In addition to my normal routine of researching all starting QBs early each week, I spent a good amount of time on further research of Alex Smith as one of my featured QB plays in GPPs on the main slate. That’s when two news stories broke just after 9:00 AM ET and 10:00 AM ET, respectively, to send Smith tumbling down my list. Here’s the first:
I’ll detail the second report in my Baker Mayfield analysis below. As for Taysom Hill, we have no way of knowing the level of his ownership percentages since he’s been an afterthought in DFS up to this point.
What we do know is that HC Sean Payton and his longtime OC Pete Carmichael Jr. clearly trust the fourth-year BYU alum. Enough to extend Hill’s contract for two years on April 26th for $21 million, $16.3 of which was guaranteed. Enough for, according to further reports, “THOR-terback” to play every snap this Sunday. Granted, some shade has since been tossed around from the Saints’ camp. But we know Hill has taken all of the starting reps in practice this week. And we know Adam Schefter is almost always a source we can trust. We also know that Hill’s parents named him afterTaysom Rotary Park, situated in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. And now you know that Hill claims that aBedJet provides him with a competitive advantage.
The Bottom Line: Since Hill is listed as a TE on FanDuel (more on that later), this particular GPP recommendation is focused entirely on his value at QB on DraftKings. During Hill’s college career, he suffered through four consecutive season-ending injuries: a left knee LCL tear in 2012, a left leg fracture in 2014, a right foot lisfranc fracture in 2015, and a left elbow hyperextension in 2016. Rather than allowing those injuries, rehabilitations to stall his career, he fought through the pain to return to the field undeterred.
Hill finished his career at BYU rushing for nearly 3,000 yards and 32 TDs utilizing his 4.44-speed, the top QB mark at the 2017 NFL Combine. He may not have the passing ceiling of Jameis Winston, but Hill can be expected to garner around a 50 percent carry share, and do enough through the air to Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Jared Cook to make things very interesting in the DK Milly-Maker.
Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. PHI ($5.4K DK | $7.0K FD | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 25.25)
It should be noted that nationwide temperatures have dropped further than were forecasted just a few days ago. For now, it appears that the gametime temperature for the Eagles and Browns will be around 43 degrees, with 13-15 MPH winds, and a 46-65 percent chance of rain. That weather is a far cry from the elements each offense dealt with in Cleveland in Weeks 8 and 10. While it’ll be the most “severe” weather conditions for any Week 11 game, several factors are simply too enticing to ignore Baker Mayfield against the Eagles. First of which is this report:
The loss of Myles Garrett will be a monumental loss for the Browns’ zone-heavy defense. Without Garrett’s top-three pass rushing ability, Carson Wentz will have plenty of time in the pocket to allow holes in their zone to develop to put points on the board. With Garrett, Cleveland has been able to limit passing offenses to the six-lowest completion percent on 20-plus receptions (11.0 percent), and the lowest percentage of 40-plus receptions (0.88 percent).
By getting to the QB and forcing them from their spots, the Browns were able to funnel the resulting shorter drop-offs to mitigate damage. Without “Flash”, Cleveland’s allowance of third down conversions at the third-worst rate (49 percent), ninth-highest rushing first down conversion rate (38 percent), and third-worst passing first down rate (30 percent) will come into play more than ever.
However, all is not lost. Baker Mayfield will face an Eagles’ Cover 1 scheme (third-highest rate) with issues defending TEs -- a clear strength for the Browns, and in coverage away from Darius Slay. We all know that Cleveland loves to run the ball at the league’s third-highest rate (48 percent). Mayfield will need Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to be on their A-games to limit the number of Cover 3 zone looks from Philly. Whichever WR between Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins avoids Slay’s shadow -- I think he’ll cover Landry -- will have a big game. The same upside goes for Austin Hooper.
The Bottom Line: Let’s face it, Mayfield is simply not the QB1 many hoped he’d become. He is simply unable to get it done against zone coverages, sans Cover 2. However, he is a baller when facing Cover 1 (man). Whereas his overall FPs/dropback (FPDb) the last two seasons ranks 22nd (0.365), that number spikes by 17 percent to 0.427 FPDb (ninth-best) with a 3.6-to-1 TD-INT ratio. Higgins’ play piggybacks off Mayfield’s with a 46 percent jump to his FPs/route (FP/Rt, 0.49), and 40 percent increase in yards/route run (YPRR, 2.22). Hooper should thrive against an Eagles’ defense allowing the third-most receptions (5.89), sixth-most yards (55.9), and fifth-most TDs (0.67) to his position. Do not follow the 98-to-99 percent of GPP lineups that will be anticipated to sleep on Mayfield in Week 11.
