NFL Reid Option: Week 11

Each week, Sammy Reid will break down each position in detail, pinpointing his favorite plays at various salary ranges. Who should we be focusing our core on this week? Read below to find out!

Week 11

If you read the plays in last week’s Reid Option or listened to this week’s Sunday Recap Pod you know that your boy Sammy had a monster week … but in the end I still felt like a loser. Why? Because I did something in last week’s column that I never do – I wrote up a player I didn’t believe in: Adam Humphries.

It’s a slippery slope, writing this column. I turn it in on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and a lot can change between then and Sunday. New injury information comes out, players’ status changes, opinions change. It’s not often my lineups are the same on Sunday as they are on Wednesday – nobody’s are – that’s just the reality of DFS.

Something I pride myself on is that all the players I write up are born from my own research; I don’t read a single column or listen to a single DFS podcast until I’ve finished this column. I basically do everything I can to limit outside influences so that everything in The Reid Option is organic. Obviously I’ll end up writing up some plays that everybody else is on, and other times I’ll write up guys who I think are great plays that end up being contrarian.

The point is, I care about doing this column right. I don’t consider myself a tout, even though I imagine I’m viewed that way. Sure, I write a column for RotoGrinders and do some podcasts/XM Radio spots. But I’m not out there trying to build a brand, sell coaching services, get people to sign up for my new site, etc. Really, I’m just a dude who likes BSing about sports and has had success at online gaming. I enjoy writing, and I genuinely care about this column helping people win money at DFS.

That’s why I’m so regretful about writing up Humphries last week. While I do my best to insulate myself from DFS chatter, I’m on Twitter constantly, and early in the week I saw some sharp people talking about him. So I threw him in my initial cash game build, and wrote him up in the column as a low-priced moderate exposure play. But as the week went on, I became more and more sour on him; by the end of the week, I didn’t feel that he was cash game viable at all. And while that sort of thing will happen occasionally, this time it was from a play I didn’t come up with on my own. I basically saw that other sharp people thought he was a good play, and I just relayed it onto you without ever really believing in him, and in the end I didn’t play him myself. I expect much better out of myself; that’s not what this column is about. For that, I sincerely apologize.

With that said, The Reid Option has been hotter than the Devil’s ass in recent weeks, and I very much hope that has meant good things for you as well. We’ll try to keep the good times rolling in a Week 11 slate that appears to be uglier than political Twitter, which is exactly the type of slate that favors sharper players. Let’s get onto this week’s picks.

On a typical NFL week I put together multiple cash game lineups across multiple sites which will have significant player overlap. I diversify to hedge on the players I don’t feel as strongly about to reduce variance in a game where it’s inherent. The players I feel strongest about will be in the majority of my lineups – these are my “high exposure” picks. The “moderate exposure” players will be in roughly half of my lineups, and the “GPP” picks are higher-risk, high-reward plays that I believe will be under-owned by the masses. The GPP options listed aren’t the only guys I’ll be using in tournaments, but more so the gems I see as having the best ownership-to-upside ratio on the board.

(As always, all odds listed are accurate at time of writing, and may shift throughout the week. The Reid Option focuses exclusively on the main slate.)

QUARTERBACKMODERATE EXPOSURE

Derek Carr vs NE ($6400 DK, $8000 FD, $13,200 FDRAFT) – I prefer Tom Brady in a vacuum and he’s just a few bucks more on FanDuel and FantasyDraft, but cash game construction on DK lends itself nicely to Carr’s $6400. The Pats have played far better defense over the past three weeks, but they still rank 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs, and over his past three games Carr has thrown for an average of 343.3 yards per game. I’m not as pumped on the min-priced QBs as some others are, and Carr provides both upside and stability for a reasonable cost.

