For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. FootballGuys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to take into account the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.
CASH GAME TIPS
SPEND AT RB; CHOOSE CAREFULLY AT WR: There are a lot of questions at the wide receiver position this week. Ordinarily, we like to target high-volume receivers in plus personnel matchups from teams with high implied team totals; this week, there are not many wide receivers who fit that description. Antonio Brown is very expensive at $9.5K and will have to deal with 20+ MPH winds and Joe Haden coverage in Cleveland; Mike Evans is coming off a dud of a week and his team has the lowest implied team total on the entire Week #11 slate; Jordy Nelson is ultra-hot, but will face shutdown corner, Josh Norman, for at least 60% (or more) of his snaps; Allen Robinson will run ~ 40% of his snaps with Darius Slay in coverage, which is far from optimal; Larry Fitzgerald will have to contend with a stacked Minnesota secondary that will get better with the return of Captain Munnerlyn; and target-monster Stefon Diggs is going to get shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson. All of this means that it probably makes a lot more sense to spend up at the running back position, where several running backs have elite matchups (Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray, and LeGarrette Blount top the list), and then build out your roster with calculated wide receiver selections based on personnel matchups, recent usage, and value (projections versus salary).
UNICORN SIGHTINGS: While most of have not seen an actual unicorn, many of us will be paying close attention to what the "Black Unicorn," Martellus Bennett does in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon. Rob Gronkowski did not make the trip to the west coast, which means that Bennett will inherit the TE1 duties for the first week since Gronkowski fully returned from injury back in Week #5. In his four games as the lead Patriot tight end, Bennett had 100+ yards in two of those games, all of which were quarterbacked by a player not named Brady, which only adds allure to Bennett's fantasy prospects this week. Bennett is going to be highly-owned across cash games because of his $3.7K salary, which makes him an automatic plug-and-play option; just go with the community and beat your opponents elsewhere because the risk of him scoring 20+ points at 80% ownership is far too high to roster an alternative tight end.
GAME STACKING: We have seen some very high-scoring contests over the past few weeks, including the Titans-Packers (72 total points) and Cowboys-Steelers (65 total points) from just last week. If you had stacked those contests in tournament play (assuming salary restrictions were met), you would have undoubtedly finished in the top 10% of most GPP contests. Sometimes, it just feels wrong to stack a QB with his RB, but fellow Footballguy and stat enthusiast, Maurile Tremblay, has gone on record to show that there is actually a slight positive correlation between a QB and his RB, despite the fact that they generally have opposing roles in the offense (i.e., passing versus throwing). Where this type of stacking can pay dividends is if the offense scores several touchdowns early and then feeds the running back to run time from the clock; for example, if you had a Marcus Mariota-Delanie Walker-DeMarco Murray stack last week, you got a lot of the team's scoring in one lineup. And if you had supplemented that roster with Davante Adams because you suspected that the Titans would push the Packers' passing game to keep pace, you would have enjoyed another ridiculous (6/156/0) stat line.
This week, the most attractive game to "game stack" also involves the Titans, who will face the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, where these same two teams combined for 60 points just a few weeks ago. I suspect a lot of people will try to game stack this game, so you might also consider other games that have similar upside, but with lower likely ownership; those games would include Buffalo-Cincinnati and Green Bay-Washington, both of which could outscore the game in Indy. An alternative to game stacking is "team stacking," where you roster all fantasy-relevant players from a single team and hope that you secure all touchdowns from within that offense. This week, one could make an argument for a Tom Brady-LeGarrette Blount-Julian Edelman-Martellus Bennett team stack that would cost you $24.0K, but could potentially provide you with 80-90% of the Patriots' 31-point implied team score; as long as Stephen Gostkowski does not kick multiple field goals and/or Malcolm Mitchell does not come away with a touchdown, it is easy to envision how that team stack could account for 100+ fantasy points, if it plays out according to Vegas projections.
