Week 10 was a tournament player’s dream. Several popular plays failed (Duke Johnson, Mike Davis), and the under hit on the two games with the highest total on the board. I talk a lot about correlation, leverage, and pivots in this article. I did give an option to pivot off Davis last week but did not suggest a different way to do so. Because of that, before we get to our NFL DFS lineup advice and Week 11 Draftkings picks in fantasy cash games and GPPs, I’ll talk through what positions correlate well with each other and how you can pivot off of popular plays and gain positive expected value.
NFL DFS lineup advice: Positive and negative correlation in NFL DFS
After a quick google search, you can find this article from Fantasy Labs, which does an excellent job of breaking down which positions correlate well with each other in NFL DFS. I highly suggest you give it a read, as understanding what positions correlate with each other is the best NFL DFS lineup advice I can give you.
Let’s use Davis from last week as an example. He was the most popular play on the slate by a wide margin. He projected well and was a good play in a median sense, but was he ever going to pay off his salary the same amount of times his ownership percentage suggested? No, not even close. With that knowledge, what would have been the best way to gain leverage off of Davis?
The article above has a few tables highlighting the correlation between each position on each team in a particular game. Using that chart, you’ll see that a team’s RB1 worst correlation (on his team) is his WR2. Good on us; we almost hit on that suggestion with Robby Anderson. In this case, it ended up being D.J. Moore with the productive game.
If you were playing D.J. Moore, you’d want to roster Tom Brady and his WR2, as those two positions would correlate best with Moore. Brady’s WR2 has the same correlation to Moore as Tampa Bay’s RB1, so it was also feasible to “get on” either Ronald Jones or Leonard Fournette if you followed the correlation chart.
What can we take away from this exercise?
Unfortunately, I did not suggest a Ronald Jones and D.J. Moore pairing last weekend. However, if you’re following basic game theory principles in GPPs, landing on a Jones/Moore pairing was feasible using fundamental correlation truths then applying them in the event Davis were to fail.
I give my picks on spots I like to attack the slate, but it behooves you to learn what NFL DFS correlations exist so you can attack them yourself. Maybe you see an angle I don’t and can take advantage of it yourself. My end goal is to teach you how to fish. I may give you my favorite types of fish, but I want you to develop a taste for yourself, so hopefully, you can be sitting atop one of these leaderboards one day. If you learn just one thing from my NFL DFS lineup advice, I hope that is it.
With that out of the way, let’s get to Week 11 NFL DFS Draftkings picks.
Week 11 DraftKings picks: Fantasy cash games and GPPs
Justin Herbert ($6800) – Speaking of teaching you how to fish, I choose my QB mostly based on their salary in relation to their implied team total. Passing offense makes up around two-thirds of an offense’s production, so teams with a high implied team total usually see their QB perform well in fantasy. Please don’t take my word for it though, Chris Raybon wrote an excellent article that goes into far more depth on the subject.
Herbert’s Chargers have the third-highest team total on the slate. I would rather save the $900 with the next guy in cash games, but if you have the salary, I think Herbert is viable at $6800.
Jameis Winston ($5900) / Taysom Hill ($4800) – Drew Brees is on the IR after suffering an injury to his ribs last week against the San Francisco 49ers. I have no idea who is starting this weekend for the Saints. New Orleans has the fifth-highest team total on the slate and plays in a dome, so no matter who it is, I want to play them in fantasy cash games this weekend.
Winston showed some rushing upside last season with Tampa Bay, and we all know what he can do with his arm (both the good and bad). Atlanta’s defense ranks 21st in passing success rate as well. If Winston is the guy, $5900 is too cheap for him.
As for Hill, I don’t like him as a starting QB in the NFL. I don’t know what Sean Payton sees in him, but alas, here we are. Hill will see an ample amount of rushing plays, which is the ultimate cheat code in fantasy. The rushing upside alone puts him in play in fantasy cash games. I’m not thrilled with it, but my advice is to take the best value you can in your NFL DFS lineups. Either of these players would be the top pick for QB value on Draftkings Week 11.
It has been common practice to play three RBs in fantasy cash games, as they have the “most secure” roles on their team. That tide is starting to turn, however, as more teams have committee situations. My advice on that, regarding your NFL DFS lineups, is to be open to playing four WRs in your cash game lineups.
Dalvin Cook ($9000) – RB production correlates most to the volume they receive. No one is given more work than Cook. He leads the league in opportunity share (carries + targets) percentage (42.1), according to FTN Daily. A high team total isn’t necessary for RBs, but it helps that the Minnesota Vikings have the fourth-highest total (27.25) on the slate. They’re playing in a dome as well and are (-8.5) home point favorites.
