Welcome to The Gauntlet. We are going to break down each and every game to find our NFL DFS Week 11 top plays on what is considered the main slate on DraftKings and Fanduel. This consists of the games only on Sundays. If you are playing other slates, such as the primetime slates, be sure to check out our other DFS content for plays in those games. In this breakdown, we are going to dive deeply into each matchup which is why we are going to stick to just the main slate of games. The numbers in parenthesis are the Vegas implied totals for each team. All of the stats in this breakdown are from Football Outsiders, while all of the player grades are from Pro Football Focus. Let’s get to it…
NFL DFS Week 11 Top Plays
Ravens (20) at Packers (18) Total 38
The Packers offense is absolutely ravaged by injuries. Jones went down last week and Montgomery is questionable this week too. If both guys miss, Williams will be thrust into a workhorse role. Not only that, but Hundley is dealing with an injury himself and is listed as questionable. This offense is going to be awful this week. Fire up the Ravens D.
On the Ravens side, the pass O is in a great spot, but they too have been in shambles this year. I don’t mind Maclin or Watson this week however as both guys have been seeing close to 10 targets on a weekly basis and their prices are dirt cheap. I wouldn’t load up on all of these guys in a tourney because the Ravens won’t explode to win you a tourney, but you can definitely play one of them.
Top Plays: Maclin, Watson, Ravens D
Cardinals at Texans
At the time of writing this, there is no game total. However, I expect this to be one of the lowest totals of the slate with Blaine Gabbert and Tom Savage controlling the two teams. Gabbert should look to high-efficiency throws which is good for Fitz, but he is priced too high for me. There are other guys I prefer to pay up for.
Hopkins target share is too high to ignore, however, I rarely play #1 WRs against Pat Peterson as he is one of the elite corners and shadows the top receiver. The Texans reports say they want to get Ellington more involved on offense and the Cardinals D outside of Peterson has gotten thrashed. Without Will Fuller available, Ellington makes an awesome tourney play.
Top Plays: Texans D, Ellington
Bucs (20) at Dolphins (20) Total 40
Anyone who just watched Cam Newton of all people just absolutely thrash this defense knows how bad Miami has been all year. I don’t feel good about recommending Fitzpatrick this week, but he makes sense. Instead, I will most likely get my exposure here with Mike Evans. He is underpriced for his TD upside. Fitzpatrick, in New York, was known for feeding Brandon Marshall early and often and I expect Evans to get the Marshall treatment here. Fire up some Mike Evans. Brate is also in a great spot as Miami can’t cover TEs at all. They are almost as bad as the Giants. If you want to play both of these guys, then just go ahead and pair them with Fitzpatrick. Otherwise, just choose one of the two.
On the other side, Landry and Parker continue to see double-digit targets a game. Both guys are similarly priced and are firmly in play here as their run game is non-existent.
Top Plays: Fitzpatrick, Evans, Brate, Landry, Parker
Redskins (21.75) at Saints (29.25) Total 51
This Skins team just can’t escape injuries. They are already without Reed and Pryor this week against a Saints D had that has been very very good. While a defense has been good, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in a PPR site with a team playing from behind. The two guys I want here are Chris Thompson and Vernon Davis. Doctson likely gets the Lattimore treatment by default of him being the only healthy outside receiver. I want zero part of that. Instead, give me the safety blankets who Cousins will continuously check down to. Thompson is my favorite of the two, as he is not touchdown reliant to reach value here. He could realistically catch 7 passes in this one. I do love the Saints D here also.
On the Saints side of the ball, just continue to load up on the run game here. While people are going to be scared off from the DvP the Skins currently own, the Skins are 30th in terms of adjusted line yards. They are getting absolutely dominated in the trenches. The good RBs that they have faced, Gurley, Zeke, Hunt, and Hyde all torched them in terms of fantasy points. I say fantasy points because they allowed a ton of the production to come from those guys through the air, which is exactly what Ingram and Kamara can do. This running back tandem has been insanely good, and nothing is going to stop that tomorrow. Michael Thomas is also in play as he has one of the safest floors in the NFL. Norman doesn’t really scare me if he shadows him.