BUILDING CONTRARIAN ROSTERS WITHOUT SACRIFICING UPSIDE: I discussed this concept on the Footballguys' PowerGrid Show earlier this week, but wanted to revisit it here for those of you who have not yet watched the PowerGrid (which begs the question: "Why haven't you watched the show yet?!"). The basic premise is simple: Try to envision what the masses are doing in their GPP lineup builds and do the opposite. While the premise is simple, too many people get away from building their tournament rosters this way because it is not easy to do. It is not easy to ignore a player that everybody loves, but the very best tournament players do it every week with positive expected value. For example, David Johnson was over 50% owned in most tournaments on DraftKings last week; he finished with a respectable 27.1 fantasy points, but that number was far less than the 35+ fantasy points that were necessary to justify his $8.4K salary against the 49'ers. If you had started off your roster by spending up on a different player (i.e., Antonio Brown, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, etc.), you would have put yourself in a prime position to cash by avoiding the massively-owned underperformer. This, of course, is easier said than done because it is never clear as to whom will be this week's underperformer.
This week, one could make the argument that spending up at wide receiver is the contrarian move that could lead to GPP victories. I already outlined why spending up at receiver is risky for cash games, but each of those players mentioned above has immense upside and can put up 30+ points in any given week. All (most) of them will be underowned despite that inherent upside, which makes them excellent GPP options. In spending up at WR, you will not have enough salary remaining to nab those crowd favorites, Le'Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray, which is naturally going to feel uncomfortable, but submitting winnable GPP lineups is rarely comfortable. Instead of grabbing Bell and Murray, think about lower-priced options like James Starks in a great matchup against Washington or Frank Gore, who will be overlooked because of age bias and the fact that everybody will be focusing on the Colts' passing game. In building your rosters this way, you will be generating diversity without affecting upside, which is a nuance that not many casual DFS players fully grasp.
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. There is little difference in terms of strength of selection between those players who have text to justify their appearance in this article versus those in the "also eligible" section; all are strong plays in their respective categories, but time and space restrictions do not allow for expansive written summaries of every player listed.
CASH GAME PICKS
Andrew Luck (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $7,200). Four weeks ago on Sunday, the Colts traveled to Nashville to take on the Titans in what would eventually be a 60-point slugfest that resulted in a 27 for 39, 353-yard, 3-touchdown performance for Andrew Luck en route to a 34-26 victory. This weekend, Luck will play at Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts have put up team scores of 35, 26, 29, and 14, respectively; in those efforts, Luck has averaged 25.6 DraftKings points per game, including hitting the 3-point bonus based on 300-passing yards on three (of four) occasions. We should expect similar output again this weekend against the Titans, whose 26th ranked DVOA pass defense ranks in the bottom half of most categories including attempts per game (38.6; 28th), yards allowed per game (267.7; 24th), yards per attempt (7.4; 18th), and touchdowns allowed (16; 18th). Further supporting a case for Luck is the fact that the Titans have allowed five consecutive quarterbacks to log multi-touchdown games against them, four of whom surpassed the 300-passing yard threshold, a list that includes the unimpressive Cody Kessler. One last reason to consider Andrew Luck is the fact that the Titans have been white-hot on offense, averaging 34 points per game over their previous six games, which forces opposing quarterbacks to keep their figurative foot on the gas pedal while keeping pace with Marcus Mariota and company; this is what happened in Nashville a month ago and there is no reason to suspect that Week #11 will bring different results.
Russell Wilson (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $6,100). In 2015, Russell Wilson went on an absolute tear starting in Week #11 and single-handedly won many season-long and DFS tournaments for fantasy enthusiasts everywhere. This season, Wilson got off to a slow start, presumably because of a combination of a bum ankle and questionable Seahawk running back play, but he is now rounding into form with 55 DraftKings points over his previous two games, a trend that mirrors his 2015 reign of terror on the league. Some will be quick to point out that Wilson's recent ascent came against the 23rd- and 27th-ranked DVOA pass defenses (Buffalo and New England), while this week's matchup is against the league's best DVOA pass defense, the Eagles. However, outside of Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles are fielding some of the league's worst-rated cornerbacks; rookie Jalen Mills, Leodis McKelvin, and Nolan Carroll have all struggled in coverage this season and will have their hands full with the likes of Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, and Jimmy Graham on Sunday. Even the Seahawks' running game could feature the passing game, as C.J. Prosise projects to be the lead back, despite the return of Thomas Rawls, who could be eased in after missing two months of football due to a fracture of his fibula; Prosise, a wide receiver in college at Notre Dame, has excellent hands and speed, which has Pete Carroll utilizing him in all phases of the Seahawks' offense, including as a receiver (Prosise was 7/7/85 last week against the Patriots). All of this sets up well for Wilson's fantasy prospects because the Seahawks are projected to score ~ 25 points on Sunday and he could feasibly be involved in almost all of those points, especially if we believe that Rawls' playing time will be limited.
