After an incredible Week 9, we had a terrible showing last week. It’s hard to understand where the picks went wrong, but they didn’t perform for whatever reason. It really showed in my daily fantasy sports (DFS) performance because I had my worst week of the year. That will inevitably happen at times, but I want to be transparent with you guys.
I’m motivated to bounce back here and feel confident about these Week 11 picks.
The premise behind this article is simple. Identifying fantasy football smash plays that are on the fringe of your starting lineup. We rarely recommend a top 20 player at any position, but we want to help you fill those critical flex spots.
- Fantasy Football Start/Sit Advice
- Weekly Fantasy Football Expert Rankings
- Waiver Wire Picks
- Fantasy Football Trade Tools
Smash Starts for Week 11
Jared Goff (DET) vs. CHI
We have pretty much every fantasy-relevant quarterback ready to go this week, and it will force Goff onto some of your benches. That would be a silly decision because he’s been amazing over the last month and even better at home. The Lions signal-caller hasn’t scored less than 14 fantasy points in 13 games at home over the last two years, averaging nearly 25 fantasy points per game in Detroit this year.
That would be the highest average in the NFL, and it looks even better since Goff has a 23-point average across his last five outings. All of that makes him impossible to fade against Chicago, surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Jerome Ford (CLE) vs. PIT
Fantasy managers seem to be souring on Ford, and it’s hard to understand why. The leadback for the Browns just had 17 carries for 107 yards against the best defense in the NFL on Sunday and has been productive ever since Nick Chubb got injured. Ford has double-digit fantasy points in all but two games since Week 1, averaging 13 fantasy points per game in that span.
A home matchup against Pittsburgh only adds to his intrigue, with the Steelers surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs while posting a hideous 4.5 yards per carry allowed. In their last matchup, Ford finished with a career-high 21 fantasy points.
Brian Robinson (WAS) vs. NYG
This backfield can be frustrating, but B-Rob is still the go-to guy. He’s averaging over 12 rush attempts per game, receiving most of the goal-line work as well. He’s established that role despite some poor game scripts, but this one couldn’t be better. Washington plays host to the worst team in the NFL, entering this matchup as a 9.5-point favorite.
We could see 20-25 carries for Robinson if this game goes as expected, and we’ve seen Robinson register an 18-point average in the three games he’s received at least 15 carries this year.
Ty Chandler (MIN) at DEN
Chandler will be the waiver wire add of the week, and it’s hard to argue. He was the number-three back in this offense two weeks ago, but with Alexander Mattison (concussion) and Cam Akers (Achilles) getting injured, he should get all the work he can handle. Ty played nearly every snap after Mattison got injured last week, receiving a career-high 15 carries. He didn’t even have that many in his career combined, but 15-20 touches feel like a lock since he’s the last man standing.
The matchup is the best part of this, though, because Denver’s disastrous defense allows the most rushing yards and fantasy points to opposing rushers this season.
Davante Adams (LV) at MIA
Adams is amid the worst season of his career, but signs are pointing in the right direction. This team cleaned house with a new coach and quarterback two weeks ago, leading to Adams being force-fed in Week 10. The stud wideout had six catches for 86 yards against one of the best secondaries in the NFL. That looks solid, but we love that he was targeted 13 times for a quarterback who attempted 27 passes. We don’t expect a 50% team target share in the future, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.
This is also a game where Las Vegas will have to throw a ton to keep up with Miami, which is fantastic since the Dolphins are allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Just imagine how many targets Adams will get if they have to attempt 40 passes.
Amari Cooper (CLE) vs. PIT
Cooper has been a mainstay in this article all season, and he continues to provide value when Deshaun Watson is in there. He had six catches for 98 yards on nine targets against an elite Baltimore defense in Week 10 and is now averaging 8.2 targets per game this season. He’s also got at least 12 fantasy points in six of his last eight games, but both of those duds were games that Watson missed.
We can’t overlook that sort of production from a player who’s been a stud throughout most of his career, particularly against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, with Coop collecting at least seven receptions and 90 yards in two of their last three matchups.
Deebo Samuel (SF) vs. TB
From a fantasy perspective, this offense can be frustrating to trust, but this is a spot where Deebo could go off. The Bucs have surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season but have been on a historical pace over the last month. That puts all of these San Fran pass-catchers in play, with Samuel scoring at least 10 fantasy points in four of the previous five games he’s finished.
We also saw Deebo drop 14 fantasy points across just 33 snaps last week, but we expect him to creep closer to 50-60 snaps since he looks fully healthy. He had 50 fantasy points through the opening three weeks in that type of role, and he should be able to duplicate that against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.
Trey McBride (ARI) at HOU
It took an injury to Zach Ertz to make McBride fantasy-relevant, but he looks like one of the best options now that Kyler Murray is back. Trey had a career-high 10 catches on 14 targets in the first game that Ertz missed three weeks ago and backed it with eight receptions for 131 yards in Kyler’s debut on Sunday.
Not many tight ends have shown an upside like that, and this kid is just scratching the surface of what he could become as the top option in this offense. The Texans are a tremendous matchup, too, allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Washington Commanders (vs. NYG)
Not much will excite you about the Washington defense, but using D/STs against New York is a cheat code right now. Tommy DeVito has this looking like the worst offense in the NFL, ranked last in nearly every offensive statistic. They’re also surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing D/STs, and we want to use anyone against them.
The odds tell the whole story because Washington enters this matchup as a 9.5-point favorite in a game with a 37-point total. That means the Giants are projected to score just 14 points, the lowest team total of the week.