FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 11
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel NFL primer, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of the top plays in Week 11.
Josh Allen ($8,800 on FanDuel): Allen got back on track in an easy Week 10 win over the Jets, efficiently dicing them up for 366 passing yards on just 28 pass attempts. It ultimately wasn't a ceiling game for him due to other Bills players rushing for three red-zone scores, but it still marked Allen's sixth game of 20-plus FanDuel points this season. And while he didn't run much on Sunday, Allen remains a good bet to add points with his legs, ranking third at the position in rushing yards.
This is the right matchup to keep this passing attack rolling against the Colts. Indianapolis ranks 3rd in schedule-adjusted rush defense, per numberFire's metrics, but sit way down at 29th versus the pass. And while this game doesn't rate well in terms of pace, per our Brandon Gdula, this game still carries one of the highest over/unders (50.0), and Buffalo boasts the second-best implied total on the board (28.50).
Overall, Allen is the top quarterback in numberFire's projections and actually still rates as a good point-per-dollar value despite his lofty salary.
Dak Prescott ($8,400) and Patrick Mahomes ($8,300): Any concerns surrounding the Dallas and Kansas City offenses entering Week 10 were emphatically squashed in blowout wins, and there's little doubt which game that will garner the most attention this weekend. This Cowboys-Chiefs bout has shootout written all over it with a massive 56.0 total. No other game comes close.
This game also rates as the fastest in pace, per Gdula, and both teams come in as top-four adjusted offenses in numberFire's rankings.
With Matthew Stafford stumbling in back-to-back games, it's Prescott who's taken over the league lead in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, and he also ranks first in Passing Success Rate (55.89%). While he's yet to crack 30 FanDuel points in a game this year, that fantastic passing efficiency has helped him exceed 25 points in four of his eight starts.
The Chiefs' offense may have come alive last week, but their defense remains one to attack, ranking 24th in adjusted pass defense. The stage is set for perhaps Prescott's best fantasy day yet, and he projects as a top-four quarterback in numberFire's model.
Meanwhile, we saw peak Mahomes in Kansas City's Week 10 outburst, as he exceeded 400 passing yards for the first time this year and racked up 5 touchdowns. Despite his recent struggles, that performance marks Mahomes' third time cracking 30 FanDuel points this season.
His matchup is a bit more difficult versus a Cowboys defensive unit that ranks sixth in adjusted pass defense, but that's hardly enough to deter us here. We know that Mahomes is nearly unstoppable when he's at his best, and only Josh Allen is projected for more FanDuel points at the position.
Lamar Jackson ($8,400): Jackson has missed back-to-back practices with a non-COVID illness, so that's something to keep an eye on, though there doesn't seem to be any real concern of him sitting out yet.
It might be boring to list another high-salaried quarterback, but chances are good that one of these guys emerges with the top score at the position -- they're up there in salary for a reason.
Jackson's slate-breaking upside is unquestionable, as he's exceeded 30 FanDuel points on three occasions this year and boasts a season-high of 41.88 points. This is naturally due to Jackson's rushing ability, and he predictably leads the position in both rushing attempts and rushing yards, averaging 11.8 carries and 71.0 rushing yards per game.
The Bears are a bottom-third defense this season, so Jackson's in a good spot to bounce back from a disappointing outing versus the Dolphins. He's right up there with Allen and Mahomes in numberFire's projections this week.
Christian McCaffrey ($10,000): Although McCaffrey only played on 58.6% of the snaps in Week 10, that didn't stop him from piling up 33.0 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets), which is right on par with what we've seen from him when healthy this season.
Quarterback Cam Newton is trending towards starting and should be a net positive for this Carolina offense over Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker. However, as we quickly saw last week, Newton's rushing ability near the goal line could lead to him vulturing rushing scores away from McCaffrey. That may put a slight dent in McCaffrey's scoring upside, though it's hard to see his overall volume otherwise changing.
