FanDuel Week 11 GPP Breakdown
Below, I'll focus on players I believe to be strong tournament plays based on multi-touchdown upside and low projected ownership. I won't blurb chalk plays (Derek Carr, Charcandrick West, Devonta Freeman, Danny Amendola, Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Greg Olsen, Stephen Gostkowski, and the Seahawks) -- they're all justifiable GPP options -- particularly Carr, West, Freeman, and Amendola -- but you won't take home big money by stuffing your entire lineup with chalk. Use chalk plays selectively, a few at a time, filling out the rest of your lineup with a few players likely to be low-owned who have that multi-touchdown upside, allowing you to differentiate from the field and shoot up the leaderboard.
As usual, I draw heavily from my Ownership Outlook column, and all the players I highlight below are players I believe you should have more exposure to than the field. Since who you fade can be just as important as who you play in a GPP, I've also added a "Fades" section at the end where I briefly highlight any highly-owned players I believe you should have less exposure to than the field, or no exposure to at all.
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Amari Cooper had the higher ownership percentage on Thursday, but Michael Crabtree ($6,500) is arguably the better play. While Cooper will likely get shadowed by Detroit's top cornerback, Darius Slay, Crabtree will match up against sophomore fourth-round pick Nevin Lawson. When Lawson was on Davante Adams for most of last week's game, Aaron Rodgers relentlessly targeted Adams a total of 21 times. Crabtree -- not Cooper -- leads the Raiders with an average of 9.4 targets per game. The Lions rank 27th in WR aFPA.
Members of the Raiders passing game are chalk plays this week, and if the game pans out as expected, the Lions are going to have to score some points to keep up with Oakland. Matthew Stafford ($7,000) has been priced lower only twice in his career, and gets to take on an Oakland defense permitting the second-most passing yards per game in the NFL (293.2). Stafford targets Calvin Johnson ($8,100) 9.7 times per game, and Johnson has been been priced lower only once in his career. The Raiders rank 21st in QB aFPA and 27th in WR aFPA in a game tied for the week's highest over/under. The Lions' implied point total currently sits at 23.8 -- 5.2 points higher than their season average.
Frequent readers will know that volume is the most important predictor of wide receiver fantasy production, and boy is Mike Evans ($8,000) seeing volume. Since Tampa Bay's Week 7 bye, Evans averages 12.8 targets per game, topping 125 yards in three of four games during that span. With Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins looking iffy yet again, Evans will likely continue to be a target monster. The matchup could not be better, as Evans will square off with an Eagles defense ranked dead last in WR aFPA.
Not only did Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis collectively account for 38 percent of the Patriots’ targets, but also 35 percent of their red zone targets. Combine that with the fact that Bill Belichick chose to deploy an extremely pass-heavy game plan last time these teams met, and Rob Gronkowski ($8,400) could be in for monster volume. He hung a 7-113-1 line on the Bills back in Week 2. While his price is a bit too high to be of much use in DraftKings tournaments, Tom Brady ($9,200) deserves consideration on FanDuel, especially with value abound and on a rare week when he doesn't pace all QBs in ownership (he was third on Thursday). By design, Brady threw 59 times against Buffalo - a season high. Nothing has really changed since Week 2 in terms of Buffalo's defense, so I'd expect Bill Belichick to dial up another pass-heavy game plan this weekend.
With Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd out, and Antonio Gates ($5,900) dealing with knee and hip issues, Stevie Johnson ($5,600) will have to step in as San Diego’s number-one WR and potentially Philip Rivers's top target. In Week 9 before the bye, he played 100 percent of the snaps and saw ten targets, both season-highs. While the Chiefs have been better as of late thanks to cornerback Sean Smith, they still rank 31st in WR aFPA. Johnson almost always lines up in the slot, where he should avoid Smith and instead match up with the beatable Ron Parker. Speaking of Gates, if he's healthy enough to play, he deserves a look simply because we've seen him put up solid fantasy production while playing through injury before. If Gates is on the field, Philip Rivers will look to him in the red zone. You'll be getting him at low ownership, as he was in only 5.5 percent of lineups on Thursday.
Cam Newton ($8,600) averages 226 passing yards, 40 rushing yards, 1.7 passing TDs, and 0.7 rushing TDs per game. If he simply hits his yardage averages and also hits the rounded-up version of his TD averages (two passing TDs and one rushing TD), he's all but guaranteed a top-five QB finish. Carolina has a 26-point Vegas implied total and Cam has accounted for 81 percent of their offensive TDs this season.
