NFL DFS Deep Dive: Week 10

Week 9 Review

Oh boy… What a week in the DFS streets. Things were ugly. Not like a normal, oh dear that was a bit rough week, this was full-on Daphne and Celeste ‘you ain’t got no alibi’. Scoring was down to some of the lowest we’ve seen this season and if you made money you did well. Personally, I failed in almost every competition I entered, and it hurt a lot. Five more yards from Tyreek Hill (or anybody), would have been enough to pull me into the green for my cash lineups. C’est la vie. It wasn’t all bad though. In fact, the column did fairly well given the low scoring nature of the week. Whilst many of our picks failed to reach the 3x$ to points ratio we hope for, a lot of the players actually finished in fairly respectable positions. 

Quarterback was a rough start with Derek Carr putting up just 13.34 points in a reasonable matchup against the Giants, but even that paltry amount was good enough for QB12 on the slate. Breathing down his neck was Jordan Love posting 12.9 points. With Love’s salary coming in at $4400 you could have actually survived that score if you played the right players elsewhere. Jerry Jeudy (WR16), Cole Beasley (WR19) and Rashod Bateman (WR26) all did just about enough to keep you alive depending on your roster construction. Eli Mitchell and a bland 49ers offence couldn’t support enough points to push him past the RB18 but thankfully Cordarelle Patterson romped home late in the day picking up 22.6 points and finishing as the RB4 on the slate. Rounding out the picks was a bunch of budget tight ends, and picking from those depths turned out about how you’d expect with Albert O (TE19) and Brevin Jordan (TE30) combining for less than 10 points on their combined $5100 cost. The Tyler Conklin play was far better as he returned TE10 value and came just short of a double digits performance. Dan Arnold continued to see stud usage and was TE8, whilst the slightly more expensive Mike Gesicki only put up 9.4 points with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. 

For the season that leaves us here.

Great plays (3x$) – 46 (43%)

Good plays (2x$) – 32 (30%)

Bad plays (<2x$) – 29 (27%)

Week 10

The fantasy and DFS season is slipping away from us all too quickly. Week 10’s slate looks like a cracker on the surface. Stud QB’s like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson return to the main slate and bring with them a better outlook for stud receivers. Running back is also looking more studly with CMC, Kamara, Taylor, Ekeler, Najee Harris and Cook all sitting at the top of their tier. Tight End is the usual mixed bag so we’re going to need to be savvy with our lineups. It very much might shake out as a stars and scrubs week. 

As usual, I’m always happy to answer questions on Twitter and in my DM’s – @bestballuknflMy Stack of The Week and slightly miserable update to The Bankroll Challenge will be posted on my site nflbestball.co.uk around Friday lunchtime. I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and if you’ve enjoyed it, please give it a like and a retweet on Twitter. 

Quarterbacks

Carson Wentz – $5900 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars – 47.5 over/under

Carson Wentz makes his third appearance of the season in our Value plays column and I was a little surprised to see him not touch the $6000 price range in this matchup after scoring over 20 DK points in four of his last five games. Wentz has rejuvenated his career, to a degree, in his time in Indy and only five other quarterbacks have more than his 26 passes completed over 15 yards. Despite having a dominant Jonathan Taylor in the backfield, Wentz has thrown 2198 yards, which ranks 10th league-wide. Wentz plans to play Sunday even if his wife goes into labour, and it’s worth paying attention to his availability as, like most men, we talk a big game until the wife puts the hammer down. It’s hard to blame Wentz for wanting to play though, this Jacksonville defence allowed Geno Smith to put up 22.6 points and whilst Josh Allen dominated Josh Allen, I’d be surprised if they don’t regress and allow the Colts to put up points. 

Matt Ryan – $6000 – @ Dallas Cowboys – 54.5 over/under

It’s been a funny old season for Matt Ryan, early on he struggled to get into a rhythm and it’s only now when he’s lacking Calvin Ridley that he has got to grips with Arthur Smith’s offence. Through the last five weeks, Ryan ranks first in QBR, second in completions over expected and third in first down conversions. The last time these two teams met was in September 2020, when they combined for 79 points. The Cowboys defence has improved slightly since then but they still allow the 13th most adjusted points to quarterbacks and have had an average of 24.75 actual points scored against them by opposing offences in home games. Ryan comes into the game running hot and on the back of season-highs in points (31.5) and yardage (343), expect this game to be a popular one for stacking as it features the highest over/under of the week (54.5). 

