Living in the daily game world for any sport requires a lot of work with little reward for the casual player unless the stars align for one magical day. Most daily owners need to decide whether to be a grinder or a swing-for-the-fences player. One path keeps you alive for more days of action with the idea of building your bankroll slowly. The other has a donation feel while offering a pot of gold at the end of a distant rainbow.
Since the daily sites started offering the million-dollar overall prize, I’ve been trying to find my get-out-of-jail-free card. The goal is to handicap the main football slate on Sunday and invest in the best possible combination of foundation players. If my key players have success, I will be in the hunt with many teams. I expect to be in the mix in four or five weeks each season.
Last week, a lot changed from Thursday to Sunday for my perfect lineup, with Ben Roethlisberger landing on the Covid-19 list. I stuck with a Steelers’ wide receiver stack while pivoting Rhamondre Stevenson at flex, thanks to the extra salary cap room from dropping down to Mason Rudolph as my quarterback. I also flipped from Najee Harris to Dalvin Cook on Sunday. In the end, I almost broke even for the week despite the multiple changes.
All players listed are for the main slate of games on Sunday.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott ranks second at quarterback in this week’s projections at Sports Illustrated. I did his outlook for his matchup in the Wednesday DFS report. The Cowboys will have success running the ball, so game flow and game score will be critical for Prescott to post an impact game. He has the tools in the passing game to succeed, but Dallas needs to be chasing on the scoreboard for him to be the top quarterback on the day.
The Cowboys must get Amari Cooper more involved, and Michael Gallup should be improved in his second game back after suffering a calf issue in Week 1. Dalton Schultz may very well end up being the value option in a Cowboys’ passing stack.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
After three dull showings (241/1, 285/1, 164/1), Kansas City figured out how to move the ball again via the pass last week against the Raiders. Mahomes finished his best day (406/5) of the year while gaining 8.1 yards per pass attempt. Last week, the Chiefs used more screens, allowing their receivers to make plays in the open field in tight quarters. Kansas City averages more than 41 passes, and Mahomes has 26 touchdowns through 10 games.
Dallas jumped to 16th in quarterback defense (21.74 FPPG) after holding the Falcons to 3.55 fantasy points in the passing game. Over the first four weeks, the Cowboys allowed over 300 yards passing in each game. Tom Brady (379/4) and Sam Darnold (336/4) had the most success. Dallas has faced New England (229/4), Minnesota (202/2), Denver (248/1) and Atlanta (131/0) over their last four matchups. On the year, wide receivers gain 14.7 yards per catch vs. the Cowboys.
SI Sportsbook list this matchup with the highest over/under (56) on Sunday. The total for this game did fall by half a point since Wednesday. Mahomes will get his yards, and a floor of three touchdowns should be a given.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
A pair of third-quarter bombs to Gabriel Davis (49 and 36 yards) set up two rushing touchdowns last week in a blowout game against the Jets. Allen also hit on a 43-yard pass to Stefon Diggs in the fourth quarter, setting up his best passing day (366 yards) of the year. He gained 20 yards or more on six passes, and three of those completions hit the 40-yard mark. Allen slipped to second in quarterback scoring (27.81 FPPG). From Weeks 3-8, he scored over 30.00 fantasy points in four of his five matchups.
The Colts’ defense has been up and down all year. Five offenses beat them for three or more passing touchdowns. Lamar Jackson had the best passing day of his career (442/4), and the Jets’ backup quarterback finished with 430 combined yards and four touchdowns in Week 9. Indy allows 7.7 yards per pass attempt with 23 passing scores.
Allen has a deep enough receiving corps to blister Indianapolis in the passing game. I also expect him to be active in the run game. The Colts will try their best to slow down the clock with Jonathan Taylor, but a chaser game seems more likely. Allen draws the top quarterback ranking again in Week 11 (319 combined yards with 3.5 touchdowns).
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson has the same completion rate (64.4) as he did in 2020, but he is attempting 9.26 more passes per game this season. His success in the run game (106/639/2) remains high, but Jackson only has two games with more than one passing score. Surprisingly, Miami held him to only 5.5 yards per pass attempt with one touchdown.
Chicago sits 19th defending quarterbacks (21.86 FPPG). They’ve allowed three rushing scores to quarterbacks despite not facing a running threat all year (34/69). The Bears gave up 97 points over their last three contests against TB, SF and PIT. Quarterbacks gain 8.0 yards per pass attempt with 16 passing touchdowns. Chicago’s defense does have 24 sacks.
