As bad as it's been for Dallas this season, this week may not be the worst to take a chance on Andy Dalton
My Week 11 daily fantasy (DFS) football picks submission was delayed by amongst other things Family Game Night. The fam attempted to play Trivial Pursuit and it was agreed that I had to be on a team by myself because "Daddy knows tons of useless stuff."
Of course, I would argue it's not useless. If nothing else, seeing the evil grin on my wife's face turn into absolute disbelief when, without batting an eyelash, I responded "Ken Norton Jr." was priceless. So not to go all the late and great Alex Trebek on you, but you think you know what the question was?
In the meantime, it's that useless information that I retain, catalog, and analyze that helps me be pretty good at this fantasy football thing. Or maybe it's because I've been doing it for over 20 years and feel like I've seen every situation. For example, people are freaking out about the Taysom Hill thing positional qualification thing (more on that below!). But the same thing happened years ago when Marques Colston qualified at TE in some leagues and only at WR in others. Perhaps it is something about the New Orleans Saints that puts the fantasy world in a tizzy? But the point is I've seen it before and know it happens.
And knowing what may or may not happen helps when playing DFS. I win more than I lose, but I don't freak out when I lose. I always know that as great as a DFS play might be, that player can easily get injured during the first possession of the game. I've seen it happen time and time again. Just something to keep in mind as you make your own DFS picks this week.
To answer the question, Ken Norton Jr. was the first player to win a Super Bowl in three consecutive seasons. As far as the answers go as to whom I like this week, read below.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Chicago, New York Giants, San Francisco
Safe Quarterback Week 11 Pick
Ben Roethslisberger, Steelers at Jacksonville ($6700, FD $8000)
If you want low ownership or really high ceiling, you could look elsewhere. And yes, one can argue that the Steelers are one of the more overrated undefeated teams. Fine. I think we can all at least agree that Roethlisberger and the Steelers are at least slightly above average. Big Ben is a top-10 fantasy QB this week going against the third-most generous defense in giving up fantasy points to quarterbacks per game. Don't overthink this.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 11 Pick
Andy Dalton, Cowboys at Vikings (DK $5300, FD $6900)
This one we might want to weigh a little more. However, the matchup alone is a reason to consider some Cowboy options. Minnesota has allowed five quarterbacks to post 20-plus fantasy points against them this season. Against the Vikings, quarterbacks have thrown for the eighth-most yards per attempt (7.64) and the seventh-highest touchdown rate (5.79 percent). Throw in the fact that the Vikes have seen a ginormous 68.6 plays per game against them and I think Dalton should be able to do enough to outproduce his salary.
Safe Running Back Week 11 Pick
Mike Davis, Panthers vs. Lions (DK $6800, FD $7400)
In all seriousness, Davis has absolutely held his own. He has not put up "C-Mac numbers", but no one was expecting him to do so. Davis has averaged double-digit PPR points this season. And he now gets a Lions defense that has given up the most fantasy points to RBs and that's with Detroit already having had their bye. Green Bay for example is second in this category and has given up just seven more points than the next team on the list, Houston. Detroit meanwhile has given up 40-plus more fantasy points to RBs than Green Bay. You don't get a better matchup than this if you have Davis on your roster.
Furthermore, let's not forget that Teddy Bridgewater is nursing an injury and whether he or P.J. Walker/Will Grier starts, the Panthers will rely heavily on their run game. After all, wouldn't you?
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 11 Pick
La'Mical Perine, Jets at Chargers (DK $4400, FD $5400)
I know I like Perine more than the average fantasy analyst. I have zero affinity for the Jets or even the Florida Gators. But you bet I was hooting and hollering when this happened:
Lamical Perine’s first career TD pic.twitter.com/XPkOxyDdun— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) October 25, 2020
And perhaps it's because the Jets are coming off a bye. I think many have forgotten to mention that Adam Gase said Perine will be the lead back moving forward. Of course, what exactly that will mean is open to interpretation. So let me go Smilin' Jack Ross on you and give you these facts and they are indisputable:
1) The Chargers are allowing 4.87 yards per carry.
2) They have given up between 22 and 32 fantasy points per game to RBs over their last four games.
