Week 10 was one of the lowest scoring weeks I have ever seen since I started playing DFS, while Week 9 was one of the highest scoring weeks I’ve ever seen. This just goes to show how variant the sport of football really can be. As much as we try and predict this game, it is very much out of our control. All we can do is take the information we’re given and use that information to try and predict an inherently unpredictable game. Week 10 is looking like a “pay down” at running back and quarterback week, so we can roster Rob Gronkowski and/or delve into the mid-to-high tier of wide receivers. There’s a few different ways to go, but with the Patriots losing Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, Gronk looks very appealing with 37 percent of the teams’ market share up for grabs, including Edelman’s team-high 16 percent red zone market share among pass-catchers. Now, let’s get to Week 11!
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Derek Carr ($7,800): Like I mentioned above, Week 11 is looking like I am paying down at quarterback. Not only because I want to fit in Gronk, but also because there really aren’t any other matchups for the top-tier quarterbacks that I feel like I need to exploit. Each week in DFS is like a puzzle we’re trying to solve and deciding what you’re going to do at quarterback is just the first piece. The Lions and Raiders game is tied for the highest total of the week at 48 points and the Raiders have an implied team total of 25 points, slightly above the league average. The matchup against Detroit shouldn’t give Carr much trouble as they rank 28th in pass DVOA and rank 31st against quarterbacks in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed. Aside from the Lions having a poor defense, Derek Carr has been one of the more efficient quarterbacks, averaging .54 fantasy points per dropback, sixth-best in the league, per PFF. The Raiders are a pass-heavy team, throwing the ball on 63 percent of their plays, including 85 percent of their touchdowns inside the red zone via the pass. This game should set up well for Carr at a modest price tag.
Matthew Stafford ($7,000): I like Matthew Stafford for almost the same reasons that I like Carr. At a price tag of $7,000, Stafford only needs 14 fantasy points to hit 2x value, which is what we’re looking for in our cash games on FanDuel. 200 yards and two touchdown passes is already 16 points, and we’d be quite thrilled with that investment. The Raiders have been struggling on defense lately and teams are passing on them a lot more than they are running against them. Opponents have run against Oakland just 222 times (eighth-fewest) and passed against them 383 times (third-highest) and they’re giving up 5.9 yards per play, seventh-worst. Much like Carr, Stafford and the Lions have thrown the ball on 68 percent of their offensive plays, and scored 89 percent of their red zone touchdowns via the pass. The pass volume is encouraging and the matchup sets up similar to when they played Chicago at home, when Stafford had his best game of the season. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this game turn into a shootout.
Charcandrick West ($7,100): I am shocked that Charcandrick West is priced this low in a dream matchup on paper. The Chargers rank 32nd in rush DVOA and 31st in pass DVOA against running backs and they also rank 32nd in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs. For a running back that is playing over 82 percent of the snaps the last three weeks and receiving 20 or more touches in as many games, West’s price hasn’t quite caught up to his production. He’s a dual threat as he’s seen 16 targets in the passing game in that same three-week span and has scored 19.9 FanDuel points or more since Week 7. I imagine the Chiefs keep feeding Charcnado in this supreme matchup against one of the worst run defenses in the league. All the stars have aligned for this one.
Darren McFadden ($6,800): I am quite thrilled that Tony Romo will be back at the helm for this game because it can only help Darren McFadden. DMC struggled last week against a tough Tampa Bay run defense and his priced decreased $200 because of it. With Romo back and a great matchup, I think this game sets up well for DMC. Miami ranks 21st in rush DVOA and 24th in pass DVOA against running backs, McFadden has 16 targets in the passing game since getting full-time work in Week 7. We love volume in our running backs and DMC provides just that, averaging 26 touches in the last four weeks. Running behind an elite offensive line with a floor of 20 touches against a Miami team that ranks 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs, DMC shouldn’t have much of an issue paying off his price tag.
Dez Bryant ($8,400): Currently, Dez Bryant is the only top-tier wide receiver that I am looking to pay up for in cash games. DeAndre Hopkins is in a poor situation against the Jets and is $500 more than Dez and I don’t see a reason to pay $9,100 for Julio Jones. Dez is underpriced for his skillset and the return of Romo should provide a nice boost for one of the best red zone scorers in the league. Dez’s snap counts the last three weeks: 81 percent, 81 percent and 93 percent. It would appear that he’s close to full health. The Dolphins rank 26th in pass DVOA and 32nd in pass DVOA against opposing team’s No. 1 wide receivers, PFF also grades Miami as the sixth-worst team in pass coverage. Romo has a 10.1 AYA when throwing to Bryant and at this point I’m less worried about Bryant’s injury and I’m hoping Romo doesn’t show much rust after missing seven games. I don’t have an issue playing DMC and Dez together in cash games because the negative correlation is very minor and DMC is cheap enough where it’s not that huge of an issue. Looking at the RotoViz Correlation Matrix, RB1 and WR1 have a correlation of -.07, which is almost nothing, and barely worth mentioning, but it goes to show, in certain situations playing a RB1 and WR1 in the same lineup isn’t total –EV.
Danny Amendola ($6,100): With injuries to Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman the Patriots are going to have to give some extra run to somebody in the WR corps, and I think Danny Amendola makes the most sense. Their absence leaves 37 percent of the team’s market share up for grabs, including Edelman’s team-high 16 percent red zone market share among pass catchers. Amendola looked to be one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets once Edelman left the game on Sunday. I think a realistic expectation for Amendola is to play about 70 percent of the snaps and receive six-to-10 targets. Danny will have the best matchup in the slot among New England wide receivers, as he’ll be running against Nickell Robey. Per PFF, quarterbacks have a QB rating of 112.6 when throwing Roby’s direction. At $6,100 we don’t need Amendola to have a monster game, he won’t provide us with any game winning scores, but the allure of rostering him is that he allows us to roster players that can produce game-winning weeks for our DFS teams.
Rob Gronkowski ($8,400): This is one of the grossest weeks I have ever seen for the tight end position. By process of elimination and the injury to Edelman, I fully plan on rostering Rob Gronkowski for all my cash teams in Week 11. Like I mentioned in the Amendola section, Edelman leads Patriots pass-catchers in red zone market share and I think the majority of that will head Gronk’s way. The matchup against Buffalo isn’t appealing as they rank 8th in pass DVOA against tight ends. However, the majority of the teams they have played don’t really utilize their tight end all that often and Gronk has historically done well against Buffalo, averaging 82 yards, 5.5 receptions, 1.25 touchdowns and 18.45 fantasy points in eight career games. People may be scared off by the matchup, but Gronk is as matchup-proof as it comes and I think their 2015 stats against tight ends are misleading.
Travis Kelce ($5,700): If I roster anyone outside of Gronk, which is highly unlikely for me, personally. The way roster construction is playing out, I’ll take a look at Travis Kelce. His usage is a little higher than I expected it to be. His market share has crept up to 21 percent of the market share or targets (63 targets), just three targets behind Jeremy Maclin. Kelce also leads pass-catchers on the Chiefs with 12 percent of the red zone market share, per Daily Roto. The Chargers rank 25th against tight ends in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed and 28th in pass DVOA against the tight end position. Kelce has six or more targets in eight of their nine games and has run the fourth-most routes (301) in the league and he’s being targeted on 20.6 percent of his routes run, per PFF.