This is a weekly review of all the important DFS news and notes from all games played this past weekend. I give my thoughts on the relevant fantasy performances and future daily fantasy impact from each game for week 10.
This was a great game to watch, although for DFS purposes there weren’t as many fireworks as we expected. The Giants pass D did great at limiting the Patriots although they were helped a ton by the loss of Julian Edelman on the NE side early in the game. Edelman went down with a broken foot and will be out a while. Danny Amendola (10 rec. 79 yards) stepped in and had a monster game almost right away including catching a ball on 4th and ten to save the game for the Pats. With Dion Lewis also out there’s little doubt in my mind Amendola will see 10+ targets going forward every week and he’s proven he can be successful in this role before. Definitely a value target on PPR sites for the rest of the season.
Brandon LaFell (2 rec. 66 yards) didn’t have a great game it also makes sense that he’ll see an uptick in targets with Edelman out too. LaFell just missed connecting for a TD a couple times and had a ball thrown behind him in the 4th quarter or would have scored. LaFell is going to be needed by the Patriots over the next few weeks as they are suddenly looking pretty thin on offense and not the big locks they were for huge fantasy days the first 5-7 weeks.
Odell Beckham (4 rec. 104 yards TD) had a massive play in this game scoring from 87 yards out. But after that the Patriots nearly shut him down and held him to just 4 catches in total. The problem for Odell for fantasy purposes isn’t his talent (he showed it off again in this game) it’s simply matchup and game flow. Eli Manning (22/44, 361 yards 2 TDs) hit 8 different receivers in this game and isn’t afraid to spread the ball if his favorite target is covered. Against solid D’s using Beckham is a dicey proposition as huge targeting is anything but a given with him. Play the matchups and probably just keep ODB to gpps most weeks.
Studs: Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola
Duds: Shane Vereen, Brandon Lafell
The Saints have to be one of the most frustrating teams for fantasy this year. They started the year poorly, making poor use of main weapon Brandin Cooks but getting Willie Snead and Mark Ingram involved somewhat making them viable fantasy plays. Then with Khiry Robinson out, instead of Mark Ingram getting a bunch of touches they’ve gone completely pass heavy and moved back to throwing more to Cooks (which is good) but almost phasing out their run game. Ingram took a 70 yard run for an almost TD early in this game and then was basically never heard from again. There were reports Ingram was injured and that’s why he didn’t play much in the second half but it was still strange usage and strange game planning. Regardless, with how much New Orleans is throwing in the red zone I’m not sure I will roster a RB from their team the rest of the year, it’s a complete guessing game as to when a big game might actually occur.
The Saints passing game is starting to get a little more defined as Brandin Cooks (5 rec. 98 yards 2 TDs) has started to take grasp of this offense with 5 TDs in his last 3 games. Cooks burned the Skins on a long 60 yard slant where basically just ran past three defenders untouched into the end zone and also scored on a short 4 yard slant. While Cooks is only seeing 7 or so targets a game he’s starting to get more looks downfield and in the red zone which he wasn’t getting before. With the New Orleans defense so poor and the Saints throwing so much I expect his usage possibly to even increase as the season wears down. The fantasy explosion we thought we’d get from him this year might just be coming later than we expected.
I don’t know what to say about the Skins. They took on the worst defense in the NFL and basically just busted out a few big plays and had their way with the Saints near the end zone. I do know this, Jordan Reed (3 rec. 29 yards 2 TDs) might be the biggest red zone mismatch at TE outside of Rob Gronkowski and Kirk Cousins knows this and isn’t afraid to throw his way. Reed’s quickness is simply too much for LBs and he twice burned the Saints for what were really easy scores. He’s an every week consideration in all but the toughest matchups.
