For the second week in a row my daily teams struggled. My Monday-Thursday lineups helped pull me back closer to even, but it wasn’t terribly close.
That’s a second week in a row of struggles. It’s going to happen to everybody. I hope our advice helped you more than it did me.
Despite the struggle last week, I still have quite a bit of confidence in our system. However it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Only play 10% of your bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount you are going to play with this year. Wagering more than 10 percent sets you up to go bankrupt before the end of the season. Only wager more if you play a lot of cash games and have found success there.
- Always follow rule No. 1, unless you find some serious overlay. And even then, don’t go overboard. We’re all going to have bad weeks, even when we do everything right. Don’t spend so much that you can’t recover from it the following week. This allows us to brush off a bad week and move on to the next.
OK, let’s get to this weeks sleepers and values at Draft Kings. I will reference Defense-adjusted Value Over Average a lot, it is a Football Outsiders’ metric which can be a better predictor of future success than fantasy points allowed. All team rankings and yards allowed to receivers are referenced from Football Outsiders’ Defense Efficiency page.
Week 11 daily fantasy: Draft Kings sleepers | FanDuel sleepers
Matthew Stafford, $5,400, DET vs. OAK — I really want to make Stafford a cash game pick this week, but his realistic floor is too low. I will however, have a couple Stafford tournament lineups — Oakland has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks.
Cam Newton, $6,900, CAR vs. WAS — DVOA has the Redskins toward the bottom-middle in the NFL in both passing and rushing defense. They’ve allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks. I’m more excited that they’ve allowed the fourth-most points to running backs in the last five weeks. Newton’s rushing ability gives him an edge and has helped him to one of the highest fantasy points-per-game averages this season.
Derek Carr, $6,300, OAK at DET — Like Stafford, Carr feels like an iffy cash game play. However, he does feel a bit safer. It doesn’t hurt that the Lions are fifth in DVOA against the pass and fifth in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks.
Tyrod Taylor, $5,200, BUF at NE — The only matchup I have for you here is that DVOA says the Patriots are 10th-best in the NFL against the pass. However, the chance for garbage time, Taylor’s running ability and this price make him a player we must consider in both cash and GPPs.
Tom Brady, $8,500, NE vs. BUF — The Bills have allowed the 10th-least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks. However, Brady threw the ball 61 times the last time he faced them. Brady’s salary compared to his peers makes him difficult to roster, but with all of the value out there this week, it can be done relatively easily.
Carson Palmer, $6,700, ARI vs. CIN — The Bengals have the 9th-best pass defense according to DVOA and have given up the sixth-least fantasy points to quarterbacks. This matchup scares me a bit in cash games, but Palmer is definitely in play in tournaments. There are some who would argue Palmer, like Brady, is nearly matchup proof.
Tony Romo, $6,000, DAL at MIA — Romo is a $7,000 or better quarterback on Draft Kings. Obviously, we can’t be sure how good he is coming back from a broken clavicle, so we should limit our exposure to him in cash. But a stack with him and WR Dez Bryant could have a massive payoff this week. It’s a great matchup against a reeling Dolphins defense.
Philip Rivers, $6,900, SD vs. KC — Rivers nearly didn’t make the cut. He’s probably more of a cash game play. The Chargers are going to throw a ton. It’s just what they do. However, the Chiefs have allowed the least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks.
Charcandrick West, $4,500, KC at SD — West will likely be the most owned running back in daily fantasy this week. You want at least 5X value out of a player in a tournament. For West, that’s 22.5 fantasy points, which should be his ceiling considering the amount of usage he’s been getting and a killer matchup against a defense that is dead last in run defense DVOA.
Devonta Freeman, $8,400, ATL vs. IND — The Colts have given up the 8th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in the last five weeks. Meanwhile, Freeman has been assaulting NFL opponents since he took over the starting gig after Week 3. I feel like if you have a cash game lineup, you have to have Freeman and West in it this week.
Darren McFadden, $5,000, DAL at MIA — Romo’s return should be nothing but good things for McFadden. The RB is hurt, so that’s something to monitor for Sunday, but if he plays you must consider him in all formats. No team has allowed more fantasy points to running backs in the last five weeks than the Dolphins.
DeMarco Murray, $6,000, PHI vs. TB — Ryan Mathews is out, which means Murray may get all the touches he can handle this week. He’s been killing it since that early, and much-publicized, slump. It is, however a tough matchup, according to both DVOA and fantasy points allowed. There are people smarter than me who think rushing matchups are overrated and that it’s more about volume. As we’ve seen the last few weeks with West, Lamar Miller and Jeremy Langford, that may very well be the case.
Danny Woodhead, $5,300, SD vs. KC — Woodhead always feels like he’s going to burn me. I’m reluctant to roster him at this price point, but the formula says he’s one of the best values of the week, and one of only a handful of sub-$6,000 running backs we should consider in cash games.
Adrian Peterson, $6,800, MIN vs. GB — Even at age 30, Peterson is matchup proof. As long as he is healthy and toting the rock, he can take over a game like he did last week. That means his salary is $1,000 to $2,000 cheaper than it should be, a discrepancy we must not ignore. I’ll have a lot of West-Freeman-Peterson lineups this week.
Lamar Miller, $6,200, MIA vs. DAL — Miller has been a workhorse, getting piles of carries and catches. There are two schools of thought on the emergence of Jay Ajayi — that it’s going to cut into Miller’s value or that he’s only going to complement Miller. The Cowboys are sixth-worst in the NFL against the run, according to DVOA. That means we might have more clarity after this week. I’m using Miller this week and not worrying about Ajayi.
