There are just seven weeks left in the NFL’s regular season. Yet, despite having more than two months worth of data, it still feels like we have a lot of unanswered questions heading into Week 11’s slate. Is anyone aside from the Patriots and Ravens decent in the AFC? How could the Saints possibly have lost to a free-falling Falcons team last Sunday? Why does Brian Flores hate the idea of having a good draft pick? These are all things where an acceptable answer might actually just be [shrug emoji]. Football has truly been mind-bending the past few weekends. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
However, to balance out everything I don’t know, I am privy to where people should be looking for some undervalued DFS options. Let’s break it down position-by-position.
RYAN FINLEY, QB, CIN AT OAK, $5,000I can’t say that anything Finley did last week in a blowout loss to Baltimore impressed me; however, the fourth-round pick out of Washington State did send me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole. I simply needed proof that Finley was actually a different person than former Arizona Cardinals’ QB Ryan Lindley – who was terrible at football. Well, if you’re also wondering, he is. Bonus points if you were aware than Lindley is the current Quarterbacks Coach for the Browns. I think I just figured out why Baker Mayfield’s been so poor to begin 2019.
Anyway, try not to think of Finley as an individual person. Simply imagine him as part of a nondescript grouping of QBs that get the privilege of facing this porous Raiders secondary. Oakland has been hemorrhaging fantasy points to opposing pivots all season long. Part of that might have something to do with a difficult schedule, but the numbers are staggering regardless. The Raiders are surrendering an AFC-worst 283.2 passing yards per game. On top of that, they are one of only three teams conceding more than eight yards per opponent passing attempt, they’ve allowed the second-most passing touchdowns (24), and, finally, they’ve given up the most passing plays of over 20 yards (47). Cincinnati coming into the week possessing its Conference’s highest pass rate at 67.7%. Even with a rookie behind center, I can’t see that trend shifting knowing what we know about the Raiders’ weaknesses.
KALEN BALLAGE, RB, MIA VS. BUF, $4,300Ten running backs garnered 20-plus carries in Week 10. Of those 10 players, just three also saw at least four targets in the passing game: Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson and Ballage. Trust me when I tell you that I don’t enjoy saying nice things about the sophomore running back, but 24 touches and being on the field for 81.8% of an offense’s snaps doesn’t happen all that often. It’s a level of volume that even Ballage’s poor results can’t mask. His very, very poor results. Despite the hefty workload, Ballage was limited to just 45 scrimmage yards and 8.3 DKFP against the Colts on Sunday. This is a performance exceedingly in-line with Ballage’s track record. In fact, among the 64 qualified RBs in the NFL, the Arizona State product ranks dead-last – by a full yard – in yards gained per touch (2.5). Inefficient doesn’t even begin to describe Ballage.
Still, with the days of “bell-cow” running backs well behind us, sometimes you have to solely focus on the potential that a volume share like Ballage’s brings. The fact that he’s set to face the Bills this weekend doesn’t hurt, either. Though it tends to be regarded amongst the league’s top units, Buffalo’s defense has been incredibly susceptible to the run. The Bills rank 27th in the category according to DVOA and, across their past three game specifically, they’ve allowed a whopping 5.5 opponent yards per carry. Actually, in that same span of time, Buffalo’s surrendered an AFC-worst 164.0 rushing yards per contest, with the likes of Nick Chubb, Adrian Peterson and Jordan Howard all finishing their matchup with at least 90 yards. Ballage has the opportunity and he has the favor of the schedule. At below $5K, that’s all you can really ask for.
D.J. MOORE, WR, CAR VS. ATL, $5,900This isn’t to suggest that people aren’t aware of Moore’s recent exploits, but I do believe there might be a nice buying window for the Panthers’ wideout this Sunday. There’s just a lot of potential value in the $5K price tier at wide receiver and, with Moore being more expensive than Mohamed Sanu ($5,100), Terry McLaurin ($5,600) and Jamison Crowder ($5,700), his ownership might not reach the level it deserves to be sitting at. Heck, people might even find themselves paying down at the position for Moore’s teammate Curtis Samuel ($5,300). That would all be a mistake.
In Carolina’s past four games, Moore’s been operating with a 27.8% target share. That’s a massive 40 targets in quarterback Kyle Allen’s past 144 attempts. In fact, the only four wideouts with a higher percentage of their team’s targets dating back to the beginning of Week 6 are DeAndre Hopkins ($8,100), Michael Thomas ($9,900), Davante Adams and Julian Edelman ($7,600). Simply for the sake of comparison, consider that Hopkins, Thomas and Edelman are three of the four highest-priced WRs on DraftKings’ Week 11 slate, with Adams off the board as Green Bay’s on bye. Moore is not even close to that level of salary, yet the volume’s going to be there in an absolutely pristine matchup. Atlanta’s conceded 10.1 yards per target to opposing wideouts for the entirety of 2019 – the second-highest mark in the NFL. Moore might be set-up for his third consecutive 100-yard receiving performance.
RYAN GRIFFIN, TE, NYJ AT WAS, $2,900Though it’s understandable and likely justified that everyone looking for value tight end in Week 11 will be utilizing Ross Dwelley ($3,400) if George Kittle (knee) ends up inactive, let’s give a little bit of love to Griffin. In the two games prior to Chris Herndon making his 2019 debut, it seemed like the former Texans’ TE and quarterback Sam Darnold ($5,700) had started to develop a little bit of chemistry. Within that short span, Griffin had racked up 10 catches for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns, seeing the field for over 90% of the Jets’ offensive snaps in both contests. All of those numbers fell off a cliff last Sunday, but, with Herndon (ribs) now on season-ending IR, it’s Griffin’s time to shine once again.
It’s also not as if Washington’s been all that stout a pass defense in recent games. Over the team’s past three matchups, the Redskins have actually surrendered an eye-popping 8.4 yards per opponent passing attempt – the worst-mark of any squad in the NFC. If there was ever a week where you could have some level of faith in New York’s ability to score points, it’d be this one. So, with a modicum of touchdown expectancy, give me some exposure to Griffin, who has been targeted on 50.0% of the Jets’ throws inside their opponent’s 10-yard line so far this season.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.