Cost Efficiency Breakdown: DraftKings Week 11

A look into the smart DraftKings Week 11 plays in terms of cost efficiency. Who provides the most bang for your buck?

Many of you don’t need me to tell you how unexpectedly frustrating Week 10 was. The big story was the disappearances of the surefire RB1s, several of whom let me down harshly across my cash lineups. My plan to saturate with an assortment of the high-volume, script-happy backs did me in and wasted some great hits. But the real devastation came amongst my wideouts. Alshon Jeffery’s limited day hurt badly, while Stefon Diggs found game flow working against him early. As a result, only about 20% of my cash lineups reached even the modest cutoffs. Oh well. I put up a few better lineups, and I’ll fight another day, but I don’t want to talk about it.

 

 

 

Sal

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

QB

Blake Bortles

 

$5,600

17.0

3.039

RB

D. Williams

 

$6,500

7.9

1.215

RB

Todd Gurley

 

$7,300

17.9

2.452

WR

Alshon Jeffery

 

$7,100

5.3

0.746

WR

Michael Crabtree

 

$5,800

9.5

1.638

WR

Stefon Diggs

 

$5,100

7.6

1.490

Flex

Darren McFadden

 

$4,900

8.8

1.796

TE

Delanie Walker

 

$4,700

8.2

1.745

D/ST

Steelers

 

$3,000

16.0

5.333

     

50000

98.2

1.964

Here’s a run through my ideal Week 11 lineup, one that projects by my model to produce 147.43 points:

QUARTERBACK

QBs projected to 19+ pts

 

Sal

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

H-Value

Tyrod Taylor

$5,200

19.94

3.835

34.25

Jameis Winston

$5,000

19.28

3.856

33.86

Matthew Stafford

$5,400

19.92

3.689

32.93

Jay Cutler

$5,100

19.17

3.759

32.91

Cam Newton

$6,900

21.81

3.161

29.52

Tony Romo

$6,000

19.67

3.278

29.08

Russell Wilson

$5,900

19.37

3.283

28.90

Derek Carr

$6,300

19.33

3.068

26.98

Carson Palmer

$6,700

19.12

2.854

24.96

Tom Brady

$8,500

21.63

2.545

23.67

The cash play

In an exceptionally crowded tier atop the QB rankings, Philip Rivers ($6,900) looks like the best blend of floor and ceiling. He doesn’t hit the 19-point threshold above, but I’d argue that his projection (18.45) is more of a floor. It’s heavily influenced by the fact that Kansas City has tightened its leaky pass defense of late, but they haven’t faced a Murderer’s Row of passers. Take comfort in knowing that Rivers’ semi-clunker last week was his first game shy of multiple touchdowns since Week 3, and that only three QBs project to throw more red zone passes in Week 11.

…and cash considerations

It’s tempting to lay off of Cam Newton, whose success is largely tied to his rushing yardage and short touchdowns. But that production isn’t a fluke – Newton has taken the ball seven times from inside the 10 over his last four games. He’s clearly The Game Plan near the goal line, and could find himself there plenty against a porous Washington defense. He shouldn’t need to top a passing line around 225 yards and a TD or two to reach value… As usual, there’s not a lof or theoretical value in Tom Brady, who costs significantly more than the rest of the tier despite virtually interchangeable floors. But his ceiling is higher than anyone’s in the field, so he always makes at least some sense if you’re playing thrifty at other positions… Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,000) offers perhaps the week’s strongest guarantee of 3x value. He’s no yardage king, but has thrown multiple TDs in each of his last four full games and provides a surprising rushing spark (18 yards per full game).

GPP Plays

Matthew Stafford’s shaky Lions should see a negative or neutral game script, giving him a very nice projection of 39.0 attempts against a leaky Raiders defense. He’s been producing fantastically in the red zone, and Oakland is giving up touchdown passes left and right… He’ll be owned more than many prime GPP targets, but Mark Sanchez ($5,000) carries a nice floor despite his shaky play. He projects to 40.8 attempts, and only the Saints have allowed more red zone TD passes than Tampa Bay. He’d need a reasonable passing line around 275 yards and three scores to reach tourney value… DFSers will likely shy away from Tony Romo in his return, but this is a matchup to exploit. The Dolphins have been gashed through the air twice over the last three weeks.

