Daily Fantasy Football is the ultimate week-to-week test of acumen. There is worry about bye weeks or injured players like in season-long formats. FanDuel offers a variety of cash and tournament contests consisting of a single week of matchups. Projecting player ownership to build lineups is an integral strategy to long-term success. Here are the key players for Week 11:
THE CHALK PLAYS
Ben Roethlisberger (at CLE), $8,400: The Browns are the new leader in worst pass defense in the NFL on the season by ProFootballReference.com metrics. Their 25 touchdowns allowed lead the league, they are a below-average pass rush unit and are allowing an NFL-leading 8.3 yards per attempt. Plus Roethlisberger comes at a $500-$1,000 discount over the elite options of the week. The Steelers have the second highest Vegas total of the week. Full steam ahead for Roethlisberger, who has hit 3.4x value or better on FanDuel in 3-of-5 recent games. Roethlisber should see ownership in the 10-15% range.
Kirk Cousins (vs GB), $7,600: The Packers are struggling of late, allowing more than 1,200 yards and 11 passing touchdowns over the last five weeks, both marks in the top quarter of the NFL. Four quarterbacks have logged at least three touchdowns in a game against Green Bay this season, including Marcus Mariota and Matt Ryan over the last three games. DeSean Jackson is on track to return this week and Cousins has been a steady FanDuel performer with 7-of-8 recent games producing at least 2.4x value. Cousins will be one of the top-3 owned quarterbacks of the week, north of 10%.
Le'Veon Bell (at CLE), $9,100: The Steelers offense drives through Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. The Browns offer a matchup where the game script is optimal for Bell to hit 100 rushing yards for the first time since early October. Bell is also an ideal touchdown regression candidate. The premiere running back has just a single rushing score on 100 season carries. Look for at least one score, if not multiple, on the ground from Bell this week. Bell should be the top owned back of the week close to, or surpassing, 30%.
LeGarrette Blount (at SF), $7,300: The Patriots are the biggest favorite of the week. In the Patriots' wins this season, Blount has scored at least one touchdown in every game. The 49ers are facing 33 running back carries per game over the past five weeks and are allowing two scores per game over the same span to backs. Blount is one of the auto-plays of the week. Blount is a top-5 running back ownership play this week.
C.J. Prosise (vs PHI), $4,900: Thomas Rawls is slated to return, but Prosise broke out with a strong snap count and a two-way role in Week 10. Still with a bargain salary, Prosise offered a high snap rate expected for Week 11. The Eagles are a relatively strong run defense on raw numbers, but on the easier side in terms of ProFootballReference.com's efficiency marks. Prosise is the low-salary running back chalk of Week 11 in the 20-30% range.
Antonio Brown (at CLE), $8,900: Brown's floor is incredibly high on a weekly basis. With Pittsburgh lacking consistency in their non-Brown or Le'Veon Bell pass targets, Brown has had at least 11 targets in 7-of-9 games this season and touchdowns in five games. As mentioned in the Ben Roethlisberger write-up above, the Browns are a choice matchup for opposing pass games and a top-10 matchup for wide receivers over the past five weeks. Brown will surge to close to, or surpassing, 30% ownership as the top receiver in Week 11.
Odell Beckham (vs CHI), $9,000: The Bears are the top matchup for opposing wide receivers over the last five weeks, a full 14% clear of the No.2 easiest receiver matchup. Despite a top salary, Beckham has still hit at least 2x value in 3-of-4 recent games. Beckham like Antonio Brown has a high weekly floor of targets. Beckham has at least eight targets in every game this season. Beckham fits in the 10-20% range of ownership.
Martellus Bennett (at SF), $5,200: As of Thursday, Rob Gronkowski is looking doubtful for this week's optimal matchup against the 49ers. More than expecting double-digit targets in Gronkowski's absence, Bennett's biggest uptick comes from touchdown potential. Bennett has not scored in four games, spanning 19 receptions - a streak poised to end this week. At a minimal salary, Bennett is projected at 20-30% ownership.
Adam Vinatieri (vs TEN), $5,000: The Colts are featured in the highest Vegas game total of the week. Vinatieri has been the most consistent. Indianapolis has attempted 27 field goals on the season, tops in the NFL. In the home dome boosts Vinatieri's long-distance upside.
Dolphins (at LA), $4,800: Jared Goff gets his first NFL start. The Rams pass protection has eroded as the season has progressed, allowing at least three sacks in 4-of-5 recent games. Miami is the No.7 pass defense by ProFootballReference, including just 61% completion rate allowed and an above-average 6.6% sack rate. Over the past five weeks, Miami is the top defensive fantasy unit with 12 sacks and eight interceptions. The Rams plus Jared Goff offers another opportunity to feast in Week 11. The Dolphins project as the top-owned defense of the week, pushing 15-20%.
