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FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 6

Fri Oct 16 10:31am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Golladay is a great DFS play


A lot of big names won’t be available in DFS this week with the Saints, Seahawks, Raiders and Chargers all on a bye. Still, there are plenty of great options to consider when building your entry. Let’s discuss a couple of players at each position to target, as well as some to possibly avoid.

Quarterbacks

Ren Roethlisberger, PIT vs. CLE ($6,100): Roethlisberger isn’t exactly racking up yards this season, averaging 254 passing yards per game. Excluding the two games he played last season, that’s his lowest per game average since 2012. However, he has 10 touchdown passes and is on pace to set a new career high with his 69.9 percent completion rate. In short, he’s off to a great start. Slowing him down will be a tall order for the Browns, considering they are tied for the third-most passing touchdowns allowed in the league.

Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. ATL ($5,700): Yes, the Vikings don’t usually throw a lot. Still, Cousins has eight touchdown passes and has thrown for at least 249 yards in four of five games. His low salary stands out here since it puts him in the range of Philip Rivers ($5,800), C.J. Beathard ($5,800) and even Mitch Trubisky ($5,700). That almost seems ludicrous with Cousins facing a Falcons team that is tied for the most touchdown passes allowed.

Player to Avoid

Carson Wentz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,900): Wentz and the banged-up Eagles’ offense now has to face a Ravens team that has allowed the fewest points per game (15.2) in the league. They have been great at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, registering the fifth-most sacks. Add in Wentz’s propensity for throwing interceptions and it’s difficult to find a reason to roll with him given this matchup.

Running backs

Derrick Henry, TEN vs. HOU ($7,500): This might be a matchup made in heaven. The Titans are no strangers to giving Henry a heavy workload, which has left him to average 25.3 carries this season. The last time we saw him take the field against the Texans, he torched them for 211 yards and three touchdowns in Week 17 last year. While that will be difficult to duplicate, he could still be extremely productive given that the Texans have allowed the second-most rushing yards per game.

Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. ATL ($5,300): This is basically a free square with Mattison at this salary if Dalvin Cook (groin) is forced to sit out. With Cook suffering the injury early in the third quarter last week against the Seahawks, Mattison took over and finished with 112 yards on 20 carries. The Falcons’ defense has been awful in just about every facet of the game, so Mattison could be in line for a monster day if he’s left with the lead role out of the backfield.

Player to Avoid

Mark Ingram, BAL at PHI ($6,400): Make no mistake about it, the Ravens are a run-heavy team. The problem is they spread out their carries between Ingram, J.K Dobbins and Gus Edwards. That’s left Ingram to log 11 carries or fewer in all five games. Considering he doesn’t come at much of a discount, you’d likely be better off keeping him out of your entry.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Golladay, DET at JAC ($7,500): We haven’t seen much of Golladay this season after he missed the first two games with an injury. The Lions then had a bye in Week 5, meaning he’s only taken the field two times. However, he scored a touchdown in both contests and garnered a total of 15 targets. He’s the clear top option in the Lions’ passing attack and could be in line for a busy afternoon against a Jaguars team that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game.

Justin Jefferson, MIN vs. ATL ($6,400): The Vikings should be a popular team to stack with how poorly the Falcons’ defense has played this season. Jefferson is among the most appealing DFS options on the team despite registering only three catches for 23 yards against the Seahawks last week. Prior to that poor showing, he had recorded at least 100 yards in back-to-back contests. Don’t be surprised if he quickly bounces back with a productive stat line here.

Player to Avoid

Deebo Samuel, SF vs. LAR ($6,000): Jimmy Garoppolo looked awful in his return against the Dolphins last week and was eventually benched in what turned out to be a blowout loss. Samuel was the victim of his struggles, finishing with only two catches for 19 yards despite receiving eight targets. The Rams have allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game, so whether it’s Garoppolo or Beathard under center, neither might be able to lead Samuel to a valuable stat line.

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. HOU ($5,400): Smith looked primed for an expanded role heading into this season and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s received 27 targets through four games, catching 18 of them for 221 yards and five touchdowns. Adam Humphries has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but Corey Davis’ status is still uncertain heading into this matchup. With that being said, even if he does return, Smith should still have a significant of enough role to be worth considering.

Jimmy Graham, CHI at CAR ($4,800): The move from the Packers to the Bears has done wonders for Graham’s fantasy value. He had five total touchdowns during his two-year stint in Green Bay, but he already has four through five games with the Bears. He should continue to be one of their top red zone targets, making him an appealing option at such a budget-friendly salary.