Also eligible: Blake Bortles ($5,400)
Le'Veon Bell (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $8,800). There are many questions about the weather and its effect on the Steelers' gameplan against the Browns. The one thing we absolutely know is that Le'Veon Bell will see 20+ touches in the contest. If the wind becomes a factor as many, including Vegas, think that it will, Bell will stand to gain more carries against the league's 29th-ranked DVOA rush defense; if it turns out that Ben Roethlisberger is going to be able to sling the ball around to his receivers with little problem, Bell is definitely one of those receivers, as evidenced by his 7.5 receptions per game average this season. Either way, there is little risk associated with rostering Bell, which makes him an excellent cash game play. In terms of matchup, Bell should be in a prime position to score against the Browns, who have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns this season (30th in NFL) and the third-highest number of fantasy points per game (29.8) to the running back position. On a week where there are questions about the matchups of the high-end wide receivers (see above), this would appear to be a good place to spend the bulk of your allotted salary on DraftKings.
DeMarco Murray (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $8,200). The San Francisco 49'ers have a deserved reputation for being the worst rush defense in the league, but the Indianapolis Colts are not far behind, in terms of their inability to stop opposing running backs. The Colts actually have the unfortunate title of "worst running defense" by FootballOutsiders' DVOA metric, which is reflective of their poor play against lesser quality backs than San Francisco has been facing to this point in the season. The Colts are allowing 4.7 yards per carry (31st in NFL), but have masked much of their ineptitude because they have performed moderately well against lesser names like Don Jackson/Aaron Ripkowski and Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon. When they have faced a quality back, the Colts have been very inefficient in shutting down that caliber of player, including Jordan Howard (16/118/0), Lamar Miller (24/149/1), and even DeMarco Murray back in Week #7 when he scored 24.7 DraftKings points after amassing 107 rushing yards. With scores in 8 out of 10 games this season and five straight games entering this prime matchup, it is difficult to envision a scenario whereby DeMarco Murray finishes this game without 100+ all-purpose yards and a touchdown, which would put him near the requisite threshold of scoring necessary to justify his sizeable $8.2K salary.
A.J. Green (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $8,300). Only Mike Evans (107) and Antonio Brown (104) have more targets than A.J. Green (99) this season. Of the three options, Brown is priced at a $9.5K premium in a matchup against Joe Haden where weather could be a factor and Mike Evans' Buccaneers have the lowest implied team total on Week #11 slate. That leaves A.J. Green as the best high-floor wide receiver on a week where spending up at wide receiver is somewhat risky. Green has an excellent matchup against the Bills' Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby (93rd and 64th of 117 qualifying cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus), who have struggled all season and have collectively allowed more than 1,000 receiving yards while in coverage; the Bills enter Week #11 having allowed a considerable 8.3 passing yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks (worst in the NFL), which substantiates their problems in the secondary. Meanwhile, the Bills have been stingy on the ground, allowing only 3.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs, which is good enough for the 7th best defense against the running back position, yet another indication that Cincinnati will have to lean on their passing game to get the job done at home on Sunday. The factors should funnel a lot of action to Green, whose consistent production make him one of the more reliable high-end cash game options this weekend.
