Week 11 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Considering game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next week as a double-digit road underdog, because the game scripts in these games are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides those numbers that are used for sports betting, as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This will give us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and how we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Here are some game scripts to target this week in DFS.
Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Texans Implied Team Total 23.5
Ravens Implied Team Total: 28.0
Two of the league's most dynamic quarterbacks go head to head in what looks like an exciting game on paper. Lamar Jackson ($8,800 on FanDuel) has been the talk of the league and is coming off two straight impressive performances against the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals. Deshaun Watson ($8,200) has been out of the spotlight after a bye week but is second in the league with 23 total touchdowns.
Both of these quarterbacks have shown immense upside, and they could cause an eruption of fantasy points for both teams. According to oddsFire, 96% of the money on this game is on the over, so most bettors are expecting fireworks.
Jackson isn't just having a good season -- he's on pace for the best fantasy season of all time for a quarterback.
Lamar Jackson is now on pace to score 422.5 fantasy points this season, which would break Patrick Mahomes QB scoring record from last year (417.1 points). Insane.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) November 11, 2019
The truth is that Jackson doesn't need a good game script to put up fantasy stats. His combination of running and passing ability is unmatched in the league. The Houston Texans are ranked 24th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season. The ideal scenario for Jackson is if the Baltimore Ravens need to keep their foot on the gas for the whole game and will allow Jackson to run wild once again. He has five rushing touchdowns in the last four games -- all Ravens wins -- and since they are expected to win given the 4.5-point spread, we could see something similar this week.
Jackson isn't the only quarterback who gets things done with his legs, as Watson has five rushing touchdowns and at least 30 rushing yards in six out of nine games this season. The thing to look at with the Texans and Watson is will the offensive line be able to give him clean pockets for him to do damage. Luckily, according to Football Outsiders, the Ravens rank 27th in adjusted sack rate.
Among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, Watson is fourth in numberFire's Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. He and Jackson are first and second in our projections at the quarterback position, and they both make for great plays in this game.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8,300) has been getting the target volume we like to see when paying up at wide receiver. He has at least 11 targets in each of the past four games. He is eighth in the league in air yards, per AirYards.com, and second in wide receiver target share (30%). If the Texans are trying to get back into this game, Hopkins will be the main man they look to in the passing game.
Mark Andrews ($6,900) leads the Ravens in catches and receiving yards. He got back in the good graces of fantasy owners last week with two touchdowns. He leads the team with a 25% target share and has seen at least eight targets in all but one game this season. With Marquise Brown banged up, Andres is really the only option in this Ravens' passing game if you are looking to stack a pass-catcher with Jackson.
Others to Consider
If Will Fuller ($6,300) were to return from injury, he would be an interesting play. We saw the kind of game-breaking ability he has in his Week 5 performance in which he had 46.7 FanDuel points, and his average depth of target at 14.3 means he's a big play waiting to happen.
Marquise Brown ($5,600) is another player who is listed as questionable, but if he does play, he can make a big impact on the game. He has a 30% market share of air yards for the Ravens, being their deep threat down the field.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Saints Implied Team Total: 27.5
Buccaneers Implied Team Total: 22.0
Last week's performance for the New Orleans Saints was as puzzling of a result as we've seen all year. The Atlanta Falcons were able to shut down the Saints' offense in the Superdome, and the league's 31st-ranked team in adjusted sack rate got to Drew Brees six times. The bounce-back opportunity should be there for New Orleans in this game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and with the Saints' implied total up at 27.5, the bookmakers are expecting exactly that.
Brees ($8,300) sets up nicely against this Tampa defense that is the definition of a pass funnel. They have the best defense against the run, per our schedule-adjusted numbers, but are 23rd against the pass. The Saints' offensive line struggled in a better spot last week, but this week they face a Tampa defensive line that is 29th in adjusted sack rate. Brees should be throwing a lot -- in theory -- against this defense, and if that's the case, we pretty much know where the ball is going.
