For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. Footballguys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to consider the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE PANTHERS? As of the writing of this article, Steve Buzzard's ownership projections show the entire Panthers offense as the most highly-owned set of players on the Week #11 slate. Kyle Allen is projected as the second most-owned quarterback, Christian McCaffrey is the third most-owned running back, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are the first and seventh most-owned wide receivers, and Greg Olsen is the most popular tight end amongst the masses. This is the direct result of DraftKings pricing that team too low for their expected output, but how do you approach their players from a game strategy perspective? In short, I plan to fade the majority of the team to varying degrees. Of the players mentioned, Kyle Allen is my favorite option and I will be slightly underweight on the field (ditto for D.J. Moore), but I think that Greg Olsen is 'bad chalk' at the tight end position and Curtis Samuel's ownership is probably too inflated, as well. Regarding Christian McCaffrey, the plan is to go about half (or less) of the field, in terms of ownership, because his $10.5K salary and 30+% ownership create issues around lineup construction that make it difficult to win tournaments. Ordinarily, I would urge you to leverage lower-owned players on the same team, but there are none to consider (!!), so the strategy here is to hope that the Panthers either underperform or that they spread scoring out amongst several players: If they score 9 points against Atlanta (as New Orleans did a week ago), you will be ahead of 25-35% of the field...likewise, if Jarius Wright scores a touchdown and several drives stall inside the redzone, where possible touchdowns are converted to field goals, you will be in good shape having faded this team. It is not a guaranteed strategy, but it is the one that I will employ on Sunday afternoon.
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|Warren Moon||@CAR||$6,400||11%||Yes||««««||4 stars = Best GPP selections.|
|Joe Montana||KC||$8,000||18%||-||«««||3 stars = Better GPP selections.|
|Dan Marino||NYG||$4,400||3%||Yes||««||2 stars = Good GPP selections.|
|Jim Kelly||@OAK||$5,100||7%||-||«||1 star = Average GPP selections.|
A new year brings a new format. In an effort to condense and enhance the value of the article, the text of Tips and Picks will be less than in years' past, but the upside is that you will now gain access to my full GPP player pool for DraftKings each and every week! For each position, I will provide Footballguys' subscribers with every player that I consider to be viable for cash games, while providing a ranking for every player that I will be drafting in my tournament lineups. The above table is an example of what you will see in the "Picks" section of this article. See below for some important bullet points regarding the new format:
- The "CROWD EXPOSURE" column is based on Steve Buzzard's Ownership Projections each week.
- The "CASH VIABLE?" column reveals to the reader which players can be considered for cash games (50/50's, double-ups, and head-to-head contests).
- The "GPP STARS" column rates players according to how I rank them in my large-field GPP contests each week:
- 4 stars: The players in which I will be most overweight on the public (indicated in the 'Crowd Exposure' column); these are my most confident plays.
- 3 stars: The players in which I like more than the public (indicated in the 'Crowd Exposure' column); these are plays that I feel strongly could deliver.
- 2 stars: The players in which I will be close to the public (indicated in the 'Crowd Exposure' column); these players reflect those that I think the public percentages are most accurate.
- 1 star: The players in which I will be exposed at rates lower than the public (indicated in the 'Crowd Exposure' column) OR at rates generally lower than 5% overall; these are players who merit consideration in your overall approach, but will be limited in my player pool due to game strategy reasons.
- If you have any questions on the new format, please email me at email@example.com.
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. A short summary follows each respective table to fill in the gaps that led to the respective recommendations; that text represents only an overview of the methodology and rationale that goes into each recommendation.
