DraftKings Week 11 Slate Breakdown with Cash and GPP Picks
It's an interesting week, as there are quite a few options to sort through in the middle pricing tiers and not as many viable options available at the extremes of each salary spectrum; once again, DraftKings seems to be driving users to roster players in the middle tiers. The key theme for this week is arbitrage, as there are a few pivots off the chalk at various positions—particularly RB and WR— that should come in lower owned despite better matchups than some of the chalk.
Note: Week 11 funnel ratings appear at the end of the article.
The top two cash game options at QB are Tom Brady, who is ranked first in cash odds, and Alex Smith, who is ranked first in value. Both will face bottom-five defenses in terms of QB aFPA, but given the correlation of implied team total to QB fantasy production and the fact that Brady’s Patriots have an implied total over 30 while Smith’s Chiefs implied total is hovering in the 27–28 range, I’d rather pay the extra $700 for Brady.
Update (Nov. 19): Strong winds in the Giants game shouldn't have much of an impact on the Chiefs' primarily short passing game, but does solidify Brady as the top option at QB. If looking to pivot off Smith, consider Drew Brees ($6,800), whose implied team total has climbed to over 30 on Sunday morning.
Although three of the QBs with top-four GPP leverage scores finished as top-five options last week, it’s tough to get excited about trying to find leverage at the position this week. My favorite GPP option is Jay Cutler ($5,400)—Miami is passing on 62% of plays in the first half since trading Jay Ajayi, compared to 57% with Ajayi, and the Bucs are ranked 25th in QB aFPA. Cutler has quietly thrown multiple TDs in four straight games and has enough talent at the skill positions to put up numbers if Miami continues to go more pass-heavy than usual.
Of the two high total games, Patriots-Raiders probably has a better chance to benefit from opposing passing game correlations than Redskins-Saints simply because the Saints have shown a willingness to stick with the run (which has been working, of course). Thus, I like Derek Carr ($6,400) as a plus-exposure play better than Drew Brees or Kirk Cousins. Ever since the Raiders made a concerted effort to get Amari Cooper more involved three games ago, Carr has thrown for 300 yards in every game. And despite on-paper improvement over their past three games' box score production allowed to opposing QBs (220.0 yards, 1.0 TDs per game), the Patriots are still ranked 26th in pass defense success rate over that span.
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