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Last week was so frustrating in the daily games at DraftKings. They offered a $444 game to win a million dollars while eliminating the $20 Million Dollar Maker. I entered six teams with two cashing, but I felt my plan would have been better if they offered the small price point event. Here’s a look at the winning team in the NFL $5M Main Event Millionaire Maker at DraftKings:
This owner won by one tenth of a point thanks to the late success by C.J. Prosise (22.3). The key for Fantasy owners with winning tickets was rostering the Marcus Mariota/Delanie Walker combo, which netted 59.0 Fantasy points in DK scoring. Most Fantasy owners felt Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown would come in. Both players finished with plus scores even with other outs at RB at the top end. The last key component of this roster was owning Jordy Nelson on the opposite of the Titans players. His only whiff was J.J. Nelson (3.9).
Three of the top four QBs this week have favorable matchups while playing on the road (Brady, Roethlisberger, and Rodgers). I do believe either Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown will come in again with both player have top shelf salaries. I also like the path of Odell Beckham, and he looks ready to post an elite game.
Bell now ranks 8th in PPR leagues at the RB position while his average per game (23.05) is only a slight step back from David Johnson (24.48). Last week Le'Veon had his first impact game of the season (134 combined yards with two TDs and nine catches). He's on pace to catches 90 passes in just 12 games. His only failed area of production is in TDs (2). The Browns allowed the 5th most Fantasy points to RBs with one disaster game (CIN - 312 combined yards with two TDs and four catches). Over the last six games, team average 34.5 rushes against Cleveland. On the year, RBs gain 4.5 yards per rush vs. the Browns while allowing 14 TDs to the RB position. Pittsburgh should score at least four TDs, so Bell will be a big part of the game plan. Huge salary with a huge opportunity expected in this game. Possible 35+ Fantasy points.
After his best game of the season (14/154/1), Brown moved back to first in WR scoring in PPR leagues (21.78). He's still about 2.5 Fantasy points behind his pace in 2014 (24.39) and 2015 (24.45), so there could be more correction on the way. Antonio has a TD in his last two games, and he averages 11.6 targets per game. Last season Brown had 23 catches for 326 yards and three TDs against Cleveland in two games. WRs have 118 catches for 1774 yards and 14 TDs on 193 targets vs. the Browns. He'll face Joe Haden on many plays, but Joe isn't the player we once thought he was in pass coverage. Cleveland allows 29.9 points per game in 2016 and Brown has a winning resume in this matchup. Even with a high price point, Brown will be a tough player to leave off your Fantasy roster in Week 11.
The early season drama with Beckham seems to be a thing of the past, and his game is moving the right direction after being moved into the slot on some plays. Over his last two games, Odell has 14 catches for 143 yards and three TDs on 21 targets. He has six TDs in his last five games while averaging 10.4 targets per game. Beckham has played his best ball at home (37/572/5 - five games). The Bears are last in the league defending WRs (146/1753/10 on 221 targets) while getting their ass kicked by WRs in Week 7 (GB - 37/311/3). He should have the edge over every WR on the Bears. I expect solid catches with over 100 yards receiving and upside in TDs.
With these ideas in mind, I must find some value at the QB position. The top three option at the backend at QB for me this week are Kirk Cousins ($5,800), Andy Dalton ($5,700), and Blake Bortles ($5,400).
Cousins has yet to deliver an impact game in 2016. His best game came in Week 8 in Cinci (458 yards and two TDs). Kirk has two TDs or fewer in eight of his nine games plus four games with over 300 yards passing. The Packers' pass defense has shown risk on the road (298 passing yards per game and 12 passing TDs allowed in four games). In a way, this matchup may have the same script as last week (Cousins to Reed). Worth a flier as the Packers should score as well while limiting the damage in rushing TDs.
Dalton's best two games passing the ball came in Week 1 (366 yards) and Week 2 (366 yards). Andy doesn't have a game with more than two TDs. His lack of success in TDs is a bit of surprise when you add in that he's gaining 8.1 yards per pass attempt. The Bills struggled vs. the QB position in the last two games (NE - 315/4 and SEA - 282/2) after limiting QBs to only four combined passing TDs over the first seven games. Favorable price point with an explosive WR and high scoring TD. Over the last two games, Buffalo struggled vs. the TE (9/144/1 and 9/119/2).