RUNNING BACK

RBs projected to 16+ pts

 

Sal

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

H-Value

Jeremy Langford

$5,600

25.60

4.571

46.26

Lamar Miller

$6,200

26.98

4.352

45.21

Charcandrick West

$4,500

19.68

4.373

38.80

Darren McFadden

$5,000

18.37

3.674

31.49

Danny Woodhead

$5,300

17.15

3.236

26.80

Devonta Freeman

$8,400

22.92

2.729

26.13

Todd Gurley

$7,600

20.67

2.720

24.73

DeMarco Murray

$6,000

16.83

2.805

23.01

Adrian Peterson

$6,800

16.80

2.471

20.25

The cash plays

West will likely be the cash play of the week across most contests. Over his four starts, West’s combination of usage (21.3 touches per start), receiving production (10 targets), and elite red zone play (10 rushes from inside the 10, for three touchdowns) have rivaled those of the very top fantasy backs. He’ll be in business against a Chargers defense that’s already allowed five 20-yard RB performances. West will be in nearly all of my cash lineups; I’ll happily sink or swim on this potential… Darren McFadden failed to reach value against a stifling Buccaneers run defense, but he’s still criminally underpriced for a bellcow. Since taking the reins four weeks ago, he’s commanded 76.9% of team rushes – a better share than Devonta Freeman or Adrian Peterson – and caught 12 passes. The offense will likely open up with Tony Romo back under center, suggesting a small workload drop for McFadden but more quality touches… Todd Gurley boasts a great usage profile and one of the better early NFL resumes we’ve seen in years, and in many ways he’s the savviest cash play any week he costs under $8,000. But there’s always at least a hint of uncertainty over game flow, as the shaky Rams are susceptible to falling behind big and Gurley isn’t a big part of their hurry-up plans. His floor is generally acceptable in those games, but it won’t return value on his salary, so much of his value is tied to the Rams’ overall performance.

…and cash considerations

Devonta Freeman’s salary has skyrocketed, and he’s not especially likely to reach 3x value anymore. But his ceiling is truly formidable, as high as anyone’s in the slate, and his floor is perfectly lovely thanks to elite passing game usage. The Colts’ relatively soft defense isn’t likely to keep him south of 20 points… With the passing down section of the Patriots backfield a jumbled mess, LeGarrette Blount ($5,000) has enjoyed a marked boost in snaps and touches as the only established option. There are multiple game scripts that could set him up for a big line as a home favorite… Adrian Peterson has produced yardage just fine, but struggled to turn his gobs of short-yardage opportunities (18 carries) into touchdowns (just two). That looks destined to progress to the mean at some point, and it’s shrewd to push in your chips when he’s a home favorite.

GPP plays

While Jay Ajayi’s ($3,200) impressive debut has put a damper on Lamar Miller’s perceived value, it’s important to note the huge potential he still holds. He may carry more consistently explosive value in his current role, taking a majority of rushes rather than a mandate but producing big plays in the passing game. He’s produced 147 receiving yards and been a big part of the red zone offense over the last two weeks, but his ownership will almost certainly dip in favor of Ajayi’s. I’ll be plugging Miller into at least half of my GPP lineups, and Ajayi will find himself in a least one... Jeremy Langford doesn’t have a great outlook against a stifling Broncos defense, but that should only add to his GPP value as he’ll be largely abandoned by DFSers. He’s still a dynamic dual-threat back who spearheads his offense and carries a RB2 price tag… Assuming the Chargers’ game script matches the Vegas expectation (Kansas City -3), Danny Woodhead should continue to lead the backfield in usage. That’s a passing game you want to get in on cheaply in GPPs, and while Woodhead isn’t especially cheap, his role is stable (5+ catches in four of his last five games)… The matchup is brutal, but we’ve never really seen a debut like that of Karlos Williams ($4,200), who’s found the end zone in each of his first six games.  He’s hit 3x scoring value in each one, and 6x value twice – both times as the No. 2 back.

