NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 11: The Grind Down - Washington Football Team vs. Bengals
Every game will be broken down with a DFS-first mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS cheat sheet of stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.
Weekly Premium DFS Resources for This Game
Subscribe Now to Access:
LineupHQ: Lineup optimizer with integrated tools.
GridironIQ: Stats and Data to help influence your projections
Projected Ownership: Expected draft percentage for each player.
Player Projections: For every player, game, and team.
Stats and Data App: Create custom GPP projections.
Expert Rankings: Consensus best plays.
Sports Betting Lines and Overview
Washington Redskins DFS Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
Running Game Outlook
Antonio Gibson continues to be the primary early down running back for Washington, but the overall workload is never completely secure. It shows in last week’s snap counts, where J.D. McKissic played on 62 offensive snaps compared to just 33 for Gibson. However, much of that is attributable to game flow, as McKissic is the primary passing down back, and Washington was trailing by two touchdowns entering the fourth quarter.
If you would have told me after he was drafted that Gibson would be the early down plodder that isn’t used on a majority of passing downs, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. However, I suppose we shouldn’t bank on Washington using their players in the roles that are best suited to their skill sets. As such, we can expect this type of usage to continue.
This is actually a winnable game for Washington, as they sit as small home favorites against a mediocre Bengals team. As sad as the NFC East is, Washington is somehow still in the race. Gibson should get a larger snap share if this game is competitive throughout, and he remains the best DFS option in this backfield. The matchup is a good one against a Cincinnati rush defense that is giving up 133 yards per game on the ground to go along with 5.0 yards per carry. Gibson has risk with the usage concerns should the team fall behind, but he does get the ball when he is on the field; he logged 17 touches last week despite playing on just 33 snaps.
Do I love Gibson? No. Is he viable in tournaments, particularly if you are making a ton of lineups? Sure.
Passing Game Outlook
The return of Alex Smith has been a fantastic story. It is amazing to see him come back and play in the NFL after almost losing his leg. He could very well win comeback player of the year solely for that — and there wouldn’t be too many complaints.
Unfortunately, the premise of this article is to talk about DFS, and Smith might be the worst starting quarterback in the league right now. Smith always looks to check down whenever pressure is coming, and defenses will continue to focus coverage on top receiver Terry McLaurin. McLaurin did have a 7/95 line on nine targets a week ago, and he has upside with his ability to take any grab to the house. We simply can’t bank on any consistency, particularly with Smith at quarterback. McKissic will get a lot of check down targets out of the backfield, and Logan Thomas might be more involved moving forward.
Steven Sims returned last week to a limited snap count, while Cam Sims maintained his #2 role alongside McLaurin for the most part. Should Dontrelle Inman happen to return this week, that would only muddy the waters even more. McLaurin and Thomas are your only viable options here, and they have some low end appeal against a mediocre defense.
Strong Projections: None
High Upside Correlations: None
Roster Construction Punts/Values: Logan Thomas
My Expected Team Exposure: Low
Cincinnati Bengals Projections Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
RB – Joe Mixon – Doubtful
Running Game Outlook
Cincinnati continues to list Joe Mixon as questionable, but it doesn’t seem like he is going to return for this game. I’ll believe there is a chance when we get a report of him practicing in some capacity. We don’t have that yet. As such, we can expect Giovani Bernard to continue to be the primary ball carrier for this team. Bernard has played on 60%+ of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps in each of the three games that Mixon has missed. Here are his results in those games:
Week 7 (vs. Browns) – 13/37/0 rushing, 5/59/1 receiving
Week 8 (vs. Titans) – 15/62/1 rushing, 3/16/1 receiving
Week 10 (vs. Steelers) – 8/30/0 rushing, 4/17/0 receiving
Averages – 12/43/0.3 rushing, 4/31/0.7 receiving
The averages are about what you would expect for Bernard. He is not an efficient runner, but he always seems to salvage a reasonable floor with his pass catching ability. This is an average matchup against Washington, though they were gashed by D’Andre Swift and the Lions a week ago. The problem is that Bernard isn’t the type of runner that can do that kind of damage on the ground. I’m not all that excited, though Bernard is a safe enough value for cash games. One other concern is that Samaje Perine did get some work in a blowout loss last week and actually ran better than Bernard, so Perine might be carving out somewhat of a role moving forward.
Of course, the above is written under the assumption that Mixon sits. If Mixon happens to return, this would be a hands-off situation unless we get clarity that Mixon will be good for his usual workload.
Passing Game Outlook:
Joe Burrow struggled last week against a good Pittsburgh defense, and that wasn’t a surprise given that the Steelers jumped out to a big lead and didn’t have to give much respect to the run game. The long-term outlook remains positive for Burrow, particularly with the ascension of Tee Higgins into a #1B wide receiver role alongside Tyler Boyd. A.J. Green didn’t catch a single pass on five targets last week, and it is amazing that Green continues to play on 80%+ of the team’s offensive snaps at this point. In any case, it’s Higgins and Boyd that are the fantasy options.
Boyd leads the team with 60 catches on 76 targets this season, while Higgins has 40 grabs on 61 targets. That sells Higgins a bit short, though, as his production has increased as the season has gone along and he has learned the offense. Boyd still has the higher floor with his target share and higher catch percentage, but Higgins is the big play upside option. Both are viable in this matchup, though it is worth noting that Washington has allowed the fewest passing yards per game in the NFL. Some of that is attributable to game flow (with Washington often allowing opponents to play with a lead), and some of that is attributable to Washington playing in the NFC East — but it’s not like this is an awful pass defense. That keeps the Cincinnati passing game weapons out of must play territory.
Strong Projections: Tyler Boyd
Strong GPP Differentiators: Tee Higgins
Roster Construction Punts/Values: Giovani Bernard (assuming Mixon sits again)
My Expected Team Exposure: Medium