Frank Gore, $4,700, IND at ATL — I was surprised by Gore’s mention on this list. I guess the thinking is the Colts will run the ball more because Andrew Luck is out. I’m not sure I’m buying it, but his salary is super low, making him an interesting play in tournaments.
Jonathan Stewart, $4,400, CAR vs. WAS — As I said above, the Redskins have allowed the fourth-most points to opposing running backs. Newton can vulture touchdowns, sure, but at this price and with this matchup, it’s difficult to avoid Stewart if you want to pivot down off the Petersons and Freemans.
Theo Riddick, $3,300, DET vs. OAK — This one was a bit of a surprise, but Riddick can be a PPR machine and he’s expected to outplay his salary by about $1,500. That’s huge. The Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in the last five weeks.
Danny Amendola, $4,000, NE vs. BUF — This is just an echo in the noise surrounding Amendola’s ascension into Julian Edelman’s starting role. He has a price anyone in DFS can afford and has caught nearly everything (40 of 45 targets) thrown his way. There is some scuttlebutt that he may not get all of Edelman’s work and that he’s being overrated. I’ll probably have him in every cash game lineup this week and a couple tourneys too.
Julio Jones, $9,300, ATL vs. IND — The formulas say Jones will be a good value, but I fear he may miss value facing Vontae Davis this week. I’m avoiding him in cash games.
Calvin Johnson, $7,200, DET vs. OAK — This week there are a handful of players whose salaries are just too low. Megatron is among them. He also gets to face the Raiders, who have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers.
Mike Evans, $7,300, TB at PHI — Pretty much everyone will own Evans this week. Like Johnson, his price is too low and he gets an excellent matchup. The Eagles have allowed the second most yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers.
Dez Bryant, $7,700, DAL at MIA — We give Dez and instant upgrade because Tony Romo is back. He’s not quite as good a value as Megatron or Evans, but he is good. And the Dolphins have allowed the seventh-most yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Michael Crabtree, $6,000, OAK at DET — The Lions have allowed the seventh-most yards per game to opposing No. 2 wide receivers and Crabtree has been crushing well beyond his $6,000 salary in PPR.
Eric Decker, $5,800, NYJ at HOU — Like Crabtree, Decker has been a PPR machine. Now he gets to face the Texans who have allowed the fifth-most yards per game to opposing No. 2 wide receivers.
Stefon Diggs, $5,000, MIN vs. GB — There’s always a risk Adrian Peterson can take over and there’s no need to have a passing game, but Diggs is the No. 1 target in Minnesota. He faces a Green Bay defense that has allowed the sixth-most yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers.
Amari Cooper, $6,800, OAK at DET — Cooper’s matchup and price aren’t nearly as good as Crabtree’s, but the Raiders offense is in the projected highest scoring game of the week. We have to believe Cooper will get in on the action regardless of what the matchup looks like on paper.
Steve Johnson, $3,900, SD vs. KC — Johnson hasn’t been able to do much with piles of targets, but he will. That’s one of those positive regressions we’re always looking for. The targets will keep coming because the Chargers receiving ranks are so depleted. The Chiefs have allowed the third-most receiving yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers.
Travis Kelce, $4,700, KC at SD — It’s not a particularly great matchup for Kelce, but it’s not terrible either. Alex Smith is expected to have a decent game — as a quarterback facing the Chargers. Kelce’s price is too low and his potential is too high to ignore.
Rob Gronkowski, $7,700, NE vs. BUF — Gronkowski has disappointed so many fantasy owners this season. He just hasn’t been targeted as much as we’d like. That could all change this week with the Patriots receiving corps on the mend. There’s enough value this week that getting Gronk in there is no stretch. Both yards per game allowed and fantasy points allowed suggest it’s going to be a bad game.
Eric Ebron, $3,500, DET vs. OAK — Ebron is a targets machine who could get on track against Oakland in one of the highest scoring games of the week. I will have a few shares of him in tournaments because his price is just too darn low.
Greg Olsen, $6,200, CAR vs. WAS — Olsen’s price is high and his on-paper matchup is the worst this week. The Redskins have allowed the least fantasy points to opposing tight ends in the last five weeks. They’ve also yielded the seventh-least yards per game to the position. Still, we think Newton is in for a big game and as goes Newton, so usually goes his talented TE.
Jordan Reed, $4,900, WAS at CAR — Carolina has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. While I expect Kirk Cousins to struggle against that Panthers defense, I expect Reed to run free for some yards and, maybe, get in the end zone. His price has climbed, but it’s still sub-$5,000.
Antonio Gates, $4,800, SD vs. KC — Gates’ price is also too low for his amount of usage in the offense — which should go up considering the injuries in San Diego. He doesn’t have a great matchup — the Chiefs have allowed the second-least yards per game this season and the third-least fantasy points per game over the last five weeks to the position.
New York Jets, $3,000, at HOU
Carolina Panthers, $3,400, vs. WAS
Kansas City Chiefs, $2,600, at SD
Chicago Bears, $2,000, vs. DEN
Philadelphia Eagles, $3,100, vs. TB
Baltimore Ravens, $2,700, vs. STL
New England Patriots, $3,200, vs. BUF
Dallas Cowboys, $2,400, at MIA
Seattle Seahawks, $4,000, vs. SF