Herein is another edition of “Fantasy Draft Dominator” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on FantasyDraft and make recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments. FantasyDraft is one of the few sites in the industry that allows you to see Ownership Percentage after roster lock but before the player’s game kicks off. To leverage this unique opportunity, we have compiled Ownership Percentages from the biggest Thursday GPP to help lend insight into both tournament and cash-game strategy for the Sunday Contests.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. Cash game players are the top overall values of the week and can be used without regard to expected ownership percentage. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games. Expected ownership levels is also a major consideration in determining the top GPP options. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he will fall into both categories.
FantasyDraft Dominator will be posted each Friday morning, but will also be updated throughout the week as new information becomes available. Should you have any questions or players you want to discuss, hit me up on twitter (@hindery).
Thursday GPP Ownership Rates
Cash Game Considerations
Kirk Cousins ($10,900) is a high-floor option at a near-minimum price at home against Green Bay. It is hard to fade Cousins at what is likely to be high ownership given his pricing. Andrew Luck ($13,600) also has a great matchup at home in another potential shootout game and if you find yourself with extra money after filling other positions is the top pay up option.
Top Cash-Game Options
Kirk Cousins (Cash and GPP; $10,900) Cousins has been putting up solid numbers in recent weeks despite facing some tough defenses. He has at least two touchdowns in four straight and has averaged over 320 passing yards per game since Week 7. The Packers defense has been struggling, allowing 30+ points in three straight. Green Bay has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks over that stretch, including four to Marcus Mariota last week. Washington is a 3-point home favorite with a 26.3 implied team total. In a week where pricing is tight, saving at quarterback makes constructing a solid overall roster much easier and Cousins looks like the top sub-$11,000 option by a good margin. In GPPs, Cousins stacked with Jamison Crowder and/or Jordan Reed will be a popular option. There are a number of Green Bay options (Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb) to run it back with to build a unique tournament roster and take advantage of what could turn into a shootout in the nation’s capital.
Andrew Luck (Cash and GPP; $13,600) The Titans-Colts matchup profiles as the week’s most likely shootout. Indianapolis has a team total of 27.8 points as a 3-point home favorite and the game total of 52.5 is the week’s highest. The over has hit in seven straight Titans games, so don’t be surprised if this one blows past 52.5. The Titans allow just 93.7 rushing yards per game, so expect most of the Colts offense to come through the air against a poor Tennessee secondary. When Indianapolis traveled to Tennessee last month, Luck passed for 353 yards and three touchdowns. This is a great spot for Luck and he makes sense in cash if you don’t trust any of the cheaper options. Luck is also one of the top GPP options on the slate and was criminally under owned in Thursday GPPs at just 4%.
Top GPP Options
Russell Wilson (GPP; $11,400) Wilson’s monster Sunday night game against the Patriots wasn’t factored into his price, which is the only explanation for why he is priced just $1,400 over minimum. After struggling through ankle, knee and shoulder issues in first half of the season, Wilson finally looks healthy. While he still isn’t putting up big rushing numbers (16 yards and one touchdown over the past two weeks), he is again able to scramble around and buy time in the pocket. He makes many of his big plays on these scramble drills and we’re again seeing Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett getting involved on deep passes. Wilson was surprisingly just 2% owned in Thursday GPPs.
Colin Kaepernick (GPP; $10,200) Kaepernick has been showing improvement and increased comfort in Chip Kelly’s offense. He had a solid game on the road against a tough Cardinals defense with 210-1 passing and another 55 yards and a score on the ground. It is Kaepernick’s rushing ability (and near-minimum pricing) that makes him an intriguing option in GPPs. He has been making good decisions on read-option plays and is averaging 57 rushing yards per game in his four starts. The 49ers are huge 13-point underdogs against New England, so Kaepernick could rack up some big garbage time fantasy stats. There has also been some reverse line movement towards the 49ers in Vegas, so don’t be shocked if San Francisco’s offense is able to keep it close than expected against an overrated Patriots defense. At just 2% ownership in Thursday GPPs, Kaepernick has a lot of upside given his pricing.
Cash Game Considerations
Despite a hefty price tag ($16,600) Le’Veon Bell is going to be the highest-owned player of the week and extremely tough to fade in a plum matchup against the Browns. In the middle-tier, LeSean McCoy ($12,900) and Spencer Ware ($11,300) are strong RB2/Flex options. Theo Riddick ($10,100) also provides a high floor in cash games due to his pass-game usage. At just $8,400, rookie C.J. Prosise is another strong option in FantasyDraft’s full PPR scoring. With the sub $10,000 cash options lacking at receiver, Prosise may be the top pay down option of the week.
