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Fantasy Football: Players to embrace and avoid for Week 11
2:27 | Fantasy
Fantasy Football: Players to embrace and avoid for Week 11
Michael Beller and Andrew Perloff
Saturday November 19th, 2016

It’s nearly impossible to win a DFS contest without a major contribution from your quarterback. This week, you’ll have plenty of options to build your team around. Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota face off in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck and Kirk Cousins do the same on Sunday Night Football. Tom Brady draws the 49ers, Ben Roethlisberger faces off with the Browns, and Blake Bortles, the undisputed king of garbage time, gets a matchup with the quarterback-friendly Detroit Lions. Picking the right guy could make all the difference in Week 11.

Below are my ideal picks for both DraftKings and FanDuel. I will be playing lineups other than the ones I present here, but these are my go-to lineups for both sites. Be sure to read on and check out Andrew Perloff’s plays, as well.

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Quarterback

Andrew Luck (DK: $7,200, FD: $8,100) vs. Indianapolis

I’m not playing any games at the quarterback position this week. The Colts' struggles this season have masked the fact that Luck is having one of the best seasons of his career, throwing for 2,565 yards, 7.39 yards per attempt, and 17 touchdowns against seven interceptions through nine games. Luck has already faced the Titans once this year, throwing for 353 yards, 9.05 YPA and three touchdowns in a 34—26 Colts win. The Titans may get some revenge on the road in Indianapolis this week, but they aren’t going to have much more success slowing down Luck and the Colts passing game, especially with Donte Moncrief completely over his shoulder injury (Moncrief missed the first game with the Titans). Tennessee has allowed the ninth-most points per game to quarterbacks, while the Colts have allowed the fifth most. This game is going to be a shootout, reflected by an over/under of 52. Luck is going to have himself a lot of fun on Sunday.

Running Backs

LeGarrette Blount (DK: $6,400, FD: $7,300) at San Francisco

Blount is such an obvious pick this week that it feels like we might get some Belichick-ian shenanigans. Not because he cares at all what’s happening in the fantasy football world, but because the Patriots have a knack for zagging when everyone assumes they’ll zig. Still, Blount has too good a case to ignore this week. He goes up against a San Francisco defense that is on track to be one of the worst against the run in NFL history. The expected game script would scream for a heavy dose of Blount all game, but especially in the second half with the Patriots likely nursing a huge lead. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be. Blount is an easy selection in all DFS formats this week.

Spencer Ware (DK: $6,000, FD: $7,700) vs. Tampa Bay

After a down week in what looked like a decent spot against the Panthers last week, Ware is a good bet to get back on track in Week 11. Ware actually ran well in Carolina, picking up 61 yards on 13 carries. It was the latter number that was the problem. It’s hard for any back to make a fantasy impact with just 13 carries, and, all things considered Ware did mostly everything he could. He’s running for 4.97 yards per carry on the year and has 20 catches for 324 yards. A matchup with a Buccaneers defense that has allowed the seventh-most points per game to running backs should be just what Ware needs. The game script could be in his favor, as well, with the Chiefs favored by 7.5 points.

C.J. Prosise (DK: $4,200, FD: $4,900) vs. Philadelphia

Prosise opened a lot of eyes when he caught seven passes for 87 yards in Seattle’s win over New England last week, but it was his second 80-yard game in the last three weeks. Even with Thomas Rawls returning and likely dominating the carries on early downs, Prosise is going to have a large role in the offense. He’s a better play on DraftKings, where you get a full point per reception, than FanDuel, but at his bargain-basement price, you can use him on either site.

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Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham Jr. (DK: $8,500, FD: $9,000) vs. Chicago

After being shut out of the end zone for the first four games of the season, Beckham Jr. has made six trips to pay dirt in five weeks. He also has 32 catches and 470 yards to go along with his six touchdowns in those five games, good for 23 DraftKings points per game and 19.8 FanDuel points per game. Now Beckham Jr. gets to go up against a Chicago defense that has allowed the most points per game to wide receivers this season. This is a great spot for him, especially on DraftKings where he’s $1,000 cheaper than Antonio Brown.

Allen Robinson (DK: $7,400, FD: $7,300) at Detroit

The 2016 season is finally turning around for Robinson, thanks in large part to the return of target numbers that resemble what he racked up in 2015. He has 40 targets over the last three weeks, catching 22 of them for 253 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions are right in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to receivers, but they’ve surrendered the third-most points per game to quarterbacks. If Blake Bortles gets going in the way most quarterbacks have against the Lions, chances are Robinson will have a big game, as well.

