While most daily fantasy players are more familiar with the usual salary-cap structure, DraftKings also has tournaments in a pick’em style: There are no player salaries, and you simply select one player across the eight tiers.
This style of game allows you to quickly create lineups because you don’t have to spend time weighing cap costs against points. Just choose the best player. For FantasyLabs readers, our Models — powered by Sean Koerner’s No. 1 in-season rankings — are a massive edge in choosing the best players and making weekly profits in Tiers.
Here’s a breakdown of the DraftKings Tiers slate for Week 11 of the NFL season.
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Tier 1: Elite Quarterbacks
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees and the Saints host the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that features a 56-point O/U, which is two points higher than the opening total. This total is four points higher than that of any other game in Tiers and will feature many of the chalk options. Brees will be one of them, but for good reason (per the Trends Tool).
In cash games, Brees is the clear favorite.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton is projected for the most points in the FantasyLabs Models but likely won’t be the most popular play of Tier 1. In Year 1 of Norv Turner’s offense, Newton is on pace to set a career mark in passes per game (32.4) and is averaging 8.3 carries per game, the second highest mark of his career.
The offense runs through Newton, and this week he gets to face the Lions, who have given up the fifth-most points to opposing passers. Fire Newton up again in tournament lineups.
Tier 2: The Next Quarterbacks
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fitzpatrick survived the Bucs’ three-point performance last week and will start again versus the Giants. As long as he finishes the game, Fitzmagic has been money.
Ryan Fitzpatrick fantasy finishes in 6 starts this season
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 15, 2018
The risk of getting benched keeps Fitzpatrick out of cash consideration, but he remains a tournament mainstay.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger gets the daunting Jacksonville defense this week but there are numerous reasons to be optimistic. This year, Big Ben has outperformed his career average in:
- TD Rate – 5.7%
- Completion Percentage – 66.1%
- AY/A – 8.1
He’s also averaging 41 attempts per game, a career high
Even if Jacksonville limits his efficiency, Ben should have no problem hitting his Tier 2-leading floor projection through sheer volume.
Tier 3: Giant Expectations
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
With 75 targets through nine games, Barkley has functioned as the Giants’ second receiver and is second in targets among all backs. He’s also eighth in rush attempts at 131. On this volume, he’s hit 100 scrimmage yards in eight games.
Elite volume through the air and on the ground makes Barkley the move in cash.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
Despite the emergence of Barkley, Beckham’s volume has remained unaffected. He owns 42% of the Giants’ Air Yards and 29% of their targets. This week those targets will come against the Bucs, who have given the third-most points to receivers. The Bucs passers have also had a .49 correlation with opposing WR1s, making Fitzpatrick-Beckham stacks viable.
Tier 4: Kamara and the Rest
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Kamara is averaging 28.2 points per game, more than any player available across all tiers. Since Mark Ingram‘s return, his scoring has dipped to 21.8 points but that is largely skewed by a single-digit outing in Week 5, when the Saints decimated Washington and Kamara’s talents weren’t needed. After that: 25.5 points per game and two scores per game. Keep playing Kamara in cash.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Outside of Kamara, McCaffrey is the contrarian play. His 123 carries have already topped his 2017 total, and his six-reception average is on pace to crush his total from last year. As if it weren’t clear enough that McCaffrey is the Panthers’ lead back, they cut C.J. Anderson this week.
McCaffrey has a higher ceiling projection than Kamara and will be a less popular play. He’s the clear tournament pivot.
Tier 5: Elite Flexes
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Two weeks of the Byron Leftwich offense have been promising for Johnson:
- Johnson with Mike McCoy: 15.1 carries and 2.9 receptions per game
- With Leftwich: 18.5 carries and 5.5 receptions
This week he faces the Raiders as a five-point home favorite. Oakland also allows the eighth-most points to running backs. Expect that volume to continue with favorable game-script and an easy matchup.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh
Where some see a tough matchup, AB sees volume. In two matchups with the Jaguars in the last year, he’s been targeted 30 times. His average line is 8.5-144.5-1.5. With five games of double-digit targets, another one seems likely in Jacksonville.
Tier 6: Mid-Level Flexes
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Just as AB doesn’t care about Jacksonville’s defense, Fournette isn’t phased by Pittsburgh’s run-stopping unit, which has allowed the fourth-fewest points this year to running backs. In his two career matchups with the Steelers, he’s combined for 53 attempts, 290 yards, and five scores.
In his first game back from injury, he logged 24 carries and an additional five receptions. Fournette is back. Play him with confidence.
Keenan Allen, WR, LA Chargers
Allen started the year slowly, but in recent weeks he has been increasingly involved in the Chargers offense:
- Weeks 1-6: 26% Market Share of Air Yards, 27% Target Share
- Weeks 7-10: 40%, 31%
This has resulted in two of his three best performances on the year. The increased usage hasn’t gone unnoticed by our Models, as Allen has the highest point projection in Tier 6.
Tier 7: Upside Plays
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
Golladay showed his potential as the Lions’ primary receiver with 19.8 points on 13 targets last week.
This week he gets the Panthers, who have been targeted through the air often. Per the Matchups Tool, teams have attacked them when leading (54.3%) and tied/trailing (62%) at top-three rates. They have been rewarded for their aggression with touchdowns on 6.8% of those passes.
Golladay possesses tournament-winning upside in a good matchup.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Mack returned from injury in Week 6 and has taken control of the backfield quickly. He’s been on the field for 59.8% of the Colts’ snaps in the last month and has accounted for 54.9% of their rushing yards.
Mack is averaging 14.5 carries and 2.8 targets per game since his return and has two 30-point games out of four. Mack is a bet on volume and a safe cash play.
Tier 8: Low-End Flexes
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Ingram is averaging just 12.6 carries per game but his value doesn’t come from volume. It comes from the leverage he offers on Kamara. He and Kamara have negatively correlated fantasy points, making him the ideal pivot from his higher-owned teammate.
The Saints also have a favorable rushing matchup.
Which Week 11 matchups feature big-play offenses vs. big-play allowing defenses?
Higher or lower % = large or small combined sum of the rush/pass big-play rate from the matchup's offense and defense (green = good, red = bad)
Big play = 20+ yards pic.twitter.com/mJr3miEvG9
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 14, 2018
Because of his relatively low volume, Ingram is best used as a tournament pivot from Kamara should he be the Saint to take advantage of the Eagles.
Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
Lewis has been used heavily by the Titans in the past three weeks:
- 52 carries for 210 yards
- 12 receptions for 135 yards
The only thing missing has been touchdowns, of which he has one in that span. Expect some positive regression here, as he’s out-carried Derrick Henry 13-10 in the red zone.
Lewis has the volume of a locked-in cash play.
Photo Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Drew Brees