The Ravens will test this defense in the deep passing, and Jackson should rush for more yards than all nine opposing quarterbacks combined had against the Bears' defense this year.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The magic in Rodgers’ scoring ability remains missing over his first nine games. He ranks 18th in quarterback scoring (191.80 fantasy points) while failing to deliver a passing touchdown in two games. Over his last four starts, Rodgers gained 992 combined yards with eight touchdowns (21.5 FPPG). The Packers lost their top pass-catching back in Aaron Jones (37/298/4) for a couple of games, pointing to a more power run game with A.J. Dillon. In 2020, Rodgers played well in both matchups (366/4 and 300/3) against the Vikings.
The Vikings have the 14th best defense (21.42 FPPG) against quarterbacks. Even with success in four games (allowed fewer than 20.00 fantasy points), the Cardinals (431/4) and Ravens (386/3) drilled them for impact games. Their secondary showed disaster downside in two contests (ARI – 17/277/3 and DAL – 18/325/2).
Rodgers needs Minnesota to solve the Packers’ defense (allowed 56 points over their last five matchups) for this game to be played with a high-scoring pace. Davante Adams hasn’t had an impact game since Week 5, pushing him into the “due” category.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
The rushing ability by Newton paired with his low salary puts him in play in his first expected start for the Panthers. He would fill his salary bucket this week with 200 yards passing, 20 rushing yards, and two scores (one rushing and one passing). Over the first four games, Carolina had great quarterback production (1,241 combined yards with 10 touchdowns). Newton won’t match those passing yards, but he will be active on the ground. His opportunity and outlook were highlighted in my daily game article earlier this week. By rostering Newton, it allows me to play Christian McCaffrey as well in my perfect lineup in Week 11.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Over his four complete games, McCaffrey has gained 591 combined yards with one touchdown and 28 catches. His production breaks down to 93.10 fantasy points (23.28 FPPG), leaving him a touchdown short of being an impact player. In Week 10, he was well on his way to a monster showing, but Carolina rested him late in the game after establishing a big lead.
Washington is about league average defending running backs (14th – 23.23 FPPG). However, they lost their top pass rusher (DE Chase Young) for the season with a torn ACL last week, which has to be a win for the Panthers’ offense. Washington held their past three opponents to 193 combined yards rushing with one touchdown on 49 rushes. In Week 4, they had significant issues defending Cordarrelle Patterson (116 combined yards with three touchdowns and five catches).
With my plan to use Newton as my quarterback for my starting lineup, I create a better window to fit McCaffrey, plus add a hookup to my quarterback. I have him projected for 140 combined yards with one touchdown and six catches. If he hits on a 100-yard bonus and scores a second touchdown, McCaffrey will be on the winning million-dollar ticket in Week 11.
RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
After 10 games, the Browns’ backs have gained 1,907 combined scrimmage yards with 17 touchdowns and 54 catches, or 346.7 fantasy points (34.67 per game). Chubb has been on the field in seven games, leading to 123.00 fantasy points. However, the Browns continue to give him a minimal opportunity in the passing game (8/69), and he has been snipped at the goal multiple times by Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson. In his last start in Week 9, Chubb gained 163 yards with two touchdowns and two catches.
I wrote about his matchup and A.J. Dillon in my DFS article on Wednesday. Chubb has explosive upside, but Cleveland needs to give him more chances to produce top-five running back stats.
RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
In his first week with starting snaps, the Cardinals had Conner on the field for 82 percent of their plays. However, poor offensive play by Arizona in Week 10 led to him only receiving 13 touches (64 combined yards with one touchdown and three catches). Over the first eight weeks, Chase Edmonds was on the field for 61.7 percent of the Cardinals’ plays. Conner has 12 touchdowns in 10 games while averaging 13.8 touches.
Seattle has the second-worst running back defense (31.12 FPPG). Most of the damage came in three matchups (TEN – 261 combined yards with three touchdowns and nine catches, PIT – 168 combined yards with two touchdowns, and GB – 221 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches). The Seahawks struggle with running backs in the passing game (64/684/2).
Conner makes sense in Week 11 based on his salary, matchup, and improved opportunity. However, his stock takes a hit if Kyler Murray can’t suit up on Sunday.
WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
After playing well in Week 10 (8/162/1), Diggs moved to 10th in wide receiver scoring (17.22 FPPG) in PPR leagues. Over his last four starts, he caught 28 of his 39 targets for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
The Colts held the Jaguars’ wideouts to only six catches for 68 yards on 21 targets in Week 10, but they still rank poorly in wide receiver defense (130/1,654/14 – 29th). Six receivers (Tyler Lockett – 4/100/2, Cooper Kupp – 9/163/2, Marquise Brown – 9/125/2, Deebo Samuel – 7/100/1, A.J. Brown – 10/155/1, and Elijah Moore – 7/84/2) delivered impact games against Indianapolis.
