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“Big Rigg’s” Running Back and Wide Receiver Calls for Week #11

This week, the fantasy football “game of the week” appears to be the Monday Night Football showdown between the LA Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs.  This should go without saying, but if you have Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, you have to be chomping at the bit to watch Monday Night Football.  If you are playing in a DFS slate that includes Monday Night Football, you should do everything in your power to get Hunt, Gurley, Cooks and Hill in your lineups.  Regarding your season long leagues, if you are going to rely on Sammy Watkins, you need to have a backup plan in the event Watkins is a last minute scratch.  All indications are that Watkins will play, but you need to have a player like Demarcus Robinson or Josh Reynolds to plug and play in Watkins place in the event he cannot suit up.

Michael Thomas vs Eagles – $8,800 FD/$8,800 DK – The Eagles lost Ronald Darby last week and don’t have anybody that can slow down Michael Thomas.  The Eagles are giving up 4.7 yards per carry on the ground but they’ve been giving up under 100 yards per game on the ground because they put points on the board and teams need to throw on them.  Given the Eagles potent offense and their problems in the secondary, Michael Thomas looks like a must play.  The Eagles have given up just over 7 yards per catch this season which isn’t terrible, but they’ve had Darby up until this point.

Odell Beckham Jr. vs Buccaneers – $8,500 FD/$8,400 DK – The Bucs give up 8.7 yards per pass which is 4th worst in the league and their secondary is even more banged up than the Eagles.  The Bucs can put points on the board meaning the Giants should need to throw it early and often, and given their secondary woes, Beckham is a candidate to go off in this one.  The Bucs have also given up 38 pass plays of 20+ yards on the year which is tied for 2nd worst in the league, meaning Beckham could pop off a few big ones.

Amari Cooper @ Falcons – $6,600 FD/$5,400 DK – The Falcons give up 8 yards per pass play and just under 300 passing yards per game.  Although the Cowboys defense is solid, the Falcons should be able to put points on the board which means Dallas will need to keep their foot on the gas.  Cooper is an elite route runner and fits the Cowboy’s scheme extremely well.  Cooper figures to see a lot of Desmond Trufant which isn’t the best matchup, but it’s not a prohibitive one either.

Larry Fitzgerald vs Raiders $5,900 FD/$5,600 DK – Fitzgerald lines up in the slot 76% of the time and figures to see a lot of Nick Nelson.  I don’t even know who Nick Nelson is.  Fitzgerald has been targeted heavily since Byron Leftwich took over as the OC and that should continue on Sunday.

Corey Davis @ Colts $6,200 FD/$5,600 DK – I like Corey Davis against Pierre Desir all day long.  The Titans seem to have more energy and direction since coming off their bye and Davis has been a target monster.  This game has serious implications in the AFC South race and Davis figures to be relevant all four quarters.

Golden Tate @ Saints – $6,600 FD/$5,500 DK – Tate has been lining up in the slot 70% of the time this year and should see a lot of PJ Williams who has been lit up this year.  Tyler Boyd couldn’t take advantage of this same matchup last week but the Saints defensive line had Andy Dalton running for his life.  Look for Tate to come through with a high volume day.  On the low end, Agholor may see some time in the slot at times and he may be another guy that could come through, but not likely with Tate’s role increasing.

DJ Moore @ Lions – $5,700 FD/$4,200 DK – Darius Slay should be back this week and should line up on Devin Funchess.  This leaves Nevin Lawson to cover DJ Moore.  Moore could beat him on a few deep shots making him extremely viable this week, especially at his low price in DFS.

Christian McCaffrey @ Lions – $8,600 FD/$8,000 DK – Matt Patricia is supposed to be a good defensive coach but I am not seeing it to this point.  The Lions give up 4.9 yards per carry and they’re struggling on offense so the Panthers may look to run the ball deep into the second half to run out the clock.  McCaffrey also poses a matchup mismatch if Jarraud Davis covers him, making him a big play threat out of the backfield in the passing game.

Zeke Elliott @ Falcons – $84,00 FD/$8,500 DK – The Falcons give up a league worst 5.2 yards per carry and they will not have the services of Deion Jones this week.  Moreover, the Falcons give up decent production to opposing running backs in the passing game which Elliott has been involved in as of late.

David Johnson vs Raiders – $7,900 FD/$7,500 DK – The Raiders give up 4.8 yards per carry and a generous 141 yards per game on the ground.  It makes sense to roll Johnson out against this terrible Raiders defense that has been depleted by questionable front office moves.

