NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 11: The Grind Down - Panthers vs. Lions

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

Carolina Panthers DFS Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
P.J. Walker CAR $4,800 $6,500 $20 18.56 QB16 33.96 240.32
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Mike Davis CAR $6,800 $7,400 $20 18.41 RB5 57.00% 12.00%
Rodney Smith CAR $4,000 $4,800 $10 4.96 RB54 15.00% 4.00%
Trenton Cannon CAR $4,000 $4,700 $10 1.05 RB77 3.00% 1.00%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Robby Anderson CAR $6,000 $6,300 $22 15.83 WR14 26.50% 9.99
D.J. Moore CAR $5,600 $7,100 $18 16.08 WR13 26.00% 9.80
Curtis Samuel CAR $4,700 $5,600 $20 13.12 WR31 18.00% 6.79
Brandon Zylstra CAR $3,000 $4,500 $10 0.49 WR127 0.50% 0.19
Pharoh Cooper CAR $3,000 $4,500 $10 1.44 WR109 2.50% 0.94
Ian Thomas CAR $2,500 $4,500 $10 3.62 TE36 6.00% 2.26
Chris Manhertz CAR $2,500 $4,000 $10 1.43 TE56 2.50% 0.94
Injuries to Monitor

RB Christian McCaffrey (Out)
QB Teddy Bridgewater (Questionable)

Running Game Outlook

Mike Davis szn isn’t fun anymore. After seeing a 41.5% market share over Weeks 3-through-6 without Christian McCaffrey, Davis’s usage has dropped to 31.1% over the three games since without McCaffrey. Not a bad share of the offense, but his price isn’t the steal it once was because of the lowered usage. He remains in high cash consideration and maybe still the best point-per-dollar play, but his current usage doesn’t make him an autoplay at the price in GPPs at fewer than 16 opportunities over the last four weeks. There are some pivots in the price range.

Passing Game Outlook

Not sure how much of the passing game rests on the health of Teddy Bridgewater, who is nursing a sprained MCL. Given Bridgewater’s history, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Panthers are extra cautious. We just don’t know.

If Bridgewater is out, Phillip “PJ” Walker steps in. PJ Walker led an XFL with Landry Jones and Josh Johnson—by far—in passing yards and TDs, so he won’t fly under the radar of XFL DFS fans, if he starts. At his price tag, it isn’t crazy talk for him to be in cash consideration. The question as to whether he drops back 30 times or 50 times is in the air, but he has the WR corps to compile enough numbers, That matchup isn’t terrible and you want multiple weapons against Matt Patricia. We’d rather have the Detroit dome, but the weather in Carolina forecasts to be pretty pleasant.

Where the ball will go is where we can get flustered, but the ownership should get spread out, giving Walker stacks some differentiation. The target shares could be Teddy-dependent, but WRs can make their own air yards and YAC. D.J. Moore leads the team with a 12.35 aDOT; Robby Anderson comes in second at 10.02. Unsurprisingly, Davis leads the team with 7.2 YAC per reception; Moore in second at 6.3; Anderson at 5.2; and Curtis Samuel actually brings up the rear at 3.8.

Samuel has dynamic playmaking ability, but his sub-7.0 aDOT and sub-4.0 YAC/R is concerning. We like the gimmicky opportunities he gets, but they’re more just a wet blanket on Davis, Moore, and Anderson than something we can project into something actionable for SE3 lineups. The ownership for Davis, Moore, and Anderson should spread out enough to where we don’t have to go to Samuel.

If Teddy plays, this can be a sneaky Davis+Moore stack in a gameplan centered around him getting the ball out fast. If he’s out, we can doublestack Walker with any two of the big three: Moore, Anderson, and even Davis. But it’s not a great plan to stack Moore and Anderson together, as every week, other than Week1, one of the two gets over a 40% air yard share and dusts the other under 35%. In five of their last nine games, one of the two passes 55%.