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Donte Moncrief (DK: $6,100, FD: $6,500) vs. Tennessee

Moncrief returned to the field two weeks ago after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2. In two games since getting back to the Colts, he has seven catches, 15 targets, 96 yards and two touchdowns. His catch rate and yardage totals leave a bit to be desired, but the fact that Andrew Luck has targeted him so frequently is a step in the right direction. Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton are both great plays this week, but it’s hard to fit Hilton in a lineup alongside Beckham and Luck. Moncrief gives us a cheaper option to stack with the Colts quarterback, and you don’t lose much, if anything, off of Hilton’s ceiling. The Colts No. 1 receiver has a higher floor, but Moncrief’s upside is just as high.

Jamison Crowder (DK: $5,400, FD: $6,300) vs. Green Bay

Crowder has a touchdown or 100 yards in six of his nine games this season, including all of his last four. He has turned himself into Washington’s most consistent receiver this season, and a go-to weapon for Kirk Cousins in all parts of the field. The Packers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to receivers this season, and this game as a total of 50.5 points, with Washington giving Green Bay 2.5 points. This should be fertile ground for points, especially through the air. Crowder gives us a cheap line of investment in what could be one of Week 11’s highest-scoring games.

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph (DK: $3,900, FD: $4,900) vs. Arizona

Rudolph is having a fine season, totaling 37 catches for 392 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll face his toughest test of the year, going up against an Arizona defense that has allowed the fewest points per game to tight ends. Still, it’s worth remembering that Rudolph is third among tight ends in targets and fourth in targets per game. He’s a key piece of the Minnesota offense, and even with the Cardinals defense on the other side of the line, that’s not going to change. Given his affordable price tag on FanDuel, he’s a better play on that site than DraftKings.

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Julius Thomas (DK: $3,500, FD: $5,900) at Detroit

Thomas is at the other end of the matchup spectrum this week. The Lions have allowed the second-most points per game to tight ends, surrendering a league-high nine touchdowns to the position. Thomas needs this sort of matchup to be on our radar. He has fewer than 30 yards in six straight games, and has failed to carve out a role similar to what Rudolph does in Minnesota. He does have four touchdowns this year, though, and is one of Blake Bortles’s favorite targets when the Jaguars get inside the 10-yard line. He’s a good bet to find the end zone this week, and thus turn a profit in DFS contests, especially those on DraftKings.

Kicker

Robbie Gould (FD: $4,500) vs. Chicago

Who’s ready for a kicker revenge game? Gould faces the team with which he spent the first 11 years of his career this week. He’s at the stone minimum for a kicker and the Giants have an implied team total of 26.5 points. That’s good enough for me.

Defense/Special Teams

New York Giants (DK: $3,500, FD: $4,700) vs. Chicago

The Giants are one of the best defenses to stream in season-long leagues, and that has increased their profile in DFS formats, too. The Bears will be without Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long when they visit on Sunday, likely the two most important players to Jay Cutler’s success. Without Jeffery, the Bears top pass catchers will be Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal and Zach Miller. We can bet on the Giants getting after Cutler and pressuring him into multiple mistakes.

Dallas Cowboys (DK: $2,600, FD: $4,500) vs. Baltimore

Unfortunately, my lineup choices elsewhere didn’t leave me enough money to pay up for the Giants on DraftKings, where they’re the fourth-most expensive option at the position this week. Instead, I opted for the Cowboys, who are playing at home and favored by 7.5 points against a Baltimore offense that is 24th in the league in scoring and 25th in total yards.

DraftKings lineup:

QB: Andrew Luck

RB1: LeGarrette Blount

RB2: Spencer Ware

WR1: Odell Beckham

WR2: Donte Moncrief

WR3: Jamison Crowder

TE: Julius Thomas

FLEX: C.J. Prosise

DST: Dallas Cowboys

FanDuel lineup:

QB: Andrew Luck

RB1: LeGarrette Blount

RB2: Spencer Ware

WR1: Odell Beckham

WR2: Allen Robinson

WR3: Donte Moncrief

TE: Kyle Rudolph

K: Robbie Gould

DST: New York Giants

Andrew Perloff

Two games on the board with over-unders over 50—Titans-Colts and Patriots-49ers…and obviously the Steelers’ stars should go nuts against the Browns. So choose players from those games wisely knowing you have to separate yourself from the herd elsewhere. I’m a little herd-y…but I love the Colts-Titans matchup so much I can’t help it.

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Quarterback

Andrew Luck ($8,100 FanDuel, $7,200 DraftKings)

I’ve avoided Luck because of inconsistency and interceptions. But he is 8–0 in his career against the Titans and went off against Tennessee earlier in Week 7—27–29, 353 yards, 3 TDs—despite not having several receiving weapons. Tennessee is getting a lot of positive press lately…which makes me think it's ready for a let-down.