Blake still doesn't have that signature game in 2016, which he delivered three times in 2015 (36.10, 30.20, and 34.90), which came over the last five weeks of the year. Over his last three games, Blake has seven TDs with averaging 314 yards per game. The Lions allow the 3rd most Fantasy points to QBs with two disaster games (IND - 385/4 and LA - 321/3). Their pass defense has been better in the last three games (WAS - 301/1, HOU - 186/1, and MIN 273/1). On the year, QBs have 20 passing TDs vs. Detroit while allowing 7.8 yards per pass attempt. Bortles has talent at WR, and he may finally post an impact score in Week 11.
If I play Cousins, I'm almost looking for a replay of week ten while paying more in salary by rostering TE Jordan Reed ($5,900).
After catching 26 passes for 225 yards and three TDs over three games, Reed was shut down by the Vikings (2/41 on four targets) in Week 10 with Vernon Davis stealing the TE show (3/66/1). Over the last four games (two with Reed out of the lineup), Davis had 16 catches for 293 yards and two TDs on 18 targets. His success does lower the opportunity for Jordan. On the year, Reed averages nine targets per game compared to 8.1 in 2015. The Packers fell to 27th in the league vs. the TE position after getting drilled in Week 10 (TEN - 10/133/1). It was Green Bay's only bad game defending the TE since Week 1 (JAC - 7/112/1). Tennessee may have identified some of the weakness in the Packers' secondary so Jordan could be in line for a plus game. His salary is at a low point of the year, and Cousins likes to look for him at the goal line.
Andy Dalton has come in as an underdog at home a couple of times over the last three seasons or so. He has one of the best WRs in the game that plays well at home plus he has a TE with scoring ability. Buffalo has been brutal against the TE in their last two games. If I use Dalton, Green is almost a must, so I would need to get off Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham.
As for Blake Bortles, the Fantasy world considers him a dog in 2016 due to his slow starts in most games. Even with his painful path, he’s still the 7th ranked QB in 4-point TD leagues with one game with over 30.0 Fantasy points. Allen Robinson looks to be rounding into form, and Jacksonville did play their best in the passing game late in the year in 2015. By using Blake, can I stomach Allen Hurns ($4,100) or even Julius Thomas ($3,500) as low-value hookups?
Over the last two games, Hurns has only two catches for 13 yards on 11 targets after posting his best game of the season in Week 8 (7/98/1). Allen has a short catch rate (49.3). Over his first 31 games in 2014 and 2015, he scored 16 TDs. The Lions slot CB Quandre Diggs has struggled in coverage this season, which gives Hurns a potential upside opportunity. He's cost me a ton of money in 2016, but Allen now has a dirt-cheap price point.
Thomas has underperformed expectations in 2016, which is the case for most of the Jaguars' offensive players. Julius has a TD in three of his last four games, but he has fewer than 30 yards receiving in his last six starts. Last week he had a season-high ten targets leading to six catches for 24 yards and a TD. The Lions allow the 2nd most Fantasy points in PPR leagues to TEs (52/522/9 on 69 targets). The TE position has a TD in seven of nine games against Detroit. Interesting option this week as most will dismiss his opportunity and upside. He should score based the path of the Lions' defense this year, so he just needs a 6/60 game to be viable.
The top two value plays this week come at RB and TE. C.J. Prosise ($4,200) will start for the Seahawks with Christine Michael released, but Thomas Rawls ($4,300) will be returning to action as well.
With Christine Michael getting injured last Friday, Prosise earned his first career start. He's looked electric in two of his last three games in the passing game (4/80 and 7/87). Last week the Seahawks gave him 17 rushes leading to 66 yards. On the year, C.J. gains 3.7 yards per rush. RBs have 48 catches for 324 yards and two TDs on 57 targets against the Eagles. Seattle should give him the lead role this week, but it will be tough to trust his opportunity with Thomas Rawls expected to return to action.
The other value player is Martellus Bennett ($3,700) who gets a huge bump in opportunity with Rob Gronkowski missing this week’s game. I expect Bennett to be highly owner and Fantasy owners will need to find someone to beat him if they want to go against the grain at TE.