Strong Projections: Mike Davis

High Upside Correlations: Mike Davis + D.J. Moore, PJ Walker Mike Davis + D.J. Moore or Robby Anderson (if Teddy is out)

Strong GPP Differentiators: D.J. Moore

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Mike Davis

My Expected Team Exposure: High on Mike Davis, though all or none in GPPs; High on Walker, If Teddy is out; Medium, overall

Detroit Lions Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Matthew Stafford DET $6,000 $7,500 $28 17.97 QB22 35.44 239.99
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
D’Andre Swift DET $6,400 $6,900 $23 15.09 RB15 52% 12%
Adrian Peterson DET $4,000 $5,100 $14 4.52 RB56 28% 1%
Kerryon Johnson DET $4,000 $4,800 $10 2.76 RB66 10% 3%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Kenny Golladay DET $5,800 $7,000 $26 14.32 WR23 24% 9.08
Marvin Jones DET $5,500 $6,400 $16 11.67 WR39 20% 7.57
Danny Amendola DET $3,700 $5,200 $11 8.27 WR66 15% 5.49
Marvin Hall DET $3,800 $5,100 $11 1.83 WR106 3% 1.14
Quintez Cephus DET $3,000 $4,700 $10 0.3 WR130 1% 0.19
T.J. Hockenson DET $4,200 $6,000 $19 10.02 TE10 17% 6.43
Jesse James DET $2,500 $4,300 $10 2.82 TE41 5% 1.70
Injuries to Monitor

WR Kenny Golladay (Questionable)
QB Matthew Stafford (Questionable)
WR Marvin Jones (Questionable)
WR Danny Amendola (Questionable)

Running Game Outlook

After seeing market shares over 25% in Week 6, 7, and 9, D’Andre Swift saw a robust 39.6% share in Week 10, playing a season-high (for any Lions RB) 73% of the snaps. When Swift was named the starter, many flocked to him, but many justifiably waved a jerk-off signal and rolled their eyes. But Matt Patricia signaled that he’s serious about their best back being featured. His 12.6% target share is nearly triple that of Adrian Peterson and his 4.7 YPC eclipses Peterson’s 3.8 . YPC might not mean a lot to us, but it probably means a ton to a curmudgeon like Patricia. Swift is priced very well for this projected volume, so he’s heavily in cash consideration, but we still have to be skeptical as to what that volume will be. Patricia can pull the rug from under us at any time. If the pOWN% is high, it’s really difficult to plug him in if they have a semi-healthy passing attack.

Passing Game Outlook:

Who’s gonna play? We’re probably not playing Matthew Stafford away from the dome without a full healthy WR corps and it’d be a surprise to see all three of their top WRs play. If Chase Daniel is the starting QB, we want none of the WRs and all of the D’Andre Swift, as Daniel has a history of throwing to his RBs ten times every game and Swift is the only receiving back in town. But Daniel is terrible for the receiving corps. What’s to follow is under the assumption that Stafford is in.

If Kenny Golladay plays, we play him, as one of the better big play WRs in the game. Sure, he hasn’t suited up and doing so could hurt Swift’s role in the passing game. Swift’s seen a 14.6% target share without Golladay, compared to a still-really-good 11.7% with Golladay, Golladay has a sub-20% target share on the season, but a 31.6% air yards share from a QB in Matthew Stafford who is almost automatic for 325-plus air yards with Golladay on the field, capped out around 400. If we’re playing Stafford, it’s with Golladay on the field.

If Golladay is in, we can ignore the rest of the receiving corps, as the volume is just too low. If he’s out and Marvin Jones is in, we can have some interest in Jones for GPPs. But the guy who makes things really interesting is Marvin Hall, who leads the team in aDOT (16.85) and air yards share (28.6%) since Week 8. Even if Golladay is in, Hall remains a galbrain stacking option with Stafford, who would rack up a ton of air yards.

Strong Projections: D’Andre Swift

High Upside Correlations: Matthew Stafford + Kenny Golladay, D’Andre Swift + Lions DST (if Teddy is out)

Strong GPP Differentiators: None

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Marvin Hall

My Expected Team Exposure: High on Swift in cash and Hall as a GPP punt, but Medium-Low on this team, overall

About the Author

  • Alex Sonty (AlexSonty)

  • Alex Sonty is a part-time political science professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and a professional DFS player. He’s been playing fantasy sports since Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith paved the way to a rookie championship in 1996. He started playing DFS in 2014 and currently specializes in MLB and NFL cash games, dipping his toes into GPP play. He’s been writing for the Chicago Tribune, SB Nation, and Rotogrinders blog networks since 2010. He holds a J.D./M.A. and L.L.M. from DePaul University.


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