FanDuel NFL GPP Lineup Advice: Week 11
A mobile quarterback and his clear-cut No. 1 receiver are two-thirds of a three-man game stack that’s rounded out by a No. 1 receiver on the opposition who’s yet to have one of his customary eye-popping performances this season. That’s one part of the puzzle of a team below that features a running back and D/ST correlation stack, two more stud running backs, a tight end who draws an opponent he whooped in the playoffs last year, and a big-play rookie receiver in a dreamy matchup.
Marcus Mariota (TEN): $7,100 at Colts
Mariota had a lot working against him early in the season. He’s in a new offense this year, but, more importantly, he was dealing with a pinched nerve in his elbow that caused him to have trouble gripping and feeling the football. As he’s continuing to likely get healthier and more acclimated with his new offense, he’s settling into a bit of a groove. Over the last three weeks, he’s completed 71.8% of his passes, thrown for five touchdowns and one interception, averaged 235.0 yards passing and 30.3 yards rushing per game, scored a rushing touchdown, and even caught a pass for 21 yards. Football Outsiders (FO) ranks the Colts ninth defending the run but 27th defending the pass, so while Tennessee might want to run to establish the run, passing is likely the path of least resistance. And with Mariota trending in the right direction, perhaps offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur will have his quarterback cutting it loose early and often. LaFleur already demonstrated the smarts to use his quarterback’s wheels more often than his predecessors ever did. Mariota’s setting per-game highs of 5.4 attempts and 29.8 yards rushing, and he’s scored two rushing touchdowns. The fourth-year pro has a nifty ceiling despite checking in tied for just the 12th highest salary at quarterback this week.
Saquon Barkley (NYG): $8,800 vs. Buccaneers
Barkley’s turned in his two worst fantasy outings in back-to-back games scoring 15.6 points in Week 8 and 12 points in Week 10. He has a plum draw against the Buccaneers this week that should help him bounce back. FO ranks the Bucs 21st defending the run and 26th defending them in the passing game. According to Pro-Football-Reference, they’ve yielded the eighth most FanDuel points per game to running backs this year. The second pick in this year’s NFL Draft ranks third in yards from scrimmage (1,116) this year, and he’s second among all running backs in targets (89), receptions (62), and receiving yards (530). He hasn’t been a slouch reaching pay dirt, either. Barkley’s scored seven touchdowns this year.
Melvin Gordon III (LAC): $8,700 vs. Broncos
While Barkley’s seven rushing plus receiving touchdowns in nine games are very good, Gordon’s 11 are tied for the fourth most despite playing in only eight games. He’s also been a yards from scrimmage machine ranking seventh with 1,033, and he faces a soft matchup this week. FO ranks the Broncos 18th defending the run and 14th defending backs in the passing game. Denver’s ceded the 12th most FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. The game script should be good, too. The Chargers are 7.5-point favorites against visiting Broncos, per Pinnacle, which should result in Gordon chewing up clock late after possibly — more like probably — having a hand in staking his club to a lead.
T.Y. Hilton (IND): $6,800 vs. Titans
The offense Andrew Luck is leading under new head coach Frank Reich isn’t like any offense he’s previously led, so it’s possible Hilton blowup games are a thing of the past in a quick-strike offense. However, it doesn’t take too much squinting to see this as an eruption opportunity. Hilton’s been appreciably better at home (4.8 receptions and 76.6 yards per game with 21 touchdowns in 52 games) than on the road (4.3 receptions and 66.9 receiving yards per game with 17 touchdowns in 49 games). He also has a good matchup with a Tennessee defense that’s getting rocked by receivers. They’ve allowed the 10th most FanDuel points per game to receivers, and FO ranks them 25th defending No. 1 receivers and 26th defending No. 2 receivers. I’ll take the plunge with Hilton as part of a three-man game stack in the hopes the Colts are able to impose their will and dictate the pace of this AFC South showdown.