And while Washington ranks 9th in schedule-adjusted rush defense, they've been less successful defending pass-catching backs, allowing a league-high 7 receiving touchdowns to opposing backfields and sitting 31st in adjusted FanDuel points allowed per target at the position.
McCaffrey leads the way in numberFire's running back projections by a good chunk, and he's the only one projected for over 20 FanDuel points.
Dalvin Cook ($8,400): There's a lot of upside to be found in the $8,000 range, including Jonathan Taylor ($8,800) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500). Taylor draws a tough matchup against the Bills but continues to crush it on a weekly basis, while Elliott has multi-score upside in the most fantasy-friendly game of the slate.
But in terms of both volume and matchup, it's easy to like Cook, as well. He's averaged 29.0 adjusted opportunities over his six full games, and he's coming off 34 adjusted opportunities in what was a plus matchup against the Chargers.
Cook's yet to produce a slate-breaking score this season, maxing out at 21.3 FanDuel points thus far, but he should again be the focal point of the offense versus the Packers. Green Bay ranks 4th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, but they're just 27th versus the run. However, one thing to keep in mind is that Green Bay plays at a very slow pace, which could threaten Cook's bottom line if they're able to control the game.
Overall, Cook projects for the second-most FanDuel points at running back, per numberFire's model.
D'Andre Swift ($7,500): While it was partially aided by overtime, Swift is coming off a ridiculous 45.0 adjusted opportunities, most of which came off a season-high 33 carries. Prior to last week, he hadn't exceeded 14 rushes in any game. He also rarely left the field, logging a season-high snap rate (92.6%).
This uptick in usage coincided with head coach Dan Campbell taking over offensive play-calling duties, so it's possible this shift in Swift's volume sticks. That said, it's worth noting that Jamaal Williams (thigh) missed the past two games, so he could eat into Swift's workload if he's able to return this week. Ultimately, though, the arrow is decidedly pointing up for Swift.
Cleveland now ranks 23rd in schedule-adjusted rush defense and were just shredded on the ground by New England for 184 yards and 2 scores in Week 10. The winless Lions are predictably big underdogs (11.5 points), but that won't necessarily hurt Swift, who's been used heavily as a pass-catcher all season and is projected for the most targets at the position behind McCaffrey.
AJ Dillon ($7,000): Dillon will be a popular point-per-dollar play with Aaron Jones out, as the stage is set for a workhorse role in a great matchup versus the Vikings. Despite Dillon only playing on 51.4% of the snaps last week, Jones' mid-game injury would lead to him logging 25.0 adjusted opportunities, and both his snaps and opportunities figure to only go up from here.
Knowing how the Packers tend to split the work in their backfield, we shouldn't rule out Patrick Taylor seeing an increased role, as well, but seeing as he only finished with two carries last week -- his only touches all season -- it's unlikely we see anything close to the split we saw between Jones and Dillon.
To top it off, Minnesota ranks 29th in schedule-adjusted rush defense, and Green Bay is a slight favorite despite being on the road. numberFire's projections are probably underselling Dillon's role this week, and he should be considered one of the top options at the position.
Tyreek Hill ($8,500): Hill and Davante Adams ($8,400) are neck and neck atop numberFire's wideout projections, but Hill gets the slight edge and arguably has the clearer path to a spike week. Of course, that's due to the enormous shootout potential in his spot against the Cowboys. Although Dallas has been a strong pass defense overall, they're 21st in adjusted FanDuel points allowed per target against wide receivers.
Hill is averaging the second-most targets in the league (11.1) behind Cooper Kupp, and despite Mahomes' up-and-down campaign, Hill's capitalized on that volume to exceed 20 FanDuel points four times this year.
While Hill figures to be a popular play, no one would be surprised if he comes away with another big week.
Ja'Marr Chase ($7,700): numberFire's model likes Chase as a top-six wideout this week, and his usage has been fantastic in his rookie campaign. Since Tee Higgins' return in Week 5, Chase has averaged 9.6 targets per game with a 27.1% target share and 41.9% air yards share.
