Week 11 Daily Fantasy Football Preview: Sleepers, Busts and More
Last week was the week of the elite running back. Will week 11 change course and be the week of the elite wide receiver?
The crazy part is, it truly could be both.
We’re in a weird spot with daily fantasy football, as some of the best NFL DFS options have rough matchups, are expensive or come at a position where there is a ton of value that is hard to pass up.
Ultimately, it’s on you to decide which players make up your DFS lineup, but we can at least shed a little light on some of the top sleepers, busts, chalk and contrarian options. If you get the right mixture, you just might come away with a huge cash prize this week at DraftKings.
Let’s get to it:
Top NFL DFS Sleepers
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins ($5.8k)
- Frank Gore, RB, Colts ($5k)
- Cameron Meredith, WR, Bears ($4.1k)
- Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots ($3.7k)
- Miami Dolphins ($2.9k)
It’s debatable what is a fantasy football sleeper anymore, but to us, it’s a guy that might be slightly under the radar but is either really safe or offers value and/or upside.
Kirk Cousins starts our sleeper list off, as he’s a great price and facing a bad Packers defense at home. With a lot of people likely locked in on studs like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, it’s quite possible someone like Cousins floats a bit under the radar.
Cousins doesn’t always have monster outings, but he’s usually a safe bet for 18-19 fantasy points per game. In a matchup at home against this shaky Green Bay defense, he has the potential for much more than that.
You’re going to want to pay up at running back at some point in week 11, but it might be wise to get a safe, cheap option if you can, as well. Gore fits the bill, as he’s safely topped 14 fantasy points in four games and even dropped 19 fantasy points on the Titans earlier this year. In a huge AFC South clash, Gore should be a very strong play as your RB2.
I’m not entirely sold on Meredith just yet, only because he and Jay Cutler really haven’t connected much over the last two weeks. These two may not have a choice, however, as Alshon Jeffery is serving a four-game PED ban. At this price, Meredith could be worth the gamble.
Bennett is the easiest sleeper call of the week. He shredded to the tune of 20 fantasy points last week and should have a big role against the Niners with Rob Gronkowski officially being ruled out:
Rob Gronkowski (chest injury) will not play on Sunday vs. the 49ers. https://t.co/uVMCWZJCQ1
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 18, 2016
Bennett is a bit nicked up, so just be sure to check his status and make sure he’s playing this week.
Miami’s defense feels like a must-play, but their cheap price might have them in NFL DFS sleeper territory. They’ve been great lately (13 and 17 fantasy points in two of their last three games) and get to face rookie passer Jared Goff in his first ever start. That’ll do.
Players to Avoid
- Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers ($5.9k)
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys ($8k)
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings ($7k)
- Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks ($5.6k)
- Minnesota Vikings ($3.3k)
I’m rarely a firm believer in Jameis Winston, but that’s especially the case when he’s taking on a talented defense. This week’s matchup with an aggressive Kansas City unit looks bad on paper, and I’ll want zero shares of Winston in this one.
I love me some Zeke and there is no denying the tear he’s been on, but we can’t just shrug off the Ravens, who boast the #1 defense against fantasy running backs.
Elliott could still get decent yardage and a score, but the fade call here is banking on a less than stellar outing. I still think 10-15 fantasy points are in order, but with this bad matchup, I don’t want to pay up for Zeke.
Ditto for Diggs, who has been heavily peppered with targets over the last three weeks, but is going to be shadowed by Patrick Peterson:
— Zesty Vikings News (@zesty_vikings) November 18, 2016
That’s bad news for Diggs, who I think is bound to lay an egg in an intense showdown with the Arizona Cardinals.
Jimmy Graham could have it tough this week, too, as he faces an Eagles defense that really stifles tight ends. That, and he’s chipped in less than 10 fantasy points in two of his last three games. I’m going cheap at tight end or rolling with someone like Jordan Reed, instead.
