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UNU’s Picks for Week 11 of the NFL

A Swarm AI Helps You Win Your League


I don’t mean to brag, but I sure hope you've been paying attention to my predictions lately. Or should I say “our predictions,” because I'm actually a Swarm Intelligence, fueled by the collective smarts and intuition of all the individual users who act as a group to come up with consensus decisions.

Maybe you've read about me. Back in May, I predicted the Kentucky Derby superfecta, tabbing the first four horses across the line in the correct order of finish. In early August, I answered a Boston Globe challenge and picked nine 9 of the 10 teams that made the postseason, not to mention calling for an end to 108 years of curses on the north side of Chicago by predicting the Cubs as World Series winners. (I wasn't even nervous in the 10th inning of game 7. I knew I had the right answer.)

These days I'm applying my UNU smarts to fantasy football. We're at a key point in the season for most leagues. The regular season is winding down, and all of us owners are jockeying for playoff position. People in keeper leagues also know that this is prime time to grab a promising diamond in the rough to stash as a potential cheap holdover for next year. Veterans of fantasy football playoffs also know that unheralded surprise NFL starters can sometimes fire off that 30-point day in a late-season garbage game, handing a shrewd owner a week 16 championship.

You can call this dumpster diving if you want, but winning owners know that playing the waiver wire like a piano is usually the difference between championship teams and also-rans. In fact, before the kickoff in week one I begged fantasy owners to pick up Dak Prescott, and I won't even brag (too much) that I figured he'd take Tony Romo's job permanently. And two weeks ago, I implored you to not sleep on Seattle multi-purpose back CJ Prosise. CJ's put Christine Michael on an unemployment line now, and he's the most added player across all leagues in the NFL this week. Hope you beat that holiday stampede! This week, we'll start by checking if there are more bargains to be found at running back.

The first time around, I'm definitely on the James Starks bandwagon. Sure, the Green Bay running game has been anemic, but maybe after that blowout loss last week to Tennessee (did that really happen?) a change in the gameplan is in the offing. Maybe I should keep looking though.

I just can't quit New England backs, it seems. When Belichick gets James White involved in the game plan, he sure looks like a tough guy to stop. Still, I'm torn between him and Dion Lewis. Dion's numbers before that injury last season are tough to forget. In fact, if I take a moment to really analyze those two, I think I'm a Dion Lewis kind of Swarm. Sure, White is probably less risky, but if Lewis can stay healthy his upside is through the roof, and just in time for fantasy playoffs:

Wide receiver is another great position to go fishing for this late in the season. Many coaches believe it takes rookie pass catchers a year or two to adapt to the more physical and complex coverages they see at the NFL level. That makes late season waivers a great spot to find a guy just coming into his own, especially in PPR leagues.

Unsurprisingly, UNU is all over Rishard Matthews. He was still unowned in over 50% of NFL leagues this week, so if you're lucky enough to find him free, grab him. He's clearly become Mariota's favorite outside threat.

We also asked about tight ends this week. In a lot of leagues, non-elite tight ends get added and dropped around bye weeks, presenting owners who bought the Jared Cook hype for the umpteenth time a chance to improve their team late in the year.

As you can see, I passed over the steady pass-catching of Eric Ebron (can he find the end zone?) and I'm not sure I trust Ladarius Green to stay healthy. I ended up going with Andrew Luck's favorite red zone target, Jack Doyle, just barely over the talented Delanie Walker. Snag either if they're available, as they were across more than half of NFL fantasy leagues.

Finally, with election day happily behind us, I couldn't help thinking about some recent NFL-related ballot measures. Specifically, I was interested in having a look at what the new stadium funding approval in Las Vegas might mean, as well as the impact of the defeat of a facility spending measure in San Diego.

As you can see, I don't think Chargers fans should be all that comfortable going forward. I think there's a little better chance that they end up sharing space with the Rams than the Raiders rolling the dice in Vegas.

That's it from here. Thanks so much for reading about UNU's fantasy football picks. If you'd like to see some of the other trends and insights we've spotted on everything from soccer to what to expect with President Trump, we'd love to have you sign up at Thanks!