FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 11
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel NFL primer, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of this week's top plays of the slate.
Josh Allen ($9,200 on FanDuel): I was originally going to skip over Allen this week due to the weather in Buffalo, but now that his game is being played at Detroit's domed venue -- assuming they can make it there -- he's firmly back in play as an 8.5-point favorite over the Browns.
Although Allen has thrown two picks in each of the last three games, he still ranks fourth in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back and continues to put up gaudy rushing totals. A spike week could be in the cards against Cleveland, which ranks 25th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics.
As is the case most weeks, Allen is projected for the most FanDuel points in numberFire's model.
Jalen Hurts ($8,800): With the Eagles' undefeated season going up in smoke after an upset loss to the Commanders on Monday night, it wouldn't be shocking to see them get back on track against a Colts team that will be forced to up the difficulty after getting to play on easy mode last week. Philadelphia is a 7.0-point road favorite over Jeff Saturday and friends.
Although Hurts' rushing totals have fallen below 30 yards in four straight games, he rushed for his seventh touchdown on Monday -- the most among quarterbacks -- so that dual-threat upside hasn't completely gone away. In fact, Hurts leads the team in red zone rush share (42.9%), slightly edging out lead running back Miles Sanders.
While the hope is that Hurts starts generating more yards with his legs again, the good news is that he's been cashing in more often through the air lately, tossing multiple scores in each of those last four games. Due to lower volume, he's still unlikely to put up flashy passing numbers most weeks, but he continues to be one of the league's most efficient signal-callers, averaging the fifth-most Passing NEP per drop back.
Justin Fields ($8,700): Fields has now broken back-to-back slates with 40-plus FanDuel points, and he's scored at least 24 points in four straight.
Fields is averaging 74.9 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks ninth among all players, and that figure has been trending upward after rushing totals of 88, 82, 60, 178, and 147 over his last five. Bonkers.
He could continue his meteoric rise up the fantasy ranks in a promising game environment this week. While Chicago and Atlanta are the league's two most run-heavy teams, potentially reducing overall play volume, this matchup is tied for the slate's highest total (49.5) and neither defense is anything to write home about. According to numberFire's metrics, the Bears and Falcons rank 27th and 30th, respectively, in schedule-adjusted total defense, struggling against both the pass and run.
Spearheaded by Fields' recent play, Chicago has actually found themselves in three straight shootouts; their recent games totaling 78, 67, and 61 points. While it remains to be seen whether the Falcons will hold up their end of the bargain, it might not even matter if Fields continues to pile up the rushing yards every week.
Lamar Jackson ($8,400): Lamar also has two 40-point performances on his resume this season. The only problem is that they came way back in Weeks 2 and 3. Since then, he's exceeded 20 FanDuel points only once in the last six games. Lamar has been held below 200 passing yards four times during that stretch, and he's thrown for more than one touchdown just once.
Still, Jackson is averaging 70.6 rushing yards per game, and it's probably only a matter of time until we see him hit triple-digits on the ground as he did in those spike weeks. He's also getting 29.2% of the rushes in the red zone, which is actually slightly higher than Fields' 27.9%, so the rushing scores should come back around, as well.
Baltimore is expected to roll this week as 13.0-point favorites over Carolina, and despite the obvious blowout risk, there's always the chance that Jackson accounts for all of their touchdowns. The Ravens' 27.25 implied team total is the slate's second-highest behind only Buffalo.
Saquon Barkley ($9,700): Barkley's restrictive salary will make him tough to fit into lineups, but his phenomenal role keeps him under consideration.
Among running backs, Barkley is averaging a league-high 30.0 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) per game, and he also ranks first in scrimmage yards per game (125.3), snap rate (83.4%), and route rate (63.4%). Barkley also has a top-10 mark in red zone rush share (57.4%), helping him average the sixth-most red zone carries per game (3.0).
With Barkley coming off a season-high 35 carries against the Texans, the Giants have shown they aren't afraid to make Barkley pretty much the entire offense when they can, and there's a good chance that will be the case this week. New York is a 3.0-point home favorite over Detroit, and these Lions just so happen to rank 32nd in schedule-adjusted rush defense, per numberFire's metrics.
Earlier in the season, Alexander Mattison was eating into Cook's snaps a fair bit, but the scales have shifted much more in the latter's direction lately. Over the last four games, Cook has played 83.6% of the snaps while averaging 25.0 adjusted opportunities and 106.5 scrimmage yards. He's also been the clear red zone back during this stretch, earning 52.9% of the carries inside the 20 compared to just 11.8% for Mattison.
Although Dallas has a tough defense, they're less formidable against the run, ranking 19th in adjusted rush defense. We should expect Minnesota to lean on their star running back in what should be one of the better fantasy environments this weekend.
Alvin Kamara ($7,500): Since his three-touchdown game in Week 8, Kamara has dropped two straight clunkers on us, but that presents us with a great buy-low opportunity. Despite game script and a struggling offense putting a dent in Kamara's opportunities in these last two games, he still played 83.0% of the snaps, so better days should be ahead.
Overall, his volume and role have remained strong this season, averaging 27.3 adjusted opportunities, and despite all his 2022 touchdowns coming in that one spike week, he leads the team in red zone rush share (52.2%) and could have even more scoring chances while Mark Ingram is out. Even in a New Orleans offense led by inconsistent quarterback play, Kamara has managed to average 100.9 scrimmage yards per game.
