Breaking down some plays best suited for attacking the Week 11 Millionaire Maker on DraftKings:
Carson Palmer, Arizona (vs CIN) – $6700
I think some people might fade Palmer because of the matchup, but this is one of those bad-but-not-unbeatable sorts of matchups, in my view; Cincy has a quality pass defense, but Arizona has one of the top passing offenses, too. Palmer is loaded with weapons and has exceeded his salary-based implied points in every single game this year. Projected at 26.8 points, I like Arizona and Palmer to surpass expectations.
Derek Carr, Oakland (at DET) – $6300
Over the past year, Detroit has allowed 2.2 points per game above expectation to opposing quarterbacks. Carr has thrown for at least 300 yards and two scores in each of the past three games. Recent performance is the biggest predictor of ownership, so I’m confident Carr will be in a lot of lineups at this price, i.e. he’s not a contrarian selection.
Tony Romo, Dallas (at MIA) – $6000
In his first game returning from a broken collarbone, I expect Romo (and the obvious pairing of wide receiver Dez Bryant) to be pretty low-owned this week. Any time you can get an obvious high-upside stack at a good price and in a decent matchup, I think that’s a no-brainer.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (vs OAK) – $5400
Stafford is another player who I think smart daily fantasy players are going to be on, but his lackluster performances this year should keep ownership down below where it should be. He’s actually my top-rated quarterback in a game that I think could turn into a shootout.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta (vs IND) – $8400
Freeman is expensive—$1600 more than AP—but I think this is a dream matchup for him. Although Atlanta is struggling on offense of late, they’re still projected well this week as five-point home favorites. With Julio Jones on the outside, Freeman is always in a position to make plays. The Falcons also feed him the rock inside the red zone.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (vs GB) – $6800
The Packers don’t have a poor run defense, but this is just too cheap of a price to pass on Peterson. The Vikings are one-point home favorites. It’s worth noting this isn’t going to be a contrarian play, so you might want to find an under-the-radar play or two if you build your lineup around, say, Carr and Peterson.
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia (vs TB) – $6000
The Eagles’ offense is starting to come along a bit, as is Murray within it; he has 40 carries and 15 targets in the past two games. With Ryan Mathews almost certainly out, this is a game in which Murray should see a sizeable workload.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
LeGarrette Blount, New England (vs BUF) – $5000
The Bills are much better against the pass than they run. You can bet Bill Belichick knows that and will try to exploit it. I think Blount will get the rock a lot in this one, and he’s in a perfect spot on a potent offense that’s a 7.5-point favorite. He’s arguably one of the top scoring threats this week at just $5000.
Dez Bryant, Dallas (at MIA) – $7700
Only two teams have given up more points above expected to wide receivers than Miami—Philly and Baltimore. This is a great matchup and the price really wouldn’t be that bad if we were certain of the health of both Bryant and Romo. However, the risk is worth it given that I expect fairly low ownership here.
Michael Crabtree, Oakland (at DET) – $6000
Crabtree was quiet last week, but it was a tough matchup. In the two prior games, he had seven targets and over 100 yards in each. I normally wouldn’t be bullish on a No. 2 who has seen a salary hike like Crabtree, but I’m a believer in this passing offense. Plus, Detroit has allowed 2.1 points per game above expected to opposing wide receivers.
Brandon LaFell, New England (vs Buffalo) – $4300
Even though I like the Pats’ running game, it isn’t like we can just expect Tom Brady and the passing game to not make any noise with certainty. Gronkowski is an obvious threat, but I think most people will be on Danny Amendola at $4000. He’s set to take over for Julian Edelman and everyone sees that value. I think LaFell is a better bet to score, however, and will see lower ownership.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Robert Woods, Buffalo (at NE) – $3400
The Patriots try to take away the opponent’s top option, and to me that player is Sammy Watkins on Buffalo. I’d guess New England will double Watkins on most plays—similar to how they defended OBJ last week—which could free up Woods for a bunch of targets on an offense that is likely going to be forced to throw often.
Jimmy Graham, Seattle (vs SF) – $4900
I don’t at all think Graham is worthy of consideration in cash games because there’s a decent chance the Seahawks won’t need to throw the ball much in the second half. With San Fran projected at only 13.5 points, it’s actually a really good chance. The Niners are horrible against tight ends, however, and I’m still a sucker for elite talent at this price.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (at SD) – $4700
This is a similar situation to Graham; I love Kelce’s talent—not necessarily his usage—and the Chargers are better on the outside than over the middle. Ownership should be moderate.
Eric Ebron, Detroit (vs OAK) – $3500
Maybe the most ridiculous stat I have is that the Raiders have allowed 7.0 points per game above expected to opposing tight ends over the past year. SEVEN! To give some context, no other defense in the NFL is above 4.0 PPG.
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (vs TB) – $3100
Ertz now has at least six targets in five straight games. I like the Philly offense even more with Mark Sanchez under center over Sam Bradford. Given the cost, I’m actually fine with playing Ertz and Murray together in the same lineup.
Seattle (vs SF) – $4000
The Niners’ implied total of 13.5 points is the lower I have seen this year. This could be a bloodbath. Even though the price is high, I do think ownership will be pretty high on Seattle in leagues with sharp players. In the Millionaire Maker, ownership should be low enough to make the play +EV.
New England (vs BUF) – $3200
Last time the Pats played Buffalo, they sacked Tyrod Taylor eight times. He’s going to be in a similar situation this week—and defenses typically defend division quarterbacks even better the second time in a season—so New England might be my top play.
Philadelphia (vs TB) – $3100
The Eagles have a proven ability to make big plays via defense and special teams. What better quarterback to face than Jameis Winston when you’re trying to take one back to the house?
VALUE OF THE WEEK
Chicago (vs DEN) – $2000
I honestly don’t think I’ll have the guts to use Chicago, but if you aren’t a believer in Brock Osweiler, this could be in play. The Broncos are actually one-point underdogs projected to score just 20 points.
Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Sports for Smart People book series, most recently Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports.
Follow him @BalesFootball.