Week 10 is in the books, and it was a very interesting week to say the least. I felt very confident about my final lineup on FanDuel, where I play the large majority of my NFL DFS dollars and always use a single optimized lineup. It was the best I’d felt all year going into lock. From top to bottom, studs littered my lineup, with only a punt at tight end. Fast forward six hours later and I had my lowest score of the season. That’s how it goes some weeks though. And it’s on to the next.
We only have seven main slates left this NFL season, but really like five and a half, because those last two weeks are interesting. So let’s jump into the plays that are standing out to me this week. My core is going to be smaller this week because I’m pretty dialed in on where I’m going. I may add a couple plays through the weekend as I continue diving deeper into my research for final decisions, so be sure to check back or follow me on twitter.
Eli Manning – It pains me to mention his name, but how can you not in this matchup against the Bucs. It took a meeting with Alex Smith and his injury ridden team for them to not allow multiple passing touchdowns for the first time in six weeks. Look, I know there’s a very low floor here, but Eli has been trending upward.
The first thing he has going on both sites is he’s very cheap. The second is that he’s been a serviceable fantasy option the past few weeks; he’s thrown for over 280 yards in four of his last five games. In the one game he didn’t, which was last week, he threw for three passing touchdowns. The touchdowns are all that has been missing with Eli, so if he can toss a couple here, I think the yardage will be there to make a solid point per dollar play.
Carson Wentz – Talk about a quarterback with a floor. Wentz has posted at least 18 FanDuel points in his last six starts, with his only game on the season below that mark being the first game he returned from injury. In a perfect world I would like to find the extra $1,000 on FanDuel to get up to Wentz over Manning. He’s facing the Saints, who have been a dream matchup for opposing QB’s.
The Eagles have their backs against the wall, and while I don’t predict them to win this game, I do think the Saints will be scoring points and Wentz will post another solid fantasy line. In a nutshell, if you can afford him, play Wentz. If you must have the savings, Eli is waiting for you.
Dion Lewis – Dion Lewis was one of my plays last week that just didn’t work out. He was in a great spot and ended up with 7.8 FanDuel points. While the fantasy points weren’t there, the work still was. He rushed 20 times and received two targets in the passing game. Derrick Henry vultured two touchdowns, which can happen in this backfield. The good sign was that Tennessee was playing with the lead against the Patriots and Lewis still received 20 carries. That shows he’s cemented as the lead back and if they do fall behind, we’ll see more pass game volume.
The Colts have allowed some big games to opposing running backs and I’m taking a hard look at Lewis again this week. The great thing about his bad game last week is that his price is still way too low and I’m going to use that to my advantage this week.
Ezekiel Elliott – What is there not to like about Zeke? He’s one of the few actual workhorse backs in the league and he’s facing one of the three worst defenses against opposing running backs. On top of his 18-20 carry expectation, he’s seen 18 targets over the past three weeks as well. If you factor in that many opportunities against this defense, he’s got a solid floor and crazy high ceiling. As of today (Thursday), he’s my top high dollar priority at the running back position.
David Johnson – I knew the big David Johnson game was coming and against my own advice in last week’s article, I left him off my main team. He proceeded to smash against the Chiefs. It’s obvious that they are going to feed him as much as they can and with Byron Leftwich at the helm, they are finally using him in a way that increases his likelihood of success. His opponent, the tanking Raiders, have allowed 113 or more rushing yards in seven out of nine games. Johnson sets up well for another monster game here.
Christian McCaffrey – I hate writing up players against my team, but I’m to the point I don’t care anymore. I’m giving up on my Lions this year, as what I’m seeing on the field is really bad. McCaffrey should destroy the Lions in both the running and passing game. I’ll be watching, as usual, with my Lions gear on and hoping McCaffrey does nothing, but my reasonable side tells me we won’t be so lucky. He is on a touchdown tear, with seven over the past three weeks, after only scoring two the first six weeks. I’d be more surprised if he doesn’t find the end zone this week than if he does.