Top Cash-Game Options
Le’Veon Bell (Cash and GPP; $16,600) In Week 9 it was Ezekiel Elliott. In Week 10 it was David Johnson. In Week 11, Le’Veon Bell is set to be the week’s overwhelming chalk option in both cash and GPP. Bell is not cheap. The pricing of elite running backs finally seems to be catching up to where the top receivers are priced. However, in a dream matchup against an awful Browns defense, Bell is worth paying up for. The Browns' rush defense is allowing 143.7 yards per game. Over the past four weeks, Cleveland has allowed 30.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs per game (second-most in the NFL). Not only is the rushing matchup ideal for Bell, but his pass game usage has been insane as the Steelers young wide receivers have struggled. Bell has seen a ridiculous 50 targets over the past five games and is averaging 8 receptions per game since taking over as the full-time back. Those are the type of numbers typically reserved for elite WR1s. Bell has the highest floor and ceiling of any player in Week 11 and you fade him at your own risk in cash games. In GPPs, it is a much tougher decision. Bell’s pricing is so high that if he has 20-25 points, you won’t miss having him in GPPs.
Spencer Ware (Cash and GPP; $11,300) Ware returned to action in Week 10 against Carolina after suffering a concussion early in his Week 8 matchup against the Colts. He touched the ball just 16 times in a touch matchup as the Chiefs played from behind the whole way on the road. The game script sets up much better for Ware and the Chiefs in Week 11. Kansas City is a 7.5-point home favorite against Tampa Bay. The Bucs have allowed 4.3 yards per game on the ground and have given up 100+ yards to opposing backs Jordan Howard and Devonta Freeman the past two weeks. While the matchup and spot are solid, Ware’s real attractiveness comes from his pricing. The top four backs are all priced up this week at $14,900+. The $3,600+ savings in going with a second-tier option at RB2 is critical to putting together a solid cash-game lineup with the lack of value at WR.
C.J. Prosise (Cash and GPP; $8,400) Prosise looks like the top sub-$9,000 cash-game option on the slate. Seattle is a 6.5-point home favorite and Prosise should remain the clear lead back despite the return of Thomas Rawls from injury. As Pete Carroll noted, the team will be careful not to overdo it with Rawls after a seven-game absence. Prosise was one of the top running backs off the board in the 2016 draft and the converted receiver drew comparisons to David Johnson throughout the draft process due to his explosiveness and ability to provide a mismatch in the passing game. In his first extended action in Week 10, Prosise lived up to the hype. He put up 153 total yards and caught all seven pass targets on his way to 22.3 fantasy points against the Patriots. Prosise is a major mismatch in the passing game, often lining up in the backfield before motioning out wide where he draws favorable matchups against linebackers in coverage. Even if Rawls does cut into Prosise’s carries, the receiving production should still be there and gives Prosise a high floor. In a week where sub-$9,000 value is tough to find, Prosise makes for a strong option that allows you to fit in guys like Le’Veon Bell and Mike Evans.
Top GPP Options
LeGarrette Blount (GPP; $12,000) We never know when it’s going to be a “Blount week,” where the Patriots lean heavily on their power back. Two of the last three Patriots games have been Blount weeks. He put up 134 total yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers in Week 7 and then 69 yards and 3 touchdowns last week against the Seahawks. On paper, it looks like Blount should be poised for another massive game in Week 11. The Patriots are 13 point favorites at San Francisco with a huge 32-point implied team total. The 49ers have been absolutely torched by opposing running backs this season (and especially in recent weeks). Since Week 7, San Francisco is allowing 34.8 points per game to opposing running backs. The 49ers have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing backs in just the past five games (2.4 per game). Perhaps no player on the slate can match Blount in terms of touchdown upside. The matchup is so favorable, it is not a stretch to play Blount in cash games. However, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Patriots come out with a pass-heavy game plan so Blount fits more comfortably as a high-upside GPP play.