QUARTERBACK QUICK TAKES:
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|Jameis Winston||NO||$6,500||5%||-||««««||Major bump with Lattimore injury. Plus gamescript.|
|Tom Brady||@PHL||$6,400||3%||-||««««||Has the receiving weapons to dice Eagles' pass funnel D.|
|Ryan Finley||@OAK||$5,000||4%||-||«««||Pass gamescript + porous OAK secondary = 3 stars.|
|Matt Ryan||@CAR||$6,200||9%||Yes||«««||Panthers secondary is banged up. Potential shootout.|
|Carson Wentz||NE||$5,400||2%||-||«««||Price and ownership are driving this ranking. TE stacks.|
|Jeff Driskel||DAL||$4,600||3%||Yes||«««||Salary merits attention. Speed helps with rush yardage.|
|Drew Brees||@TB||$6,900||9%||-||«««||Expect him to bounce back vs. 27th DVOA pass defense.|
|Derek Carr||CIN||$6,100||9%||-||««||Only deterrent is rush-heavy attack, but has 4x upside.|
|Kyler Murray||@SF||$6,100||1%||-||««||SF D is banged up. Picking a stack partner is tough.|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||ARZ||$6,700||2%||-||««||Price keeps ownership down, but matchup is superb.|
|Kyle Allen||ATL||$5,300||12%||Yes||«||Finally getting rightful ownership. CMC lurks, however.|
|Josh Allen||@MIA||$6,600||7%||-||«||Love the matchup; hate the price. John Brown stacks.|
|Dak Prescott||@DET||$6,700||8%||-||«||Had him higher until assessing DAL WR exposure.|
|Lamar Jackson||HOU||$7,700||12%||-||«||Priced too high. Minimal stack options for GPPs. Fade.|
CASH: The recommendation is to save salary for your cash game lineups at the quarterback position this week. Sure, you can roll with Lamar Jackson at $7.7K and feel good about collecting 20+ points, but the opportunity cost associated with that salary is too much given the relative lack of value at other positions. Instead, Matt Ryan should return to form this week against the Panthers. Last week, Ryan's numbers suffered because his defense woke up from a year-long slumber and actually held the Saints to less than 10 points; as a result, Ryan rarely needed to throw the ball to put points on the board and he finished with his first sub-300 yard game of the season (in non-injury games). He will face off against the Panthers' 3rd-ranked DVOA pass defense led by James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell, both of whom rank in the top 20 of coverage cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus; however, Cockrell (quad) will miss this game entirely and Bradberry continues to nurse a groin injury heading into Sunday. With a Vegas game total of nearly 50 points, it would appear that Matt Ryan is fairly priced with a barrage of receiving weapons at only $6.2K. In that same game, Kyle Allen is an intriguing salary-saving option at only $5.3K. In three of his previous four games, Allen has delivered 3x value on that salary and looks primed to do it again versus the Falcons' 31st-ranked DVOA pass defense that has looked absent all season except for last week's surprise wake-up call in New Orleans. I am writing that performance off as an outlier and gladly slotting Kyle Allen into cash game lineups where salary is limiting. Lastly, it may not be an easy click, but Jeff Driskel is another cash game option at home against the Cowboys. In his first start last week, Driskel was serviceable against the Bears, finishing the afternoon with a shade more than 20 DK points. Driskel has underrated 4.5-second 40-yard dash speed, which translated into nearly 40 yards rushing last week. We should not be intimidated by the matchup, either, as the 5-4 Cowboys have beaten only one team with a winning record this season.
GPP: With 300+ passing yards in 6 of his previous 7 games, Jameis Winston jumps off the page as a 4-star GPP play in Week #11. Winston, like Matt Ryan, has been the beneficiary of a poor defense that has forced him to throw throughout the majority of his games this season. Winston faces a decent Saints defense at home, but New Orleans will be without Marshawn Lattimore, who continues to be one of the better defensive backs in the game, leaving lesser-talented players to contend with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. To be fair, both P.J. Williams and Eli Apple rate higher in coverage this season than Lattimore, but they always see the WR2 and slot receivers in coverage; we should expect them to struggle with this stellar Buccaneer wide receiving corps on Sunday. Elsewhere, there are a couple of pass-funnel defenses that could be targeted across the main slate: In Philadelphia, a rested Tom Brady comes to town and brings with him a complete set of receivers for the first time in ages; with an extra week to learn the playbook, Mohamed Sanu's role will continue to evolve, while the addition of N'Keal Harry adds some intrigue to increased packages from an already unpredictable offense. Moving west, Ryan Finley will largely be ignored by the DFS community, but he faces an Oakland secondary that allows the third-most fantasy points to his position in a game that projects him to throw the ball often; both Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate are high-volume stacking options whose athleticism can potentially compensate for any mistakes made by Finley along the way.