Ryan Tannehill, TEN at BAL ($6.1K DK | $7.3K FD | O/U: 49.5 | Implied: 22.25)
Alex Smith, WAS vs. CIN ($5.3K DK | $6.6K FD | O/U: 46.5 | Implied: 24.0)
Andy Dalton, DAL at MIN ($5.3K DK | $6.9K FD | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 20.25)
Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. DAL ($6.2K DK | $7.1K FD | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 27.25)
In the case of La’Mical Perine, we got a solid bit of news in favor of his near-future upside during the Jets’ Week 10 bye:
No, the cousin of both Myles Jack and Samaje Perine will not have the New York backfield all to himself. That said, we would only need him to surpass 13.2/16.2 FPs to turn a profit on his $4.4K/$5.4K salaries. Frank Gore may be doing a tremendous job in pass protection behind the horrendous such work by their O-line, but he has clearly done nothing with the 56 percent carry share he’s been given (4.4 rushing FPG).
The Bottom Line: Heading into Inglewood on Sunday, Perine will face a Chargers’ defense allowing the 11th-most FPG to RBs in 2020 (24.6), ninth-most over the last four weeks (26.9). One additional factor that should help Perine’s production is that Joe Flacco has done his best passing work the last two seasons when facing Cover 3 (0.36 FPDb) and Cover 4 schemes (0.42 FPDb). Los Angeles plays Cover 3 at the highest rate and Cover 4 the ninth-highest. A competent passing attack to balance with the ground game will undoubtedly limit the Chargers’ ability to stack the box. Week 11 could be the perfect week for Perine exposure with the added touches at an anticipated ownership of only four-to-seven percent.
Nyheim Hines, IND vs. GB ($5.2K DK | $6.1K FD | O/U: 51.0 | Implied: 26.75)
Titans HC Frank Reich passed along that he asked Nyheim Hines what he would like for his 24th birthday that happened to fall during Thursday Night Football against Tennessee. Hisresponse: “two touchdowns.” While Reich may feel he deserves some credit for seeing that exact wish granted, none of that will matter to Phillip Rivers. The wiley veteran has continued his search of his primary passing options during his first season with Indianapolis. And he may have cemented two players perfectly suited for that role during the 34-17 victory.
Michael Pittman Jr., the Colts’ 2019 second-round selection, collected a 7/101/0 receiving line on eight targets for 22.2 FPs in Week 10. As for Hines, he will have an opportunity to mimic similar output to what Rivers facilitated for Austin Ekeler in 2019. Hines has averaged 18.5 FPG over his last three games, with multiple TDs in two. His overall target share has been on the rise with the following over the last four games: 14, 19, 9, and 30 percent. Should Hines begin to command a concentration of the 23.4 percent of targets that Rivers has fed to his RBs this season, Hines could be on the verge of volcano upside.
The Bottom Line: Nyheim is stoutly-packed weighing 196 pounds at only 5-foot-9. Allow me to remind you that he paced all RBs at the 2018 Combine with a 4.38-yard forty. The Packers have allowed the third-most receiving FPG to RBs (14.0) and second-most to RBs overall (31.6). While the Indianapolis defense has been one of the best this season, Green Bay’s explosive offense could always buck that trend. With a 51-point implied total against a Packers defense much better equipped at limiting WR and TE production, Hines is an extremely obvious, contrarian play whose ownership expectation of two-and-seven percent informs otherwise.
Damien Harris, NE at HOU ($5.7K DK | $5.8K FD | O/U: 48.5 | Implied: 25.25)
J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. CIN ($5.2K DK | $5.6K FD | O/U: 46.5 | Implied: 24.0)
Rex Burkhead, NE at HOU ($4.6K DK | $5.9K FD | O/U: 48.5 | Implied: 25.25)
I’m going to cheat a bit with my first two WR recommendations. I’ve already covered both options in myWeek 11 Advanced Matchups. However, upon viewing their anticipated ownership percentages, they are in spots with the potential to make a serious difference. I’ll begin with A.J. Brown. He’ll face the Baltimore defense for only the second time in his career. In the AFC Divisional round, Derrick Henry ran for 195 yards, and Ryan Tannehill only attempted 14 passes. Taking a score in himself, Tannehill found Kalif Raymond on a 45-yard strike, and added another to Jonnu Smith.