Trevor Siemian – $5200 – @ Tennessee Titans – 44.5 over/under

This play is just barely above an honourable mention and not for the faint-hearted. It also is worth remembering that whilst Siemian got the start in week 9 Taysom Hill was returning from a month-long concussion and barely practised. I would not be surprised at all to see a lot more Hill this week. Siemian did however make a good show of things against the Falcons and through two games has acquitted himself above expectations. In pass-heavy scripts Siemian has almost matched Jameis Winston’s deep ball rate of 18.63% with his own 17.14% and whilst New Orleans tend to slow the game down, Siemian was happy enough targeting Alvin Kamara seven times to keep the offence moving. It’s a budget play for the contrarians amongst us but against a Titans defence that has been vulnerable at times, it’s worth consideration. ** Update ** It sounds like Taysom Hill could be used more actively today with Kamara out. I wouldn’t be using this play unless you’re making a lot of lineups.

Honourable Mention

P.J Walker – $5000- @ Arizona – With Sam Darnold missing out through injury it’s former XFL hero, P.J Walker time, for now at least. Arizona is a tough matchup for Walker, they rank 29th in adjusted QB fantasy points allowed. Carolina leans towards the run game for scoring with a 7:9TD Pass/rush ratio. Arizona plays at the 4th highest neutral pass rate, Car plays at the 2nd slowest over the last 3. Allowed woeful Jimmy G 23.3 points and 326 yards. Arizona allowed Trey Lance 5.6 ypc in wk 5, if Walker is going to find success it might be through his legs. Walker previously played under Rhule at Temple. Cam Newton signed with the Panthers on Thursday but it sounds likely he’ll not start this week.

Mason Rudolph – $4100 – Detroit Lions – 42.5 Over/under

With Big Ben missing out due to Covid-19, Rudolph has another audition for the starter role in Pittsburgh. As Ben has gotten older and broken down more Rudolph has had enough starts to know the system and the players well. Through seven starts he averages 16.6 points per game. It’s a bit gross, but the opposition is weak and he’s at home. Real hail mary budget option.

Running Backs

James Conner – $6300 – vs Carolina Panthers – 44.5 over/under

James Conner won’t be picking up any prizes as a sneaky play this week and now that Chase Edmonds is out he should be fairly popular as he has stands to be able to see full workhorse opportunities. With Edmonds departing through injury early in week 9 Conner saw 52 snaps, 21 carries and five targets off 15 routes run. Conner turned those opportunities into three touchdowns and 40.3 points. No player in the league has more touchdowns than Conner’s 10. I have conviction in this play regardless of who is under centre for the Cardinals. Kyler Murray seems to be aware his body is too fragile to keep up his rushing production and Conner’s red zone work will continue to support his floor. Through nine weeks Conner has seen 15 attempts inside the 10-yard line, which ranks fourth highest. As you can see in the chart below, Conner is trending towards good company.

Leonard Fournette – $6100 – @ Washington Football Team – 51.0 over/under

It’s been a strange transition to becoming a Lenny fan for me. In 2020 I completely faded him at his crazy-high cost when it was clear the Jaguars disliked him. In 2021 I have Fournette on two of my favourite dynasty teams and he’s been great. In Fournette’s last two games before the bye week he saw 63.6% of the team running back touches and put up 18.7 points per game. The Buccs seemed to be ready to hand over the pass-catching role to Giovani Bernard when they brought him in over the summer but it’s been all Fournette when it’s mattered. Washington is a poor team with a poor defence particularly against the run, allowing 115 rushing yards in their home games and a league-leading average of 0.9 touchdowns per game to the position. Expect the receiving core to pick up rostership like usual, but Fournette could be the smart leverage pivot. 

J.D McKissic – $5200 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 51.0 over/under

On the other side of this game is J.D McKissic who arrives fresh off a bye week whilst fellow Washington back, Antonio Gibson, continues to struggle through injuries. With Gibson struggling, McKissic has seen an increase in snaps to out-snap Gibson 54.9%-37.3% in their last two games, along with seeing 12 high value touches compared to Gibson’s 7. Very few teams choose to run the ball on Tampa’s elite run defence, and due to game script it’s often given up on entirely but where teams find reasonable success is throwing to running backs against this defence. Only eight teams have allowed more targets to the position and Tampa allow a healthy above average 0.5 receiving touchdowns and an average of 49.12 yards per game to the position. It’s a little pricier than I’d like but if you’re after a bring-back on a stack, this sets up to follow the expected game script. 

D’ernest Johnson – $4700 – @ New England Patriots – 45.5 over/under

Taking a step into the chalky basement we find D’ernest Johnson who becomes the latest player to be presented an opportunity by Covid-19. With Kareem Hunt on I.R and Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton placed on the Covid-19 reserve, Johnson is the last man standing and after his week 7 workhorse role against Denver, where he put up 27.8 points, there’s reason to be interested in him at this price tag. Including that impressive game, Johnson has the joint-highest missed tackles at the position with 12 in three games, on just 34 attempts. Cleveland leans heavily on their running game and has scored 16 rushing touchdowns to nine passing touchdowns. New England has a reputation for a tough defence but it doesn’t carry over to stopping backs, with them allowing the ninth-most adjusted fantasy points to the position along with allowing the league’s 2nd most receiving yards to backs (593). If Chubb is cleared in time for this game it should go without saying this is a less appealing play. 

