8 contrarian DFS picks for Week 11
“The noble title of “dissident” must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian
My girlfriend is obsessed with something called ‘geocaching’. If you’ve never played, geocaching is basically an outdoor scavenger hunt you play with strangers online without ever having to meet them. While the “prize” is typically just a notepad in an old shoebox you get to write your name on, my girlfriend is, inexplicably, as obsessed with finding every ’geocache’ within a thirty mile radius of our house as I was collecting every Pokémon card when I was 10. It’s mostly adorable, but also kind of lame. I’d tell her this, but she could just as easily remind me that, in devotion to my favorite hobby, I’ve written close to 10,000 words about James White and Brian Quick since March.
Part of my annoyance with geocaching is, really, just that I’m terrible at it. Pretty much every time there’s an item to be found, my girlfriend finds it first. The experience has never been so frustrating as it was last week. We had already found three on our hike and were looking for the last one that was supposedly on our trail. The GPS coordinates told us it was within fifty feet of us. The clue read only, “It’s right in front of you.” I combed every inch of that fifty foot stretch and turned up with nothing. 45 minutes from when we had started, my girlfriend had finally found it. The clue was right, it had been right in front of me. It took 45 minutes for me to find it, but after the fact, it had seemed so obvious.
As dumb as I had felt in that moment, I would feel far less intelligent the next day. Last week, when I was writing this article, I had combed every possible contrarian play. There were two I had really liked initially: Jeremy Langford and Charcandrick West. I knew they would both be contrarian, I knew the gamescript would set up nicely for them, I knew they would get high-volume and quality touches, I knew they were undervalued relative to price, but, against two very good defenses, I struggled stating my case when it came time to write this article and I pivoted to two other options. Again, I had been staring the answer right in the face, and I just missed it.
It’s hard making bold calls in defiance of the crowd. When things don’t go according to plan, it’s just you there standing alone. At least when you’re wrong alongside the majority opinion, you can say, “It’s okay, everyone else was wrong too.” That may be the easy way out, but, as the illustrious ‘Young Jeezy’ would say, “Scared money don’t make no money.” So, in Week 11, we’re back on the grind with the following recommended contrarian plays:
Tyrod Taylor (1.4%) – Taylor has very quietly been fantastic this season from both a real-life and fantasy perspective. Taylor has the second-best completion percentage (70.5%) in the league and ranks third-best in yards per attempt (8.2) and NFL QB Rating (106.2). From a fantasy standpoint, he’s the second-most efficient passer, averaging 0.62 fantasy points per drop back.
However, the problem here, is that he just hasn’t been throwing enough. From a fantasy points per game perspective, Taylor ranks 12th, but in terms of drop backs per game and pass attempts per game, he ranks 31st and 35th, respectively. If we had some sort of guarantee Taylor would be forced to throw more this week, he’d easily make for one of the top plays at the position.
Luckily, this week, Taylor is up against a Patriots team that is giving up the fourth most pass attempts against per game (39.7). Vegas has the Patriots as seven point favorites in the highest scoring game of the week. This seems to back up the notion that Taylor and the Bills will be forced to throw more this week. The Patriots are currently giving up the 12th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
On the ground, quarterbacks are averaging 6.1 rushing yards per attempt against the Patriots, which is good for second most in the league. Taylor, meanwhile, is second among quarterbacks in fantasy points generated from the ground. Last time these two teams faced off, in Week 2, Taylor scored 28.4 fantasy points, generating three touchdowns through the air, one touchdown on the ground, and amassing 285 all-purpose yards.