🚨 2 Players to Stash Before Sunday
The season isn't over yet...
“All I can do right now is put on a brave face and go out there…” - Everyone in Ohio
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by GameBlazers:
Two Guys to Grab After the Fallout from TNF
Rankings Roundtable: Tony Pollard is due….right?!?
DFS Stacks: Dolphins set to make a splash after their bye
Miami’s speedy RB (likely) back on Sunday
QUICK HITTER: Injury updates (Thumb-Up for Fields)
The Walkthrough: Brandon Aiyuk. G.A.M.? Maybe…
It’s 11/18. Take it away, Chris Allen…
When injuries happen, the natural reaction is to wonder about the immediate repercussions. How a team will redistribute targets or their passing rate will go up or down are logical thought exercises to have. Because on Tuesday, when it’s time for waivers, we’ll have big decisions to make, and it’s best to be armed with as much analysis as possible.
Well, actually, let me back up a step or two. Our first response is probably shock and dismay. As a Bengals fan, trust me, I know. However, the fallout from TNF puts some of us in a somewhat unique position.
In most leagues, we can still make moves now. I’ll likely discuss Isaiah Likely’s (please, just let me have this one) rest-of-season outlook in the next waiver column, and Odell Beckham, who hit a season-high 30.4% target share, should be high on our list.
But if you want to get ahead of the crowd and have some bench fodder you can drop, here are a couple other options you can snag off the wire for free before kickoff.
🧀 Jayden Reed, Packers
You’d have to go back to Week 2 to find a game where Jayden Reed led the Packers in targets or targets per route run. However, Christian Watson was still out, Aaron Jones’ hamstring injury had him sidelined, and Luke Musgrave was still developing.
But they were all on the field in Week 11, Reed’s 20.8% TPRR was first among the WRs and the rookie delivered on his opportunities.
Jordan Love drops another DIME.
📺: #GBvsPIT on CBS
📱: Stream on #NFLPlusbit.ly/3QNXw8H
— NFL (@NFL)
Nov 12, 2023
We can’t expect an explosive TD against the Chargers on Sunday. But Reed’s usage and on-field deployment make him a viable spot start. With Watson on the field, Reed has played 77.5% of his snaps from the slot. And the Bolts give up the sixth-most passing yards to interior WRs.
While most of the big performances have come from top-12 receivers (Amon-Ra St. Brown cooked them for 79 yards from the slot alone just last week), Reed benefits from the defensive matchup and has favorable contests down the stretch (Week 12 - DET, Week 14 - NYG, Week 15 - TB and Week 16 - CAR).
🐦 Rondale Moore, Cardinals
I mean, a player posting his own highlights already ranks as some king shit in my book. It’s been a tough season for everyone. Celebrate your wins as they come.
But Rondale Moore should be happy about more than Kyler Murray being back under center.
The Short King connection was back on display in Murray’s ‘23 debut. It was Moore’s second time over 25.0% of the team’s targets, and his 29.6% TPRR was the fourth-highest mark of any Arizona WR this season.
The Cardinals’ matchup against the Texans is one of the more compelling games on Sunday. I broke it down as the Matchup of the Week and noted Murray (likely) knocking off the rust is the cause for his reliance on short-area throws. Regardless, against a Houston team averaging the 4th-most yards per drive and 13th-most plays per game since their bye, Moore will have to be a big factor in Arizona’s passing game for them to keep up with C.J. Stroud.
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Debating between two guys on your roster? Need someone to break the tie for you? Matthew Freedman and Ian Hartitiz dove deep into their rankings to find a few players they’re willing to push into their starting lineup for Week 11.
TNF hit us with a sobering reminder about injuries and how quickly and severely they can impact the league. Of course, losing one player affects just one fantasy roster. And they have to scramble to make up for the deficit.
But sometimes, there’s a cascade effect. Multiple assets from the same team could lose value all in a single moment.
So, we have to adjust. There’ll still be games on Sunday. The three-game Thanksgiving slate is five days away. And the playoffs are right around the corner. We’ve got to make sure our rosters are set now with a short week ahead of us.
To help, as they always do, our rankers got together again to find a few players they’re higher or lower on relative to consensus. So, if you’re having questions about setting your lineup for Week 11, check out their notes before kickoff.
🤠 RB – Tony Pollard (Cowboys) at Panthers
I have Pollard as the RB5, whereas the next ranker has him at RB10.
I guess I have a sickness.
Pollard has 719 yards in nine games on 135 carries and 35 targets. He’s the clear No. 1 RB on the team that ranks No. 2 in the league in scoring (29.9 PPG).