Julian Edelman (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $6,300). Since Rob Gronkowski joined the Patriots in 2010, he has missed only 13 games where Julian Edelman has played--this weekend will mark the 14th occasion when the Patriots travel west to take on the San Francisco 49'ers. In the aforementioned 13 games without Gronkowski, Edelman averaged 6.7 receptions for 70.0 receiving yards and 0.3 touchdowns (15.5 DraftKings points) on an average of 9.7 targets; in the 56 games with Gronk, Edelman averaged 4.5 receptions for 46.8 receiving yards and the same 0.3 touchdowns (11.0 DraftKings points) on an average of 6.7 targets per game. These statistics demonstrate that Edelman sees a 45% uptick in targets and a 40% increase in fantasy point production when Gronk is on the sidelines, which is exactly what will transpire this weekend because Gronkowski did not make the trip to California due to a perforated lung. This appears to be an ideal spot for Edelman because they have been consistently toasted when facing a good slot receiver; they have allowed two big games to Larry Fitzgerald (6/81/2 and 12/133/0) and a monstrous game to Doug Baldwin (8/164/1), both of whom have similar roles to Edelman in their respective offenses. Outside of Martellus Bennett (see below), Edelman should not have to compete for targets in the passing game, which should result in double-digit targets for the third time since Tom Brady returned from suspension back in Week #5. At only $6.3K, Edelman should hit the requisite 3x mark necessary to substantiate his spot in your cash game rosters by receptions, alone; if he scores a touchdown, he will enter 4x (or more) value needed for tournament play.
Delanie Walker (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $5,700). I have admittedly been slow to accept the recent emergence of the Tennessee Titans as a fantasy juggernaut. This reluctance to accept the Titans' passing game as elite has been more due to the lack of legitimate secondary receivers than on Marcus Mariota, himself. Rishard Matthews has been in the league for five years without making a sizeable fantasy impact (ditto, Kendall Wright); Tajae Sharpe holds some fantasy promise, but he has stumbled at times in this rookie season...which only leaves Delanie Walker. Walker is reemerging as a weekly elite tight end option, having scored in three of his previous four games and logging six or more targets in 75% of his games this season. The matchup for Walker is pristine, as the Colts have allowed the second-most fantasy points in the league to the tight end position this season, including 20+ point performances in three of their previous four games. These teams met back in Week #7, where Walker finished with a 7/84/1 stat line (21.4 DraftKings points), which would be 4x on his current $5.7K salary.
Martellus Bennett (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $3,700). With Rob Gronkowski sitting this week's game out due to a lung injury sustained last Sunday night, Martellus Bennett will become the de facto redzone receiver for the Patriots, who are projected to score 31 points, the largest team total on the Week #11 slate. Bennett is probably a justifiable plug-and-play option in cash games for the tight end position, particularly now that we know Chris Hogan (back) is also sidelined for this contest. Bennett will compete with Julian Edelman for Tom Brady's attention, but should not lose many looks to the likes of Danny Amendola and/or Malcolm Mitchell, who have combined for 24 receptions and less than 300 yards receiving this season. Over the past few weeks, we have seen so-called "free spaces" on DraftKings due to late injuries resulting in cheap options at various positions (i.e., Devontae Booker for $3.7K in Week #8) and Bennett falls into that category this weekend; he will be 70+% owned in cash games, which means that you should have him in cash game formats, as well, unless you know something that they rest of the DFS world does not.
Also eligible: Jimmy Graham ($5,600)
Giants (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $3,500). The 6-3 New York Giants have been floating under the radar because of the success of the 8-1 Cowboys in the NFC East. But make no mistake--the Giants are playoff contenders, even if they have to go through the wild-card playoffs to get there. The Giants have the 12th-ranked DVOA rush defense (3.6 yards allowed per carry; 6th in NFL) and the 9th-ranked DVOA pass defense (6.5 passing yards allowed per attempt; 5th in NFL), but do not generate a lot of buzz in DFS circles because they have only 14 sacks on the season (30th in NFL). This weekend, the Giants will host the Chicago Bears, who scored only 10 points last week at home in a plum matchup against the Buccaneers, whose defense is not in the same category as the Giants. What the Giants lack in quarterback pressure, they compensate with coverage; New York boasts one of the best all-around secondaries in the league with Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, and Eli Apple, who have collectively only allowed a single 100+ yard receiver all season and only two multiple touchdown games to opposing quarterbacks. With Jay Cutler coming to town without Alshon Jeffery (suspension) and few legitimate receiving options, this would appear to be a nice matchup for the Giants, as the gamescript sets up for desperation play from Cutler late in the game, which could generate defensive scores.
Chiefs (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $3,400). The Chiefs are probably the chalk team defense of the weekend because the Buccaneers' implied team total is only 18.5 points, which is second-lowest on the week (ahead of only the Browns). The Chiefs have scored double-digit fantasy points in five consecutive weeks and have immense upside, as evidenced by their 35-point outburst in Week #3 against the Jets. This game is at Arrowhead Stadium where the Chiefs are undefeated and averaging 14.5 DraftKings points per game this season, which is probably enough to justify their existence in your cash game lineups at only $3.4K. If that was not enough, the eagerly anticipated return of Justin Houston is expected to occur this week, which should only serve to strengthen an already solid defensive front.