Although this game against Las Vegas doesn't necessarily pop in terms of pace, it does rate as the top overall game in pass rate and has a solid 50.5 total, perhaps giving this one some shootout potential. Both defenses are also better versus the run than the pass, which should also incentivize both teams to chuck it. The Raiders rank 25th in schedule-adjusted pass defense.
A.J. Brown ($7,200): Despite coming off a disappointing four-target game versus New Orleans, Brown projects as the top wide receiver value in a much easier draw against the Texans. Houston is 28th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, and Tennessee is expected to roll in this one, boasting the fourth-best implied total (27.25).
While last week's performance was especially disappointing with Julio Jones on injured reserve, Brown blew up in Week 8 with Jones out, catching 10-of-11 targets for 155 yards and a touchdown. That performance came in a plus matchup versus Indianapolis, which should give us confidence that he has similar potential against these lowly Texans.
Michael Gallup ($5,400): Gallup's Week 10 role doesn't jump off the page, but we have to remember that it was his first game since getting hurt in Week 1, and the Cowboys' blowout win over the Falcons was pretty much over by halftime. With that in mind, his 15.2% target share is promising for his usage moving forward, and he could very well be our best way to gain cheap exposure to this highly-anticipated Dallas-Kansas City slugfest.
Darren Waller ($6,700): As you would expect, Travis Kelce ($7,300) is the clear top tight end in a marquee matchup, but Waller actually follows close behind him in our projections. The familiar faces of George Kittle ($6,800), Mark Andrews ($7,000), and Mike Gesicki ($6,300) round out the top five.
Of that group, Waller emerges as the top point-per-dollar value and remains a solid play despite rather underwhelming results for the most part. After blowing up for 21.5 FanDuel points in Week 1, Waller's failed to crack 13 in any of the seven games since.
And yet, the usage numbers remain elite for the position, giving us hope that bigger days are ahead. In the two games without Henry Ruggs, Waller has averaged 9.0 targets with a 22.5% target share, 89.8% snap rate, and 86.9% route rate, and that's pretty consistent with what we've seen from him all year. Perhaps a back-and-forth matchup against Cincinnati finally brings out a big score.
Dan Arnold ($5,400): Arnold's developed into a consistent option in the Jaguars' passing game, averaging 7.4 targets and a 19.8% target share over his last five games. He's turned that usage into 60 or more receiving yards four times over that span, so it's not like these have been empty targets, either.
However, playing on a poor offense has also meant a lack of scoring opportunities, and Arnold is still waiting for his first touchdown of the season. That does put his ceiling into question, but Jacksonville should be in a negative game script as 6.5-point underdogs to San Francisco, so that could at least force Trevor Lawrence into more pass attempts.
Should Arnold finally cash in with a score, he would pay off at this modest salary.
Baltimore D/ST ($4,500): The Ravens' defense is tied for the fifth-highest salary at the position but is also projected for the second-most FanDuel points, putting them at the top of the heap as a point-per-dollar value. While Baltimore hasn't been the defensive menace of years past, they draw a plus matchup against Justin Fields and the Bears. Yes, Fields has shown some improvements in recent weeks, but he still has the highest sack rate among qualified starters (13.4%) and has thrown 8 interceptions to just 4 touchdowns.
In the same salary range, the Tennessee D/ST ($4,600) also stands out. The Titans are heavy favorites over the Texans, and they rank eighth in numberFire's defense rankings and fifth in Football Outsiders' adjusted sack rate.
Carolina D/ST ($4,100): The Panthers now rank second in schedule-adjusted pass defense, and they should enjoy better field position moving forward in the switch from Darnold to Newton. Carolina also ranks first in adjusted sack rate.
While Washington's Taylor Heinicke is coming off a huge win over the Buccaneers, he was also sacked five times, marking his third straight game with at least four. Heinicke's also been prone to turnovers, throwing at least one interception in six of his eight starts this season.