QUARTERBACKGPP PLAYS

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ MIA ($5300 DK, $6400 FD, $10,300 FDRAFT) – Whoooooah woah woah no no no wait don’t close this tab! You still there? Hope so. Look, just hear me out for a second. There are teams that are merely dreadful (like Cleveland and SF) and then there teams that have completely given up and checked out (like the Giants). Well, not only are the Dolphins part of the former group, they’re dangerously close to joining the latter as well – and those are the ideal teams to pick on. The ‘Phins have allowed 100 points in their past three games (vs BAL, OAK, and CAR) while racking up exactly one sack. On the season, their pass defense ranks 31st in DVOA and 27th in fantasy points given up over opponent average. Fitzpatrick not only will have All-Pro WR Mike Evans this time around, but will also see lower ownership after not coming through last week as a somewhat chalky option. He’s a strong GPP pivot over Blake Bortles, who himself is in a great spot against Cleveland but certainly has a high chance of busting. I’ll be pairing him with Mike Evans, who should run a plurality of his routes against Xavien Howard, who’s allowed more fantasy points per route run (.31) than any other regular Miami CB.

Carson Wentz @ DAL ($8700 FD, $13,100 FDRAFT) – Of course Tom Brady looks like a nut play at the same price tier, which is why Wentz is an excellent game theory pivot, at least on legit sites that still have the Sunday night game as part of their main slate. Over the past two seasons Dallas has allowed 31 ppg in four games without Sean Lee, while allowing nine touchdowns against one interception to opposing QBs.

RUNNING BACKMODERATE EXPOSURE

Kareem Hunt @ NYG ($8000 DK, $8600 FD, $13,400 FDRAFT) – Yes, Hunt’s star has dimmed after failing to find the zone in six straight games, but I’m betting on that dubious streak stops here. The Giants are the first legit “give-up” team of 2017, and the 10-point favorite Chiefs should roll, keeping Hunt on the field and racking up touches. The Giants are bottom-five in fantasy points allowed over opponent average to RBs and have allowed the second-most RB rushing yardage per game overall.

Rex Burkhead @ OAK ($3600 DK, $5700 FD, $8300 FDRAFT) – If pricing wasn’t set before the Sunday night game I’m guessing Burkhead would be in the mid-to-high $4000s on DraftKings after seeing 13 touches – including three receptions – and playing a season-high 51% of New England’s RB snaps. Without a ton of nutty high-priced RBs available, I’ll likely look to punt at RB2 (Jamaal Williams is another interesting consideration if Ty Montgomery sits) and mash in strong pass-catching options instead. Oakland ranks 26th to receiving yardage to RBs and I’d be surprised if Belichick doesn’t look to take advantage of Navorro Bowman’s diminishing agility with Burkhead over the middle.

RUNNING BACKGPP PLAYS

It’s the high-priced pivot
To differ from the population
When the sun rises in the east
Lube up for pre-lock rosterbation
It’s understood that all you should
Jam in Fournettecation

The big boy from LSU
Gonna lead you to elation
Jam him in and you will win
With the Jags D correlation
And if you want to bink this week
Jam in Fournettecation

Thank your boy Sammy very well
When you break your spell of losing
Send bitcoin or ship Paypal
I’ll take tips of your choosing
The kid’s a unicorn
A star is born

Dream of Len Fournettecation
Dream of Len Fournettecatioooooon

Lineup construction leads to a very tough road
But breeds differentiation
And the Cleveland D is known to be
A funnel operation
But a tidal wave couldn’t save the day
From Len Fournettecation

The Millionaire Maker is the final frontier
I made the lineup in my mom’s basement
And like Kurt Cobian, Jamie Collins is gone
And to take advantage of his vacation
Is the battering ram who’s gonna go HAM
It’s Len Fournettecation

Help me Len to put it together
Like stars in a constellation
I want to give a surprise to my to-be bride
With some bank account inflation
To help fulfill these kind of dreams
It’s Len Fournettecation

Thank your boy Sammy very well
When you break your spell of losing
Send bitcoin or ship Paypal
I’ll take tips of your choosing
The kid’s a unicorn
A star is born

