- Which wide receivers should you target in DFS for Week 11 of the NFL season?
- Matthew Freedman breaks down the best options, including Odell Beckham Jr. and, yes, Seth Roberts.
The 2018 NFL season is still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.1 points per game per team. The action continues with a 10-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
In this positional breakdown, I’m looking at the wide receivers at the top of the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
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Model Wide Receivers
There are six wide receivers at the top of our individual Pro Models this week. The two who most intrigue me are Odell Beckham Jr. and … Seth Roberts.
Odell Beckham: New York Giants (-2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 52.5 Over/Under
- $8,400 DraftKings; $8,500 FanDuel
UPDATE (11/18): Bucs edge rusher Vinny Curry (ankle), linebacker Lavonte David (knee), safety Justin Evans (toe) and cornerback M.J. Stewart (leg) are all out. Edge rusher Carl Nassib (elbow) is questionable.
Beckham had just two touchdowns entering Week 10, then … #Eruption: 21.3 FanDuel points and 4-73-2 receiving on 11 targets on Monday Night Football against the 49ers. Beckham is among the top three receivers with a 0.42 market share of air yards and among the top five with 102 targets overall.
Even though he’s shackled to latter-day Eli Manning at quarterback, Beckham is still being used in a high-leverage capacity.
No NFL wide receiver in history has more receptions, receiving yards or FanDuel points through 56 games than Beckham’s 378, 5,282 and 951.6. We’re talking about a guy who is in his prime, on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory … and facing perhaps the worst defense in the league this week.
The Buccaneers defense is 31st with an 18.9% mark in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and 30th against the pass with a 36.0% DVOA. The Bucs have allowed the second-most fantasy production to opposing wide receivers with 36.7 FanDuel points per game. When facing high-end receivers comparable to Beckham in talent, the Bucs have been helpless.
- Michael Thomas (Saints, Week 1): 30.0 FanDuel points, 16-180-1 receiving on 17 targets
- Antonio Brown (Steelers, Week 3): 14.0 FanDuel points, 6-50-1 receiving on nine targets
- Julio Jones (Falcons, Week 6): 19.4 FanDuel points, 10-144-0 receiving on 14 targets
- A.J. Green (Bengals, Week 8): 16.1 FanDuel points, 5-76-1 receiving on seven targets
The Bucs might have the league’s worst trio of starting cornerbacks.
Brent Grimes was a Pro Bowler with the Dolphins in the 2013-15 seasons, and in 2016 and 2017 he had above-average Pro Football Focus coverage grades of 87.4 and 75.2. This season, though, Grimes has been a liability, allowing a 20-304-1 receiving line on 30 targets.
As for M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, both are second-round rookies with potential, but right now they have poor PFF coverage grades of 55.8 and 58.9. One day they might be good, but so far they’ve combined to surrender a 57-685-8 receiving line with no interceptions on 77 attempts.
On top of that, Stewart (leg) exited Week 8 early and hasn’t played or practice since. He seems unlikely to suit up this week. In his place, undrafted third-year veteran Javien Elliott has seen regular snaps in the slot. He has a 41.6 PFF coverage grade this season, and for his career has allowed literally a 100% catch rate on 26 targets.
Beckham has run 28.3% of his routes out of the slot this season. Whenever he gets matched up against Elliott, #GameOver. Beckham has a great matchup against the Bucs.
And to make matters worse, Tampa’s entire defense is the walking wounded.
In the front seven, edge rusher Vinny Curry (ankle) has missed three of the past four games. Defensive end Carl Nassib (elbow) suffered an injury in Week 10 and is uncertain to play. Middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (knee, injured reserve) is out, as is backup middle linebacker Jack Cichy (ankle, IR). On top of that, weakside linebacker Lavonte David (knee) is dealing with a sprain and is tentatively expected not to play.
And in the secondary, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (shoulder, IR) and strong safety Chris Conte (knee, IR) are out.
