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Welcome to Week 11 of the football season. I’ll be providing you with some DFS content, covering Running Backs and Defenses. We’ll take a look at some potential cash-game plays as well as some pivots that could be used in tournaments. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out in the comments section below.
Cash Game Options:
Dalvin Cook, MIN ($17,100) vs. DEN
I’m not going to compare Dalvin Cook to Christian McCaffrey, because there is only one CMC, but Cook has been super solid all year. Cook has gone for over 100 all-purpose yards each of the last four weeks while finding the end zone four times. The kicker on top of Cook’s workload is his work in the passing game, where he’s seen 20 targets over the last three weeks. According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings’ offensive line ranks fifth in adjusted line yards, a stat that attempts to equate how many rushing yards per carry can be credited to the offensive line. In cash games, I expect Cook and Ezekiel Elliott to see more ownership this week that would normally go to CMC.
Josh Jacobs, OAK ($13,900) vs. CIN
Josh Jacobs gets the magical matchup against the Bengals this week and it comes in the midst of his own personal breakout. Jacobs has seen 20 or more carries + targets in four of his last five games and has found the endzone five times during that period. He also has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in five of his last six games. Per Football Outsiders, the Raiders’ offensive line has the fourth-highest Adjusted Line Yards. The Bengals have allowed 197 rushing yards per game over their last five games and have given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs this year.
Devin Singletary, BUF ($11,300) at MIA
We now have three consecutive weeks of Devin Singletary playing on 66% or more of the Bills’ offensive snaps and during those games, he has 60% of the running back touches. According to Football Outsiders, the Bills have the second-most adjusted line yards per carry on the year. The Bills get a matchup with the Dolphins, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs on the year. Currently, Vegas has the Bills as 6.5 point favorites, which should provide a good game script for Singletary.
Brian Hill, ATL ($10,200) at CAR
Devonta Freeman left the Falcons’ Week 10 game against the Saints with a foot injury late in the second quarter. Following his exit, it was the Brian Hill show, as he had 20 combined carries and targets. Obviously, the workload he saw in the second half was encouraging, but what makes it even more encouraging was that Kenjon Barner, the Falcons’ third-string back, was active. Seeing Barner spend the majority of the second half on the sideline, gives me encouragement that Hill should get the lion’s share of the running back touches this week. To top it off, the Panthers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to teams opposing running backs this year. A good matchup, big workload, and cheap price tag – sign me up!
Christian McCaffrey, CAR ($19,400) vs. ATL
So, when I sat down to write this I fully intended to delete this paragraph from last week’s article; and then I read the first line, “don’t get cute”. So while I know Christian McCaffrey‘s super expensive, he’s the ultimate cash-game play. Since you don’t need me to tell you CMC is good, I’ll help you at the end of this article by providing a mock lineup construction that allows you to fit in CMC without having to punt every other position. Due to his super hefty price tag, we should get McCaffrey at reasonable ownership – aka not the 40% we saw in cash games last week.
Miles Sanders, PHI ($8,100) vs. NE
You’ll have to keep an eye on Jordan Howard‘s status heading into Sunday’s game against the Patriots, but if Howard is out and with Darren Sproles being out for the year, we should see an increased role for Miles Sanders. Granted, it will come in a game against the Patriots, who have limited running backs to the least fantasy points per game on the year. The Eagles also just signed free agent running back Jay Ajayi. We have to assume Ajayi is in shape, otherwise, what is the point of signing him, and he knows this offense, so he could step right into a reasonable role. I’d look to see if HC Doug Pederson addresses the topic, but so far all he’s said is, “Ajayi could play despite not practicing with the team.”
Kalen Ballage, MIA ($7,900) vs. BUF
Oh god, this is not what I saw myself writing about 11 weeks ago, but alas, here we are. With Kenyan Drake shipped off to the Cardinals and Mark Walton suspended, Kalen Ballage saw 82% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps and touched the ball 24 times. While the Bills are generally regarded as a decent defense, they have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs. Here’s what they’ve allowed over the last four weeks:
|Week – Opponent||Running Backs||Total Production|
|7 – Dolphins||Walton, Drake, Ballage||123 yards, 1 TD|
|8 – Eagles||Howard, Sanders||229 yards, 2 TDs|
|9 – Redskins||Peterson||130 yards|
|10 – Browns||Chubb, Hunt||190 yards|
If we see Ballage get the workload he saw in Week 10, he should easily pay this price off.
Cash Game Option:
Oakland Raiders ($6,700) vs. CIN
The Raiders welcome in a matchup with the Bengals in their home stadium and it should be as safe as they come for cash-games. In Ryan Finley‘s lone start this year, we saw the Bengals turn the ball over three times, two of which went for touchdowns. The Raiders are double-digit favorites in Sunday’s game, which means we might get to see Ryan Finley throw extra (errant) passes, although, the Bengals stuck to the run against the Ravens despite the massive deficit. If you’re looking for a safe option, but want to pay down some, I don’t mind taking a shot on the Redskins ($5,300). The Jets have allowed the second-most sacks per game this year and have given up the most fantasy points per game to defenses.
New Orleans Saints ($5,700) at TB
The Saints-Bucs matchup has the second-highest total on this week’s slate and a lot of people are going to be firing up the passing games from both teams, so why would we want to play the Saints? Jameis Winston, that’s why. Over the Buccaneers’ last four games, Winston has been sacked 16 times and turned the ball over 13 times. I fully expect this game to be a shootout, but that doesn’t mean the Saints defense can’t also accumulate a lot of points, even with Marshon Lattimore already ruled out.
As promised, here’s a mock build that allows for CMC. Locking in Winston, CMC, Ballage, Evans, Hill, and the Redskins defense gives you $10,300 left per position for one WR, one TE, and one Flex. You could certainly do worse.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)