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Are you ready for my Daily Fantasy Football Week 10 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS? Holy Trump, Batman! That will be my only words spoken on the political side of things. That’s not what you came here to read about, but rather about which picks to fade. Gentle reminder that thus far this season, my value plays have been scorching. Just a gentle nudge.
We move on to Week 10 of the great NFL season, unless you’re a Browns fan. Poor Brownies. There will be some surprise players to roster this week, partly due to injuries and guys winning the job over previous incumbent starters. There’s also David Johnson versus the 49ers, a chance for a running back to break Adrian Peterson’s single game rushing record. I mean, when you get gashed by Tim Hightower, there’s something wrong. The second coming of Ricky
Williams will make an appearance on the West Coast, as Jay Ajayi tries to make it four straight games of 100+ rushing yards. Dolphins in the playoffs? MAKE IT HAPPEN! Let’s get to the plays now.
Top Play ? Aaron Rodgers was able to get Randall Cobb back in action last week, and should be able to get both James Starks and Jared Cook in the rotation. That’s big news for his fantasy ceiling, as long as the Packers continue with the winning formula over the last couple weeks. That’s keeping the routes short, letting Rodgers pick apart opposing defenses with quick decision making and not playing backyard football, rolling around in the pocket and bombing it 50 yards on every single throw. Rodgers will face the Titans’ 27th ranked DVOA pass defense that’s giving up the 14th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. That number’s been increasing over the past few weeks, as they’ve given up 300+ yards to the opposing QBs in 3 of the last 4 games. The other QB not to get 300+ passing yards was Rivers, who ended up with 275 and 2 TDs anyways. It’s a very nice spot for Rodgers to get more comfortable in his offense as everyone starts to get healthier and make a playoff push. Another boost to Rodgers is the fact that Mariota and the Titans’ O have been humming lately, putting up 28, 26. 36, and 35 points over the last 4 games. Shootout potential! DailyRoto has Rodgers projected to have a day at the QB position, and that Drew Dinkmeyer guy keeps winning. I don’t know how either.
Value Play ? Being involved in a potential shootout also would help out Marcus Mariota, who is strangely priced low for how good he and the Titans O have been over the last 4 games. As I said earlier, they’ve been scoring quite a bit, and it’s mostly due to the emergence of Mariota as a quarterback, having thrown for 10 passing TDs in the last 4 games combined. Mariota will be facing the 6th toughest DVOA against the run, so he’ll have to rely on his arm to keep the Titans in the game. The Packers’ trio of CBs that’s had to step in due to injuries have done an average job, ranking in as the 16th best pass defense. The return of Kendall Wright and the rise of Rishard Matthews (playing more snaps than rookie Tajae Sharpe) has been another reason why the Titans are playing so well lately. Mariota has a surprising overall value at QB on the big DailyRoto board, and at his price on DraftKings, he’s a no brainer in an upside matchup.
BOLD CALL ? Blake Bortles! Ugh, no. That guy really depends on 4th quarter scummy garbage time to hold value despite his inaccuracy and overall apathetic attitude while the team’s down 100 points. My bold call instead will be the phenom, the smokin’ machine that has the ultimate apathetic attitude towards every in life except maybe to his smokin’ hot wife, the greatest of all time SMOKIN’ JAY CUTLER! He’ll get the abused Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, coming off an embarrassing loss where Matt Ryan took a steaming dump on their secondary to the tune of 344 passing yards and 4 TDs. Four! The Bucs rank at 5th most fantasy points given up to opposing QBs, with a 20th ranked DVOA pass defense that probably should be ranked worse. The Bucs were able to boost it thanks to a victory over the 49ers, but rest assured, the Bucs’ pass defense is brutal. Two of their starting cornerbacks have came in at awful grades (Hargreaves ? 37.6 and Adjei-Bariman ? 52.3), while their starting LCB has been the only good player all year (Grimes ? 79.3). Cutler had a solid outing last week, so he’ll be looking to build on that performance. The Bucs are high in both offensive snaps and pace, so the Bears’ O should get a little boost to their amount of offensive snaps as well. It’s a pretty nice spot to take Smokin’ Jay at his bargain price and hope Cutler doesn’t quit mid-game.