With the Ravens unable to do anything outside of a pair of FGs until the fourth quarter, Tennessee had zero reason to do anything outside of using Henry to kill the clock. Feeding Henry proved to be the dominating strategy for HC Mike Vrabel during that playoff run. While Lamar Jackson hasn’t been able to repeat his offensive showcase from last season, we shouldn’t expect the Ravens being held to 12 points again by a Titans defense allowing 26.1 PPG this season. The Baltimore offense should be able to find success against the Titans’ bottom-10 pass rush and run defense. In my anticipated scenario broken down for you in Advanced Matchups, Ravens DC Don Martindale was forced to entirely alter his defensive approach during that playoff loss.
In the 17 games prior during the 2019 season, Baltimore played man coverage on 45 percent of snaps, and reverted to a Cover 3 (zone) to counter obvious passing situations. Henry’s ability to pound the rock forced an attempt to load the box that resulted in a 30 percent increase in man coverage. The best part of this deal for Brown is that, if Henry once again finds success on the ground, a shift to more man coverages would play into his eighth-best 0.60 FP/Rt. If the Ravens are able to bottle Henry up, allowing for a big spike in their Cover 3 zone, they’ll be playing directly into the madman wheelhouse of Brown. For the record, we can count on Baltimore playing man coverages and Cover 3 on three-fourths of all snaps.
The Bottom Line: That madman wheelhouse I mentioned: Brown leads all NFL receivers (including TEs) during his two-year career with 0.63 FP/Rt when facing Cover 3 shells. For a perfect example of what he’s capable of against a defense featuring Cover 1 and Cover 3 shells, look no further than the results from Week 7 against Pittsburgh. On 17 snaps against those schemes from the Steelers, Brown collected 5/132/1 of his 6/153/1 overall receiving line. If you’re counting at home, that’s 89 percent of his FPs on 53 percent of total routes. An anticipated two-to-six percent lineup exposure should have you just as pumped as Brown shownhere to the left of DK Metcalf from his Ole Miss days.
Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. CIN ($6.9K DK | $7.3K FD | O/U: 46.5 | Implied: 24.0)
The second of my double-up WR touts, Terry McLaurin is equipped with a skillset that makes him an automatic start against every team featuring Cover 1. Considering 24 teams have defended from a Cover 1 on at least 20 percent of snaps this season, McLaurin should almost always be in DFS conversation. For Week 11, McLaurin will be opposed by a Cincinnati defense aligned in a Cover 1 at the fifth-highest rate.
Since I’ve already gone into great detail on “F1 McLaurin” inAdvanced Matchups, I’ll work around that information. Of his 35 receptions during his senior season with Ohio State, McLaurin took 11 into the end zone (31 percent). In seven quarters with Alex Smith under center, “Terry McScorin” has put together a 12/185/1 receiving line on 15 targets. That includes 4/86/1 over three quarters despite a James Bradberry shadow.
The Bottom Line: The only Bengals’ defensive back who could possibly be counted on to contain “Scary Terry” is William Jackson III. That said, Cincinnati plants Jackson on the sideline on over 80 percent of snaps, 90 percent during their last two games. With nearly two-thirds of routes run from the slot and outside right this season, McLaurin is going to run free against a Bengals secondary allowing the third-most WR FPG in their last three games (52.9), and eighth-most overall (41.1). Our ownership projections have McLaurin exposure at just under nine percent. I’ve seen it approach 14 percent elsewhere. Either way, McLaurin is being massively undervalued by the field in a smash spot.
Marvin Hall, DET vs. CAR ($3.8K DK | $5.1K FD | O/U: 49.0 | Implied: 25.75)
Don’t worry, that’s not a typo of Marvin Jones Jr.’s name. With Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, and D’Andre Swift each ruled out, 44.8 percent of the target share will be up for grabs. However, the available opportunities are not the only reason Marvin Hall is a tremendous tournament play this week.
While playing for five different teams in four NFL seasons, Hall has provided us with a total line of 30/720/4, and over 200 routes the last two seasons. During those last 18 games played, Hall ranks 26th with 0.39 FP/Rt. Pretty good. However, against Cover 3 schemes, Marvin goes berserk with a 59 percent increase in FP/Rt (0.61), and 50 percent spike in YPRR (3.33).
The Bottom Line: Did I mention that the Panthers play Cover 3 at the league’s highest rate? While Kendall Fuller falls down on the play, he is simply juked out of his shoes on this55-yard TD strike. Fuller is flagged for interference -- obviously declined -- and highlights why Hall is so explosive to stop by a Cover 3. By the time FS Deshazor Everett comes within 10 yards of him, Hall is passing the 10-yard line, and four full yards closer to the end zone. Since we’ve already had four previous games played from the Lions without Golladay, I seriously doubt we’ll see a significant increase to the anticipated one percent ownership of Hall. If Hall doubles up on his DK floor value on DKs (11.4 FPs), you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking advantage.