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|Marlon Mack||JAX||$6,400||2%||-||««««||If his ownership stays this low, it's a mistake.|
|Ty Johnson||DAL||$3,800||1%||-||««««||Assuming he is active, he is a solid GPP value.|
|Ezekiel Elliott||@DET||$9,000||10%||-||««««||Best high-dollar GPP RB on the slate. Details in text.|
|Carlos Hyde||@BAL||$4,600||4%||-||«««||Nearly 20+ touches in 4 of last 5 games. Good spot.|
|Kenyan Drake||@SF||$5,400||1%||-||«««||SF defense losing key people. Absorbing RB1 role.|
|Josh Jacobs||CIN||$6,900||29%||Yes||«««||Smash spot vs. Cinci. Beat your opponents elsewhere.|
|Alvin Kamara||@TB||$7,400||22%||Yes||«««||Cheapest price for Kamara in years. Gladly overweight.|
|Leonard Fournette||@IND||$7,900||14%||-||«««||Still getting all the looks. TD regression is coming.|
|Devin Singletary||@MIA||$6,000||8%||-||«««||Slowed in last, but winning gamescript helps prospects.|
|Mark Ingram II||HOU||$6,600||4%||-||««||Low ownership & high team total make him GPP-viable.|
|Tevin Coleman||ARZ||$6,100||13%||-||««||No Breida should help floor/ceiling numbers vs. bad D.|
|Adrian Peterson||NYJ||$4,500||2%||-||««||Short home fave, but Guice will be active this week.|
|James White||@PHL||$5,400||3%||-||««||Sanu's role could hurt him, but cannot ignore him here.|
|Kalen Ballage||BUF||$4,300||15%||Yes||««||So inefficient, but coming off a 24-touch game.|
|Ronald Jones II||NO||$5,200||4%||-||«||Going overlooked due to TB passing game. Leverage.|
|Miles Sanders||NE||$4,100||3%||-||«||Suspect will be more involved moving forward.|
|Raheem Mostert||ARZ||$3,400||1%||-||«||Should absorb some of Breida's workload. Redzone guy.|
|Sony Michel||@PHL||$4,900||2%||-||«||Tough spot vs. 8th DVOA rush defense. Hard pass.|
|Joe Mixon||@OAK||$5,500||5%||-||«||ZERO rushing touchdowns this season. Poor gamescript.|
|Le'Veon Bell||@WAS||$7,200||8%||-||«||Has yet to achieve 100-yard bonus on DK in 2019.|
|Dalvin Cook||DEN||$8,900||26%||-||«||Great spot, but Mattison's redzone usage is concerning.|
|Brian Hill||@CAR||$4,800||32%||Yes||«||Cash game lock; ownership is creeping too high for GPPs.|
|Christian McCaffrey||ATL||$10,500||31%||Yes||«||Will fade every week at this price & ownership.|
RUNNING BACK RUNDOWN:
CASH: Barring anything unforeseen, you will continue to see Christian McCaffrey as a cash game option for the remainder of the season in this space. CMC is averaging 3x this week's (crazy-high) $10.5K salary and needs no justification beyond that to get him into your cash game lineups; Atlanta has been above-average defending against opposing running backs, but McCaffrey is matchup-proof, having scored less than 10 points only one time this season. Just beneath the clouds of CMC's salary, you could consider both Josh Jacobs and Alvin Kamara for cash games this weekend. Jacobs arguably has the softest matchup on the entire slate as a 10-point home favorite against the Bengals' 29th-ranked DVOA rush defense; we know that Jon Grudin loves to ground-and-pound when ahead, so seeing Jacobs finish with 24+ touches, 100 yards, and a score against the Bengals would not be surprising. In Tampa Bay, Alvin Kamara will make his second appearance after returning from injury; in his first game back last week against Atlanta, Kamara returned to his normal workload (~ 80% of