Phillip Lindsay @ Chargers – $6,400 FD/$5,200 DK – The Chargers have given up just over 100 yards a game on the ground but they have surrendered 4.5 yards per rush attempt.  The Chargers should handle the Broncos in this one, which should mean that Lindsay will take over as the primary back in the passing game down the stretch.  The anticipated game flow makes Lindsay an extremely attractive play, especially on Draftkings because it uses a PPR format.

Alex Collins vs Bengals – $6,000 FD/$4,400 DK – I was holding out hope that Nick Vigil would play in this one, but he’s not.  Marv Lewis takes over defensive play calling for the Bengals starting this week which may change things a little, but Lewis’ play calling won’t change the talent on the field at linebacker.  The Bengals really need some of their young linebackers, like Malik Jefferson, to step up in this one.  The Bengals have given up 11 rushing touchdowns on the season, 141.2 rushing yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry.  The Bengals have been getting gashed on the ground so far this season and there’s no reason to think that won’t stop this week, meaning Collins is an extremely attractive option in DFS.

Dion Lewis @ Colts – $5,900 FD/$4,800 DK – The Colts have been very good against the run this year, giving up just over 100 yards per game and only 3.9 yards per carry on a per play basis.  These stats make me want to roll Lewis out there because the Titans aren’t likely to have a lot of success on the ground against the Colts and should need to throw a lot, which favors Lewis as the pass catching back.

Week 11 Forecast for Jordan Howard – I was pegged on a social media site as the president of the Jordan Howard fan club after ranking him ridiculously high in my 2017 preseason rankings.  That being said, you need to take anything I say about Jordan Howard with a grain of salt because that’s my guy.  Jordan Howard was a waiver wire pickup in 2016 that led me to a few championships and some serious DFS winnings, so I guess I will always have a soft spot for him.  That being said, Howard came up so small last week in a prime matchup.  This is what I see when I watch Jordan Howard.  I see a player that averages a decent 2.6 yards after contact.  However, I also see a runner that prefers to get going downhill that cannot do so taking a majority of his handoffs out of the shotgun.  I also see a runner that cannot establish any rhythm because Tarik Cohen subs him out so often.  This game doesn’t set up well for Jordan Howard as the Vikings give up a league best 3.6 yards per carry and less than 90 yards per game on the ground.  In two matchups against the Vikings in 2017, Howard went 9 carries for 9 yards and 19 carries for 76 yards, logging just one catch between both games.  In 2016 Howard ran 26 times for 153 yards and a touchdown in their first matchup adding 4 catches for 49 yards and 23 times for 135 yards in their second matchup.  I really hope that Howard bounces back and comes through in this one, but honestly, I am only playing him if I need to in season long and I may throw him in a DFS tournament because I will most likely be the only person in Ohio and maybe America to start him.

This week there are several high-end running backs and wide receivers with extremely attractive matchups making it extremely tempting to create a top-heavy roster at either position.  I toyed around on Draftkings and built three lineups I thought to be extremely viable.  I built a running back heavy lineup, a wide receiver heavy lineup and a balanced lineup.  For the sake of convenience, I built all of these lineups with Dak Prescott at quarterback, CJ Uzomah at tight end and the Cardinals as my defense.

I started off by taking Christian McCaffrey @ the Lions, Zeke Elliott @ the Falcons and David Johnson vs the Raiders.  Each of these running backs are bell cows that get it done in the running and passing game and are game script proof.  I filled in the rest of my roster with Amari Cooper @ the Falcons, Christian Kirk vs the Raiders and Nelson Agholor @ the Saints.

Next, I drafted a wide receiver heavy squad featuring Michael Thomas vs the Eagles, Odell Beckham Jr. vs the Bucs, Amari Cooper @ the Falcons and Corey Davis @ the Colts.  I was able to roster Phillip Lindsay @ the Chargers and Dion Lewis @ the Colts to go along with these stud wide receivers.  I really like this lineup because the four wide receivers are all the clear #1 options for their team’s passing game and they are playing in games that figure to be fairly high scoring.  I like Lindsay because the Chargers will definitely put points on the board and Lindsay is the Broncos pass catching back, and pairing him with Dion Lewis only makes sense as the Titans have clearly committed to Lewis moving forward.

Finally, I made a balanced lineup that isn’t too bad.  I drafted Christian McCaffrey as my stud running back and Michael Thomas as my stud receiver.  I paired Dion Lewis with McCaffrey and used Amari Cooper, Corey Davis and Larry Fitzgerald to fill out my wide receiver corps.  The balanced team and the wide receiver heavy teams aren’t very different, but after building multiple lineups this week, I will probably go with a wide receiver heavy or balanced lineup this week.

I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years including a 4th place finish in the Kentucky Fantasy Football State Championship in 2016.

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