The Saints are 3.0-point home favorites over the Rams, and while L.A. has a tough run defense, they're merely a middle-of-the-pack team at defending pass-catching running backs, which is especially noteworthy when it comes to Kamara's skillset. He projects as one of the best values in numberFire's model.
David Montgomery ($6,200): If you're looking to maximize savings at running back, Montgomery is the clear standout due to backup Khalil Herbert being placed on injured reserve this week. Herbert was playing 37.9% of the snaps, and while third-string back Trestan Ebner could fill that role, it also wouldn't be surprising to see Montgomery get a boost in workload.
In the five games where Herbert played under 30% of the snaps, Montgomery's averaged 20.0 adjusted opportunities, which could be a reasonable baseline expectation. That's roughly what numberFire's model projects, as well, pegging him for 17.5 rushes and 1.7 targets.
Of course, the biggest threat to Montgomery's upside could be his dual-threat quarterback, who's logged double-digit rushes in four of the last five games. But there could be enough touches to go around for both Montgomery and Fields if they ran all over a Falcons team that's 27th in adjusted rush defense.
Justin Jefferson ($9,100): This is a difficult test against a Dallas team that ranks third in adjusted pass defense -- but this is Justin Jefferson we're talking about. Here are Jefferson's receiving totals over the last six games: 147, 154, 107, 98, 115, and 193 yards. Over that stretch, he's scored 22 or more FanDuel points four times, and that's with him notching just two touchdowns.
Overall, Jefferson has averaged 11.1 targets per game this season with a 29.9% target share and 43.3% air yards share. In what should be a fantasy-friendly game, the Vikings' top wideout should have another productive day at the office.
CeeDee Lamb ($8,100): Of course, we're also going to want to check out the other side of this Minnesota-Dallas spot, and Lamb is the first guy to look toward.
While Lamb may not have the dominant results of the aforementioned Jefferson, he's coming off his best game of the season (32.5 FanDuel points) and has enjoyed a 29.8% target share and 44.3% air yards share in the three games since Dak Prescott came back. Lamb also has the easier matchup, facing an average pass defense that's actually allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing wideouts.
Enlisting the Dallas wide receiver's services doesn't come cheap, but at just the seventh-highest salary at the position, he comes at a sizable discount compared to guys like Jefferson or Stefon Diggs.
DeVonta Smith ($6,400): With Dallas Goedert and his 20.2% target share hitting the injured list, we could see Jalen Hurts hone in on A.J. Brown and Smith even more moving forward. As it stands, Smith has logged a 24.2% target share and 27.1% air yards share, and while his weekly outputs have been up and down in this low-volume passing offense, he's still hit double-digit FanDuel points in five of his nine games.
Indianapolis sits 19th in adjusted pass defense, so the matchup isn't daunting, either. Smith makes for a budget-friendly way to gain exposure to Philadelphia, and he projects as the best value among wideouts below $7,000.
Parris Campbell ($5,800): In Matt Ryan's last three starts, we've seen Campbell get 11, 12, and 9 targets, good for a 25.8% target share and 24.4% air yards share. He's also scored a touchdown in each of those weeks.
It's not often we can find solid volume at this salary range, and Campbell looks like an intriguing bring-back option if you're stacking the Eagles. Philadelphia's pass defense could make things difficult, but if the Colts end up in a negative game script as expected, that should mean plenty of pass attempts from Ryan.
Dalton Schultz ($5,900): Since Dak Prescott's return, Schultz ranks second behind CeeDee Lamb in target share (21.3%), resuming the Prescott-Schultz connection we saw in 2021. That's led to double-digit FanDuel points for Schultz in two of those three games. Against tight ends, the Vikings rank 25th in adjusted fantasy points allowed per target, so this isn't a bad individual matchup, too.
Pat Freiermuth ($5,400): We don't often want a piece of this sputtering Pittsburgh offense, but Freiermuth continues to have a productive role, and we probably don't need a massive score at tight end with Travis Kelce off the slate and Mark Andrews still looking iffy. Over the last three games with Kenny Pickett, Freiermuth has averaged 7.7 targets, and he led the team with a 26.9% target share in Week 10, Pittsburgh's first game since trading away Chase Claypool. He projects are one of the best tight end values in numberFire's model.
Cincinnati D/ST ($4,200): Speaking of Kenny Pickett, until he proves otherwise, he looks like a guy we want to continue to attack with opposing defenses. He's been sacked six times in each of the last two games, and prior to that, he had two three-pick games -- one of which he didn't even start. Overall, he's thrown just two touchdowns to eight interceptions and ranks last among qualified quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt. Cincinnati is generating more pressure than their low sack total would suggest, and they're a top-10 overall defense in numberFire's metrics.
New Orleans D/ST ($4,100): Matthew Stafford is expected to be back under center for the Rams, but he'll return to an offense that's now without star receiver Cooper Kupp. That puts a significant dent in an offense that was struggling as is, and it's not like they have a prolific run game they can turn to. Stafford is tied for the league's fourth-most sacks and interceptions -- and that's with him sitting out in Week 10. While the Saints don't get pressure at a high clip, they've been successful at converting when they do, ranking seventh in sacks this season. New Orleans projects as one of the top values in numberFire's model.