With an interesting Week 10 (almost) in the books, your playoff scenarios are coming into focus in your year-long leagues, but there is still plenty of action left on DraftKings, starting with Week 11, right around the corner. So whether you’re still waiting on MNF to learn your fate for this weekend or not, it’s never too early to start thinking about next week. Take an early look at some prices here, while Week 10 is still fresh.
Aaron Rodgers @ MIN ($7,500) – Rodgers came into this week’s game against the lowly Lions defense after throwing for 369 yards and 4 TDs against the Panthers last week, and he threw for 333 and 2. In other words, even while the team is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and while the offense looks like it is constantly leaving plays on the field, he is still putting up some points. He is priced closer to Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers than he is to Tom Brady, and for that price, his talent provides you with more consistency and upside – a sense of security – than the guys right behind him on the list.
Philip Rivers vs. KC ($6,900) – No matter how good the Chiefs defense looked against Peyton yesterday, that was on the Broncos offense more than it was indicative of what this defense will do consistently. Rivers has thrown the ball 30+ times in every week since Week 3, averaging 46 attempts per game over that stretch. His short passing attack has replaced a running game in San Diego, and he has been managing it very efficiently. Coming off their bye, you’d think that Rivers will have used the time to get on the same page with his stitched-together receiving corps (and, hopefully, letting Gates get healthier).
Derek Carr @ DET ($6,300) – Despite the fact that the Lions look like they played the game of their lives this weekend, winning and holding a good Green Bay offense to only 16 points, Rodgers did go for 333 and the two scores. Carr and the Raiders are coming off a loss to the Vikings, but he also went for 300+ yards and two scores (as well as two picks). He is still a young QB prone to mistakes, but that is now his sixth game of the year (out of eight) with multiple TD throws, and fourth game of the year with both multiple scores and 300+ yards. He has solid receivers, and enough attempts to have thrived against much better defenses than the Lions – he has been consistent enough to be considered a safe pick in Week 11, with upside.
Brock Osweiler @ CHI ($5,000) – We obviously don’t know for sure who will be taking the field with the starters next week for the Broncos, but Osweiler came into a game with his team getting shut out yesterday, and went 14/24 for 146 yards, a TD and a pick – which was a huge improvement over what Peyton had done. After the game, it became apparent Peyton had been struggling with some injuries all week long, and is still dealing with some serious problems with his foot. Whether it is due to health or performance, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Osweiler out there in Week 11. And no matter what else, he has the weapons around him to make him an upside play.
Adrian Peterson vs. GB ($6,800) – Freeman is a great play against Indy, but for a $1,600 savings, AP is almost a no-brainer. In what might be the biggest game in Minnesota since Brett Favre passed through town, the 7-2 Vikings will be hosting the 6-3 Packers with a chance to take a two game lead in the division, something no one would have predicted before the year began. AP is coming off a 203-yard performance against the Raiders capped off by an 80-yard TD run that sealed the victory and right now, the Packers defense is not offering much more of a challenge than that Oakland team.
Chris Ivory @ HOU ($6,100) – Ivory is the kind of mid-priced option that makes it easier to spend big on other positions, because whenever he is walking onto the field healthy he seems like nothing but upside. He’s getting all his team’s carries, he catches the ball out of the backfield, and he is the goalline back. He had 99 rushing yards and 135 total yards from scrimmage yesterday, and last week, the yards weren’t there but he had two scores. Against Houston, not only should he be able to gash the defense, but you don’t imagine the Texans putting up enough points to force Fitzpatrick into a shootout either, so Ivory should have plenty of opportunity.
Jeremy Langford vs. DEN ($5,600) – Denver is not a great matchup – I get it. But then again, neither were the Rams, and Langford just put up 182 total yards and multiple scores against them. He had 20 carries for 73 yards and a TD, impressive against a solid D (and proof the Bears trust him to handle the ball consistently), but more impressively, he had 7 catches for 109 yards and another score. More on this below, but the Broncos did just allow 90+ receiving yards to a back yesterday. The real question here is less about this matchup and more about whether Forte is coming back sometime soon or if we’ve all been presented with a mid-priced option to consider on a weekly basis from here on out.
Charcandrick West @ SD ($4,500) – Coming off an emotional win, playing the worst defense in the league against opposing backs for fantasy purposes, you should expect the Chiefs to continue to try to lean on their rushing attack. And right now, that attack appears to be pretty clearly centered around West, who had 24 carries yesterday (as well as three catches for over 150 total yards). The second most rushing attempts on the team was only four, for Alex Smith. For better or worse, the job appears to be his right now, and that could mean very good things in this matchup.
Julio Jones vs. IND ($9,300) – Coming off his bye, he is only even more solidified as the #1 receiver in Week 11. Sure, that’s partially because Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr. are on bye, and because Edelman is hurt and QB play is bringing down the Broncos receiving threats, but it’s also because Jones is a beast. As the primary option on a team with a consistent QB, he is safe, and as one of the best vertical threats in the league, he’s got plenty of upside. With the Falcons, you are comfortable starting him and Freeman and really no one else, and there is value in knowing all the production for a team will be consolidated in so few options – even if they don’t have a huge day as a team, those two can still be dominant. And against the Colts, they should be.
