Betting the Spread: Week 11

by Shervon Fakhimi · Betting & Props

This is Betting the Spread: Week 11! I’m sorry. A 4-9 week last week is unacceptable. We’re all the way down to 10 games under .500 again at 63-73-4. We can’t have a losing record. No way. Let’s get back on track and have a great Week 11!

Chicago Bears (+3) vs Atlanta Falcons

Over/Under: 49.5

Pick ATS: Chicago Bears

Marcus Mariota was bad last week. He went 19-30 for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Mariota also threw an interception, but he could’ve thrown at least three more. His true completion percentage is 65.6-percent, which ranks No. 27 among quarterbacks according to PlayerProfiler.com. And yet, he’s a really solid streaming quarterback this week. He ran for 43 yards last Thursday, meaning he has just as many games with at least 43 yards on the ground (five) as he does below that number. Mariota’s No. 2 among quarterbacks in air yards per attempt (10.7) and No. 6 in fantasy points per dropback (0.63). He’s in the top ten of every quarterback rushing statistic.

He also gets the Bears in a dome who have a potent offense thanks to Justin Fields‘ emergence and the No. 4-worst defense in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA metric. Do you know who is the No. 3 worst? The Atlanta Falcons. This is the second-highest over/under of the week according to Vegas, and I like the over. Mariota is only rostered in 43-percent of Sleeper leagues. It will be an ugly watch, but he should get you the points when all is said and done.

Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills (-7.5)

Over/Under: 49.5

Pick ATS: Buffalo Bills

This was originally going to be a snow game. There was a possibility for as much as six feet in Buffalo, but the NFL moved this game to the dome in Detroit. First of all, props to anyone who bet the over on this game when the total was as low as 42.5. Second of all, what are we supposed to do with Amari Cooper? Cooper’s home/road splits are flat-out bizarre. He averages 21.26 PPR points in home games but only 5.8 PPR points on the road.

You can always count on Amari Cooper to be consistently inconsistent in fantasy football. To make matters worse, Tre’Davious White could make his return for the Bills’ secondary. Even without him, the Bills rank No. 5 in pass-defense DVOA. Surely, Cooper can’t continue to be this drastically different statistically away from Cleveland, but this is not the matchup to be excited about starting him. 

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) vs Indianapolis Colts

Over/Under: 45.5

Pick ATS: Philadelphia Eagles

Remember when I was bummed that Parris Campbell‘s breakout was going to get halted because the Colts switched to Sam Ehlinger at quarterback? Well, now I feel worse because I don’t have him anywhere, and Matt Ryan is back. Campbell is finally happening! Here are his numbers in the last three games Matt Ryan has been under center for the Colts: 32 targets, 24 receptions, 203 yards, and three touchdowns. Campbell now leads wide receivers in slot snaps with 385 and is No. 4 in routes run with 347.

Parris Campbell Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Eagles recently placed their dynamic slot corner Avonte Maddox on the injured reserve. So, while the matchup doesn’t look great on paper, Campbell should avoid Darius Slay and James Bradberry and is on a heater. Campbell is a rock-solid flex play as long as Ryan is under center with spike-week potential and should have another solid week this week.

New York Jets (+3.5) vs New England Patriots

Over/Under: 38

Pick ATS: New York Jets

I mentioned it last week in the bye week stashes portion of the article, but I want to mention it again because Elijah Moore is, if not an elite talent, close to it. Head coach Robert Saleh said in an interview that Moore is moving back to the position he tormented teams in college: the slot. 

The benching of Elijah Moore also moved Garrett Wilson to the outside. This is a move that has since unlocked Wilson as well.

Moore didn’t forget how to play; he’s been getting open all season long. After the bye of his rookie season, Moore averaged roughly 15.2 half-PPR points per game. For comparison, in half PPR scoring, Jaylen Waddle is No. 8 among wide receivers with 14.9 points per game. Maybe this is a lost season for Moore. However, the talent is still very much there, and now he should not only be getting more opportunities but a role better suited for him. I’m not starting him this week, but I’m definitely adding him (29-percent rostered in Sleeper leagues) and seeing what his role is.

Los Angeles Rams vs New Orleans Saints (-3)

Over/Under: 39

Pick ATS: New Orleans Saints

Look at this tweet while you can before that glorious hellscape of a website comes crumbling down:

Does that look like an offense you want pieces of *without* Cooper Kupp? Sure, Allen Robinson has a chance to finally make good on his summer ADP. Ben Skowronek had seven targets last week. Van Jefferson ranked No. 25 in air yards and No. 23 in yards per target last year. 31-percent of the Rams’ targets just opened up. I personally want no pieces of this offense outside of Tyler Higbee and Kyren Williams (who I continue to believe becomes the Rams’ primary running back at some point). This is mostly because of the positions they play in regard to fantasy value, but also because I expect running backs and tight ends to get funneled with targets. The reason is that’s all this Rams’ offensive line can provide Matthew Stafford at the moment. This nightmare of a lost season is only going to get worse for the Rams.

