The term “sleeper” has been drastically overused since fantasy football became the hobby of 40 million people. That said, there were tons of fantasy sleepers last week. Your PPR points leaders at the running back position were Darrel Williams, Rhamondre Stevenson, and AJ Dillon; Mac Jones and Trevor Siemian ranked third and fifth, respectively, in QB scoring; Kendrick Bourne scored 24.1 PPR points; and D’Ernest Johnson and Mark Ingram both cleared the 20-point threshold. If you plucked any of these guys off the NFL DFS player pools last week, you probably had a lucrative Sunday in FanDuel and DraftKings contests.
We exist to pinpoint sleepers and high-value DFS picks each week by compiling a list of sleepers and/or dark-horse picks to help you win some cold, hard cash. The more value players you add, the more money you’ll have left for proven weekly studs at other roster spots.
If you read this column last week, you would have benefited from our advice to plug low-cost, high-value players into your Week 10 DFS lineups. Here’s a few of our hits from last Sunday, including each player’s DraftKings cost and final PPR output:
- Tony Pollard, Cowboys vs. Falcons (DK: $4,600 | FD: $6,500): 15.8 fantasy points
- Jakobi Meyers, Patriots vs. Browns (DK: $4,800 | FD: $5,500): 14.9
- Noah Fant, Broncos vs. Eagles (DK: $4,300 | FD: $5,700): 10.9
Admittedly, that’s the shortest hits week we have had in a long time, but it was a crazy week. We are so used to hitting it big on a plethora of names that we are spoiled. You still would have benefited big time if you plugged in any of these low-cost, high-production players, likely affording yourself two more elite players at other roster spots.
Getting the most bang for your buck has always been the name of the game in DFS, so it’s important to do your due diligence before constructing lineups. Leave the deep-diving to us—we are here for you, from the first kickoff through the last play of the 2021 NFL season. Let’s jump right into Week 11!
Leave the deep-diving to us—we are here for you, from the first kickoff through the last play of the 2021 NFL season. Let’s jump right into Week 11!
All player values are from DraftKings and FanDuel. All stats are from NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.
NFL DFS Picks Week 11: QB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Joe Burrow, Bengals at Raiders (DK: 6,600 | FD: $7,400)
Burrow isn’t exactly a “sleeper,” but $6,600 for a QB with a good matchup definitely qualifies as high value. He’s coming off a much-needed bye week, and the Bengals immediately get to feast on a Raiders defense that just got pummeled by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Burrow won’t throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns like Mahomes did, but he could easily throw for 300 yards and three scores. The Raiders look broken with a first-time head coach who is clearly in over his head. This is the perfect time for the 2020 No. 1 pick to log a banner game and give the Bengals some second-half momentum ahead of a crowded AFC playoff race. Buy in now before Burrow sails into the $7,000 range next week.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers at Jaguars (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,100)
Jimmy G might not have enjoyed monstrous yardage numbers in San Francisco’s upset over the Rams on Monday Night Football, but he sure did what he had to do, netting the 49ers their second win in three games. Garoppolo is at his best when he methodically moves the chains on defenses with efficient short-yardage gains, then launches a deep strike when the secondary least expects it. We saw that Monday when he went eight-for-eight in the first half, hitting his favorite tight end target George Kittle early and often, and then nailed wideout Deebo Samuel for a 40-yard score in the second half. This Niners team could have a very different second half after a 3-5 start. Kittle is healthy, receiver Brandon Aiyuk has been much more involved, and running back Elijah Mitchell has emerged as the workhorse back this squad always needs to succeed. Against a Jacksonville defense ranked 25th in fantasy points per game allowed to QBs, I think Jimmy G will post at least 20 fantasy points. He put up 30 in Chicago in Week 8 and 23.3 in Week 9 against Arizona. His cost is low right now because he just played the Rams and managed just 15.3. Buy the dip!
Trevor Siemian, Saints at Eagles (DK: $5,300 | FD: $7,000)
I told readers to keep an eye on Siemian two weeks ago, and he has been more than worthy of our attention. The veteran backup threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions at Tennessee last weekend, narrowly missing the upset win over the AFC-leading Titans. Now Siemian gets a Philly defense that has allowed at least 297 passing yards and two TDs in three of its past five games. He’s not an exciting pick, but at $5,300, he will allow you afford an exciting guy elsewhere without sacrificing a ton of production.
NFL DFS Picks Week 11: RB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
AJ Dillon, Packers at Vikings (DK: $6,200 | FD: $7,000)
All aboard the Dillon hype train! We’re not chasing points here — we are simply taking a clear value and jumping on it before his price shoot up any further. Dillon is a beast at 6-foot, 250 pounds, hits his spots well, and is very difficult to tackle when he breaks into the second level. He’s the closest thing to Derrick Henry we have left right now. The bruising Boston College product will rumble through Minnesota this weekend, facing a Vikings team that has surrendered 130.6 rushing yards per game this season (28th in the NFL).