David Singletary – $4700 @ New York Jets – 47.5 over/under

** UPDATE** Zack Moss has cleared the concussion protocol as of Saturday and looks to be in line to return to the lineup. Playing either back seems a bit risky now despite the plus matchup. If you’re entering multiple lineups, I’d give them both some consideration but lean towards Moss ($5100). People shy away from returning players who’ve been injured, even though concussions shouldn’t have lingering effects. Moss has dominated Singletary in opportunity share every week he’s been healthy since week 2. Original notes are below…

Another selection pending injury news comes in a matchup I’ll continue to hammer. Devin Singletary has the opportunity for a big day against the league’s worst run defence. The Jets don’t do much of anything well on defence and they definitely don’t stop running backs from scoring. As of Wednesday Zack Moss isn’t practising and that would leave all the work to Singletary and Matt Breida, who had four attempts in week 1 and hasn’t seen a snap since week 2. Whilst the Bills might not seek to establish the run, this game should go in their favour enough for Singletary to see a solid workload against a defence that just allowed Colts backs to put up 308 yards and three touchdowns.

Mark Ingram – $4500 @ Tennessee Titans – 44.5 over/under

With Alvin Kamara ruled out with injury Mark Ingram vaults into mega-chalk territory. Whilst looking slightly past it at age 31, Ingram has looked more comfortable since his trade back to the Saints. In the seven games, he played for the Texans he averaged 3.11 yards per carry and 1.28 targets per game. Through two games with the Saints, he averages 4.64 YPC and 3.5 targets. With a depleted passing game and a backup quarterback, the Saints will have to generate plays in any way possible and Ingram should see a healthy workload. I’ll consider Ingram for cash games but probably stay away for GPP’s.

Honourable Mention

Brandon Bolden – $4400 – vs Cleveland – 44% snaps with DH leaving the game. 11:11 TD P/R. Bolden has had 8 missed tackles in the last 2 wks. 8.6 yards per reception. Cleveland allowed 85 or more rush yards in four of the last five. Another possible injury-related play. Keep an eye on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson news.

Wide Receivers

Mike Williams – $6600 – vs Minnesota Vikings – 52.5 over/under 

Mike Williams drops to his cheapest price since week 3 and drops below Keenan Allen’s price after his solid week 9 performance. Williams has failed to reach double-digit points in four of his last five outings but now faces a team in the Vikings who have given up 594 passing yards in their last two games at an average of 11.0 yards per attempt. The Vikings also allow the 7th most adjusted fantasy points to the position, so for me, we’re in a get-right spot for Mike Williams as teams start to react to Allen being more productive.  

Julio Jones – $5400 – vs New Orleans Saints – 44.5 over/under

** Update – I jinxed Julio. It sounds like he aggravated a hamstring and may not be fully healthy going into this matchup. Sigh. Original notes are below. ****** ANOTHER UPDATE **** Wow! I am so sorry for jinxing everything. I’ll leave the notes below so you can see for yourself, but now that Julio is on I.R obviously don’t play him. Sad times. I’ve added some extra plays below in this price range.

Julio has definitely not lived up to his lofty expectations this year and thanks to injuries it’s been hard to gauge what he has in the tank still. Against the Rams, Julio looked solid with 4-35 and seemed to move better having had the extra rest of a bye week. As of Wednesday Julio was practising in full and it’s starting to feel like we might get a good look at him this weekend. Marshon Lattimore has played well this season but the Saints defence is by no means a good pass defence as a whole, allowing the 2nd most adjusted points to the position, whilst giving up a whopping 682 passing yards in their last two games and allowing 9 top 24 wide receiver finishes this season, to tie for second-most in the league. The Titans are still learning who they are without Derrick Henry and trying to feed Julio Jones would be a good start. 