WIDE RECEIVER

WRs projected to 17+ pts

 

 

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

H-Value

Calvin Johnson

$7,200

23.61

3.279

31.87

Sammy Watkins

$4,800

17.48

3.642

30.45

Alshon Jeffery

$6,800

21.60

3.176

29.53

Julio Jones

$9,300

26.32

2.830

29.04

John Brown

$5,200

17.34

3.335

27.77

Eric Decker

$5,800

17.82

3.072

25.94

Mike Evans

$7,300

18.95

2.596

22.60

Jarvis Landry

$6,700

17.57

2.622

21.98

Demaryius Thomas

$7,300

18.50

2.534

21.80

Larry Fitzgerald

$7,200

17.88

2.483

21.00

DeAndre Hopkins

$8,800

20.21

2.297

20.65

The cash plays

Julian Edelman’s injury opens the door for Danny Amendola ($4,000) to step into an exceptionally high-volume role as the bread and butter of the Patriots pass game. Edelman had drawn over 25% of Tom Brady’s targets before going down, and Amendola drew 11 last week in his place. At this price point, he’ll be king of the chalk in almost every contest with his real 8-catch upside; reaching 3x value is a mere formality… Mike Evans follow-up season hasn’t blown anyone away – he’s caught just one touchdown after 12 as a rookie. But he’s a true target hog, which is even magnified with Vincent Jackson out (41 looks over the last three games). He’s caught eight passes and topped 126 yards in three of the last four overall and looks like a lock to reach cash value even without touchdowns. And when that floodgate opens, with Evans singlehandedly making mincemeat out of a secondary as he’s capable, you want to be on board… Larry Fitzgerald’s elite production had leveled off of late, prior to last week’s 10-catch resurgence. His opportunity is always strong, but it gets a serious boost with John Brown and Michael Floyd ailing and/or sidelined. The Bengals field a strong secondary, but depending on the health of his teammates, Fitzgerald could be looking at another week of vacuuming up nearly half of Carson Palmer’s targets.

…and cash considerations

It’s been unexpected to see Eric Decker find the end zone in seven of his eight games, but certainly not fluky. He’s been one of the league’s premier red zone targets dating back to his Tim Tebow days. Brandon Marshall’s play has slipped of late, and Decker has actually seen a markedly larger target share (29.3% to 25.6%) over their last four games with Ryan Fitzpatrick. DraftKings continues to price him with flukiness in mind, so keep taking advantage… Julio Jones is a fairly risky play on a date with Vontae Davis, but he’s Julio Jones. You can roster the game’s best all-around receiving threat and follow a good amount of chalk… Kamar Aiken ($4,800) feasted fairly quietly last week, soaking up 14 targets as the Ravens’ clear top threat in the pass game. This matchup isn’t great, as the Rams have done a number of wideouts of late, but Aiken deserves consideration based on his target-to-salary ratio. He’s a near lock for 8+ targets and needs just a 6-84 line to reach value.

GPP Plays

With Julian Edelman out and most of the chalk likely to follow toward Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell ($4,300) shapes up as a fine tournament play at such a tiny cost. He’s had his shaky moments upon returning, but has dominated snaps outside and generated big plays downfield. His recent production (59 yards per game) looks like the floor opposite a very nice ceiling… Davante Adams’ ($4,600) has returned from injury and stepped into a prime offensive role. He’s drawn a monstrous 32 targets over the last two weeks, and while he hasn’t created fireworks, he’s posted numbers (17 catches for 172 yards) that can’t be ignored. That usage will almost certainly level off, but at the moment he’s a major target-to-salary winner… He’s rarely knocked any socks off this year, but Calvin Johnson projects beautifully against Oakland’s barely-there secondary. He’s getting downfield well and hasn’t dipped below five catches since Week 1. I love the potential for a stack with Matthew Stafford – home underdogs with a great matchup and a fairly dominant target connection (24.3% over the last four games)… The narrative goes that backup quarterbacks tend to seek out dependable safety valves. True or not, Brock Osweiler will be leaning heavily upon Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders ($7,000) if the Broncos don’t trounce the Bears. Of the two, I prefer Thomas, who’s simply playing much better peripherally. Manning’s absence will almost certainly drive down his ownership despite arguably the week’s tastiest price point among elite wideouts.

