Each week I plan to give you what I feel are the best FanDuel plays at each position, as well as the plays that I am staying away from. My DFS methodology is a little different than the typical player. I don’t make separate cash and tournament lineups. I simply make the best possible lineup that I can, period. I feel like it distracts me too much to make different lineups for different contest types. I end up splitting up plays I really like for the sake of qualifying a guy as cash or tourney. Therefore, I put together the best lineup I can with the best plays, and that’s what you will see reflected in this article. With that said, I primarily enter GPPs, with anywhere from one to four lineups each week on with a mix of my core plays.
Week 10 NFL FanDuel Plays
Hopefully everyone had a profitable Week 9! It seemed my wife was on to something with the Lance Kendricks play. He finished with seven catches for 90 yards. He also dropped a gimme touchdown which would have given him a massive week. His stat line was a little better suited for DraftKings where he returned over 5X value, but he still produced fine on FanDuel at minimum price.
Before I get to my plays this week, I apologize for not getting to the comments last week. Somehow I never saw them. I will make sure to double-check this week and not miss any!
Quarterback for me starts with Tom Brady ($8,300) this week. This Seattle Seahawks defense has shown some weakness and I think Brady will exploit it. He’s never had too much trouble with Seattle, and those were against much tougher defensive teams. This just feels like a game where he’s going to throw the ball 35-40 times and when he starts getting in that range. He has a higher floor and ceiling than any other quarterback.
We have to start taking Marcus Mariota ($7,400) serious. He has been on a tear recently. I recommended him a couple of times early in the season and mentioned that he was going to blow up any time. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own advice, and after getting burned by him I hopped off the train. He now has 15 total touchdowns over his past five games. His price is in the range with guys like Trevor Siemian, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Colin Kapernick. As you can see, he’s probably a bit underpriced. This week he faces a Green Bay Packers team that is very stout against the run, but they are susceptible to the pass. Mariota should throw the ball 35+ times in this game which gives him ample opportunity to continue his hot streak. A lot of public money has come in on Green Bay as a 2.5 point Vegas favorite, but the line hasn’t moved. This tells us that Vegas is confident that the Titans can keep the game close in a game that currently has the 2nd highest total of the week, which bodes well for Mariota.
You may not be able to stomach my last recommendation: Jay Cutler $7,000. I wish he was a bit cheaper, but I could make a case for him here only because he’s facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have given up 823 yards passing the past two game. Granted Cutler isn’t as good as the last two quarterbacks the Bucs faced (Matt Ryan & Derek Carr), he could easily reach 300 yards and two to three touchdowns. It’s risky, but could pay off at low ownership.
Running back starts and ends with David Johnson ($9,400). I don’t know if there’s been a better spot for anyone all year than this. The San Francisco 49ers run a ton of plays which will give Johnson more opportunities as well. On top of that, the 49ers are giving up a total of 173.5 rushing yards per game, which is over 40 yards more than the 2nd worse rush defense. Just play Johnson and hope that his high price may keep his ownership somewhat in check. By somewhat in check I mean around 50-60%. Even if it doesn’t, you don’t want to fade him.
One guy that I think will get skipped over is Le’Veon Bell ($8,100). Bell doesn’t have the greatest matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, but the Cowboys have yet to face an elite talent at running back. On paper, they don’t give up many fantasy points to running backs, but that can be taken with a grain of salt looking at the teams they’ve played. Their opponents are usually playing from behind, which forces them to abandon the running game. Seeing as Pittsburgh is favored in this game, which currently has the highest total of the week, Bell should be heavily involved. In five weeks, he has received 83 carries and seen 46 targets. Think about that for a second. You’re getting a guy who is averaging over 9 targets a game, while also carrying the ball over 16 times a game. Let’s pretend he was a wide receiver and all we knew about him were the stats I just gave you. He may cost $11,000 and we would maybe consider it, knowing just that. Finding a way to fit in Johnson and Bell this week gives you massive upside. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it’s possible, especially considering the tight end situation, which you’ll read more about below.
If you do need savings at running back, you can consider Darren Sproles ($5,100). The problem with Sproles is that he’s probably going to need a touchdown and/or a big play to come up with a solid score. He has been named the lead back so I think we’ll continue to see his 10-12 carries on top of 5-10 targets. His range of outcomes is wide, but for $600 above the minimum price, he’s a high upside guy for cheap.
Because I’m paying up at running back and love the spot that they are in, I’ll probably look to pay down a little for my WR1. I like Alshon Jeffrey ($7,200) this week, but I wish he was a little cheaper. We know he has the chemistry with Jay Cutler, so we can expect him to be back to his old self. He has a lot of upside and a great matchup. Because I think he’ll be popular, I will probably only play him if I’m playing Cutler too.
Stefon Diggs ($6,700) is most definitely in play for me after two big games. He’s been a target monster the past two weeks, and I think people will overlook him a bit since Josh Norman will be lining up on the opposite side of the field. However, Norman doesn’t make his way to the slot very often, where Diggs runs the majority of his routes. In this price range, Diggs stands out like a sore thumb to me.