snaps) and pulled in 8 catches on 10 targets in a game that saw the Saints unable to do anything on offense. Against Tampa Bay's turnstile defense, however, we can expect Kamara and the rest of the Saints offense to return to normal. Wrapping up cash game options are a pair of cheap plays in Brian Hill ($4.8K) and Kalen Ballage ($4.3K). Hill will be in 75% of cash lineups and should be in yours, too. With Ito Smith (IR; neck) and Devonta Freeman (foot) both sidelined, Hill will have the backfield largely to himself against the Panthers last-ranked DVOA rush defense. Hill is a big fella at 6'1" and 220+ pounds, which should keep him in the game for most of the Falcons' redzone opportunities, as well. Ballage is a hard-sell after averaging only 2.1 yards per carry across 51 attempts this season, but we cannot ignore his implied volume and matchup against the Bills in Miami; Buffalo has a reverse-funnel defense that forces opponents to move the ball via the ground and they tend to be successful in doing so, as evidenced by their 27th-ranked DVOA rush defense. In last week's start against the Colts, Ballage certainly did not create any plays, but he did touch the ball 24 times, which is something we rarely see for a player at his price point.
GPP: After starting the week on our Ownership Projections at 2%, Marlon Mack has crept up to 3.3% on the most recent update of the industry's most accurate projections. If Mack rolls into Sunday on less than 10% of GPP lineups, it will have been one of the biggest edges for readers of this column on the Week #11 slate. Mack has not surpassed 100 rushing yards in over a month, but his volume has stayed steady with 20 or more touches in every game since the Colts' Week #6 bye. With Jacoby Brissett returning, we should expect this entire offense to get a facelift and Mack should be the biggest beneficiary as the bellcow running back at home against the Jags' 24th-ranked DVOA defensive rush unit. In Detroit, please do not overlook Ezekiel Elliott for tournament purposes. Elliott put up back-to-back-to-back 100+ yard games before last week's primetime clunker against the Vikings, which appears to be affecting his ownership, as he is currently on only ~13% of GPP rosters. Lest we forget that the Lions have been throttled by opposing running backs for most of the year and enter Week #11 as the league's friendliest defense to the position. Finally, as deep GPP flyers, give some consideration to Kenyan Drake and/or Carlos Hyde. Drake will be on less than 1% of rosters because of his on-paper matchup against the 49ers, but San Francisco has 30-, 31-, and 19-fantasy points to opposing RB1s over the past 3 weeks, one of which was against Kenyan Drake, himself. The Niners have been dealing with a slew of injuries to key defensive players (Kwon Alexander, Ronald Blair III, D.J. Jones) which may be contributing to this reversal of early-season form. As for Carlos Hyde, rostering him against the Ravens feels like a stretch, but if the Ravens have a defensive weakness, it is defending the run, as evidenced by their 28th-ranked DVOA rush defense (versus 8th-ranked DVOA pass defense). Hyde is rarely used as a receiver, but makes up for in volume what he lacks as a receiver, having averaged over 20 touches per game for his previous 5 games.