Detroit Lions vs New York Giants (-3)

Over/Under: 45

Pick ATS: New York Giants

Do you have Geno Smith or Trevor Lawrence or Tua Tagovailoa on a bye? Why not ride with Jones this week? Daniel Jones has a very similar fantasy case to Marcus Mariota but on the polar opposite of the wreckless scale. Remember Mariota’s porous true completion percentage? Well, Daniel Jones sits No. 4(!) among quarterbacks at 73.9-percent. But, most of his completions come short. His 6.6 air yards per attempt is No. 35 at the position, so he needs more volume to come through via the pass.

However, he can just keep running as he has all year long. Jones ranks in the top six of every quarterback rushing statistic on PlayerProfiler.com. Additionally, he gets a Lions defense that is fresh off giving up 147 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to Justin Fields. The Lions rank No. 26 in defensive DVOA this season; the Giants are No. 24. Six of Detroit’s nine games this season have featured a total of at least 52 points scored. This game has the potential for fireworks, and it helps make Daniel Jones a fantastic streamer.

Carolina Panthers vs Baltimore Ravens (-13)

Over/Under: 41

Pick ATS: Baltimore Ravens

D’Onta Foreman has been the subject of many ‘sell-high’ pieces. I get it. He’s benefitted from two matchups against the Atlanta Falcons and was nonexistent in a game the Panthers got blitzed by the Bengals. But if you’re a locked-in playoff team or close to it, why not buy? We know now he’s the primary back in Carolina. Ranking No. 27 in true yards per carry (4.3) and juke rate (24.2-percent) is nothing to brag about it, but it’s better than many other starting running backs!

If you’re worried about game script (Foreman is a bad play this week because of that), he gets the Steelers in Week 15 (when many fantasy playoffs start) and the Lions in Week 16. The Panthers could win those games and feature healthy game scripts. The Steelers aren’t a great matchup (they rank No. 9 in rush defense DVOA), but the Lions absolutely are. The Lions rank No. 27 in rush defense DVOA according to Football Outsiders. 

Washington Commanders vs Houston Texans (+3)

Over/Under: 41

Pick ATS: Houston Texans

If you’ve been reading this article all year, you should know by now that the Texans are very bad against the run. They’re No. 31 in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA metric. This is great news for a team that just established the hell out of the run last week in Philadelphia and won while doing so. Neither Brian Robinson (3.2 true yards per carry this season which is No. 64 among running backs) nor Antonio Gibson (3.6 true yards per carry this season which is No. 57 among running backs) has been super efficient on the ground this season, but both are set for big weeks, especially Gibson. J.D. McKissic is missing time with a neck injury, and Gibson has filled the receiving void in his absence. 

Antonio Gibson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Even while McKissic was healthy, Gibson registered four, four, and seven targets in the games he played with both of McKissic and Robinson. He has six in the previous two weeks that McKissic has sat. Gibson is crushing as a receiver too. He only ranks No. 23 in routes run (127) among running backs but No. 5 in yards per route run (1.99). Gibson’s opportunities have been cut by Robinson, but he’s had one game below 14 targets plus carries since Robinson’s debut in Week 6. And we all know Gibson is the most explosive of the bunch. I really like Gibson to have a big game this week.

Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver Broncos (-2.5)

Over/Under: 41.5

Pick ATS: Denver Broncos

I truly wish I could pick neither of these teams this week. Is that allowed? Damn, it isn’t. Anyway, let’s talk about Courtland Sutton. Sutton already ranks No. 24 among wide receivers in target share with 24.4-percent of those super awesome Russell Wilson and Brett Rypien passes. It could be even more if the Broncos are without Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.

The Raiders rank dead last in pass defense DVOA. Courtland Sutton ranks No. 10 in air yards (905) and No. 20 in red zone targets (nine). Russell Wilson has prevented any skill player on this offense from having a true smash week, but this could be one from Sutton and my guy Greg Dulcich.

Dallas Cowboys (-1) vs Minnesota Vikings

Over/Under: 48

Pick ATS: Dallas Cowboys

I love the over in this game, and I love CeeDee Lamb. Lamb crushed the Packers last week with his first 100-yard game of the season. His play might not suggest it at times, but Lamb’s numbers portray a true alpha. He’s in the top 11 of target share (No. 2), target rate (No. 3), air yards (No. 8), air yards share (No. 6), deep targets (No. 11), unrealized air yards (No. 11), and yards per route run (No. 8). The Vikings are a solid No. 14 in pass defense DVOA, but they allow the No. 3-most receiving yards per game; only the Falcons and Titans are worse. All of their last seven games have been decided by one possession, so it’s not like these numbers are inflated by late-game garbage time either. They’re not awesome as a secondary. All the better for CeeDee Lamb.

