Another big week of byes drops the main slate on DraftKings back down to 10 games. It’s the proverbial good news, bad news situation. On the one hand, less games allows us to focus our research efforts even better than normal.
However, less games also means that the top plays will stick out even more, which will naturally lead to increased ownership percentages. While that can be frustrating, don’t let that discourage you from rostering those players just for the sake of being different.
There are plenty of other ways to gain differentiation for your lineups, as those who truly dig deep can find the diamonds in the rough that few users are on in any given week. Let’s take a look at some of the players we like at each roster spot, starting with the quarterback position.
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints ($6.5k)
When a team is playing lights out football, it’s a good idea to keep on riding the train. That’s the situation at hand with the New Orleans Saints, who have absolutely been cruising through their eight- game winning streak. The same applies for veteran quarterback Drew Brees, who is playing like a man on a mission.
Over his last two games, Brees has eight total touchdowns. The Saints have scored a total of 96 points over that span. The oddsmakers have christened the game versus the Eagles with a projected total of 56 points, so we could see some more fireworks this week. Oh – and the Saints are playing at home. Lock Brees into your lineups and save money elsewhere.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – ($5.8k)
Ben Roethlisberger has had himself a fine career which may very well culminate with him wearing a gold jacket when all is said and done, but last week’s performance versus the Panthers was hands down one of the finest outings he has ever had. He picked apart the Panthers for five touchdowns and finished the day with a passer rating of 158.3.
This week, the Steelers head down to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Many users will shy away due to the perceived strength of the Jaguars defense. Don’t be one of those users. The Jaguars are struggling while the Steelers are rolling. Add in the extra incentive of the Steelers wanting a little revenge for last year’s playoff defeat, and Roethlisberger makes plenty of sense at QB.
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants ($8.7k)
Monday Night’s win over the 49ers was a high note, but the Giants are still in the midst of an incredibly disappointing season. A team that was expected to be one of 2018’s turnaround stories has just two wins, and optimism is not high that there will be many more before the year is through. However, the Giants can take solace in the fact that they found themselves a franchise player in this year’s draft.
Barkley has been stellar on the field, and the same applies to his fantasy output. He’s averaging 24.8 fantasy points per contest, and there’s a solid chance he can meet or exceed that against the Buccaneers. He’s going to cost you a healthy amount of cap space, but he’s also in position to be one of the week’s wiser investments.
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – ($7.5k)
While the Cardinals are also in the middle of a challenging season, they seem to be in better shape than the team they will be playing host to. Things are not going along swimmingly for the Oakland Raiders, and opponents are taking advantage of it. For fantasy purposes, the Raiders are one of those teams which we circle and figure out which opposing player is going to rack up points against them.
While we could go in a few different directions, David Johnson looks like the safest choice. His salary has risen due to the opportunity at hand, but don’t let that scare you off. Johnson is a supremely talented player who is currently stuck in the doldrums due to the state of the team, not because of his own ability. We’ll look for Johnson and the Cardinals to wake up in big league fashion this week.
Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens ($4.4k)
Alex Collins has been a fantasy disappointment this season. Through nine games, he’s averaging only 11.5 points per game. His high water mark is 17.4, which came in Week 6 against the Titans. That doesn’t exactly bolster confidence that he deserves a spot in your lineup, but he’s in a good spot for a bounce back performance. The Ravens play host to Bengals team whose defense has been absolutely sieve-like.
To add to the intrigue, question marks abound at quarterback for the Ravens. A hobbled Joe Flacco could start, but the team could also hand the keys to Lamar Jackson or Robert Jackson III. Regardless of the situation, it looks like the team will be leaning on the run game pretty heavy this week. That makes Collins a great sleeper candidate at a bargain basement price.
Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants ($8.4k)
We’ll open this one with a caveat: stacking many Giants players may not be the wisest call, as teams which are in the midst of poor seasons can implode on the field in an instant. That said, the Giants are facing off with an equally-challenged Buccaneers squad this week, so we could see some fireworks in both directions. Enter Odell Beckham Jr., a player who is also still producing in spite of his team’s overall adversity.
Over the last three games, Beckham’s lowest output is 23.3 points. He has seen 11 targets in each of those games, and there’s nothing to suggest he won’t see a ton again this week. The Buccaneers defense is porous, and even a struggling team like the Gants should have little trouble putting up points. He’s also on the pricey side, but Beckham is a solid choice at wide receiver in Week 11.