THE SNEAKY PLAYS
Blake Bortles (at DET), $7,200: Bortles DFS performances have improved of late with at least 2x value in the past four games and hitting at least 3x in two of those games. Detroit is rivaled by only Cleveland for the worst pass defense in the NFL this season. A paltry four interceptions and balmy 74% completion rate are notable marks for the Detroit's struggling secondary. Bortles has thrown an interception in all but two games this season. Week 11 marks a deserved schedule reprieve for Jacksonville's pass game to rebound. Expect ownership around 5% for Bortles.
James Starks (at WAS), $5,500: Starks jumped back into the starting lineup with a strong snap share in Week 10. The Packers are dying for a traditional running back presence and Starks remains with a bargain basement price compared to his opportunity. The Washington-Green Bay game features the third-highest Vegas game total of the week. Starks logged 10 touches a week ago. Expect that count to close to double outside of a Washington blowout win in Week 11. Expect ownership below 5% for Starks.
Rob Kelley (vs GB), $5,400: Kelley, like James Starks opposite in the same game, offers a high ratio of usage to salary. With Matt Jones out of the lineup, Kelley had 23 touches in Week 10 - more than all but one of Jones' games this season as the power back. Kelley's pass game upside is stunted, but goal line opportunities belong to him and 100 yards is within reach outside of a comfortable Green Bay win game script. Like Starks, Kelley is a contrarian play below 5% ownership.
DeAndre Hopkins (at OAK), $7,100: Oakland is improving in pass defense of late, but still are an above-average matchup (8.0 yards per attempt, just 13 sacks on the season). Will Fuller V is slated to return in Week 11, which should open up Houston's struggling pass game and Hopkins' room to operate on short and intermediate routes. Hopkins has not found the end zone in a month (spanning 23 receptions) and has a pedestrian 7% touchdown rate on the season, below his career average. Hopkins will be a 1-2% ownership play.
Eddie Royal (at NYG), $5,200: Royal is the biggest benefactor of Alshon Jeffery's upcoming four-game suspension. The Jay Cutler factor can torpedo the best laid DFS bets, but Royal has been a consistent weapon for Cutler dating back to Royal's rookie season breakout in Denver. Jeffery out leaves eight targets per game available for distribution. Royal offers the most bang for the buck fantasy upside. In Weeks 1-2 this season with Cutler, Royal posted at least 50 yards in both contests. At $5,200, Royal offers 3x upside in the WR4+ zone of cost. At most, Royal will be in the 5-10% ownership bucket.
Sterling Shepard (vs CHI), $5,900: The weekly ceiling has been tempered for Shepard this season, but Victor Cruz out of the lineup boosts the rookie's weekly projection. Since Week 1, Shepard has logged at least six targets in every game. As mentioned in Odell Beckham seciton, the Bears are an optimal matchup for wide receivers. Stefon Diggs, Randall Cobb, and Marqise Lee have performed well in recent weeks against Chicago, comparable players to Shepard. Expect to see less than 5% ownership for Shepard.
Charles Clay (vs BUF), $4,800: Clay is on the touchdown regression watch list, yet to find the end zone on 29 receptions this season. With Robert Woods and not much else, Buffalo's pass game seeks ancillary consistency. The Bengals are the best matchup for opposing tight ends, averaging 10 receptions per game and 140 yards over the past four games. The Washington tight end tandem dominated Cincinnati's defense two games ago and even the Giants lackluster combination of Will Tye and Jerell Adams combined for 8-71-1. Clay will be in the 1-3% ownership group.
Matt Prater (vs JAX), $4,600: Prater is a long-range specialist, playing in a home dome. Also, Jacksonville has allowed 15 field goals over the last five games, tops in the NFL. Detroit's Vegas team total is top-5 for the week as well.
Chiefs (vs TB), $5,000: Tampa Bay has allowed multiple sacks in every game since Week 1. The turnovers have not followed, but pressure leads to giving away the ball over time. Also, the recent slate of defenses against Tampa Bay (Chicago, Atlanta, Oakland) have been from the below-average pool of the NFL. The Chiefs are getting healthy on defense and have eight sacks over the past three games and made teams one-dimensional with 91 rushing yards allowed or less in all three games. The Chiefs are in the 5-10% range for projected ownership.
More articles from Chad ParsonsSee all
Commissioner Guide, Part 7: Solving Disputes
Commissioner Guide, Part 6: League Formats
Commissioner Guide, Part 5: Rule Twists
More articles on: Daily FFSee all
10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting DFS - Freeman
DFS Coverage: Super Bowl - Staff
DFS Coverage: Conference Championships - Staff