🤮 Prepare For A Historically Bad Game
It's going to be gross...
“What kind of money do you have in fantasy football?” - Mike McDaniel
In today's Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by GameBlazers:
Browns/Steelers is going to be gross
Week 11 Rankings & Tiers: Two smash plays
QUICK HITTER: TNF’s best bet
Update on Justin Jefferson’s availability
Freedman’s Favorites: Big names to bet on
It’s 11/16. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
The season-ending Deshaun Watson news broke just as we were sending out yesterday’s newsletter, and we’ve since had some time to process the fallout.
And let me tell ya, it isn’t pretty.
Shortly after revealing that Watson underwent surgery that would end his season, the Browns announced that rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson—not veteran P.J. Walker—would start in Week 11 vs. the Browns.
The line promptly moved from Steelers +4 to +1, but even more notable is that the over/under dropped to an impossibly low 33 points:
We’ve seen some Jets and Giants games this year with totals in the 36 and 37 range, but numbers this low only happen once or twice a decade:
Lowest NFL Over/Unders in the Last 10 Years
32.5 -- Saints/Browns (Dec. 2022)
34 -- Steelers/Browns (This week)
— Evan Abrams (@EvanHAbrams)
Nov 15, 2023
It’s worth noting that the 32.5-point game between the Saints/Browns last year was due to 40mph winds, so it’s fair to say that this projects to be the worst game of the last ten years not involving weather concerns.
The news has also flipped the AFC playoff picture on its head. Per ESPN Analytics, multiple teams have seen their playoff odds improve in the wake of the Browns’ chances plummeting:
Browns: 80% > 63%
Texans: 54% > 58%
Steelers: 55% > 58%
Bengals: 36% > 39%
If anything, the total in this Browns/Steelers game is more embarrassing for the Steelers than it is for the Browns.
At least the Browns have an excuse.
The Steelers are projected to score only 16 points in a game where they have their starting QB, and will also be getting back their starting TE.
Let’s just be thankful that this game isn’t on primetime and that NFL RedZone will save us from seeing anything more than the bare necessities.
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It is time to make those tough lineup decisions for Week 11 of the fantasy football season. Below you’ll find Dwain’s thoughts on a must-start player and why Week 11 sets up to be arguably his best week yet. Find all of our positional rankings here.
💥 Wide Receiver
🥈 Tier 2 - Puka Nacua
In three games with a healthy Stafford plus Cooper Kupp in the lineup, Nacua has averaged 16.7 fantasy points – only one point behind Kupp’s 17.7. Yet, industry consensus ranks for Week 11 have Nacua as the No. 40 player out of all RBs, WRs and TEs, while Kupp ranks 14th.
This weekend against the Seahawks, Stafford is expected to start and shouldn’t have any significant limitations. So, I don’t know what has rankers so spooked about Nacua, but 26 spots apart is too far when considering how strong all the underlying data looked with Kupp and Stafford. The WR duo combined for 71% of the Rams' targets.
Kupp and Nacua have been so great that Tutu Atwell and Tyler Higbee have seen drastic role reductions. And this is a passing attack that showed immense promise early in the season, averaging 307 yards per contest over the first four games. Stafford has slowed but averages 273 in seven healthy games and is due for a big one with his dynamic duo.
The Seahawks allow the eighth-most passing yards per game on the slate, and the Rams offer the ninth-highest team total. While that isn’t the sort of matchup that calls for a significant upgrade, it isn’t a matchup we must worry about. The Rams could easily go ham coming off the bye.
The Fantasy Life projections have Kupp projected for 18.4 PPR points this weekend, with Nacua not far behind at 17.8.
Nacua is my No. 10 WR and No. 15 player overall in Week 11.
💥 Running Back
🥈 Tier 2 - De’Von Achane
Mike McDaniel knows fantasy football managers are dying for info on Achane, but his crystal ball hasn’t told him if the rookie will play yet. However, Achane has looked good in practice and wants to be on the field this weekend.
If Achane suits up, we don’t know what his role will be, but it doesn’t matter – you are starting him. While we would love him to see 22 opportunities (attempts plus targets) like he did in Week 3 when he dropped 51 fantasy points, he has also come through on less. In Weeks 4 and 5, he delivered 27 and 24 points on only 12 opportunities.
