Top Tier :
Patrick Mahomes vs. Arizona Cardinals ($7200)
Mahomes continues to put up big numbers regardless of opponent. A home matchup vs. Arizona shouldn't change that at all. A $7200 price tag may seem pretty steep, but considering he's performing at a level we haven't seen since Tom Brady's historic fantasy season, it's actually not steep at all. He's underpriced, really.
The Chiefs are 16.5 point favorites this week. They'll be able to do anything they want offensively. Mahomes is a virtual lock for 300 passing yards, and two touchdowns, and I would say three is very likely.
I'll be paying down at QB for cash games, as usual, but there really isn't a safer play this week that comes with the upside that Mahomes does. If you're paying up, go to the top of the board and plug in Mahomes.
Andrew Luck vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($5500)
Too cheap. Andrew Luck is far too cheap this week. This price stood out to me immediately, and for some reason it seems I'm the only one. I haven't heard anyone mentioning Luck this week. The Jags have a ‘name brand' defense that shouldn't be scaring anyone away from playing him.
In games vs. the Giants, Titans and Jets, Jacksonville allowed an average of 163 pass yards and 0.3 touchdowns. Those were weeks 1, 3 and 4, respectively. In the last three weeks, vs. the Cowboys, Texans and Eagles, they've allowed six passing touchdowns. Andrew Luck is second only to Patrick Mahomes in touchdown passes this season, having thrown 23 in his first eight games. We can talk about the names in the Jacksonville secondary all we want, but without pressuring the QB, those names don't matter. Luck has been sacked 10 times – the second fewest in the league; one more than Drew Brees. The Jags are 25th in sacks. The only teams with fewer sacks than them? Bucs, Falcons, Saints, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants and Raiders. These are teams that we target every week.
Last I checked, he was projected to be 1% owned in tournaments. I'll be playing Luck in cash games, and if it seems like ownership will actually be in that range, he'll also be in the majority of my tournament lineups, as well.
Lower Tier :
Marcus Mariota vs. New England Patriots ($4700)
This is a great example of price plus matchup putting someone into play. I'll be very clear: Marcus Mariota isn't good at playing QB in the NFL. However, in tournaments, in this home game against New England, he's in play because the guys that play defense for the Patriots aren't good at playing football, either.
The Patriots allow 21.75 Draftkings points per game to QBs; that's the seventh most. They allow 2.1 passing touchdowns per game; that's sixth most. Mariota had his best game of the season last week vs. Dallas, and with a visit from the Patriots coming this week, at this very cheap price, I think that he can continue to look like a startable NFL QB for one more week, at least.
In tournaments, you could play him on his own because of his rushing upside, or pair him with Dion Lewis, who's about the only other capable offensive player on the team, and also very cheap this week.
Top Tier :
Melvin Gordon @ Oakland Raiders ($9000)
This was the easiest play of the week for me. Gordon may find his way into every lineup I make – cash games and tournaments. Todd Gurley is in a great spot, as always; Kareem Hunt is in a great spot. Both are fantastic plays, but Gordon is playing a team that has simply quit.
The Oakland Raiders have no answer for anything on either side of the ball. Period. Add that to the fact that even if they did, they don't WANT to be competitive. What the Chargers want to do is give the ball to Melvin Gordon. He's going to rush the ball; he's going to catch the ball; he's going to do anything the team wants to do.
The Raiders' DVOA: 31st overall; 32nd vs. Pass; 25th vs. Rush; 32nd vs. RB pass attempts. We target the Buccaneers every week because of how inept they are on defense – they're on pace to set all-time records for futility. Guess what? The Raiders' defense is worse. The only reason why they haven't been torched quite to the extent that the Bucs have, is simply because the Raiders offense is just as bad. They can't respond. If the offense was in any way competent, their defensive metrics would be much worse than the Bucs. Gordon is a virtual lock in all formats.
Aaron Jones vs. Miami Dolphins ($5000)
This is the week! It's gotta be, right? This is the week that the Packers finally decide to stop fighting reality and simply give Aaron Jones the touches he needs for the team to be successful. This is only difficult to grasp for the Packers coaching staff, apparently. With the departure of Ty Montgomery and a home matchup with the helpless Dolphins defense – this is the week!
The Dolphins surrender more fantasy points to RBs than the Bucs, Raiders, Lions and Giants – 30.27 per game. That's 6th most. They see the 26.1 rush attempts per week – 2nd most; allow 120 rush yards per game – 4th most; allow 53.7 receiving yards per game to RBs – 10th most.
There is some risk that Jones doesn't get ‘all' the work, but I don't think it's high risk. He's a great play this week for cash or tournaments. He's likely going to make my cash lineup this week. This is the week!
