FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 11 Thursday Night (Patriots at Falcons)

On NFL odds, the New England Patriots are 6.5-point road favorites versus the Atlanta Falcons in a game with a 47.5-point total. That makes the implied score 27.00-20.50 in favor of New England.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

On a slate lacking high-upside players, quarterbacks Mac Jones ($15,000 on FanDuel) and Matt Ryan ($15,500) are obvious MVP options. Jones is my preference between the two.

Jones has settled in nicely for the Pats, and while he's gone for more than 20.0 FanDuel points only once, he's scored at least 15.0 FanDuel points in three of his past five. The worries with Jones are the absence of rushing upside and the lack of good passing volume in a game the Pats could control on the ground. But on a slate where there just aren't many appealing plays, the rookie has to be on the MVP radar versus a Falcons defense that has given up the third-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (21.8). We have Jones pegged for a slate-leading 17.5 FanDuel points, and with New England's backfield roles up in the air, the masses will likely land on Jones at MVP.

The matchup is much tougher for Matty Ice, who gets a Pats defense that is limiting signal-callers to the second-fewest FanDuel points per game (15.2). Atlanta's offense has looked horrible at times this campaign, but Ryan has flashed a much higher ceiling than Jones has, producing games of 28.52 and 29.02 FanDuel points, with the 28.52 coming on the road at the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago sans Calvin Ridley. Our model projects Ryan for 16.0 FanDuel points.

A vital decision on this slate is how to handle the Patriots' backfield now that Damien Harris (13,500) is set to return. This is undoubtedly a money spot for New England's running backs as the Pats' run-heavy offense -- ninth-lowest pass rate -- is up against a Falcons defense that surrenders the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to backfields (25.4) in a game where the Patriots are nearly a touchdown favorite. Unfortunately, we could see Rhamondre Stevenson ($13,000) and Harris cannibalize each other.

While Harris has been a productive lead back for much of the campaign, Stevenson may have earned himself a meaningful role by blowing up last week against the Cleveland Browns, when he racked up 20 carries, 100 rushing yards and 2 tuds on his way to 25.4 FanDuel points. Stevenson also saw five targets in that blowout win. Harris hasn't been targeted more than three times in a game in 2021. That receiving work could stick for Stevenson if Brandon Bolden, who is questionable, is ruled out.

If either Harris or Stevenson operates as a lead runner, they'd be a logical MVP option. We just have no clue how the volume will be divvied up. Our model has them splitting things, with Stevenson projected for 9.0 FanDuel points and Harris pegged for 8.7.

Early this week, Cordarrelle Patterson ($14,000) looked like a long shot to play, but he's expected to be a game-time call. C-Pat suiting up would be great for Atlanta's offense, as he's arguably been their best player this season. He scored at least 13.1 FanDuel points in seven straight games prior to last week's lopsided loss at the Dallas Cowboys. Patterson is my preferred MVP play from Atlanta if he suits up and is expected to be full-go.

Another MVP choice for Atlanta is rookie tight end Kyle Pitts ($12,000). I won't go here, though. Bill Belichick has a long track record of wiping out the opposing team's top weapon, and Pitts is clearly -- huge emphasis on clearly -- the best piece on the Falcons with Ridley out and Patterson possibly sitting. Plus, the Patriots have bottled up tight ends all year, giving up only 7.1 FanDuel points per game to the position, the seventh-fewest. With all that said, Pitts is projected for 10.8 FanDuel points, per our numbers, tops among non-quarterbacks.

Flex Breakdown

On the Atlanta side, if Patterson winds up being out, Mike Davis ($7,500) and Wayne Gallman ($6,500) become really good options at their salaries. I side with Davis between the two after Atlanta coach Arthur Smith said Gallman's increased usage last week was due to the blowout score and the upcoming short turnaround for this Thursday clash.

The matchup isn't a good one for Atlanta's running game, but it's hard to turn down what should be good volume (if C-Pat is sidelined) at a $7,500 salary. In the two games before the loss at Dallas, Davis averaged 12.0 touches per outing, and that's with Patterson playing. Our model currently accounts for Patterson being out and has Davis scoring 9.0 FanDuel points. We rate him as one of the best point-per-dollar plays on the slate.

Our algorithm also has Gallman projected for 9.0 FanDuel points, so he's plenty viable, as well, if you prefer him. I'm just not sure what his role will be.

Jakobi Meyers ($10,500), Hunter Henry ($11,000), Kendrick Bourne ($9,500) and Nelson Agholor ($7,500) stand out in the Pats' low-volume passing game.

Meyers just scored his first career tuddie last week, so he has almost no ceiling games to speak of. But the usage is nice -- including a 23% target share and 26% air yards share, the former being a team-high clip by 9 percentage points -- and the matchup is there, as Atlanta has permitted the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts (31.3). We have Meyers projected for 9.5 FanDuel points. I don't think I have the stomach for it, but Meyers could hit as an off-the-radar MVP option if you're willing to get weird.

Bourne has carved out a decent role, garnering at least four targets in four straight games and recording a 16% target share and 18% air yards share in that span. He feels point-chasey, though, coming off 98 yards and a touchdown last week and projects similarly to Agholor, who is $2,000 less.

Agholor owns a team-best 30% air yards share across the last four games, and on what could be a low-scoring slate, one chunk play might carry a lot of weight. The floor, however, is bottomless. Two weeks ago, Agholor played 54 of 62 snaps against the Carolina Panthers without drawing a target. Yay. Outside of that clunker, though, he's logged at least four targets in every game but one and has been in on at least 70% of the snaps in three straight. At a projection of 7.9 FanDuel points, he's a fine dice roll.

Henry needs to find pay-dirt to hit at this salary, something he's done consistently with seven scores over his last seven games. The negative is that he's seen a mere 16 targets across his past five games with a single-game high of 37 yards in that time, so he's been very reliant on tuddies. I'll mostly stay away, so pencil him in for two more touchdowns. Our model projects Henry for 7.2 FanDuel points.

Kickers are best suited for lower-scoring affairs, and you can make a case for either Nick Folk ($9,000) or Younghoe Koo ($8,500) in a dome game.

Folk has missed just one field-goal try in his last six games. Koo has misfired on only one field-goal attempt this season while being perfect on extra points, but Atlanta could be in a position later in the game where they have to chase touchdowns and forego kicks. We have Folk scoring 9.2 FanDuel points and project Koo for 8.3.