Player to Avoid

Zach Ertz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,300): Even with the Eagles decimated at wide receiver, Ertz can’t get anything going. He’s posted back-to-back games with fewer than 10 receiving yards and he had only one reception last week against the Steelers. It feels like he can only go up from here, but a tough matchup against the Ravens doesn’t exactly set things up for this to be his breakout week.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Top Headlines

Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 11

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Christian McCaffrey Nov 23 4:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule considers running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) week-to-week with his injury, but McCaffrey is considered unlikely to play in Week 12 against the Vikings, according to a source. All fantasy managers can do now is hope that the Pro Bowl running back can return during the fantasy playoffs, which run from Weeks 14-16 in most leagues. Backup Mike Davis had 19 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 15 yards in the Week 11 shutout win over the Lions. He'll remain Carolina's featured back with RB1 upside for as long as McCaffrey continues to be sidelined. Keep an eye on McCaffrey's practice status later in the week but have other plans ready in case he misses another game.

From RotoBaller

Teddy Bridgewater Nov 23 4:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that he expects quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee) to practice on Wednesday. Bridgewater is dealing with an MCL sprain in his right knee and was inactive in the Week 11 shutout win over the Lions. Backup QB P.J. Walker went 24-for-34 for 258 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the start with Bridgewater sidelined. He'd have some low-end QB2 upside against Minnesota's defense if he were to make another start for Bridgewater. Fantasy manager would like to see Bridgewater get in a full practice at some point this week in order to feel comfortable rolling with him as a QB2 if he were return to action on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Uchenna Nwosu Nov 23 4:10pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder) is expected to miss around three weeks with a Grade 2 AC joint sprain in his shoulder after getting injured in the Week 11 win over the Jets. Nwosu will seek a second opinion but will be a candidate for Injured Reserve. A second-round pick out of USC in 2018, the 23-year-old has contributed 23 tackles (15 solo), eight QB hits, two passes defensed and 3.5 sacks in 10 games so far this season. The Chargers Defense will be a little bit short-handed in the middle of the field for at least the next three weeks. They'll be more of a back-end starting fantasy unit against a high-powered Bills offense coming off their bye in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Eddie Jackson Nov 23 4:10pm ET

The Chicago Bears placed star safety Eddie Jackson on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. If Jackson was deemed a high-risk close contact of someone else that tested positive for the virus, he'll have a good chance of playing in Week 12 against the division-rival Packers if he continues to test negative. Losing him against Green Bay, though, could become a big issue for one of the stronger defensive units in the NFL. Jackson has also been IDP relevant as a playmaker in the secondary in 2020, ranking 14th in fantasy points at his position. The former fourth-round pick in 2017 has 58 tackles (46 solo), three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown this year.

From RotoBaller

Vance McDonald Nov 23 4:00pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that tight end Vance McDonald has been cleared to come off the COVID-19 list and will return to practice on Tuesday. Meanwhile, tight end Zach Gentry (knee) is dealing with a significant knee injury and will not play on Thursday night against the division-rival Ravens. McDonald hasn't played since the Week 9 win over the Cowboys, but it looks like they'll have him this week against Baltimore. As long as Eric Ebron remains healthy, McDonald just isn't fantasy relevant with all of the offensive weapons around him. The veteran tight end has only nine receptions on 11 targets for 61 scoreless yards in eight games this season.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Nov 23 3:50pm ET

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said that rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains the team's starting quarterback despite being benched in the fourth quarter in the Week 11 loss to the Broncos. "He's a talented player. He's a young player," Flores said. "He's a developing player. We have a lot of confidence in him. That's why he's the starter. He's got my full support. He's got the support of the coaching staff and the locker room." Tagovailoa was 11-for-20 for 83 yards with one touchdown and six sacks. He looked lost for long stretches, struggled with pressure and looked panicked in the pocket. The rookie from Alabama looked good at times in his previous three starts, but he hasn't been more than a low-end QB2 option in single-year formats to this point. Tagovailoa will have some more upside in Week 12, though, as he faces the winless Jets.

