QUARTERBACK

Drew Brees: vs PHI (DK 6500; FD 8500)

A game total of 56.5, a team total of 32.5, the home dome, and an injured Eagles secondary; what more could you ask for in this spot?  The only question is the willingness to pay up for the 1st and 2nd most expensive quarterback on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively that has scored 30+ fantasy points in three of his first four home games.  The dream scenario is the Eagles being able to live up to their end of the bargain offensively in this potential shootout.  The floor is 17.6 fantasy points at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this year for Drew Brees but it’s a safe expectation for at least 25 in this incredible spot.

Cam Newton: at DET (DK 6200; FD 8600)

The Lions have allowed multiple touchdown passes in seven of nine games while Cam Newton has thrown for multiple touchdowns in eight straight.  His rushing upside makes him worthy of consideration even against a Detroit defense that has allowed the fewest rushing yards to quarterbacks thus far.  The wheels look like they have fallen off during the Lions three game losing streak and after a shellacking courtesy of the Steelers, the Panthers come into Ford Field needing this game to keep pace with the Saints.  Cam should continue to play at the level that won him the MVP in 2015.

Lamar Jackson: vs CIN (DK 4700; FD 7000)

DraftKings is usually the site that is on top of salary adjustments due to injuries and much to my surprise, they never adjusted Lamar Jackson’s salary to one that reflects a starter.  At his $4700 on DraftKings, he possesses such sheer running ability that he could return value just with his legs alone.  He faces a Cincinnati defense that just gave up 51 points to the Saints and subsequently fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.  It’s a great spot for him to make his first NFL start and one that shouldn’t be difficult to return value at his inexpensive price tag.  The question will be how much carnage can he create by running the ball himself and whether he is officially named the starter, something that has not happened at the time of this writing on Friday afternoon.

RUNNING BACK 

Saquon Barkley: vs TB (DK 8700; FD 8800)

The Buccaneers have allowed 25+ FD/30+ DK point performances to Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffery, and Alvin Kamara and in those games, each of them crossed the pylons at least twice.  Saquon Barkley is on pace to just miss posting 2,000 scrimmage yards in his rookie year but a date against this Tampa Bay defense may be just what he needs to stay on track for that accomplishment.  He has no competition for running back touches as he’s seen 94.5% of them in the G-Men’s last three games and he will have plenty of work whether the Giants lead or trail in this game.  

Ezekiel Elliott: at ATL (DK 8500; FD 8400)

He’s an absolute must-start on both sites but FanDuel has him underpriced for the damage he will inflict upon an Atlanta defense that gave up a combined 265 scrimmages yards and three touchdowns to Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson last week.  Ezekiel Elliott is averaging six targets per game, an ideal number against a Falcons team that has traditionally struggled against pass catching backs.  He more than possesses the ability to duplicate Chubb’s performance on the ground and if he does, Elliott is in a prime spot for another 25 FD/30 DK point performance.

David Johnson: vs OAK (DK 7500; FD 7900)

The signs were there against the 49ers before Arizona’s bye and now we know for certain David Johnson is free from the unimaginative offensive mind of Mike McCoy.  Byron Leftwich knows how to utilize Johnson’s dynamic skillset as he looked to him on 30 of the 73 offensive snaps and posted 183 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against a Kansas City defense that has been awful against running backs.  It only gets better against an Oakland one that’s allowed 100+ rushing yards in seven of nine games and if week 10 was any indication how the Arizona offense will operate, DJ should be in for another monster performance at a discounted price on both sites.

Dion Lewis: at IND (DK 4800; FD 5900)

The Titans never trailed in their victory against the Patriots which took away any negative gamescript that Dion Lewis could have worked with.  Not to mention Derrick Henry vulturing him out of two touchdowns but Lewis still touched the ball 11 more times and he’s the running back to roster against a Colts defense allowing the third-most targets and receptions along with the fourth-most receiving yards to running backs.  That’s 10.28 FD/14.20 DK points per game that the Colts allow to pass catching backs and Lewis should be the sole beneficiary as Henry has seen just 10 targets all year.  This game sets up as a trap for Tennessee after winning a game that not many thought they would and if they get caught smelling themselves, expect them to trail which sets Lewis up to rebound from last week at a much lower ownership.

Check out the Top 2 Staff Preview Week 11

WIDE RECEIVER

Michael Thomas: vs PHI (DK 8800; FD 8800)

Ronald Darby has been lost for the year to a torn ACL, Jalen Mills will miss this game, and Sidney Jones is banged up as he missed the Sunday night game following a bye week.  The cornerback situation is bleak for Philadelphia and it couldn’t set up any better for Michael Thomas who averages 12.5 targets per game at home, a +5.1 target differential in games played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. As mentioned above, the Eagles keeping up on offense would make this spot even more attractive but even if they don’t, he should have more than enough opportunities to tear apart this injury-riddled secondary.  It’s another excellent spot for Thomas who finishes the 2018 campaign by playing against teams in the top half in FPA to wide receivers in six of his last seven games.