Jerry Jeudy – $5300 – Philadelphia Eagles – 45.5 over/under

I might not be much of a fan of serial crier Vic Fangio, after the way he got upset when my Ravens equalled a record on his turf, but I am a fan of the way Jeudy has been targeted since coming back from injury. Jeudy has been targeted on an incredible 25% of the routes he’s run this season. For reference that’s the 14th highest rate amongst receivers who have played 50% or more of the snaps, they were active for. Whilst Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick tend to see targets further from the line of scrimmage, Jeudy’s tend to be closer to the quarterback. Their average depth of targets read Sutton – 15.5, Patrick – 15.0, Jeudy 6.8. The Eagles defence is set up to allow short-medium passes whilst taking away the deep threat. Jeudy could easily see enough targets to pay off his price tag.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling – $3500 – vs Seattle Seahawks – 49.0 over/under

The Sweet Prince of Best Ball returned to the starting lineup in week 9  only for Jordan Love and his below-average quarterbacking to spoil what could have been a smash spot against the Kansas City Chiefs. Next up comes the Seattle Seahawks who come into Green Bay with their cringeworthy QB Russell Wilson returning to the lineup, whilst the Packers are also set to welcome their Homeopathic Expert Aaron Rodgers M.D back under centre as well. For all Rodgers ‘interesting” comments of late, the one that went under the radar was talking about how the Packers passing game had struggled due to the lack of MVS whilst he was injured. This isn’t a strong Seattle secondary and as a very cheap way to get a player in this game and on the pass-heavy Packers offence, I really like it. 

James Washington – $3500 – Detroit Lions – 42.5 over/under

I’ve warmed slightly on this play as the weekend goes on. Chase Claypool is out injured and whilst Diontae Johnson is a great play Washington has had usable starts in his time in Pittsburgh. In games where Washington has started 50% or more of the snaps, he averages 8.9 PPR points per game. It’s a boom or bust type play, but with Najee Harris and Johnson predicted to be heavily owned, it’s an interesting pivot. *** Update to the update… With Mason Rudolph starting, this play looks riskier. Washington has produced with Rudolph previously. In 2019 when Rudolph started a run of games Washington had four consecutive weeks posting fantasy worthy scores of 10.9, 18, 7.9 and 18.8.

Scott Miller – $3000 – @ Washington Football Team – 51 over/under

Miller has to be activated off I.R, but if he is, and we’ll know well before game time, then he becomes one of my favourite contrarian plays. Tyler Johnson has picked up some hype this week but in games where they play 50% of the snaps or more, Miller outscored Johnson 10.43 PPR points to Johnson’s 7.58. If Godwin misses out and this wide receiver core is depleted even further then Miller is a great piece to add to game stacks featuring the Buccs.

Honourable Mentions

Robby Anderson – $4400 ARI – Look… I know, but I can’t help it. Robby went 70-939-7TD at Temple when P.J Walker was the quarterback. 

Russell Gage – $5000 – DAL – Gage finally got going in week 9. Dallas allows the 10th most adjusted fantasy points to the position. Nice player to add into stacks.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz – $5000 – vs Atlanta Falcons – 54.5 over/under

As a community, many people are wondering how they managed to overlook Schultz’s breakout in 2020 expecting Jarwin to surpass him when he returned from injury. Whilst Jarwin was drafted consistently, Schultz fell out of most standard redraft and best-ball leagues. Schultz has had the last laugh though and made himself an integral part of this Cowboys passing game. In week 9 Schultz ran a route on 91% of dropbacks, which was the 4th highest at the position. Atlanta’s defence isn’t winning awards and Schultz’s 6.12 targets per game should see him into a comfortable play.   

Zach Ertz – $4600 – vs Carolina Panthers – 44.5 over/under

Ertz has looked far healthier this season and seems to be enjoying life again after the contract disputes in Philly. Averaging a not-awful 4.6 targets per game Ertz has settled well into the Cardinals offence, averaging 9.96 DK points a game. In week 9 Ertz ran a route on 91% of drop-backs which was the fifth-most at the position. With Chase Edmond’s out injured, perhaps we see more short area passes to Ertz. 

Dan Arnold – $3500 – @ Indianapolis Colts – 47.5 over/under

Forgive me if you’ve heard this one before but Dan Arnold should be priced higher. Since Arnold’s trade to the Jaguars, his usage has been elite. The results haven’t quite gotten into that area but he’s averaged 7.5 targets per game since week 5 and has a target share of 19.2%, which ranks 8th at the position. The Colts meanwhile allowed Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin to combine for over 21 DK points in week 9, and allow the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. 

Honourable Mention

Ricky Seals-Jones – $3700 – Tampa Bay – watch for news on Logan Thomas, but if he doesn’t play RSJ has had incredible usage. Tied for 3rd most slot targets through the last 5 weeks despite having a bye week (18).  TB allows the 12th most adjusted fantasy points to TE’s. 72 TE targets allowed through 8 games. ** As of Saturday it sounds likely Logan Thomas will miss out.

As usual, I’m always happy to answer questions on Twitter and in my DM’s – @bestballuknfl – My Stack of The Week and slightly miserable update to The Bankroll Challenge will be posted on my site nflbestball.co.uk around Friday lunchtime. I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and if you’ve enjoyed it, please give it a like and a retweet on Twitter. 

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