FanDuel Picks: Week 10 Edition
Welcome to the weekly “one stop shop” for all things DFS. I tout my favorite plays of the week after breaking down all of the games, looking at matchups, and considering all relevant weekly and season-long injuries/suspensions. As a guide, you can think of the “Top Plays” sections as cash game recommendations and the “Under The Radar” sections as GPP tournament recommendations. Confused on the difference? Check out a recent DFS Strategy article I wrote. However, I refuse to specifically title the sections in that way because I believe it boxes in the picks. Many players can and do fall under both categories in any given week. I delve more into that in the article linked above as well. When reading, keep that in mind. Now let’s get to it, starting with my top Bonanza candidates.
Domination Bonanza Candidate: Arizona Cardinals blowing out the San Francisco 49ers
Back and Forth Bonanza Candidate: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots
Top QB Plays Of The Week
Tom Brady vs SEA, $8,300
Tom Brady is the GOAT. He’s cementing that status by playing out of his mind once again this season at age 39. In his four games since returning from suspension, Brady is averaging 330 passing yards and 3 pass TDs per game. He has yet to throw an interception on the year as well. With the Patriots coming off their bye week, we also know the genius minds of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have had two weeks to come up with an offensive game plan. It’s just not fair. I literally don’t care that the Patriots are playing the Seahawks. In fact, the last time New England had two weeks to prepare for Seattle, Brady threw for 328 yards and 4 TDs on his way to winning Super Bowl XLIX. That Seahawks defense was a lot better than the one that just gave up 289 passing yards to Tyrod Taylor last week. Michael Bennett is out and Kam Chancellor has missed some time as well. Brady is going to absolutely pick apart this defense on Sunday Night Football. He’ll be worth the wait this week.
Aaron Rodgers vs TEN, $9,000
Aaron Rodgers is 3rd in the league in TD passes with 20. Even if James Starks returns this week, the Packers still won’t have a ground game to rely on. Rodgers is going to keep throwing it a ton, he gets a healthy Randall Cobb back this week, and he gets a Titans defense giving up the 13th most passing yards per game.
Carson Palmer vs SF, $7,900
Carson Palmer is 5th in the league in passing yards per game. He’s put up the yards this year but his major problem is he hasn’t thrown many TD passes. He’s only thrown 10 so far. However, if there was one week where Palmer could look like the 2015 version of himself, this would be it. He’s at home this week and gets a 49ers defense that is tied for the 4th most pass TDs (18) given up. The Cardinals might just absolutely destroy the 49ers and with everyone on Earth likely rostering David Johnson, playing Palmer could be a way to gain some leverage. PSA: You absolutely can play both Palmer and Johnson. It is allowed. It is not illegal.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar QB Plays
Russell Wilson vs NE, $7,400
Russell Wilson has had a disappointing and slow start to the season. If only I could remember where we’ve heard that before. Oh ya, the same thing happened with Wilson just last season before he absolutely tore the league up in the second half of the year. There’s no denying Wilson’s health has played a factor in his less than stellar play this year. However, he looked much healthier last week, especially on his TD run. His fantasy ceiling could finally be unlocked in 2016 this week in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza against the Patriots. We know Brady is putting up a lot of points which will force Wilson to do the same against a Patriots defense giving up the 15th most passing yards per game.
Carson Wentz vs ATL, $6,800
Like most rookie QBs not named Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz has been up and down this season. However, this could be one of those weeks where he’s up. He’s at home and gets a Falcons defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game and that has given up the 2nd most pass TDs (23).
Top RB Plays Of The Week
David Johnson vs SF, $9,400
This is the lock of the century. David Johnson is 4th in rushing yards per game and tied for 3rd in rush TDs. He’s at home this week and gets a 49ers defense giving up the most rushing yards per game. They’re also tied for the 2nd most rush TDs (12) given up. David Johnson is really good at football and he’ll be facing one of the worst rush defenses we’ve possibly ever seen. Even in GPP tournaments, I wouldn’t overthink this one.
Melvin Gordon vs MIA, $8,300
Melvin Gordon continues to play out of his mind this season. He’s 6th in the league in rushing yards per game and tied for 1st in rush TDs. He’s at home this week and gets a Dolphins defense giving up the 3rd most rushing yards per game.