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|Tyler Boyd||@OAK||$5,200||14%||-||««««||90 targets on season, but only 1 TD. Regression coming.|
|Tre'Quan Smith||@TB||$3,800||1%||-||««««||Speedster going overlooked by masses. Snaps are there.|
|Russell Gage||@CAR||$3,300||10%||Yes||««««||Looked solid in debut replacing Sanu (<--that rhymes!).|
|Chris Godwin||NO||$7,300||9%||-||««««||Should get rookie DB in coverage. Slam-dunk spot.|
|Michael Gallup||@DET||$6,500||3%||-||«««||Priced a bit high, but avoids Slay and low-owned.|
|Mike Evans||NO||$7,400||14%||-||«««||Eli Apple < Marshon Lattimore. Fairly priced.|
|Amari Cooper||@DET||$7,700||8%||-||«««||Will be fun to watch him face off against Slay.|
|Mohamed Sanu||@PHL||$5,100||8%||-||«««||14 targets in last game. 2 more weeks to learn playbook.|
|John Brown||@MIA||$6,400||7%||-||«««||Has 2-score upside in plus matchup at fair ownership.|
|Auden Tate||@OAK||$4,200||7%||Yes||«««||6'5" receiver is averaging 9+ targets over last month.|
|Kenny Golladay||DAL||$6,700||6%||-||«««||Scored in 3 straight. Questions pervade DET backfield.|
|Kenny Stills||@BAL||$4,600||1%||-||«««||Tough matchup, but can deliver 4x value on one play.|
|Isaiah McKenzie||@MIA||$3,000||1%||-||«««||Speedy gadget guy presents matchup problems for MIA.|
|Tyrell Williams||CIN||$5,400||15%||-||«««||Has size and speed advantage over B.W. Webb in coverage.|
|Jamison Crowder||@WAS||$5,700||2%||-||««||Revenge narrative in play? Will take a few stabs.|
|Julian Edelman||@PHL||$7,600||7%||-||««||Hurting going into bye. Should finally be 100% here.|
|Phillip Dorsett||@PHL||$4,200||4%||-||««||Only concern is N'Keal eating into his playing time.|
|Julio Jones||@CAR||$7,500||19%||-||««||Just how healthy is his shadow-man, Bradberry?|
|Will Fuller V||@BAL||$5,800||1%||-||««||*Declared OUT on Saturday evening.*|
|Zach Pascal||JAX||$5,800||1%||-||««||Probably too expensive, but Brissett's return helps.|
|Andy Isabella||@SF||$3,500||1%||-||««||Seeing more snaps of late. Presents matchup problems.|
|Breshad Perriman||NO||$3,200||1%||-||««||Leverage play away from high ownership of Evans/Godwin.|
|Kendrick Bourne||ARZ||$3,000||1%||-||««||If Manny Sanders is out, Bourne is a bargin at $3K.|
|Marvin Jones Jr||DAL||$5,900||2%||-||««||Always the forgotten man despite multi-TD upside.|
|Ted Ginn Jr||TB||$4,100||2%||-||««||If anything can remedy his funk, it's the TB secondary.|
|Calvin Ridley||@CAR||$5,500||11%||-||««||Gets reprieve with Cockrell out. Fairly priced.|
|Michael Thomas||NO||$9,900||15%||Yes||««||Arguably a 3-star GPP play, but $10K for WR is no joke.|
|Christian Kirk||@SF||$5,700||3%||-||«||Matchups matter, but 3% is probably too low for usage.|
|Demaryius Thomas||@WAS||$3,900||3%||Yes||«||Limited ceiling, but continues to get solid usage in NY.|
|Danny Amendola||DAL||$4,200||1%||-||«||A few shares to cover the possibility of a shootout.|
|Allen Hurns||BUF||$3,200||2%||-||«||Nearly 100% of snaps last week. Tough matchup though.|
|Marquise Brown||HOU||$5,600||9%||-||«||Limited snap counts since returning from injury.|
|Courtland Sutton||@MIN||$6,000||3%||-||«||Borderline cash-viable. Upside hurt by QB situation.|
|Hunter Renfrow||CIN||$4,000||8%||-||«||Heavy usage merits consideration in plus matchup.|
|Dede Westbrook||@IND||$4,500||7%||-||«||Returns from injury. Indy zone D limits big plays.|
|Larry Fitzgerald||@SF||$5,000||1%||-||«||Size advantage over K'Waun, but age is showing.|
|Marcus Johnson||JAX||$3,100||1%||-||«||Next man up in Indy. GPP differentiator.|
|Nelson Agholor||NE||$4,000||2%||-||«||Absorbs WR1 role with Jeffery declared out.|
|Stefon Diggs||DEN||$6,900||8%||-||«||Struggling w/out Thielen. Harris shadow doesn't help.|