I’m probably done trusting the Minnesota Vikings defense, as well. This week they face a desperate Arizona offense that is both talented and will badly want to get a win. More importantly, Minnesota is still priced like a top shelf unit, yet they’ve scored just seven combined fantasy points over their last three games. No thanks.
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers ($7.5k)
- Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers ($8.8k)
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants ($8.5k)
- Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins ($5.9k)
- Pittsburgh Steelers ($3.7k)
There are a ton of daily fantasy football options that could roll into the chalk category, but basically all of the top Steelers offensive players make good sense. Big Ben, Bell and obviously Antonio Brown all get a dream date with the Cleveland Browns in a must-win situation. Anything short of them going nuts would be a shock.
We could throw Brown in here, but let’s toss ODJ some love. The Giants star got 2016 off to a slow start, but the league poked the beast and now he’s on a tear with three 20+ fantasy point outings in his last four games. In week 11 he gets the Bears, so the upside is through the roof.
The same goes for Reed, who now looks to be the top tight end with The Gronk out for this week. He’s at home this week against an atrocious Green Bay defense that just got torched by Delanie Walker. It’d be a surprise if he didn’t go off – and also if he’s not highly owned.
Any defense with an amazing matchup is going to be highly targeted, so even though Pittsburgh has a steep price, a lot of people will be on them as they take on a bad Browns team. Normally we wouldn’t vouch for this defense, but BROWNS, and all.
- Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars ($5.4k)
- Todd Gurley, RB, Rams ($5k)
- Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys ($7.2k)
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals ($5.4k)
- Indianapolis Colts ($2.7k)
It’s always good to try to think a little contrarian in GPPs if you can, which is why Blake Bortles might be a fantastic play this week. The big reason is because the dude is bad and everyone knows it. Like, really bad:
Only the great Blake Bortles could pull this off pic.twitter.com/cRi5zdxl05
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) November 13, 2016
That being said, Bortles has the ability to finish high in the DFS ranks even when he’s playing horribly, and he’s cheap as he faces a really bad Lions defense.
That doesn’t mean you want maximum exposure to Bortles, but he’s almost the minimum at DraftKings and has put up 32, 22 and 19 fantasy points in his last three games. If he can just hit 20 points, that’s a win for the price you’re paying.
Gurley has gotten to be way too cheap. There is still a lot working against him, of course, as his o-line isn’t very good, he’s facing a hot Miami defense and Jared Goff is starting this week. But the guy is a potential stud on any given day and he’s just $5k. We need to fire him up a few times in daily fantasy football leagues in week 11.
Dez Bryant is also a little banged up, but he’s at home this week against a Baltimore defense that gives up some production through the air. Bryant has been solid lately, too, putting up 24+ fantasy points in two of his last three games. Week 11 feels like another good spot to deploy him.
Tyler Eifert has been good to great since returning from an ankle injury, as he’s poured in 28 and 12 fantasy points in his last two outings. This week he could have a challenge in the Bills, but Buffalo is actually just a middling defense against tight ends this year. In a huge must-win game at home, look for Eifert to return value with 50+ yards and a score.
If you’re looking for a fun sleeper defense that few others will be on, consider the Colts. They’re at home in a huge divisional clash with the Titans and the last time they faced Tennessee, they came up with a strong 11 fantasy points. The Colts are far from reliable, but division games are unpredictable. With Marcus Mariota and the Titans on fire right now, this could be a good time to go contrarian and bet against them on the road.
That does it for our week 11 daily fantasy football picks. There is a lot to consider this week, so hopefully we simply nudge you in the right direction. Don’t forget to check out our week 11 daily fantasy football optimal lineup, which unsurprisingly showcases a lot of the NFL DFS options we touched on here.
Following that lineup exactly as is isn’t necessarily the goal, but we hope our insight helps you one way or another. Regardless, good luck in your NFL DFS contests this week!
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