DraftKings Starts of the Week – Week 11

Fantasy football can be tough, DraftKings can be tougher. Sure, it sounds like an easy concept. I mean how hard can it be? Don’t you get to pick any players you want? Yes, yes you do, but there’s a salary cap. That’s where it gets tricky.

Configuring your lineup can be a bit like completing a puzzle, or a Rubik’s cube. There’s an unlimited number of strategies, any of which can get to the desired end result. Some strategies are effective than others, but the choice is yours.

Sure, we’d all love to get the best players at each position… It’s just not possible. You have to find the right mix of value, and production, and I’m here to help you find quality options at each position/price range, to help you complete your puzzle, and make some money in Week 11.

Quarterback

*Tier 1 – $7,000+, Tier 2 – $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3 – $6,000 and under

Tier 1: Ben Roethlisberger – PIT @ CLE ($7,500)

You can’t ask for a much better matchup for your fantasy QB than the Browns – who have given up the most passing TDs (25), the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs (20.9 ppg), and over 8 yards per pass.

There is cause for concern, however. Cleveland is 0-10 for a reason, and their defense as a whole is lousy. The addition of Jamie Collins has helped solidify their run d, but there’s not a large enough sample size to assume they’re now good enough to shut down Le’Veon Bell. That said, Bell could easily go off, limiting Big Ben’s production… I think there will be plenty of points to go around for the both of them.

Pittsburgh opened as 10 point favorites, so the oddsmakers see this one potentially turning into a one-sided affair. However, I expect the Browns to keep it semi-competitive. Even if the Steelers do jump out to a big lead, and end up leaning on the run game in the 2nd half, Big Ben will have 3 quarters to put up QB1 numbers. Plug him in with confidence.

Tier 2: Marcus Mariota – TEN @ IND ($6,700)

If I asked you to name the top 5 fantasy QBs, would Marcus Mariota come to mind? Probably not, but sure enough, he’s currently 4th behind only Ryan, Brees, and Rodgers.

If I asked you to name the worst defenses against the pass, would the Colts come to mind? Probably so, and guess who they play this week? You guessed it, Marcus Mariota and the Titans (and they could be without Vontae Davis).

The Titans offense has averaged 39 points over the past 3 weeks, and Vegas is expecting the scoring to continue in this one. The opening total was set at 53.5 – the highest game total of the week. All signs point to another big day for Mr. Mariota.

Tier 3: Blake Bortles – JAC @ DET ($5,400)

On the season, Bortles has finished with less than 15 fantasy points only twice, and has gone over 20 points in 4 of his 9 games (DraftKings scoring). A matchup with the Lions all but guarantees his 5th 20+ point performance, but even if he falls short, it won’t be by much. His floor is extremely high this week.

Now Detroit has only given up 3 TD passes over their past 3 games, but they faced Bradford, and Osweiler in 2 of those, and neither are considered even remotely prolific passers. So, don’t let that scare you away.

*Further data to discredit that little nugget* The Lions have still allowed the 3rd most passing TDs on the season (20). For you math wizards, that means they’ve allowed an average of 2.8 passing TDs in their other 6 games.

Running Back

*Tier 1 – $7,000+, Tier 2 – $7,000-$5,000, Tier 3 – $5,000 and under

Tier 1: Le’Veon Bell – PIT @ CLE ($8,800)

Bell has been inconsistent over the past few weeks, but a lot of that has to do with the injuries the Steelers have faced. Most notably, Ben Roethlisberger. However, with a healthy Big Ben last week, Bell put up his best fantasy day of the season against the Cowboys defense which has allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs.

The Browns defense is not the Cowboys. I won’t bore you with all the numbers, just trust me, they’re bad.

Tier 2: LeSean McCoy – BUF @ CIN ($6,900)

McCoy is on sale this week. He should easily be above $7,000, but you won’t hear me complain.

Last week, Cincinnati faced the Giants who own the 2nd worst rushing offense (in terms of yards), and while the Giants didn’t score on the ground – ending the 4 consecutive weeks the Bengals had allowed a rushing TD – they put up their most rushing yards of the season, and went over 100 yards on the ground for only the 3rd time this season.

Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy and the Bills own the 3rd best rushing offense, and are coming off a bye week. So, any lingering injury issues with McCoy should be a distant memory. Buffalo is favored in this game, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they fall behind and have to abandon the run. McCoy could very easily end up being this week’s top RB.

Tier 3: Isaiah Crowell – CLE vs. PIT ($3,900)

Quietly, Crowell has had a pretty good year. He’s currently the #11 ranked fantasy RB, and is 16th in the league with 551 rushing yards. The Steelers have struggled to defend the run – allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing RBs – and while the return of Ryan Shazier has helped tremendously, they’ll be without arguably their best defender in Cam Heyward.

The major risk here is that the Browns fall behind on the scoreboard, and abandon the run as they’ve had to do the past two weeks. The equalizer is that the Steelers have allowed an average of 59 yards receiving to opposing RBs, and Crowell has 9 catches for 93 yards over the past two games.

