RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 11

Fri Nov 20 9:09am ET
Contributing Writer

Newton is good value Week 11

Injuries continue to be a common theme across the NFL. A few key ones will create added opportunities for other players to contribute, some of which should be firmly on your radar for DFS in Week 11. Let’s discuss a couple of players to target at each position, as well as some to possibly avoid.


Cam Newton, NE at HOU ($6,100): This is an ideal matchup for Newton, who has done much of his damage on the ground this season with 335 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. The Texans have been destroyed on the ground, allowing the most rushing yards per game. On top of that, they have allowed 12-rushing touchdowns. Even if Newton provides another low passing yards total, he should be able to do enough on the ground to provide value.

Derek Carr, LV vs. KC ($5,800): Carr is probably going to have to throw at will in this game. Most of the Raiders defense has spent the week on the reserve/COVID-19 list. While they could be activated before this game as long as they continue to provide negative tests, they will have missed a lot of practice. That spells trouble against the loaded Chiefs’ offense. The last time these two teams faced off, Carr was excellent with a season-high 347 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Player to Avoid

Ryan Tannehill, TEN at BAL ($6,200): The schedule hasn’t done the Titans any favors lately. Their last two games have come against the Bears and Colts, two of the best defensive teams in the league. This week won’t get any better against the Ravens, who have only allowed an average of 18.3 points a game. Tannehill already has trouble racking up passing yards in the Titans’ run-heavy offense, so if passing touchdowns will be hard to come by in this game, as well, it’s difficult to justify adding him to your lineup when both Newton and Carr can be had for lesser salaries.

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara, NO vs. ATL ($8,000): One of the big new injuries heading into this week is the Saints losing Drew Brees (ribs). Jameis Winston will now take over under center and will likely be a popular DFS option against the struggling Falcons’ defense. However, don’t forget about Kamara, who should be as busy as ever. He posted three total touchdowns last week and has six games with over 100 total yards this season. He’s also recorded at least five receptions in all but one game this season. The only week that he didn’t, he tied his season-high with 83-rushing yards.

Kalen Ballage, LAC vs. NYJ ($6,000): I’m not focusing on Ballage because of the revenge-game narrative against Adam Gase. The reason to target Ballage for your entry is that he’s emerged as the top running back for the Chargers with Austin Ekeler (hamstring/knee) out. Across the last two games, he has 33 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown while also catching seven of nine targets for 49 yards. The Jets defense hasn’t been awful against the run, but Ballage’s increased workload and the fact that the Chargers could win this one going away makes him a potential steal at this salary.

Player to Avoid

J.K. Dobbins, BAL vs. TEN ($6,700): This salary baffles me. The Ravens backfield has been split between Dobbins, Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, which doesn’t make any of them appealing options. Last week in a rain-soaked game against the Patriots, Dobbins received only five carries. The only two times he received double-digit carries in a game this season was when Ingram was out. With this trio all healthy, Dobbins should be avoided.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen, LAC vs. NYJ ($7,600): Allen was held in check by the Dolphins last week, catching only three passes for 39 yards. He did find his way into the end zone, but his seven targets were the fewest in any game this season that he didn’t leave early because of an injury. The Dolphins are a very strong defensive team. The Jets have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game, so expect a very different outcome for Allen here.

Jakobi Meyers, NE at HOU ($5,700): Remember the old Dos Equis commercial where the guy says, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis”? Well, Newton doesn’t always throw the ball, but when he does, he’s preferred to throw it to Meyers lately. With few healthy options around him, Meyers has received 37 targets over the last four games, turning them into 27 catches and 346 yards. Julian Edelman (knee) is still on IR, so expect Meyers to remain busy in this favorable matchup.

Player to Avoid

Jarvis Landry, CLE vs. PHI ($6,400): Another easy pass for me here with Landry. He hasn’t caught more than five passes in a game all season with the Browns primarily focused on running the ball. He only has three games with over 50-receiving yards and hasn’t caught a touchdown pass yet. Potentially spending a significant portion of this game being cover by star cornerback Darius Slay likely won’t help his cause in this matchup.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce, KC vs. LV ($7,200): If you can squeeze his salary into your lineup, Kelce is the man to roll with at tight end. The last time he played the Raiders, he caught eight of 12 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. He has at least 100 yards three of his last five games and has already caught six touchdowns, one more than he had all of last season. The Raiders have allowed the eighth-most passing yards per game, so expect Kelce to be productive in their rematch, as well.

T.J. Hockenson, DET at CAR ($5,200): For the first time all season, Hockenson did not have either 50-receiving yards or a touchdown reception in his matchup last week versus Washington. That says something about his consistency. Don’t expect him to be held down for long, considering the Panthers are tied for the fourth-most receptions allowed to tight ends.

Player to Avoid

Jonnu Smith, TEN at BAL ($5,200): Smith has been almost non-existent of late. Across the last five games, he has a total of eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. The problem is that he only received 16 targets during that stretch. That’s a stark contrast to the 27 targets that he received over the first four games of the season. With his role decreasing and a tough matchup against the Ravens, there’s not much to get excited about here.

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.

Player Notes
New York Giants Dec 1 9:50pm ET

The New York Giants placed starting outside linebacker Kyle Fackrell (calf) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday with a calf injury. Fackrell will miss at least the next three games, leaving the Giants very short-handed at the position. He was tied for second on the team with three sacks and was playing close to 100 percent of the defensive snaps before suffering the injury in the Week 12 win over the Bengals. No outside linebacker on the active roster has more than one sack this year. Linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines are also on IR. Jamaal Sheard and rookies Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown could start in Week 13 against the Seahawks, making the New York defense one to avoid for fantasy managers after they were a popular streaming defense against Cincy.

