To win a DFS tournament, building a unique roster that embraces the randomness within each NFL game is essential. We must identify players and game scenarios the rest of the field is overlooking so that when these low-rostered plays hit, rosters soar past the competition and into first place.
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QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (3% projected rostership)
Before his dud against the Browns, the Bengals signal-caller was on a five-game streak with over 20 fantasy points. And with that disappointing game fresh in the mind of our competition, we can now attack the recency bias.
Burrow is emerging into a star in his second season. His 85.0 PFF grade ranks eighth in the league, while his 8.7 yards per attempt ranks second and his 20 touchdowns rank fourth. Las Vegas holds a middling 17th-ranked coverage unit and has been toasted by Mahomes, Teddy Bridgewater and Jalen Hurts in three of their last four games.
Burrow’s stacking partners are easy to identify. Shoot for upside with either Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins. You can also grab a discount on Tyler Boyd or C.J. Uzomah. The Burrow-Chase stack is my favorite from a raw ceiling perspective.
The stud quarterback is the overall QB6 in PFF’s consensus fantasy rankings this week.
WR Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (6% projected rostership)
This Cowboys–Chiefs game is the highlight of the Week 11 DFS main slate and boasts a whopping 56.5-point total — a full six points higher than any other game. There is a strong possibility that one or more slate-breaking scores emerge in this potential shootout.
Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb possess the highest projected rostership on the Cowboys' side, while Cooper is likely to go overlooked because of recency bias. Cooper has posted back-to-back dud performances and has failed to exceed 10 fantasy points in each of the last two games. However, the star receiver always carries immense upside, evidenced by his eruption games in Week 8 (29.2 DraftKings points) and Week 1 (41.9).
Chase the lowest-rostered players in these shootouts to get the most bang for your buck when the player smashes. It worked to perfection with Lamb last week, as he carried negligible rostership because of his high price tag and broke the slate with 106 yards and two touchdowns. We are also getting a massive discount on Cooper this week compared to Lamb — $6,200 vs. $7,600 on DraftKings.
The Chiefs' defense has struggled in the passing game this season. Here is the production they are allowing.
|2,692 yards allowed||29th|
|8.0 yards per attempt||28th|
|109.2 passer rating allowed||27th|
|65 catches of 15-plus yards||30th|
Stack up this game with Cooper, among other pieces, or play him as a one-off.
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (11% projected rostership)
The Lions used Swift as their key offensive cog last week, giving him an absurd 36 touches. His previous career-high was 21 touches in a game.
The league's newest bell cow was extremely unlucky on touchdown potential last week, getting sniped by Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike. That duo scored a pair of touchdowns on a combined five touches. What would Swift’s price and rostership be this week if he were the guy who secured one or both of those touchdowns? Likely significantly higher on both accounts.
We roster Swift because of his receiving upside, as his 61 targets rank first among all running backs while his 420 receiving yards are second. And here is the receiving production Cleveland’s defense has given up to opposing running backs:
|471 yards after the catch||26th|
Additionally, backup quarterbacks have been relentlessly targeting running backs via the checkdown. Christian McCaffrey saw 10 targets from Phillip Walker last week, and Michael Carter saw 14 targets from Mike White three weeks ago. Double-digit targets are certainly within Swift’s range of outcomes if Jared Goff ends up missing this game with injury.
There is an added strategy element in playing Swift because he is facing an extremely chalky Browns defense. Most of the Browns D/ST rosters — probably well above 20% rostership — will avoid Swift, and a strong game from the star running back will also hurt all those rosters.
Fantasy projections are bullish on Swift, ranking him as the No. 8 overall running back this week.
D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Titans (5% projected rostership)
The Texans have been anemic on run defense this season. Here is the rushing production they are allowing:
|790 yards after contact||29th|
Tennessee possesses a muddled backfield right now, but there is a chance Foreman might be emerging. He led the running back unit last week with 21 snaps and 11 carries. He also saw two targets.
Jeremy McNichols may not play this week, which opens the receiving role for Foreman, should he miss.
This is an extremely risky play, but there is real potential for 100 yards and multiple touchdowns for a starting running back on an elite offense against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He is extremely cheap at $4,900 on DraftKings and $6,200 on FanDuel.