Diggs has the feel of a player about to have a two-game winning streak. His matchup looks favorable, and his game is on the improve.
WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Adams was a popular play in the daily space in Week 10, but Green Bay and Seattle struggled to score. His higher ownership led to a rise in salary despite producing only steady stats (7/78). Adams only has three touchdowns in 2021, which is well below his success last year (18 scores over 14 starts). He owned the Vikings in both matchups in 2020 (14/156/2 and 7/53/3). Over his previous four games, Adams has 23 catches for 285 yards and one touchdown on 37 targets.
In two games, Minnesota had significant issues with wide receivers (ARI – 17/277/3 and DAL – 18/325/2). They rank 27th defending wideouts (125/1,654/10), with six players (Ja’Marr Chase – 5/101/1, Rondale Moore – 7/114/1, DK Metcalf – 6/107/1, Amari Cooper – 8/122/1, CeeDee Lamb – 6/112, and Marquise Brown – 9/116) gaining over 100 yards.
Adams will be challenging to fit for anyone rostering stud running backs. I have no problem pairing him with A.J. Dillon as both players could combine for 60-plus fantasy points.
TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
I’d like to have Kelce in the mix this week as I expect him to be a lower-percentage own due to his higher salary. His outlook can also be found in my DFS report this week.
Based on my structure for this week, I need to find value at tight end and two wide receiver spots. Ideally, I’d like to use one of these six wide receivers – Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb or Ja’Marr Chase. By going down this path, I leave myself open for some small scores at the back end of my roster.
The worst six defenses against wide receivers are Minnesota, Chicago, Indianapolis, Miami, Washington and Tennessee.
RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins
I won’t have too many shares of Gaskin in the daily contests in Week 10, but it will be tough to ignore the failure of the Jets’ defense against running backs over the past four weeks (66.00, 28.70, 54.80, and 39.60 fantasy points). New York has yet to hold an offense to fewer than 28.70 fantasy points at running back. In addition, they allow 4.7 yards per rush, with backs scoring 21 touchdowns over nine games. The Jets also give up plenty of damage to running backs in the passing game (68/643/3).
Gaskin has been an every other week player all season. He sits 21st in running back scoring (115.60 fantasy points) while scoring 77.2% of his fantasy points in odd weeks (12.60, 10.40, 31.90, 17.70, and 16.70). Over his last three starts, Gaskin gained only 2.2 yards per rush (101 carries) and 5.6 yards per catch. Miami struggles to get him in space. Not a layup by any means, but he does have an excellent matchup.
RB Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs may have Clyde Edwards-Helaire back this week, which is priced into Williams's early projections. Last week, he posted his career-best game (144 combined yards with a touchdown and nine catches). Kansas City gave Williams 61 touches over its previous three games, leading to 331 combined yards with one score and 18 catches (19.03 FPPG). Despite his success, he averages only 3.6 yards per rush, with one of his 95 rushes gaining over 20 yards.
Dallas has the eighth-best defense against running backs (21.53 fantasy points). They allow 4.3 yards per carry. Backs can succeed in the passing game (50/347/1), but they only have four rushing touchdowns.
A daily fantasy owner needs more info before deciding to play Williams this week. His matchup isn’t ideal, but his salary matches up with his potential chances, making him a live option if Edwards-Helaire gets another week off.
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Through 10 games, Waddle has 60 catches for 557 yards and three touchdowns on 85 targets. However, Miami continues to use him close to the line of scrimmage (9.3 yards per catch with three catches over 20 yards), restricting his explosiveness. Over his past five games, Waddle has averaged 15.52 fantasy points while averaging 9.8 targets.
New York slipped to 18th vs. the wide receiver position (35.81 FPPG) after getting run over by the Bills’ wideouts (16/362/2) in Week 10. The Jets allow 14.1 yards per catch to wide receivers, but they only have eight touchdowns.
Waddle has a high floor, and he will hit on a long score before the end of the year. Think steady with upside if you are shopping at his salary level.
WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Lack of playing time due to seven missed games with a calf issue puts Gallup in the value column in Week 11. He offers big-play and scoring ability in a matchup that projects to offer many touchdowns. From 2019 to 2020, Gallup caught 125 passes for 1,950 yards and eight touchdowns over 30 games (12.27 FPPG). With a game under his belt, he looks poised to be much more active in this matchup.
Here’s my perfect lineup for Week 11:
More fantasy coverage:
- Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: Wide Receivers
- Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: Running Backs
- Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: Quarterbacks
- NFL DFS Week 11 Picks, Plays & Values
- Week 11 Rankings and Stat Projections
Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical breakdowns for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. An inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!