I stay true to my promises. And I promised last week that if I fumbled, I would come back this week and apologize. So before we get to the Week 11 daily fantasy football (DFS) picks, I am sorry. I completely blew it on the Saints. Michael Thomas failed to score and Drew Brees put up an absolute dud. And I absolutely blew it on the Cooper Kupp pick as well. Again, apologies.
However, let's not stone me to death just yet. I got a number of my "safe picks" right. Austin Hooper got injured and left the game, but not before catching four passes with a touchdown. Mark Ingram didn't have a huge day, but he scored too. And if you look at some of my high-risk picks, I did even better.
I recommended the minimum-priced Russell Gage, who responded with a respectable four catches. I also recommended the similarly priced Kareem Hunt, who didn't too much on the ground, but had seven catches for 44 yards and returned one of the higher values on the slate. But where I really shined was my defense/special teams (DST) picks. Hopefully, you went with my "safe pick" of the Ravens, who had an amazing day. But my high-risk DST pick was the Titans. Going against the offensive juggernaut that was Kansas City, it took some big stones to actually recommend them. But they exceeded even my expectations racking up two sacks, recovering a fumble, blocking a FG, and scoring a defensive TD!
It is possible I might know what I am doing. So go ahead and read my DFS picks for Week 11, but I caution you that if you are a Bengals fan you might want to look away.
Teams on bye: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle, Tennessee
Week 11 DFS Picks
Safe QB: Derek Carr vs. Bengals (DK $6100, FD $7400)
And we start with Carr taking on a team that has played worse than Dolphins this season. The Bengals not only lost week, they got shellacked by the Ravens, 49-13. The Raiders are not in the same league as the Ravens, but that might actually favor Carr. Should this game become a runaway, it might quickly become a Josh Jacobs game. But Carr has a very nice floor this week. If nothing else, he has this going for him:
High Risk/Reward QB: Drew Brees at Buccaneers (DK $6900, FD $8300)
My initial thought to including Brees here was just me overreacting. But then I saw this:
Is it possible Brees actually has two bad games in a row? Sure it is. But remember all the stats I threw out last week about Brees dominating the Falcons? He's lit up the scoreboard when he's played the Bucs too. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Tampa Bay has given up even more fantasy points to quarterbacks than Atlanta. I'll be going double-or-nothing on Brees this week.
Safe RB: Josh Jacobs vs. Bengals (DK: $6900, FD: $8000)
Jacobs is making a very strong case for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, especially lately. Rather than hitting the rookie wall, he seems to be running right through it. He now has three touchdowns the last two weeks. With Cincinnati giving up nearly 30 fantasy points per game to RBs, Jacobs should be a fixture in your cash game lineups.
High Risk/Reward RB: Brian Hill at Carolina (DK: $4800, FD: $5900)
Yup, I'm going with the waiver wire darling for this week. Hill has never started a game before, let alone on the road against a divisional foe. And let's say I'm not the biggest fan of Dan Quinn and the way he has utilized his RBs this year. So the risk is absolutely there. But I loved watching HIll this preaseon. And Quinn has given us reason to believe Hill will get the volume. WIth Carolina giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs, I'm willing to take that risk.
Safe WR: DJ Moore (DK: $5900, FD: $6000) and Curtis Samuel (DK:$5300 FD: $6300) vs. Falcons
I like both these players on both sites, but if I'm only going to play one, I'll take the cheaper alternative. The scoring is a little different, but Samuel feels like the better buy on DK and Moore the better buy on FD. Because the matchup is that good for both. Despite not giving up a TD to Drew Brees and the Saints last week, the Falcons are still surrendering nearly 41 fantasy points on average to the WR position. Michael Thomas didn't score last week, but he still had 13 catches for 152 yards. Moore is likely to see plenty of targets, but I think Samuel does what Thomas didn't and that is score. It will be the third week in a row that Samuel scores. Ok, and maybe Moore doesn't catch 13, but double digits is absolutely possible.
High Risk/Reward WR: Willie Snead vs. Texans (DK: $3900, FD: $4600)
The Baltimore offense is having a huge year, but Snead seems to have been left behind. We are more than halfway through the season and Snead has just two touchdowns and 250 receiving yards. Snead has never been a big TD guy, but he does not even have a third of the receptions yet that he had last year. But with the Texans giving up the third-most fantasy points to WRs, I have this feeling we see a Snead game this week.
And we move from one current Raven to a former...
Safe TE: Darren Waller vs Bengals (DK: $5500, FD: $6700)
That's right. Most people don't know it, but Waller was drafted by the Ravens. Baltimore isn't really struggling for production from the tight end position, but Waller is probably making the team it hadn't released him. Waller is averaging more than 65 receiving yards a game. Against the Bengals? I'll take the over on that.
High Risk/Reward TE: Mark Andrews vs. Texans (DK: $6100, FD: $6900)
I've mentioned that the Texans are struggling against WRs, but they've actually been pretty good against TEs. They are one of the top 10 teams in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to the TEs. And they have faced some big names at the position already -- Austin Hooper, Darren Waller, Travis Kelce, and Greg Olsen to name a few. But I suspect Andrews find his way into the end zone this week.
You know why? Because guess what Andrews has more than all of the above except for Hooper? Touchdowns inside the 10-yard line. Andrews is Lamar Jackson's first look once the Ravens are that close to the end zone. Don't be surprised if Andrews makes it six touchdowns on the year this week. Jackson might even throw it to him the conventional way...
Safe DST: Raiders vs. Bengals (DK: $3300, FD: $5000)
The FanDuel salary models obviously like the Raiders a lot more than DraftKings. I don't care either way. Until the Bengals show me something on offense, I will continue to pick whatever defense is playing against them.
High Risk/Reward DST: Broncos at Vikings (DK: $2400, FD: $3700)
Can I do it again? I'm on a roll with picking deep DSTs. I picked against the Chiefs last week, but I am not pressing my luck against them this week. But the Vikings meanwhile have quietly put up the NFL's fifth-most points and the eighth-most yards per game. However, the Broncos, to use another Monty Python reference, are not dead yet. They are not quite the "no-fly zone" defense of yesteryear, but they still are ranked fourth in the NFL against the pass. They also rank a respectable 17th in rushing defense. Denver has given up a total of 15 touchdowns. Only two teams have allowed fewer. Expected to be without Adam Thielen for another game, don't be surprised if Minnesota struggles to put points, even in the friendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium, on Sunday.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.
(Top photo by Matt Aguirre/Oakland Raiders, courtesy of raiders.com)