The Week 11 main slate on FanDuel kicks off at 12:00 ET and features 16 games. Our breakdown will highlight core plays, which are cash game options and also players to build our GPP lineups around. We will also list some other players worth consideration for GPPs. As always, hit me up on Twitter with questions or comments (@hindery).
It is going to be another high-scoring slate. We have 15 teams with team totals of 30 or more, so there are going to be a lot of touchdowns scored and the star players from a lot of different teams are firmly in play.
In cash games, the strategy looks pretty straightforward — lock in Kyler Murray (the clear top overall play on the slate) and Brandon Wimbush (the best value play on the slate). At a combined cost of $15,200 for your two quarterbacks, you are left with $44,800 (just under $9,000 per player) for your running backs and wide receivers. It is easy to fill out a strong lineup full of top options with that much money left over.
In tournaments, it is a much trickier question. The Wimbush news broke so early in the week, he is going to be on a ton of rosters (mostly paired with Murray). It is an undeniably strong combination given the pricing. However, in terms of differentiating your GPP roster from the crowd, it could make sense to instead roll the dice and hope one or two of the other quarterbacks that are going to be much less popular than Murray and Wimbush have big weeks. There are no shortage of candidates with plenty of high-total games and quite a few intriguing dual-threat options who are capable of posting GPP-winning fantasy games if they score a couple of times with their legs.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma ($10,700)
Every week Murray is on the slate, he is a core play. He has been the most consistently dominant fantasy performer overall this season. As detailed in the last few slate write-ups, Murray comes with a 30 point floor (he has at least 29.6 fantasy points in eight straight games) and 50-point upside. For the season, he is averaging 36 fantasy points per game. The spot couldn’t be much better as this looks more likely to be a week where we see Murray’s 40+ point fantasy upside. Both the line and game total have steadily risen over the week to the point where Oklahoma now has a team total of just over 50 points. The recent history of this rivalry provides further reason for excitement. Last season, Baker Mayfield went on the road and threw for 598 yards and 5 touchdowns (plus a rushing score). It is not hard to envision Murray posting astronomical numbers like that this season. He is a cash-game lock and a great tournament option as well.
Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame ($4,500)
The news Ian Book would miss this week’s matchup against Florida State massively changed the complexion of this slate. Now, we are able to get a dual-threat quarterback on a team with a Vegas total of 34 points for the ridiculously low price of $4,500. The salary makes Wimbush a cash-game lock because you then have over $9,000 left per position and can load everywhere else.
The much tougher call is what to do with Wimbush in tournaments. He is going to be extremely popular and with his salary, most who roster him are going to be running out somewhat similar rosters featuring a lot of the same high-priced guys. On the one hand, it makes sense to eat the chalk and simply try to separate from the field by hitting on the right guys at the other six positions. On the other hand, this is a spot where Wimbush is probably only going to post 15 to 25 points. If you are able to find two quarterbacks who post 40+ points and can keep it somewhat close at the other positions despite the lower amount of cap space, you can separate from the pack.
Also Worth Considering
Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($9,800)
Ehlinger has been one of the top overall fantasy quarterbacks over the last month. In fact, he posted fantasy scores of 37.4, 36.0, and 47.1 in his last three full games (he left the Baylor game early with an injury). The matchup is fantastic this week. Texas Tech ranks just 88th in defensive S&P. While the Red Raiders defense is improved over past seasons, they have still been getting picked on by good offenses — allowing 47 points to Ole Miss, 49 to Houston, 40 to Iowa State, and 51 to Oklahoma. Texas has a team total of 33 points and it wouldn’t at all be a surprise to see them join this list of teams that have scored 40+ against Texas Tech. If you believe the Texas offense can score four or five touchdowns in this spot, you have to strongly consider Ehlinger because he will have a direct hand in nearly all of the scores. He is the go-to runner down around the goal line and has scored 60% of Texas’ rushing touchdowns on the season.
Jett Duffey, Texas Tech ($8,100)
If Wimbush wasn’t priced at $4,500, Duffey would be getting much more attention because he is underpriced a bit himself. When starter Alan Bowman went out with an injury last week, Duffey put up 24.3 fantasy points in basically one half of playing time against Oklahoma. Duffey is a definite dual threat. Aside from the Oklahoma game, Duffey has played extensively in two other outings. He came in against West Virginia when the team fell behind 35-7 and rushed 15 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and almost led a shocking comeback. He then started against TCU and ran for 83 yards and a game-winning touchdown. The matchup against Texas looks good. The Longhorns have given up 80 points and 1,080 combined yards over the last two weeks.
Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma St. ($10,100)
Cornelius isn’t the obvious dual-threat that Sam Ehlinger or Jett Duffey are but he has quietly been quite productive as a runner also. He has at least 11 rushing attempts and at least one rushing touchdown in four straight games. He is going to have to throw a ton if Oklahoma State in a shootout with Oklahoma. The Sooners defense hasn’t been great (53rd in S&P) and was torched by Mason Rudolph in this matchup last season (448 yards and 5 touchdowns). Cornelius is especially interesting as a tournament option in a game stack with Murray. The over/under in this one is 79.5 points and there should be fantasy goodness on both sides if it meets or exceeds the Vegas total.