Odell Beckham Jr. – OBJ is in the same boat as Eli, except better. There is a path for Eli to have a bad game by a quarterbacks standard, and OBJ could still have a solid day. If you stack the two and OBJ has one of his 150+ yard games with multiple touchdowns, you’re going to be sitting pretty, because chances are Eli is closing in on 300 yards and has at least two TD’s. But even if he doesn’t have one of those ceiling games, he could still top 100 yards and a score, leaving open the possibility he has a good game and Eli does not.
If there’s one thing we know about OBJ, it’s that he makes it known he wants the ball and Eli is going to throw it his way often to try and keep him happy. He’s seen fewer than 10 targets just once this season. He’s my favorite spend up at the position.
Larry Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald is another guy who was in a good spot last week, but under-performed a little. I don’t think I’d include him in my lineups with David Johnson (unless going full Cardinals stack with Rosen in large field GPP’s), but he’s a good pivot. Fitz has seen 22 targets over the past two games, since Leftwich took over the offense. He caught 14 of those for 152 yards and a touchdown. I honestly don’t think there’s anyone not in play against these Raiders. He’s a cheap way to another 10 targets or so and that gives him plenty of upside to go with his floor.
Demaryius Thomas – Thomas is probably my favorite value receiver on both sites. His role should grow now that he has had a bye week to learn the Texans playbook and system a bit better. In his first game as a Texan, on just a few days practice, he caught three balls for 61 yards and that was all in the first quarter. The Texans coaching staff has made a point to say that he will be heavily involved and I’m locking him in at his price.
Kenny Golladay – Golladay saw 13 targets in Week 10 after a couple down weeks. Now is the time to jump back on him before his price goes up. Marvin Jones is very questionable, maybe more like doubtful. If he is inactive, this offense will have reduced from three mouths to feed, down to one. I honestly think he would see 15 targets in this spot if Jones is out and I will have him locked in.
Zach Ertz – Not much to say here. If you can afford to play Ertz, just do it. He’s really the only guarantee at the position and locks in a floor and ceiling. You’ll just have to decide whether or not to play him or punt the position to use those savings elsewhere.
Evan Engram – The Bucs are bad all around, and especially against tight ends, so Engram isn’t a terrible option to use alone, or along with Eli. It’s not sexy, but not much is at this position. Tight end has been a dumpster fire all year long outside of a few top performers.
James O’Shaughnessy – So this is my interesting play of the week. I actually went here last week at just $4,000 on FanDuel. It just allows so much salary to use at other positions. At tight end, where you could end up with a zero with a guy priced 50% more, I felt it was worth the gamble. O’Shaughnessy was involved, seeing six targets, catching five of those for 46 yards. Not bad for his price. Well, he’s min-priced again and the Steelers are in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, so I don’t hate going back here.
Pittsburgh Steelers – I don’t love a ton on defense this week, but the Steelers stand out to me against the Jaguars. The Steelers have been pretty consistent all season long and they’re reasonably priced in what I expect to be a grind it out game without a ton of points from the Jags.
Cincinatti Bengals – This one scares me a bit, because on one hand, the Bengals have been atrocious on defense. They’ve scored negative DraftKings points in three of their last six games and scored zero in another one of those. On the other hand, they’ve played a murderer’s row of offenses during that stretch. Three of their last four games came against top five scoring offenses, while the other was Tampa Bay, who is 11th in scoring.
The Ravens offense isn’t scary by any means, and it looks like Robert Griffin III could be starting. There’s definitely a possibility we see the RG3 of old and he runs wild against the Bengals, but there is also a better chance we see the bad RG3 that we saw more recently in Washington. At their price, I’m willing to take a shot.
Houston Texans – The Texans are a lock button play on Draftkings. They’re the most expensive defense on FanDuel, against a banged up Redskins offense, but they’re just $2,600 on DK.
That’s it for this week. If you have any input about what you like or don’t like about the format, feel free to let me know on twitter @mrclutchdfs. Best of luck this weekend!
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