Alternates: Russell Wilson is healthy and hot. I know he doesn’t run this season, but he’ll pick on a fading Eagles secondary and is still a bargain. This is a good week to try the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick against a Pats defense that looked lost against Seattle. Don’t forget about the Lions’ Matthew Stafford against the Jags. And you know his opponent, Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles, will throw two TDs late if the Jags are behind.

Running Backs

LeSean McCoy ($7,500 FanDuel, $6,900 DraftKings)

The Bills RB is reportedly close to 100 percent after dealing with a hamstring issue in recent weeks. The Bengals defense couldn’t even shut down the lowly Giants run attack last week and they have trouble getting offenses off the field with their bend-don’t-break style. This is a nice bargain on a back who could have a big afternoon.

Ezekiel Elliott ($8,700 FanDuel, $8,000 DraftKings)

I really wanted to squeeze Le’Veon Bell into my ideal lineup, but couldn’t do the math. That leaves Elliott as a somewhat contrarian play since they face the Ravens’ No. 1 ranked defense. A few reasons I think Elliott might be worth the risk this week – 1) the Cowboys should be ahead and run; 2) Baltimore’s D hasn’t faced many good offenses; and 3) have you seen Elliott play? Dang. I think this kid has a future in the NFL. Still, I’d recommend more exposure to Bell in the big picture.

Alternate: Doug Baldwin compared Seahawks teammate C.J. Prosise to Arian Foster and Matt Forte this week. I assume plenty of people are attacking the week with a Bell-Prosise combo, since the Seattle rookie is just $4,900 in FD, $4,200 in DK. The other big play will be the Patriots LeGarrette Blount against San Francisco. And Frank Gore is a great way into the Colts-Titans.

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Wide Receivers

Allen Robinsson ($7,300 FanDuel, $7,400 DraftKings)

After a slow start, the Jags are now focusing on getting the ball to their No. 1 WR. Robinson is averaging over 13 targets a game over the last three weeks and has gotten in the end zone the last two games. He’ll have an opportunity to continue that upward trend against the Lions’ pass D – especially if cornerback Darius Slay is ruled out for the game.

Donte Moncrief ($6,500 FanDuel $6,100 DraftKings)

T.Y. Hilton is probably slightly chalkier than Moncrief, but they both will be highly played. Still, I feel so confident Moncrief will end up in the end zone Sunday and he’s cheaper.  I’m already imagining the end zone dance. A salsa base, with elements of the flamenco. Moncrief hasn’t really taken off since returning from a shoulder injury a few weeks ago, but he has TDs in his last two games. He could get more targets if the Titans focus on Hilton (which they should, or he’ll kill them).

Jordy Nelson ($7,800 FanDuel,  $7,800 DraftKings)

Hopefully fear of Redskins CB Josh Norman will keep people off Nelson and perhaps on fellow Packers WRs Davante Adams or Randall Cobb. Last week, the Vikings kept Stefon Diggs in the slot often and he had his way with Washington. Hopefully the Packers will do the same and Norman won’t follow. Nelson is on an upswing and looks closer to 100 percent. He has TDs in three straight games and had 13 and 18 targets in his last two games. Also, the Redskins tend to disappoint in primetime.

Alternates: If you’re not sinking dollars into Bell, then Antonio Brown is a perfectly good Steelers option. Take your pick of Lions WRs Marvin Jones and Golden Tate against Jacksonville. And you can save some money with Tennessee TD machine Rishard Matthews and Washington Jamison Crowder against the Packers.

Tight End

Jesse James ($4,800 FanDuel, $3,400 DraftKings)

I needed to stay cheap at TE and although I don’t love that James is sharing targets with Ladarius Green, when in doubt buy into the team facing the Browns.

Alternates: Everyone is getting in on Delanie Walker against Indy. For good reason… the Colts will have an issue against the talented Titans TE. The Patriots’ Martellus Bennett will be popular because of the Niners matchup. And Eric Ebron is becoming the man in Detroit and has a nice matchup against the Jags.

Kicker

Chris Boswell

See my reasons for James. FYI, I also am feeling a little Mike Nugent in Cincy at $4,500 despite his inconsistency.

Defense/Special Teams

New York Giants ($4,700 FanDuel)

You never know with Bears QB Jay Cutler, but if he has a big INT game, I want to be there.

Alternate: K.C. against Tampa Bay is probably the most solid play. The Dolphins sneaky good defensive front could cause problems for Rams rookie Jared Goff in his first start. And there doesn’t seem to be much downside with Dallas against Baltimore to save a few bucks. 

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