Cincinnati Bengals (+4) vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Over/Under: 40

Pick ATS: Cincinnati Bengals

Jaylen Warren just might outscore Najee Harris this week. Seriously. Last week was the first time outside of the garbage time extravaganza in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills that Jaylen Warren not only played more than 40-percent of the Steelers’ snaps. It also was the first time he ran more routes (12) than Harris (10). It marked the second time Warren out-targeted Harris (Week 4 was the first occasion. Warren had one target; Harris had zero).

Jaylen Warren Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Warren has also been drastically more efficient than Najee Harris this year. Warren ranks No. 6 in yards per touch and juke rate and No. 3 in yards created per touch. Harris sits No. 55, No. 22, and No. 43 in those respective categories. To make matters worse, Harris is dealing with knee discomfort. The Steelers are underdogs this week and could be playing catchup for most of this game. If last week is an indication, Warren might be the one out there snagging dump-offs, not Harris. Harris is a fine flex play, but Warren became the Tony Pollard to Harris’ Ezekiel Elliott really damn quickly and could be started as well if you’re in a pinch.

Kansas City Chiefs (-5) vs Los Angeles Chargers

Over/Under: 51.5

Pick ATS: Kansas City Chiefs

Have Mike Williams or Keenan Allen or JuJu Smith-Schuster?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s very possible all three miss this game. Heck, it’s possible DeAndre Carter misses this game too. I personally don’t think Williams will go. Smith-Schuster is already ruled out. Allen seems the most likely to play, but he hasn’t played since Week 1 because of a hamstring injury, so who knows? All three are worth waiting on to see if they go. But what if you don’t have a spare Rondale Moore on Monday Night or a better option on the earlier slate? Who do you get?

I think the answer, at least from the wide receiver position, is Justin Watson. Kadarius Toney likely isn’t available anymore. It wasn’t Skyy Moore who got the bump in playing time after Smith-Schuster’s injury. It was Watson. Watson played a season-high 73-percent of the team’s snaps last week. Granted, he only turned that into one target, but he’s made big plays this season. He has an 88th-percentile speed score that could be running a full allotment of routes for Patrick Mahomes. He’s available in almost every Sleeper league. We can’t get much better than that. 

Jauan Jennings, Michael Bandy, and A.J. Green are other alternatives if you’re that desperate, but Watson is the one to stash from this group.

San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) vs Arizona Cardinals

Over/Under: 43.5

Pick ATS: San Francisco 49ers

For some reason, the Cardinals cut Eno Benjamin? It makes no sense. Neither does giving James Conner the entire workload, which is what the Cardinals did last week.

Does that make Conner a volume-based RB1 now? Yes. Start him. But it also makes Keaontay Ingram a stash of the utmost priority. The Cardinals literally don’t have anyone else in that backfield. Eno Benjamin is in Houston, Darrel Williams and Jonathan Ward are on IR, and Corey Clement and Ty’Son Williams (remember him?) are on the Cardinals’ practice squad. An injury to *James Conner* (who has already been hurt twice this year and has missed three games) is what is standing in the way of Ingram being the primary back in Arizona. Ingram is 6-0, 221-pounds with an 80th-percentile speed score, boasts a 68th-percentile college yard per carry and registered 89 receptions in 42 college games. He is good. He’s also rostered in only 7-percent of Sleeper leagues. Add him now before it’s too late.

BYE WEEKS: Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The bye weeks are coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t sneaky stashes in a given week.

Rachaad White (65-percent rostered in Sleeper leagues)

Rachaad White is over the 50-percent threshold. but the only reason he’s here is that he isn’t owned in 100-percent of leagues. He was running ahead of Leonard Fournette in Germany last week before Fournette suffered a hip pointer. White has an all-purpose skillset and could end up overtaking Fournette after the bye. Tampa beat writers indicated as such before last week’s game. He needs to be owned everywhere.

Zay Jones (33-percent)

Zay Jones is not flashy by any means, but he’s on the field a lot and gets targets on a solid offense. He averages over nine targets a game. Jones is averaging roughly the same fantasy points per game as DJ Moore and Diontae Johnson. Yes, both have disappointed, but they’d be scooped up immediately if they were on the waiver wire. Jacksonville gets Detroit in Week 13 and Tennessee in Week 14. Jones can help you make the playoffs.

Evan Engram (40-percent)

The same case for Zay Jones pretty much applies to Evan Engram as well, except that Engram is a tight end.

Noah Fant (16-percent)

Noah Fant is on one of the best offenses in the NFL playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season. They get the Raiders next week. As we mentioned earlier, the Raiders rank last in pass defense DVOA according to Football Outsiders and rank in the top third in points allowed to tight ends. Fant came through in juicy matchups against the Cardinals and should again next week.

The Handcuffs

JaMycal Hasty (4-percent), Jacksonville Jaguars; Travis Homer (3-percent) and DeeJay Dallas (2-percent), Seattle Seahawks; Ke’Shawn Vaughn (2-percent), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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