Studs: Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, Matt Jones Brandin Cooks
Duds: The Saints
The Bears are quite simply playing really solid football right now and basically just surprised the Rams on a couple big plays that the Rams could never recover from. Part of the issue for the Rams is that when they fall behind they have almost zero down field options to throw to. Todd Gurley (12 car. 45 yards TD, 3 rec. 44 yards) ran well in this game but once the Rams got behind they had to throw more and that was a complete disaster. Nick Foles (17/36, 200 yards INT) got benched after this game and even though he didn’t play well the issue for STL is quite simply a lack of receiving options. Jared Cook, Brian Quick and Kenny Britt were never open in this game and when they were they either dropped balls or were missed. Tavon Austin (2 rec. 5 yards) is best used on screens and end arounds and had a nice 10 yard run for a TD called back but expecting him to lead your receiving core is quite honestly a recipe for disaster. The Rams have by far the worst group of WRs in the league and are going to struggle if their D allows them to get behind by more than a score.
The Bears on the other hand all of sudden have more options than people realize. Zach Miller (5 rec. 107 yards 2 TDs) is a very good receiving TE with lots of athleticism which he showed on an 80+ yard TD catch and run early in the game. Miller basically just caught the ball, spun and then raced through three defenders who were probably caught off guard by how fast he was for a TE. Miller isn’t going to replace Martellus Bennett (3 rec. 18 yards) but he will cut into his targets and as a play he’s at least worth keeping an eye on for fantasy purposes. After Alshon Jeffery (3 rec. 23 yards) the Bears are pretty thin at receiver.
As for RB Jeremy Langford (20 car. 73 yards, 7 rec. 109 yards) he really does work in this offense. Langford is by no means the runner Todd Gurley is but he’s great in the pass game and has got good straight away speed. His 80+ yard TD was honestly the result of a complete defensive breakdown by the Rams but his speed also allowed him to take it 80 yards for a TD rather than getting tackled 10 yards short. As long as Matt Forte is out his usage makes him a consideration every week.
Studs: Zach Miller, Jeremy Langford
Duds: Rams D, all the Rams receivers
I don’t know what to say about this game really. The Pittsburgh offense with Ben Roethlisberger is great for fantasy. We already knew that of course but the fact he wasn’t starting due to injury means no one played him. Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant had monster games once Ben came back in but again, but with Landry Jones starting most people were not heavily invested in them either. This week felt like a missed opportunity for fantasy purposes as the Cleveland pass rush is basically non-existent at the moment and gave Ben all day to throw downfield. I know Cleveland has been bad against the run but I would actually suggest targeting teams passing offenses versus them from here on out. This is a bad defense all-around regardless.
The Cleveland offense still has some teeth even with Johnny Football at the helm. Even against a tough Pitt front Manziel was still able to pile up 372 yards and a TD. I’ve been impressed with Manziel and the entire Cleveland pass game this year. Travis Benjamin (7 rec. 113 yards) has seemed to work pretty well with both QBs and I think regardless of who starts this teams next game at QB Benjamin is a WR you can consider. He’s played well all year and is really suited for the quick throws Cleveland is relying on.
Studs: Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Big Ben
Duds: DeAngelo Williams
Well this week had plenty of crazy results and this one was probably the craziest of them all. The Cincy offense had been almost unstoppable up to week 10 but were essentially shut down by JJ Watt and crew in this game. Andy Dalton’s (20-38, 197 yards INT) hot start has disappeared of late and he had a lot trouble hooking up with AJ Green (5 rec. 67 yards) on any big plays. I don’t think you need to completely write off Dalton or this offense but I would remove Dalton from your list of “safe plays” for the time being.
One of the biggest issues for the Bengals of late has been their inability to run the ball. Jeremy Hill (7 car. 15 yards, 3 rec. 5 yards) was completely ineffective in this game and quite frankly looks like he’s running in mud this year. I love the way Gio Bernard (8 car. 38 yards, 5 rec. 43 yards) has looked and he again was clearly the better runner and passing option of the two. I expect the Bengals to lean more on Gio after this loss and would look for some possible news on this next week. Gio has to start getting more touches or the Bengals are going to remain one-dimensional and possibly very stoppable all of a sudden.
As for the Texans I wouldn’t get too high on them after this game. DeAndre Hopkins (5 car. 57 yards TD) made an unreal catch to salvage a decent game but was shut down otherwise. Hopkins against weaker secondaries is always a play but be careful with this offense against better teams. There’s literally no secondary option for Houston and teams who can shut down Hopkins will shut down the Texans.