|Terry McLaurin||NYJ||$5,600||7%||-||«||Big-play potential, but can Gaskins get it to him?|
|Cole Beasley||@MIA||$4,700||7%||-||«||Price is creeping up, but matchup is appealing.|
|DeAndre Hopkins||@BAL||$8,100||10%||-||«||Ravens secondary is an avoid-situation. Soft fade.|
|Curtis Samuel||ATL||$5,300||19%||-||«||Ownership is likely too high. See "Tips" sections.|
|Deebo Samuel||ARZ||$4,000||17%||Yes||«||Downgrade from cash if Manny Sanders is active.|
|D.J. Moore||ATL||$5,900||24%||Yes||«||Ownership is likely too high. See "Tips" sections.|
WIDE RECEIVER WALK-THROUGH:
CASH: Multiple cash game options exist at the wide receiver position this week, but there is only one high-dollar consideration: Michael Thomas. At $9.9K, Thomas will siphon 20% of your salary, but he has 89+ yards in all-but-one game this season and gets a plush matchup against a Buccaneers secondary that allows a league-high 47.8 DK points per week to his position. In the middle-tier of pricing, D.J. Moore will be a crowd favorite based on his 40 targets over the past month and coming off back-to-back 100-yard games; at $5.9K, he is moderately underpriced and merits consideration for all game formats. Scrolling further down the salary scale, a variety of cash game options are available to help you slot in expensive players elsewhere, including Auden Tate ($4.2K), Deebo Samuel ($4.0K), and Russell Gage ($3.3K). Tate is reveling in A.J. Green's misery, as the 6'5" wide receiver has nearly 40 targets over the past month and has a 3-to-1 edge inside the redzone compared to any other Bengal wide receiver. His matchup against the Raiders' 29th-ranked DVOA pass defense is superb, not to mention the implied pass-heavy gamescript. Deebo is relevant after an Emmanuel Sanders rib injury on Monday night that resulted in a season-high 11 targets for the rookie. If Sanders misses on Sunday (currently a game-time decision), Samuel is an excellent cash play at only $4.0K. Lastly, Russell Gage is priced about $1K too cheap for his involvement in the league's most pass-oriented offense. We should expect to see him to evolve in the Mohamed Sanu role as he picks up more of the Falcons' playbook each week.
GPP: Ryan Finley was thrown to the wolves last week when he made his NFL debut against (arguably) the league's best secondary, the Baltimore Ravens--he finished with a pedestrian 167 passing yards, a touchdown, and a pair of turnovers (fumble and interception each). Based on that performance, the masses are keen to ignore Finley and the entire Bengals offense on Sunday when they face the Raiders in Oakland, which could be a mistake. Oakland fields a pass-funnel defense that has yielded either a 100-yard receiver and/or a 2-touchdown receiver in 67% of their games this season, boding well for both Tyler Boyd and the aforementioned Auden Tate. With Joe Mixon doing next-to-nothing out of the backfield for the entirety of this season, look for this receiving corps to pick up the slack on Sunday afternoon. In Tampa Bay, look to stack players from that game in whatever way possible, but be sure to include the ancillary receivers to help with lineup differentiation; of the options, Tre'Quan Smith and Breshad Perriman both stand out at sub-5% ownership against the backdrop of more popular options approaching 20%. In Philadelphia, do not sleep on Mohamed Sanu coming off a 14-target game prior to the Patriots' bye week; Sanu has had an additional pair of weeks to learn the Patriots' playbook and it would not surprise me at all if Bill Belichick used Sanu's unique ability to throw the ball in a designed "Philly Special" play in this rematch of Super Bowl LII.
