Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
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Titans running back Dion Lewis let us down in Week 10 as he only rushed for 57 yards against the New England Patriots and caught two passes. The good news is he did receive 20 carries and was on the field for 49 snaps compared to 16 for Derrick Henry. Don’t be afraid to go back to Lewis as he is cheaper this week and faces a Colts defense that has given up the third most catches to running backs this season.
Rams wide receiver Robert Woods was a fine cash game play, but the Chargers passing offense failed to come through last week so Tyrell Williams as a tournament option was a miss. Time to focus on Week 11.
Cash Game Option:
Arizona Cardinals David Johnson ($13,300) – The trend of paying up at the running back position continues to be a strong avenue when making lineups. If looking to go cheaper or filling out the flex, Johnson is a great option. Since Byron Leftwich took over as offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Johnson has caught 11 passes for 126 yards. To put that in perspective, Johnson had 10 catches combined in the previous four games. Johnson is one of the best receiving backs in football yet was not used that way early in the season when Mike McCoy was calling the plays. Another positive under Leftwich is Johnson running outside the tackles more often like he did when he was a top fantasy performer. Johnson is beginning to perform like the elite runner he is, but is not priced like it. The Cardinals take on a Raiders defense that is given up the fifth most fantasy points per game to the position and is ranked 29th in defensive DVOA to running backs according to Football Outsiders. This is another smash spot for Johnson at a strong price and he can be implemented in all formats.
Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott ($17,600) – The first player I identified that I wanted in my lineups this week was the Cowboys running back. As the week has gone on, my opinion hasn’t changed and after looking at early ownership percentages, I feel like I need more exposure. It appears most people will be paying for Melvin Gordon, Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley this week. Those are all great options and I will have plenty of them in my lineups, but Elliott gets one of the top match-ups any running back can get as the Cowboys face the Falcons. This defense doesn’t care about slowing running backs down and the Cowboys will feed Zeke for the entire game. The Falcons have given up the most receptions to running backs this season and the second most fantasy points per game. Elliott may be the highest priced running back, but for good reason. This is an absolute smash spot for Elliott and he is an elite target in all formats.
Cash Game Option:
New York Giants Sterling Shepard ($10,500) – We have picked on the Buccaneers defense all season long and for good reason. The unit ranks 31st in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders so the Giants offense is in a great spot. I can’t recommend quarterback Eli Manning so I will get a piece of this offense at other spots which leads me to Shepard. The wide receiver has an appealing mid-tier price which makes him the perfect second wide receiver in cash lineups. The Bucs are awful against slot receivers as some notable performances include Jarvis Landry of the Browns catching 10 balls, JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Steelers and Tyler Boyd of the Bengals each catching 9 balls for over 100. Even Redskins slot receiver Maurice Harris had a strong performance as he caught five passes for 52 yards. Football is a funny game as Shepard had the least amount of targets and catches all season in Week 10 yet scored his first touchdown since Week 4. If not wanting to pay up for Odell Beckham this week, Shepard provides a nice opportunity to get exposure to an offense that should put up a solid performance.
Carolina Panthers Devin Funchess ($10,200) – The Panthers offense is in a great spot this week as they take on a Lions defense that ranks 29th in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders. The Bears scored 34 points against this defense in Week 10 with two receivers in Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller eclipsing 100 yards. I can see a similar performance from the Panthers this week which would mean Funchess playing a major role. Funchess continues to lead the receivers in targets on a consistent basis and even though we haven’t seen the monster stat line this season, a match-up against a bad Lions defense might be exactly what we need.