Eli Manning (Salary: $6,300). Winners of four straight, the Giants will host the Bears at the Meadowlands on Sunday. While everybody will be targeting Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota as high-upside candidates for their tournament rosters (both should be ~ 15% owned), Eli Manning is a dark-horse, high-upside option who will be owned at rates less than 3-4% on DraftKings. The Giants have quietly implemented a no-huddle offense at home this season, a phenomenon that has resulted in nearly 10 additional plays per week (versus road average); it goes without saying that 10 additional plays tends to result in 15-20% higher scores for those players involved. As a consequence, it should come as no surprise that Eli Manning is averaging almost double the number of fantasy points per game at home (21.7) versus the road (11.9) this season. Manning is not the only one who has benefitted from the no-huddle offense; Odell Beckham Jr Jr. is averaging 25.8 fantasy points per game at home, but only 10.8 fantasy points per game when on the road. Their opponents, the Bears, have been a shutdown rush defense since the end of September, having not allowed a single running back to surpass 50 rushing yards once; that does not bode well for an already questionable Giants' running attack, which could keep pressure on Manning to throw throughout this matchup. Having allowed three 300+ yard passers in their previous five games, the Bears could primed to allow a big day for Eli Manning, especially if Victor Cruz returns at full strength and Sterling Shepard continues his recent hot streak.
Kirk Cousins (Salary: $5,800). Reports on Saturday are suggesting that DeSean Jackson will play on Sunday night against the Packers, despite most other outlets suggesting that DJax was unlikely to play on Sunday Night Football. If Jackson makes his return, his fantasy output will be difficult to predict because his workload is still unknown; either way, having him on the field should help elevate Kirk Cousins' numbers because of Jackson's ability to stretch the field and keep defensive backs honest. Cousins has 300+ passing efforts in two of his previous three games and has surpassed 260 passing yards in his last five contests. His 28+ fantasy point performance two weeks ago represents the type of ceiling that Cousins brings to the table, which would be over 5x value on his current $5.8K salary. The Packers and their 18th-ranked DVOA pass defense has allowed six (of eight) quarterbacks to surpass 280 passing yards this season and their 8.2 passing yards per attempt lands them in 31st place in the entire league; meanwhile, their 5th-ranked DVOA rush defense (3.5 yards per carry; 2nd in NFL) should force Jay Gruden to plan his attack via Cousins' arm, which could result in an excess of fantasy points for Cousins, particularly if Aaron Rodgers is able to get his offense going against the Redskins on their home turf.
David Johnson (Salary: $7,900). After mustering "only" 101 all-purpose yards in a plush matchup against the 49'ers last week while being 70-80% owned in cash games, it will be interesting to see where ownership levels fall for David Johnson this weekend. Recency bias is a real phenomenon where DFS players tend to back away from recent poor performers and gravitate towards those with recent success, resulting in skewed ownership levels for the players that fall into those categories. In fairness, David Johnson ended last week with 27.1 DraftKings points, which was more than enough to substantiate his $8.4K salary, but most people felt that his output was less than they expected, which could help bring his ownership levels into a more reasonable stratosphere this Sunday. With the plus matchups facing Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray, and LeGarrette Blount, many DFS players might overlook David Johnson, particularly because he is up against a Vikings' defense that is respected as one of the better units in the league (3rd least fantasy points allowed). That said, let's analyze the level of running back that has faced the Vikings, shall we? In Weeks #2 through #7, they faced a gauntlet of underachievers including Eddie Lacy/James Starks, Cameron Artis-Payne/Fozzy Whittaker, Orleans Darkwa/Bobby Rainey, and Ryan Mathews, all of whom put up poor numbers. Over their previous three weeks, however, the Vikings have yielded a cumulative 74/378/1 (4.8 yards per carry) stat line to opposing running backs, not to mention an additional 109 yards receiving. David Johnson represents, by far, the best running back Minnesota has faced all season, which makes him an intriguing high-upside option, particularly if we consider that the Cardinals best plan of attack might be to avoid throwing the ball into that stellar Vikings' secondary.
