Happy Saturday and Happy Halloween to all of you fine DFS players out there hoping to avoid the “Sunday scaries” this weekend. Put down your pumpkins because it’s time to carve out these cash games and tournaments instead. It’s one big Halloween party out there, and I’m trying to take home all the cash prizes for best costume, AKA players dressed up as the best value plays this week. There are many great ideas out there, and believe me, this week, more than others, I had a tough time limiting myself to only giving four players per position. That just means the competition will be stiff this week, and we have got to keep it together because we’ve been planning for this monster mash all year.
We aren’t the typical Michael Meyers and skanky witches of the world. That’s way too vanilla for experienced DFS players like ourselves. Instead, we want to take the rug right out from underneath the 5-million squid game characters you’re going to see hanging around the punch bowl. So we have to show up dressed like something unique. Maybe a deep-sea creature with big-play ability, such as Quez Watkins versus the Detroit Lions, who have allowed the highest explosive pass plays to wide receivers so far this season. Or maybe we can just go dressed up as someone like Scuba Steve and hit the deep and dark, murky waters to find other players like Watkins this week. And believe me, I get it. Of course, that comes with risk, but we aren’t going to cower to a haunted house or spooky hayride of uncharted territory that we never explored before.
We are going into this party Sunday dressed as Rambo, ready for war. I’m not letting you guys make lineups dressed like Allen Robinson, thinking you have a bunch of WR1 ability on your team just to totally flop again, week after week. But, quite honestly, I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this candy-corny intro and get completely out of hand so let’s take it to the players, which is always the real reason anybody ever shows up to my parties. So all treats and no tricks, let’s go kash out!
Justin Herbert (Draftkings: $7,300 / Fanduel: $7,900)
Justin Herbert may not have got the memo that Halloween was actually this weekend and not last weekend where he and the Los Angeles Chargers went as ghosts. That offense was just nonexistent in all facets. But Herbert is no Sam Darnold, and we are done seeing ghosts people; it’s a new dawn and a new day this Sunday going up against the New England Patriots. I also like the idea that most people are completely off of a player after bad performances, so the rostership percentages should be lower.
But before last week’s game versus the mysterious Ravens defense that left us feeling like we don’t know the identity of either of these teams anymore, Justin Herbert was claiming his stake in fantasy dominance. In his last three games, he threw for an average of 300 yards and three touchdowns, so let’s not forget who we’re dealing with here. The New England Patriots aren’t a matchup as threatening as they may appear on paper to opposing quarterbacks, and I’m going to throw out last week where they faced the Jets and Mike White and go back to Week 6 where they met an actual good football team and Dak Prescott. Prescott finished as the QB2 on Draftkings that week with 31.8 fantasy points. He blew up and threw for a massive 445 yards and three touchdowns, and I don’t see how Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense can’t similarly put out that same production.
Like the Cowboys, the Chargers’ offense totes a solid wide receiver corps, strong backfield, strong offensive line, and stud quarterback. So who am I to think this game can’t be within the same realm of possibilities as Prescott for Herbert. I also understand that not everything is the same, and it would be reckless to believe he’s going just to have the same production based on that alone. Still, realistically Dak is the first great quarterback New England has faced, other than an emotional Tom Brady going up against his former team and lifelong head coach Bill Belichick who knows the man inside and out better than anyone. So don’t let New England’s number of being the 26th-hardest matchup versus opposing fantasy quarterbacks dictate you are picking Herbert this week because do yourself a favor and go look at the quarterbacks they’ve faced. Ok, you did that? Great. So exactly, start Justin Herbert with confidence to get back to doing what he was doing before last week.
Jalen Hurts (Draftkings: $7,200 / Fanduel: $8,400)
Maybe I’m showing some age here, but I’d like to believe most of us know about the cartoon “Scooby-Doo,” right? Well, remember how they’d catch the bad guy and then reveal who he was by pulling off his mask and saying the name of whoever it was when they were disguised as someone else. So this week, I’d like to set the stage as Jalen Hurts being our “bad guy” or, more realistically, as the bad quarterback recently, and us taking off his mask to reveal that he’s still his own freakin self because shut up people Jalen Hurts is the last man standing here amongst quarterbacks that have finished as a QB1 every week! I know we all have those box score readers who continue to wonder how this guy continues to finish at a high level for fantasy, but that’s just who Jalen is and what his skill set provides to fantasy.