It's not a sexy pick, but Case Keenum ($4,800) deserves consideration as one of the only usable position players under $5,000. Keenum would need roughly 15 points to return decent value in a tournament, and 15 points is not that farfetched. Keenum could throw for 175 yards with two TDs, or 200 yards with one TD and 10 yards rushing, for example, and reach a score of 15. He is certainly in the right matchup to succeed, as the Ravens rank 30th in QB aFPA. They've given up 15 or more FanDuel points to QBs in seven of nine games this season. Keenum owns per-game averages of 219.5 passing yards, 1.1 passing TDs, 0.8 interceptions, and 10.7 rushing yards across 10 career starts -- good for a 13.4-point FanDuel average. Keenum is our number-one overall value on the slate.
If any game ever set up as a "Marvin Jones ($5,400) game", this week's Cardinals-Bengals tilt would be it. The Cardinals have given up almost nothing to tight ends (they rank first in TE aFPA) and Patrick Peterson -- who is back to his shutdown ways -- will follow around A.J. Green. That leaves the ball to be funneled to Jones in a game where the Bengals may have to throw, as the game has a 48.5 over/under (tied for the highest of the week), with the Cardinals favored by five.
Adrian Peterson $8,900 vs. GB - All Day has been fed 20 or more touches in eight straight games and has gone over 100 total yards in four straight. Peterson’s Vikings are actually a slight favorite (-1) at home against the Packers, who have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards per game (116.2) in the NFL and rank a middling 16th in RB aFPA.
Darren McFadden $7,000 @ MIA - McFadden had a rough go last week against a Tampa Bay defense allowing the 12th-fewest rushing yards per game (101.0) in the league, but should have more success against a Dolphins defense that allows the second-most rushing yards per game in the league (135.6) and ranks second-to-last in RB aFPA. McFadden has seen at least 20 touches in each of his last four games, and getting Tony Romo back should open up more rushing lanes because Miami’s defense will now have to respect the pass – an element that was lacking in all of McFadden’s starts this season.
Jeremy Langford $6,700 vs. DEN - Langford has eclipsed 140 total yards and scored at least one TD in each of his first two career starts. While a matchup against the Broncos' elite defense might seem daunting at first glance, the numbers actually back Langford up. Firstly, the Broncos' run defense is actually more forgiving than you might think: they rank 20th in RB aFPA. Secondly, Langford's Bears are a one-point home favorite, which is always a favorable situation for an RB.
Steven Hauschka $5,000 vs. SF - Hauschka is our top projected kicker this week, but was owned only a third as much as Stephen Gostkowski, who costs $100 more. Hauschka has a high implied team total (26.3), a large spread (-12.5), and home field advantage all working in his favor this week.
Carolina Panthers $4,900 vs. WAS - Whereas Vegas odds makers installed the Redskins with a team total of over 25 points last week against the Saints, they have been more stingy this week, as Washington's team total is below 20. In other words, Carolina -- a seven-point favorite -- will have the pleasure of bringing Kirk Cousins back to reality. Despite last week's strong showing, Cousins is turnover-prone, with four multi-interceptions games already this season. The Panthers have been a top-six fantasy defense this year and should be able to post good production against the Redskins.
New York Jets $4,700 @ HOU - The Jets travel to Houston as three-point favorites to face off against backup QB T.J. Yates. The over/under is currently off as of this writing, but did open at 41.5, indicating a likely defensive battle. Only three teams have forced more turnovers this year than the Jets. In his career, Yates has four TDs, seven picks, and eight fumbles.
Chicago Bears $4,200 vs. DEN - With a very expensive Seahawks defense leading the way in ownership, deploying the Bears at the other end of the salary spectrum may be a shrewd move. Chicago is actually a one point home favorite in this game against Brock Osweiler and the Broncos. Since their Week 7 bye, the Bears have limited opponents to point totals of 23, 19, and 13.
There are a number of elite WRs who are likely to be shadowed by elite cornerbacks this week. Getting the shadow treatment isn't always as daunting as it seems for an elite receiver; man coverage on an "island" leaves the door open for big plays. If I'm going that contrarian route, however, I'd rather do so with WRs who have their starting QB at their disposal. Therefore, I'll be fading DeAndre Hopkins ($8,900) this weekend. After seeing what his floor looks like last week, I'll also be doubling down on fading Alshon Jeffery ($7,500) against Aqib Talib and a Broncos defense ranked first in WR aFPA.