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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
Nick Mullens Nov 23 9:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for COVID-19 last week and has landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list along with eight of his teammates. Williams, who is considered a high-risk individual after a fight with cancer, said he was feeling OK and expects to recover. It's unknown if the blind-side protector for quarterback Nick Mullens will be available in Week 12 against the division-rival Rams. It's Williams' second stint on the COVID-19 list after he was previously deemed a high-risk close contact. If Williams doesn't clear the league's protocol in time, it'll make Mullens more vulnerable against a good Rams pass rush next Sunday.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Nov 23 9:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that defensive lineman Brandon Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after he was considered a close contact of running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, who tested positive for coronavirus. Williams will have to quarantine for five days and will miss the Thanksgiving tilt on Thursday against the undefeated Steelers. As of now, the contest remains on schedule for Thursday night. Williams, a third-round pick in 2013, has just 20 tackles (13 solo) in eight games for Baltimore this season. The Ravens Defense has basically been a must-start fantasy unit all year long, but they'll face a tough Steelers offense on Thursday and should be faded in DFS.

From RotoBaller

James Morgan Nov 23 8:30pm ET

Despite New York Jets head coach Adam Gase all but saying that 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan is essentially getting a redshirt year as a rookie, the organization made the call Monday to release quarterback Mike White, who had been serving as Joe Flacco's backup. While Sam Darnold (shoulder) continues to battle injuries, Morgan may now slot into the backup role without White on the roster. New York's quarterback situation continues to remain fluid, but Morgan could get a look in the final weeks of the year if the team's losing woes continue and Darnold remains embattled with his shoulder injury. White, who has not yet thrown an NFL pass, will be looking for a new home prior to the conclusion of the year.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Nov 23 8:20pm ET

The New York Giants Defense could have both safety Xavier McKinney (foot) and linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) back in the mix Sunday versus Cincinnati after having designated both to return from injured reserve Monday. McKinney was the team's second round Draft choice in 2020, although he would likely play a limited role in his first game, per head coach Joe Judge. Ximines has started three of the four contests that he has appeared in this year, combining for five tackles and three quarterback hits. Their availability will become clearer following Wednesday's practice. While not a standout group in their own right, the Giants' defense should receive sizable season-long streamer appeal due to its matchup versus Ryan Finley and Co., who will be navigating their first game all year without Joe Burrow.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Nov 23 8:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jesse Davis (COVID-19/reserve list) has been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list as of Monday, and will reportedly not be available for Sunday's game versus the Jets. (Players do not have to test positive to be added to the list.) Davis' absence likely means that Rob Hunt will slide over to man the right tackle spot, blocking for Tua Tagovailoa, who is expected to start after being removed late in Week 11 in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The loss of Davis means that Tagovailoa will have a new blind spot protector, while Salvon Ahmed is expected to lead the backfield once again, albeit with a shifting o-line in front of him. At this time, it appears as if Sunday's matchup between Miami and New York is in no danger of being shifted, although the situation will remain fluid throughout the week.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) has been sidelined since Week 8 due to a hip ailment, but despite the quick turnaround ahead of a Week 12 matchup versus Houston, the team's top receiver was listed as a would-be limited practice participant Monday. While he will likely need to log some actual practice time in order to suit up Thursday, his status is beginning to trend in the right direction for potentially facing an exploitable Texans secondary. Golladay has exceeded the 100-yard plateau as a receiver in each of his last two full contests in 2020, making him a must-start asset should he eventually get the green light to suit up. Check back over the coming days to get a better read on his status with the Lions taking the field for practice Tuesday.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb (toe) would not have been available to participate in Monday's practice had there been one. After leaving Sunday's win over New England due to a toe injury, Cobb is not trending in the right direction to return for Thursday's matchup with the Lions. Keke Coutee earned praises in the slot in place of Cobb, and would figure to continue seeing an increased usage with the veteran sidelined. The Lions Defense is allowing the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers this season, putting Coutee, Brandin Cooks, and Will Fuller V in line for increased usage should Cobb ultimately not make it back in time for the contest.