Either way you look at it, Crowell should be a lock for at least 50 all-purpose yards, and with the Browns lack of weapons, he has a decent shot to find the end-zone. That’s a reasonable floor given his price range, but his upside this week is what makes him worth the risk.

Wide Receiver

*Tier 1 – $7,000+, Tier 2 – $7,000-$5,000, Tier 3: $5,000 and under

Tier 1: Allen Robinson – JAC @ DET ($7,400)

I’m a bit hesitant to start Robinson this week, but the good outweighs the bad, and I like him the most out of the guys in the lower range of Tier 1 (I’m cheap, and hate paying $8-$9,000).

The bad: 11 of the 20 passing TDs allowed by the Lions have gone to RBs, or TEs, and the Lions have done a decent job as of late in containing #1 WRs.

The good: Robinson has 40 targets in his last 3 games, and has back-to-back 20+ point weeks (DraftKings scoring). The Jags have put more emphasis on the ground game sans Greg Olson, and this has benefitted the passing game. The Lions are a TD favorite, so odds are, the Jags will be passing until the end.

Tier 2: Julian Edelman – NE @ SF ($6,300)

The Patriots could run the ball 50 times in this game, not throw a single pass, and still beat the 49ers by 14. As incredible as that sounds, it probably won’t happen, but I can assure you Tom Brady will dissect the 49ers defense.

Gronkowski has been ruled out for this game, as has fellow wide receiver Chris Hogan, which leaves Edelman, Bennett, and…. Amendola? Does he still play? Kidding. Point is, Edelman will see a lot of targets on Sunday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up with 10+ catches.

He is questionable, with a foot injury, but is expected to be a full go. So, keep an eye on his status, but I’ll throw Doug Baldwin/Rishard Matthews in here as a backup options.

Tier 3: Tyreek Hill – KC vs. TB ($4,500)

Jeremy Maclin will be out again this week, and while Chris Conley and Albert Wilson will see targets, Hill was easily the #1 option last week in Maclin’s absence – leading the Chiefs in targets with 13.

The Chiefs like to run the ball, which opens up play action, and Hill is a more than capable deep threat. He has a 20+ yard reception in 3 of the Chiefs past 4 games, but showed last week he can run the intermediate/short routes as well.

He’s a bit of a boom or bust option, as we haven’t seen him consistently produce, and the Chiefs passing offense isn’t the greatest. However, the Buccaneers have been destroyed by receivers in recent weeks, so given the matchup, he’s a pretty good bet to put up solid numbers.

Tight End

*Tier 1 – $5,500+, Tier 2 – $5,500-$3,500, Tier 3 – $3,500 and under

Tier 1: Delanie Walker – TEN @ IND ($5,700)

Over the past 4 weeks, Delanie Walker is the #1 fantasy tight end with 25 catches, 325 yards, and 3 TDs. He’s the #1 option in the Titans passing game – averaging 7 targets per game – and as I mentioned earlier, Mariota is primed for another big game.

The Colts are susceptible to the pass, and that doesn’t exclude tight ends. They’ve allowed an average of 76 yards per game to opposing TEs (2nd most), and have allowed the 4th most TDs to the position (4). There’s not a better option this week than Walker.

Tier 2: Julius Thomas – JAC @ DET ($3,500)

Apparently I’m all in on the Jags this week. I’ve never been advocate of the lineup stacking strategy, but this would be a nice week to employ it with Bortles, Robinson, and Thomas.

Thomas has seen less than 5 targets only twice this season, and is coming off a 10 target game. Detroit has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing TEs, and the most passing TDs to the position (9). Then there’s all that stuff I wrote above regarding Bortles, and Robinson.

Tier 3: Ladarius Green – PIT @ CLE ($2,500)

It’s only right I add Green here. Can’t leave Roethlisberger as the only QB start without his TE mentioned… He also has a great matchup.

I wrote about him in last week’s Ballers, and Bums, and while he’s played in only 1 game, I like what I saw. He was limited to 12 snaps last week, but managed 3 catches for 30 yards. His role should expand, and we’ve seen what he’s capable of in his time with San Diego. Given his upside, he’s definitely worth the risk at only $2,500.

Defense/Special Teams

*Tier 1 – $3,500+, Tier 2 – $3,500-$3,000, Tier 3 – $3,000 and under

Tier 1: Seahawks ($3,800)

There’s a few cheaper options I like more than Seattle, but at home, against a rookie QB… You have to love this unit this week.

Tier 2: Cardinals ($3,100)

Yes, they’ve given up an average of 25 points the past 2 weeks, but their still an elite defense, and the Vikings offense has been a joke.

Tier 3: Dolphins ($2,900)

If you’re like me, and missed out on them on waivers, take advantage of the $2,900 and plug them in. Sure, Goff could come in and take the league by storm, but it’s not likely.

As always, be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter: maxingyourodds or shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com for betting picks, and/or fantasy advice.

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