Dream of Len Fournettecation
Dream of Len Fournettecatioooooon

WIDE RECEIVERMODERATE EXPOSURE

DeAndre Hopkins vs ARI ($6100 DK, $7700 FD, $13,500) – Yes, Patrick Peterson will be shadowing him. Yes, Patrick Peterson is very good. But on full PPR sites, it’s impossible to ignore the man with the highest team target share (36%) and the most receiving touchdowns (8) in the NFL. And it’s not as though strong coverage has stopped Hopkins this season; he went for 7-111-0 on 14 targets at the Rams, 8-224-1 on 11 targets at SEA, 7-73-0 on 13 targets at CIN, and 7-55-1 on 16 targets vs Jacksonville.

Sterling Shepard vs KC ($6300 DK, $6500 FD, $12,900 FDRAFT) – Shepard has been a target magnet since coming back from injury, averaging 11 looks, eight receptions, and 106 yards per game. This week he draws the slot coverage of Steven Nelson, who is allowing an egregious .44 fantasy points per route run, and the KC defense as a whole has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to slot WR, per Mike Clay. Shep is extremely appealing on full PPR sites and is severely underpriced on FanDuel, making him a sick cash game option no matter where you play.

Brandin Cooks @ OAK ($6600 DK, $7700 FD, $11,400 FDRAFT) – This season, the Raiders have given up the most yards (315) and the highest yards per attempt (24.2) on go routes. And it just so happens that Cooks has the most yards (618) and the highest yards per attempt (22.8) on go routes since the beginning of last season, per Corey Marsh. Cooks also saw a 30% target share and a 45% air yards share last week with Chris Hogan sidelined. I’ll be shocked (and broke) if he doesn’t smash this week.

Bruce Ellington vs ARI ($3000 DK, $4600 FD, $6900 FDRAFT) – On the flip side of Nuk is Ellington, who has eight targets in back-to-back games and “needs to get the ball more”, according to head coach Bill O’Brien. He should get that opportunity with Will Fuller on the shelf, and will draw the weaker coverage of Tyrann Mathieu and Tramon Williams while Patrick Peterson sticks on Nuk. While both Hopkins and Ellington are fine plays individually, I don’t feel comfortable playing them together in cash games. If it is Ellington that gets bounced, Dontrelle Inman (eight targets in his first game with Chicago) stands out as a decent pivot option.

WIDE RECEIVERGPP PLAYS

Michael Crabtree vs NE ($5900 DK, $7500 FD, $12,000 FDRAFT)Amari Cooper has been the alpha receiver for Oakland over the past three weeks, and per PFF’s Scott Barrett, Coop has faced top-30 graded CBs on 40% of his routes – the fourth-highest mark in the NFL. The implication is that other teams view him as the best receiver on the Raiders, and we all know that Bill Belichick will morph his defense to try to take away his opponent’s top option. If that is indeed the case, it should leave Crabs singled up a ton and at a lower ownership than his young counterpart.

TIGHT ENDMODERATE EXPOSURE

Rob Gronkowski @ OAK ($7200 DK, $8200 FD, $12,000 FDRAFT) – The tight end position this week is like a Saturday night at the Spearmint Rhino – there’s too much awesomeness to pick just one. Do I feel confident in knowing who’s gonna smash harder between Gronk and Travis Kelce? No. But I do feel more confident in Gronk’s gamescript (Oakland is less likely to go down without a fight) and he actually offers a small discount on both DraftKings and FantasyDraft.

Travis Kelce @ NYG ($7300 DK, $7500 FD, $12,500 FDRAFT) – It’s not just that the Giants have famously given up a touchdown to a TE in every game this season, it’s that they’ve also allowed the third-most receiving yards, the fifth-highest catch percentage, and the sixth-highest fantasy points over opponent average mark to the position. The best part about playing Kelce is not wondering if he’ll score, but rather what kind of dance he’ll bust out when he does.