Lower Tier :
Mike Davis @ Los Angeles Rams ($4300)
This is a very intriguing play. The Seahawks want to run the ball, a lot, every week. This week, they'll want to run it even more. It's Thursday, and it looks like there's a good chance that Chris Carson won't play. It's being said that he's likely a game-time decision. Not a word that ever comes out of Pete Carroll's mouth can be believed, so there is some risk involved here too, but if it turns out that Carson isn't playing, Davis isn't some type ‘punt-play', he'll be in line for a heavy workload in both the run AND passing game this week.
Last week, after Carson left the game with injury, Davis totaled 107 yards. He had 15 carries for 62 rush yards and got 8 targets in the passing game, catching 7 of them for another 45 yards. Twenty-two touches last week – in less than 3 quarters of action – heading into a matchup vs. the Rams 24th ranked rush DVOA for $4300 is a great look this week. If Carson is out, Davis is viable in cash games, for sure.
Top Tier :
Jarvis Landry vs. Atlanta Falcons ($6200)
The Cleveland Browns have gotten their identity back. After a few weeks of wild optimism, they're back to being the ‘dumpster fire' that we've grown to accept. They've fired Hue Jackson, and somehow, managed to make their coaching situation even worse. THAT'S Cleveland Browns football! Their defense has eroded to the bare bones, and the Falcons are in town on Sunday. How is this promotional for Jarvis Landry? Well, the Falcons pass defense, and specifically their slot coverage, is also an absolute dumpster fire.
Maurice Harris – 124 yards; Sterling Shepard – 167 yards; Adam Humphries – 82 yards; Tyler Boyd – 11 catches for 100 yards. These are the last four slot WRs the Falcons have faced. Jarvis Landry is averaging 6.1 receptions per game, and 11.2 targets per game.
There are lots of guys in this price range that I really like, but Landry is my cash game play, easily, in this pricing group. Pricing, matchup, target volume – all are in Landry's favor here.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. Miami Dolphins ($5000)
‘MVS' is a thing now. It hasn't taken long for this Packers WR to gain Aaron Rodgers' trust and explode onto the DFS scene. An injury to Geronimo Allison, a great home matchup vs. Miami, and a $5000 price tag make MVS a cash game play for me.
He's gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games, on only 6 targets in each of those games. All targets aren't created equal, and targets from Aaron Rodgers are more valuable than most. Targets from Aaron Rodgers against the 23rd ranked pass DVOA are more valuable still.
With the high-end, high-priced RBs in great spots this week, having a clear-cut, slam dunk WR play at $5000 for cash games is fantastic, and MVS is that play.
Lower Tier :
David Moore @ Los Angeles Rams ($3900)
“Moore is always more.” That's a motto I've employed for quite some time. Because, it's true! This week, I think it's undeniably true if we're talking about Seahawks' WR David Moore.
The Seahawks want to run the ball, a lot. The only problem is, they're 10 point road underdogs, and there's a high probability that they'll be down those 10 points very shortly after opening kickoff. There should be many targets to go around, and Moore has shown big play capability, has gotten redzone targets and has scored four touchdowns in the last four games.
$3900 is a great price. He's a borderline cash game play this week, and a tournament lock. I'll have him across most of my tournament lineups.
Top Tier :
Travis Kelce vs. Arizona Cardinals ($7000)
This section is becoming the ‘Travis Kelce section.' It's not by design, it's just falling that way. Kelce is elite; he's one of two elite TE's. If Ertz isn't on the main slate, it's ‘Kelce week' at the top of the salary scale. I'm not forgetting about Rob Gronkowski; he's extremely beat up and can't be trusted to get a full compliment of snaps or any relevant target share.
The Chiefs are a 16 point home favorite, have an implied total of 33 points, are without Sammy Watkins, and facing the 23rd ranked DVOA vs. TEs. Kelce is a very easy play again this week.
Lower Tier :
Vernon Davis @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2800)
The Washington Redskins have been very disappointing for DFS purposes this season. That will no doubt continue this week, and they have a prime matchup vs. Tampa Bay.
Chris Thompson is out, Jamison Crowder may not play, the offensive line has been decimated by injury, and Alex Smith hasn't looked great when the team has been at full strength. Jordan Reed, although a bit ‘dinged up' is one of the last men standing on offense, but he's been very disappointing thus far. How ironic is that? Enter ‘Big Vern'! He's going to be running routes, getting targets and making plays. That's what Big Vern does.
I couldn't write this article and not mention any of the Bucs awful defensive metrics, so: DVOA vs. TEs – 29th. They've allowed the 2nd most points to TEs; the 5th most targets; the 4th most receptions; the most most receiving yards per game, and the 5th most expected touchdowns. I love Vernon Davis @ $2800 this week in all formats.
Good Luck in Week 10!