Running back is fun this week because there doesn’t look to be one or two options that drastically stand out from the pack. As such, you don’t have to get fancy and try to differentiate your lineup with an under the radar play because things should be spread out naturally. We may not see anyone much over 20% in tournaments (and maybe not even in cash games).
We also have strong options in pretty much every pricing tier, so this is a position you may want to fill in last when building rosters.
Travis Etienne, Clemson ($10,200)
If anyone is going to be chalky this week, it is probably Etienne. He has been the Tua Tagovailoa of running backs this season. Etienne has averaged just 11 touches per game over his last four outings because Clemson has demolished the competition and Etienne has been able to head to the bench early. Despite the lack of touches, Etienne has scored 21+ fantasy points in 6 of his last 7 outings. Facing a tougher opponent in Boston College should actually be a blessing in disguise for Etienne. If the game remains competitive, we could actually see him for four quarters for the first time since he posted a 27-203-3 rushing line against Syracuse in September. Boston College is better against the pass (22nd) than the run (62nd). In a hostile environment under the lights on the road, it makes sense for Clemson to ride Etienne and try to lessen the pressure on their true freshman quarterback. The line and game total have fallen slightly over the past couple days, but Clemson still has a healthy team total of just over 38 points. Etienne is a strong play and the sky-high salary isn’t much of a barrier given the extreme value at other positions on the slate. We can actually fit in the elite $10,000+ running backs and wide receivers without too much pain this week.
David Montgomery, Iowa State ($9,100)
Montgomery is a true workhorse back. He had a string of five straight games of 22+ touches broken last week when he had 14 in an easy win over Kansas. It broke a string of four straight games that Montgomery had rushed for 100+ yards and a touchdown. Expect Montgomery to go right back to shouldering a heavy workload this week against Baylor. It is a dream matchup. The Bears are 102nd in rushing S&P, are allowing 190.3 rushing yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry. While Iowa State is a solid home favorite (-14.5), Baylor’s offense is explosive enough the Cyclones offense won’t be able to take the foot off the pedal early like they did last week. Montgomery has scored between 15 and 25 points in 5 of 6 games, which makes him a safe play for cash games.
D’Andre Swift, Georgia ($8,600)
Swift stands out as the top option under $9,000. Georgia has a team total of 33 points and has been leaning heavily on the run in recent weeks. Swift finally looks healthy after struggling through a lingering ankle injury early in the season. He was absolutely fantastic with 174 yards and 2 touchdowns last week against a stout Kentucky defense. Both of the touchdowns were highlight-reel worthy runs. Swift was also very good against Florida the week before (117 yards and a touchdown). While Swift is still splitting carries with Elijah Holyfield, this Georgia offense is so run-heavy and Swift is so explosive he can still see 15 to 20 touches and do plenty of damage with that workload.
Also Worth Considering
Trey Sermon, Oklahoma ($9,000)
Sermon’s usage has been confusing this season, which is the only reason he isn’t a core play. In a few past games, he looked primed for a big week and then was only given single-digit carries. Aside from that, Sermon is very easy to get excited about as a tournament play. He is coming off of a 26-206-3 demolition of Texas Tech. He was running through tackle attempts with ease and looked like Kareem Hunt. Oklahoma has just three healthy scholarship running backs after losing Marcelias Sutton for the season: Sermon, redshirt freshman Kennedy Brooks, and true freshman T.J. Pledger. Pledger has barely played outside of garbage time so even if Kennedy Brooks takes a chunk of the carries, Sermon looks likely to still have a big role. The spot couldn’t be much better: Oklahoma has a slate-high team total of over 50 points, Oklahoma St. is just 91st in rushing defense S&P, and Sermon and Rodney Anderson combined for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns in this matchup last season.
Chris Evans, Michigan ($7,000)
Each of Michigan’s top three running backs is in play this Saturday. This feels like a similar spot to where Clemson was last week when the Tigers were 39-point favorites against Louisville. The Tigers had three running backs go for 100+ yards and a touchdown. Michigan is a massive 39-point favorite against Rutgers. The last time the Wolverines traveled to New Jersey they blasted the Knights by a 76-0 score.
Karan Higdon ($9,600) should have a fine day. He is the clear lead back, having averaged 25.4 carries per game over the last five. However, the heavy workload in recent weeks and massive spread should mean Higdon heads to the bench early to rest up for much bigger games down the stretch. Vegas has Rutgers with a comically low team total of 4.5 points, so even a 14-0 Michigan lead early will basically put the game out of reach.
Chris Evans is the clear #2 back and is coming off of a solid performance against Penn State when he went for 87 total yards and a touchdown on 15 touches. He should see even more work this week against an awful Rutgers defense that just gave up 317 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns last week to Wisconsin. Given the likely game script, Evans is the top tournament play in the $7K and under range.
Third-stringer Tru Wilson ($4,400) is also a decent tournament dart throw. If this game gets seriously out of hand, Wilson could see enough carries in the second half to post a solid stat line at near-minimum salary.