James Starks (Salary: $4,200). In his first game back from injury last week, James Starks managed to play in 70.5% of the Packers offensive plays despite them falling behind early. Starks saw only 10 touches in that contest, a byproduct of the Packers falling behind 28-7 midway through the second quarter. If the Packers had stayed competitive, Starks could have very well seen 20 or more touches as the lone running back in that offense (outside of converted RB Ty Montgomery). As a hedge against further injury, Green Bay signed Christine Michael from waivers this week, but it will take at least a week for him to pick up the offense, which means that Starks should once again carry the load in the Packers' backfield this weekend. Assuming the running game is not eliminated in the first half again this week, Starks could be in line for a nice fantasy day against the Redskins, who field the 30th DVOA rush defense, yield 4.6 yards per carry (29th in NFL), and have allowed a league-high 13 rushing touchdowns this season. Those extreme numbers are actually in spite of the Redskins having faced a series of lesser-talented running backs all season, a list that includes Shane Vereen/Orleans Darkwa (21/120/2), Isaiah Crowell (16/120/1), Terrance West/Javorius Allen (15/113/0). With recency bias in full effect over the success of the Packers' passing game in the past month, Starks should be less than 5% owned at a very reasonable salary, which makes him an elite GPP play because he also brings 5x upside to your roster.
Davante Adams (Salary: $6,700). There is gold to be mined in the Green Bay offense on Sunday night and those who choose their personnel correctly will be rewarded in fantasy points. The Packers enter this contest having allowed 111 points to opponents over their previous three games, which has resulted in some gaudy numbers for their offensive players, who have been accruing plenty of fantasy points in catchup roles. Jordy Nelson has been an elite wide receiver option all season, leading the league in redzone targets (22) and having scored in all but two games; however, his lofty $7.8K salary now reflects his redzone prowess and he will face off against some top-end coverage in the form of Josh Norman for the majority of his snaps this weekend. The path of lesser resistance for Aaron Rodgers will likely be to look towards either Randall Cobb ($5.9K) or Davante Adams ($6.7K), both of whom will enjoy coverage from less talented cornerbacks. Cobb should see a lot of Kendall Fuller in coverage; Fuller has allowed almost 80% of passes thrown into his coverage to be caught, a very efficient number for his opposition, but Cobb's recent performances and continued appearance on the injury report are concerning. That leaves Davante Adams as the most logical receiving option for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Adams has 47 targets over his previous four games and a pair of 100+ yard performance over that span. His matchup in Week #11 is elite, as he will line up across from ProFootballFocus' 111th-ranked (of 117) coverage cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, for at least 60-80% of his snaps. Assuming this game plays out as Vegas projects (a high-scoring, back-and-forth contest), Adams could be in line for another big game at ownership levels between 7-14%.
Tyreek Hill (Salary: $4,500). There is a lot to like about the evolution of Tyreek Hill in the Kansas City Chiefs' offense. Hill started off his rookie season as a gimmick player, seeing only 10-12% of the team's total snaps on offense; however, solid play, inept receiver options elsewhere, and an injury to Jeremy Maclin have catapulted Hill to a place where he is playing nearly 70% of the Chiefs' offensive snaps and is a focal point in their offensive scheme. Last week, in Maclin's first missed game, Hill received 13 targets against the Panthers, pulling in 10 of them for 89 yards. We should expect something similar this week against the Buccaneers, who are susceptible to the big play (ten 40+ yard passing plays allowed; 2nd worst in NFL) and who do not have the personnel to match up with Hill's quickness and overall speed. The closest comparison for Tyreek Hill's skillset, size, usage, and position is probably Tavon Austin, who posted his best game of the season against this same Tampa Bay secondary back in Week #3. The gamescript does not set up perfectly for Hill, as the Chiefs are touchdown favorites at home, but Hill's 9.6 aDOT (average depth of target) jibe well with Alex Smith's reluctance to throw deep, which should help keep him in play throughout the game, as the Chiefs try to move the chains on key passing down situations. Last thing: If you roster Tyreek Hill in GPP formats, you should probably also roll with the Chiefs' team defense on that same roster because Hill is the exclusive punt returner and is still used as a kick returner from time to time--if he were to manage a return touchdown, you would be the proud beneficiary of a 12-point double-dip score.
