Week 11 is going to be fantastic, one way or another. Unlike last week’s schedule of lopsided games – that turned out to produce only a few close contests – Week 11 is filled with outstanding games. And, where this might lead to a lower fantasy appeal, we actually have relatively clear game flow projections thanks to each team’s strengths and weaknesses.
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.
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
Luke’s DFS Take: This might be the ugliest game of the week on paper. The Raiders have been easily the most disappointing team this year, and they have scored a grand total of nine points in their last two games. On top of their horrendous offense lately, they’ve now lost Martavis Bryant for at least this week, and will likely be without Jordy Nelson as well. No matter who they were playing this week, it would be hard to like them, but the Cardinals’ defense has been quietly decent this season considering the offense they have to try to support. The only guy on the Raiders I’d consider at this point is Jalen Richard who has seen 26 targets over the last 4 games. Running backs who are good receivers are always a threat to break off a couple big plays, but this would still likely be a reach. Speaking of bad offenses, the Raiders face a Cardinals team that has spotted one of the lowest scoring offenses all season long. The big difference in this game is that the Raiders’ defense is absolutely terrible, and the Cardinals have David Johnson. Johnson is fresh off his best game of the season, and his performance brought back memories of his dominant 2016 season. He shined as both a runner and receiver, and finally got the workload to have a big day. Based on how this game should play out, and the matchup at hand, Johnson should have another big workload and another productive day.
Mario’s DFS Take: The game between the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals might be one of the least exciting of the day for the general football fan, but there is some fantasy appeal to it. On one side, we have an offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown since October and, on the other, we have David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald against a team allowing the third-most points-per-game. Let’s start with the latter, as Johnson and Fitzgerald are clear targets given the high importance each has on the offense and the matchup with the lowly Raiders. I also like quarterback Josh Rosen, as Oakland ranks dead last in net-yards-per-pass-attempt. The Cardinals are not going to the playoffs, this year, and every step they take has to better prepare them for the future. This is the perfect game to ask a rookie quarterback to dominate so that he can develop on-the-fly. For the Raiders, the low level at which quarterback Derek Carr is playing is not congruent with his career averages. He has some nice upside at a low price. Until any other pass-catcher emerges, Jared Cook remains my preferred target in Oakland.
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints
Luke’s DFS Take: Any worries about the Saints being unprepared last week were clearly foolish, as they put up an easy 51 points on the Bengals. This offense is a well-oiled machine and between Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram, they have the star power to produce in any matchup. Add in Drew Brees and their complementary parts and it’s not hard to understand why this offense produces like they do. The Eagles are coming off a game in which the Cowboys offense rolled all over them. Their run defense was overwhelmed, and their secondary is down to spare parts and was unable to hold up. Considering all of the injuries to that secondary, I’d fully expect the Saints to attack through the air this week. That puts Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith on my radar this week. I never have a problem looking at Kamara or Ingram, but I’m expecting the passing game to lead the way. The Super Bowl Champion Eagles are coming off a tough loss and are pretty much desperate for wins at this point if they want to return to the playoffs. Their defense may not have the manpower to slow down the Saints, so the Eagles’ offense is going to have to lead the way in any potential upset. Despite what we saw last week, this Saints defense is still vulnerable through the air, so look for Carson Wentz to be busy on Sunday. With the matchup and the likely game flow, Wentz is a strong option this week, and Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery are definitely in-play as well. I want to also be excited about Golden Tate because his presence in this offense should be great for the passing game as a whole, but after being barely used last week, it’s hard to buy in just yet. Coach Pederson explained that he didn’t think Tate was ready for their uptempo offense just yet, so he couldn’t put him out. If you think Tate will have earned more trust in the past week, then he could be in a great spot this week, but chances are his playing time will he somewhat limited again.
Mario’s DFS Take: The Philadelphia Eagles are one of my favorite teams in Week 11, and I am thrilled that I can carry this excitement forward to be used in a fantasy lineup. For starters, the Eagles have been a massive disappointment compared to last year’s Super Bowl-winning squad, and the season is in jeopardy in the coming weeks. With a 4-6 record looming, expect the best effort we have seen, to date, from Philadelphia. Head coach Doug Pederson rarely shies away from taking risks, and this gives the offense a better opportunity to succeed in compiling numbers – even if the efficiency drops. Even the matchup plays into this approach, as the New Orleans Saints allow the second-most net-yards-per-pass-attempt in the league while averaging the fifth-fewest yards-per-rush defensively. Therefore, there is no reason why the Eagles wouldn’t continue throwing and, already with the ninth-most pass-attempts-per-game, the offense is prepared to go this route. Carson Wentz is one of the top plays of the weekend, and Zach Ertz is probably the must-start tight end. I would also look to Golden Tate in his second game with the team, as there will be plenty of targets to go around on Sunday.