FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Early-Slate Helper: Week 11

The Week 11 NFL DFS early-slate on FanDuel has eight games, all kicking off at 1 p.m. EST. The totals in these matchups range from 38.5 to 51.5, so lineups should variate widely on a slate this big.

The numberFire NFL DFS Matchup Heat Map will be referenced for all implied totals and spreads throughout this article, so be sure to check it out.

Let’s look at the best plays at every price point on the slate.

High Priced Studs

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers ($10,500)

At this rate, Christian McCaffrey could go up against the '85 Bears and he would still be a DFS lock. The stud running back boasts the top opportunity share and has accounted for 49.8 percent of the Carolina Panthers' offensive yards and touchdowns, making him the safest player in fantasy football.

He also gets a dream matchup this week, drawing an Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks 31st in Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. This game has the second-highest implied total, with Carolina coming in as a 4.0-point favorite. They should be able to move the ball well, meaning more red zone opportunities for the most valuable player in fantasy.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($8,400)

If you want a nice discount on a player with a similar projected workload, Ezekiel Elliott is the guy to target. The Dallas Cowboys have shown a willingness to feed their expensive running back regardless of his success, giving him 22 touches for 63 total yards against the Minnesota Vikings last week.

Efficiency should be much easier to come by this week as our projections have him getting 25 touches against a Detroit Lions defense that ranks 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play. With Jeff Driskel likely getting the nod at quarterback again, Zeke should rack up touches to kill the clock late in the game.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,200)

Many say that "opportunity is king" in fantasy football. If that is true, then Leonard Fournette is horribly underpriced, as his 88.6 percent opportunity share ranks second in the NFL. He has never dipped below double-digit carries in a game this season, and he has also seen at least six targets in all but two games.

The only issue is him scoring just a lone touchdown on the season. His lack of scoring is frustrating, as six points can swing fantasy days, but Fournette has just been unlucky. His 39 red zone touches ranks second among all running backs, so variance should tip back in his favor soon.

The Indianapolis Colts are a strong defense with Darius Leonard manning the middle, but they rank 20th against the run. In Nick Foles' first game back from his collarbone injury, we could see a heavy dose of Fournette to ease Foles into action. Fournette is our third-best point-per-dollar running back on the slate.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints ($9,000)

Michael Thomas continues to be outstanding, leading receivers with 50 or more targets in catch rate and Target Success Rate. He is also on pace to break Marvin Harrison's single season reception record, as his 86 receptions are 18 more than the next closest receiver.

Without Marshon Lattimore, the "Shootout Saints" could also be back. That would raise the fantasy ceilings of both of these offenses, meaning Thomas has a chance at smashing this Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense again. Thomas rolled up 182 yards and two touchdowns with Teddy Bridgewater throwing him balls in Week 5, so he could realistically hit that again with Drew Brees back at the helm. Thomas worth the price against a Bucs defense that ranks 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8,200)

On the other side of the ball, Mike Evans is probably grinning ear to ear, as he gets to line up against Eli Apple and P.J. Williams instead of Lattimore. He doesn't have a safe floor, as he dropped zero fantasy points in Week 5 against this defense. But in the four games since then, he is averaging 12.75 targets, 9 catches, and 139 yards. Expect him to be closer to his 23.4-fantasy-point average over that span than the goose egg.

Mid-Priced Upside Plays

D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers ($6,000)

Both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are in great spots this week and are just $300 apart in salary. For some reason, Moore checks in as the cheaper option despite back-to-back 100-yard games, while Samuel hasn't hit that number all season. With 40 targets over the last four weeks, Moore is the obvious play due to his high floor, though he'll likely see more ownership than Samuel does.

Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints ($6,000)

With Alvin Kamara still clearly not 100 percent and neither Ted Ginn Jr. nor Tre'Quan Smith stepping up, Jared Cook saw 10 targets in Week 10. He hauled in six of them for a respectable 74 yards.

Tight end is ugly on this slate without Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Zach Ertz, and a banged-up Austin Hooper. If you aren't paying up for Mark Andrews, Cook is a nice pivot to get some cheap exposure to the dynamic Saints' offense.

Bargain Bin Prospects

Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($5,900)

With so many expensive options on this slate, finding bargain bin prospects will be key to lineup construction. Brian Hill will likely be the chalk this week, as we have him projected for 18 touches against a Panthers defense that ranks dead-last in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play.

Hill is also a capable pass-catcher, with a 7.8 percent college target share during his time at Wyoming. According to PlayerProfiler, that's in the 55th-percentile of NFL running backs. That indicates Hill should be active in all phases of the Atlanta offense. At just $5,900, he's our second-best value per dollar running back.

John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills ($5,900)

With John Brown operating as a high-floor fantasy asset this season, he's a great option for cheap volume on a tightly priced slate. With at least 50 receiving yards in every game this season, he should be locked into lineups for his consistency alone.

The real gravy will be when he dusts this Miami Dolphins defense that ranks 32nd in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. Some DFS players could be off of Brown because he hasn't hit his ceiling since Week 1, but we should jump on him in this spot.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins ($5,500)

Scary Terry deserves better. All he has done is produce on an inept offense that keeps bouncing around their quarterbacks. Regardless of who is throwing him the ball, he ranks fifth in Reception NEP per target and has accounted for 43.3 percent of Washington's receiving yards and touchdowns. That's the second-most among NFL receivers.

McLaurin should have an easier go this week after a gauntlet of tough cornerbacks. The New York Jets rank third against the run but just 26th against the pass this season. They also sit at 23rd in adjusted sack rate on Football Outsiders, so he should have plenty of time to run deep on this defense.

With Dwayne Haskins being named the starter for the rest of the season, McLaurin should have some consistency coming his way, as well. The former college teammates connected for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns in their final season at Ohio State, so hopefully that will carry over to the NFL.

Jonathan Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Jonathan Taylor Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jtsmittyyy. 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.