Julian Edelman ($6,000) just seems too cheap. I think this is a week that Brady throws the ball more than normal, so I expect to see extra targets for Edelman. He already has a high target floor, as he hasn’t seen any fewer than seven in his last four games. His price fits in very well in a stack with Brady.
Just below Edelman, I’m really interested in Jordan Matthews ($5,900). Matthews has seen 15 and 10 targets the past two weeks and should see a healthy amount again this week. He’s been in double digits on FanDuel the past two weeks as well. I think it’s likely that the trend continues against the Falcons, who give up the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers.
The last play I’m looking at here is J.J. Nelson ($5,600). Nelson has stormed on to the scene over the last two games with 11 catches on 19 targets for 163 yards and two touchdowns in those two contests. This becomes a must play if John Brown is limited or out. Regardless of the health, I think he has done enough to be the de facto WR2 for the Cardinals right now. In a juicy matchup against the 49ers, you have to seriously consider him.
This is lining up to be the kind of week where I pay for Rob Gronkowski ($8,000) and just figure out the rest of my lineup round him. He’s back to his old Gronk ways, and at this point we can almost feel comfortable predicting 100 yards and a touchdown each week. Just play him if you can afford it.
Somehow, my wife’s pick from last week, Lance Kendricks ($4,500) didn’t see his price increase from the minimum salary after his third straight solid game. His worst game over the last three is seven catches for 55 yards. For this price, we’ll take that as a floor. Case Keenum has developed an excellent rapport with him and I think he’ll continue to see enough targets to produce. Of course he doesn’t have near the upside of Gronkowski, but at nearly half the price, he doesn’t need to. For what it’s worth my wife says to go back to the well.
I would like to just pay up for the Arizona Cardinals ($5,200) and move along. They are an elite defense against one of the leagues worst offenses. I shouldn’t have to try to convince you they’re a good play.
You can make a case for the Los Angeles Rams ($4,600) if you need to save a little salary. They’ve been respectable the past couple weeks, holding the Giants and Panthers to 11 and 13 points, respectively. The only thing keeping them from big fantasy point days in those games is their lack of forced turnovers. This is a solid defense, but they haven’t been able to turn the ball over or score many defensive touchdowns through nine weeks. Against the Jets and their turnover prone QB, I think that could change this week.
There are a few cheap kickers in good spots, with Chandler Catanzaro ($4,500) sticking out the most to me.
Week 10 Stay Aways
Drew Brees ($8,200) is at home, where I love to play him, but I’m not brave enough to pull the trigger on him against the Broncos. I know they looked beatable last week without Aqib Talib, but I’m not going to look to pick on them, especially when I can get Brady for just $100 more.
I started with Jay Ajayi ($7,800) on my short list of running back plays this week, but the more I dug in, the less I started liking him. The guy has looked absolutely great the last three weeks, including in Week 9 where he went for 24-111-1 against the stout Jets run defense. While the Chargers seem to give up decent fantasy days to opposing running backs, we need to be careful here. They give up most of their fantasy goodness to RB’s through the pass game. Ajayi has been heavily relied on to run the ball, and they haven’t included him much in the pass game. He has just five catches on eight targets over his past four games. After what we’ve seen the last three weeks, it won’t surprise me if he rushes for over 100 yards and finds the end zone, but I’m willing to look elsewhere this week since there are some great spots for other RB’s.
Matt Forte ($7,100) was featured here last week because I envisioned a big drop off from the 55 carries he saw over his previous two games. That was exactly what happened, as he only saw 12 carries, but fortunately for his fantasy owners, he managed to turn those 12 carries into 92 yards and a touchdown. While some box score watchers might want to roster Forte after he’s had 16.2, 22.8, and 27.4 fantasy points over his past three games, I’ll stay away in this spot as he’s likely to see around 12-15 carries again against a top six fantasy run defense.
I’m going to stay away from both of the top two priced receivers: Julio Jones ($8,800) and Antonio Brown ($8,600). I don’t think either them are horrible plays, but I think we’re more likely to see big games from the running backs we’re paying up for than at wide receiver. Jones has disappeared in a couple of games this year and Brown has struggled versus similar zone schemes, so I’m just going to hope for the best here.
Allen Robinson ($7,000) remains a target monster and is underpriced based on his talent. However, the Jaguars offense has been horrible. They have been the epitome of a garbage time team this season and Robinson has benefited the past couple weeks. Some people are going to be tempted to play him because of his price and perceived matchup against Houston, but don’t be fooled; the Texans are solid in pass coverage. With a new offensive coordinator for the Jaguars, I expect them to approach this game with a run heavy attack, since that is where Houston struggles. On top of that, Blake Bortles does not currently look right, which is the main reason Robinson is struggling.
At tight end, just don’t play anyone besides Gronkowski or Kendricks. Okay, I’m not 100% serious, but I think there is a definite case to be made for either just going all the way up or all the way down. There are plenty of talented guys in between, but good luck picking the right one. Unfortunately my Detroit Lions aren’t playing this week, so the flow chart will have to take a week off.
Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to follow me on twitter at @mrclutchdfs if you want to get any updates from me on which way I’m leaning on some of these plays once Sunday gets here.
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