Early in the week, roster builds with one or two inexpensive guys like Cody White ($5.200), Justin Jefferson ($6,900), and Jaylen Waddle ($6,200) looked optimal. Similar to past weeks, it made sense to pay down at WR3 to fit in two of the top quarterbacks and a couple other elite options. This roster construction may still make sense in tournaments. However, the Ian Book injury news opened up a ton of cap space for our cash-game rosters.
Rostering Wimbush gives us over $9,000 to spend per roster spot at other positions and brings all of the top receivers on the slate very much into play. Tylan Wallace, David Sills, Marquise Brown, and Tee Higgins are highlighted below. However, Jerry Jeudy, Antoine Wesley, Hakeem Butler, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Jalen Reagor, and CeeDee Lamb are each strong Tier 1 plays as well. There are so many exciting roster builds including two or even three elite receivers that are possible given the solid value options on the slate.
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State ($10,100)
Having a strong $4,500 quarterback option in Wimbush makes it much easier than normal to fit in one or more of the elite, premium-priced options at wide receiver. As long as we can make it fit comfortably within the cap, we want Wallace in our lineups. He is averaging 21.2 fantasy points per game and has been especially hot of late. Over the last two weeks, he has posted a total of 69 fantasy points. The game script should set up perfectly for another big game. The Cowboys are 21-point underdogs against the high-scoring, high-pace Oklahoma Sooners offense and most likely will be playing catchup. Plus, Oklahoma has allowed some big games to opposing WR1s in Big 12 play this season. Look at some of the stat lines the Sooners have given up to opposing WR1s: Antoine Wesley had 12-199-0, Lil’Jordan Humphrey had 9-133-1, Denzel Mims had 11-114-1, and Hakeem Butler had 5-174-2. There’s a strong chance Wallace will put up similar numbers on Saturday.
David Sills V, West Virginia ($9,700)
Sills was a bit hit or miss early in the season with the Mountaineers spreading the ball around fairly evenly between the top three receivers. Sills has started to separate from the pack a bit in recent weeks, however. He now has 26 targets more than #2 receiver Gary Jennings Jr. Sills also has the highest touchdown expectation of any receiver on the slate. He has 29 touchdown catches in his last 20 games. An even more impressive stat when making GPP choices — Sillas has had 2+ touchdowns in 55% of his last 20 games. TCU has a strong defense (24th in S&P) but Vegas has the Mountaineers with a 33.8 team total, so there should be some scoring. Sills has a good chance to get into the end zone (maybe more than once).
Cody White, Michigan St. ($5,200)
White looked like the best receiver on the Spartans roster early in the season. He had 18 catches, 260 yards, and 2 touchdowns through three games. He then broke his left hand and missed four weeks. White made his return last week and while he had a quiet day (2-20-0), he did see 24% of the team’s targets in a run-heavy 24-3 domination of Maryland. Michigan State will likely have to be more aggressive to outscore Ohio State. The Buckeyes have given up 456.6 yards and 29.2 points per game in five games since Nick Bosa was injured. If we can get any bankable production in this price range, we are usually happy. White has a decent floor and also some upside given what we have seen from some recent Buckeye opponents. Going all the way down to White at WR3 in tournaments is one way to still fit in some top options while separating from the crowd of people who will be using Wimbush as their salary saver.
Justin Jefferson, LSU ($6,900)
Jefferson had 6 catches for 81 yards last week despite LSU getting shutout by Alabama. He could do much better against a bad Arkansas pass defense (92nd in S&P) in a game where LSU has a very solid team total of 30.8 points. Jefferson is far and away the top target in the LSU offense. In fact, his 62 targets are twice as many as anyone else on the team. The price is right for Jefferson, who fits in nicely as a WR3.
Also Worth Considering
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma ($9,400)
Brown has been playing through a minor injury for the last few weeks and his numbers have been down. The uncertainty as to whether he is 100% makes him a pure tournament play. We know what Brown is capable of when he is at full strength. Despite the quiet stretch, Brown still has 45 catches for 814 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. It looks like a get right spot for Brown in a matchup where Oklahoma has an implied team total of just over 50 points.
Tee Higgins, Clemson ($8,900)
Higgins has scored in four straight games and posted and is averaging 14 fantasy PPGs over that stretch despite barely playing after halftime due to blowouts. Clemson is favored by 19.5 points on the road against Boston College and we should get to see a full four quarters from Higgins for the first time since September.
Zach Abey, Navy ($6,800)
Abey is an intriguing upside play at wide receiver because he isn’t really a wide receiver. At least not anymore. Abey led Navy with 1,413 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns as the starting quarterback in 2017 but made the move to wide receiver to start the 2018 season (though he has still played quarterback in short yardage and has 9 rushing touchdowns on the season). He moved back to quarterback full-time last week and ran the ball 29 times against Cincinnati. It looks like Abey likely will get the start again this week against UCF. Given his rushing upside, 28 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons, and the sheer number of carries he had last week, Abey is worth considering as a cheap GPP dice roll.
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