Studs: Houston D
Duds: Bengals offense
This game was blown multiple times by the Eagles. The Eagles lost QB Sam Bradford in this game and he looks unlikely to play in week 11. Mark Sanchez came in and actually made some good throws and just missed two TDs (one called back on a penalty). The Sanchize ultimately blew this game with an awful INT in the red zone with the Eagles down 1 but he did move the offense pretty well and looks to be the one leading this offense for next week. Sanchez was almost a lock for 20 fantasy points last year leading the Eagles and I expect he’ll once again have some success in this offense (probably more than Bradford ever had). He’s on the radar for me as a cheap cash game play.
The Eagles run game was fairly muted but Demarco Murray (22 car. 61 yards, 6 rec. 58 yards) once again dominated the snaps. With how involved Murray is in the passing game I’d continue to consider him every week from here on out on full ppr sites. He was shut down this week but the workload is now very in his favour and against weaker competition big games are certainly possible.
The Dolphins got pretty insanely lucky to win this game. Ryan Tannehill (21/36 217 yards 2 TDs) still looks like a disaster to me against tough competition but the fact that the Dolphins are playing from behind a lot means some of his passing options will have big games here and there. Lamar Miller didn’t run the ball super effectively and did lose a few snaps to rookie Jay Ajayi but he was still heavily involved as a passing target catching 6 balls for 50 yards and a TD. Miller has been doing his work almost exclusively through the air and with that kind of workload he’s not going to be game flow dependant as some main RBs might be.
Studs: Lamar Miller
Duds: Jordan Matthews
This was a matchup between two teams who mirror each other in a lot of ways. The Bills came into this game and really smashed the Jets in the mouth in a sort of way by running the ball all over them. After a slow start Lesean McCoy (19 car. 112 yards, 5 rec. 42 yards) now has two 100 yard rushing performances in his last two games and was cutting on a dime all game in this one. McCoy finally looks 100% helathy and the only issue for fantasy now is that he’s still losing some work to rookie Karlos Williams who is stealing a lot of touches from McCoy near the goal line and in the pass game… Williams scored again in this game on a short passing play from inside the red zone and definitely kills some of the upside you get with McCoy. With how effective the entire Bills rushing game has been the past two games I’m definitely still a buyer of sorts on Lesean going forward as the Bills are finally running the ball as much as they said they would at the start of the season and it should pay off for both RBs down the stretch.
I wouldn’t get too down on Sammy Watkins (3 rec. 14 yards) just because of this game. Watkins is still the Bills #1 WR by far with Percy Harvin out of the picture and even though he got shut down by Darrelle Revis in this matchup (as expected) you can see Tyrod Taylor was still eyeing him a ton in this game. I really like the potential of these two players together going forward and could see Watkins going off a couple times before the end of the year, even in this low volume passing game.
The Jets were also able to run the ball effectively this week, and even though Chris Ivory (18 car. 99 yards, 2 rec 36 yards) missed the end zone he was more involved with the pass game with Bilal Powell out. With injuries to his backups Ivory has taken a stranglehold of sorts on the workload for the Jets and he should be relied on a ton with the Jets chasing a playoff spot. With the Jets able to move the ball effectively on offense this year Ivory could easily have a few more big games down the stretch left in him. He looked better to me running in this game than he has in about 3 or 4 weeks.
Studs: Lesean McCoy, Chris Ivory
Duds: Tyrod Taylor, Jets D
I really feared this game for Denver for some reason, if I had a Spidey-sense than it would have been tingling big time here. The Chiefs have been on a roll of late and looking more and more dominant every week. Even though their offense is nothing special, the RB for Kansas City always gets a lot of work and right now Charcandrick West (24 car. 69 yards TD, 3 rec. 92 yards TD) is the man for KC. West took a wheel route for a long TD in this game and also scored a short TD on the ground, posting a monster game against the stout Broncos D. With Alex Smith being so risk adverse West is easily the most attractive option for fantasy from KC at the moment and should be a target for the rest of the year. He’s a decent back and the Chiefs are rolling at the moment.