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers ($7.8k)
As we mentioned up above, many players will see the matchup with the Jaguars and feel nervous about rostering Steelers players. We understand why, as the Jaguars defense remains loaded with talent in spite of the team’s overall struggles. Seeing them put it together and improving markedly over the second half of the season isn’t far-fetched.
However, the Steelers have been playing absolutely fantastic over their five-game winning streak. Antonio Brown has been a big part of the fun with seven touchdowns over that span. His price has been discounted due to the matchup at hand, but that just ups the appeal even more. We’ll gladly take Brown at a discount and look for him to find the end zone once again.
T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts ($6.1k)
While the Indianapolis Colts have turned it around in big league fashion by winning their last three games, T.Y. Hilton hasn’t really been partaking in the fun. Quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing great this year, but he has been spreading the wealth while Hilton has had a challenging season. Hilton is still seeing plenty of targets, and he could be about ready for a breakout.
He had 77 receiving yards in last week’s win versus a tough Jaguars secondary, and he could continue to bounce back since Luck has established some other weapons in the passing attack. Hilton ias very affordable since he’s averaging just 14.1 points per game, but he should be able to deliver that and then some against the Titans.
Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys ($5.4k)
Heading into Sunday Night’s game against the Eagles, the obituary for the 2018 Cowboys season was written in many different ways. Then they went out and won the game. While the Cowboys definitely need to improve on the consistency front, they are far from dead and buried.
Trade deadline acquisition Amari Cooper brings a new dimension to the offense. He hauled in six of 10 targets for 75 yards against the Eagles, and we’re expecting his output to increase as his comfort level in the offense increases. His price remains extremely low, and we’ll be more than happy to take advantage of the opportunity at hand when the Cowboys take on the Falcons this Sunday.
O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4.9k)
When two poor teams square off, the floodgates could potentially open in terms of points scored by both sides. We’ve already made our case for the Giants in their matchup versus the Buccaneers, but the other side is going to have something to say about what happens on the scoreboard. O.J. Howard is quietly having a nice season for the troubled squad, but he had a disappointing Week 10 with just 2.5 fantasy points.
Prior to that, he hit double digits in four straight. Last week’s poor showing may scare many users off, but we’re optimistic he can bounceback this week. Howard has found the end zone five times this season – including a two TD performance in Week 9 versus the Panthers – and we’ll be looking for him to find paydirt again this week.
Ricky Seals-Jones – Arizona Cardinals ($2.9k)
If you prefer to save money at tight end and hope for a cheap touchdown, there are worse rolls of the dice than Ricky Seals-Jones. The talented youngster hasn’t done a ton this season, but he’s coming in off of a game in which he saw nine targets versus the Chiefs. He hauled in five of them for 51 yards to notch his third double digit fantasy point showing of the season.
Whie that’s not a ton of output, we’re expecting his role in the offense to continue growing. The Cardinals are clearly looking towards next year, and Seals-Jones has the talent to be a key piece of the offense in the future. We say the future begins now, starting with a solid day against a defensively-challenged Raiders team.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($2.9k)
Yes, we like the Steelers to have a big day at the expense of the Jaguars, and that includes a defensive unit which has seriously improved off of its early season struggles. Last week versus the Panthers was the culmination of that, as the squad sacked Cam Newton five times, forced two turnovers, and had a defensive score for good measure.
That was good for a cool 15 points, which amounts to a solid output from a defense for fantasy purposes. The Jaguars can be rattled on offense, and an aggressive unit such as the Steelers can help make that happen. We’re expecting another big day from the Steelers defense in Week 11.
New York Giants ($2.4k)
If you would prefer to shoot for the moon and try to nail a bargain basement defense, then you have to be willing to accept some risk. That’s what you would be doing here by snagging the Giants, who could very well find themselves in a shootout versus the Buccaneers. However, there is also massive upside to be found if things break just right.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is an incredibly fun player to watch, but he has had numerous games throughout his career in which he has imploded on the field. That means numerous turnovers and poor decisions, and opposing defenses can reap big rewards as a result. We can’t promise that’s going to happen there, but the return on investment could be huge if it does.