Beckham is in the utmost of smash spots: The Giants-Bucs game has a week-high 81.55 pass funnel rating. With their high-scoring offense and vulnerable defense, the Bucs have seen an NFL-high seven games hit the over tin 2018. Although Giants games have a 4-5 over/under record this season (per Bet Labs), I expect Beckham to find himself in a back-and-forth affair.
The Giants trail only the Saints on the slate with their 27.5-point implied Vegas total.
For guaranteed prize pools, you might want to use our Lineup Builder to stack Beckham with Manning, who is also popping in some of our Pro Models. Since 2014, No. 1 wide receivers on average have had a 0.54 correlation with their quarterbacks. With Manning, Beckham has a 0.69 correlation. When the Giants were last in the main slate in Week 8, Beckham and Manning had a shared ownership rate of 0.96% in the Millionaire Maker.
On Sunday morning, I might look to bet the over on Beckham’s touchdown prop. He’s top three in the league with 13 end-zone targets, and no team has allowed more touchdowns to wide receivers than the Bucs have with 1.7 per game.
To find the best bets in the props market, use our Player Props Tool, which is powered by our industry-leading projections. Since Week 1, the props with a bet quality of 10 have gone 182-86-6, good for a 66% win rate. Without question, you should supplement your DFS action with player props.
Beckham has top-two median and ceiling projections on FanDuel, where he’s the No. 1 wide receiver in each of Pro Models except for one (Freedman, of course).
Seth Roberts: Oakland Raiders (+5.5) at Arizona Cardinals, 41 O/U
- $3,000 DraftKings; $5,100 FanDuel
UPDATE (11/18): Left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) and center Rodney Hudson (ankle) are in. Cardinals safety Budda Baker (knee) is out. Safety Rudy Ford (heel) and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (calf) are questionable.
Amazingly, two wide receivers from this (intentionally misspelled) gawd-forsaeken gaem are popping in our Pro Models. It’s that part of the season.
The case for Roberts is simple:
- Amari Cooper is now on the Cowboys.
- Jordy Nelson (knee) is out.
- Martavis Bryant (knee) is out.
In this game, Roberts will be the only active Raiders receiver with whom quarterback Derek Carr has any sustained familiarity. In the context of Carr’s career, Roberts ranks third with 208 targets, 121 receptions, 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns, right after Cooper and the departed Michael Crabtree.
This weekend, when Carr has the ball, he’ll have the option of throwing to a guy who has been his teammate his entire career — or some random guys who have been on the Raiders for half a season.
Roberts could approach double-digit targets this week.
Every once in awhile, there are random receivers who come from nowhere to have minimally fantasy-useful campaigns in a pass-catching vacuum. For instance: Harry Douglas.
As hard as it is to believe now, in 2013, when Jones missed most of the season with an injury and Roddy White was in steep decline, the unexceptional Douglas — who had been with quarterback Matt Ryan since his 2008 rookie season — led the sinking 4-12 Falcons with 132 targets, 85 receptions, 1,067 yards receiving, 1,132 air yards and 507 yards after the catch.
And he did that while running 60.8% of his routes from the slot.
Roberts has run 72.7% of his routes from the slot this season, and he’s a totally nondescript player. In five years, you probably won’t even remember he existed. But right now Roberts is the last receiver left on a tanking team, and Carr will need to throw the ball to someone.
For at least this one week, Roberts is the 2018 version of 2013 Douglas — and he’s the stone minimum on DraftKings.
I can’t believe I’m about to write this …
… but if you want to roster Cam Newton at quarterback and Saquon Barkley at running back and Beckham and Hopkins at wide receiver and Zach Ertz at tight end — in CASH GAMES — you can do it …
… but you’ll also need to roster Roberts.
I’m not saying you should. But some smart people are at least going to consider it this weekend.
Roberts is tied for the position lead with a 98% Bargain Rating on DraftKings, where he’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the CSURAM88 Model.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 11 positional breakdowns.
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