Week 11 blowup performances for DFS

DAVANTE ADAMS ($8,600)

Fading Adams because of weather concerns and game script is one thing, but fading him because of matchup cannot be recommended — especially when that matchup is against Xavier Rhodes, who Adams has beaten previously. On 335 career receiving snaps against Rhodes, Adams has been targeted on 62 routes, with 44 receptions and five touchdowns. Both of Adams’ highest-graded games against Rhodes came in his two most recent performances, with these players trending in opposite directions based on their career trajectories. Adams should be locked into DFS lineups, with ownership dropping due to his most recent performance and a perceived difficult matchup.


ADAM THIELEN ($6,300)

Thielen doubled his drop total on Monday night but was able to secure two receiving touchdowns. His stat line could have been a lot better, but this looks like more of an outlier performance than any sort of developing trend. He hasn’t left the field on a passing down in three games and still has a 25% target-per-route rate on the season. The only thing that can stop him is game script, so if the Cowboys struggle to keep it close, the Vikings' offense could turn into the Dalvin Cook show once again.

JUSTIN JEFFERSON ($6,000)

Since Week 6, Jefferson has been Kirk Cousins‘ favorite target. He has run a similar percentage of routes but has a target-per-route rate that is 10 percentage points higher. He has accounted for 43% of the Vikings' air yards during this stretch. The only thing missing is the lack of touchdowns over the past three games, but given his opportunity share, those should follow quickly.

The real concern this week is the exact same as that for Adam Thielen, which is whether the Cowboys keep it close enough so the Vikings have to pass more than 20 times. They won’t have to if they don’t need to, which makes both Vikings receivers a tricky play in DFS this weekend.

ROBBY ANDERSON ($6,000)

Crowning the Panthers' No. 1 receiver may have happened too quickly, as Robby Anderson hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1. He is fifth among wide receivers in team target share on the season and seventh in air-yard share. Teddy Bridgewater is unlikely to start this weekend, which will impact the Panthers' passing game. How and to what extent remains to be seen, but P.J. Walker has shown playmaking ability at the XFL level. With a trio of solid weapons, how the target volume breaks down will be the question that has to be answered.

TRAVIS FULGHAM ($5,600)

Fulgham saw 82 air yards last week, which was his lowest percentage of total team air yards but still came in at 24%. This led to one catch for 8 yards, which means Fulgham is in a bounce-back spot for DFS purposes. A matchup with Terrance Mitchell is difficult, with our chart giving Fulgham a -3% advantage. The recent performance and difficult matchup will lead to next to no ownership for Fulgham. This makes him an intriguing DFS play, as the opportunity is still present for him to blow up.

AMARI COOPER ($5,400)

In the two games that Andy Dalton started, Cooper saw a 22% target share and 124 air yards. The game script is ideal for the Cowboys this Sunday, as our predictive models like them to cover the seven-point spread against the Vikings. The Vikings have been better in coverage than most realize, but this is partly due to their ability against tight ends and running backs.

The outside cornerback situation is still a disaster, with Amari Cooper having a 28% advantage over Chris Jones. Jones is an undrafted free agent who the Vikings claimed off of waivers less than a month ago. If Cooper is going to find his early-season form without Dak Prescott, it will be this weekend against the Vikings.

MIKE WILLIAMS ($5,100)

Williams has the extraordinary ability to turn five targets and 100 air yards into two receptions for 38 yards, better than any wide receiver in the NFL. He is still seeing at least 30% of the Chargers ‘targeted air yards while running a route on 80% of dropbacks. He is always a boom-or-bust candidate, but when he booms, it typically yields a GPP-winning performance.

A matchup against the Jets is as good as they come, with their opponent-adjusted coverage grade ranking as the third-worst in the NFL. Game script is a concern, but if Williams is open downfield early, he can pay off his salary on one play. In a week with few viable options for DFS, Williams once again becomes a player worth looking into.

RASHARD HIGGINS ($4,500)

Higgins saw his highest target per route share last week while running a route on 77% of dropbacks. He has made plays on catchable passes, with his average depth of target of 14.6 yards offering big-play potential. The matchup against Darius Slay isn’t as restrictive as most project, which could cause Higgins to go under-owned based on his potential blowup chances.

JAKEEM GRANT ($3,500)

Grant hit the exact usage that this model loves to see by running a route on 77% of dropbacks with a 20% team target share and 25% of the air yards. It doesn’t get much better for a near min-priced player, yet no one seems to be acknowledging him as a great play for the second week in a row. His matchup is not daunting, so with our model leaning toward the over at 45, Grant is once again a great salary-savings option at the wide receiver position.


HUNTER HENRY ($4,600)

Henry has been a lock on this list for the past four weeks and finally got back into the end zone in Week 10. He put up his usual performance of four receptions for 30 yards, but a touchdown is really all that matters at the tight end position this season. It is once again a dumpster fire at the position, with no tight end above $5,000 on the main slate. Henry offers some value, but there is quite a bit more upside among other players in his price range, with a blowout against the Jets providing a negative game script for Henry’s fantasy opportunities.

HAYDEN HURST ($4,400)

Hurst is coming off his highest target total of the 2020 season and has been at a 23% target share the past two weeks. Calvin Ridley‘s return could have some effect on his usage, but Hurst is still participating in the highest-total matchup on the main slate. The matchup against Demario Davis could be difficult, with our chart giving Hurst a 2% advantage. Given the state of the position as a whole, Hurst seems like a viable option Sunday.


TEE HIGGINS ($6,500)

Higgins looks matchup-proof after his performance against the top-ranked Steelers' defense. He received over 30% of the team’s air yards for the second straight week and has now been targeted on 20% of his pass routes this season. He had 54 yards after the catch against a defense that has allowed the second-lowest yards after the catch per reception mark this season. Our predictive models see the pick ‘em spread as a toss-up, which projects for a positive game script for both teams. The 47-point total isn’t eye-opening, but our model also likes this game to go over.

JAKOBI MEYERS ($6,000)

Since Week 7, Meyers has run a route on 95% of the Patriots' dropbacks while being targeted on 32.7% of his routes, which is second to Davante Adams. He has received 64% of the Patriots' total air yards, during this stretch. He looks like a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver option who is priced well below his current opportunity. He faces off against the worst coverage defense in the NFL, according to our opponent-adjusted grades. Meyers is popping up as the play for DFS in Week 11.

JERRY JEUDY ($5,700)

Jeudy was in line for another monster game last week, with eight targets for 137 air yards. His past three-game usage is exactly what we are looking for from a DFS perspective. The only real problem has been the low catchable ball percentage he's seen, which is due to some struggles at the quarterback position. For Jeudy to blow up, we need Drew Lock to have a quality game. Our model leans toward the over, but the Dolphins have been dominant defensively recently. This could be a wait-and-see scenario, with Jeudy looking like a more viable play in future weeks.


MIKE GESICKI ($5,300)

Gesicki has been trending down in terms of routes run, but his opportunities have never been better than in Week 10. He was targeted on 29% of his routes, seeing a 20% team target share. The air-yard usage was also encouraging after Gesicki saw his highest raw air yards of the 2020 season. The total is the lowest on the main slate, but Gesicki makes as good of a dart throw at tight end as anybody.



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