Week 11 action continues with a Thursday showdown slate on DraftKings and FanDuel. This college football DFS breakdown will look at these teams and provide information about each skill position player of note. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts and datasheets for more information. With that said, let’s dive into the first iteration of the Week 11 CFB DFS picks for Thursday’s matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 11 Thursday CFB Picks
North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
North Carolina (34.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 74.4 (26th)
Pass Rate – 45.37% (75th)
Sam Howell ($18,000) continues to be of the ACC’s premier quarterbacks. Howell benefits from an up-tempo offense, as North Carolina is running 74.4 plays per game. The Tarheels only pass the ball 45.4% of the time, but Howell is so involved in the run game that is does not matter. He already has 699 yards rushing this year, including five games over 100 yards and another with 98. As a passer he averages 267.6 yards per game on 30.2 attempts. He also has five games over 300 yards passing this year. Pittsburgh is slightly weaker against the pass, but it does not matter with Howell. He has many paths to success an any given week, making him a top play on the slate.
At running back Ty Chandler ($13,500) is getting increased opportunities. On the year he is averaging 17.1 touches per game, but he has been above that in two of North Carolina’s last three games. He has also displayed increased efficiency in recent weeks, including 98.2 yards rushing and 20.9 yards receiving per game on his touches. D.J. Jones ($2,400) is involved as a change of pace and averages 8.9 touches per game himself. He can be used as a salary saver in a tough matchup.
At receiver Josh Downs ($14,400) boasts a 41% target share. Downs averages an absurd 112.7 yards receiving per game on 11.7 targets. He is expensive, but his upside is enormous against Pitt’s primary defensive weakness. Behind him, Antoine Green ($8,400) has emerged as the primary WR2 following the transfers of Emery Simmons and Khafre Brown. Green averages 46.6 yards per game on just 3.6 targets. However, he has seen at least seven targets in back-to-back weeks since the transfers. Justin Olson ($4,200) is the WR3 as the team’s main wind sprinter. He has participated in 89% of the routes over the last two weeks and has seen a disappointing four total targets in that span. Garrett Walston ($1,500) and Kamari Morales ($4,800) split time at tight end and could be used in GPPs.
Pittsburgh (40.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 80.8 (5th)
Pass Rate – 53.25% (28th)
Similar to Howell, Kenny Pickett ($17,400) benefits from an up-tempo, pass-heavy Pittsburgh offense. Pickett is not quite as mobile as Howell, but he still has 234 yards rushing this year. As a passer, Pickett averages 351.1 yards per game on 38.1 attempts. This creates an elite ceiling, including six games above 300 yards and another two above 270. Pickett also benefits from a 40.5-point implied team total, making him another excellent play on the single-game slate.
Pickett is also finding his way into the Awesemo lineup optimizer today, showing in the projections as one of the best plays on this showdown slate. Check out Awesemo’s DraftKings CFB cheat sheet and FanDuel CFB cheat sheet for more free optimal lineup picks tonight.
With Israel Abanikanda ($9,900) returning from injury, Pittsburgh has a running back by committee at hand. After just nine touches in his return, Abanikanda jumped up to 14 last week. Abanikanda is the team’s primary pass-catching back, keeping him involved in all game scripts. Rodney Hammond ($7,800) has seen increased involvement of late, exceeding 10 carries in two of his last three games. This included a 16-carry performance last week. However, he lacks a pass-game role, explaining the price difference here. Vincent Davis ($5,700) has taken a backseat to both with 15 total touches over the last two weeks. With Abanikanda getting healthier, this dropped to five in Pitt’s most recent game. Davis is dicey as Flex option today. North Carolina allows 180.8 yards per game on the ground, creating a solid environment to play one of these backs.
Taysir Mack ($9,300) did not travel with the team last week after his arm was in a sling. His status has not been updated, but it seems unlikely that he will play. Melquise Stovall ($2,100) also did not play, but there has not been an update on him either. Regardless, Jordan Addison ($15,300) is the team’s clear alpha, with 12 targets in back-to-back games. On the year he averages 109.6 yards per game on 8.8 targets. He should not be more expensive than Downs, but he has clear upside. With the reduced target competition, Jared Wayne ($11,400) and Shocky Jacques-Louis ($6,300) have taken on larger roles. Wayne saw nine targets last week, while Jacques-Louis checked in with seven. Both ran a route on over 70% of dropbacks. Lucas Krull ($2,700) was still very involved as the tight end. While he only saw two targets, he averaged 4.3 per game over Pitt’s last four.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media!
Looking for more DraftKings CFB DFS picks and college football DFS picks? Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world, developed and maintains the FanDuel DFS CFB ownership projections. Check out our industry-leading college football DFS projections.