Are you also staring down a week without Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes in your fantasy lineup? With three of the top teams on a bye, I’m preparing for a week-long slog in my fantasy leagues. Thankfully, DFS is here to give me something to distract myself from NFL Week 10 and the lowest projections I’ve had this season.
With the likes of Kelce, Mahomes, AJ Brown, and Tyreek Hill on a bye, we have an opportunity for new names to top the best DFS targets this week. This presents a unique challenge for the week, as there are fewer obvious DFS Cash options.
When we have weeks like this, I like to focus on the volume hogs of the league. Those players who seem to get the ball no matter how inefficient they are or how far behind their team is. The goal is to establish a solid floor while others overthink their lineups because they’re looking for ceiling.
Let’s dig into our Week 10 DFS plays.
Cash is in session.
NFL DFS Week 10
Geno Smith (DraftKings: $5,800 / FanDuel: $6,900)
Look, I get it. This feels like a gross pick after last week. The Baltimore Ravens made the Seahawks and Geno Smith look like a last-place team rather than an NFC West leader. But the Ravens have done that to multiple quality teams. As for Smith, he only has three weeks with less than 15 DraftKings points this season, none of which came in back-to-back weeks. Meanwhile, Washington has allowed the third most points to quarterbacks on the season and the sixth most since Week 6. With Smith priced under $6,000 on DraftKings, this is a no-brainer.
David Montgomery (DraftKings: $6,900 / FanDuel: $7,500)
Jahmyr Gibbs managers, plug your ears. David Montgomery is set to return from injury this week, and while Jahmyr Gibbs has performed well during his absence, I expect Detroit to return to their ways, prioritizing Montgomery and using Gibbs as a change-of-pace back. They also should be looking to slow down the game this week. Regardless of how Los Angeles has performed, they still have Justin Herbert, and Detroit will be inclined to keep the ball out of his hands, grinding it out every opportunity they get. Oh, and the Lions have the third-highest implied team total out of anyone on the slate, so there should be plenty of scoring opportunities for Montgomery.
Kenneth Walker (DraftKings: $6,800 / FanDuel: $7,300)
Not feeling great about Montgomery? How about Kenneth Walker? Yes, Walker had a down week along with the rest of the Seattle offense, but he is still the lead back in an offense that can put up points when they’re not being handled by one of the best defenses in the league. The Washington Football Team has allowed the seventh-most points to running backs since Week 6 and is nearly a touchdown underdog in this matchup. Plus, Seattle is at home, which should give them the encouragement they need to get back on track and roll over Washington.
DeAndre Hopkins (DraftKings: $6,000 / FanDuel: $7,100)
The Will Levis experience has fostered the resurgence of DeAndre Hopkins. Beyond Hopkins’ three-touchdown performance in Week 8, he was targeted 11 times in Week 9, marking just the second time this season he has received double-digit targets. Now, they match up against a weak Tampa Bay secondary that has managed to move up to the best matchup for wide receivers. While I do not expect a CJ Stroud repeat, Will Levis should have enough success to pepper Hopkins with volume on Sunday.
Sam LaPorta (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel $6,500)
Congratulations, Sam LaPorta, you have graduated to the Honor Roll. No longer will you be a Back of the Classroom Stud. LaPorta has been incredible this year, bucking the rookie tight end trends. His price is somewhat prohibitive this week, as I am looking to pay up for Christian McCaffrey, but he is the best tight end on the slate, given his salary. While the Chargers are performing better against wide receivers, they have allowed the most points to tight ends since Week 6. LaPorta should be poised for a solid performance in one of the games of the week.
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Christian McCaffrey (DraftKings: $9,200 / $10,500)
I’m not sure there is a price too high that would stop me from playing Christian McCaffrey this year. He is continuing his streak of games with touchdowns and has maintained a ridiculous snap count, even while working through injuries. While Jacksonville’s defense has performed well overall, they have allowed opposing running backs to get to work in recent weeks. Since Week 6, they have allowed the fourth most points to opposing running backs. Sign me up for another stellar week from McCaffrey.
Noah Fant (DraftKings: $2,800 / FanDuel: $4,600)
Since I’m paying up for Christian McCaffrey, I have to get creative at other positions. I dislike the punt options at running back and wide receiver, so instead, I am going to punt tight end off a cliff this week. Again, I’m really in on the Seattle Seahawks to bounce back this week. And you know what we haven’t seen recently from the Seahawks? A tight end touchdown. Washington is the ideal team to play if you’re a tight end, allowing the second most points to the position since Week 6. Just please fall into the endzone Noah Fant.