Top Plays: Thompson, Saints D, Ingram, Kamara
Jaguars (22.25) at Browns (14.75) Total 37
Usually, I don’t let weather change my opinion on games unless it is pretty significant. Tomorrow in Cleveland, we have some pretty significant weather. Sustained winds around 20 mph with gusts up to 40 and snow showers. This makes an already ugly football game even uglier. If you are searching for value this week, I am going to recommend a cheap defense here: Cleveland Browns. Yes, you read that right. The Browns have scored negative DK points ZERO times. ZERO. Even with all of the points, they are allowing on the scoreboard, they are still producing fantasy events such as sacks, fumbles, interceptions. In a gross weather game, in which Bortles may be forced to throw some to move the ball? Sign me up for a free price tag. I say Bortles may be forced to throw because these Browns run D is elite, as they are 2nd best in terms of adjusted line yards at 2.98 which is absurd. Fournette is banged up and may even sit this one out which would be even better. In a snow-filled game, you just need one sack fumble from Bortles not being able to hold the ball and the Browns scoop it up and take it to the house and you win all the monies.
On the Browns side, yeah no thanks either. I like the under to hit in this game. Jags D in play for the same weather and matchup reasons if you have the salary.
Top Plays: Browns D, Jags D
Lions (21.75) at Bears (18.75) Total 40.5
This is a game I think we can go back to the Marvin Jones well. Last week I explained why the scheme the offense was going to implement was not friendly to his route styles. This week though, that is a little different. Marvin Jones relies on the deep ball to reach value and that is an area where the Bears are weak as they rank 19th in DVOA against the deep ball. This is a game that doesn’t really excite me though, and I wouldn’t load up here with a low total.
On the Bears side, Jordan Howard is always in play as his volume is among the best in the league. He is more of a cash gameplay for me though, as I don’t see his ceiling here. The Lions are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to RBs, but a lot of that is through the air as they are allowing 6 catches for 50 yards per game to RBs and that is not Howard’s strength. Howard could get you 100 yards and a score here, and if that is what you are looking for from him, then, by all means, play him.
Top Plays: Howard
Rams (21.75) at Vikings (24.25) Total 46
This Rams offense is legit. I am also not sold on this Vikings defense. Last week was only their second game all year giving up more than 20 points, as they gave up 30 to the Skins, but they have only played 3 competent offenses. They held the Saints to 19 in week one, which I will throw out because the Saints offense was bad in the early going. But the Vikings gave up 26 to the Steelers and 30 to the Skins. Other than that, they have played the Ravens, Browns, Packers (without Rodgers), Bears, Lions, and Bucs. Of those, you could only make a case for the Lions being a good offense. I want to go right back to the Rams well here. The only guy I am afraid of is Robert Woods as he should see the Xavier Rhodes treatment. Rhodes is one of the best corners in the game. This means guys like Kupp, Gurley and even Watkins are in play.
On the other side of the ball, I am concerned that Keenum could get benched if he isn’t performing well. Bridgewater is healthy and they seriously considered switching to him, but they couldn’t pull the trigger after Keenum’s performance last week. So I would air on the side of caution with playing Keenum here. However, Diggs and Theilen are in play because of their floors. This isn’t the greatest matchup for them, as the Rams give up 7th fewest fantasy points to WRs, so I may be looking to fade here as they should both see inflated ownership after last week’s performances.
Top Plays: Goff, Gurley, Kupp
Chiefs (27.75) at Giants (17.25) Total 45
The human element has to be factored in here. The Giants defense does not want to play for their head coach. They are getting torched by everyone the last couple of weeks, via lack of effort leading to mental breakdowns. They just got destroyed by the 49ers and CJ Beathard for crying out loud. It is pretty self-explanatory: play the whole group here. Kelce has the best matchup of everyone if you just want one guy. He is worth every penny of his expensive price tag.