From RotoBaller

Denver Broncos Nov 23 3:40pm ET

The Denver Broncos Defense was pretty much left for dead after allowing 30-plus points four weeks in a row, but they turned things around to help pull out the 20-13 win over the Dolphins in Week 11. In most leagues, the Denver D finished as a top-five fantasy unit. They were able to confuse rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and saddle him with his first NFL loss while also recording six sacks. A defense that has failed to turn the ball over much in 2020 also had an interception from standout safety Justin Simmons. They held Tagovailoa to 83 passing yards and one touchdown before he was benched and didn't allow a running back to go over 43 yards. It was a nice bounce-back performance from the unit, but we still wouldn't recommend them as a starting fantasy unit with the Saints coming to town in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

KJ Hamler Nov 23 3:30pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler contributed four catches for 35 yards on six targets in the 20-13 Week 11 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. Hamler continues to have a role in the Broncos offense, but they relied mostly on a successful ground attack in this upset victory over Miami. The 21-year-old rookie out of Penn State does have 26 targets for 14 receptions and 160 yards over the last three games, but he has just one touchdown on the season in eight games so far. The quick and explosive slot weapon can break big plays at any time and has become a WR4/5 in deeper leagues as he sees an increased role in the offense. Hamler could be a surprise performer in a Week 12 matchup against the Saints, but fantasy managers in 12-team leagues should still have better flex options.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Nov 23 3:30pm ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made both of his field-goal attempts and both of his extra points in the 20-13 win over the Dolphins in Week 11. McManus has made exactly two field goals in each of the last three weeks and has made all nine of his extra points and all seven of his field goals since missing an extra point in Week 7 against the Chiefs. He's only missed one of his 21 field-goal tries (95.2 percent) in 2020 as well. McManus has been money all year in the accuracy department, but he's tied for 12th in the league with his 21 attempts through 11 weeks. He's also boosted when he plays in the altitude in Denver at home. He'll be there again in Week 12, but McManus will be more of a low-end kicking option in a game in which the Broncos won't be afforded the luxury of settling for field goals.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Nov 23 3:20pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was tied for the team lead in targets (eight) in the 20-13 Week 11 win over the Dolphins, but he reeled in just three of those eight targets for 37 yards. The targets were encouraging, as Jeudy has at least eight targets in each of his last four games, but the Broncos just didn't need to do much in the passing game with their running game doing its job on Sunday. Fantasy managers want to see Jeudy become more efficient with his looks, but part of that is on quarterback Drew Lock, who has been extremely inconsistent and inaccurate in his second season. Jeudy still has plenty of upside and will be a WR3/flex in a matchup with the Saints next weekend. The Broncos figure to throw plenty in that game, so expect a rebound from the 21-year-old pass-catcher.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Nov 23 3:10pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant secured four of his five targets for 55 yards in the Week 11 win over the Dolphins. The Broncos running game dominated this contest, so the Denver offense didn't need to go to the air as much as they have in recent weeks while playing from behind. That didn't help Fant's cause, and he still hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2. Despite the mediocre effort, it was an improvement over recent weeks when Fant was limited while playing through a nagging ankle injury. The 55 yards were actually the second-year tight end's third-highest yardage total of 2020. Denver's up-and-down offense gives Fant a fairly low weekly floor, but he'll once again be in the TE1 conversation in Week 12 against the Saints.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Nov 23 3:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running backs Mark Ingram II and rookie J.K. Dobbins have tested positive for COVID-19 and will go on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, according to sources. With Baltimore playing on Thursday night against the undefeated Steelers in Week 12, both Ingram and Dobbins will be inactive. That means that Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will be the two primary backs in the Ravens backfield for the important divisional matchup this week. Edwards had just three carries for six yards in the Week 11 loss to the Titans in overtime, but he figures to be the featured back against Pittsburgh. The Steelers allow the second-fewest fantasy points per game to the running back position, but Edwards will have RB2 upside with both Ingram and Dobbins sidelined.