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|T.J. Hockenson||DAL||$3,600||1%||-||««««||Missed several TDs due to poor passes of late.|
|O.J. Howard||NO||$3,600||3%||-||««««||7 targets and 99% of snaps in last week's return.|
|Jared Cook||@TB||$4,400||8%||-||««««||Soft matchup vs. TE-friendly D. 10 targets in last.|
|Dallas Goedert||NE||$3,200||3%||Yes||«««||Gets a bump due to Jeffery injury. Lots of 12 sets.|
|Ross Dwelley||ARZ||$3,400||2%||-||«««||He's no Kittle, but getting opportunity. Great matchup.|
|Mark Andrews||HOU||$6,100||7%||-||«««||Super-efficient lately. Limited routes, but scoring TDs.|
|Nick Boyle||HOU||$2,700||3%||-||«««||The better GPP TE play in Baltimore. Cheap w/TD upside.|
|Zach Ertz||NE||$5,000||9%||-||«««||Will get Patrick Chung treatment. Prefer Goedert.|
|Ryan Griffin||@WAS||$2,900||1%||-||««||Returns as TE1 after Herndon goes on IR.|
|Kyle Rudolph||DEN||$3,600||2%||-||««||Seeing more looks with Thielen on sidelines.|
|Eric Ebron||JAX||$3,600||10%||-||««||Extra looks after complaints. Will they feed him again?|
|Noah Fant||@MIN||$3,700||4%||-||«||MIN: Has not allowed a TD to this position all year.|
|Irv Smith||DEN||$3,100||4%||-||«||See notes on Kyle Rudolph (above).|
|Jack Doyle||JAX||$4,000||4%||-||«||Scored in back-to-back games entering Week #11.|
|Mike Gesicki||BUF||$3,500||4%||-||«||Last week's golden child is this week's afterthought.|
|Darren Waller||CIN||$5,500||23%||Yes||«||One of only a few 'quality' TEs on this slate.|
|Greg Olsen||ATL||$3,900||18%||-||«||Big game in last. Not sure if I'm buying at 20%, though.|
TIGHT END TIDBITS:
CASH: On a week where Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry are playing on Monday Night Football and George Kittle/Austin Hooper are both injured, there is not much to like at the tight end position for cash game contests. The recommendation is to either pay up for Darren Waller at $5.5K or punt the position with Dallas Goedert at $3.2K. Waller is the chalk this week because he faces the Bengals, who allow 14% more production to his position than league-adjusted opponents and because his team has the highest implied team total on the Vegas boards. Waller has been quiet of late, largely due to more talented defenses than the Bengals trying to scheme him out of play; Cincinnati does not have the athletic prowess on defense to accomplish that feat and we should see Waller return closer to his season-average production at ~ 15 DK points. That said, maybe punting the position with Dallas Goedert is the savvy move. Goedert has done well when given opportunity this season and he should see more offensive snaps on Sunday after Alshon Jeffery was declared out with a leg injury on Friday. The Patriots defend tight ends well with (former Eagle) Patrick Chung, but we should expect that attention to go to Zach Ertz, which means that Goedert could be asked to do more heavy lifting on Sunday at the Linc.
GPP: It was a surprise to see T.J. Hockenson at the top of the GPP list after entering my criteria prior to writing this article, but he continues to run sufficient routes and is in a game that I suspect will be a high-scoring affair. On only 1% of lineups, Hockenson makes for a nice differentiation point on Dallas-Detroit gamestacks that might include Dak Prescott stacks on the other side. In Tampa Bay, tight ends for both teams parallel Hockenson at the top of the GPP chart: O.J. Howard and Jared Cook are both coming off strong games that saw them receive significant playing time with quarterbacks unafraid to throw the ball in their respective directions. Cook is coming off a 10-target game and gets a plus matchup against the Bucs, who have allowed 65% more production to tight ends than league-adjusted defenses (tied for worst in the league with Arizona). Meanwhile, Howard played 99% of Tampa Bay's snaps in his return from injury last week and could give the Saints defensive backfield fits, as they stumble to compensate for losing Marshon Lattimore to injury for this contest.
