My NFL DFS picks certainly went in the right direction last week. Stacking a Panthers team that put up 42 points was by no means a bad idea. Christian McCaffrey went nuts, Greg Olsen was solid and Cam Newton put up 21 fantasy points. D.J. Moore was a solid try considering the matchup and overall production out of the offense, but he ended up being a whiff.
That was the case with Courtland Sutton and Kenny Golloday as well, but at least both Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara made me look smart.
As is often the case, my studs worked out beautifully and the cheap sleepers that I needed to post even modest numbers fell flat. It’s not always easy to get the sleepers or even the studs, but last week’s daily fantasy football picks certainly helped more than they hurt.
Had I pivoted from Cam to Ryan Fitzpatrick and been able to pay up at wide receiver a bit more, things could have gone a whole lot better. That didn’t happen, so it’s onward and upward as we roll into week 10 at FanDuel:
QB: Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers ($8.6k)
Patrick Mahomes leads the way amongst fantasy passers and there’s several options beneath him at FanDuel. The matchup is not sparkling for Mahomes and he’s nearly $10k, so I don’t mind dropping down a bit to A-Rod.
Rodgers is still not cheap and after struggling the last two weeks, recency bias could help lower his ownership a bit. He’s poised for a huge bounce-back outing at home, where he’s favored to beat the Dolphins by 10 points. I don’t know if the Packers actually cover here, but I do think they win and Rodgers should finally blow up a bit.
Drew Brees is an awesome pivot down from Rodgers at $8.4k and if you want to roll the dice with a cheap play, consider a dialed in Marcus Mariota ($6.7k).
RB: Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs ($9k)
I won’t be paying nearly $11k for Todd Gurley, but Hunt could be the next best thing. He nearly doubled Gurley’s production a week ago and really has been on fire for some time now.
With the Chiefs facing a solid Arizona secondary, the odds are decent they go to Hunt as a runner and receiver early and often. The Cardinals also struggle on the ground (31st against fantasy RBs), but it’s not like you needed a ton of incentive to roster one of the best running backs in DFS.
Gurley is always going to seem safer, but you’re getting potentially an identical play but saving $1.8k in cash. Sign me up for that.
RB: Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers ($8.9k)
You can pick between Hunt and Gordon or just pair the two. I’m opting for the latter, seeing as Gordon is a touchdown monster and faces an Oakland team that has mailed it in already.
Gordon is about as reliable as they come, as he’s scored at least once in each of his last six games and tends to rack up yardage along the way. Facing a bad Raiders run defense (29th against RBs) certainly won’t hurt his cause.
WR: John Ross – Cincinnati Bengals ($5.6k)
I have found that paying up at wide receiver tends to guarantee safety, but with a slew of options (namely Adam Thielen, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.) all gone from the main slate, I think we can seek value here.
There are still some expensive wide receivers to lust after (namely Julio Jones and Michael Thomas), but speed kills in the value department this week. It all starts with the explosive Ross for me, as he can beat defenses over the top and could return value instantly in one play.
Ross has the talent to crush this price tag, but he’s also got the matchup and potentially even the role.
A.J. Green is out this week, so it’s basically up to Ross and Tyler Boyd to get the job done for Cincinnati’s passing attack. In going up against a Saints pass defense that has allowed more fantasy production to wide receivers than anyone all year, I have to think chasing Ross’ upside is worth the risk.
WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers ($5.4k)
Geronimo Allison was recently placed on injured reserve and MVS was already establishing explosive chemistry with Aaron Rodgers, so he is a locked in sleeper for week 10. Valdes-Scantling is one of the worst kept secrets in DFS, as he’s displayed his big play ability for a while now and has successfully topped 11+ fantasy points in each of the last four games.
That massive game is just around the corner and I think it could arrive this week when MVS and the Packers take on a Miami secondary that ranks just 24th in yardage allowed to the position. Some big plays are to be had in this matchup and with a growing role, Valdes-Scantling figures to blow this cheap price tag out of the water.
WR: Josh Doctson – Washington Redskins ($4.9k)
Doctson carries considerably more risk than the first two receivers I like, but he also has just as much upside. Not only does Doctson have a solid role right now (5+ targets in each of his last four games), but he’s also coming off a game where he scored for the first time this year.
Beyond that, Doctson has red-zone skills and big play ability – both of which could come in handy against a bad Buccaneers defense that ranks 31st at stopping fantasy wide receivers.
TE: Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins ($5.2k)
Tampa Bay is also pretty bad against tight ends. I know Jordan Reed has been sluggish and even banged up lately, but he’s the cheapest I’ve seen him all year and is just too talented to stay down for much longer.
Reed isn’t as explosive as he once was, but he still has a good role (18 targets the past two weeks) and is a red-zone threat. A matchup with the Bucs (31st vs. TEs) is easily his best shot all year at a huge performance. If not now, then when?
FLEX: Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints ($8.8k)
I could punt at Flex or just pay down at one running back slot this week, but why? I tend to think you need to pay up at the spots where there are studs and a lack of reliable value and seek value at a position you think is weaker. This week, I have to get a trio of elite studs and I think a slew of solid value plays at wide receiver help make that very doable.
Kamara is another guy you can use to pivot away from Gurley and while I’d rank him third behind Gordon and Hunt, I still love him. He’s been on a tear lately and will face a shaky Bengals defense that has been getting torched from every angle lately. Cincy happens to rank 25th against fantasy rushers on the year and in the last four weeks (31st) they’ve only gotten worse.
DEF: Washington Redskins ($3.4k)
I really like Kansas City’s defense this week and you can always pay for the Jets against whatever trash bag the Bills roll out under center. However, if I can find value in my defense, I don’t mind punting the position.
I think the Redskins can give me that. They’ve now been housed twice by dynamic offenses, but the last time that happened to them they bounced back with a solid performance. This week they could easily get torched again by a capable Buccaneers passing game, but they could also just as easily dominate Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzmagic has been good at times in 2018, but he’s also been awful at times. That gives way to sacks and turnovers and if the Redskins play it right they could be one of the better defensive plays of this slate.
I’m not paying for the top players on this slate, but I’m still getting some of the best options. I’m choosing to save cash at WR, TE and DEF, only to pay a premium for fantastic QB and RB options. The stability of those elite plays should get this squad in the running and if my value picks can deliver, I may have a shot at doing some damage in GPPs.
If you want to save cash at running back, consider Jordan Howard, Kenyan Drake, Aaron Jones and even Duke Johnson. I like all of those guys this week, but even in tourneys they all feel so volatile. I prefer stud running backs if I’m going to give away some cash and week 10 feels like a good spot to attack value at wide receiver.
Hopefully it all works out, but as always, feel free to pivot and mix/match as you see fit. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy football contests this week. Enjoy the games!