He has yet to score fewer than 21 points on Draftkings, and it’s Week 8; this stuff isn’t considered flukie anymore. I’ll be damned if I care how he’s getting it done. Regardless of how you want to paint the situation for him, the Eagles are throwing at the 3rd-highest rate in the league. He is always going to find himself in these situations where the coach is just totally putting the team on Jalen’s back to win the game because of how bad his overall situation around him is. Nick Sirianni hasn’t figured out how to use the Eagles run game yet or utilize Jalen Hurts or his weapons properly. So, that being said, the opportunity to score points will keep presenting itself, and if I can get top production at a discount, then I’m always going to be here for it beating the Jalen Hurts drum.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Tannehill (Draftkings: $6,600 / Fanduel: $7,500)
Deep Sea Dive: Trevor Lawrence (Draftkings: $5,500 / Fanduel: $6,700)
Joe Mixon (Draftkings: $6,900 / Fanduel: $7,600)
In his matchup versus the New York Jets this week, Joe Mixon is like going to the people’s house who gives out all of the best kinds of candy and then slips you a dollar on top of it. Maybe that is just a weird Pennsylvania thing, but I always wanted to trick or treat at the houses that randomly gave away money. Must be the reason why I am so addicted to DFS but anyhow, I digress. The New York Jets are the best house on the block when it comes to giving out fantasy football points to opposing running backs because they are giving up the MOST with surrendering an average of 27.9 fantasy points per game to them. That is the sweet life, people. What more can we be asking for? We continually watch running backs crush that defense giving up a rushing score to 1 or more backs every single week. He’s an easy money play given his usage and likeliness to score in this game, and I’ll be investing in Mixon in many of my lineups this week.
James Robinson (Draftkings: $6,600 / Fanduel: $8,200)
One, two, Robinson is coming for you. Three, four, he’s got a pretty safe floor. Five, six grab him as a value pick. Seven, eight gonna break the slate. Nine, ten, we continue to win yet again. Yeah, sorry, guys, I just couldn’t resist when James Robinson is about to play nightmare on Lumen Field. He is the type of stuff that is going to be haunting Seattle’s dreams all Sunday night. Freddy Krue… I mean, James Robinson may be slated to have a 4:05 kickoff, but the damage he can do on the field is going to leave us sleeping soundly while Bobby Wagner will be left up all night. This year, Seattle’s run defense has been atrocious, giving up the third-most rushing yards and third-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That stat line may sound familiar because I said it last week and practically every week this season. Nothing is changing.
The Seahawks have also allowed the most receiving yards to opposing running backs and the 4th-most receptions to the position. As we all know, James Robinson can be a dual-threat in the run game and the passing game, so it would come as no surprise to see Robinson have a solid fantasy game in this one. Since obtaining back the workhorse role that he had last year, which made us all grow to know and love him so much, he’s scored no less than 19+ DraftKings points each week this season. At those value prices, I will take 19+ fantasy points all frickin’ day. He should be within the top finishers at his position this week.
Honorable Mention: Darrell Henderson (Draftkings: $6,500 / Fanduel: $7,700)
Deep Sea Dive: Zack Moss (Draftkings: $5,200 / Fanduel: $6,100)
Deebo Samuel (Draftkings: $7,400 / Fanduel: $7,800)
Here comes Deebo pedaling his bike on over to our lineups, ready to steal the whole slate at this value price. I know we aren’t about to question Deebo Samuel’s value after he’s held it down over these last seven weeks with the highest target share in the league. He gets incredible volume and opportunities on this team, and that is why he continues to just crush in his mediocre offense. The matchups just don’t matter for him; he’s done well regardless of the game script and he’s always heavily involved. I know people are still adjusting to him being this every-week, elite-level fantasy wide receiver, but he’s been just that.
This week, the Chicago game can be an excellent spot for the 49ers to really establish themselves and bounce back to right their ship after losing four in a row. Unfortunately, they aren’t doing that without ultimately deploying a Deebo Samuel attack on a weak Chicago secondary. The Chicago Bears have allowed the 5th-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and have given up an average of two passing touchdowns per game as well. So long as George Kittle is sidelined on IR, it’s going to be Deebo Samuel that flourishes in this offense. He is just way too good not to plug into your lineup as the 6th highest-priced wide receiver on the slate who can put up just as many fantasy points as anyone listed above him at a higher price. He has been the 5th-best wide receiver in points over on Draftkings thus far this season and is a safe play.