Jay Ajayi vs SD, $7,800
Jay Ajayi is currently 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game. That’s what rushing for 529 yards over the past three weeks will get you. There is no doubt we have seen a changing of the guard in Miami. Unlike past coaching regimes, I’ve believed all year Adam Gase wanted to become more balanced and take the ball out of Ryan Tannehill’s hands just like he did in 2015 with Jay Cutler. He’s finally found the right recipe and the right RB to do just that. There is no way this offensive philosophy is changing anytime soon. Jarvis Landry is no longer the man that makes this offense go. It’s Jay Ajayi. His matchup this week is an interesting one. Although the Chargers run defense has strengthened since Joey Bosa entered the lineup, they’ve still given up the most rush TDs (13) this year. Plus, Ajayi has proven over the past three weeks he’s matchup proof. I wouldn’t let this matchup scare me.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar RB Plays
James White vs SEA, $5,400
With Dion Lewis likely returning from injury this week, my guess is very few people will roster James White. However, I expect the Patriots to ease back in Lewis very slowly. They want him healthy for their Super Bowl run. Period. Thus, I don’t believe we see very much of him at all on Sunday night. As for White, he’s the ultimate boom or bust RB play. If he booms this week with a low ownership percentage, you might just be in position to win some good money in a GPP tournament. I believe there’s a chance he does because I expect the Patriots game plan this week to be very pass heavy.
Chris Ivory vs HOU, $5,200
In the Jaguars first game under their new offensive coordinator last week, Chris Ivory saw 18 carries and 61% of the Jags RB touch share. He turned those opportunities into over 100 yards rushing. This week, Ivory is at home and gets a Texans defense giving up the 5th most rushing yards per game and that has given up the 7th most rush TDs (10).
Top WR Plays Of The Week
Julian Edelman vs SEA, $6,000
Julian Edelman has yet to have a blow up game in 2016. Now coming off the bye and facing Seattle, I highly doubt many roster him. This is the week to pounce. Edelman has seen at least 7 targets in every game Brady has started this year. In fact, he’s led the Patriots in target share in three of Brady’s four starts. Here are his target share percentages starting with Week 5 (Brady’s first game back from suspension): 24.4%, 20%, 38.5%, and 24.2%. With so many weapons in the Patriots offense, Edelman might be done putting up consistent numbers for you in season long leagues. However, in DFS, it just takes one week and I think that’s what we see on Sunday Night Football. I’ll be stacking Brady and Edelman and I suggest you do the same.
Jordan Matthews vs ATL, $5,900
Jordan Matthews has seen a whopping 24 targets over the last two weeks. This week, he should not only benefit from volume but also from the potential Back and Forth Bonanza game he will be playing in. Matthews is at home and gets a Falcons defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game and that has given up the 2nd most pass TDs (23). Plus, Falcons top CB Desmond Trufant has been ruled out of this game due to injury.
Larry Fitzgerald vs SF, $7,200
Larry Fitzgerald is 3rd in the NFL in catches and is having another phenomenal season. He has a great matchup this week at home against a 49ers defense that is tied for the 4th most pass TDs (18) given up. He helped add to that total when he put up 6 catches for 81 yards and 2 TDs on the 49ers in San Francisco back in Week 5.
Alshon Jeffery vs TB, $7,200
Jay Cutler is back and we know he loves to feed the ball to Alshon Jeffery. That’s great news for Jeffery’s DFS prospects. Even better, before the Bears Week 9 bye, Jeffery saw 32 targets over the Bears last three games. He’s the main man in Chicago and he gets a Buccaneers defense this week giving up the 6th most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 4th most pass TDs (18) given up.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Plays
Emmanuel Sanders vs NO, $6,900
Emmanuel Sanders hasn’t scored since Week 4 and after watching the Broncos poor performance last week on Sunday Night Football, many are probably fading the Broncos offense entirely this week. This makes Sanders a perfect GPP play. He leads the Broncos in targets and has seen 12 more than Demaryius Thomas this year. Furthermore, he’s tied for 6th in targets in the entire league. That volume could pay dividends this week against a Saints defense giving up the most passing yards per game.
