I’m altering the format this week. Most likely just for this week. Rather than restricting my focus toward large-field GPP formats, I’ll simply be pointing out my favorite matchup plays for GPPs of all sizes. I’ll still provide anticipated ownership numbers and alternatives. I’ve already discussed essentially every player expected to make an impact on the main slate in Advanced Matchups. If you want more depth or details on the following matchups, head over to that link.
Aaron Rodgers, GB at MIN ($7.0K DK | $7.7K FD | ExpOwn: 4-6%)
Adam Caplan passed along to me that the reason we’ve seen the Vikings shifting toward featuring Cover 1 is due to co-OCs Adam Zimmer and Andre Patterson taking the advice of their surrounding staff. And they cemented in stone an extremely Cover 1-heavy approach in Week 10. They began the process with a subtle change a few weeks back. And it makes perfect sense after adding Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, and Mackensie Alexander over the offseason from other Cover 1-heavy schemes.
If we were looking for a reason for an Aaron Rodgers-Davante Adams stack, a high rate of Cover 1 is about as compelling as it gets. Rodgers has posted 0.53 FP/Db (fifth-best), a 107.7 passer rating (fourth), and 27 TDs vs. three INTs when facing Cover 1 the last three seasons.
The Bottom Line: As long as Mr. Rodgers is active in Minnesota’s neighborhood in Week 11, Davante Adams and Rodgers will be my go-to stack.
Justin Fields, CHI vs. BAL ($5.7K DK | $6.8K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
While it took Justin Fields some time to acclimate to the speed of the NFL, things appear to be slowing down for the rookie. Considering Chicago has played the fifth-most difficult schedule to date, it’s not all that surprising it took Fields six games to begin delivering the numbers we expect from the tremendous numbers he distributed into the Ohio State record books. Over the last two weeks, Fields averaged 24.2 FPG against San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Sample size will be an issue for a while when it comes to a statistical evaluation of Fields in a run-first offense. However, it is already clear that he’s entirely comfortable attacking Cover 6. On 9% of dropbacks, Fields has completed 14-of-17 attempts (82%) for 22% of his yardage.
The Bottom Line: During Fields’ last two games, two relevant factors emerged that should give us confidence in some GPP exposure to Fields. First, he completed eight-of-12 attempts for 94 yards and a TD on dropbacks against Cover 1. Baltimore features the third-highest rate of man coverage and seventh-highest rate of Cover 1. Second, “Soldier Fields” took to the ground to average 8.2 YPC, and a 9/74/0.5 rushing line. If Fields maintains that rushing FPG pace this week, he’ll already be 39% of the way toward profit over value. With the other featured shell for the Ravens being Cover 6, the only schematic challenge for Fields will be the relentless blitz from Baltimore that’s fueled by the third-highest rate of Cover 0 (blitz with a single defender in man coverage on every eligible receiver). If Fields plays the blitz to his advantage, he’ll be able to take advantage of a defense relenting the fifth-most pure rushing FPG to QBs over the last four weeks (4.13).
Cam Newton, CAR vs. WAS ($5.1K DK | *$7.5K FD *| ExpOwn: 3-4%)
Joe Flacco, NYJ vs. MIA ($4.6K DK | $6.3K FD | ExpOwn: <1%)
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL at KC ($7.7K DK | $8.5K FD | ExpOwn: 5-6%)
The scoring of this game is going to be dictated by the Dallas O-line and the efficiency of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard . If the ground game is rolling from the onset, HC Mike McCarthy has shown he’s perfectly fine allowing his RBs to take over the game. I’m not expecting the Cowboys’ ground game completely taking over, but for Elliott to still have a big game on both land and air.
The Bottom Line: The field seems to be banking on DC Steve Spagnuolo’s recent success in defense of the run holding up. I’m going to force the Chiefs to prove it against one of the top-three rushing attacks in the NFL. Exposure to Zeke is a tremendous leverage to the widespread love distributed across these passing games. And we can roster him without much of the field sapping his potential value impact if he hits.
Joe Mixon, CIN at LV ($7.6K DK | $7.6K FD | ExpOwn: 4-5%)
Above all others on Cincinnati’s offense, Las Vegas presents Joe Mixon with a smash spot. The Raiders are allowing the ninth-most FPG to RBs (26.2), the sixth-most rushing YPG (129.1), eighth-highest YPC (4.5), and fifth-highest rate of 20-plus yard runs (3.11%). After teasing us with spikes in his involvement, Samaje Perine has taken a clear backseat to Mixon, and will not endanger Mixon’s output.
The Bottom Line: Make sure you understand that this is a play specific to DraftKings. He will be one of the highest-owned RBs on FanDuel. But that’s precisely why I love this play so much. His salary on DK is most definitely a little higher than I’d like. However, finding salary relief elsewhere in order to pounce on the big names with price tags the consensus considers to be too high is a big motivation to my weekly GPP strategy. Mixon epitomizes that approach this week on DK.
James Robinson, JAX vs. SF ($6.4K DK | $7.1K FD | ExpOwn: 8-10%)
D’Onta Foreman, TEN vs. HOU ($4.9K DK | $6.2K FD | ExpOwn: 1-4%)
Ty Johnson, NYJ vs. MIA ($4.6K DK | $5.2K FD | ExpOwn: <1%)
CeeDee Lamb, DAL at KC ($7.6K DK | $8.0K FD | ExpOwn: 6-7%))
It was disappointing to see CeeDee Lamb doing so much of his work from the slot upon Michael Gallup’s return. Perhaps it was his own preference. If not, how it was decided that removing one of the most dynamic wideouts in the NFL from dismantling bigger opponents on the outside is beyond me. At the very least, Lamb should be worked in along the entire formation. You can’t argue with the Week 10 results (6/94/2), but that production will need to remain consistent in order to justify the dramatic adjustment.
