FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 11 Monday Night (Giants at Buccaneers)
This week's NFL festivities conclude with a matchup that isn't projected to be close -- at least on paper -- between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are 10.5-point home favorites, and this game has a healthy 50.0 over/under.
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. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
You'll be shocked to learn that Tom Brady ($17,000) is projected for the slate's most FanDuel points in numberFire's model, and no one else comes particularly close. I'll give you a moment to collect yourself.
Brady's 24.65 FanDuel points per game bests everyone else on the board by a wide margin -- no one else averages even 17 -- and he's eclipsed 25 FanDuel points in five of his nine outings. On a per-game basis, Brady leads the league in pass attempts (41.9), passing yards, (318.9), and passing scores (3.0).
So, yeah, he's a clear top candidate at MVP. But there's are a few reasons why you might want to lower your exposure in the multiplier slot, too.
Despite coming off a poor Week 10 performance, Brady will almost certainly still see immense MVP popularity. Additionally, the Giants aren't some cupcake matchup when it comes to defending the pass, ranking 13th in numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. And as always, outside of the occasional quarterback sneak at the goal line, Brady is a near zero rushing the football, so his ceiling is heavily reliant on racking up passing touchdowns, which can be tough to do on a weekly basis.
Again, Brady should put up points, but there are paths to underwhelming if you want to avoid the MVP chalk. However, his high median projection also suggests that you should lock him in as a flex under most circumstances, too.
Daniel Jones ($15,000) predictably follows Brady in numberFire's model, and they're the only two options pegged for over 15 FanDuel points. While quarterbacks tend to be popular MVPs, between the Giants' middling implied team total and Jones' own inconsistency, he could see a reduced MVP roster percentage.
Of course, unlike Brady, Jones' best fantasy outings tend to come when he runs the ball, and while his production on the ground has fallen off a bit since the beginning of the season, he's sixth at the position in rushing yards (in just nine games), averaging 5.6 carries and 28.7 yards per game. He also has two rushing touchdowns.
All of this puts Jones in play as a secondary MVP, though his matchup isn't perfect in spite of Tampa's recent struggles in back-to-back losses. The Bucs still rank 10th in schedule-adjusted pass defense.
After the two signal-callers, Leonard Fournette ($11,500), Chris Godwin ($12,500), Barkley, and Mike Evans ($13,000) round out the players projected for 12-plus FanDuel points. This is arguably a good cut-off point for your MVP possibilities if you aren't mass multi-entering tournaments.
Starting with the Bucs' side, I'm guessing that the order of MVP popularity will go Godwin, Evans, then Fournette.
With Antonio Brown out over the past three games, Godwin has been the big winner, owning a robust 27.4% target share and 26.2% air yards share, exceeding 100 receiving yards twice. Evans hasn't enjoyed the same volume with a 15.0% target share and 31.1% air yards share, but he's tallied five touchdowns over that span.
Across the past five games, Fournette has averaged 25.2 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) and a 60.8% snap rate as Tampa's clear lead back.
With Brady, Godwin, and Evans likely all drawing more attention, Fournette might be a way to be a little different at MVP while still slotting in a Buccaneer. He doesn't tend to be a high-upside play, but this is the right matchup for him to punch in a couple of scores, as the Giants rank 30th in schedule-adjusted rush defense.
But the best way to go against the public will probably be to roster a Giant at MVP, and outside of Jones, Barkley could very well be the best choice. We'll have to wait and see if Barkley is active, but he got limited practices in all week, suggesting he has a good chance of playing.
There's obviously risk in taking the plunge on any running back coming off an injury, so keep in mind that this could completely backfire if he sees reduced snaps. But in his three games with a full workload, he averaged 24.7 adjusted opportunities with an 85.1% snap rate, which would be amazing to get at lower popularity.
Tampa's adjusted rush defense ranks fourth in numberFire's metrics, but run-stopping defensive lineman Vita Vea (doubtful) didn't practice all week, which could weaken this normally stout line. Furthermore, the Bucs haven't been as effective defending pass-catching running backs, per our Brandon Gdula.
All of the aforementioned players are naturally strong choices for your flex spots, as well, but in terms of value, the Giants' pass-catchers might be the place to look.
Kenny Golladay ($9,500), Kadarius Toney ($9,000), Evan Engram ($8,000), and Darius Slayton ($7,500) all have sub-$10,000 salaries, though good luck figuring out who will get the ball, as injuries throughout the season have made it near impossible to unveil a defined pecking order.
But with the Giants coming out of their bye week, Golladay and Toney are finally off the injury report, and based on talent, they're the logical guys to hone in on.
Toney has the top median projection of the bunch, and we're still waiting for him to have another game like his 10-catch, 189-yard outburst in Week 5. Golladay checks in close behind him in numberFire's model, and it really starts to tail off after that. If you're looking to get a little weird at MVP, I wouldn't rule out throwing one of these two in and hope you guess right.
On Tampa Bay, it sounds like Rob Gronkowski ($10,000) has a real shot of returning tonight, making him a slate wild card. Even if he plays limited snaps, no one would be surprised if he snagged a touchdown or two in the red zone.
Tyler Johnson ($7,500) has seen a bump in snaps with Antonio Brown out (66.3% snap rate), but he's averaged a measly 4.3 targets over the last three games with an 11.5% target share. While the playing time keeps him in the mix, he's otherwise hard to get excited about.
Lastly, pass-catching back Gio Bernard ($6,500) is well behind Fournette, but he could make sense in contrarian lineups that go heavier on Giants players and lean on the unlikely scenario that the Bucs play from behind.