Top Play ? David Johnson. The 49ers can’t stop the run (last in everything related to run defense). Johnson already ran for 157 yards and 3 TDs the last time these teams met this season. Don’t overthink this. Start DJ and if he does terrible, then the fantasy gods just hate you. Give tribute to the Many-Faced God if you want to prevent such a thing from happening. Or the Lord of Light. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Value Play ? Over the last couple of games, the Eagles have decided to just completely get rid of Ryan Mathews and his usage. In favor of Mathews’ apparent demotion, they’ve given the majority of the RB touches to Darren Sproles, who’s responded decently to the uptick in his workload. If Sproles hadn’t stepped out of bounds on what appeared to be a return touchdown, he would have hit at his sub 3k price. He’ll get the 17th ranked DVOA rush defense of the Falcons that’s giving up the 13th most points to the position. The thing is, Sproles’ value doesn’t come with him actually running the ball, but rather on the checkdowns he inevitably receives from Wentz and an offense that’s heavily based on short dink and dunk passes. Sproles has received 16 targets over the last 2 games since getting the RB job essentially, and that’s what we’re looking for here as a value play. Of course, rushing for 143 yards over the same span isn’t too shabby either! He’s the 8th best value at RB and offers significant salary relief with a solid floor. Churn those tiny, little legs!
BOLD CALL ? I’m going with Jon Stewart here. No, not the TV guy. The Carolina Panthers running back! After two weeks of great play, Stewart came down to Earth with a subpar 42 rushing yards day against the Rams. He’ll face the 18th DVOA Chiefs run defense that’s been stingy versus the pass (8th) and will be getting Justin Houston back sooner than later. Stewart carried the ball 44 times for 180 yards and 4 touchdowns before his 15/42/0 day against the Rams. If the Panthers want to keep their offense on the field and get around the stingy Chiefs pass defense, they’d be wise to feed their bellcow RB, as Stewart looks healthy coming off his hamstring injury and simply progressively gets better as the game wears on. The Panthers will also be at home, where they average more snaps and more points than on the road, a nice little boost to Stewart’s floor. He’s at a manageable price as well, mitigating the risk factor in rostering Stewart. That fat belly Tolbert better not vulture him!
Top Play ? We’ve got a dilemma this week regarding the best WR play, as some of the elite guys will get some solid matchups. There’s Julio Jones against a sinking Philly pass defense that just gave up 2 TDs to Odell Beckham and 4 TD passes to Eli Manning. AJ Green gets the Giants, but Janoris Jenkins and DRC have been a solid combination thus far this season, coming in at top 10 burn rate percentage, with Janoris being the least burned of them all. They both have a 84 grade according to PPF as well. Deadly duo! Antonio Brown and Mike Evans get much better matchups, as Brown will face a Claiborne-less Cowboys pass defense that’s struggled against elite receivers without Mo Claiborne. Evans gets the Chicago pass defense that’s given up the most points to opposing receivers and he’s coming off a monstrous 11/150/2 line on 17 targets! That’s why Evans is the top WR play of the week, having seen a ridiculous 101 targets for the season with a market share of 32%! That leads the NFL in both categories by a wide margin. The Bucs are still 3rd in offensive snaps in the NFL with the 4th highest pace, and if the BOLD CALL Jay Cutler can keep the Bears offense running, Evans just might out-perform his previous week. What a stud muffin. Evans is also projected very high at WR on the DR Big Board. No whammies, no whammies, STOP!
Value Play ? It’s a little thin this week at WR, as many of the elite matchups are at sky-high prices, but we must persevere! I am going to go super deep at WR here and pick Tyreek Hill,with Jeremy Maclin probably out for the week against the Panthers. The return of Alex Smith is what makes picking Hill as a value play so intriguing. He’s currently leading the Chiefs in touchdowns, and actually averages the most fantasy points per route run. It’s mostly due to his long streak bombs and explosive running plays. With Maclin out, Albert Wilson and Tyreek Hill are the starters, with Hill being the much more explosive player that’s apparently got some trust and chemistry with Smith already. The Panthers’ secondary has been burned quite often this season, giving up the 5th most points to opposing receivers. Hill plays at every position, including at RB where he received 2 carries last week, and has 8 rushing attempts on the season, but figures to see the slot cornerback on most of his snaps. That’s an area the Panthers have struggled mightily with and where a Styreek bomb touchdown could conceivably happen. The guy’s almost bare minimum on most sites and should get a nice uptick in his workload (11 targets last two games). Take the chance!