Back of the Classroom Studs
Brock Purdy (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $7,400)
Few teams needed the bye week more than the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off a three-game skid after starting strong. During that span, Brock Purdy continued to perform well from a fantasy perspective, with the exception of his Week 6 performance against Cleveland. But let’s be honest, the Jacksonville Jaguars are no Cleveland Browns. Purdy can have an average Week 10 and still pay off his salary, particularly on DraftKings. That said, I prefer to go elsewhere on FanDuel, given his inflated salary.
Aaron Jones (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $6,800)
It feels disrespectful to put Aaron Jones in this category, but I can’t have the Honor Roll be only running backs, can I? If you were a Zero RB drafter who landed on Jones, you have likely been disappointed this season. But he is coming off a game where he had 24 touches, including four catches. It was also his third game back from injury, suggesting he is finally getting rolling after missing time with a hamstring injury. While his DraftKings salary has been stagnant despite his up-and-down performances, his FanDuel salary has moved to below $7,000, which is too juicy to avoid. Even though Pittsburgh’s defense has kept them competitive, they’ve allowed opposing players to score fantasy points, putting Jones in a solid position to maintain his bounce back.
Diontae Johnson (DraftKings: $5,400 / FanDuel $7,000)
My wide receiver strategy this week is to target players who get targeted. That may seem overly obvious, but the point is I am ignoring volume over matchup in many cases. This applies to Diontae Johnson, who, on paper, has a bad matchup against a Green Bay defense that has allowed the 8th fewest points to the position on the year. However, Johnson has averaged nearly 10 targets per game since returning from injury, which I will take every day of the week in Cash. Additionally, the Packers are trending downwards against receivers, allowing the 12th most points to the position since Week 6. Lock it in.
Marquise Brown (DraftKings: $5,200 / FanDuel: $6,600)
On that note, Marquise Brown continues to be a target hog, and this week we likely get the return of Kyler Murray. Remember the beginning of last season? When DeAndre Hopkins was on suspension, and Murrary was healthy? During the first six weeks of 2022, Brown was the WR6 in DraftKings scoring and had the fourth most targets amongst receivers. I mean… say less, am I right?
Zay Flowers (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $6,000)
The Zay Flowers explosion game is coming, and I want to be in on him the week it happens. Despite barely being utilized last week, Flowers has maintained consistent target volume, giving Baltimore another weapon to turn toward when Mark Andrews or the run game is shut down. It’s going to be all hands on deck in a divisional battle this week, but the Browns have displayed vulnerability to opposing receivers in recent weeks, allowing the eighth-most points to the position since Week 6. If they focus on stopping Mark Andrews, who put up two touchdowns on them earlier this season, it could open up opportunities for Flowers to have the breakout game we have all been anticipating.
Arizona Cardinals (DraftKings: $2,500 / FanDuel: $3,700)
If you’ve followed this column the entire season, you’ve gotten to see my journey as an Atlanta Falcons fan in the year of our lord (Arthur Smith). I’m basically at a place where I’m looking for the happiness hedge wherever I can get it. But back to actual analysis. The Falcons have been one of the more turnover-prone teams this season. Taylor Heinicke is not afraid to put the ball in harm’s way. Plus, the Falcons have allowed opposing defenses to get after the quarterback, allowing multiple multi-sack games. And I need to save money this week to pay for Christian McCaffrey, so sign me up for the Arizona Cardinals.
Jacksonville Jaguars (DraftKings: $2,400 / FanDuel: $3,900)
Yes, everything I said about the 49ers offense still stands. But also, the Jaguars are a good punt play option at defense. They have recorded at least a sack or a turnover in all but one game this year. Further, they have four multi-sack games and have forced multiple turnovers in six of eight games this season. They don’t need to completely shut down San Francisco to beat their salary, and given how frisky they’ve been on defense, they should be able to provide a safe floor against a tough opponent.
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- A: Scored over three times their price
- B: Scored over two times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
|New York Giants||$2,300||-1||F|
|New England Patriots||$2,900||8||B|
- A: Scored over two times their price
- B: Scored over one and a half times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
|New York Giants||$4,000||-1||F|
|New England Patriots||$3,700||8||A|