On the Giants side, Shepard is in play because of volume, but that is about it. This Giants team is a mess.
Top Plays: Smith, Hunt, Hill, Kelce
Bills (17.5) at Chargers (23.5) Total 41
The Bills are turning into the Giants slowly. They are a mess. They benched Tyrod because they have been losing games when it is the defense who can’t stop anyone. Melvin Gordon gets one of the best matchups this week as the Bills are 31st in 2nd level yards and 26th in open field yards. That is a recipe for fantasy goodness for a guy like Melvin Gordon who operates much better in space. Bills are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs, and to help Gordon out, even more, a lot of that is through receptions: 6 catches and 45 yards allowed per game. I don’t know how you don’t just play Gordon here. People may be off him because of the random Ekeler explosion last week. Don’t be one of those people. Keenan Allen also gets a great matchup here as the Bills are 21st against #1 WRs.
On the Bills side, I liked, shady a lot until the benching of Tyrod. I think this offense is going to struggle to move the ball with a rookie QB, and I want zero part of it.
Top Plays: Gordon, Allen
Patriots (31.25) at Raiders (23.75) Total 55!!
This is the game stack of the week here. After going through the other games, there is literally no other game on the slate with the floor and upside of this game. Both teams rely on the passing games to move the ball. Why does that matter? More passes mean more incompletions and fewer runs. More incompletions and fewer runs mean less time off the clock between plays. As a result, more plays are run. I think you can attack this game from every angle here. Fellow DegeNation Podcast host Eliot Crist has already mentioned that his favorite connection of the week is Brady to Cooks. I couldn’t be more on board with that. The Raiders have big corners and struggle to cover the smaller speedy receivers. On top of that, their defense is banged up. The Patriots RB situation is gross, but one guy continues to see a ton of looks and is dirt cheap and that is Rex Burkhead. You could always get screwed over by Belichick’s game plan, but he is $3600 on DK and that is too cheap to not consider. You could honestly play two teams and just play the same lineup and swap Burkhead for White as one of the two should get the majority of the passing game looks. I lean Burkhead because of recent production.
On the Raiders side, when teams play the Patriots, they try to do things they don’t normally do. This could actually work in their favor if they just for the love of God put Amari Cooper in the slot. Please. No slot corner can cover him. His 44DK point game came when he ran the most slot routes of his career. It’s outside the box to trust the Raiders to do something smart, but I am hoping they try to be different here since they are playing the Patriots. Crabtree is of course in play also, but usually, these guys don’t explode in the same game. It is usually one or the other. With that said, I am siding with Cooper in this one.
Top Plays: Brady, Burkhead, Gronk, Cooks, Cooper, Crabtree
Bengals (18) at Denver (20.5) Total 38.5
Bengals offense, bad. Denver defense, good. Keep it simple here folks.
Bengals defense, good. Denver offense, bad. Keep it simple here folks.
Top Plays: Bengals D, Denver D
Eagles (26.25) at Cowboys (21.75) Total 48
Before Zeke got suspended and Tyron Smith got hurt, I would be all over this game. Your star RB and LT are two of the most important pieces of the offense. Last week Smith’s replacement couldn’t stop a nosebleed, and I expect the Eagles to take advantage of that here. Dak is not going to have time to progress through his reads like normal and be comfortable in the pocket. This does up his rushing upside a little, but still, I would temper expectations here as they may struggle to sustain drives in this one. Darby is supposed to play this week and is one of the best man coverage corners in the NFL. Dez really struggles when covered by a good man coverage corner, so I would temper expectations for him here also. Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley are where I am looking to go here as Dallas should be playing from behind and they will be looking for quick high percentage throws to offset not having LT protection.
On the Eagles side, Wentz and Co. are the pivots off of Brady. No Sean Lee means tons of points will be scored against Dallas. They are a completely different unit without Lee on the field. The RBs are a mess, so just stick to the air attack here.
Top Plays: Dak, Williams, Beasley (wouldn’t stack them), Wentz, Jeffrey, Agholor, Ertz