Corey Davis (TEN): $6,200 at Colts
If the Colts can push the pace and force Tennessee into a faster game, then there’s a legitimate shot the game flies over the game over/under total of 49 points. It’s not a risk-free dice roll, though, as that’s not how Tennessee’s played all year. Embracing some risk and volatility is one good way to differentiate from the pack in GPPs, but even without a true shootout, there’s room for Mariota and Davis to return big value. Year two hasn’t been a seamless sophomore surge for Davis, but he’s flashed and he’s seemingly options one, two, and three in the passing attack with a team-leading 76 targets that best the second highest (39) and third highest (30) target totals combined. He’s coming off of his second 100-plus yard receiving effort of the year after hanging 7-125-1 on the Patriots last week, so he’ll almost certainly get a point-chaser ownership bump. However, that won’t dissuade me from using him and suggesting using him. His ceiling far outweighs his bargain salary.
Tre’Quan Smith (NO): $4,900 vs. Eagles
Smith posted a bagel in the scoring column on zero targets in last week’s boat racing of the Bengals. Back at home in what should be a significantly more competitive game against a desperate Eagles squad, he’ll take aim at a rebound. Smith has bested 50 yards receiving only one time in a 3-111-2 showing against the Redskins in Week 5, but he scored a touchdown as part of a 2-23-1 line against the visiting Rams in Week 9. The Eagles present him a cushy matchup for another massive stat line. The aforementioned Davis’ other 100-plus yard effort was a 9-161-1 gem against the Eagles, and Philadelphia’s tied for the fourth most FanDuel points per game coughed up to wide receivers this year. FO ranks the Eagles a lowly 30th defending No. 2 receivers and 16th defending ‘other’ receivers. Toss in Drew Brees’ complete dominance at home, and Smith makes for an excellent high-ceiling option at a salary that’s a mere $400 above the minimum for a receiver.
Vance McDonald (PIT): $5,500 @ Jaguars
Tight end’s received an infusion of youthful talent to the position, but it remains a wildly inconsistent position save for someone like $7,600 Zach Ertz and almost no one else at the position on this week’s main slate. McDonald’s in the same low-floor boat as many of his peers, but I’m enamored with the matchup this week. Last year in the playoffs, McDonald pummeled the Jaguars for 10 receptions and 112 yards on 16 targets. The Jaguars are coming off of a game in which they allowed three touchdowns to Eric Ebron and another to Mo Alie-Cox. FO ranks the Jaguars 23rd defending tight ends. Add it all up and that’s plenty of motivation for me to use McDonald against them this week.
David Johnson (ARI): $7,900 vs. Raiders
In two games with Byron Leftwich as the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Johnson’s totaled 37 carries, 157 yards rushing, 13 targets, 11 receptions, 126 yards receiving, and two touchdowns. He totaled exactly 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 8 and went nuts with 183 yards from scrimmage, seven receptions, and two touchdowns last week. It’s crazy to suggest he could build on that line this week, right? Maybe not. The Raiders appear to have completely quit, and their defense is a punching bag. FO ranks Oakland 23rd defending the run and 29th defending backs in the passing game. They’ve yielded the sixth most FanDuel points per game to running backs this year, and Johnson should have a positive game script with the host Cardinals favored by five points. A suddenly once-again-dominant Johnson is underpriced at under $8,000.
Cardinals (ARI): $4,000
As I mentioned above, the Cardinals are five-point favorites and at home. The defense has rarely been tasked with protecting a lead because the offense has been a mess this year, but they’re in a great spot to protect one this week and are a solid unit. FO ranks the Cardinals sixth in defensive DVOA. They’ll look to tee off on an offense that’s mustered nine points over the last two games combined and scored more than 10 points in just one of their last five games. The Raiders are tied for the 10th most turnovers (13) and are tied for the seventh most sacks allowed (29). Arizona does an excellent job of getting after the quarterback and has the sixth most sacks (29) while ranking a more impressive third in sack percentage (9.1%). If the Raiders fall behind like the spread suggests they will, the Cardinals are in a great spot to pile up sacks and perhaps generate turnovers via their pressure.