NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 11: The Grind Down - Jaguars vs. Steelers
Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.
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.
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Sports Betting Lines and Overview
Jacksonville Jaguars DFS Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
Running Game Outlook
James Robinson has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. He came out of nowhere to earn the starting job when Leonard Fournette was released during camp, and the opportunity fell in his lap when some other running backs tested positive for COVID. Robinson hasn’t looked back, and his production has been particularly impressive when you consider that he plays for a team that isn’t any good. Game flow constantly goes against him, yet he is still able to put up numbers.
The Jaguars were 13 point underdogs to the Packers last week, but they were still able to make a game out of it. Robinson had 23 carries for 109 yards in the contest, and he had not one but TWO touchdowns called back due to penalties. In addition, no other Jaguars player had a single rushing attempt in the game. When is the last time you have seen an NFL box score with just one player listed as having a carry for a team? (Now, I’m sure someone will find an example from just this season, but the point is that it rarely happens).
Robinson has been a huge surprise — but the task is daunting this week. The Jaguars once again find themselves in a tough matchup against a Steelers defense that will likely stack the box and dare Jake Luton to throw. Pittsburgh has one of the best defensive units in the NFL, and they grade out well against the run. If the Jaguars can keep this game close, there’s potential for Robinson. He is an interesting GPP option, particularly if you are looking to run it back with some pieces of the Pittsburgh passing game in the hopes that the game is competitive throughout.
Passing Game Outlook
A) Gardner Minshew is not ready to return this week.
B) Jake Luton is not a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL.
C) The Jaguars do not want to put the game in Luton’s hands, as he completed just 51% of his passes last week and has a 77 QB rating in his first two NFL starts.
D) This is a difficult matchup against a Pittsburgh defense that is allowing just 211 yards per game through the air and has 11 interceptions on the season.
A + B + C + D = Avoid.
I suppose you could make a case for the target share of D.J. Chark or the value of Keelan Cole if Laviska Shenault is still sidelined, but it is hard to endorse much from a team that has an implied team total of just 18 points.
Strong Projections: None
High Upside Correlations: None
Strong GPP Differentiators: James Robinson, D.J. Chark
Roster Construction Punts/Values: None
My Expected Team Exposure: Low
Pittsburgh Steelers Projections Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
Running Game Outlook
The Steelers remain undefeated on the season, and this doesn’t feel like a game where they will suffer their first loss. It is the third straight cupcake matchup for this offense, as they now face the Jaguars after getting the Cowboys and Bengals the last two weeks. Let’s take a look at Conner’s numbers in those last two games:
Dallas game – 9 carries, 22 yards / 2 receptions, -2 yards
Cincinnati game – 13 carries, 36 yards / 2 receptions, 12 yards
He gets a bit of a pass for the Dallas game since the Steelers were surprisingly forced to play from behind in that one, but there isn’t much of an excuse for last week in a game Conner’s team won by four scores. The snap share is still there, as Conner played on 64 offensive snaps against the Bengals (88% snap share). The production simply hasn’t been there. The team is going with a more pass heavy approach in the red zone, and Chase Claypool even got a red zone carry last week.
Frankly, this is probably the last chance for Conner for DFS players. If he can’t take advantage of back to back matchups against the Bengals and Jaguars, we’ve got bigger problems at hand. Jacksonville has surrendered 12 rushing touchdowns on the year and ranks in the bottom third of the league in most rush defense metrics. Conner’s recent struggles make him a fringe cash game play right now despite the juicy matchup.
Passing Game Outlook:
It’s amazing how much of a difference Ben Roethlisberger makes to this team despite the fact that he is 38 years old and is playing in his 17th NFL season. The Steelers had a great defense last year but could still barely squeak out wins because of how poor their offense is. Now, with Roethlisberger back in the mix, they are undefeated with that same elite defense — and that’s despite not getting a ton of production out of their running game.
With all the pass catching weapons healthy, it is a bit difficult to project production among JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. All three have seemingly alternated bigger games at various points of the season. Over the last two weeks, Smith-Schuster and Johnson have operated as the clear top two in terms of snaps, while Chase Claypool saw his snap share scale back to 60% last week. That does serve to limit his floor, but he still managed to grab a 4/56/2 line on 10 targets while he was on the field. In fact, all three wide receivers had 10+ targets last week, and they combined for 34 of Roethlisberger’s 46 total targets. That’s a really healthy target share.
On a points per dollar projection basis, Diontae Johnson remains my favorite option. He had a 6/116/1 line on 11 targets last week, and that is the third time in the last four games that he has seen double digit targets. He is the safest option of the group when healthy, and he would be my preferred pairing with Roethlisberger. Claypool is your risk/reward GPP target, while Smith-Schuster checks in third on the list for me. All are viable, but that’s how I parse them apart. Eric Ebron is even in play as a value tight end option. He hasn’t done much of late, but the TE pool is thin right now, and he did have six targets against the Bengals.
In short — there will be plenty of opportunity for this passing attack as long as the game stays competitive.
High Upside Correlations: Roethlisberger + any of his WR’s / James Conner + PIT D/ST
Strong GPP Differentiators: Chase Claypool
Roster Construction Punts/Values: Eric Ebron
My Expected Team Exposure: High