John Brown ($6,200) and J.J. Nelson ($5,600) vs SF
Both of these WRs are in play for me this week at home against a 49ers defense that is tied for the 4th most pass TDs given up (18) this season. Despite playing limited snaps while coming back from an issue with the sickle cell trait, John Brown still caught 4 passes for 49 yards and a TD in Week 8. He should be more involved this week coming off the bye. However, the player I’m really interested in is J.J. Nelson. Before the Cardinals bye, Nelson led the Cardinals in targets in Week 8. He saw 12 targets and a 26.7% target share on his way to 8 catches for 79 yards and 2 TDs. After the game, Bruce Arians confirmed Nelson is now a starting WR.
Top TE Plays Of The Week
Rob Gronkowski vs SEA, $8,000
Rob Gronkowski is 3rd in receiving yards at the TE position and he’s really only been involved in four games so far this season. Let that sink in. By now you’ve probably gotten the picture. Coming off the bye and facing Seattle, I believe there is leverage to be had by stacking the Patriots top offensive weapons.
Jimmy Graham vs NE, $6,600
If you didn’t believe it before, Jimmy Graham proved to everyone on Monday Night Football last week that he is officially back. He caught 8 passes for 103 yards and 2 TDs and looked to benefit from Russell Wilson finally looking somewhat healthy this season. Graham is 2nd in receiving yards at the TE position and this game against New England has the potential to turn into a Back and Forth Bonanza.
Zach Ertz vs ATL, $4,600
Zach Ertz has been the forgotten man in Philadelphia this season. However, he did catch all 8 of his targets last week for 97 yards. Now, he gets a home matchup against a Falcons defense giving up the 2nd most passing yards per game and that has given up the 2nd most pass TDs (23).
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar TE Play
Coby Fleener vs DEN, $5,600
Despite the Broncos giving up the least amount of passing yards per game this season, they have proven to be vulnerable in the middle of the field at times. Plus, athletic LB Brandon Marshall has been a bit banged up lately. I expect Drew Brees to have a solid game like he usually does at home and he may choose to attack the Broncos down the middle of the field to do so. That could mean more Coby Fleener usage this week making him a very intriguing GPP play.
Top Kicker Plays Of The Week
Chandler Catanzaro vs SF, $4,500
This game is a potential Domination Bonanza where the Cardinals could just wipe the floor with the 49ers in Arizona. That would likely mean plenty of opportunities for Catanzaro who has made his only 50+ yard attempt this year and is the bare minimum price this week.
Caleb Sturgis vs ATL, $4,600
This Falcons at Eagles game has the potential to become a Back and Forth Bonanza. The Falcons defense is giving up the 7th most yards per game and have given up the 3rd most points on the year. Meanwhile, Caleb Sturgis is tied for the 2nd most made field goals this season.
Josh Lambo vs MIA, $4,700
Josh Lambo is tied for the 2nd most made field goals this season and is in another good spot this week at home against the Dolphins. I expect Philip Rivers to put up points in this one which should benefit Lambo.
Top Defense Plays Of The Week
Los Angeles Rams vs NYJ, $4,600
The Jets offense simply just hasn’t been good this season. Things could get even worse this week. Starting LT Ryan Clady was placed on Injured Reserve, starting C Nick Mangold will miss this game due to injury, and starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is Questionable with an injury as well. If Fitzpatrick doesn’t play, Bryce Petty will be making his first NFL start. The Rams defense has been middle of the road this year but it might look like a top unit for just one week.
Arizona Cardinals vs SF, $5,200
The Cardinals are at home against Colin Kaepernick this week. They’ve given up the 3rd fewest pass yards per game and only 5 pass TDs on the season. Plus, they’re tied for 9th in sacks. This is a good week to stream the Cardinals defense.
New York Jets vs LA, $4,800
You’ve probably realized by now I don’t think the Rams at Jets game is going to be a barn burner. This is likely a game you will enjoy having a defense in. The Jets struggle against the pass but that shouldn’t be a big issue against Case Keenum. Keenum is 2nd in the league in interceptions behind only…Ryan Fitzpatrick.