Michael Thomas ($9,000) is on a record-setting pace this season. He was the only Saint to live up to expectations last week, with 13 catches for 152 yards. He has the highest target share in the league at 31%, so if Brees is going to be throwing a lot, he's going to be looking Thomas' way early and often. Thomas has been pretty matchup-proof this season, but it doesn't hurt that he has a great matchup against Jamel Dean, according to PFF.
The other side of this game will be the Jameis Winston ($7,600) experience. Winston did his normal thing last week, with 358 yards through the air and three turnovers. It's not going to be pretty, but Winston is still a good player for fantasy and will likely need to throw to keep up with Brees and the Saints. The Saints surprisingly rank 20th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, so Jameis should be set up nicely in this game.
Winston's main target is Mike Evans ($8,200), who got blanked last time these two teams met (zero catches on three targets). Credit was given to the shutdown coverage of Marshon Lattimore, who looks set to miss this game. That's good news for Evans, who leads the league in air yards this season and has average depth of target of more than 15 yards, making him dangerous down the field. Trailing and wanting to throw a lot to a talented receiver who is matching up against a backup in the secondary spells lots of opportunities for success this week for Evans.
Others to Consider
Jared Cook ($6,000) is priced up but is worth consideration. He saw 10 targets last week, and the Bucs have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
Chris Godwin ($8,000) continues to be a solid number two or 1B receiver to Evans. He gets 24% of the targets, and his six touchdowns are just behind Evans' seven. He is a pivot play off of Evans when playing a stack with Jameis Winston.
While the matchup on the ground is tough, Alvin Kamara ($7,800) could have a path to a lot of receptions. We saw something similar in last week's game, when he only had 24 yards on the ground but his fantasy day was somewhat salvaged by catching eight passes for 50 yards.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Falcons Implied Team Total: 22.5
Panthers Implied Team Total: 27.0
All four NFC South teams feature in this column this week, as all four have good offenses that we like to target. The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons also have defenses with weaknesses that we can exploit. This one sets up to be a fast-paced game, with the Panthers ranking fourth in seconds per play and the Falcons sixth.
Any Panthers game usually starts with a discussion about Christian McCaffrey ($10,500). His season has been so good that his 23.5-point outing last week was considered a disappointment and actually kind of was given that it was his third worst game of the season. Instead of playing in the snow at Lambeau Field this week, he'll be at home as a favorite. He also gets to face Atlanta's 31st-ranked defense. CMC is expensive, but his play this season has warranted the price.
Julio Jones ($7,800) wasn't the main cog in Atlanta's victory over New Orleans last week, but he did have the opportunity we like with nine targets. He has at least that number in four straight games and is fourth in the league in air yards. He will be Atlanta's main target if they are losing and trying to claw their way back into this game, which has happened often this season. He will face a Carolina secondary that is 24th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
D.J. Moore ($6,000) is still a great value play at his price. He has gone over 100 yards in two straight games and still is only $6,000. He has cemented himself as the team's number-one receiver, leading in catches and receiving yards. Atlanta's pass defense is 30th by numberFire's metrics, so Moore has big upside in this game. He has at least nine targets in his last four games, and volume like that isn't easy to come by at this low price.
Brian Hill ($5,900) is a value play who makes a lot of sense. With Devonta Freeman doubtful, Hill will likely be given a lot of touches. He saw 20 carries and caught a touchdown in the win over the Saints. Now he gets to face a Panthers defense that is 30th in fantasy points allowed to running backs.
Others to Consider
Both quarterbacks are players to consider if trying to stack this game. Kyle Allen ($7,200) is a decent value play with the weapons around him and the matchup against a weak defense. Matt Ryan ($7,600) hasn't thrown for 300 yards in his past two games, but he did so in every other game before that. If the Falcons get behind, Ryan should be able to rack up points in garbage time like we have seen previously this year.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.