Aaron Jones ($7200) – Jones was the “chalk” last weekend and didn’t quite live up to expectations. I like him again this week, however. Since his return from injury, Jones has snap shares of 61% and 63%, 62% of the RB rush attempts, and a 17.5% target share. You can’t ask for much more at $7200. The Packers play in a dome this weekend and have a respectable 24.75 implied team total.
Giovani Bernard ($5500) – In the three games Joe Mixon has missed, Bernard has seen 61% of the RB rush attempts, 84% of the RB targets, and played an average of 69% of the snaps. I slightly prefer Duke Johnson, but I will not fight you if you want to roster Bernard for just $100 more.
Duke Johnson ($5400) – Pardon me for suggesting a Texans RB for the third week in a row, but value is value. Johnson received 100% of the RB carries in Week 10 while playing 95% of the snaps. He gets the benefit of a dome this weekend, a stark contrast to the abysmal weather conditions which existed in Cleveland in Week 10.
Adrian Peterson ($4000) – Danny Amendola, Kenny Golladay, and D’Andre Swift have been ruled out for this weekend’s game in Carolina. While Peterson and Kerryon Johnson’s snap share have been roughly the same, Johnson has barely been involved in the offense this season. Swift missing this game is frustrating, as I was looking forward to playing him this weekend. However, Peterson is one of the best RB values on the slate with all of these injuries and a favorable matchup.
Davante Adams ($8600) – Adams leads the league in target share (33.86%) on the season and is first in raw targets since Week 8. He gets to play in a dome this weekend with a respectable team total of 24.75. Don’t let the matchup scare you; Adams’ role is among the most secure in the league. Monitor his ankle injury, however, as that is a concern.
Keenan Allen ($7400) – Allen has a 29% target share and is third in raw targets on the year. I didn’t think playing Allen and Adams was feasible when the week started, but enough value has opened up to where you can get there in fantasy cash games. Don’t let the high spread scare you: the Chargers will score those points somehow. It’s a good bet Allen will be involved in that process.
Terry McLaurin ($6900) – My weekly tribute to the great McLaurin. He ranks eighth in target share (28%) and third in WOPR (74.59) on the season. If you can’t get up to Adams for some reason, McLaurin is a more than capable replacement.
Chase Claypool ($6100) / Diontae Johnson ($5900) – If you use a three-week sample, Claypool leads the Steelers in target share at 26.33%. That includes a game in which Johnson left early with an injury. In games in which Johnson doesn’t leave early with an injury, he has target totals of 10, 13, 15, 10, and 11. According to Sharp Football Stats, the Steelers are a pass-heavy team, with a 63/37 pass/rush split in neutral situation game states. I prefer Johnson myself, but I don’t mind Claypool either.
Tyler Boyd ($5600) – Boyd leads the Bengals in target share on the season, as well as raw targets since Week 8. He will be mostly overlooked in fantasy cash games but projects just as well as the Steelers WRs this weekend and other WRs in the $6000 range. I think he is cash viable but is an even better GPP pivot in Week 11 Draftkings games.
Brandin Cooks ($5200) – Cooks has been the alpha in Houston since Week 6, leading the team in targets (35), target share (26.75%), and WOPR (59.72). I imagine he got a price reduction due to last weekend’s poor performance. The Texans return home to the dome, so they won’t have to deal with that this weekend.
Jakobi Meyers ($4900) – Meyers should be the first one in your fantasy cash game builds this weekend. He’s commanding a 30% target share in the Patriots offense while receiving the third-most targets in the league since Week 8. Meyers leads the league in weighted opportunities (WOPR) during that time frame as well.
Denzel Mims ($3300) – If you want a punt option at WR for your Week 11 DraftKings picks, my advice is to put Mims in your lineup. His 25.33% target share and 59.23 WOPR leads the Jets since Week 7.
Logan Thomas ($3300) – Tight end is a dumpster fire as usual. So much so that I’m only going to write up Thomas for the Week 11 DraftKings slate. He’s very cheap and has a respectable 16.78% target share on the season. He also projects to be popular. You’re not going to lose your fantasy cash games by rostering Thomas this weekend, regardless of what he does.
Steelers ($4600) – I don’t know if you’ll have $4600 to pay for a defense this weekend, but if you do, I have no reservations about playing the Steelers. They’re 10-point favorites, rank first in adjusted sack rate (according to Football Outsiders), and face the third-worst team in terms of protecting their QB.
