With the busiest week of byes behind us, we’re back to 11 games on the fantasy football main slate for this Sunday. The Giants, Packers, Titans and Seahawks get this week off, but there are still some nice matchups to consider. The Patriots visiting the Eagles is the highlight of the late half of the schedule while the early games include the Texans visiting the Ravens and the Colts hosting the Jaguars in an important AFC South matchup.
Whichever game will have most of your attention, you also will want to make sure to keep an eye on who is stepping up and offering good fantasy football value from the rest of the teams in action. To help you find some of the best cheap plays, let’s run down my top Week 11 options at each position who offer big-time upside despite their affordable salary.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA vs. BUF, $5,100 – The top 12 QBs on this Sunday’s slate come in over the $6K line while the first two options under the line are Matthew Stafford ($6,000; back) and Jacoby Brissett ($5,900; knee), who are uncertain due to injury. So if you are going with a value, it makes sense to go deep and roll with Fitzpatrick, hoping for some more magic against his former team, the Bills. Fitzpatrick had a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and 21.58 DKFP against Buffalo in Week 7, but the Bills rallied to win 31-21. In the three weeks since then, he has led the Dolphins to wins over the Jets and Colts and posted more than 14 DKFP in each contest. At home with another chance to take down his former team, I think Fitzpatrick will be a solid value play once again.
Dwayne Haskins Jr., WAS vs. NYJ, $4,800 – Interim coach Bill Callahan said the plan is for Haskins to stay the starter for the rest of the season, and he gets a great matchup coming out of the bye against the Jets. New York ranks in the middle of the pack against QBs but has given up at least three passing touchdowns each of the past three weeks to Gardner Minshew ($5,500), Fitzpatrick and Daniel Jones. They haven’t held an opponent under 249 yards passing since Week 5 against Carson Wentz ($5,400), which was the only time they managed that feat this season. Haskins has looked far from ready in his previous appearances and only managed 7.16 DKFP in his only start, which came against the Bils. However, with a bye week to prepare and a tasty matchup against the Jets, I could see him going off this week and being a great return on investment.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Brian Hill, ATL at CAR, $4,800 – With the Falcons’ season lost, there isn’t much reason to push Devonta Freeman ($5,900; foot, doubtful) to play this week, which will open up plenty of work for Hill, who took over as the No. 2 back after Ito Smith (concussion) was placed on injured reserve. Hill had 20 carries after Freeman left last week and finished with 61 yards rushing while adding a catch, which he took 10 yards for a touchdown to finish with 14.1 DKFP. The Panthers’ defense ranks near the bottom of just about every category against the run, so look for Hill to find space if he gets to carry the load this week for the Falcons.
J.D. McKissic, DET vs. DAL, $4,600 – McKissic is in a similar situation as the “last man standing” in the Lions’ backfield, but he has a tougher matchup as the Lions host the Cowboys. Kerryon Johnson (knee) is on IR and Ty Johnson ($3,800; concussion) was forced to leave last week’s game against the Bears. McKissic stepped up in his absence and led the team in catches with six receptions for only 19 yards to go with his 36 yards on 13 carries. He finished with 11.5 DKFP, which fell short of his 16.2 DKFP from Week 9 against the Raiders. He put up good numbers with both Stafford and Jeff Drikel ($4,600) at QB and should be very involved as the Lions’ lead back if Ty Johnson can’t make it back in time for this week’s game. Even if Johnson does return, McKissic has looked more effective, so he should get the majority of time, although Johnson’s presence could cost him goal line looks.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
DeVante Parker, MIA vs. BUF, $4,700 – Parker clearly has become the Dolphins’ No. 1 WR and was targeted 10 times in last week’s win in Indianapolis. He hauled in five catches for 69 yards and 11.9 DKFP and now has more than 11 DKFP in six straight games. The Bills are a tough matchup but Parker did have 16.5 DKFP against them in Week 7, and his volume makes him a low-risk play under $5K.
Deebo Samuel, SF vs. ARI, $4,000 – Since his big game came on Monday Night Football after salaries were set, Samuel is extremely affordable coming off his 112-yard performance against Seattle that netted him a season-high 22.2 DKFP. Samuel got extra work after Emmanuel Sanders ($7,200; ribs) left with an injury. If Sanders is limited or out this week, Samuel will get a ton of targets as the 49ers try to bounce back in a good matchup against Arizona. Samuel has big-play ability and a high ceiling if he becomes the focus of the passing game.
Hunter Renfrow, OAK vs. CIN, $4,000 – Renfrow is another rookie receiver from the SEC that is making an impact for his new team. He has at least eight DKFP in three straight games and gets a tasty matchup with the Bengals this week in a matchup where yards should flow freely for both sides. Renfrow had caught a touchdown pass in two straight games before failing to get into the end zone in Week 10 and has established himself as the No. 2 WR on the team behind Tyrell Williams ($5,400).
Tre’Quan Smith, NO at TB, $3,800 – The Saints had no passing touchdowns and looked totally out of sync as they were shocked by the Falcons on Sunday. Smith returned from a three-game absence due to an ankle injury but managed to haul in only 1-of-2 targets for 13 yards. He still out-gained Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,100), who didn’t have a catch at all. No WR has emerged across from Michael Thomas ($9,900), but against a leaky Buccaneers secondary, there should be a good chance for Smith to turn his disappointing season around. He’s definitely boom-or-bust, but he’s my favorite play under $4K based on his high upside.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Noah Fant, DEN at MIN, $3,700 – Fant clicked incredibly well with new QB Brandon Allen ($4,700) and showed off his big-play potential with a 75-yard touchdown in the Broncos’ Week 9 win before their bye. He finished with 115 yards and 23.5 DKFP against Cleveland and has become a go-to option in Denver’s passing game with 17 targets over his previous three weeks.
Ross Dwelley, SF vs. ARI, $3,400 – Dwelley filled in for George Kittle ($7,000; knee) on Monday Night Football and hauled in three of his seven targets for 24 yards. The targets ranked him third on the team and clearly showed he’s the next man up if Kittle remains sidelined. The Cardinals have been the worst team in the NFL at defending opposing TEs, so Dwelley would be an exceptional play if Kittle is sidelined for a second straight week.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
WAS vs. NYJ, $2,800 – The Redskins have allowed fewer than 25 points in six straight games and have picked up multiple sacks in each of their past five. While the Jets looked much better against the Giants in Week 10, they still have a tendency to turn the ball over and make a good matchup for a Washington defense that should be well-prepared coming off its bye week.
HOU at BAL, $2,300 – The Texans had four sacks, forced four turnovers and had 19 DKFP by holding the Jaguars to just three points in their most recent game before their bye week. However, they lost J.J. Watt for the season and face a tough road test on the road against Lamar Jackson ($7,700). Jackson has looked great the past few weeks but still has some consistency issues from earlier in the season. This could be a letdown game for the Ravens while the Texans’ defense could be out to prove they still have playmakers even without Watt. It’s understandable with the matchup that the cost of the unit would drop, but this feels like a dramatic overcompensation, which could result in good value.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.