No late week pivots required in last week’s lineup…but maybe there should have been. We hit on the Raiders defense at 2,500 (16 DK points) but the rest of the lineup is littered with players who put up mediocre performances in perceived smash spots.
Tua and Devante Parker got caught in a run-heavier game script than I imagined, leading to only 25 pass attempts. Tua ended up throwing for just 169 yards and two TDs with no rushing production (-1 yard). Parker’s target share stayed up, but he was only able to turn his seven targets into a 2-31-0 line.
The uber negative game script I expected for the Jags never came to fruition, leaving Tyler Eifert with a 2-15-0 line on four targets (3.5 DK points). I totally jinxed Keenan Allen’s target total as he finished under 10 for the first in a full game with Justin Herbert. A TD “saved” him but three catches for 39 yards wasn’t going to get it done (12.90 DK points).
The high upside foursome of Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Lockett finished with a low upside 49.60 points…bringing our lineup total to 101.76.
I knew the Tua play was going to be a bit of a risky one, but I feel like I flanked him with a bunch of more certain players with good floors…little did I know none of them got off the floor. It happens.
On to Week 11.
QB Joe Burrow @ Washington
Last week just wasn’t going to be his week. The combination of mother nature and the vaunted Steelers defense would have been too much for many signal callers, let alone a rookie going in as a 6.5-point underdog. Burrow had a predictably slow game, going 21 of 40 for 213 yards and just one passing TD. This week’s opponent shouldn’t offer the same resistance.
The Washington defense does have a top tier pass rush and give up the 11th fewest points per game to QBs but IF the Cincy OL can just keep from absolutely destroyed…the Football Team give up 7.4 net yards per pass attempt, 13th worst in the NFL. Washington has also given up the 8th most rushing yards to QBs this season.
Burrow will have the volume, a faster game than last week without weather concerns. I think this game could low key be a shoot out.
DraftKings salary: 5,500
RB Miles Sanders @ Cleveland
The results may not have ultimately been what we hoped last week but it was absolutely a big picture success. First off, Sanders looked like his normal smooth and explosive self. Secondly, his usage was just what we were looking for.
Boston Scott and Corey Clement both scored TDs but Sanders handled 15 of 19 running back carries and received five of six running back targets.
The Browns hover around the top 10 in most RB defensive metrics and they play mostly at a slower pace, but I like betting on Sanders’ talent at a sub 7K price. Fingers crossed he doesn’t get sniped for TDs again this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,900
RB D’Andre Swift @ Carolina
A report came out Sunday that Swift was getting the “start”…which could have meant a little or a lot…but because he had already been at the head of the RB committee since after the Lions’ bye I thought it could be noteworthy.
Turns out it was as Swift played 43 of 59 snaps and handled 16 of 21 RB carries for the Lions. Like Sanders he received five of the six RB targets. You love to see it.
With his freshly minted feature back status in hand, Swift gets a beautiful matchup versus the Panthers. Carolina has a pretty good pass defense, but they give up the 4th most DK points per game to RB’s.
They have allowed the 3rd most targets per game to the position, give up a healthy 4.8 yards per carry and have the 2nd most missed tackles in the NFL. They are really an equal opportunity sieve to the position.
Swift will be uber popular, but the opportunity is simply too good for me to fade.
DraftKings salary: 6,400
WR Tyler Boyd @ Washington
Pairing Burrow with his reliable slot receiver here. Hopefully his 6-41-0 line from last week keeps people lukewarm on Boyd, but his volume makes him a serious value at his price. Boyd hasn’t gone below six targets in a game since Week 1, including 28 in his last three games.
Washington has fared very well versus WRs due to their strong pass rush, but their secondary talent does not make this matchup prohibitive. Slot corner Jimmy Moreland has settled in lately but also gave up big games earlier in the season to lesser talents like Larry Fitzgerald and Greg Ward.
I don’t worry much about Boyd’s floor…the shootout vibes this game is giving me will have to be right in order for him to hit his ceiling though.
DraftKings salary: 5,600
WR Tee Higgins @ Washington
On the other end of the spectrum…we’ll get our ceiling with the catch point ability of Tee Higgins. Fresh off a 7-115-1 line versus a tough Steelers defense, Higgins continues to operate near the top of the totem pole for the Bengals. He played a season high 98 percent of the snaps last week and his 106 air yards were the most he’s had in a game since Week 4.
I’d imagine he’ll see plenty of Kendall Fuller, who is a quality corner but at 6’4’’ with his ability to make acrobatic catches, Higgins is open even when he’s not.
Much will be made about Justin Jefferson’s upside at his 6,000 price this week, but Higgins feels like someone who should be squarely in that conversation and is a nice price point pivot.
DraftKings salary: 5,900
WR Terry McLaurin vs. Cincinnati
I have too many Bengals not to run it back with a Washington player. THE unquestioned #1 option for this offense is McLaurin. He has 40 targets over the last four games and super productive, going for no less than 7 catches and no less than 74 receiving yards in any of them. Two of the four games came with coverage from top tier CB James Bradberry.
The matchup is a good one as the Bengals give up the 8th most points per game to wide receivers. Only the Falcons have given up more passing TDs than the Bengals.
McLaurin has worked himself into a pretty safe weekly play but factoring in matchup and the sheer amount of throws we’ve seen from Washington recently; he should be a core play this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,900
TE Logan Thomas vs. Cincinnati
The year is 2047. Carey is still playing Logan Thomas citing routes run and opportunity.
Seriously though…he’s just too cheap for the role he plays for Washington. He ran a whopping 55 routes last week. His 5.8 targets per aren’t gaudy but with the TE landscape being so rough this year it’s the type of volume we cling on to.
If that wasn’t enough…the matchup is as about good as it gets. The Bengals are 31st defending the tight ends…allowing the most targets per game to the position in the NFL.
I’ll have plenty of Logan Thomas this week as a one-off play and he makes even more sense in this game stack…may the points be plentiful in Washington this week.
DraftKings salary: 3,300
Flex Calvin Ridley @ New Orleans
Much like my reasoning with Miles Sanders last week, I like the idea of playing Ridley in a week where there may be questions about whether he’ll play or just how much he’ll play.
Ridley was questionable for last week’s game by the end of the week…which I think bodes well for his status this week.
Before his injury Ridley was having as good a season as any receiver in the league. The Saints have a talented secondary but have underachieved as a defense this season.
Even without Drew Brees I expect the Saints to put up points versus this struggling Falcons defense…forcing the offense into a negative game script they know all too well.
DraftKings salary: 7,000
Defense Broncos Def vs. Miami
We’ve had some pretty good fortune on the clearance rack lately so I’m going back to it. This one carries risk because the Broncos could be without Drew Lock this week…potentially increasing the odds they play in a negative game script, which wouldn’t bode well for our prospects…but the hope is the game stays close on at home. The Broncos 9th place adjusted sack rate on defense can get to Tua a few times and maybe they can force him into some rookie mistakes. The Dolphins offense hasn’t set the world on fire in his starts and didn’t take the expected jumps I expected statistically last week.
DraftKings salary: 2,400