Washington ($2900) – The Bengals are bottom five in adjusted sack rate while the Washington team ranks second in the league in the same metric. The Bengals also pass at one of the highest rates in the NFL.
Bengals ($2300) – The Bengals rate poorly in getting to the QB, but the Washington offensive line is also lacking in pass protection. Washington passes at a 61% rate in neutral game scripts, so the opportunity will be there for the Bengals to make some plays.
Week 11 DraftKings leverage picks and pivots.
Cook has both the highest raw points projection and ownership projection on the main slate. Unlike last weekend, where the highest projected player was too cheap to feel comfortable with a fade in GPPs, Cook is the second-highest priced player on the slate, leaving him with less margin for error. He needs close to 30 points to pay off this price. If touchdown variance doesn’t go his way, less than 30 points certain is not inconceivable in the slightest.
So how do we take advantage if Cook falls shorts of expectations? The easiest way is to roster Alvin Kamara ($9200) at just $200 more. Other than Aaron Jones, Kamara has the best chance of out-scoring Cook on this slate. It’s also viable to play both, as the combination of Cook and Kamara should be less than five percent owned.
You can refer to the tables in the article above to see who would benefit from a Cook let down, but another route you can take is the Vikings passing game. Kirk Cousins ($6200), Justin Jefferson ($6000), and Adam Thielen ($6300) are very affordable for their potential ceilings. Double stack Cousins and one of his WRs with Kyle Rudolph ($3200) or Irv Smith Jr. ($3400) to fill your TE slot and pivot off the popular Logan Thomas.
On the other side of the ball, who stands to benefit if the Vikings’ passing game “goes off?” The answer is the Cowboys RB1 and WR1. In this case, that’s the very affordable Ezekiel Elliott ($6500) and Amari Cooper ($5400). If the Cowboys can somehow play with a lead, it would benefit Elliott’s touches and force Minnesota to be more pass-heavy.
Even if you’re opposed to stacking the Vikings passing game, I highly recommend including at least one Cowboys pass catcher in your Cook lineups. None of them project to have high ownership at all, and if Cook does have a ceiling game, someone from Dallas will be productive.
Texans passing game
Considering the Patriots and Texans game has one of the highest totals on the board, I’m not surprised the Texans are projected to be popular this week. This game is one of my favorite ones on the board to stack.
My advice for your NFL DFS lineups is to have some stacks with Damien Harris ($5700) if you do decide to play this game. He’s projected to come in at around five percent ownership and makes sense from a game flow (and correlation) perspective to pair with the Texans passing game. Harris offers nothing in the passing game but has led the Patriots in carries the last four weeks. According to Philip Caldwell’s Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC), the Texans offer the second easiest matchup. To top it all off, you’re also gaining leverage off of Meyers in rostering Harris.
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) / Total 51
A high total with a short spread in a dome should mean a high scoring back and forth game. However, other than Adams and Jones, no one projects to be more than 10% owned on the Week 11 main slate. I can understand why: the Colts don’t have that certified alpha WR or RB. Aaron Rodgers ($7000) is priced as the QB2 on the slate, while Philip Rivers ($5600) offers zero rushing upside.
If I had to pick a way to stack this game, it would be Rodgers/Adams/Robert Tonyan ($3200) paired with Michael Pittman ($4500) or Nyheim Hines ($5200).
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington (-1) / Total 46.5
Usually, we wouldn’t be excited about a 46.5 point total, but considering the highest total on the board for the Week 11 DraftKings main slate is 51, we can’t be picky with our picks. The Washington side projects to be popular, but the Bengals side can gain some leverage. Both offenses run a healthy amount of pass plays and play at an above-average pace in neutral game scripts. Washington has a good pass defense, but we’ve seen Joe Burrow ($5500) have productive fantasy games based on sheer volume.
My preferred way to attack this game is to stack the Bengals passing attack and mix and match my Washington run-backs. McLaurin is my favorite play on Washington, followed by Antonio Gibson ($5800) and finally Thomas.
On the Bengals side, I like Boyd, as I expressed above, but Tee Higgins ($5900) offers the explosive play potential you need in GPPs. Unfortunately, Cincinnati doesn’t have a viable fantasy TE, so you’re either stuck with swallowing the Thomas ownership or playing a one-off TE from another game.
Don’t forget about Bernard either. With Joe Mixon being ruled out, Bernard becomes one of the top values on the slate.