As for the Broncos offense in this game, what can you really say? A lot of the media around this game were pointing to Peyton Manning’s rib and foot issues as the culprit for his 4 INT performance but the fact of the matter is he’s looked this bad in previous games. I see the culprit as being the KC D first and foremost. The Chiefs have now allowed under 20 points in their last 5 contests and have shored up their deficiencies in the secondary. Emmanuel Sanders got absolutely clocked in this game and if he misses time I think you still have to consider Demaryius Thomas (7 rec. 74 yards) as play if he were to miss a game or two. Thomas at least produced a decent game in garbage time and regardless of who’s at QB he might be the only way the Broncos can move the ball in coming weeks.
Studs: Charcandrick West
Duds: Peyton Manning
I still don’t know what I witnessed in this game. The Packers moved the ball effectively on the Lions the first drive of the game and then for about the next two and half quarters had trouble getting a first down. This was followed by a mad rush at the end of the game where they moved the ball at will down field a couple times and almost pulled out the miracle comeback. Aaron Rodgers (35/61, 333yards 2 TDs) looks fine to me but he’s having issues knowing where his receivers are going and finding any open receivers too. There were several times in this game when he simply threw to a spot and his receiver was headed in a different direction. It was frustrating to watch but the fact he still ended up with a nice fantasy game was at least encouraging.
Rodgers targeted Davante Adams (10 rec. 79 yards) an insane amount of times in this game and the two just missed a couple of big plays. Adams looks fine to me too, he just isn’t Jordy Nelson (who probably would have had 15 catches and 180 yards in this matchup). Regardless, Adams is Rodgers best target to throw to at the moment as Randall Cobb (5rec. 53 yards) is having issues getting open, expect more passing from this offense in general as the Packers are nowhere near the dominant team they were at the start of the season.
There’s not much to say about the Lions in this game. They still only put up 18 points and really didn’t do much outside of a couple broken plays. Ameer Abdullah (5 car. 15 yards, 1 rec. 7 yards) just missed a return TD in this game but was still an afterthought in this offense for some reason. If the Lions ever start using him out in space more I’ll consider him but for now all the Lions are pretty much complete fades for me, although Calvin Johnson versus the very weak Oakland secondary next week might be something to think about.
Studs: Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers
Duds: Randall Cobb
Well this game didn’t live up to the pre-game hype for fantasy. Everyone was expecting a monster game from Blake Bortles (22/45 188 yards 2 TDs, INT) and Allen Robinson, but instead we got a pretty subdued mediocre outing from both. The Ravens D actually showed up in this game and got good pressure on Bortles who was his usual inaccurate self, completing under 50% of his passes and also taking far too many sacks. With the game close Bortles didn’t see the prevent defenses he’s torn up in recent weeks and that’s pretty much why he was kept to under 200 yards passing. Bortles is strictly gpp bait for me going forward and not someone I’d trust enough for a 50/50 lineup.
AT WR as much as much I thought we’d see a Allen Robinson (5 rec. 51 yards TD) explosion here the fact of the matter is Allen Hurns (5 rec. 62 yards TD) is both better than I think he is and also really thriving from the attention Robinson has been drawing from other teams. Hurns seemed to work mostly against soft zone coverage for the most part as the Ravens really worked on limiting Allen Robinson from getting any big gains. To Hurns’ credit he produced (again) and is now up to a ridiculous 7 TDs in his last 7 games. I’m done fighting this gravy train and will be making Hurns a consideration every week going forward.
For the Ravens, Joe Flacco (34/45, 316 yards 3 TDs, 2 INTs) has really produced well against weaker competition this year and this week was no different. Flacco tore apart the Jags weak secondary and while Chris Givens (4 rec. 37 yards TD) didn’t have the long bomb TD I was hoping for he did find the end zone and was second in receptions amoung WRs. Going forward Givens is the gpp target I want from this offense as he’s being targeted by Flacco downfield and again just missed connecting with his QB on a long TD. The Ravens haven’t been able to run the ball much and so I would expect a lot of passes from this offense in the closing weeks. The Ravens passing game is a sneaky value-laden group for fantasy going forward.
