- Make sure you know these five facts before you lock in your DFS lineups for Week 11.
We’re getting into the home stretch of the season, where trends are getting solidified, deficiencies are getting harder to hide, and young players are being thrust into bigger roles. Here are five things you need to know before setting DFS lineups for Week 11.
1. The Giants have allowed a touchdown catch by a tight end in every single game this season
Of the 10 tight ends to catch scores against the Giants—Jason Witten (7-59-1), Eric Ebron (5-42-1), Zach Ertz (8-55-1), Cameron Brate (4-80-1), O.J. Howard (2-63-1), Hunter Henry (3-42-1), Jeff Heuerman (2-24-1), Jimmy Graham (3-51-1), Tyler Higbee (1-8-1), and Garrett Celek (4-67-1)—only Ertz and maybe Graham can even compare to New York’s Week 11 opponent. Travis Kelce leads the position in DraftKings points per game (17.1), and ranks third in FanDuel points per game (13.2). The Giants rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends, and in three other matchups against teams ranked 21st or worse, Kelce has smashed, with 100 or more yards and a touchdown in each game (8-103-1 versus Philadelphia in Week 2, 7-111-1 against Washington in Week 4, 7-133-1 against Denver in Week 8). Even in a week where an international Gronk spike is likely, Kelce is the top tight end play on the board.
2. Sterling Shepard has drawn 11 targets per game since the Giants Week 8 bye
Without Odell Beckham (ankle), who accounted for 10.3 targets per game, and Brandon Marshall (ankle), who totaled 6.6 targets per game, the Giants have turned to Shepard to complement Evan Engram in the passing game. In two games played without his injured teammates, Shepard has posted stat lines of 5-70 on nine targets and 11-142 on 13 targets. With the Giants installed as double-digit underdogs against the Chiefs, another high-volume game figures to be in the cards for Shepard, and he should have success against a defense ranked 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
3. The Patriots are expected to score more 30 points against the Raiders in Mexico City, according to sportsbooks
The betting odds should never be taken as gospel—when a game goes over or under its total, it does so by an average of 10 points—but an implied team total above 30 is notable because it doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, regression analysis tells us it’s extremely good news for the team’s quarterback. It makes sense; roughly two-thirds of the average team’s offensive yardage and touchdowns come via the forward pass, so when a team scores a lot of points, it follows that his quarterback’s box score probably contains a lot of crooked numbers. The Patriots, of course, are no average team, and Brady is no average quarterback—he accounts for 75% of the Patriots offensive yardage and 73.1% of their touchdowns. His position-high salary should be well worth it against a Raiders defense ranked 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
4. The Chargers will face a fifth-round rookie quarterback making his first start on the road
In case you haven’t been following the Bills closely (you’re not alone, believe me), they’ve benched Tyrod Taylor and turned quarterbacking duties over to Nathan Peterman, who now has to travel across country from Buffalo to Los Angeles to make his first start. The Chargers home-field advantage doesn’t exactly pose a threat, but a stout defensive front consisting of Joey Bosa (9.5 sacks, fifth in NFL) and Melvin Ingram (8.5, sixth) does. Perhaps more so than any other position, the production of a defense/special teams in fantasy is matchup-driven, and the Chargers suddenly have the best matchup on the board this side of Jacksonville.
5. The Packers are going to have to give a sizeable workload to a rookie running back
With Aaron Jones (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) out, Jamaal Williams, a fourth-round pick out of BYU, will get major burn in Lambeau against the Ravens on Sunday. Williams handled 21 touches in relief of his aforementioned backfield mates last weekend, and could approach that number again this weekend—key because volume is the number-one consideration for a running back in DFS, and because Williams’s salary is cheap across the industry. In terms of schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, the Ravens rank third against quarterbacks and wide receivers, but 17th against running backs (and 27th against tight ends, but Green Bay isn’t really in a position to take advantage of that after releasing former starter Martellus Bennett). With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Williams have a productive day against this defense.