The only problem is that he last scored a TD in Week 1 — even though the Cowboys put up 49 points last week — and he has sabotaged his season with relative inefficiency (3.9 yards per carry, 5.4 yards per target).
Fine, that’s two problems, and they’re not small, but maybe — maybe? — they won’t matter this week: As a double-digit favorite, Pollard could approach 20-plus touches and have multiple goal-line opportunities.
The matchup could not be much better: The Panthers are No. 32 in defensive rush EPA (0.071) and SR (45.1%) and without LB Shaq Thompson (leg, IR).
At some point, Pollard will convert touches and yards into TDs.
⛏ QB – Brock Purdy (SF) vs TB
Brock Purdy (296-3-0) and company got back on track to the tune of 34 points against what was believed to be a pretty good Jaguars defense last week.
The offense undoubtedly benefited from getting healthy versions of both WR Deebo Samuel and LT Trent Williams back in action; nobody has held this group under 30 points all season with at least three of their big-four stud non-QBs healthy (shoutout Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk).
Seriously: The splits from this group during the first five weeks of the season and last week make the best version of the 49ers look a lot like the best overall offense in the NFL, even though their overall 2023 numbers aren’t too shabby anyway.
EPA per play: +0.22 (overall NFL leader: 49ers – +0.14)
TD drive %: 36.9% (overall NFL leader: Dolphins – 37%)
Yards per play: 6.5 (overall NFL leader: Dolphins – 6.8)
Yards per pass attempt: 9.5 (overall NFL leader: 49ers – 9.2)
Yards per rush attempt: 4.6 (overall NFL leader: Dolphins – 5.8)
Criticisms of Purdy being a “system” QB are a moot point in fantasy land: Style points don’t matter, and the second-year talent is operating one of the most lethal systems in the entire NFL. Nobody has a higher average team PFF rush and receiving grade than the 49ers (89).
No offense is set up better on paper this week than the 49ers against the bad and banged-up Buccaneers’ defense. While Purdy has had many good games this season, he’s yet to post a top-three finish. I believe this could change ahead of this dream home matchup.
Purdy comes in as my QB8 on the week ahead of guys like Justin Fields, Kyler Murray and even Justin Herbert – three signal-callers who I certainly believe are better overall talents at the position, but also guys inside of offenses far less assured to breeze past 30 points. I’m locking in Purdy as the upside QB1 that he’s been all season long when given the benefit of a fully healthy supporting cast
WHO IS WITH ME?!?
Finding the right player stacks can be the key to building a profitable roster in DFS. If you want to get the jump on this weekend, James McCool from Paydirt DFS has the data to guide you for Week 11.
🥇 Popular option: Miami Dolphins
There is no team in the league with a more potent offense than the Miami Dolphins, who are averaging 31.7 points per game while having one of the slowest paces in the league at a PPMOE of -0.16, which shows that they aren’t even playing to full capacity for their ceiling.
Likewise, there is no one in the league with a higher expected output than Tyreek Hill, who has an expected fantasy points per game of 20.76 while playing on just 80.8% of the routes, once again showing room for more upside if the Dolphins are ever in the position to force it.
While Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have the highest median averages in the league at just 19.7 PPR points per game, his floor is phenomenal at 11.3 and is only behind Jalen Hurts (14.5), Josh Allen (14), and C..J. Stroud (12.6).
📊 Stack info (DraftKings)
👀 Miami's Fantasy Football Forecasts:
High-Stakes Ensemble (Tagovailoa/Hill/Waddle): Commanding a salary of $24,600, this premier combination not only boasts a Median score of 57.7 but also shines with a Ceiling of 72.1, suggesting an exceptional high-scoring potential. Moreover, with a 46.00% chance to hit 60+% Fantasy Points, it's tailored for those aiming at the very top of GPPs.
Strategic Mix (Tagovailoa/Hill/Smythe): This mid-tier grouping asks for $19,600 and presents a solid Median of 45.2 with a Ceiling of 56.5. Its 9.4% shot at exceeding 60+% Fantasy Points positions it as a great pick for those looking for high potential without the top-tier price.
Value Combo (Tagovailoa/Waddle/Smythe): The most accessible at $17,900, with a Median of 37.5 and a Ceiling of 46.9, this combination stands out for budget-conscious managers. Although it offers a lower chance at 60+% Fantasy Points at 0.8%, it represents a strategic play for those seeking value and the possibility of a breakout performance.
🔥 Ceiling and High-Performance Potential:
Premium Pick (Tagovailoa/Hill/Waddle): Ideal for those who prioritize a combination with the highest ceiling, indicative of maximum scoring prowess, and a strong likelihood of surpassing the 60+% Fantasy Points mark.