Jordan Reed (Salary: $5,900). At only $5.9K, Jordan Reed supplies the upside of an elite WR1 for the price of a high-end WR2. Reed is coming off a poor showing against a Vikings' defense that went all-out to shut him down last week when DeSean Jackson was sidelined with a shoulder injury. That 4-target, 6.1-fantasy point effort might bring about enough recency bias to drive down ownership levels on Reed entering this weekend's matchup against the Packers. If that were to happen, it would be a mistake because the Packers have been bleeding yardage and scores to tight ends over the past several weeks, including a 9/124/1 stat line to Delanie Walker just last Sunday. Outside of Ladarius Gunter, who has been the lone bright spot in the Packers secondary, there is no talent in their defensive backfield and/or linebacking corps that is capable of handling Jordan Reed's skill set in coverage. Prior to last week's letdown, Reed had posted three consecutive games with 10+ targets, which puts him in elite air at the tight end position; with questions surrounding many of the elite WR1's this weekend, it might make sense to roster two tight ends in some of your lineups to capitalize on the value, upside, and relative safety offered at that position, which could also confer some roster uniqueness because not many DFS regulars feel comfortable with multiple tight ends on the same roster.
Jack Doyle (Salary: $3,300). With the return of Dwayne Allen from injury in Week #9 (prior to the Colts' bye week), many suspected that Jack Doyle would be relegated to an accessory role behind Allen. Instead, Doyle outsnapped Allen (74% to 65%) and saw nine targets, as opposed to only two targets for Allen. With a bye week to recalibrate their offense, the Colts may very well return to Allen as their TE1 this week against the Titans, which is why Doyle falls under the category of a GPP play and not a cash game option. That said, Doyle was very successful against this Titans' defense a few weeks ago when he posted a 9/78/1 stat line (23.8 DraftKings points), which could argue that he could exploit similar personnel and scheme matchups in this subsequent contest. Indeed, the Titans have struggled to contain opposing tight ends, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position, which bolsters the argument for a repeat performance from Doyle. Lastly, we should also mention the fact that Jack Doyle has been targeted (10 targets) more than any other Colts receiver inside the 20-yard line, which implies that Andrew Luck has grown accustomed to looking for Doyle's large 6'5" frame on those high-value targets.
Also eligible: Zach Miller (Salary: $3,800).
Seahawks (Salary: $3,800). The infamous "12th man" is going to be on full display against a struggling rookie quarterback on Sunday. Seattle, fresh off a huge road win against the Patriots, will play host to the Carson Wentz-led Eagles, who have only won one game on the road all season. Wentz, after starting the season with 7 passing touchdowns in his first four games, has collected only two passing touchdowns across his previous five games; not surprisingly, those results correspond exactly with the suspension of star tackle, Lane Johnson, who was suspended for PED usage back in Week #6. Expecting Wentz to rebound against this Seattle defense on the road feels near-impossible, particularly when one considers how the Seahawks have played as of late. Seattle boasts the 2nd-ranked DVOA rush defense, which allows only 3.5 yards per carry (2nd in NFL); they also field the 7th-ranked DVOA pass defense, while putting significant pressure on the quarterback, as evidenced by their 29 sacks this season (3rd in NFL). All the pieces are there for a big game against a rookie quarterback in a hostile environment.
Vikings (Salary: $3,300). The Cardinals will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings, where they have lost only one game all season. Carson Palmer's work is cut out for him against this elite secondary that will pit Terence Newman, Xavier Rhodes, and Captain Munnerlyn against the Cardinals' receivers. While those receivers are looking to find space against this elite secondary, Carson Palmer is going to have to deal without two key offensive linemen (Jaren Veldheer and Evan Mathis, both lost to injured reserve), which is going to create sack and/or turnover opportunities for the Vikings' defense. The Vikings started the 2016 campaign with three consecutive double-digit fantasy performances, two of which were 20+ point efforts, so the upside is there; the caveat remains David Johnson--if the Vikings can find a way to contain him, they should be able to provide some solid fantasy production at the team defense roster spot.
Also eligible: Cardinals ($3,100), Cowboys (Salary: $2,600).
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