Perine is definitely a GPP-only play as he will likely be low owned, but I love him to far outproduce his salary this week.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 11 Pick
Justin Jefferson, Vikings at Cowboys (DK $6000, FD $6700)
I discussed Jefferson earlier this week in my flex rankings article and you might want to read that if you haven't because Jefferson is having a historical season. But I did not discuss his matchup this week and that alone is a reason to "move on up" to Jefferson. As we know, the Dallas secondary has not exactly been blanketing the opposition. They've given up 16 touchdowns to WRs this year, which ranks right behind the Vikings ironically. These are the only two teams that have allowed more than even a baker's dozen worth of TDs to WRs. And because Jefferson is coming off another strong game, catching eight of 10 targets for 135 yards, I'm banking on more from him.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 11 Pick
Davante Adams, Packers at Colts (DK $8600, FD $9500)
Believe it or not, Adams will not be a popular pick. For one, he is the most expensive receiver on the slate, 10 percent pricier than the next option. And that's on both sites. Furthermore, his matchup is far from ideal. The Colts are near the top in terms of fewest receptions (fourth) and touchdown passes (second) allowed. And yet, the Colts can still give up fantasy points to WRs. Yes, they shut down the Ravens' and Titans' receivers, but struggled with the Jaguars, Bengals, and Lions giving up more than 44 fantasy points to those wideouts.
Also, while the price reflects Adams' potential ceiling, do you really want to bet against the most productive WR per game this season? He is a lock to get double-digit targets, something he's done all five weeks since Green Bay's bye. And he is on absolute fire right now with seven (!) touchdowns over his last four games. One of the best ways to take down a GPP is to grab an overpriced uber-stud in a tough matchup, knowing that he should still give you a solid floor and just pray for the ceiling.
Safe Tight End Week 11 Pick
The New Orleans "Tight End," Saints vs. Falcons (See prices below)
On DraftKings, this means Jared Cook, who is yes, a safe pick. He's averaging 9 DKFPs per game and at $4100 is the cheapest he's been all season due to Drew Brees spreading the ball around like Mother Theresa feeding the poor. Atlanta is giving up the most fantasy points per game to TEs this season and Cook is a decent play this week.
However, he doesn't hold a candle to the most slam-dunk TE play possibly this whole season -- Taysom Hill. In case you haven't heard, there is tons of controversy about what position Hill should qualify and the internet is gonna do what it do:
Holly helps Kevin decide what position Taysom Hill should be pic.twitter.com/lIaBU5F3uv— Kent Weyrauch (@KentWeyrauch) November 20, 2020
Meanwhile, at just $4500, even if Hill does squat, that's a pretty low risk for a TE. And the upside is HUGE given that he is likely to put up regular or even strong quarterback numbers which could easily crush the production of the TEs priced over $2K more on FanDuel.
High Risk/Reward Tight End Week 10 Pick
Donald Parham, Chargers vs. Jets (DK $2500, FD $4300)
So, follow my logic here. The Jets are going to give the Chargers all they got. I think Justin Herbert and company win this one, but it's going to take using all of the weapons at his disposal and that includes their third TE.
Parham is not a volume play, at least not at this time. However, hitting the measuring tape at 6-foot-8 he is often a red-zone threat. Remember when Chris Berman and Tom Jackson used to refer to Chris Carter and others by saying, "All he does is catch touchdowns!" Well, that's Parham!
Despite less than half a dozen targets this year, he already has two touchdowns. And he would have had three if not for a replay review that should have been called a TD. Given that all four members of the Jets' starting secondary are under 6-foot-2, I'd expect the Chargers to try and exploit that matchup. They have after all given up six touchdowns to tight ends already, and at this low price, it's a perfect week 11 GPP value play.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 11 Pick
Steelers at Jacksonville (DK $4600, FD $5000)
If you want the "whoever is playing the Jets this week" pick, that's the Chargers. Their defense is full of talent, but they've been a very shaky fantasy pick lately. I did pick New York RB La'Mical Perine above too! So instead I will go with the Steelers. I think they are overpriced, to be honest. I don't think they are very likely to even be a top-3 DST this week. But unlike all the other high-salary options, I can't see them outside of the top 10 DSTs on this slate in any way. Take the comfort of the undefeated 9-0 team going against the 1-8 team and move on.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 11 Pick
Washington vs. Bengals (DK $2900, FD $4100)
Fact 1: Cincinnati is tied for the fifth-fewest TDs this season
Fact 2: Washington has the 10th-lowest rushing percentage for a first down
Fact 3: They also have allowed the eighth-fewest touchdown passes.
Fact 4: Washington has the fifth-most sacks in the league
Opinion: I think Washington is one of the better DST value plays of all the Week 11 options
— 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 Sam Hoode/Dallas Cowboys, courtesy of dallascowboys.com)