TIGHT END

TEs projected to 12+ pts

 

 

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

H-Value

Coby Fleener

$3,200

12.57

3.928

27.85

Jacob Tamme

$3,600

12.37

3.436

24.17

Jimmy Graham

$4,900

14.71

3.002

23.03

Jordan Reed

$4,900

14.63

2.986

22.84

Rob Gronkowski

$7,700

18.78

2.439

21.14

Greg Olsen

$6,200

16.00

2.581

20.65

Antonio Gates

$4,800

13.43

2.798

20.51

Travis Kelce

$4,700

12.26

2.609

18.27

The cash play

It’s puzzling that Jacob Tamme is priced so far behind the rest of the TE2 tier, but he belongs. He’s the clear No. 2 option in the Falcons’ high-volume passing game while Leonard Hankerson is sidelined. It’s hard to find a sizeable gap in scoring expectation between Tamme and the likes of Jordan Reed, Antonio Gates, etc. But the discount is big and can be enormously helpful elsewhere. In this lineup, the shift from Gates to Tamme allows me to upgrade from a sheer dart throw RB to a bellcow like Darren McFadden.

…and cash considerations

Rob Gronkowski’s ($7,700) salary is deflating again, and it’s squarely in the cash game wheelhouse. He needs 23 points to cash for you, and he’s topped 25 in three of the last four weeks. The Bills are solid against TEs, but Gronkowski has no time for such narratives – he caught 7 balls for 113 yards and a score in Week 2, and in fact, teammate Scott Chandler also posted his best line that day… Travis Kelce has been steady, if unspectacular, but he’s trending upward. Since Week 3, he’s caught 5+ balls in six of seven games, with solid red zone usage all year. His matchup with the Chargers is juicy and carries a shootout vibe, so Kelce is a fair bet to approach season highs… Antonio Gates ($4,800) hasn’t scored a touchdown since his Week 5 return, but he’s still a top play in any contest. Sucking up 20% of Philip Rivers’ looks, he’s alongside Stevie Johnson as the prime beneficiaries of Keenan Allen’s absence. Gates gas shown us his likely floor over the last two weeks, averaging a 5-catch, 63-yard line that will start to include TDs again. This matchup isn’t the friendliest, but the price tag is for a high-usage dominator like Gates.

GPP plays

Richard Rodgers ($3,100) is keeping up the tradition of Packers TEs making their hay near the goal line. Over the last three games, he’s turned all three of his red zone targets into touchdowns. At that rate, or a rate close to it, he’s a strong stab at easy 4x value. If he finds the end zone, he only needs to put up a 3-catch, 34-yard day… His season has been dead quiet, but Coby Fleener ate well in Matt Hasselbeck’s two earlier starts. He saw 12 targets and gathered 30% of his season’s yardage total in Week 4. He’ll carry virtually no ownership and his path to 4x value is fairly clear.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

D/ST projected to 6+ pts

 

Sal

DK Pts

Pts/$1K

H-Value

Chiefs

$2,600

10.01

3.849

24.35

Panthers

$3,400

7.51

2.210

12.11

Texans

$2,500

7.18

2.871

15.38

Eagles

$3,100

6.76

2.180

11.33

Patriots

$3,200

6.75

2.109

10.96

Seahawks

$4,000

6.17

1.543

7.67

Colts

$2,000

6.16

3.081

15.30

Bengals

$3,000

6.08

2.025

9.98

The cash play

The Houston offense seriously lacks dynamism beyond DeAndre Hopkins – and he’ll have T.J. Yates throwing to him Sunday. The Jets ($3,000) haven’t been a very turnover-happy defense of late, but facing a (poor) backup quarterback, their sack, takeaway, and scoring outlooks experience a noticeable boost.

…and cash considerations

Following the chalk (and Blaine Gabbert), I’ll be rostering the Seahawks wherever I can afford them. The 49ers will make things simple and plain for Gabbert, so turnover potential may be limited. But the 49ers look incapable of slowing down pass rushes or scoring points, so it makes sense to sink or swim on their backs... The last Bills-Patriots meeting was a barn-burner, but there’s reason to expect different this Monday night. The Patriots have been merciless against both the run and pass lately, and only three teams have allowed more sacks over the last four games than Buffalo.

GPP plays

The opposing offense is somewhat daunting, but Kansas City shakes out as a fair GPP stab. Their defense is solidly back on track, collecting 15 sacks and 12 takeaways over the last four games. Only the Texans have more sacks over that span, and nobody else has forced more than nine turnovers. Philip Rivers is enjoying a fine season, but he does struggle with turnovers… The Colts are an intriguing contrarian play. The narrative of a dominant Falcons offense is inaccurate; they’ve struggled to score and coughed up 12 turnovers over the last four. If the Colts can establish a lead and a ball-control outlook, they could turn a GPP for owners.