4 for 4K: Cheap DFS players to target for Week 11
November 14, 2017 | Stefan Arnold
Scavenging through the rummage heap of cheap players gets tough in the middle of the season as roles become more defined. As the weeks drag on, however, injuries (and players returning from injury) actually stir up the mix so we have more options.
In Week 11, all three positions (RB, WR, TE) look to have a nice blend of steady options, including veteran possibilities and enough upside to warrant more usage of these cheap players than in some weeks. If you’ve been mostly using 5K players in your lowest-cost slots, I urge you to find a cheap player you like, invest the savings in a superstar and drive for the money in Week 11.
Good luck with all of your lineups.
These players are available in DraftKings’ main Sunday Slate, which includes the millionaire contest. Most of these players would be valuable in other DFS formats as well.
Latavius Murray, Vikings: Murray has risen from injury to a timeshare with Jerick McKinnon. Averaging 18 rushing attempts his last three games, Murray ($4,000) is getting much more opportunity than running backs that fit our criteria usually receive. He’s also scored a touchdown in two of the last three weeks. The Vikings host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in a game that currently has an over/under of about 46, fourth-highest of Week 11. The Vikings and Rams are complete teams, so the running games should see their fair share of the action. Murray should offer a decent floor against the 27th-ranked rush defense of the Rams and has averaged just below 13 DK points in his last three games. We’ll take that with room for more from every 4K player we use.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos: Anderson’s usage has fallen in recent weeks as the Broncos have struggled to stay in games on defense and with the use of Devonta Booker on offense. After falling from a $7,200 DK salary in Week 7, Anderson is finally cheap enough ($4,000) to use. The Bengals give up 123.6 yards a game on the ground, and if the Broncos want to limit the damage their own defense is doing, the team may want to refocus on the rushing game at least to start. Anderson is not an overly exciting play, but the Broncos are a three-point favorite against Cincinnati. If the Broncos can nurse a lead throughout, the running game should be heavily used as they try to close out a home victory.
Alex Collins, Ravens: Collins and Co. travel to Green Bay this week to face the slightly below average (18th-ranked) Packers rush defense. Collins had 113 rushing yards just two weeks ago against Miami and should see the bulk of Baltimore rushes again after averaging 14 carries the past four weeks. If the Ravens activate Danny Woodhead from the IR, Collins should lose only minimal value. In fact, Woodhead may help the Ravens keep drives alive (at the expense of Buck Allen). If Baltimore has a drive or two more into the red zone, Collins ($3,900) may be the beneficiary of a short rushing touchdown.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots: Burkhead has returned to full health after a rib injury and seems (for now) to be at or near the top of New England’s rotation. Burkhead only rushed for 36 yards Sunday against the Broncos but he also caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown for 15.3 DK points. Burkhead ($3,600) actually has caught his last 11 targets, so he is a force in the passing game. Although New England benched Mike Gillislee against Denver, the personnel may change against Oakland. But Burkhead has pushed past James White and should rival Dion Lewis as the most valuable Patriots running back down the stretch.
Others under 5K: Lamar Miller, Texans ($5,000 vs. Cardinals); Jamaal Williams, Packers ($4,900 vs Ravens); Dion Lewis, Patriots ($4,200 at Raiders in Mexico City)
Josh Doctson, Washington: Doctson continues to show promise without the results that would push his price beyond $4,000. On Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Doctson was targeted seven times but only had four catches. But on two of those missed opportunities, Doctson should have scored touchdowns. On one play, he stumbled after shaking free of a defender at the goal line, missing an incoming pass from Kirk Cousins. On another play, Cousins simply overthrew a streaking Doctson. As Adam Levitan pointed out, Washington is looking to Doctson ($4,000) more and more, so, even with a tough matchup against the Saints, he remains a cheap value play with some of the highest upsides for the price.