Isaiah Crowell (GPP; $7,700) Crowell has been on a bit of a cold streak and hasn’t touched the ball more than 13 times over the past three. Hue Jackson indicated this week that he needs to get his top back more touches. “My fault,” Jackson said about the lack of touches for Crowell. “I take responsibility for that. This guy is a really, really good player, and we have not rushed the ball as well over several weeks now, and that is disappointing. I have to do a better job. I have to put him in better situations because he is a very, very talented player.” The Steelers are without top lineman Cam Hayward for the remainder of the season and have been absolutely gashed on the ground in three of the last four games (204 yards and 2 touchdowns by Jay Ajayi, 127 yards and 2 touchdowns from LeGarrette Blount and 114 yards and 2 touchdowns by Ezekiel Elliott). There has been some reverse line movement in favor of the Browns this week and the Steelers have had some awful performances as big road favorites in recent years, so this is an interesting spot to take a flier on Crowell at an extreme bargain price.
Cash Game Considerations
It’s a tough week to find value at receiver unless you believe in one of Jay Cutler’s top targets (Eddie Royal at $6,700 or Cameron Meredith at $8,100). The better option may be to look for value at other positions and go with a mid-tier option at WR2 like Doug Baldwin ($10,600) or Golden Tate ($10,500). Antonio Brown ($18,000), A.J. Green ($15,700) and Mike Evans ($15,300) are each elite options and make for strong plays at WR1. If you play Le’Veon Bell at RB, it’s tough (but not impossible) to fit two of the top receivers in.
Top Cash-Game Options
Mike Evans (Cash and GPP; $15,300) In his return from a concussion and facing a Bears defense that likes to double-team the top opposing receiver, Evans failed to see double-digit targets for the first time since Week 1. Game script also worked against Evans as Jay Cutler’s implosion allowed Tampa to cruise to an easy win without having to force feed deep targets to Evans per usual. As 7.5-point road underdogs, Evans should be right back to seeing 10+ targets with many of them coming on deep shots. Top Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters has been dealing with a hip injury. While he is likely to play, Peters is not the type of cornerback who has to be avoided in fantasy. His gambling style leads to a lot of interceptions, but also allows for opposing receivers to make big plays against him. Before coming up with a game-winning takeaway last week, Peters allowed 7 completions for 121 yards against. While we normally avoid rostering a defense and one of our key offensive players in a GPP, Evans and the Chiefs are an exception. If Tampa falls behind, Evans could have a big game and we could still have the recipe for a big game from the Chiefs defense.
Doug Baldwin (Cash and GPP; $10,600) Baldwin doesn’t fit the typical bill for a cash game receiver. He hasn’t seen double-digit targets since Week 3. However, in a week where value options at the position are few and far between, Baldwin’s floor/ceiling combination at just $10,600 makes him an attractive play. Baldwin has at least six receptions in 3-of-4 and is a good bet to produce at least a decent game. But it is his realistic upside that makes Baldwin so intriguing. In his last 16 games, Baldwin has 84 catches for 1,159 yards and 16 touchdowns. Russell Wilson finally looks healthy and it seems like we might finally be seeing the explosive, efficient passing offense we saw in the second-half of 2015. Baldwin’s 6-59-3 line against the Patriots last week was typical of what we saw from him down the stretch of 2015 and may presage another big second half.
Top GPP Options
Julian Edelman (GPP; $12,000) Narrative Street Alert! Tom Brady and Julian Edelman are both from the bay area, grew up 49ers fans and are playing in San Francisco for the first time. Brady was held without a touchdown pass for the first time of the season last week and has made clear that he holds a grudge against the 49ers for not drafting him decades ago. Don’t be surprised if Brady has a monster passing game and Edelman could be a prime beneficiary. Over the past four weeks, the 49ers have allowed 33.3 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (second-most in the league). If Rob Gronkowski misses, expect Edelman to see a few extra targets. Edelman has been solid this season, but hasn’t had the type of huge fantasy day that we’ve seen from him in the past. It feels like he is due and this could be the week.
Jordy Nelson (GPP; $14,600) Nelson has had at least 94 receiving yards and a touchdown in three straight games. He saw a ridiculous 18 targets last week against the Titans and leads the league with 22 red zone targets on the season. The Packers have scored at least 25 points in four straight and are expected to be in another shootout (game total of 49.5 points) against Washington. Yet Nelson is flying under the radar, with Thursday GPP ownership of just 5% due presumably to a fear of cornerback Josh Norman. However, as Matt Harmon pointed out, Nelson has accumulated 42.7% of his yardage from the slot during his torrid three-game stretch.
