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Please Note: The format of the Cheat Sheet is a little different this week. I’ve heard some feedback from my readers and have made an effort to narrow the focus just a bit. I have decided to write about the most interesting players at each position as opposed to going game-by-game. Providing a more targeted approach should really help you determine who I prefer as opposed to just giving you an overload of information. As usual, these write-ups include about recent performance, matchup, vegas line, price and so much more. If you like (or dislike) this format, I want you to let me know! You can tweet me or send me a note here.
Welcome to Week 11 Cheat Sheet! This is a feature that will be released every Friday throughout the season. It will be a fluid article (so check back often!) that will encompass everything you need to set your lineups for the NFL.
If you are interested in reading last week’s Cheat Sheet, here it is for Week 10.
BYEs: Cleveland, New Orleans, NY Giants, Pittsburgh
Derek Carr ($6,300) – This might be a surprise, but Derek Carr is a good real QB and a great fantasy QB. He has scored 22+ DraftKings points in four of his last six games while cracking the 30 point mark in three of those games. His last month has been outstanding, averaging 306.25 yards per game and tossing 13 TDs. The matchup with Detroit is also excellent. Only two teams have allowed more DraftKings points to opposing QBs. Carr appears to be a lock to earn 3x value and there are few QBs with more upside in this price range.
Philip Rivers ($6,900) – A week off may be exactly what the Chargers needed last week. A team that has suffered injuries and need to gel as an offensive unit. Even in Rivers worst game of the season last week, he still found a way to throw for 280 yards without tossing an interception. With extra time to prepare, the Chargers will battle the porous KC defense in a game with a close spread and fairly large O/U (44.5) compared to the other games on the slate.
Matt Ryan ($7,100) – I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a huge Matt Ryan fan and I think he is almost always over-priced. However, it’s going to be hard to find better options this week. A lot of the top tier QBs have question-marks regarding their health or they are in poor matchups. Ryan is in the best matchup of the most expensive QBs, facing off with the Colts. Outside on Vontae Davis, the Colts do not offer much resistance in the secondary. The Falcons should also benefit from a week off to get healthy and prepare for the Colts in the Georgia Dome.
Tom Brady ($8,500) – There’s not much to dislike about Brady. The only issue is the price tag, but he’s been well worth it this season. Brady is a points monster, scoring 25+ DraftKings points in six of his nine games this season. The matchup on paper doesn’t look great against a stout Buffalo defense, but Brady is matchup proof. This is the same Bills team that Brady hung 32.24 DraftKings points on in Week 2. Now he gets them at home in the highest O/U on the board.
Mark Sanchez ($5,000) – It certainly appears that Sanchez is in-line to start for the Eagles this week with Sam Bradford still yet to pass the league’s concussion protocol as of Thursday. In training camp this season, many would have argued that Sanchez could run this Chip Kelly offense better than Sam Bradford. Sanchez had some success last season, scoring 20+ DraftKings points in five of nine games at the helm last season. He’s going to get a good matchup at home against the 22nd ranked Tampa Bay secondary.
Tony Romo ($6,000) – It might be really sneaky, but this is a chance to buy a really high upside QB at a discount. I think it’s safe to assume that he will be 100% healthy or else the Cowboys wouldn’t risk bringing him back. In the one game he played in full this season, Romo hung 27.14 DraftKings points on the Giants. Romo has excellent career numbers and scored 20+ DraftKings points in eight of sixteen games last season. That would be plenty of value at this price this week. Miami has struggled on defense at times this year, and have allowed the 10th most passing yards per game to opposing QBs.
Charcandrick West ($4,500) – This is pure chalk, but the price on Charcandrick West has to be a mistake. West has earned 23.9, 22.2 and 31.1 DraftKings points in his last three and actually dropped in price for Week 11. This is much too low for a guy who’s seen 24, 24 and 27 touches in the last three games. If you needed any more convincing, West is facing the Chargers who are dead last versus RBs this season.
Lamar Miller ($6,200) –
The above tweet is really the whole story for Lamar Miller. After a poor start to the season, the Dolphins canned HC Joe Philbin and Miller has been outstanding since. He’s averaging 26.64 DraftKings points per game in that five game span. What’s really impressive is his ability to catch the ball, racking up 18 receptions in the last three games alone. He’s reasonably priced in an excellent matchup with Dallas, making him one of the top plays on the board.
Latavius Murray ($5,600) – There’s a lot to like about Murray this week and in general. He’s an excellent RB, but what’s really exciting is that he dominates all the work for his team. He has earned 79.2% of the Raiders redzone carries and 100% of the carries inside both the 10 yard line and 5 yard line. He leads the league in all three categories. In an era where teams tend to use Running Backs By Committee more often, this is hard to find in any RB. Another excellent matchup with the Lions this week, so expect heavy usage to continue this week for Murray.