The Dolphins are 12-point favorites and carry the No. 1 team total (29.25) on the slate against a Raiders defense that has been susceptible to the run. Las Vegas allows the third-most rushing (136) yards per contest as PFF’s fifth-worst graded run defense. Robert Spillane has missed the ninth-most tackles (13) out of all linebackers and ranks 11th in missed-tackle rate (13.8%).
The only thing we need to know before game time is whether Achane is active or not. After that, I will ignore all usage speculation from insiders and jam him into all lineups.
Achane is a top-20 play and ranks as my No. 7 RB against the Raiders.
The Fantasy Life FREE Bet Tracker is already loaded with a handful of plays for Thursday Night Football, and Matt LaMarca is here to give you a peek behind the curtain with one of his best bets for the game…
😥 Bummer news about Justin Jefferson. This doesn’t seem optimistic.
🚨 MASSIVE NEWS for Chiefs/Eagles. What’s next, a proposal?
🎯 Trade Targets. Dwain has WRs you need to get.
🚑️ This season has been a disaster for QB injuries. Woof.
📺 EVERYTHING you need for Week 11. A fantasy OG, All-Pro Wide Receiver, and your favorite fantasy analysts walk into a bar…
🤣 Mike McDaniel knows a fantasy player when he sees one. Busted.
🤔 Is it the last year in Buffalo for Stefon Diggs? Gronk sounds off.
🥶 DK Metcalf is not a fan of the cold. Haha.
🐬 Tua has a new look. Adjust the ranks.
Every week, Matthew Freedman publishes a piece highlighting some of his favorite fantasy plays. Naturally, this piece is called “Freedman’s Favorites”. We told him to get more creative, to which he answered with a resounding “No”. Anyway, here are his favorites for Week 11…
🌟 Brock Purdy (49ers) vs. Buccaneers
The 49ers bounced back in a big way last week following a much-needed bye, as they put up 34 points -- and easily could’ve gotten more -- in a blowout road win against the Jaguars and their (previously) respected defense.
Getting back WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder) last week -- as well as LT Trent Williams (ankle) -- was big for Purdy. In his three mostly Samuel-less games this year (Weeks 6-8), Purdy completed just 62.5% of his passes and threw five INTs. In his six games with Samuel, he has a 72.2% completion rate and zero INTs.
For the season, Purdy is No. 1 in AY/A (9.6), composite EPA + CPOE (0.199), and QBR (76.4, per ESPN). I think the days of his realistic MVP candidacy are over -- but those are MVP-caliber efficiency numbers.
🌟 Devin Singletary (Texans) vs. Cardinals
No. 1 RB Dameon Pierce (ankle) has neither practiced nor played over the past two weeks, so I’m skeptical he’ll return to action this week, in his stead Singletary has dominated the backfield with a 78% snap rate, 82% rush share, and 55% route rate since Week 9 (per our Utilization Report).
With that usage, Singletary has gotten the Texans backfield going with 187 yards and one TD on 43 carries and four targets over the past two games, and he could once again see a heavy workload as a home favorite against the Cardinals, who are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to RBs (24.5 FPPG).
If he’s available, add Singletary off waivers.
🌟 Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions) vs. Bears
St. Brown has 100 yards or a TD in every game played this year. He’s No. 2 with 10.9 targets per game. His weekly floor is the career ceiling for most WRs.
St. Brown had 14-181-0 receiving on 16 targets in two games last year against the Bears, who are No. 31 in defensive dropback EPA (0.163). He specifically has a great matchup in the slot against CB Kyler Gordon, who has allowed an 80.0% catch rate and 9.2 yards per target since entering the league last year (per PFF).
🌟 Justin Watson (Chiefs) vs. Eagles
Watson exited Week 6 early and missed Week 7 with an elbow injury, but he returned to action in Week 8 and trailed only TE Travis Kelce with eight targets in the two games before the Week 10 bye.
Despite his limited usage, Watson is No. 1 on the team with 549 air yards.
Since joining the Chiefs last year, Watson has been an efficient pass catcher (10.0 yards per target), and this year especially, he has been a downfield threat (21.5-yard aDOT).
With his production profile, he’s destined for a big game at some point. Why not against the Eagles, who are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs (38.6 FPPG).
🌟 Luke Musgrave (Packers) vs. Chargers
If you’re desperate for TE help, Musgrave might be a viable streamer. He’s efficient (8.0 yards per target), and he’s often on the field (73% route rate since the Week 6 bye).
The Chargers are No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to TEs (11.7 FFPG).
Brian Robinson being the most productive B Robinson this season is pretty wild
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz)
Nov 15, 2023