With Rob Gronkowski out this week, Bennett becomes a great value play at TE. Last week he appeared to regain his bounce in his step (7/102) after being quiet over his previous three games (5/48, 1/5, and 4/35). Martellus already has four games of value (5/114/1, 5/109, 6/67/3, and 7/102). Even with his success, Bennett doesn't have a game with over eight targets. The 49ers are league average vs. the TE position (45/528/2 on 65 targets) with two bad games (5/122/1 and 8/109/1). I'd love to say shove all in, but San Fran has risk in all areas on defense so any player on the Patriots could come in this week.
Now with my head full of ideas, it is time to put the pieces together. When deciding between Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, Bell should be the stronger option with less failure risk. If Pittsburgh happens to get out to a big lead, the Steelers don’t have anyone behind Bell to steal or limit his touches. Whereas, Brown’s upside could be limited by game score. Based on this, I’ll use Bell as my foundation RB.
I don’t believe I need to be cute at TE as Martellus Bennett is too cheap and New England is a top team in the league featuring the TE position (63/1044/7 on 82 targets). Over the last five games with Brady in the lineup, TEs have 47 catches for 768 yards and six TDs on 60 targets (11/176/3, 12/210/1, 5/98/1, 9/144/1, and 10/158). We now have two core players.
I want to roster two explosive players at WR to hopefully gain an edge. I like the path of Beckham over the last couple of weeks, so I need to get him on my roster. A.J. Green is the only other WR that I can make a case for at the top end behind Antonio Brown, so I'm going to roster Andy Dalton. I could make a switch to Eli Manning as well, but he’ll cost me another $600.
Manning has three TDs or more in his last three home starts. All three of his games with over 300 yards passing also came at home. Eli is now on pace for 4410 yards and 27 TDs, which is eight TDs behind 2015. The Bears are league average defending QBs, which seems out of line as Chicago allows the most Fantasy points in the league to the WR position. Overall, QBs have 13 passing TDs with two games with over 300 yards passing. Beckham is rounding into form while looking more explosive since moving into the slot so Manning may hit him for multiple TDs this week.
I’m not 100 percent sold on C.J. Prosise this week, but he is a pass catching back with a solid opportunity even with Rawls expected to play. I’ll use him at RB2 to help save some salary.
This leaves me $10,800 in salary for a WR, Flex, and DEF. The Giants Defense ($3,500) have one of the better matchups this week, which would leave me $7,300 for two plays. I could also drop to the Dolphins defense ($2,900) due to playing a rookie QB or possibly the Cowboys ($2,600).
If I go with the Giants, I've painted myself into a corner at for my last two roster slots. I'd like what I saw for Tyreek Hill ($4,500) last week, and Jeremy Maclin will be out again this week.
With Jeremy Maclin out of the starting lineup with an injury, Hill had his best opportunity of his career for success. He caught 10 of his 13 targets for 89 yards while being on the field for a season-high 39 plays. Over the last five games, Tyreek has WR3 snaps for Kansas City. His success should lead to more playing time plus Maclin doesn't look like he'll suit up this week. The Bucs allow the 5th most Fantasy points to WRs (113/1584/13 on 188 targets). Possible flier with a chance to run back a kick as well.
Hill should have a solid opportunity and his targets (13) last week point to follow through this week.
My desire for elite talent at top end of my roster has limited by options at the backend. I can’t get a favorable defense in without changing my team structure. The Eagles’ defense is the third highest scoring defense in the league with three straight short games. Their return game has two TDs with 25 sacks and 16 combined fumble recoveries and interceptions. I know they are going against my RB2, but I don’t have many options unless I want to revamp my plan.
My last roster spot is going to Duke Johnson ($3,800). The Browns will be chasing on the scoreboard and Pittsburgh is last in the league defending the RB position with four disaster games on the year (48.90, 46.90, 37.60, and 43.80).
Johnson has 30 yards or fewer rushing in his last six games. Duke is the 28th ranked RB in PPR leagues while failing to score over 18.0 Fantasy points in any game this year. His best game came in Week 8 (116 combined yards with six catches). He averages 8.8 touches per game with only one TD. RBs have 46 catches for 532 yards and four TDs on 65 targets. His skill set should work best for the Browns in this game.
Here’s a look at my Perfect Lineup at DraftKings in Week 11: