NFL Week 11 DFS Cheat Sheet: 5 recommended plays for all contests

2T1BCDP Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

• QB Patrick Mahomes (81.3 PFF passing grade), Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Mahomes has a multitude of schematic and personnel advantages working in his favor.

• TE George Kittle (83.8 PFF receiving grade), San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kittle will exploit Tampa Bay’s blitz-happy defense.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) lineups require smart matchups analysis and rostership leverage opportunities to succeed. The analysis below details five fantasy assets capable of gaining significant leverage on the field.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles – $9,200 on FanDuel

Mahomes (81.3 PFF passing grade) gets a Week 11 bounceback opportunity against Philadelphia’s struggling coverage unit. Poor recent performances and a high salary coupled with Philadelphia’s nominally strong defense serve to suppress Mahomes’ rostership rate in both cash games and GPP tournaments, making him a potential Monday Night Football leverage play.

Mahomes’ $9,200 FanDuel salary is the positional maximum. The game’s 45.5-point FanDuel over/under is Week 11’s sixth-highest. FanDuel implies Kansas City to score 24.0 points. Mahomes’ 11.7 fantasy points per game in Weeks 8-9, prior to Kansas City’s Week 10 bye, rank No. 27 among NFL quarterbacks, likely dissuading FanDuel users from embracing a high Week 11 rostership rate.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Kansas City a -20.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, Week 11’s fifth-worst, but Mahomes unsurprisingly thrives under pressure.

Among 29 NFL quarterbacks with at least 75 pressured dropbacks, Mahomes ranks No. 2 in average depth of target (12.7, aDot), No. 5 in yards per passing attempt (7.2), No. 9 in big-time-throw rate (5.5%), No. 10 in past-the-sticks throwing rate (46.1%) and No. 12 in adjusted completion rate (66.7%).

Philadelphia’s defense is among the league’s worst in tight end coverage and PFF’s TE matchup chart gives Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (90.1 PFF receiving grade) a 41.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over Philadelphia linebacker Nicholas Morrow (76.7 PFF coverage grade), Week 11’s best. 

Philadelphia’s 78.2% catch rate allowed to opposing tight ends ranks No. 24 among NFL teams and their 7.96 yards allowed per coverage snap ranks No. 26.

PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart gives Kansas City wide receiver Rashee Rice (78.7 PFF receiving grade) an excellent 91.0 receiving matchup advantage rating over Philadelphia cornerbacks, Week 11’s second-best. Philadelphia is allowing explosive pass plays to opposing wide receivers at the league’s ninth-highest rate, 21.5%.

The trio should be stacked in both cash games and GPP tournaments.

Mahomes is an elite QB1.

RB D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs – $7,300 on FanDuel

Philadelphia running back D’Andre Swift (63.3 PFF offense grade) possesses multiple paths to an RB1 finish against a Kansas City defensive front missing its primary run defender and running back-coverage linebacker Nick Bolton (72.7 PFF defense grade, injured reserve). 

His $7,300 FanDuel salary is $2,700 short of the positional maximum allowing for cheap RB1 deployment or flex utilization in a variety of lineups.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Philadelphia a 56.0% run-blocking matchup advantage rating, 21.0% higher than all remaining Week 11 teams

Swift ranks or ties for No. 10 in both yards per rushing attempt (4.5) and missed tackles forced (24) among 33 NFL running backs with at least 90 rushing attempts and running backs have thrashed Kansas City on the ground.

Kansas City’s running back run-defense data among NFL teams:
NFL Run Defense vs. RBs Kansas City Chiefs
PFF Run-Defense Grade 54.8 (No. 28)
EPA Allowed Per Play 45.5% (No. 32)
Success % Allowed  0.054 (No. 31)
Average Depth Of Tackle 4.27 (T- No. 26)
Stops 96 (No. 28)
Tackles For Loss Or No Gain 25 (T-No. 29)

Swift’s 15 first-read targets rank No. 5 among NFL running backs and his 12.5% first-read target rate likewise ranks No. 5 among 14 NFL running backs with at least 10 such targets. Swift’s 80.0% first-read-target catch rate ties for No. 2 and Kansas City allows an 85.7% catch rate to the position, tying for the fourth-highest among NFL teams

Swift should be stacked with his aforementioned Kansas City opposition. He is a dual-threat RB1. 

San Francisco 49ers D/ST vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $4,000 on FanDuel 

San Francisco’s defense/special teams (D/ST) unit is a chalky GPP-tournament option that can also be employed as a cash-game lineup anchor play.  As discussed in earlier this week, San Francisco’s pass rush has a sizable advantage over Tampa Bay’s offensive line while the safety unit exploits quarterback Baker Mayfield’s (71.7 PFF passing grade) commitment to errant downfield passing. 

The unit’s $4,000 FanDuel salary is $1,200 short of the positional maximum. PFF’s ownership projections expect San Francisco’s D/ST unit to be rostered at a 14.8% rate, the second-most among FanDuel main slate D/STs.

San Francisco’s 11.5-point home-favorite FanDuel spread is Week 11’s second-largest spread. 

The expected game script signals a high-volume snap count for San Francisco’s pass rush and PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Tampa Bay a -47.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, the second-worst on the week. 

San Francisco ranks No. 2 in pass-rush win rate (62.2%) and No. 5 in quarterback pressure rate (38.8%). Among 93 NFL interior defenders with at least 125 pass-rushing snaps, San Francisco’s interior defenders account for four of the top 30 graded players and three of the top 15. Among 63 NFL edge rushers with at least 170 pass-rushing snaps, San Francisco edge rushers account for two of the top 15 graded players, including No. 2-graded edge rusher Nick Bosa (92.6 PFF pass-rush grade).

Tampa Bay center Ryan Jensen (13.3 PFF 2022 pass-blocking grade) is on injured reserve, while right tackle Luke Goedeke (73.9 PFF pass-blocking grade) and Matt Feiler (65.0PFF pass-blocking grade) play through respective foot and knee injuries. Rookie right guard Cody Mauch’s 63.1 PFF pass-blocking grade ranks No. 33 among 64 NFL guards with at least 200 pass-protection snaps.

Mayfield combines a secondary-friendly commitment to downfield passing with a mildly accurate arm. Among 37 NFL quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks, Mayfield ranks No. 5 in aDot (9.1), No. 12 in past-the-sticks throwing rate (42.0%), No. 25 in adjusted completion rate (73.7%) and No. 17 in turnover-worthy play rate (2.7%).

The passing profile bodes well for San Francisco’s elite safety tandem in Tashaun Gipson Sr. (70.2 PFF coverage grade) and Talanoa Hufanga (71.2 PFF coverage grade). As detailed in the aforementioned quarterbacks matchups article, Gipson Sr. “ranks No. 1 in catch rate allowed (23.1%), yards allowed per coverage snap (0.11) and explosive pass plays allowed rate (0.3%) among 64 NFL safeties with at least 215 coverage snaps… [and] Hufanga ranks Nos. 3 (0.21) and 8 (0.6%), respectively, in the latter two categories.”

San Francisco’s D/ST unit has week-winning upside.

TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $7,000 on FanDuel

Kittle (83.8 PFF receiving grade) should be locked into both cash-game and GPP-tournament lineups as a week-winning TE1 or flex player who can be game-stacked with San Francisco’s D/ST as a mild-to-moderate differentiator play. Kittle’s 19.3 half-PPR points per game average in Weeks 8-10 ranks No. 1 among NFL tight ends. His reign should continue, operating as Purdy’s go-to pass catcher against Tampa Bay’s blitz-happy defense. 

Kittle’s $7,000 FanDuel salary is $1,000 short of the positional maximum. He registers an 8.4% expected rostership rate in PFF’s ownership projections, Week 11’s fourth-highest among FanDuel main slate tight ends

FanDuel implies San Francisco to score 26.5 points. 

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives Kittle a 30.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David (67.0 PFF coverage grade), Week 11’s fourth-best.

As detailed earlier this week, San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy (73.2 PFF passing grade) should routinely produce explosive pass plays against Tampa Bay’s big-play-friendly pass defense. 

Among three San Francisco pass catchers with at least 10 targets in Weeks 8-10, Kittle ranks No. 1 in both target rate (23.8%) and yards per route run (4.21, YPRR) and his positional dominance is even more impressive. Among 14 NFL tight ends with at least three splash zone targets during that span, Kittle’s five such targets, 100.0% catch rate and four explosive pass plays tie for the league lead and his 8.85 YPRR lead by 1.94. The splash zone was first studied by then-Rotoworld analyst Hayden Winks in 2019 and named by Legendary Upside’s Pat Kerrane in Week 7, 2023. The term refers to the area of the field both between the painted numbers and at least 10-plus yards downfield. Targets thrown into the splash zone yield more fantasy points, on average, than those thrown along the sideline at an equivalent depth. 

Kittle is one of just 17 NFL tight ends to earn at least 10 first-read targets in Weeks 8-10 and both his 6.69 YPRR on such targets lead by 3.42 and his 11.0 yards after the catch per reception lead by 1.8.

Tampa Bay’s paltry pass rush frequently blitzes quarterbacks in an attempt to manufacture pressure; their 176 blitzes rank No. 2 among NFL teams and Kittle thrives in a safety-valve role, notably first highlighted in Pat Kerrane’s Week 7 Legendary Upside Walkthrough.

Kittle’s blitz-related dominance continues. 

Kittle’s receiving data against the blitz among 30 NFL pass catchers with at least 100 receiving snaps against the blitz:
NFL WR/TE/RB Receiving vs. Blitz George Kittle
PFF Receiving Grade 87.0 (No. 4)
Targets – Target  20 (No. 17) – 19.6% (No. 16)
YPRR – Yards Per Reception 2.65 (No. 6) – 19.3 (No. 1)
Yards After Catch Per Reception 9.9 (No. 2)
Missed Tackles Forced Per Reception 0.29 (No. 3)
15+-Yard Pass Plays % 42.9% (No. 4)

Kittle can be deployed as an elite option at both the tight end and flex positions. 

TE Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers – $6,000

Dallas tight end Jake Ferguson (70.2 PFF receiving grade) possesses multi-touchdown upside against Carolina’s middling tight end-coverage unit. Ferguson can be used as a cash-game and GPP-tournament leverage play against Dallas’ chalky Week 11 running back Tony Pollard (66.4 PFF offense grade, 16.0% expected rostership rate).

Ferguson’s $6,000 FanDuel salary is $1,000 short of the positional maximum. PFF’s ownership projections expect just a 5.3% rostership rate for him.

FanDuel implies Dallas to score 26.0 points as 10.05-point road favorites. 

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Dallas a 4.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, ensuring mild-to-moderately comfortable pockets for quarterback Dak Prescott (84.4 PFF passing grade). Prescott helms a Dallas offense that ranks No.5 in offensive plays per game (69.8) and No. 2 in both offensive plays per drive (6.6) and scoring drive rate (46.3%).  

Carolina’s defense allows scoring drives at the league’s seventh-highest rate, 39.8%.

PFF’s TE matchup chart gives Ferguson a 32.0% receiving matchup advantage rating over Carolina linebacker Deion Jones (68.1 PFF coverage grade), Week 11’s third-best.

Ferguson has blossomed into an above-average pass catcher and dominant green zone force in his second season. Among 33 NFL tight ends with at least 170 receiving snaps, Ferguson ranks top 12 in target rate (19.2%) and yards after the catch per reception (5.0) and ties for No. 3 in missed tackles forced (eight).

Ferguson forced a larger role in Weeks 8-10, ranking tying for No. 8 in tight end splash zone targets (three) and ranking No. 4 in first-read targets (16). 

Ferguson’s scoring-position role remains unparalleled. Among NFL tight ends in Weeks 1-10, Ferguson’s nine green zone first-read targets lead the position by four. 

Ferguson’s sublime usage creates a sky-high upside against a Carolina tight end-coverage unit that ties for No. 19 in catch rate allowed (75.0%) and ranks No. 23 in yards allowed per coverage snap (7.78). 

He is an elite FanDuel TE1. 


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