From RotoBaller

Dez Bryant Nov 23 7:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant was moved back to the practice squad following the team's Week 11 win over Tennessee. While Bryant saw a drastic upswing in usage versus the Titans, even securing four receptions for 28 yards, he cannot be viewed as a fantasy asset in any sized season-long format due to his fluctuations between the active roster and practice squad. The Ravens can recall the former All-Pro to the 53-man roster once more before needing to sign him full-time. While he may not be available for Thursday's meeting against Pittsburgh, the fervor to utilize him against his former squad, Dallas, would be strong during Week 13. Check back for any updates as it pertains to Bryant's status within the Baltimore offensive gameplan.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Nov 23 7:40pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury, with the expectation that he can return to practice Wednesday. Darnold has expressed some optimism that his shoulder has improved with the time off, although how aggressive the Jets will be in rushing their young QB onto the field remains to be seen. Joe Flacco has filled in for Darnold, leading the offense to 27 and 28-point performances, respectively, in the past two weeks with the team's full allotment of wide receivers at his disposal. Even when healthy in 2020, Darnold has done little to inspire confidence in fantasy managers, making the Jets quarterback room an avoidable conundrum heading into Week 12 no matter who eventually gets tabbed to make the start.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Jones Nov 23 7:30pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers placed defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis on the COVID-19/reserve list Sunday, with the move becoming public Monday. With San Francisco having been on its bye week, the duo did not have to worry about missing game action, although their status for next Sunday's matchup against the Rams remains in question. (Players do not have to test positive to be placed on the list.) Jones has started all 10 games for the 49ers Defense this season, having compiled 14 tackles (six of which have come for a loss), in addition to two quarterback hits and two sacks. Willis has been utilized with less frequency, but the loss of either against Los Angeles would be a hit to the team's defensive line depth. Check back to see how San Francisco moves forward throughout the week as they continue to combat roster moves within the organization.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Nov 23 7:30pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (thigh) would have only been able to practice in a limited capacity Monday had one been available to him. With the Ravens taking on the Steelers on Thanksgiving, the team's primary pass-catching threat has just three days to recover from the team's Week 11 matchup to get ready for its arch nemesis. Andrews had arguably his best game of 2020 on Sunday, compiling a season-high 96 receiving yards versus the Titans, while also hauling in his sixth touchdown of the year. The Steelers Defense gave Andrews fits during their Week 8 matchup, limiting him to three catches for 32 yards, as the Pro Bowl tight end is yet to find the end zone in four career meetings against Pittsburgh. Check back throughout the week to receive updates to his status as they become available.

From RotoBaller

La'Mical Perine Nov 23 7:20pm ET

New York Jets running back La'Mical Perine (ankle) is expected to land on injured reserve due to a high ankle sprain, ruling him out for at least the next three weeks. The move paves the way for Frank Gore to become the bell cow out of the backfield, with Ty Johnson set to serve as his backup. Perine notched his second rushing score of the season Sunday, and figured to continue seeing a solid amount of reps down the stretch in 2020 as New York attempts to gauge his skill level heading into next year. But the injury will complicate the Jets' offense even more than before, making them a targetable group for fantasy managers deploying the streamer option for season-long defensive units. It's possible that Perine could return before the conclusion of the year, but in the meantime, Gore can be added off of the waiver wire as an RB3/Flex in medium-sized or larger season-long formats.

From RotoBaller

Vic Beasley Nov 23 7:10pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders made a splash earlier Monday by signing Vic Beasley to their practice squad, following up that announcement by claiming outside linebacker/defensive end Takk McKinley off of waivers. McKinley has already failed a physical with two different organizations, with the Raiders hoping to add him to their defense for the stretch run of the 2020 season. In four starts with the Falcons this year, McKinley has compiled eight tackles, seven quarterback hits, one pass defended, and one sack. The move may come as particularly appealing to McKinley, who could get a chance to face Atlanta as soon as Sunday, as the Raiders are set to travel to take on the Falcons in Week 12. Even with McKinley in the mix, the Raiders defense remains outside of fantasy consideration in all but the deepest of season-long formats.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Nov 23 7:00pm ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Ravens on Thanksgiving, thereby having just three days' rest between their Week 11 and 12 contests; if the estimated practice attendance for Monday is any indication, they may be at far less than 100 percent for that contest. A whopping 15 players were listed as "DNP" had a practice session happened, headlined by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury related), but also including JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot), Eric Ebron (non-injury related), cornerback Joe Haden (knee), and defensive end Cameron Heyward (non-injury related). Many of those absences could be chalked up to the Steelers attempting to limit their players' reps ahead of a key matchup, but check back throughout the coming days to see how their practice participation status progresses.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Gibson Nov 23 6:50pm ET