|NAME||OPP.||SALARY||PROJ. %||CASH?||GPP STARS||NOTES|
|Patriots||@PHL||$3,500||4%||-||««««||Philly hobbled vs. best fantasy defense in NFL at 4%?|
|Colts||JAX||$3,200||2%||-||««««||Underrated defense against Nick Foles making return.|
|Raiders||CIN||$3,300||4%||-||«««||If Oakland D can do anything, it's in this spot.|
|Cowboys||@DET||$3,600||2%||-||«««||If you doubt Jeff Driskel, you have to roster them here.|
|Ravens||HOU||$3,000||3%||-||«««||Suspect we see Ravens take a turn toward superiority.|
|Vikings||DEN||$3,400||9%||Yes||«««||Not afraid of Brandon Allen and Denver offense in Minny.|
|Jaguars||@IND||$3,100||1%||-||««||Beyond Mack, Indy has zero offense w/out Hilton.|
|Jets||@WAS||$3,100||9%||-||««||Haskins has yet to throw a TD in the NFL (44 attempts).|
|Bills||@MIA||$3,800||8%||-||««||Susceptible to run, but can Ballage beat them?|
|Lions||DAL||$1,800||4%||-||««||Price is right for a few darts. A defensive TD does it.|
|Panthers||ATL||$3,000||4%||-||««||Solid defense when healthy. Worth a few shares at 4%.|
|Broncos||@MIN||$2,400||2%||-||«||Only shot for Denver to win is through defensive play.|
|49ers||ARZ||$4,000||7%||-||«||Banged up. Not paying the premium in this spot.|
|Saints||@TB||$2,900||10%||-||«||Like stacking this game, so will be avoiding defenses.|
|Redskins||NYJ||$2,800||11%||Yes||«||Allowing only ~16 PPG in last month.|
|Cardinals||@SF||$1,500||11%||-||«||GPP punt. Dangerous proposition vs. SF.|
TEAM DEFENSE DIGEST:
CASH: Two cash game defenses stand out this weekend: The Vikings at home against the Brandon Allen-led Broncos and/or the Redskins at home against the 2-7 New York Jets. The Vikings are the preferred option as heavy home-favorites facing Brandon Allen's offense that has only surpassed 20 points once in the past month, but they will cost an extra $600 which may not be in your budget. If a discount is necessary, roll with the Redskins' underrated defense at home against the Jets, who have scored less than 20 points in all-but-two of their games this season. Both the Broncos and Jets allow their quarterback to be sacked often (3.3 and 4.3 times per game, respectively), which adds to the allure of rostering Minnesota or Washington for cash game contests.
GPP: DraftKings' evolved model of pricing for defenses has really helped diversify lineup construction, particularly around tournament play. In the past, 50+% of GPP rosters would contain the same handful of defenses, which made for homogenously grouped lineups in many cases. Since changing to a model where the cheapest defense is half of what it was under the previous system, we are seeing DFS players take chances with cheap defenses to potentially build stronger lineups elsewhere. Given the highly volatile nature of scoring at the position, that strategy is not entirely crazy. With that in mind, the recommendation is to spread your exposure to various team defenses to maximize the likelihood of landing on one with a 5x (or more) return on investment. This week, definitely give some attention to the Patriots against the Eagles, who lost Alshon Jeffery and Darren Sproles to injury this week and will run out a hobbled Jordan Howard on Sunday. New England is averaging over 20 fantasy points per game this season, is rested off their bye, and should have a solid game plan with an extra week of prep. Other possibilities include the Colts, whose zone defense has been particularly good at containing opposing offenses for much of the year and the Ravens, whose secondary came together recently and features Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Earl Thomas, and Jimmy Smith. For what it's worth, the masses are considering rolling with the Cardinals at only $1.5K, which could pay off with injuries to Matt Breida and Emmanuel Sanders, but please understand that the Niners have the third-highest implied team total on the slate, so that strategy could backfire...loudly.