From RotoBaller

Drew Lock Dec 1 9:40pm ET

The Denver Broncos activated quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday after all three had PCR tests come back negative on Monday. They will all be eligible to play in Week 13 against the Chiefs. So barring additional team discipline, the Broncos won't be forced to use a practice-squad wide receiver under center against their division rivals. If Lock returns as the starter for this offense, it'll be excellent news for receivers Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler and tight end Noah Fant. Denver will likely be forced to throw often to keep up with the Chiefs high-octane offense, too, but Lock's inconsistency this season keeps him as a low-end QB2. The 24-year-old was 24-for-40 for 254 yards and two interceptions in the first meeting against KC back in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Olamide Zaccheaus Dec 1 9:30pm ET

The Atlanta Falcons placed wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus (toe) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday after he left the Week 12 win over the Raiders with a toe injury. In a corresponding move, the team activated receiver Laquon Treadwell from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and added him to the 53-man roster. Zaccheaus popped up for a couple decent games this year, but it his production was inconsistent on a weekly basis and he was too far down the team's receiving depth chart to be a viable fantasy option in most leagues. The second-year wideout's best game came in Week 9 against the Broncos when he had four receptions for 103 yards and his first touchdown of the season. If he doesn't make it back this year, he'll finish with 20 receptions (32 targets) for 274 yards and the one touchdown. Christian Blake and Brandon Powell could see some more playing time as the No. 4 wideout with Zaccheaus out.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Dec 1 9:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram II are both eligible to be activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list prior to the Week 12 game against the Steelers on Wednesday, but it's not a given that either will play. Both players have been isolated since testing positive for the virus on Nov. 22 and aren't allowed to fly on the team plane on Tuesday night. At this point, if you have Dobbins or Ingram on your roster, you've likely benched them for other running backs that already played in Week 12. Even if they both play, Gus Edwards could see the majority of backfield touches and will be the best fantasy play of the trio. Those that picked up Edwards in order to start him this week are hoping that neither Dobbins nor Ingram suit up in the tough matchup against the undefeated Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Brandon Williams Dec 1 9:10pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens activated defensive tackle Brandon Williams, quarterback Trace McSorley, nickelback Tavon Young and cornerback Khalil Dorsey from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. They could activate more players from the list before kickoff against the Steelers on Wednesday. McSorley should be the backup to Robert Griffin III on Wednesday with Lamar Jackson testing positive for COVID-19 and being unavailable this week. The return of Williams will be good news for Baltimore's defensive line, who will again be without Pro Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell. The Ravens Defense is more of a gamble in DFS and season-long leagues against the undefeated Steelers, but inclement weather is expected and could make things tougher on both offenses.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Dec 1 7:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (ankle) is 'just kind of beat up,' according to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Fantasy Spin: Cook briefly left the Week 12 game against the Carolina Panthers but returned to finish with 83 total yards and 22 touches. He leads the league with 1,385 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns on the season. The Vikings' schedule gets much tougher following the Week 13 home date against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he'll remain a matchup-proof RB1 due to his heavy usage.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Willis Dec 1 7:43pm ET

San Francisco 49ers DT D.J. Jones, DE Jordan Willis and practice squad TE Daniel Helm will be activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and practice Thursday, Dec. 3, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Jaylen Watkins Dec 1 7:13pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers TE Matt Sokol and DB Jaylen Watkins were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Chris Smith Dec 1 7:03pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders LB Vic Beasley, PK Dominik Eberle, DE David Irving and DE Chris Smith were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Chad Hansen Dec 1 6:53pm ET

Houston Texans WR Chad Hansen, DT Corey Liuget, WR Steven Mitchell Jr. and WR Damion Ratley were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Aldrick Rosas Dec 1 6:53pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Terry Godwin, DB Josh Nurse, DT Caraun Reid and PK Aldrick Rosas were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Rashard Robinson Dec 1 6:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys DB Deante Burton, OT Jordan Mills, DB Rashard Robinson and OT William Sweet were named protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Troy Fumagalli Dec 1 6:33pm ET

Denver Broncos RB LeVante Bellamy, TE Troy Fumagalli, DB Alijah Holder and LB Josh Watson were made protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Kyle Lauletta Dec 1 6:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns OT Michael Dunn, QB Kyle Lauletta, PK Matthew McCrane and OT Alex Taylor were designated as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Joe Webb Dec 1 6:13pm ET

Free-agent WR Joe Webb (Lions) is visiting the New York Giants Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Bray Dec 1 6:13pm ET

Chicago Bears QB Tyler Bray was designated as a protected practice squad player for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Hogan Dec 1 6:13pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals QB Kevin Hogan, WR Stanley Morgan, RB Jacques Patrick and TE Mitchell Wilcox were named as protected practice squad players for Week 13 Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Darron Lee Dec 1 6:03pm ET

Buffalo Bills DE Bryan Cox Jr., C Jordan Devey, C Jonotthan Harrison and LB Darron Lee were chosen as protected practice squad players for Week 13 on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Dec 1 5:53pm ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller and CB Bradley Roby were officially placed on the Reserve/Suspended list Tuesday, Dec. 1. The Texans also activated DT Andrew Brown from the Exempt/Commissioner Permission list.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Foster Dec 1 5:53pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Seth DeValve, DE Michael Dogbe, RB D.J. Foster and WR A.J. Richardson were chosen as protected practice squad players for Week 13 on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

From TheHuddle