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (ankle) and running back Antonio Gibson (ankle) were both listed as DNPs on the team's injury report for Monday, indicating that they would not have been able to suit up for practice, had there been one. With just three days to recover from Week 11 before facing the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, two of Washington's key offensive cogs will have a short window to heal up. McLaurin roasted the Cowboys' secondary earlier this year for seven receptions, 90 yards, and a touchdown, but his absence would pave the way for Cam Sims, Steven Sims Jr., and Isaiah Wright to take on larger offensive roles in Week 12. As for Gibson, J.D. McKissic looms as the biggest beneficiary out of the backfield if Gibson's ankle ailment proves problematic. Check back for updates on both players as they become available.

From RotoBaller

Greg Zuerlein Nov 23 6:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (back) appears to be heading into Thursday's matchup against Washington at less than 100 percent after sustaining a minor back injury during Week 11. Zuerlein missed an extra point versus Minnesota -- his third of the year -- but he added another field goal to his total, making him a flawless 17-for-17 inside of 50 yards this season. Head coach Mike McCarthy expects Zuerlein to be ready for Thursday's game, and with the Cowboys offense having begun to trend back in the right direction with Andy Dalton at the helm, Zuerlein reclaims much of the fantasy shine that had worn off due to the team's floundering offense. Check back prior to kickoff on Thanksgiving to make sure Zuerlein gets the green light to suit up.

From RotoBaller

Mike White Nov 23 5:03pm ET

New York Jets QB Mike White was released Monday, Nov. 23. TE Ross Travis was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and returned to the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

Vic Beasley Nov 23 5:00pm ET

The Las Vegas Raiders signed former Falcons and Titans outside linebacker Vic Beasley to their practice squad on Monday. Beasley didn't work out for the Titans this year and was released three weeks ago after recording only three combined tackles and one forced fumble in five games in 2020. Beasley was the eighth overall pick by the Falcons in the 2015 draft out of Clemson, and he excelled as an inside linebacker with Atlanta in 2016. Beasley recorded a league-high six forced fumbles (one for a touchdown) and 15.5 sacks that year on his way to being named a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro. Since then, though, the 28-year-old has 18 sacks in four seasons. He'll provide intriguing pass-rushing depth for Las Vegas.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Nov 23 4:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, Nov. 23.

Fantasy Spin: It's unclear at this point whether or not Thielen tested positive or was deemed a close contact - the distinction being that the former would rule him out for Week 12 while the latter would give him a chance to play against the Carolina Panthers. Stay tuned. If Thielen can't go, Justin Jefferson would step up into the lead role. Olabisi Johnson would likely start opposite him, but he'd be a desperation play at best. Irv Smith might stand to benefit the most from a fantasy perspective.

From TheHuddle

Adam Thielen Nov 23 4:50pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings placed wide receiver Adam Thielen on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. It's not immediately clear whether Thielen actually tested positive for the virus or if he's just a high-risk close contact of another individual on the team or otherwise that tested positive for COVID-19. If Thielen is just a high-risk close contact, he has a shot at playing in Week 12 against the Panthers if he continues to test negative while quarantining all week. But this news will put his availability in question for this weekend. Thielen has 123 yards receiving in Week 11 and has four touchdowns in the last two weeks, so losing him would be big for fantasy managers and the Vikings. Rookie Justin Jefferson would become the team's top wideout, with OlaBisi Johnson and Tajae Sharpe or Chad Beebe likely joining him in three-wide sets.

From RotoBaller