From RotoBaller

Baltimore Ravens Nov 23 3:00pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens are expected to sign former Jets cornerback Pierre Desir once he goes through the league's COVID-19 testing protocols, according to a source. Desir signed a one-year deal with the Jets for up to $5.5 million in the offseason, but the struggling cornerback was released last week. Before the 2020 season, Desir had been a three-year starter for the Colts after previously playing with the Browns and Chargers. The 30-year-old struggled in coverage with Gang Green this year, though, recording 47 tackles (37 solo), a career-high three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and eight passes defensed in nine games (eight starts). For now, he'll serve as cornerback depth for a talented Ravens secondary.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Nov 23 2:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow's (knee) MRI exam revealed that he tore his ACL, MCL and suffered other structural issues to his left knee in the Week 11 loss to the Washington Football Team. Burrow will undergo season-ending reconstructive surgery on his knee and could be out anywhere from nine to 12 months, which would put his status for the beginning of the 2021 season in question. It could make him a risky high-end QB2 for fantasy managers going into draft season next year. The 23-year-old had his ups and downs in his first year before suffering the season-ending injury, but he also showed great poise and plenty of upside in the long-term for both fantasy and real life. Ryan Finley is expected to take over under center moving forward, which should lower the fantasy value of the rest of Cincy's offensive pieces.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Nov 23 2:50pm ET

Chicago Bears quarterbacks Nick Foles (hip) and Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) are still dealing with injuries, and head coach Matt Nagy has declined to name a starter for Week 12 against the division-rival Packers, saying that a quarterback change is still "on the table." Foles didn't suffer a major hip injury in last Monday night's loss to the Rams, but he wasn't playing well before his injury and the Bears could decide to make a change under center in order to turn their season around. If neither QB can go against Green Bay, it would likely be Tyler Bray receiving the start, which would be bad news for Chicago's pass-catchers. The Packers Defense will be a popular streaming option this week, while fantasy managers should treat Chicago's starter at QB, whoever that may be, as a desperation low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Nov 23 2:00pm ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick had a team-high five receptions on eight targets for a team-high 119 receiving yards in the 20-13 win over the Dolphins in Week 11. His eight targets were also tied for the team lead on Sunday. It marked the third time this season that Patrick has gone over 100 yards receiving after doing it in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 4 and 6 against the Jets and Patriots. The 27-year-old has been targeted seven-plus times in each of the last three weeks, and he should continue to see a steady diet of targets in Week 12 against the Saints. New Orleans defense has been much more vulnerable through the air, and Denver will likely need to throw to stay in the game. Patrick will be a WR3/flex with some upside in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Nov 23 1:40pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay had a team-high 16 carries for 82 yards (5.1 yards per carry) in the Week 12 victory over the visiting Dolphins. Denver's rushing attack was the story in this game, as Lindsay and Melvin Gordon combined for 166 yards on the ground to control the clock. Lindsay had one more carry than Gordon, but Gordon managed to find the end zone twice. Still, it was a positive development for Lindsay. The 26-year-old saw his second-highest carry total of the season on Sunday after rushing the ball just 12 times in the previous two games combined. He'll be a low-upside RB3/flex next week against the Saints, though, as they've allowed a league-low three rushing scores all season. Plus, Lindsay hasn't been a factor in the passing attack with just two catches in seven games.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Nov 23 1:30pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III was the offensive star of the game for Denver in the 20-13 Week 11 upset win over the Dolphins. The Broncos won with their rushing attack and their defense, and Gordon was a big part of that, rushing 15 times for 84 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and both of the team's touchdowns. The 27-year-old saw just 50 percent of the offensive snaps, but he made the most of his chances while still splitting time pretty evenly with teammate Phillip Lindsay. It was a great showing for Gordon, especially since he hadn't given his fantasy managers a touchdown since Week 7 against the Chiefs. But he'll go back to being a low-end RB2/high-end RB3/flex in Week 12 against a Saints Defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Drew Lock Nov 23 1:20pm ET

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock was 18-for-30 for 270 yards passing, no touchdowns and one interception in the Week 11 win over the Dolphins. He added two carries for 23 yards on the ground. The Broncos played with positive game script all day, meaning that Lock didn't need to attempt 40-plus passes for the first time since Week 6 against the Patriots. The second-year signal-caller threw an interception for the sixth straight week and has 11 interceptions and seven touchdowns through eight games. The 24-year-old will probably have to throw more often in a Week 12 meeting with the Saints, but Lock will still be a turnover-prone, low-end QB2 option for fantasy managers in superflex leagues.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Nov 23 12:33pm ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) left in the second quarter of the Week 11 game due to a hamstring injury and missed most of the game. He'll have tests Monday, Nov. 23, to assess the injury.

Fantasy Spin: Jones has been hamstrung all season due to his limbs, and he's the WR27 in PPR formats - albeit in eight games. This is what you're going to have to deal with if you own him in his aging state. Check back later to see if we can get a clearer picture on his status.

From TheHuddle