AJ Brown (Draftkings: $6,900 / Fanduel: $7,600)
If you are looking for a monster this Halloween, it’s got to be AJ Brown versus the Indianapolis Colts. Aside from his freakish monster-esque appearance that looks like he was built in a lab…the Indianapolis Colts are allowing the highest pass success rate in the league. With Brown’s 25% target share, we see most of the passing offense in Tennessee go through Brown. I’m game. I think we are far past the days of Brown’s stomach flu and injury woes that plagued him to start the season, and we have finally entered AJ Brown’s final form in elite-WR1 territory. If Draftkings and Fanduel want to sleep on that type of production, then I’m cool with taking advantage of the value. The narrative created around this game reads as one with plenty of fantasy assets set to score many points, and I’d be willing to bet AJ Brown is a huge beneficiary of a lot of them on the Tennessee side. No, Julio Jones once again. I think he smashes for the second week in a row.
Honorable Mention: Michael Pittman Jr (Draftkings: $5,300 / Fanduel: $6,600)
Deep Sea Dive: Jerry Jeudy (Draftkings: $4,900 / Fanduel: $6,000)
Rob Gronkowski (Draftkings: $4,600 / Fanduel: $6,500)
Fan-favorite Rob Gronkowski should go as Frankenstein for Halloween this year because he’s constantly being pieced back together after injury to come back to life and dominate the fantasy football world. Fanduel has respected the man who was proving to be the best damn value at the tight end position for nearly the first three weeks of football before sustaining his injury. As a result, they have him as the 2nd-highest-priced tight end on their format. But DraftKings must have as bad short-term memory loss as my brain-injured self because they have him priced as the 8th-most expensive tight end on the slate. Blasphemy.
But in no way am I letting you guys forget about Brady’s love for getting Gronk the ball over the middle. He was leading all fantasy tight ends in points per game before his injury, so what are we even questioning here? The injury itself? If the Buccaneers feel like Gronk is okay to play, then so do I, even if the matchup isn’t totally cake because of not having Antonio Brown there to take targets and most likely having Marshawn Lattimore keeping Mike Evans at bay leaves room for guys like Gronk and Godwin to eat. He is an excellent play on Draftkings, but if I’m on Fanduel, I may shy away for a cheaper option like TJ Hockensen if I’m already reaching over there.
Tyler Higbee (Draftkings: $4,500 / Fanduel: $5,300)
Higbee is the type of guy to show up to the Halloween party with the least amount of effort put into his costume. Maybe he throws a mask on or puts vampire teeth in and calls himself a vampire even though he’s done nothing else to imply to all of us that he’s a vampire. He’s just kind of been a guy doing the bare minimum for fantasy. Of course, his upside isn’t Count Dracula showing up with blood dripping down his face with slicked-back hair and a ghastly white face. But maybe this week, Higbee can pull it together for one of the best Halloween parties of the year for tight ends.
The Houston Texans have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, and it seems like they are playing as Oprah, giving almost every one of them a touchdown. “You get a touchdown, and you get a touchdown, everybody gets a touchdown”! Specifically, they’ve allowed a touchdown to the position in every game over the last four weeks. Higbee is surprisingly leading all tight ends in red-zone targets, which seems crazy because the man only has two touchdowns this year, and the Rams offense has been booming. It looks like a recipe for positive regression to me in an A+ matchup for Higbee. However, he hasn’t been entirely useless either, despite his lackluster performances. He’s had 13 targets over the Rams last two games, and I think if he does at least that with a touchdown added to his stat line, then he will pay off at his value. I will be plugging him into a bunch of lineups this week, hoping he hits for a solid double-digit fantasy game.
Honorable Mention: Hunter Henry (Draftkings: $4,200 / Fanduel: $5,500)
Deep Sea Dive: Mo-Alie Cox (Draftkings: $3,200 / Fanduel: $5,100)
San Francisco 49ers vs Chicago Bears (Draftkings: $3,500 / Fanduel: $4,600)
Denver Broncos vs Washington Football Team (Draftkings: $3,400 / Fanduel: $4,100)
Honorable Mention: Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins (Draftkings: $3,300 / Fanduel: $4,700)
Deep Sea Dive: Washington Football Team vs Denver Broncos (Draftkings: $2,100 / Fanduel: $3,400)