Over the last few weeks, a handful of teams had their respective byes, leaving an odd assortment of talent left for the taking. In Week 11, we have some of the better teams in action, but a lot of the fantasy fireworks came from players who competed on Thursday Night Football, as well as some great Primetime matchups.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 11 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Luke’s DFS Take: Matthew Stafford has been the beacon of consistency lately, as he has scored between 21 and 26 fantasy points in each of his last four games. That type of consistent production is fantasy gold, but just as I’ve been preaching for a while now, this Bears defense is solid. They have an impressive 26 sacks already this season, and their pass rush could give a spotty Lions offensive line fits all game. I cannot support playing a guy who’s protection should in all likelihood struggle to keep him safe. Golden Tate has also been very reliable of late, and unlike Stafford, this matchup may suit him. He makes a majority of his catches on short, high-percentage routes, and if Stafford is under pressure often, he may be forced to look to Tate even more than usual. The Bears offense is hard to love with the underwhelming performances, and even Jordan Howard was a huge bust last week. With that said, Howard should still be counted on for a heavy workload, and could very well have a quick bounceback performance. This may be a good opportunity to buy in when many people may be down on him.
Mario’s DFS Take: One of my favorite ‘traps’-of-the-week, the Lions and Bears meet on Sunday afternoon in a matchup that should provide more actual football drama than fantasy value. I’m calling for the outright ‘upset’ in which Chicago beats Detroit, and it probably comes to fruition if the game remains tight and low-scoring. The Bears’ defense has allowed the ninth-fewest yards-per-game, and the Lions’ offensive numbers are skewed to a point where regression is happening soon – Detroit has the sixth-most points-per-game, but ranks 15th in yards-per-game. Of course, the Bears rank in the bottom-five in the league for both offensive points and yards, leaving Detroit as a solid option. If we want to get cute and take an offensive player from Chicago, Tarik Cohen might be the one. The Bears have three wins on the season. Two have come from the games in which Cohen received at least ten carries.
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
Luke’s DFS Take: It is weird to say this, but the Saints have one of the best rushing offenses in the entire NFL thanks to what is almost undoubtedly the best running back duo in the league at this point. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have broken the age old phenomenon that a team with two running backs is fantasy hell, as both guys are delivering on a weekly basis. The matchup should be no problem this week, and I am completely fine with investing in either guy this week as the Saints look to continue their domination of opponents. I am expecting Washington to be playing from behind in this game which should give plenty of opportunities to Kirk Cousins. The Saints’ defense continues to impress, but stubbornly, I still don’t know if I believe they are actually good. Jamison Crowder has been a beast recently, taking 24 targets in the last two weeks and turning them into 13 catches for 199 yards. For an offense that has been hard to predict, he seems to have taken a large role, and with his production, should keep that heavy involvement. I love Crowder as a cheap value play this week who has a perfect game flow and volume to easily return good value at only $4,300.
Mario’s DFS Take: The Washington Redskins are a strange bunch. They are never quite out-of-contention, but also trail in the division on a constant basis. And, when it comes to metaphorical ‘must-win games,’ they generally play well. After all, they pulled off an improbable come-from-behind win in Seattle a few weeks ago, and almost erased a large deficit against the Vikings’ outstanding defense, posting 30 points in an eventual loss – the 30 points were the most Minnesota has allowed, all season. The Saints’ defense has been playing well, but the Redskins will be in all-out attack mode inside the dome in what-could-become a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair. By definition, this puts Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins on my radar, but Chris Thompson could be the man who benefits the most. Because it is a day that ends in “y,” Jordan Reed is injured and may miss the game. Cousins has yet to find a true connection with any other pass catcher than Thompson. The running back leads the team in receptions and is second in targets by only one.