When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations inform us of how we should attack each slate.
Spread: -4 vs Tampa Bay | Total: 51
Calvin Ridley ($6,500) exploded in Week 11 for 31.3 DK Points on just eight targets. It marked the first time since Week 5 that he eclipsed 100 air yards in a game.
The price bump will drop his ownership and with the number of people looking to roster Julio Jones ($7,000) this week, he provides solid GPP leverage.1
Spread: -4 vs Denver | Total: 34.5
Another receiver who paid off nicely last week was John Brown ($6,700). He’d been having a fine season and actually seemed to have a floor for the first time in his career. But all of that didn’t amount to much DFS value because he was teetering on the WR2-WR3 precipice every week.
He’s seen at least five targets in every game and has 25 targets over the past two weeks.
Spread: +10 @ New Orleans | Total: 47
There are still going to be people that fade Christian McCaffrey ($10,500) this week. Don’t be one of these people. During the absolute stinker that Kyle Allen put together last week, McCaffrey still managed to drop 33 DK Points. And that was without a touchdown.
In non-Tampa Bay games this year, he’s averaging nearly 34 PPR points. Don’t. Overthink. It.
Spread: -6 vs New York Giants | Total: 39.5
As he clicked Allen Robinson ($6,500) for the 11th time this year he raised his fists to the sky and screamed “if not now, when?”. If this Bears offense can’t get in sync against the Giants, then they need to burn it all down. Sell the team, consider relocating, anything.
The graph of Robinson’s positional ranks is straight out of an Inefficiency 101 textbook. Being 12th in targets but 29th in PPR Points per game is absurd.
Spread: +6.5 vs Pittsburgh | Total: 38
The Bengals are implied for a paltry 15.75 points. The Ryan Finley experience is leaving quite a bit to be desired. Tyler Boyd ($5,000) comes into this game with the squeaky wheel narrative after questioning why he only saw three targets in a competitive game.
It was the first time that he has fallen below six targets in a single game and he entered the game averaging 10 targets.
Spread: -11 vs Miami | Total: 45.5
Everyone is going to be on regression candidate Odell Beckham ($7,000) this week. He’s seen the 10th most targets among wide receivers but he’s tied for 72nd in touchdowns.
Beckham is all the way down at 205th in FPOE per game among qualified wide receivers. With Baker Mayfield making an effort to get him the ball now, a big game should be on its way.
Spread: +6.5 @ New England | Total: 45
Michael Gallup ($5,900) is in a bit of a no-man’s land as far as pricing is concerned. With so much ownership being siphoned off towards Calvin Ridley and potentially Jarvis Landry at a similar price point, Gallup could be a GPP target.
He’s seen an increase in usage over the past three games. Over that timeframe he’s seen 35 targets.
Spread: +4 @ Buffalo | Total: 37.5
Courtland Sutton ($6,200) is another guy in that same price range that could go under-owned. He’s quietly put together a really nice season despite being on a somewhat sinking shop2.
He’s averaging 7.8 targets so far this season and is coming off his second WR1 performance. If they’re going to prioritize him in the passing game, he’s worth a look even in a tough matchup.3
Spread: -3.5 @ Washington | Total: 40.5
“Hey Siri, what does a useless backfield look like?”
I’d love to tell you that one of these guys is a smash play because of their price. But, if Bo Scarbrough ($4,200) is going to get half of the carries, while J.D. McKissic ($4,400) sees the only running back targets and Ty Johnson ($3,700) comes in to steal a couple of carries and targets then this is a total stay away.
Spread: +3.5 @ Tennessee | Total: 41.5
The Jaguars don’t have a crowded backfield. It’s the Leonard Fournette ($7,200) show. He’s been on the field for 87% of Jacksonville’s snaps. Among running backs, Fournette is 5th in opportunity share at 40%.
The issue, though, is that all of that usage hasn’t turned into many DraftKings points. There was a stretch of five weeks where he was an RB1 but the last two outings have been less than impressive. Fournette will be low-owned and could make sense for GPPs given his pass game usage but he doesn’t have the same floor as a lot of these other high priced running backs.
Spread: +11 @ Cleveland | Total: 45.5
DeVante Parker ($5,200) is too cheap for his usage this week.
He’s seen 10 targets in three of his last five games and is averaging 8 targets since their bye. Parker has shown a floor of about 12 DK points over that span and had a ceiling game last week where he put up 23.5 points.