Keenan Allen: vs DEN (DK 6700; FD 7600)

This is the lowest he has been priced on DraftKings this year and he is underpriced as he is facing a “tough” Broncos defense.  The Broncos have allowed the 4th most FPA to slot receivers over the last three weeks and this is where Keenan Allen spends half of his snaps.  He draws the majority of the wide receiver targets and is certainly due for positive regression in touchdowns as he scored his second one of the season last week.  Allen has a good chance to find the end zone for the second week in a row at a reasonable cost against a Broncos team that has allowed a minimum of 27 points in three of their first four road games.

T.Y. Hilton: vs TEN (DK 6100; FD 6800)

Not only were the 2017 Colts in the top three in tight end target share but also the 2017 Eagles under offensive coordinator Frank Reich.  It’s no surprise that the Colts have maintained their membership in this club with Reich as the Colts head coach but considering the Titans have effectively shut down running backs and tight ends, this may be T.Y. Hilton’s breakout game.  The way to attack the Tennessee defense is through the wide receiver as they surrender the 9th most FPA to the position.  He will spend time opposite Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson who have been solid thus far but he should capitalize on snaps in Malcolm Butler’s coverage.  Reich has quietly revitalized Andrew Luck’s career as he’s thrown the second-most touchdown passes in the league and while a majority have been to the tight end, Hilton should be able to cross the pylons for the fifth time on Sunday.

Amari Cooper: at ATL (DK 5400; FD 6600)

He simply improves the Dallas offense just being another weapon that defenses have to account for other than Ezekiel Elliott.  While boom or bust in six games prior to the trade with the Raiders, Amari Cooper has shown more consistency with a floor of five catches off eight targets for 58 yards in two games with the Cowboys.  Like Keenan Allen, his salary on both sites is too cheap against an Atlanta defense that is not just decimated with injuries but has given up an average of 3.77 pass plays per game of over 20 yards.  That figure would be much higher if the Falcons had any capability of stopping running backs that have also slaughtered this defense.  Cooper is seeing 28.1% of the team’s targets since the trade and finds himself with an opportunity for a ceiling game in a fast-paced Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

TIGHT END

Zach Ertz: at NO (DK 6600; FD 7600)

He has seen at least nine targets in all but one game and he’s arguably Carson Wentz’s most trusted weapon on offense in a game with the highest total on the main slate this week.  Not to mention Zach Ertz is totally underpriced on both sites after his dominating performance on Sunday Night Football.  Although the Saints have allowed just one tight end to score this year, Ertz’s reliability and heavy involvement in the Philadelphia offense make him worth the price of admission.  He’s the Eagle I have the most confidence in performing to and exceeding his fantasy point projections and with Travis Kelce off the board, expect him to be heavily rostered across cash games and GPPs. 

Vance McDonald: at JAX (DK 4000; FD 5500)

In keeping Alshon Jeffery and T.Y. Hilton to a combined seven receptions for 125 yards in the last two games, the Jacksonville defense has been slaughtered by the tight end position to the tune of five touchdowns.  While Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster battle it out with a tenacious Jaguars secondary, it’s going to leave Vance McDonald open often in the middle of the field.  He’s experienced success against this defense as he posted 10 catches for 112 yards in the divisional round last season and if you’re unable to roster Zach Ertz, McDonald is a nice pivot at a reasonable cost with excellent upside.

Jordan Reed: vs HOU (DK 3800; FD 5400)

While it’s discouraging he hasn’t found the end zone since week 1, the targets have been there for Jordan Reed as he’s seen a minimum of six in four of the last five games; only Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce have also seen that volume in that span.  Then again, the passing options that Alex Smith has available keep dwindling due to injury and against a stingy Houston rush defense, it will force him to throw the ball more.  This is the lowest his salary has been all year and given the tight end position is highly touchdown-dependent outside of Ertz and Kelce, you could do worse than Jordan Reed as two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown returns value.  This is absolutely within the range of outcomes for what should be a lowly-owned Reed after a disappointing performance against a Tampa Bay defense that should have been a better spot.

DEFENSE

Arizona: vs OAK (DK 3100; FD 4000)

The Raiders are spotting fantasy defenses at least four points in four of the last five weeks because they aren’t scoring more than 14 points.  There are serious offensive woes when Jalen Richard is arguably the best weapon on offense, not to mention Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson are both not expected to suit up in this game.

Carolina: at DET (DK 2800; FD 4000)

Detroit’s offensive line has struggled in the last three weeks, giving up 6.33 sacks per game, along with the offense turning the ball over 2.33 turnovers per game in that span.  That’s a good amount of opportunity to force a defensive score and Carolina won’t be rostered by many after allowing 51 points to the Steelers.

Houston: at WAS (DK 2600; FD 4700)

Geron Christian, Brandon Scherff, and Shawn Lauvao are all out for the season while Trent Williams is not expected to play in this game against the Texans.  The pricing disparity between the sites is outrageous given the injuries to the Washington offensive line that it makes the Texans a must-start on DraftKings and absolutely worthy of consideration if extra salary remains on FanDuel.

PRICE SHOPPING

Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site.  Here are the notable week 11 bargains from both sites:

NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS

QB Lamar Jackson: 2.26

QB Cam Newton: 1.93

RB Mark Ingram: 2.43

WR Brandon LaFell: 2.36

DEF Houston: 2.63

NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS

RB Ezekiel Elliott: 3

RB Joe Mixon: 2.04

WR Michael Thomas: 2.94

WR John Brown: 2.8

WR Odell Beckham Jr: 2.64

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