This is a weekly series where I break down the best contrarian plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside, low owned plays and pairings that could really pay off big for you in a large tournament. Major outside the box thinking, cheap pricing and upside is the goal…
Last Week: Pretty mediocre, some of our plays were solid but no huge explosion games that we like for gpps. Marvin Jones led the Bengals in receiving, the Dallas Cowboys were solid and Chris Givens and Flacco scored but each of these plays left us wanting more, let’s try for something extra this week.
Cam Newton/Devin Funchess
It looks almost certain that Philly Brown is going to miss this week’s game versus the Redskins. This is potentially great news for Panthers rookie Devin Funchess who gets a Washington Redskins secondary who’s allowed 11TDs to the WR position over their past 7 games. Funchess has had a couple solid games in a row off of very little playing time and is now set to see his snap percentage jump from around 33% to close to 70%. Washington is a scrappy team and that could also force Funchess’ QB Cam Newton into Superman mode at some point in this game, and so I won’t be shocked if he racks up a big multi-stat game here too. I think Cam/Funchess is being completely overlooked this weekend against a leaky Redskins D and love this stack for tournaments.
Mark Sanchez/Zach Ertz
While I initially thought the move at QB would benefit Jordan Matthews more than any other receiver on the Eagles I think Ertz might actually be the one who sees the biggest bump. Ertz has seen his usage and targeting go up almost all year and over his last 5 games he’s averaging over 5 rec. and 50 yards a game. While that may not seem like much consider that with Mark Sanchez last year Ertz had the best game of his career with a 15 catch performance and that last week with Sanchez in he had his first game of the year with double digit targeting. I personally think Mark Sanchez is an upgrade at QB for the Eagles offense and won’t be shocked if the duo takes advantage of a pretty weak TB secondary who has been susceptible to the TE. I love the affordability of this stack week 11.
Tyrod Taylor/Sammy Watkins
This is admittedly the stack I’ve got the least confidence in but also one I think potentially has the most upside. The last time the Bills played the Pats the Patriots semi-embarrassed Taylor early but watched as he fought back to bring the Bills within a score late. The comeback failed but the fantasy game by Taylor was awesome. Sammy Watkins had a nice game in the first meeting with the Pats too and with no Percy Harvin he’s seen a lot heavy targeting since that game. I’m nervous the Pats Malcom Butler will shut down the Bills best weapon but I also know Watkins might get to see some nice prevent defenses late in this game. Ultimately I like the potential for this stack since the Pats run D has been near impossible to run against lately and the Bills should be forced to air it out. This has good potential and will probably be 2-3% owned in most tournaments.
From last week: In 2014 Golden Tate posted the following lines when Calvin Johnson was out or limited: 8-116-0, 7-134-1, 7-44-0, 10-154-1, 7-151-1.
This week: Tate wasn’t awful last week as he still hit double digit fantasy points on full PPR sites. Even though he disappointed a bit I’m leaving Tate up here as one of my choices for week 11. The Raiders secondary has been atrocious all season and Tate will get DJ Hayden in coverage who’s been ranked near the bottom of the league in that category all year on PFF. With Calvin still possibly not 100% this could easily be a big week brewing for Tate who remains very cheap and could be a great way to get a piece of a possible big passing day for Detroit.
The other player you could consider form the Panthers this week is RB Jonathan Stewart. The Redskins have given up 140 yards or more rushing to RBs in each of their last 5 games. Jonathan Stewart is dominating the rushing for Carolina and could quite frankly go nuts in this spot. If Stewart breaks a long TD run or scores from Short yardage a couple times you could be looking at one of the top 3 RBs in scoring for the week. This is a great gpp swerve play off the obviously popular Charcandrick West this week.
In one of Matt Hasselbecks two starts this year Coby Fleener had himself a monster game posting 9 catches for 83 yards and a TD versus the Jags. The Falcons are one of the weakest teams in the league versus the TE position and could easily allow a big day here to Fleener who should be a bigger part of the game plan considering the matchup and the fact Hasselbeck is starting. If you need a cheap TE using Fleener is a definitely a good choice in gpps, he could be one of the shock plays of week 11.
The Chiefs have been playing well of late and really shored up their secondary. However they’ve still struggled with slot receivers all season and with all the injuries incurred by the SD receiving corps lately Stevie Johnson should take on a large role in this game. Johnson and Rivers both like to work the middle of the middle and a bunch of crossing routes from the slot seems like a given for Johnson in this matchup. I won’t be shocked if he ends up being a big ppr play this week and would consider him as the perfect swerve off of Danny Amendola who figures to be widely owned at a similar price point this weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles or the Baltimore Ravens
I included two defense this week for a couple reasons. First is the fact that I just had to talk about what a great spot the Philly defense is in. People think Jameis Winston has suddenly turned a corner because he didn’t turn the ball over when he faced off against some of the weakest pass rushes in the league (Wash/ATL/Giants). Last week when met an above average Cowboys D he threw two picks and nearly lost a fumble near the goal line (saved by a stupid penalty on Dallas). This week he gets the Philly D at home who has a great pass rush and has been playing super solid of late. I think this will be a massacre.
As for Baltimore I think they’re the more under the radar play and so wanted to mention them too. The idea that Case Keenum is somehow a huge upgrade over Nick Foles is pretty off base in my opinion and quite frankly the entire St. Louis offense outside of Todd Gurley is awful anyways—Jared Cook and Kenny Britt should have been cut four games ago. The Ravens pass rush is going to get to tee off on a QB who has no problems making risky throws/throwing balls up for grabs, and St. Louis doesn’t have an Andre Johnson to help bail Keenum out. I think a pick six or two here is quite possible… the Ravens at home are a great gpp target.