4 FanDuel NFL Studs to Target in Week 11

Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.

Week 11's studs piece sees the return of some familiar faces who are healthy and ready to dominate again. Let's look at one stud from each of the skill positions.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

FanDuel Salary: $8,300
Projected Points: 24.0

There was a question that had been on the minds of many football fans for the past few weeks. What's wrong with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs? Well, the vintage performance that Mahomes displayed this past Sunday night went a long way to helping stop those questions.

Mahomes lit up the Las Vegas Raiders for over 400 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was his second game this season with five touchdowns, and despite the slump he went through, he still has the most fantasy points for quarterbacks and is second in the league in touchdown passes. He's now looking like he's back on track, just in time for Week 11's best game.

The Chiefs play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Kansas City has the highest implied team total on the main slate, with this game having a total six points higher than any other game. This game rates favorable from a pace and pass rate perspective, too, as Dallas likes to play fast.

The Cowboys' defense has been playing well, but they aren't perfect. They are 16th in adjusted fantasy points per drop back, so right in the middle of the pack. Dallas will also be without Randy Gregory, so it might be hard for them to get pressure with a pass rush of four guys, which has given the Chiefs problems for much of the season.

Mahomes can definitely exploit this defense, and if the game is a shootout, the sky's the limit for him. He's ranked second in numberFire's projections this week, but he could have the highest ceiling if this game goes nuclear.

Christian McCaffery, RB, Carolina Panthers

FanDuel Salary: $10,000
Projected Points 21.5

This article has seen Christian McCaffrey appear as the running back far too infrequently over the past two seasons. Injuries have limited him to just eight games since the start of 2020, and he's had to leave a few of those games early. However, when he's been on the field, he's basically the CMC that all of his fantasy managers know and love.

McCaffrey has been fed since coming back into the lineup. In Week 9, he only played 27 offensive snaps but had 14 carries and 5 targets. In Week 10, that jumped up to 41 snaps, with 13 carries and a massive 10 targets. This allowed him to score 21.1 FanDuel points despite narrowly missing a touchdown and having another two vultured by Cam Newton.

Speaking of Newton, it looks like he will be the starting quarterback this week. When Newton last started the majority of games for the Carolina Panthers in 2018, McCaffrey caught 107 passes. Obviously, we shouldn't be afraid of Cam running instead of targeting McCaffrey, which can be the case for some running quarterbacks.

The Panthers take on the Washington Football Team in a game that sets up well for CMC. Washington has been a decent defense against the run, ranking ninth in schedule-adjusted run defense, according to numberFire's metrics. They are weaker against the pass, though, as they sit 26th. They are even worse when it comes to passes to running backs, ranking 31st in adjusted fantasy points per target against running backs.

This sets up nicely for McCaffrey to see a lot of volume in the passing game, which is exactly what we want. He's currently projected for nearly four points more than any other running back on the slate, so he's clearly a solid way to allocate salary this week.

Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

FanDuel Salary: $8,400
Projected Points: 18.2

This past Sunday was the first time in three weeks that the Green Bay Packers had both Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers on the field together. The results were solid but unspectacular. Adams had 7 catches on 11 targets for 78 scoreless yards. Things should improve this week, and Adams should be back to being the stud we've counted on for the past few seasons.

Last week had some factors that won't be in play for this week. Rodgers had just come off the COVID list on Saturday, so he wasn't able to practice for two straight weeks. It was also bad weather in Green Bay and was a dull game overall, which certainly affected Adams' fantasy score. This week will be in a dome, so we don't need to worry about that.

Adams' usage remains elite among wide receivers. He's seeing 30.1% of the Packers' targets and 40.6% of the team's air yards, both of which put him in the 98th percentile or above when compared to other receivers in the league. This volume makes him one of the most reliable wide receivers in fantasy football.

The main difference between Adams' good season this year and his world-beating form last season is touchdowns. He scored 18 in 14 games last season, but he has just 3 in 9 games this season. He is still seeing a good amount of red zone work, though, with 18 red zone targets this season. However, the conversion rate on those targets is down from 78.13% to 50.0%. If that number can get closer to last season's we could see Adams explode for the rest of the season.

Green Bay will face the Minnesota Vikings in a divisional matchup. The Vikings appear to have a solid pass defense, but they actually haven't been great against wide receivers specifically. They are 22nd in adjusted fantasy points per target allowed to the position, meaning Adams should do just fine in this game.

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

FanDuel Salary: $6,800
Projected Points: 11.3

Like McCaffrey, George Kittle has missed a lot of time over the past two seasons. He only played in eight games last season and six so far this season. There were also concerns about his target volume early in the season, as he was so good at blocking that the team could continue to use him in that role.

Since Kittle has returned, he's quelled most of those concerns. He's seen eight targets and seven targets in his two games since returning. Those 7 targets on Monday night were on just 19 attempts from Jimmy Garoppolo for a nearly 37% share. Kittle also has touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

Kittle shouldn't be needed to block much on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville does not get much pressure on the quarterback, and they rank dead-last in adjusted sack rate. They are also 27th in schedule-adjusted pass defense and 23rd in adjusted fantasy points per target to tight ends.

With Kittle looking back to full strength, we finally have another elite tight end option to roster each week. We've seen him have lots of big games throughout his career, and there's no reason to believe that he can't do the same this week.

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.