BOLD CALL ? The Saints will be facing the number 2 overall defense with the 2nd best pass defense DVOA, but won’t have Aqib Talib once again. They’re still a very good unit without Talib, but they do have one glaring weakness and that’s their RCB, Bradley Roby. He’s been their weakest player in the secondary, coming in at a 42.3 grade while playing 67% of his snaps at RCB. Michael Thomas will be facing Roby for most of the games, as he runs 54% of his routes on Roby’s side. The Saints are very good at gameplanning/scheming favorable match-ups and exploiting weaknesses, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the red-hot Thomas got schemed the ball on Roby’s side more often than not. Thomas has been significantly outsnapping both Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead over the last couple weeks, and it’s really no surprise to see why. Over the last 4 games, Thomas has gobbled up 32 targets for an impressive 26/342/4 statline, clearly becoming Brees’ most reliable option on offense. It’s a potentially low ownership play with a decently high upside considering the WR/CB matchup and the Saints’ scheming skills. Geaux Saints!
Top Play ? Gronk plays Seattle. Jimmy plays the Pats. Hmm. Seattle may get Kam Chancellor which would boost their already stingy TE defense, giving up the 4th least points to the TE position. The Patriots aren’t as stingy, giving up the 14th least points, and Jimmy is coming off the best game of his season with a statline of 8/103/2! The Seahawks have been transitioning into a more pass happy offense, even reducing Christine Michael’s role and giving more snaps to C.J. Prosise, whose pass catching skills gives the Seahawks more options for their offense. Jimmy Graham was facing against a top 10 defense against TEs and scorched the Bills, hauling in several 1 hand touchdowns. The guy is an elite phenomenal athlete that’s starting to resemble the Saints version that was completely unstoppable. The Patriots are also 24th DVOA against opposing TEs and traded away arguably their best cover LB in Jamie Collins. One big concern in rostering Graham is Seattle’s lack of offensive snaps, as they were last in snaps last week and overall 4th least snaps on the season. The Pats have been humming on offense and will still want to destroy the Seahawks, so I’d think the Seahawks’ snap count will go up a little bit more than usual to keep up with Brady and his annoying accurate passes that no one seems able to stop. Damn him.
Value Play ? Some of you may have got burned by Kyle Rudolph last week facing the worst TE defense, but keep a short memory! He’ll get the Redskins defense that’s giving up the 15th fewest points to opposing tight ends, but just recently got gashed by Tyler Eifert to the tune of 9/102/1 on 12 targets! With the resignation of Norv Turner as the OC, the Vikings have devolved into a much more short passing, get-the-ball-out offense with shorter dropbacks for Sam Bradford. That minimizes the sieve that is the Vikings’ OL and keeps Bradford healthy for the time being. Yes, Rudolph wasn’t able to do much outside of his 1 yard touchdown, but he’s still Bradford’s safety valve, and thanks to his bad performance Rudolph’s price has now crept down further to Value Land. Don’t be left alone on Value Land without a coupon book or one of those Groupon thingys that no one really uses. Point here is, Rudolph’s in a good spot to bounce back at a lower ownership percentage and has similar size/skill-set to Eifert. Why is your nose so red, Kyle?
BOLD CALL ? Let’s keep the Lance Kendricks train rolling! No one is picking this guy still even though he’s coming off 3 straight solid games, including a dazzling 7/90 on 12 targets performance last week! He’ll get a Jets defense that’s consistently been getting annihilated by opposing TEs, even giving up a 3/42/1 to Miami’s TE Dominique Jones, who barely plays and hadn’t eclipsed 10 yards for the entire season. Kendricks has now seen 29 targets over the last 3 games, and that number will continue to rise as long as Case Keenum is the Rams’ starting QB. Calvin Pryor has been abysmal in coverage, and the Jets still continue to employ him against TEs. Kendricks’ price also has barely changed despite his recent success, so it’s time to break the system and get Kendricks to 20% owned!