For Week 11, no other nickelback in the NFL utilizes press coverage more than L'Jarius Sneed. And that approach is going to be tested unlike anything prior this season. Kansas City has been playing a crazy-high rate of Cover 2 in recent weeks, providing Sneed with some comfort from support over the top. But Lamb’s athleticism allows him to turn every touch into a house call. Sneed’s 1.45 YPCS (sixth-most), 0.33 FP/CS (fifth-most), and 0.31 TPR (fifth-highest) had better hold together at the seams.
The Bottom Line: Sneed has been relying on his press-success far too much all season. It’s a terrible approach for a size-to-speed phenomenon such as Lamb. After Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, I view Lamb as having the most upside in Week 11. And I am very thankful that the majority of the field does not agree.
DeVonta Smith, PHI vs. NO ($6.4K DK | $6.6K FD | ExpOwn: 2-3%)
As in every week of the season, Jalen Hurts will be locked onto DeVonta Smith to piece together his passing numbers. Smith put a 2/47/1 line on his former Alabama teammate Patrick Surtain II last week. And it’s a follow-up to collecting a 2/55/1 line inside the coverage of Chris Harris Jr. The next name on the list is Marshon Lattimore.
The Bottom Line: The only Saints’ corners that haven’t been drooling FPs all over their coverage assignments this season are Bradley Roby and P.J. Williams. Lattimore is giving up the third-most FPs/coverage snap (0.39) among 85 qualified outside corners. And the Saints’ defense is allowing 39.8 FPG to opposing WRs (fourth-most). My money will be on Smith extending his scoring streak to three games.
Corey Davis, NYJ vs. MIA ($5.0K DK | $6.4K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
Exposure to Corey Davis goes hand-in-hand with a Joe Flacco stack. WRs opposing the Dolphins are pulling in the third-most FPG (41.3) on the season, and 10th-most over the last four weeks (37.2). A percentage of the field will be off of Davis due to the presence of Xavien Howard. Do we need to be concerned with a Howard shadow? A recent shift to a higher Cover 3 rate for Miami has coincided with improvement in the X-Factor’s play. And the requirements of a Cover 3 zone eliminate the possibility of true shadow coverage.
The Bottom Line: Even though Howard will work across from Davis on a number of his reps, he runs his routes from all across the line of scrimmage. Davis will finally have a QB under center with the ability to get him the ball against his Cover 3 wheelhouse, and Cover 1, his secondary preference. Over the last 3 seasons against Cover 3, Davis’ YPRR increases by 40%, his air yards/target by 20%, and YPT by 30%.
*Stefon Diggs, BUF vs. IND ($7.9K DK *| $8.1K FD | ExpOwn: 8-9%)**
Marquise Brown, BAL at CHI ($7.1K DK | $7.3K FD | ExpOwn: 2-4%)
Darnell Mooney, CHI vs. BAL ($5.2K DK | $6.0K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
Byron Pringle, KC vs. DAL ($3.4K DK | $5.3K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
Dawson Knox, BUF vs. IND ($4.0K DK | $5.6K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
Zero love for Dawson Knox two weeks in a row now. It didn’t happen last week, he wasn’t needed in a game where Buffalo built a 31-3 lead with 10:47 remaining in the third quarter. But I do think Buffalo will need him in Week 11. The Colts are giving up the sixth-most FPG (16.3), and the fifth-most red zone touches to TEs this season (1.10).
The Bottom Line: Do not forget that Knox posted 14.9, 20.7, and 23.7 FPs from Weeks 3 through 5, respectively. When he gets the ball in his hands, his athleticism really shines working after the catch. He’s emerged as one of the biggest breakouts at TE this season.
Geoff Swaim, TEN vs. HOU ($2.8K DK | $4.6K FD | ExpOwn: <1%)
A group consisting of Geoff Swaim, Anthony Firkser, and MyCole Pruitt may not draw your attention, but they’ll be facing a Houston defense bleeding 16.8 FPG to opposing TEs (fourth-most). The trio were each on the field for routes on 47% of passing plays in Week 10. However, Swaim led the group for the third straight week with a 19% target share.
The Bottom Line: Houston is a far more favorable spot than last week against New Orleans. In the two games prior, Swaim posted well in excess of floor value. As far as salary-relieving TE punts are concerned, Swaim tops my list this week.
Mike Gesicki, MIA at NYJ ($5.2K DK | $6.3K FD | ExpOwn: <1%)
C.J. Uzomah, CIN at LV ($3.5K DK | $5.2K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)
Tyler Conklin, MIN vs. GB ($3.9K DK | $5.5K FD | ExpOwn: 2-3%)
Buffalo Bills, BUF vs. IND ($3.2K DK | $4.5K FD | ExpOwn: 3-4%)
Green Bay Packers, GB at MIN ($3.1K DK | $4.0K FD | ExpOwn: 1-3%)
*Tennessee Titans, TEN vs. HOU ($3.9K DK *| $4.6K FD | ExpOwn: 2-3%)**
New Orleans Saints, NO at PHI ($2.9K DK | $4.4K FD | ExpOwn: 1-3%)
San Francisco 49ers, SF at JAX ($3.7K DK | $4.9K FD | ExpOwn: 2-5%)