Davonta Freeman ($8,400) – Freeman’s usage is just massive. He’s averaging 23.5 touches per game this season and 26.14 in the last seven weeks. He’s so heavily involved in the offense that he is blowout proof at this point. If the Falcons get up big (currently 6 point favorites), he will simply be handed the ball instead of thrown the ball. Coming off a BYE to stay fresh, expect another heavy dosage against the Colts who are bottom ten in the league versus RBs.
Adrian Peterson ($6,800) – Guess who leads in the league in rushing yards. Of course it’s AD! He’s now averaging 106 yards on the ground per game and has tacked on a TD in each of the last two. His last month has resulted in 21.95 DraftKings points per game. He now walks into a matchup with the reeling Packers, losers of three straight and surrendering 290 on the ground in their last two. Surprisingly, this is the lowest price that Peterson has cost all season long given us ample opportunity to buy.
Todd Gurley ($7,600) – The man, the myth, the legend. Gurley is making quite a name for himself in his rookie year. He’s averaging 20.3 DraftKings points per game this season and is earning all the touches for the Rams. As St. Louis makes a QB change away from Nick Foles, it’s not unreasonable to think they would rely on Gurley even more than usual. I am a little concerned that his production is unsustainable and his big day last week was really a 31 yard catch, a punch-in TD and that’s about it. He was not very effective after the first quarter. Still, he’s going to earn the majority of the work and is in a good matchup against Baltimore.
Julio Jones ($9,300) is WR1 and I don’t think it’s remotely close. It’s scary to think how good Julio has been all season long (26.5 DK PPG) and has been hampered by injuries throughout the year. He gets a week of rest and should be ready to roll against the Colts defense. Julio has racked up at least 90 yards in seven of his nine games this season and is a reception monster. He leads the league in receptions despite already having his BYE week. There are negative factors amongst the other top receivers, clearly making Julio the cream of the crop.
Mike Evans ($7,300) – Since the BYE week, Mike Evans has been a man of fire. He’s benefitted from the absence of Vincent Jackson. V-Jax is again questionable for this week, so keep an eye on his status as it will impact Evans. Here are Evans’ lines since the bye week:
8-164-1 (33.4 DK)
4-38 (7.8 DK)
8-150 (25 DK)
8-126 (23.6 DK)
Those are massive games and now he gets the terrible Eagles defense which is 30th in league against WRs. I am praying he gets the Byron Maxwell treatment, who has been one of the worst graded CBs in the league this season.
Danny Amendola ($4,000) – He will be a very popular choice, but for good reason. With the injury to Julian Edelman, many would suspect that Danny Amendola fill the role of the slot receiver for the Patriots. Amendola was outstanding last week in Edelman’s absence, earning 11 looks from QB Tom Brady while catching 10 for 79 yards. His upside significantly outpaces his salary. This is a situation where there should be plenty of opportunity for Amendola and he’s dirt cheap.
Dez Bryant ($7,700) – Finally Dez is going to be re-united with his Quarterback Tony Romo. Dez has been up and down since his return this season but there are not many QB/WR combination as potent as these two and they are both at the lowest price they’ve been all season long. I suspect a heavy dose of Dez and he will return to being Romo’s favorite target.
Sammy Watkins ($4,800) – There may be no WR more volatile than Sammy Watkins. He has been banged up, terrible, awesome and everything in between. His performances this year have been unpredictable, but this feels like a nice spot for the Buffalo wideout. Another player who is the lowest he’s ever been (see a trend here?) and in a good matchup. Watkins posted a 6-60-1 line against the Patriots in Week 2 and NE CBs have given up the 8th most DraftKings points to opposing WRs.
Rob Gronkowski ($7,700) – I am paying any price for Gronk this week. With the loss of both Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman, Gronk should clearly be the #1 target for Brady this week. He’s the leading TE averaging 21.4 DraftKings points per game this season which is a full five points more than the next closest TE. I am hoping that many stay away from Gronk for the price and the “poor matchup” Buffalo is ranked ninth against TEs this season. Don’t forget that Gronk is matchup proof and dropped 27.3 points on the Bills in week 2.
Jordan Reed ($4,900) – It gets really ugly after Gronk, but Reed is interesting for the sheer number of targets he receives. He’s earned the 12th most targets for TEs this season, but second most in the redzone. It’s clear that QB Kirk Cousins trusts Reed, which has resulted in 5 TDs in the last 3 weeks. I expect the Redskins to have to throw quite a bit in this game against Carolina, which should provide plenty of opportunity for Reed.
Vernon Davis ($2,500) – I am really interested to see what the Broncos do with Davis this week. You usually don’t acquire a player to plant him on the bench, so I expect Davis to be involved. Having an extra week to learn the playbook should be a big benefit. Believe it or not, the benching of Peyton Manning may benefit Broncos pass-catchers since Manning was simply incapable of getting the ball to his receivers. The min-priced TE comes with some decent upside for a team that has all the pieces to be a potent offense.
That’s all folks! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more player analysis when injury reports break!