CFB DFS Week 11: Value Plays to Target

·6 min read

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The performance put on by Purdue's Aidan O'Connell in last weekend's 40-29 upset win over Michigan State resulted in 35.1 fantasy points (QB4) on DraftKings and a second-best finish in PTS/$1,000 (6.28) on the Saturday main slate. Priced at $5,600 on the weekend, O'Connell torched Michigan State all day for 536 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 74.1% of his passes.

Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry, another one of my value plays on the week, was priced at $7,200 on DraftKings and finished the day as the WR4 on the main slate with 33.9 fantasy points with six receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

My value running back on the weekend, Georgia's James Cook, struggled to get us to where we hoped he would in last weekend's 43-6 win over Missouri. Despite the blow out win over the Tigers, Cook only drew nine carries for 41 yards, but did find the end zone to finish the day with 10.1 points (RB25) on the weekend.

A clean sweep of picks is always fun, but if I can watch 2-of-3 picks enjoy big days on most weekends, I won't be disappointed.

In hopes of achieving perfection on this Week 11 of the college football DFS season, here are some players I like in this weekend's games.

Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland QB

Game: Michigan State (-13) vs. Maryland - O/U 61
DraftKings Price: $5,900

Why not try to run things back against Michigan State against this weekend? In a home game where the Spartans are favored by 13 and facing a team that ranks 12th in the nation in pass attempts (39.2), who's to say that Taulia Tagovailoa can't be Week 11's Aidan O'Connell?

Taulia Tagovailoa Fantasy Stats
Taulia Tagovailoa Fantasy Stats

Of the quarterback's on this weekend's slate, Tagovailoa ranks second in pass attempts per game (37.7) but is near the bottom of the list in fantasy points per attempt (0.5) and fantasy points per completion (0.7).

Tagovailoa's lack of efficiency isn't all that surprising, given the underwhelming streak of games he had against Iowa, Ohio State and Minnesota, where he averaged 11.5 fantasy points while throwing for 625 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Despite his inefficiencies, Tagovailoa shouldn't be a quarterback we feel like we need to fade. Remember, we didn't fade O'Connell last weekend despite his relatively inefficient output leading up to last weekend's game against Michigan State.

Tagovailoa has been relatively conservative as a passer this season, posting an average depth of target of 7.2 while completing 70.2% of his passes. The loss of wide receiver Dontay Demus, and his hot start to the season (28/507/3), certainly hasn't helped Tagovailoa, but he's still capable of returning value against a Spartans defense that is allowing the most passing yards per game in the nation (327.1).

Theoretically, Tagovailoa wouldn't need a huge day to return value. At just $5,900, it would only take 17.7 points for him to triple his value. With that being said, we know what Michigan State is as a pass defense, and that Maryland is one of the highest-volume passing teams in the nation.

Opposing quarterbacks have averaged over 25 fantasy points per game against Michigan State over the last five weeks. Barring an implosion from Tagovailoa, he feels like a safe bet to turn in a solid Week 11.

Jo'quavious Marks, Mississippi State RB

Game: Auburn (-5.5) vs. Mississippi State - O/U 50
DraftKings Price: $6,700

Take a look at running back Jo'Quavious Marks' 2021 stat line, and it's likely you won't confuse him for a player who one of the most dominant backs in the nation.

Understandably so, because that's certainly not what Marks is. He's averaging just 31.4 rushing yards per game on 8.8 carries per game, and has rushed for just four rushing touchdowns on the year. The rushing totals for Marks certainly aren't impressive, but in a PPR format like DraftKings, Marks has thrived as a fantasy back.

Jo'quavious Marks Fantasy Stats
Jo'quavious Marks Fantasy Stats

When it comes to turning out reliable fantasy production, Marks is on a short list of backs who can legitimately contribute both as a runner and a receiver. His 19.2 fantasy points per game on the season ranks 10th amongst running backs on this weekend's slate, while his $6,700 price is the 14th highest on the weekend.

On the year, Marks has a receiving line of 64/390/3. His per game receiving stats alone give him an average of 13.4 fantasy points per game.

Slotting Marks in against Auburn, while intimidating, may be a stronger play than it appears on the surface.

While Auburn is only allowing 139.8 rushing yards per game on the season, they have struggled to stop the run as of late. Over their last four games, Auburn has allowed 202.0 rushing yards per game and five rushing touchdowns, with teams rushing for over 200 yards in three of those games.

Marks is a staple in Mississippi State's passing game, which leads the nation in pass attempts per game at 54.4. He has gone for over 20 fantasy points in each of his last two games against two solid SEC defenses in Arkansas and Kentucky.

Entering this weekend as 5.5 point underdogs to Auburn, Mississippi State may need to lean on Marks often in this one to come out with a win.

Marcus Fleming, Maryland WR

Game: Michigan State (-13) vs. Maryland - O/U 61
DraftKings Price: $4,000

Since losing wide receiver Dontay Demus in Week 5 against Iowa, Maryland has had to rely on the trio of Rakim Jarrett, Carlos Carriere and freshman Marcus Fleming.

Fleming, a four-star recruit from the 2020 class, has posted a receiving line of 16/180/1 over Maryland's last four games, all without Demus. Per Pro Football Focus, Fleming is second amongst wide receivers in snaps (115) and routes run (106) over that span. Fleming has played 111 of those snaps in the slot, and is averaging 11.1 air yards per target which ranks second on the team.

Over the last three weeks, Fleming has averaged 12.3 fantasy points per game, which would be enough to provide a solid value against Michigan State if he went for 12 or more fantasy points this weekend.

Marcus Flemming Fantasy Stats
Marcus Flemming Fantasy Stats

His role as a slot receiver should continue to lead to a reliable fantasy floor that can be boosted any week with a touchdown, as was the case against Minnesota when Fleming more than 5x'd his $3,000 salary with a 17.2 performance thanks to a line of 5/62/1.

The highest-priced Maryland receiver on the slate is Carriere at $4,700, with Jarrett tailing right behind him at $4,500. If you want a contrarian pivot off of these receivers, Fleming could be a strong option and may even luck into the best fantasy day of the three against Michigan State's porous pass defense.

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