Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis sent out an interesting thread of tweets earlier this week. I’ll try to summarize it in as few words as possible: THE BUCCANEERS ARE DFS GOLD. For those of you who want to know more, let me explain in a little bit more detail.
Hribar points out that the Bucs have hit their implied point total in seven games this season, which tops the NFL. They have held their opponents under their implied total just once, which is lowest in the NFL. Games involving the Bucs average nearly 60 combined points. I don’t want to just keep reciting Hribar’s tweets, so check out the thread yourself here. Credit to him for the great detective work.
But once again, I stress that the Buccaneers are a treasure trove of DFS points, and this week should prove no different. I wanted to get this out before I delve into my individual picks because I’m not going to include them below. They’re too obvious, and many of them will likely be ultra popular picks that a large share of contest pools will possess. That’s not saying you shouldn’t take them: missing out on Michael Thomas despite the potential for a large majority of the playing pool owning him could also mean that you’re missing out on a 30+ point explosion. But be wary of your picks from this game, mix and match which players you choose, and one of them will likely go off.
Because DraftKings and FanDuel offer different prices for certain players and have a different cash total overall, one option may be better for a certain app than for the other app, and that will be noted. The first price is their DraftKings cost, and the second is the FanDuel cost.
Josh Allen ($6,600,$7,800)
This one is especially appealing on FanDuel, considering the fact that he’s surrounded by Jared Goff against a tough Bears defense and Kirk Cousins facing a tough Denver defense. Allen, on the other hand, is playing against the Dolphins. It’s no secret that the Dolphins struggle in all aspects of the game, but this rematch has some added intrigue to it, considering that Ryan Fitzpatrick is actually leading the tanking Dolphins to some wins. The Bills offense may not be able to slack off depending on how Fitzpatrick plays, and Allen can damage a porous defense like Miami’s in so many ways. They’ve allowed a pair of rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season, and though Lamar Jackson actually didn’t have a good day on the ground against them, he put up a decent stat line including six touchdowns. Allen is consistent in his production, and a high floor and ceiling are too good to pass up for Week 11.
Derek Carr ($6,100/$7,400)
Let’s continue the trend of favorable matchups and roll with Derek Carr, the QB who has made something out of nothing with the help of Jon Gruden’s offensive scheme. Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller have emerged into decent weapons for Carr, and Hunter Renfroe has shown flashes of potential. Still, with this shallow of a receiving corps and the explosive running back Josh Jacobs, it’s often hard for Carr to find consistent fantasy production. The Cincinnati Bengals provide a nice soft defense that Carr should be able to take advantage of early, and they have been torched week after week by whoever is throwing the ball. While he may not have to throw a ton as the game progresses, Carr should be able to throw two to three touchdowns and 250-350 yards with ease.
Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000/$8,400 – Especially a steal in FanDuel)
Zeke hasn’t been disappointing this season, per se, but he hasn’t exactly been electrifying in too many contests. Before putting up a little bit of a clunker last time out against the Vikings, he had three straight 100-yard showings and was the absolute focal point of the Dallas offense as the game scripts allowed for this. This wasn’t the case against Minnesota, which hurt his production. However, this will be the case against the Lions this week. Detroit surrenders 108 yards per game to opposing running backs to go along with 59 yards through the air, and concede over 1.5 touchdowns out of the backfield. Good running backs have absolutely torched the Lions, including Dalvin Cook (149 yards, 2 TDs) and Josh Jacobs (120 yards, 2 TDs). Expect something similar from Zeke in a week that could see him deliver that top-five value that he was drafted for.
Austin Ekeler ($5,300/$6,100)
Ekeler’s value has gone way down since Melvin Gordon has returned, and for good reason. He has been held under 10 touches in three of the past five weeks as LA has gone right back to the Melvin Gordon show (which hasn’t been all that exciting, to be honest). This week offers up a great chance for Ekeler to regain his early season glory, back in the good old days when he was the No. 1 overall player in fantasy football. Pass catching running backs have had some great games against the Chiefs, including two recent performances where Aaron Jones had 159 receiving yards (!!!!) and two touchdowns, and when the Vikings running backs caught seven balls for 98 yards and a touchdown. The potential for a shootout is real in this one, and Ekeler should be heavily involved in the passing game if the Chargers want to keep up.
Michael Thomas ($9,900/$9,000 – More worth it on FanDuel)
I said I wouldn’t include a Saint/Buc. But I had to. Read the intro again as to why.
I’m sorry. I can’t help it. The matchup is too good, especially without Marshon Lattimore. Just remember that they are sure to be very highly drafted. Wouldn’t completely surprise me if either of them were near 40-50% owned.
John Brown ($6,400/$5,900 – More worth it on FanDuel)
Now for the non-Saints/Bucs suggestions. Stack Brown with Allen and watch the fireworks go off. Brown has been an underappreciated receiver so far this season, especially in DFS, as he has yet to have a bad showing (his worst week was 4 catches for 51 yards), and he has had some very good showings as well. One of these came against the Dolphins, when they still had Minkah Fitzpatrick, and he put up 83 yards and a touchdown. He’s a high-floor, high-ceiling pick that should stack very well at a low price to go along with the moderately priced Josh Allen.
Terry McLaurin ($5,600/$5,500)
I don’t care who’s quarterbacking in the capital. It could be Keenum, McCoy, Haskins, or Bill Callahan back there. McLaurin is still a great play this week. I have often gone with the No. 1 wide receiver taking on the Jets as they have a tendency to go off this year. And it’s a tried and true strategy… just check like every single one of my DFS guides and look at the results. Or check this for a simpler way to test my methodology and utilize it for your own fantasy good.
Zach Ertz ($5,000/$6,200)
I will be shocked, and quite honestly appalled as an Eagles fan, if Ertz doesn’t get the overwhelming majority of targets in this Super Bowl rematch. Alshon is out, Sproles is out, and WENTZ NEEDS ERTZ. I’m certainly not a homer in fantasy — in fact I tend to avoid choosing Eagles or their opponents so as to keep my viewing experience as pure as possible — but I love Ertz this week. The Patriots defense is great and there’s no doubt about it. But Ertz has an amazing sense of sniffing out holes in the defense and stepping his game up an entire level when he knows he’s needed. This one is more of a gut feeling, but it’s a really strong gut feeling.
Other options: Hunter Henry ($5,700/$6,900)
The Broncos don’t scare anyone, regardless of who is QB. But Brandon Allen scares me even less than Joe Flacco does, and playing at home gives the Vikings an energizing boost that should allow them to shut down the Broncos. I don’t expect this game to be close, and neither does Vegas, as the Broncos have one of the lowest implied point totals throughout the league at around 14. I’d be surprised if they scored two touchdowns, and some turnovers seem more than likely to occur.