NFL DFS Picks Sunday Night Football: Austin Ekeler leads optimal DFS lineup

If you're competing in an NFL Sunday Night Football DFS Week 11 tournament or 50/50 contest, here are our lineup picks and recommendations.

Whether you’re having a good fantasy football day or a bad one, if you’re a fan of DFS tournaments, there’s always a reason to watch Sunday Night Football. And tonight’s contest between the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers could be a huge day for 6-7 players. My optimal Week 11 NFL DFS Sunday Night Football picks are listed below, plus a few cheap options for you bargain hunters.

Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Picks | Los Angeles Chargers

Big picture, we have to think about game flow. Which team will win? How do we think they’ll score most of their touchdowns? And how will the losing team operate while playing from behind?

I’m going Chargers-heavy in tonight’s game in the belief they’ll take control in the second half, while Pittsburgh will try to slow things down by focusing on the ground game. The following players fall within the single-game tournament and 50/50 salary cap on FanDuel.

Austin Ekeler, RB ($15,500)

If you have an MVP slot in your DFS lineup, I’d use it on Austin Ekeler. Yes, Justin Herbert could have a field day. But landing the Chargers QB for $16,500 would mean downgrading elsewhere. Ekeler can get it done rushing and receiving and should be an offensive centerpiece tonight.

Keenan Allen, WR ($12,500)

I traded for Keenan Allen in my league earlier this season when his stock was down. Allen is a legitimate threat to score 20+ fantasy points every game. He needs to be in lineups for upside alone.

Mike Williams, WR ($11,000)

Sometimes we need to go against the grain in DFS, and Mike Williams is one of two “risky” plays. He’s struggled for weeks, and there’s no sign of him turning it around. And yet, he’s healthy and still getting a sufficient number of targets. It’s only a matter of time before Williams snaps back. With Pittsburgh’s defense ravaged by injuries, it’s worth betting on him tonight.

Donald Parham Jr., TE ($6,000)

Donald Parham Jr. is an ultra-cheap option with a knack for finding the end zone. He has clearly developed trust with Herbert in high-stakes situations near the goal line, with 3 touchdowns in his last five performances. That’s what you’re looking for in a $6,000 DFS player.

Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Picks | Pittsburgh Steelers

As I’ve shared previously, Ben Roethlisberger has one of the lowest fantasy outputs of any full-time starting QB. His upside is as capped as at any time in his professional career. There’s only one fantasy player I trust at his current DFS price in Pittsburgh.

Najee Harris, RB ($15,000)

Najee Harris was smothered in hype this summer, and he’s delivered. If Roethlisberger were still in his prime, the Steelers would have the personnel to compete for an AFC title.

Harris is that good, and his versatility in the passing game makes him a weekly RB1 threat. More than any other player in a Pittsburgh uniform, Harris merits our trust in DFS.

Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Picks | Other bargains

The following are a couple of cheap bargains we would recommend if you’re trying to round out your lineup within the salary cap. These players have low floors but solid ceilings.

Larry Rountree III, RB, Chargers ($6,500)

Larry Rountree III earned 5 carries last week and scored a touchdown. While that won’t happen most weeks, if tonight’s game gets out of hand, we might see Rountree in mop-up duty in the fourth quarter. If you don’t trust Parham, or if you want to remake this lineup to include Herbert or another high-priced player, Rountree could get you 5+ points if things break right.

James Washington, WR, Steelers ($7,500)

James Washington scored last week, but can we trust Washington with Chase Claypool back? I’ll put it this way — if the Steelers are playing from behind in the second half (as I expect will happen), Roethlisberger will be throwing more. Washington is the least expensive option with TD potential.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.