TIGHT ENDGPP PLAYS

Evan Engram vs KC ($6000 DK, $7400 FD, $12,000 FDRAFT) – With the heavy end of the ownership set to fall on Gronk and Kelce, Engram is likely to go overlooked – a mistake I myself shall not be making. Per Graham Barfield, Engram’s 0.66 Weighted Opportunity Rating (team share of targets + air yards) since OBJ snapped out would rank as by far the highest mark among tight ends in eight years. He also makes for a contrarian game-stack in tandem with Kelce on Flex-friendly sites.

Jared Cook vs NE ($4800 DK, $5600 FD, $10,200 FDRAFT) – Cook is another strong play in the 2-TE game-stack extravaganza that will be my weekend in GPPs. Dude has two 100+ yard games in his past three outings and has the sixth-highest market share of air yards (19%) at the position this season. My favorite stack of the week is a Brady-Cooks-Gronk onslaught and bringing it back with Cook.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMSMODERATE EXPOSURE

Cardinals @ HOU ($3200 DK, $4600 FD, $6200 FDRAFT)Tom Savage is a stooge, Will Fuller is out, and the Texans have allowed the fourth-highest adjusted sack rate (9.4%) in the NFL. On the flip side, the Cards have racked up five sacks in back-to-back games and have only allowed opposing teams to rush for 100+ yards twice in nine games, giving the Texans very few options when considering they should be able to somewhat limit DeAndre Hopkins with the shadow coverage of Patrick Peterson.

Chargers vs BUF ($3000 DK, $4300 FD, $5400 FDRAFT) – What happens when the squad with two elite pass-rushers and the third-highest adjusted sack rate in football (9.0%) faces a late 5th-round pick making his first NFL start, playing behind a line that’s allowed the third-highest adjusted sack rate in football (9.8%)? I’m no genius, but that sounds like a recipe for a sack lunch to me. Nom nom nom nom nom!

Rams @ MIN ($2400 DK, $4800 FD, $5600 FDRAFT) – It’s a genuine mystery why the Rams – the team ranked #1 in overall defensive DVOA, #1 in takeaways (19), and 8th in adjusted sack rate (8.0%) – are priced so low on both DraftKings and FantasyDraft. Sure, the Vikings are a good offensive team and Case Keenum is extremely hard to sack, but there’s so much value in this price that the Rams make for an easy cash game plug-n-play in my view. Here’s to Keenum turning back into a pumpkin at high noon Pacific Time.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Let’s go make some money in Week 11.

Meet the Experts Content Posting Times

About the Author

  • Sammy Reid (SammyReid)

  • Sammy is a former online poker professional and Hearts champion who has been playing competitive fantasy sports for more than 15 years. A student of both sports and game theory, Sammy has been grinding DFS cash games since 2013. You can find more of his work in the 2017 edition of Joe Pisapia’s Fantasy Black Book, at FantasyInsiders.com, RosterCoach.com, and the Baseballholics Anonymous podcast.

Comments

  • greenway53

    Just because of your song choice for Leonard… I am now, not fading him and giving him some exposure…

    Dreaming of Len Fournettecatioooooonnnnnnn!!!

  • jarredsc7

    • 945

      RG Overall Ranking

    Awesome article, as usual.

    May I ask where you find the statistics on team defense by type of route run and WR by route run, as done on your Cooks analysis? I’ve been looking for something like that for my own research but haven’t found anything. I don’t see anything in PFF Signature Stats of FO that has anything similar.

    Thanks..

  • boomanfoo

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers reference was straight fire.

  • boogereatingmoron

    • 658

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2017 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    • 2017 DraftKings NFL KOTB Finalist

    Ahhhh yes… Saturday nights at Spearmint Rhino,,,,Followed by a Monday visit to Dr. Checkmyjunk

    Well done as usual Sammy!

  • rktman16

    Great Article

  • tommykramer9

    Thanks from the bottom of my Chili Peppers heart…

  • dtaylor39

    great article and bitcoin is where its at…

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