Starting Points NFL DFS Week 11

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In this weekly article, we’ll use the early betting lines from Vegas to take a deeper look at which games to target and avoid for NFL DFS. Implied team totals have positive correlations with fantasy output, especially for quarterbacks. Plus, we’ll highlight some potentially under the radar teams with high implied team totals despite a lower over/under. Note that these lines will probably change over the course of the week, which is why we call it ‘starting’ points.

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Target:

Dallas at Kansas City, Total 55

Chiefs minus-2

Both of these teams came back in Week 10 with decisive victories and everyone is hoping to see both Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott at their best again this weekend. The salaries are interesting. On all three sites, the two are close to each other, but Mahomes is cheaper on Yahoo and FanDuel. Coming off a perfect 5-TD game against Las Vegas, formerly leading the AFC West, Mahomes has to be a priority DFS play. Given their salaries, I can’t force anyone to roster either Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce. Hill is coming off a monster game, but he has often followed those up with a big dud. Kelce surely has the higher floor while Hill has the higher ceiling. I wouldn’t roster either of Darrel Williams or Clyde Edwards-Helaire if both are active for Week 11.

The Cowboys offer a few more options. Ezekiel Elliott is coming off another really solid game, only 40-some yards rushing but two touchdowns. He will get those goal line opportunities and I trust Prescott to get him there. CeeDee Lamb is probably fine – even I’ve had a Charlie horse and lived to tell about it, so I’m ignoring the Q tag by his name at this early point in the week. He’s coming off a 2-TD effort and has a reasonable salary on all sites. Amari Cooper has had a couple of duds, but he makes for a great tournament play ($6200 DK, $7300 FD, $24 Yahoo) in a potentially high scoring and close game. Dalton Schultz has fallen off his earlier pace, but with Dak back in form, he, too, makes for a nice GPP option in this game. The Chiefs are a top matchup for opposing TEs.

Arizona at Seattle, Total 50

Cardinals minus-2.5

There are too many questions about the Arizona offense to make any decisions about this game yet, in my opinion. If Kyler Murray plays, he is in a good position with the Seahawks giving up the 10th most overall fantasy points to opponents. They are particularly susceptible to the run, having the second-best DvP to RBs and playing to one of Murray’s normal strengths. Do I want to pay top dollar for Murray if he isn’t 100 percent enough to scramble and run on designed plays? No. James Connor is still an option here, with Chase Edmonds out for an extended period and given the matchup potential.

The Seahawks might go a little under the radar this week. Arizona is considered one of the best defenses in the league, and they still have allowed the fifth-fewest points per game on the season. However, over the last three weeks, they haven’t been so stout, and with Russell Wilson another week healthier, I’d prefer to target Seattle for DFS this week. Play your favorite of Tyler Lockett and/or DK Metcalf, or consider Lockett more of a tournament play and Metcalf the more consistent, higher floor guy. Lockett and Wilson just missed on some deep connections in the Green Bay game. I like betting on him to be the higher scoring Seahawks receiver this week.

Indianapolis at Buffalo, Total 49.5

Bills minus-7

The Bills make the third team to rebound in a big way. I noted there running success against the Jets in Week 9, which was unsurprising, but Josh Allen also showed renewed chemistry with Stefon Diggs, one of my favorite WR plays this week. Indianapolis ranks fifth in fantasy points allowed to both QB and WR, making the duo from the Bills a contender for almost a third of your salary cap. Despite the high team total, they’re the only two players I trust in Buffalo. True to their word, the Bills ran the ball more in Week 10, but they divied up the work between three guys, a situation that though successful in Week 10, will be hard to replicate vs. one of the best run defenses in the league.

The Colts take on a Bills team that allows the fewest real and fantasy points overall and to the individual QB, RB and WR positions. I’m not keen to roster even Michael Pittman or the wunderkind Jonathan Taylor this weekend. Anyone contemplating spending up on Taylor should think hard about pivoting to Nick Chubb or Alvin Kamara, assuming both make it onto the field this week.

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Avoid:

Miami at NY Jets, Total 43.5

Dolphins minus-3

Vegas isn’t giving us reason to get excited about this game, but there are two fantasy opportunities to consider. One is Myles Gaskin, who gets the best running back matchup in the league by A LOT. We saw Buffalo, a team that by all metrics hates to run the ball, score four RB touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) on the Jets in Week 10. Gaskin has the worst-ranked offensive line in the league and has been awful by the numbers, but I still believe in this matchup enough to consider him. The other is Elijah Moore, who has led the Jets’ receivers the past two weeks. Corey Davis has still been in double-digits in PPR scoring three of the last four weeks, but Moore, the cheaper of the two on DraftKings and FanDuel (they are both $17 on Yahoo). Miami gives up the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers, so pending a starting QB decision, Moore is on my radar as a bargain option this week.

Consider:

Cleveland vs. Detroit, Total 44.5

Browns minus-10

Nick Chubb or D’Ernest Johnson should be the star here, or maybe both will be stars. Chubb is expected to come off the COVID list this week and rushes right into the league’s third-best RB matchup. Johnson has been very good in his absence, so I will not be surprised to see a Browns-typical time share where both backs can retain fantasy value. The Browns are home and huge favorites against a Lions team that scores the third-fewest real points and gives up the third-most real points. This is a good spot for the Cleveland D/ST as well, though not so much on FanDuel where they are the most expensive unit. Detroit takes an average of 3.0 sacks per game while the Browns are a sack leader with an average of 2.9 defensive sacks per game.

Tennessee vs. Houston, Total 44.5

Titans minus-10

This is a week to miss Derrick Henry for sure. In his absence D’Onta Foreman has been busiest, but only Adrian Peterson has scored. The Titans’ last two matchups have been tough (Rams and Saints), so things should get easier for everyone here against a struggling Texans team. I’m almost always putting my money on the guy with more opportunity and that is Foreman, who also happens to be the better value everywhere but FanDuel. Ryan Tannehill is developing some chemistry with Marcus Johnson, who led the Titans’ receivers in Week 10 with five catches for 100 yards. A.J. Brown saw 11 targets with an average depth of target of 3.8 yards. Gross. Even as far as Brown’s salary has fallen, I can find someone near him that I’d prefer to roster. Back to Johnson, he could be a smart value play this week at $5600 FD, $3500 DK, and $12 Yahoo. The Titans D/ST is tied for sixth in sacks per game, while Houston is tied for seventh in sacks taken and is fourth in turnovers. They have some upside.

It’s also worth noting that the Titans’ defense has not been able to stop opposing pass games, with excellent DvP to QB and WR (No. 1 WR matchup for fantasy). Brandin Cooks had been steadily making value most weeks with Davis Mills at QB, but Tyrod Taylor broke the system. Yes, Cooks tied his season high with 14 targets, but Taylor threw three picks that prevented this offense from getting anything off the ground. Despite the favorable matchup, I’m fading all Texans this weekend.