With three rookies and two guys who have been scoring touchdowns since long before daily fantasy football existed, the Week 11 DraftKings perfect lineup had a little something for everyone. Once again, we see a few chalk plays and a few studs who might have been faded because of matchups, as well as a QB-receiver stack. However, it's worth noting that we also see the D/ST from the QB-WR combo's team, which should serve as a reminder that you don't always have to correlate your stacks "by the book", at least in GPPs. Defenses don't have to sync up with RBs and vice/versa. Remember that for Week 12 NFL DFS contests.
If there's one dominant theme almost every week in the perfect lineup -- aside from seeing at least one stack -- it's that paying up for RBs and selecting a few "random" receivers is the way to go. Quarterbacks and D/STs can come from both the high-priced and the low-priced options, but it's tough to find those true "value" plays at running back. Sure, someone like Gus Edwards can come along and win you a smaller contest or a cash game, but if you're shooting for the big bucks, you usually need a couple stars.
WEEK 12 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup builder
The Week 11 results and graphic below are courtesy of RotoQL -- the industry's top DFS research site. Get a leg up on all of your daily fantasy contests with RotoQL's tools and features, including expert projections and the ultimate lineup building tool, the RotoQL DFS Optimizer.
NFL DFS: DraftKings Perfect Lineup for Week 11
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Brees at home = DFS gold. It almost doesn't matter the opponent, at least not this year. The Eagles might look somewhat tough on paper, but given the injuries to their secondary, this was a good spot for Brees. His price might have scared some people off, but you can almost never go wrong with him in the Superdome. The real lesson here is to look at recent trends for defenses, as injuries and other factors might render season-long stats somewhat moot.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
This was as chalk as chalk gets, and it actually paid off. Elliott was facing one of the worst run defenses in the league, and he came through with a monster performance. Elliott has even more value this year in full-point PPR formats thanks to his increased role in the receiving game, and that was on full display against Atlanta when he caught seven of eight targets for 79 yards. Even in matchups against tough run defenses, Elliott has elite-level value.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
The Bucs had been a little better against the run than the pass, but this was still an obvious spot for the electric rookie to go off. Sure enough, 29 touches, 152 total yards, and three TDs later, he's in the perfect lineup. The lessons here are simple: Barkley good, Bucs bad. He's worth his high price almost every week.
WEEK 12 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings (coming soon)
D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
Moore is a classic GPP boom-or-bust player at this point. Perhaps next year he'll be more consistent, but as it stands, the rookie playmaker will continue to have his ups-and-downs. The ups are great, as we saw this week (7-157-TD), but the downs (36 yards in his past two games) can be lineup killers. The Lions, known for struggling against the run this year, have really struggled against the pass lately. Part of that was due to Darius Slay being out, but with Slay back, it's not a surprise to see a team's "No. 2 receiver" go off. Moore might be edging closer to WR1 status in Carolina, but either way, it's important to look at how defenses fair against types of WRs, not just passing attacks as a whole.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
The "Andrew Luck Effect" is real, and it's spectacular. Hilton caught all nine of his targets for 157 yards and two scores against the Titans, giving him his second multiple-TD game of the season. Perhaps surprisingly, this was only his second 100-yard game, and with Indy's tight ends being such major red-zone factors, his TDs have fluctuated, too. Still, in favorable matchups like this one (Tennessee entered Week 11 allowing the fewest fantasy points/game to both RBs and TEs), Hilton is a prime cash and GPP play. He has major upside every week, so don't be afraid to roster him, especially when the Colts are at home (83.6 yards/game, five TDs in five home games vs. 55.7 yards/game, one TD in three road games this year).
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
The Giants were a tough matchup for WRs on paper, but you can almost throw the stats out of the window when the Bucs are involved. They're going to throw, and they're going to throw a lot. Sure, they're going to turn it over and throw to lots of different players, but at the end of the game, there will be plenty of passing yards in the box score. Evans had posted two mediocre games in a row, making him a prime bounce-back option. He's simply too talented to be held down for long in an offense like Tampa's, and whether it's in garbage time (like this week's 41-yard TD was) or early in the game, he's a candidate for a big day, making him a prime GPP play in any given week.
WEEK 12 DFS GPP LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
There was something weird going on with Gates in Week 11. The Chargers were seemingly forcing the ball to him around the goal line, and it paid off on a six-yard TD toss in the third quarter. He was also open for several big plays over the middle, so clearly they found something they liked on film and were determined to exploit it. It ultimately didn't work out for them as they lost the game, but it worked out for any DFS owners willing to take a chance on the 38-year-old future Hall-of-Famer. Chances are, there weren't many, as Gates had done little this year and was "questionable" leading up to the late-afternoon game, but if there is a lesson here, it's that the Denver defense is very vulnerable against TEs, something we've seen over the past two seasons.
Tre'Quan Smith, WR, Saints
We've been waiting for Smith to go off again ever since Ted Ginn was placed on IR, and while he did catch a touchdown back in Week 9, he was shut out last week in a highly favorable matchup in Cincinnati. With Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall being signed in consecutive weeks, it seemed like the writing was on the wall for the talented rookie, at least for this season, but he responded in a big way by taking advantage of the Eagles banged-up secondary to the tune of 157 yards and two TDs. Perhaps most surprising is Smith led the team in catches (10) and targets (13). Obviously, Smith will remain a boom-or-bust option, but we know the upside is there for monster games, as he's done this twice this year.
While the Saints defense has undoubtedly been getting better, few would have expected them to wind up in the perfect lineup this week. New Orleans didn't do anything particularly special, causing three turnovers (two on garbage-time heaves by Carson Wentz), producing three sacks, and keeping the score low (seven points), but at its bargain-basement price point, sometimes that's all that needed. Because of their season-long numbers, the Saints will continue to be fairly cheap most weeks, but in the right matchups -- especially at home -- they can pay off.