Martellus Bennett ($7,400) looks like the inexpensive chalk option and will find his way into most cash game lineups. His production has been inconsistent, but the matchup against San Francisco looks like it sets up well for him. Jason Witten ($6,400) is the other cheap option worth considering. There are four tight ends in the $10,000-$11,000 range who are very much in play as cash-game flex options. Jordan Reed, Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker and Tyler Eifert should each see plenty of targets and are solid plays in a week where strong value options at wide receiver are lacking.
Top Cash Game Options
Martellus Bennett (Cash and GPP; $7,400) Assuming Rob Gronkowski is out as expected, Bennett will be the overwhelming chalk in cash games and should see ownership north of 30% in GPPs. Bennett has been a boom or bust option this season. He has three 100+ yard receiving games and had a 6-67-3 as well. He’s also had three games where he put up less than 4.5 FantasyDraft points. Typically that sort of variance would indicate a GPP-only option. However, there have been some patterns we can pick up on as far as when Bennett is heavily involved as a passer and when he is mostly a sixth offensive lineman. Bennett’s poor fantasy games have come against defenses that can get after the passer from the edge. The 49ers average just 1.8 sacks per game and top pass rusher Aaron Lynch is questionable with an ankle injury.
Tyler Eifert (Cash and GPP; $10,100) In his two full games since returning from injury, Eifert has 12 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown. He is the clear #2 option in the Bengals passing offense behind only A.J. Green. Over the past two weeks, Buffalo has allowed 247 yards and three touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Since safety Aaron Williams suffered a season-ending neck injury, the trio of Robert Blanton, Jonathan Meeks and slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has struggled against the position. When the Bills last faced the Bengals in 2015, Rex Ryan constantly double-teamed Green (holding him to just 36 yards) and forced the Bengals to beat him with somebody else. Eifert and Marvin Jones Jr combined for 13 catches, 125 yards and two touchdowns. If the Bills again give Green extra attention, Eifert could have a big game.
Top GPP Option
Jordan Reed (GPP; $11,000) When Washington last faced Green Bay (in the playoffs last January), Jordan Reed was the clear go-to option. He racked up 17 targets and produced a 9-120-1 line. Green Bay has faced only one top tight end this season, Delanie Walker, and he posted a 9-124-1 line against them last week. Reed is coming off of a down game (just two catches for 41 yards) against the Vikings, which should help keep his GPP ownership relatively low (just 13% in Thursday GPPs). It was the first game that he played in in which he didn’t see 10+ targets since Week 3. The Packers have given up 30+ points in three straight games and have become a defense worth targeting in daily fantasy.
Cash Game Considerations
The Chiefs ($6,700) have been on a roll for the better part of a year and have put up double-digit fantasy points in five straight. The pricing is not prohibitive as the 5th-most expensive on the slate, especially considering they are heavy home favorites facing a mistake-prone Buccaneers offense. If cap space is tight, the Dolphins ($5,600) are $1,100 cheaper and are facing Jared Goff in his regular season debut.
Kansas City Chiefs (Cash and GPP; $6,700) The Chiefs gambling defense is designed to take risks and try to cause turnovers and pressure the quarterback. Over the past four weeks, the Chiefs have 11 sacks, have forced 10 turnovers and scored twice. The Chiefs have caused at least two turnovers in five straight games and have forced 22 turnovers already this season. Kansas City is a 7.5-point home favorite and is expected to get Tamba Hali and Dontari Poe back from injury this week. The Chiefs have been by far the most consistent fantasy defense, with double-digit fantasy scoring in five straight games and are a top play in both cash games and GPPs. Tampa has allowed at least two sacks in eight straight games and Jameis Winston has thrown 10 interceptions this season.
Miami Dolphins (Cash and GPP; $5,600) Jared Goff makes his first career start and could be in for a long day. The rookie struggled mightily in preseason and anyone who watched Hard Knocks in August is probably licking their lips at this matchup. The Rams have given up at least three sacks in each of their past three games and have allowed 15 sacks over the past five. Los Angeles has a team total of just 19 points as a home underdog. The Rams are comfortable playing conservative offensively and hoping their defense wins the game. So it only makes sense to play the Rams if you believe in the Dolphins offense’s ability to put up some points and force Jared Goff to try to win the game with his arm. Ryan Tannehill and Jay Ajayi have played well during Miami’s current four-game winning streak, so that’s not a bad bet.
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