miles Sanders and the Eagles offense as the Browns run the 10th slowest neutral game pace. They run at a 52% rate in neutral game scripts (4th highest). Sanders will struggle to hit value with a game that is likely to limit his touches.
WR Michael Thomas (NO, vs. ATL)
The matchup is great for Michael Thomas but without Drew Brees the typical scheme will be out of the window. Last year when Brees was out, Teddy Bridgewater had less than 250 passing yards in 4 out of the 6 games. If the Saints are able to get their running game going with Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, and Taysom Hill Sean Payton will likely eer on the side of caution with the passing attack. With no Brees, there is no denying Sean Payton's favorite weapon Taysom Hill too. He should get some designed plays in the red zone hurting Thomas’s scoring chances. The Falcons quietly had one of the best performances in limiting Thomas last year (6/48).
WR A.J. Brown (TEN, @ BAL)
One of the biggest overperformers this year looking at XFP has been A.J. Brown. His 12.6 XFP significantly lags behind the 16.5 FPG he is scoring. This could easily be another off week for Brown against the Ravens. They are the 2nd toughest matchup for outside WRs. It is a big downgrade in game environment as the Titans play at the 4th fastest neutral pace and the Ravens are 2nd slowest. The Titans offensive line did struggle to give Ryan Tannehill time to find Brown last week. That will be tested again versus a blitz-happy Ravens defense. Per PFF, the Ravens had the highest blitz rate in 2019 and are Top 5 in blitz rate this year.
Pace of Play
Vikings (vs. DAL) - Vikings 8th slowest neutral game script pace -> Cowboys 2nd fastest
Panthers (vs. TB) - Panthers 9th slowest neutral game pace -> Bucs 14th fastest
Browns (vs. PHI) - Browns 10th slowest neutral game pace -> Eagles 6th fastest
Falcons (@ NO) - Saints slowest neutral pace
Titans (@ BAL) - Titans 4th fastest neutral pace -> Ravens 2nd slowest
Projected Fast Pace Game:
Football Team vs Bengals - Both teams Top 10 in neutral game script pace