New England Patriots
Spread: -6.5 vs Dallas | Total: 45
The Patriots wide receiver room is dwindling. Julian Edelman ($6,900) is still standing but Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett are looking increasingly less likely to play this weekend. Enter N’Keal Harry ($3,300). He was activated from IR last week. Harry was on the field for 43% of the snaps in his first game back and earned four targets. If Sanu and Dorsett are officially declared out, Harry unlocks a lot of salary for your lineup.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: -10 vs Carolina | Total: 47
Alvin Kamara ($8,200) underwhelmed in his return from injury two weeks ago. He got back to his expected usage last week, though.
He saw 23 opportunities against Tampa Bay last week. We’re likely never going to see the Saints give Kamara 18-24 carries but if he’s going to see 10-15 carries plus his 8-10 targets4 then that’s a guy we need to get into our lineups.
New York Giants
Spread: +6 @ Chicago| Total: 39.5
My New York Football Giants needed a week off after losing to the hapless Jets in Week 10. Saquon Barkley ($7,900) is at the lowest price he’s been this year.5 He’s coming off a dreadful performance.
There’s no reason that he isn’t getting force-fed the ball other than the fact that Pat Shurmur is in over his head and completely incompetent. Barkley’s enticing at the price, but I’m not sure we can trust him with the current state of their offense.
New York Jets
Spread: +3 vs Oakland | Total: 46.5
If you’re getting exposure to the Jets offense, a Sam Darnold ($5,800) to Jamison Crowder ($6,200) stack seems like it’s the way to go. Crowder has had three straight games with at least five catches, 75 yards, and a touchdown.
In his six games since returning from mono, Darnold has put up three QB1 performances. After the now-infamous “seeing ghosts” game, he’s played pretty well. At $5,800, he’s a bargain for his ceiling.
Spread: -3 @ New York Jets | Total: 46.5
Darren Waller ($5,700) came out of the gates on fire this season. Over the last month or so, he’s cooled off considerably. His ceiling is obvious as one of very few players with multiple 30-plus DK point performances.
The problem is his floor. In three of the last four weeks, he’s been in the single digits. He’s still averaging 5.5 targets per game over that stretch but his price makes that less than ideal.
Spread: -1 vs Seattle | Total: 48
Zach Ertz ($6,000) is the most expensive tight end on the slate this week, and for good reason. After a lull in his performance during the month of October, he’s been excellent to start November.
His past two starts have been TE1 performances and he’s seen 11 targets each of those weeks. With some missing and banged up wide receivers, Carson Wentz is going to have to rely on Ertz more than usual.
Spread: -6.5 @ Cincinnati | Total: 38
Jaylen Samuels ($7,200) is looking more and more likely to start this week with James Conner still nursing a shoulder injury that pulled him out of last week’s melee – I mean, game.
In games where Conner failed to see 10 rushing attempts, Samuels has averaged just 13.13 PPR points this year. He’s in play as a low-owned option but this isn’t the same situation where he was a chalky $4,000 play a few weeks ago.
Spread: +1 @ Philadelphia | Total: 48
Russell Wilson ($6,800) is the most expensive quarterback on the slate this week. He should certainly be in the MVP conversation and is the QB2 right now in fantasy but he hasn’t been without his dud weeks.
Wilson has had five games at 28-plus DK Points and another five games at 16.6 and below. Four of his worst games came as bigger favorites, though, where they didn’t necessarily need him to throw as much.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: +4 @ Atlanta | Total: 51
A full-on team stack with Jameis Winston ($6,200), Mike Evans ($7,300), and Chris Godwin ($7,200) seems pretty reasonable this week. With the two receivers there, you’re basically guaranteeing yourself upwards of 40% of Winston’s pass attempts.
Winston’s pass volume is something to behold and cherish. He hasn’t thrown fewer than 25 passes in a single game all season and he’s only had two games under 35. If/when you roster him I strongly encourage you to make plans and avoid watching the game at all costs. This is a very clear “I like sausage but I don’t want to see how it’s made” situation.
Spread: -3 vs Jacksonville | Total: 41.5
Close your eyes and picture those Titans Blue and Silver uniforms. You can see the steam coming out of Derrick Henry’s ($6,900) facemask as he catches his breath after his second 60-plus yard carry. His workload has been excellent with just a couple of exceptions so far this year.
Henry has had five RB1 finishes this season, three of which have come in the last four weeks. His pass game usage is concerning, obviously, but his ceiling is there because of the types of touches he gets in the offense.
Spread: +3.5 vs Detroit | Total: 41.5
Derrius Guice ($4,700) is back and he scored his first career touchdown last week. He was only on the field for 20-of-68 snaps, though. He saw fewer targets than Wendell Smallwood and fewer rushes than Adrian Peterson. If that’s going to be the split, this situation is basically untouchable in DFS. The offense as a whole caps all of their ceilings.