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from the slot

From the Slot: Week 11 NFL DFS Picks Based on Awesemo’s Grades for DraftKings

Geoff Ulrich



Thanksgiving Day FanDuel NFL DFS Rankings Top 5 NFL DFS Picks Daily Fantasy Football Washington Terry McLaurin

Week 11 of daily fantasy football is upon us, and as per usual with 2020, there is lots of news to keep an eye on mid-week. Both Davante Adams and Alvin Kamara have missed practices thus far, and both would be huge subtractions from the slate as top salaries at their positions on DraftKings. Either of them missing would have big implications, and Kamara’s absence would be a major downgrade for the Saints offense, which is already missing Drew Brees. Jameis Winston looks likely to start for New Orleans, but DFS players will also have to worry about Taysom Hill poaching red zone touches, on top of Winston’s interceptions. The Panthers also won’t be getting Christian McCaffrey back this week either, so Mike Davis will again be a pivotal NFL DFS pick. He won’t approach the massive NFL DFS ownership levels he was at last week given his salary has come up, and it looks like Teddy Bridgewater may also miss this week (knee).

There’s also been some developing news on D’Andre Swift, as the Lions running back has been placed in the concussion protocol mid-week and now looks questionable to suit up against Carolina. The matchup is a great one, so either Adrian Peterson or Kerryon Johnson could hold value at $4,000, the running back min-price on DraftKings. As of writing this, Sunday’s main slate has just two games with over/unders over 50 points in the Falcons – Saints (52.0) and the Colts – Packers (51.5). Cleveland again looks like the only spot to watch for weather again, as the Browns – Eagles game is expected to have highs in the 40s with rain and winds well over 10 mph.

Week 11 DraftKings NFL DFS Picks + Ownership Projections

QB: Deshaun Watson Grades: A, Values: A

Watson takes on the Patriots this week, who are coming off a great game where they bottled up Lamar Jackson to just 249 yards passing and 11 yards as a rusher. The Patriots are far from a shut-down unit, though, and it was only two weeks ago that Joe Flacco put up three touchdowns against them and nearly stole the Jets first win of the year. Watson is coming off his worst fantasy game of the year — he threw for just 163 yards and touchdown last week — but the game against Cleveland can be thrown out for analysis purposes given the extreme weather that was involved. Prior to the Cleveland game, Watson had thrown for over 280 yards and two or more touchdowns in five straight games, and he’s now rushed for 25 or more yards in the same stretch.

On DraftKings the reduction in salary here is significant, as the $6,500 price tag this week is his lowest since Week 3. On Awesemo Watson rates out with the second-highest points projection of any quarterback on the main Sunday slate, and also carries the second-best value score. The Texans quarterback is garnering a bit of ownership, but with Cam Newton on the other side also coming off a good game — and priced nearly the same — it seems unlikely Watson will be heavy chalk, making him a nice target for large-field tournaments in Week 11.

Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 6.6%

RB: Dalvin Cook Grades: A, Values: A

Cook is at his highest salary of the season this week on DraftKings, as he was just $8,200 on DraftKings two weeks ago when he broke the daily fantasy football slate for the second consecutive week. He’s coming off a slow floor game, where he put up just 15.2 DraftKings points, but he gets another terrific matchup this week against Dallas, who has allowed 5.0 yards per carry this year, the third-highest mark in the league. The Cowboys have also allowed the second-most rush attempts per game in the league as opposing teams are taking advantage of a weak Dallas interior and an offense that puts zero pressure on the opposing team to throw more than it needs to.

Cook comes into this game averaging 30 touches over the last three games and now faces a defense which tends to funnel teams into higher-volume rushing games. On  Awesemo he’s the only running back on the slate to gain grades of A in both score and value categories, but it’s for good reason. His points projection this week is 6 points higher than the No. 2 running back on the Sunday slate (James Robinson), making his $9,000 salary on DraftKings still look relatively low. He’ll be chalky, but given how strong he’s rating out, paying up and being overweight on Cook Week 11 feels like it’s the prudent move here.

Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 29.8%

WR: Terry McLaurin Grades: B, Values: B

The Bengals have slowly morphed into one of the best matchups for opposing quarterback/receiver combos. Cincinnati has now allowed the second-most passing touchdowns on the year and the third most to the wide receiver position. They’ve been absolutely pummeled the last two weeks by big, fast receivers, allowing four last week to Pittsburgh’s elite’s trio and two the week before to A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. McLaurin could easily add to the nightmares for this group in Week 11, and it’s worth noting that he’s shown a very good connection with Alex Smith thus far. The two have connected on 82% of the passes thrown McLaurin’s way in Smith’s two appearances, a vast improvement over what his target to catch ratio was looking like before Smith took over.

This is McLaurin’s highest price point of the year on DraftKings, but he still possesses the second-best value rating on Awesemo of any receiver in the $6,000 range. He also has the highest points projection of anyone on the main slate that’s $7,200 or less. The Bengals’ lack of a pass rush and depth in the secondary should mean big things for McLaurin, and he makes for a great pay-up option this week in daily fantasy football. Using him as part of a value stack with a $5,300 Smith also makes a ton of sense here.

Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 16.6%

TE: Dallas Goedert Grades: C, Values: B

Tight end this week is devoid of any elite names with George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Darren Waller all off the Sunday slate. While Goedert has shown that he’s likely not going to be a week-to-week target dominator for the Eagles with Zach Ertz out, it’s still possible that he will pop up with a good game before his teammate returns. Goedert saw six targets last week, so the potential for a good day is there, and the matchup this week with Cleveland is a solid one. Cleveland’s allowed the sixth-most receptions to tight ends this year, and with Carson Wentz struggling to get the ball downfield, Goedert could see more targets this week in just his third game back since injury.

From an Awesemo perspective, it looks like the field is perhaps overlooking Goedert’s upside too, as he projects with just 8% ownership despite the site having him with a better pure points projection than just one player on the main Sunday slate this week. With some big salaries attached to names like Cook and Julio Jones — who both look worth paying up for — Goedert’s sub-$4,000 salary could be the key to unlocking a lot of upside NFL DFS picks DraftKings lineups in Week 11.

Projected NFL DFS ownership: DraftKings: 8.0%

Contrarian DFS Stack: Saints/Falcons

This game has a 50.5 over/under attached to it, so it instantly should be one on the radar this week for stacking purposes. Lots of attention is being directed towards the Saints’ side of the ball, as Atlanta is giving up the most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. That could leave Matt Ryan and Jones in low-owned spots, though, and it’s worth noting that Ryan comes in averaging 316 yards and two touchdowns per game over his last four starts. Atlanta is still a huge liability on defense, but they’ve been better on offense of late and have scored at least 25 points in three of their last four games.

Jones should see increased targeting here with Calvin Ridley (questionable) banged up and possibly even out for this week. The Saints have also been great targets for opposing tight ends, and Hayden Hurst comes in having averaged 7.33 targets in his last three games. On the opposite side, DFS players won’t likely overcommit to Michael Thomas here despite the very depressed $7,300 salary, but Atlanta’s corners should ensure he produces a better conversion rate than the two receptions on seven targets he took home last week. With an emerging Atlanta offense, supported by a flimsy defense that is encouraging shootouts, stacking the Atlanta passing game here with a main piece from the Saints feels like it could pay big dividends.

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