Mike Williams, LAC vs. NYJ ($5.1K DK | $5.9K FD | O/U: 46.0 | Implied: 27.75)
CeeDee Lamb, DAL vs. SF ($5.0K DK | $5.8K FD | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 20.25)
Keelan Cole, JAX at NYG ($3.8K DK | $5.3K FD | O/U: 46.0 | Implied: 17.75)
Taysom Hill, NO vs. ATL ($4.5K FD | O/U: 51.5 | Implied: 27.75)
You’ll likely never see me tout the same player at two different positions in a single article again. But here we are. I’ve already made my case for Taysom Hill at QB on DK, I really don’t think you need much convincing why he should be 100 percent owned on FD with TE eligibility, across all game formats when informed sources tell us he will headline the show on Sunday.
To balance out the FD-only recommendation of Hill, here is a DK-only tout of Anthony Firkser. Granted, Jonnu Smith will be on the field, and Firkser has only scored 3.7 FPG over his last four games. However, here are his target shares in Tennessee’s last three games: 16, 30, and 21 percent. He’s also run at least 40 percent of passing plays in six straight games.
The Bottom Line: While I can’t promise that he’ll cover value, a rock-bottom $2.5K salary will allow you to load up elsewhere. The Ravens play the fifth-highest rate of man coverage snaps. Here is alink to Firkser facing man coverage to get you fired up on the fact that he’ll be owned in less than five percent of lineups.
Jared Cook, NO vs. ATL ($4.1K DK | $6.1K FD | O/U: 51.5 | Implied: 27.75)
Tyler Higbee, LAR at TB ($3.6K DK | $5.3K FD | O/U: 48.0 | Implied: 22.0)
Austin Hooper, CLE vs. PHI ($3.9K DK | $5.1K FD | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 25.25)
Houston Texans, HOU vs. NE ($2.6K DK | $3.6K FD | O/U: 48.5)
Los Angeles Rams, LAR at TB ($2.6K DK | $4.3K FD | O/U: 48.0)
Detroit Lions, DET at CAR ($2.7K DK | $3.5K FD | O/U: 49.0) *If Teddy Bridgewater is out
Indianapolis Colts, IND vs. GB ($3.1K DK | $4.0K FD | O/U: 51.0)
GPP Passing Game Stacks
Pay particular attention to the labels between each receiving option. Here are the guidelines:
Plus (+) = Optimal receiving stack
Plus/Minus (+/-) = Triple stack option
Plus/or (+/or) = More than one optimal receiving stack and worthy triple stack option
Or = More than one worthy secondary option in a triple stack
The combined salary listings are calculated triple stacks consisting of the QB plus the first two receiving options.
Tennessee Titans’ 11 | 12 Personnel vs. Baltimore Ravens’ Cover 0 | 1 | 3
Line: +5.0 | O/U: 49.5 | Implied: 22.25 | Combined Salary: $18.1K DK | $20.7K FD
Minnesota Vikings’ 11 | 12 | 21 Personnel vs. Dallas Cowboys’ Cover 4
Line: -7.0 | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 27.25 | Combined Salary: $21.5K DK | $25.5K FD
Andy Dalton + Amari Cooper +/or CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys’ 11 Personnel vs. Minnesota Vikings’ Cover 2
Line: +7.0 | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 20.25 | Combined Salary: $15.7K DK | $19.6K FD
Washington Football Teams’ 11 | 12 Personnel vs. Cincinnati Bengals’ Cover 1
Line: -1.5 | O/U: 46.5 | Implied: 24.0 | Combined Salary: $17.4K DK | $19.5K FD
Cleveland Browns’ 11 | 12 Personnel vs. Philadelphia Eagles’ Cover 1
Line: -3.0 | O/U: 47.5 | Implied: 25.25 | Combined Salary: $13.8K DK | $17.5K FD
Optimal RB + DST Stacks (Cash/Single-Entry)
Alvin Kamara + New Orleans DST vs. Atlanta Falcons
Line: -4.0 | O/U: 51.5 | Implied for Opponent: 23.75 | Combined Salary: $12.4K DK | $9.7K FD
Antonio Gibson + Washington Football Team DST vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Line: -1.5 | O/U: 46.5 | Implied for Opponent: 22.5 | Combined Salary: $8.7K DK | $10.6K FD
Salvon Ahmed + Miami Dolphins DST at Denver Broncos
Line: -3.5 | O/U: 45.0 | Implied for Opponent: 20.75 | Combined Salary: $8.2K DK | $10.4K FD