NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 11: The Grind Down - Vikings vs. Cowboys

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

Minnesota Vikings DFS Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Kirk Cousins MIN $6,200 $7,100 $26 18.54 QB14 32.50 240.00
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Dalvin Cook MIN $9,000 $10,500 $40 24.75 RB1 71.00% 14.50%
Alexander Mattison MIN $6,200 $6,100 $14 6.07 RB51 18.00% 4.00%
Ameer Abdullah MIN $4,000 $4,500 $10 0.94 RB76 6.00%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Adam Thielen MIN $6,300 $7,900 $26 17.6 WR10 28.00% 9.71
Justin Jefferson MIN $6,000 $6,700 $24 16.07 WR14 26.50% 9.19
Chad Beebe MIN $3,200 $4,500 $10 2.9 WR93 5.50% 1.91
Olabisi Johnson MIN $3,200 $4,500 $10 0.98 WR115 2.00% 0.69
K.J. Osborn MIN $3,000 $4,500 $10 #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
Kyle Rudolph MIN $3,200 $4,500 $10 5.51 TE26 9.50% 3.30
Irv Smith MIN $3,400 $5,100 $13 5.86 TE23 10.00% 3.47
Injuries to Monitor

Irv Smith Jr. missed Week 10 with a groin injury but is trending toward playing in Week 11.

Running Game Outlook

Currently expected to be one of the highest owned players despite the highest price tag on the slate, Dalvin Cook will look to return to form after a “disappointing” Week 10 performance against a strong Bears defense. Prior to last week, Cook was on an absolute tear, racking up 478 total yards and scoring six touchdowns across Week’s 8-9. Cook has seen an absolutely ridiculous workload since returning from injury, averaging 30 touches over his last three games. That insane workload is what makes Cook one of the “safest” plays of the week. Add in a home matchup as 7.5-point favorites against a Cowboys defense that ranks 28th in rush defense DVOA and it’s easy to understand why Cook is the top overall play on the slate.

Passing Game Outlook

As is typically the case with Minnesota’s passing attack, concerns about lack of volume are the biggest hindrance to Kirk Cousin’s, Justin Jefferson’s, and Adam Thielen’s Week 11 fantasy outlooks. In an ideal Mike Zimmer world, the Vikings would run the ball for 4-yards every play and score a touchdown while taking 8 minutes off the game clock. Zimmer’s propensity to run the ball puts a ceiling on the Vikings’ passing attack and it’s tough to envision a scenario in which the Cowboys will be able to make Minnesota throw the ball more this week. Kirk Cousins has thrown the ball more than 27 times just three times this season and I would argue that our current projection of 32 passing attempts for him this week is a bit ambitious.

The positive thing about Minnesota’s passing attack is that although it lacks volume, it’s extremely concentrated and for the most part we know where that volume is going. Heavy concentration is why we can still project both Thielen and Jefferson for near double-digit targets this week. The two Minnesota receivers have combined for over a 50% target share this year and over a 52% target share if you take out the first two games of the season in which Jefferson was playing behind Bisi Johnson as the team’s third receiver.

All of that is a long-winded way of saying, even though the Vikings are unlikely to throw the ball much this week, Jefferson and Thielen still make for strong plays in all formats. As the cheaper option, Jefferson is one of the strongest point-per-dollar receiving options on the slate. Thielen is the more touchdown-dependent option and I would argue he’s the best leverage play off the heavily owned Cook.

Strong Projections: Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen

High Upside Correlations: Kirk Cousins + Justin Jefferson + Adam Thielen

Strong GPP Differentiators: Adam Thielen

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Irv Smith Jr.

My Expected Team Exposure: High

Dallas Cowboys Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Andy Dalton DAL $5,300 $6,900 $26 16.52 QB24 37.07 248.00
RB Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Ezekiel Elliott DAL $6,500 $8,000 $24 16.35 RB10 66% 9%
Tony Pollard DAL $5,600 $4,800 $10 8.12 RB38 26% 7%
Rico Dowdle DAL $4,000 $4,500 $10 0.05 RB85 1%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal YHSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Amari Cooper DAL $5,400 $6,900 $21 15.09 WR19 25% 9.90
Michael Gallup DAL $3,700 $5,400 $18 9.73 WR58 18% 6.93
CeeDee Lamb DAL $5,000 $5,800 $21 11.74 WR40 20% 7.92
Cedrick Wilson DAL $3,000 $4,900 $10 3.04 WR92 6% 2.37
Noah Brown DAL $3,000 $4,600 $10 1.05 WR113 2% 0.79
Dalton Schultz DAL $3,600 $5,000 $11 7.18 TE18 13% 5.15
Blake Bell DAL $2,500 $4,000 $10 0.29 TE69 1% 0.20
Injuries to Monitor

Andy Dalton was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and is expected to start.

Running Game Outlook

Poor Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys’ star running back hasn’t cracked double-digit fantasy points since Week 6, totaling just 159 rushing yards on 49 attempts in the three games since. Much of Elliott’s ineffectiveness can be chalked up to an injured offensive line and lack of passing game, both issues that aren’t going to be solved this season. Despite his lack of production, it is encouraging that Zeke has racked up 20 touches in back-to-back games, which theoretically gives him some volume-driven upside, even for a terrible offense. It feels bad, but I don’t mind taking some shots on Zeke in tournaments this week on the off chance that the bye week in combination with Andy Dalton return sparks a little fire into the Cowboys offense.

Passing Game Outlook:

Andy Dalton is expected to start under center for the Cowboys who draw a good on-paper matchup for their passing attack. While Minnesota’s defense has been much better of late, they have still allowed the fourth-most points per game to the WR position this season. In Dalton’s limited action, CeeDee Lamb has led the team with 19 targets followed by Amari Cooper 18 targets. We currently have both guys projected for a 20%+ target share this week which makes them tournament viable in a game Dallas may see increased passing volume playing from behind.

Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz are cheaper ways to get exposure to this Dallas passing attack in tournaments. As the Cowboys downfield threat, Gallup has the ability to pay off his dirt-cheap price tag with one play.

Strong Projections: None

High Upside Correlations: Andy Dalton + Amari Cooper and/or CeeDee Lamb and/or Michael Gallup

Strong GPP Differentiators: Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz

My Expected Team Exposure: Low

About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Playing DFS since early 2011, MrTuttle05 is an industry OG who has found success across multiple sports. He has qualified for countless live finals and takes pride in being able to adapt to the ever changing DFS landscape. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.


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