Optimal Balance (Tagovailoa/Hill/Smythe): For players looking to strike a balance between high-scoring potential and salary utilization, this pairing offers a commendable ceiling with a reasonable chance of hitting the coveted 60+% threshold.
Economical Strategy (Tagovailoa/Waddle/Smythe): While this selection may not boast the highest ceiling, it's a calculated risk for those looking to leverage potential upswings in performance against a lower salary cost.
There are clear drops here in terms of fantasy expectation as you drop down the ladder from the optimal of Tua/Tyreek/Waddle, but the price drops justify them, so you can feel pretty confident about any in that regard. Considering Miami has the highest team total on the slate at 30 points, and a passing stack should leverage the De’Von Achane chalk, this is a premium place to put your priorities.
Joe Burrow out for the season. Mark Andrews out for the season. Loads of questionable tags for Sunday. How should fantasy football managers adjust? We’ve got you covered with key updates on every injury…
✍ Joe Burrow's injury impact. Underdog Pick’Em Plays. WR trade tips. Kendall has all the notes you need ahead of Sunday.
🤓 The numbers say to trust Davante Adams tomorrow. Regression can be a good thing!
🏃♂️ Will the Dolphins get their explosive RB back this week? All signs point to YES!
📽 Looking for notes on the hottest matchups in Week 11? We’ve got ya covered!
📝 Take a peak at the smart kid’s homework. Where the sharps are betting this weekend.
🤕 Texans' big-time WR sidelined for Week 11. How far up should Tank Dell go in the ranks?
📈 B. Robinson to get an RB1 workload on Sunday. Hope you didn't think we meant Bijan here.
😲 Is a WR success rate chart filled with mostly red lines bad? Because this seems bad, even for a rookie.
😫 Robert Saleh uncertain about the Jets WR1. Zach Wilson may need to find someone else to throw inaccurate balls to on Sunday.
🔎 Something's awry (or..a-wrist?) in Cincinnati. The league is on the case.
🤯 The Browns bring in an elite veteran to shore up their QB room. 2023 couldn't get any wilder than seeing him back on the field.
An all-encompassing Week 11 preview breaking down EVERY game with an array of advanced analytics as well as devoted film analysis from a champion expert in the field who just so happens to also be a rather great writer — is that something you might be interested in?
Brock Purdy’s numbers are juiced. Let’s get that out of the way. I never bought into Jimmy Garoppolo as anything close to an elite QB with the 49ers. And just because Purdy ranks QB1 in EPA per game and QB1 in success rate, he's not the best QB in the NFL… but he does lead the NFL in those predictive metrics.
To a large extent, he’s playing point guard in the most point guard-friendly system in sports. But the dude is one hell of a point guard.
Purdy now gets a Buccaneers defense that is both not good and especially vulnerable to the 49ers’ style of attack. The Buccaneers rank dead last in protecting the deep middle of the field and are allowing 15+ yard passes at the fourth-highest rate. Meanwhile, the 49ers are generating explosive passes at the highest rate in the NFL, and only the Texans are generating more splash zone efficiency.
Moreover, the Buccaneers don’t have a good pass rush. They rank just 25th in ESPN's pass rush win rate and 25th in quick pressure rate. This is immensely good news for Purdy, who has had to deal with frequent pressure this year. The 49ers rank 22nd in pass block win rate and 31st in quick pressure rate.
Purdy has also had to deal with a lot of blitzes. The 49ers face extra rushers at the highest rate in the NFL. And the Buccaneers will bring the heat; they rank third in blitz rate. But the Bucs are not a very effective blitzing team, ranking 22nd in EPA allowed on blitzed dropbacks. Overall, the Buccaneers have the exact weaknesses that Kyle Shanahan is designing his offense to exploit.
49ers targets can be difficult to predict, but there is no doubt that Brandon Aiyuk leads the way on downfield targets over the middle of the field. Aiyuk leads the NFL with a splash zone target rate of 9.2%. Tyreek Hill (8.5%) is the only other player above 6%. And fittingly, the next two highest players are another 49er and Dolphin: Jaylen Waddle (5.8%) and Jauan Jennings (5.3%).
Aiyuk isn’t seeing targets in the splash zone by happenstance—it’s what the offense is designed to do.
Aiyuk is excelling in this role. Only Keenan Allen ranks higher in ESPN’s open score. And only Tyreek Hill (3.95) has a higher YPRR than Aiyuk’s 3.11.
To top it all off, the Buccaneers are double-teaming WRs at the fifth-lowest rate. Aiyuk is in a near-perfect spot for his skill set. If the 49ers lean into this matchup, his ceiling is astronomical.