Studs: Joe Flacco, Allen Hurns
Duds: Justin Forsett
The Seahawks are simply not the same team we’ve known them as the past couple of years. The Cardinals and their high powered pass offense came right into the home of the 12th man and slang the ball downfield all game. Michael Floyd (7 rec. 113 yards 2 TDs) beat the Hawks for two deep TDs but the real reason for the success of the Cards offense in this game was the play of Carson Palmer (29/49 363 yards 3 TDs INT). Palmer’s deep and intermediate throws might be the best in the business at this point and versus Seattle his deep balls were insanely accurate all game. He’s been super consistent all season and I see zero reason for that to stop any time soon. This entire offense is a weekly consideration regardless of matchups.
Back to Floyd, he did pull up lame late in this game with a hamstring issue. If he misses time expect John Brown to possibly benefit. Brown has taken a back seat the pass couple weeks due to injury issues and was held without a catch in week 10 (mainly because he was matched up with Richard Sherman for a large portion of the game). If Floyd sits Brown would be a fantastic gpp target in the next couple games, remember he put up 10 catches and nearly 200 yards receiving in a game only a few weeks ago.
The Seattle offense also isn’t pushing people around like it has been the last couple of seasons. The run game and O-line simply haven’t got it together and the Hawks have been in a lot more close games or playing from behind as a result. While this might mean better days ahead for Russell Wilson (14/32 TD INT, 6 car. 52 yards) eventually, the O-line issue has really thwarted his ability to run this year. Wilson was bottled up early in this game but got free late for some garbage time points once the Cards scored their last TD. With the Hawks season now in serious jeopardy I wonder if Wilson might get a little more opportunity to run/throw since the usual pound Marshawn Lynch strategy isn’t working. Wilson remains a gpp target for me for the simple reason that he’s Seattle’s only chance on offense right now and more usage and some big garbage time performances might in his future.
Studs: Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Doug Baldwin
Duds: Jimmy Graham
Well, this game was a disappointment for me for fantasy. The Vikings had a great first drive, they drove the field and Teddy Bridgewater (12/22, 140 yards TD) picked apart the Raiders secondary. Then, after a couple stops by their D the Vikings got up 13-0 and basically just sat and pounded Adrian Peterson (26 car. 206 yards TD) the whole game. This strategy almost lost them the game as the Raiders fought back but the Vikings got a lucky kick return TD to get the lead back and then sealed it with an 80 yard Peterson run late when the Raiders were basically selling out to try and get a stop. The narrative with the Vikings is simple. If they get up early it will be all run and great for Peterson. If not then they’ll open up a bit (but still not too much). It’s a shame because Bridgewater is a great QB but he’s just useless for fantasy every week it seems.
The one player who will remain fantasy relevant from the Vikings passing game though is WR Stefon Diggs (2 rec. 46 yards). Diggs only caught two passes in this game (the most of ANY Viking receiver) but almost broke a long TD on one of them. Diggs is simply electric after the catch and reminds me of Antonio Brown every time I watch him. Don’t let this game sour you on him, as long as he remains cheap he’s worth targeting.
The Raiders ran into a bit of a wall in the Vikings D this week but Derek Carr (29/43, 2 TDs 2 INTs) still produced again for fantasy having his third 300 yard passing game in a row. Carr was semi-shut down early but made some nice plays to keep the game close. Carr is not only playing great but is also going to be aided every week by the fact the Raiders D is still pretty weak, especially in the secondary. Playing in shootout types of games plus having the benefit of playing with a very nice group of WRs, Carr is looking like one of the best every week options at QB going into the last half of the year… At WR as much as I like Amari Cooper (5 rec. 79 yards) it’s frustrating to see Andre Holmes and Clive Walford show up in this game with TDs and see Cooper again ignored in that area. For the most part Cooper is a gpp play for me for the simple fact that you’re relying on a long play to see him reach the end zone. I love the talent with Amari who made a couple ridiculous plays in this game but the usage isn’t quite what I’d want it to be.
Studs: Adrian Peterson
Duds: Michael Crabtree