Elijah Mitchell, 49ers at Jaguars (DK: $5,800 | FD: $7,000)
The Niners’ sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mitchell has been a bright spot this year. He continues to produce as a workhorse back, even logging 91 yards against a Rams front-seven that features Aaron Donald and Von Miller. Mitchell’s 9.1 PPR points might look a little drab, but this is LA we’re talking about here. Be comforted by the fact that the rookie received 27 carries and clearly has coach Kyle Shanahan’s confidence. Jacksonville has ceded 110.8 ground yards per home game and the fifth-most touchdowns in the NFL (11 in 9 games). The Niners figure to be eating the clock once it gets out to a lead, so expect a solid volume and production game for Mitchell.
David Montgomery, Bears vs. Ravens (DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,800)
We last saw Montgomery in Pittsburgh in Week 9 when he returned from a four-game injury. The stud back put up 63 rushing yards on 13 carries and added two receptions for 17 yards against a tough Steelers defense. Now Montgomery gets a Baltimore defense that surprisingly ranks 21st in fantasy points per game allowed to RBs. Coming off a bye week, I like Montgomery’s chances of maintaining his 4.5 yards-per-carry average and finding paydirt for the fourth time this season.
NFL DFS Picks Week 11: WR sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
DeVonta Smith, Eagles vs. Saints (DK: $6,400 | FD: $6,600)
Smith has truly benefited from his reunion with Philly QB and former Alabama teammate Jalen Hurts. Last week in Denver, the rookie wideout logged his third 22-point fantasy game of the season, hauling in four catches for 66 yards and two scores. Many will view this as an unsavory pick, as New Orleans has a reputation as a tough defense, but the Saints have actually allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season! Since Halloween, they have allowed Tom Brady and the Bucs to amass 350 passing yards, Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson and Russell Gage to combine for 13 catches and 190 yards, and Tennessee’s Marcus Johnson to log five catches for 100 yards. Smith is basically the guy in the Eagles’ wide receiver corps, so fire him up with confidence.
Brandin Cooks, Texans at Titans (DK: $6,000 | FD: $6,600)
Few things in life are guaranteed beyond death, taxes, and Brandin Cooks being a solid DFS pick in a plus matchup. Don’t hold Cooks’ brutal team against him. He shows up week in and week out to make life difficult on cornerbacks. He has double-digit fantasy outputs in six of Houston’s nine games this season and 20-plus PPR points in four contests. Now he gets to roast the division-rival Titans, who rank dead last in fantasy points per game allowed to the wide receiver position. The volume is there, as he’s received 40 targets over the Texans’ past four games, and the production usually follows. The last four WR1/WR2s who faced the Titans averaged 90.75 receiving yards (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Michael Pittman, Deonte Harris). Cooks averages 15.5 PPR points per game, so a 20-point floor feels about right.
Corey Davis, Jets vs. Dolphins (DK: $5,000 | FD: $6,400)
Davis returned from a hip injury last week against Buffalo and managed to catch five-of-seven targets for 93 yards (18.6 yards per catch). Somehow, his cost only increased by $100 on DraftKings despite the fact that the Jets host the Dolphins’ porous pass defense this week. Miami ranks 30th in fantasy points per game allowed to wideouts and just allowed Baltimore’s Rashod Bateman to log six catches for 80 yards. No matter which quarterback he has throwing to him, Davis produces when healthy. He averages 14.2 PPR points per game, a production level well worth $5,000.
NFL DFS Picks Week 11: TE sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys at Chiefs (DK: $4,600 | FD: $6,000)
After a sizzling start to the season that included double-digit fantasy outputs in five of the Cowboys’ first six games, Schultz has cooled off considerably. Over the past three games, the burly tight end has just seven catches on 14 targets for 79 yards. Well, I’m buying in on his return to glory this weekend. The Chiefs absolutely stink against tight ends this season, ranking 26th in fantasy points per game allowed to the position. This game should feature plenty of offense, as most sportsbooks have the total projected at or around 55 points. You could do much worse than Schultz at $4,600 in a PPR format.
Dawson Knox, Bills vs. Colts (DK: $4,000 | FD: $5,600)
Here’s another tight end I expect to rebound in a major way in Week 11. Knox suffered a fracture in his hand in Week 6 that forced him onto the short-term IR, but he returned with no setbacks last week in Buffalo’s tilt with the Jets at the Meadowlands. Knox garnered just one target, which he turned into a 17-yard gain, but he also wasn’t needed much in the Bills’ 45-17 dismantling of Gang Green. This weekend’s date with the Colts should be a much closer affair. Expect Knox to receive closer to five targets, a perfectly acceptable number for a guy with a 78.6-percent catch rate and five TDs on the year.
NFL DFS Picks Week 11: D/ST sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Panthers vs. Washington Football Team (DK: $2,700 | FD: $4,100)
I know the Washington Football Team just beat the Buccaneers, but I still think Carolina can get it done defensively against Taylor Heinicke. Something tells me the Panthers will get up to play against former head coach Ron Rivera, who now serves as WFT’s top dog. Carolina has been one of the better defensive surprises in the NFL this season, averaging 7.2 fantasy points per game on DK despite the organization’s fall from grace during Christian McCaffrey’s injury. McCaffrey’s back, the Panthers have 11 or more fantasy points in two of their past two games, and they have 27 sacks and eight interceptions on the season. I’ll take the home-team upside against a shaky WFT offense to round out our DFS lineup.