Mike Evans @ PHI ($7,300) – Coming into the year, the question was whether the TDs he scored last year were sustainable. The answer, obviously, has been a resounding “no,” at least so far. But he had 8 catches for 126 yards in a game where his team scored only ten points yesterday, showing his ability to produce in any circumstance. That was his third game in the last four with eight catches for 100+ yards, and you have to like the chances of that continuing against the Eagles secondary (maybe even with a TD mixed in for good measure).
Eric Decker @ HOU ($5,800) – He isn’t sexy, or all that exciting. Brandon Marshall demands more attention, from opposing defenses and fantasy owners alike. But if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive option for a cash tournament, he makes a lot of sense – he has at least 14.6 fantasy points in every single week since Week 1. He has at least six catches for 60 yards in each of his past four, with touchdowns in three in a row. He’s a great red zone threat, and clearly Fitzmagic trusts him – even if they have the run game working on all cylinders against Houston, you can still expect Decker to get his share of looks whenever the Jets face a key third down or get in close to the end zone.
Danny Amendola vs. BUF ($4,000) – With Edelman scheduled to have surgery today, he might be back for the playoffs. That’s a big blow for the Patriots, but a boon for Amendola owners. He has looked a lot more comfortable in this offense so far this season, and now his usage is primed to get a big boost as the primary slot receiver. The productivity expected from this offense is slowly getting consolidated through injury – so Amendola, LaFell, Gronk and Blount can all safely be on your radar in any given week.
Rob Gronkowski vs. BUF ($7,700) – In our weekly installment of “should I pay for Gronk or not?,” I want to make just one point. I imagine a common train of thought this week, with the injury to Edelman, is going to be “who else are they going to throw to?” This is an offense that likes to spread the ball around, but now targets will have to be, by default, consolidated. However, the other thing to consider is that the Pats have also been decimated by injuries along the line, and Gronk is one of their best blockers. Belichick recently compared Gronk’s blocking to Mark Bavaro, basically the best blocking TE of all time, saying that throwing a nice block is sometimes that Gronkowski “really takes pride in.” All of which is to say, see below for another TE option.
Greg Olsen vs. WAS ($6,200) – Yesterday, it was eight catches for 80 yards and sixteen fantasy points. He has now been over ten fantasy points six times in nine games this year, including three in a row and four of five (with a 9.5 game mixed in). Sometimes he feels just as hit or miss as the guys who cost $3,000 less, which makes him hard to buy into, but while TEs 2-12 all need a TD or two to have really big days, Olsen included, Olsen is the guy who will still get you usable production even without the score. He makes a lot of sense for cash game lineups at the position, giving you almost as much consistency as Gronk, and as much upside as everyone else.
Jordan Reed vs. CAR ($4,900) – Kirk Cousins lit the world on fire yesterday, but the Panthers are not the Saints. But if there is a way to attack the Panthers, it is up the middle and not along the perimeter. Right now, Reed is healthy, and as long as he stays that way, he is one of the highest upside plays at his position, because he has the athleticism and size to beat corners, safeties and linebackers, and the explosiveness to turn any catch he makes into a big gainer. He only had 3 catches for 29 yards yesterday, but two red zone scores. That’s five total touchdowns in the three games he has played since returning from injury, and in one of those games (against TB), he also had 11 catches for 72 yards. His track record might not be long enough to call him safe, but right now he is showing a clear combination of consistency and upside that makes him well worth this price tag.
Scott Chandler vs. BUF ($2,500) – He has two touchdowns on the season. He has four total games with more than one catch. He is the minimum of minimum salaries. In other words, he’s as risky as they come. But as I mentioned above, the Pats have been decimated by injuries to both their receiving corps and their offensive line, which I could easily see leading to a plethora of two TE sets going forward. And, while Gronk is clearly the better receiver of the two, he is also the better blocker, and that could mean a few more looks for Chandler against his former team next week.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. TB ($3,100) – They might have just lost to the Dolphins, but this defense only gave up just more than 300 total yards of offense. They had had double-digit fantasy points in four of six coming into the week, doing a good job of generating pressure and creating turnovers. It’s hard to imagine the Bucs offense scoring a ton, so even though Winston has proved adept at protecting the ball, the Eagles D, to me, is starting with a relatively high floor, and every play they make will only add to your total from there.
Chicago Bears vs. DEN ($2,000) – Obviously a risk/reward play. But $2,000 is CHEAP. Unless you think there is an obvious double-digit defense on the board, for this price, the Bears only need to grab you 5 or 6 points to be as good a value as anyone. They did just hold the Rams to only 13 points, and no matter who starts for this Broncos offense, you just aren’t as scared as you once were of that offensive explosion that means your defense is giving you negative points. Without that downside, this could be a risk worth taking in tournament play.