Kenny Stills, Dolphins: Stills is receiving enough targets in recent weeks to raise his floor from his poor early season numbers. Stills ($4,000) contributed 14.9 DK points in Week 6 against the Falcons before popping with 26.5 points the next week against the Jets. His last two weeks haven’t been wonderful (17.3 total DK points) but against a Tampa Bay defense that ranks 29th against the pass, Stills could see a few extra targets. Add in his game-breaking ability and he could be a high-upside addition to your lineup. See what happens with the Dolphins on Monday Night Football to get a better read on Stills’ value. His price will not change.
Dontrelle Inman, Bears: Inman ($3,200) is cheap enough to be used as just filler for a small percentage of your tournament lineups, but he may offer more than 3x-4x value. Inman had 88 yards receiving on eight targets Sunday against the Packers. In Week 11, the Bears face the 25th-ranked Lions’ pass defense. If Inman he can hit 14.8 DK points (like he did Sunday) for his near-minimum price, you’ll enjoy having him in your lineups alongside superstars he helped you afford.
Bruce Ellington, Texans: Ellington received eight targets, had four catches, and scored a touchdown for the Texans on Sunday against the Rams, getting most of his action after Will Fuller (ribs) was injured. Ian Rapoport reported that Fuller will miss Sunday’s game at home against the Cardinals, so Ellington should be the No. 2 WR behind DeAndre Hopkins. Ellington may not have enough receptions to move the needle without scoring against Arizona, but for $3,000, he’s a shot in the dark that may help your lineups see the light.
Others under 5K: None. I’d rather try the 4K guys over all the under-5K players. The next cheapest WR to consider would be Davante Adams, Packers ($5,300).
Hunter Henry, Chargers: I may be the new engineer driving the Hunter Henry train since the Mark Ingram Express now is driving itself, but we steadfast Henry truthers will always have coal for the engine. Listen, Henry was held down Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a not-uncommon feat this season. But Henry ($3,500) has the quarterback and more importantly, the skills to dominate a game. Opportunity, opporschmunity, really. Rotowire points out that Henry’s next foe, the Buffalo Bills, have given up only two touchdowns to tight ends this season. The Bills defense is coming apart at the seams, however, giving a little hope to another Henry breakout this weekend.
Tyler Kroft, Bengals: Kroft was targeted six times Sunday against Tennessee but only caught one pass for four yards. The previous five weeks, however, he was a steady play as a cheap tight end. In the five weeks from Weeks 4-9 (surrounding a Week 6 bye), Kroft averaged 12.88 DK points, bettering that mark twice. Cincinnati faces the Denver defense on the road but the Broncos’ defense is no longer the stay-away mammoth of recent years, as seen Sunday night in a 41-16 drubbing by New England. For his price of $2,900, Kroft should give you a decent-enough floor with the potential for a touchdown.
Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals: As is often the case for tight ends when backup quarterbacks take over for the starter, Gresham has become somewhat of a safety valve for Drew Stanton. Gresham ($2,800) has scored a touchdown in each of his last two games and the Cardinals face the forgiving defense of the Texans this Sunday in Houston. He’s not exciting and will likely see limited targets, but Gresham is a name that won’t garner public interest, so his low ownership and price will be a nice combination. In fact, I have a hunch he’ll be in the millionaire-winning lineup this week.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars: It is simple. The Jaguars face one of the worst teams against the tight end … the Cleveland Browns. If possible, start tight ends against the Browns and Giants. The Browns, who are better at stopping the run than the pass anyway, should mimic the Chargers’ tactic from Sunday of trying to force Blake Bortles and Co. to survive via the pass. Lewis, who torched the Ravens for three touchdowns in London earlier this year, will need another score to be worth his lineup spot. But for $2,700, take a shot. You can’t win if you don’t play tight ends against the Browns.
Others under 5K: Cameron Brate, Buccaneers ($4,200 at Dolphins).
Stefan Arnold is the Editor of FantasyFootballObserver.com. His series 20K Three-Pack focuses on three players to base your DFS lineups around. Look for Week 11’s plays later this week. He is on Twitter at @FFObserver.