The Fake Football DFS Optimizer & Cheat Sheet, Week 10 (UPDATED)
November 11, 2017 | Ian Goldsmith
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Kansas City, Oakland, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are on byes this week. That means no Alex Smith Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Kareem Hunt, etc.
INJURY REPORT (Updated 20:20 11/11)
Note: These aren’t official injury tags. These are our best guesses based on news.
T.Y. Hilton PLAYING with a groin injury.
Martellus Bennett QUESTIONABLE. It would be strange to see him on the field already for NE, but he does know the playbook. If he’s healthy, he would be a welcome addition to a team without Edelman and Chris Hogan.
Danny Amendola QUESTIONABLE. However, he should play and be one of Brady’s top options this week. He’s a sneaky, low-cost tournament play as he should see a lot of short passes over the middle, which is one way to beat Denver’s defense.
Mike Evans OUT. He’s suspended, though it’s a crock that he was suspended and AJ Green wasn’t. I mean, Green had Jalen Ramsey in a choke hold, not to mention the punching. The NFL is too damn inconsistent when handing out suspensions, but here we are once again.
Jameis Winston OUT. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start and has a good matchup against the Jets this week.
Vontae Davis is going to have surgery and is OUT for the rest of the season. If Roethlisberger can’t have a good road game this week, it will never happen.
Charles Clay PROBABLE. This is welcome news for Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. Clay was easily Taylor’s favorite target before going down and should be once again.
Zay Jones PROBABLE.
QUESTIONABLE OUT. Mixon gets a bump this week against Tennessee. Hill is now on IR.
Terrance Williams PROBABLE.
Dez Bryant QUESTIONABLE. He didn’t practice Wednesday. If he’s out, both Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley get big bumps, and Brice Butler could end up a sneaky GPP play.
QUESTIONABLE PLAYING. He’ll likely play, but he’s entering more of a time share, and the Broncos’ offense is iffy with Osweiler at the helm.
QUESTIONABLE PLAYING. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, though this could just be a case of a veteran getting some extra rest.
Kenny Golladay PLAYING.
QUESTIONABLE PLAYING. Didn’t practice Wednesday, but it could just be a precaution.
QUESTIONABLE OUT. They likely don’t need the rookie to beat LA, but I’d expect him to be activated by Sunday.
Jamison Crowder QUESTIONABLE. Ryan Grant got the bump last week, though it’s really Chris Thompson who benefits most from his absence.
Jordan Reed OUT. Vernon Davis is more than capable of playing at a high level, so there is really no reason to rush back the oft-injured Reed.
George Kittle OUT. Garrett Celek is now an interesting punt play against the Giants’ league-worst TE defense.
Eddie Lacy OUT with a groin injury. Thomas Rawls should get the start against Arizona.
QUESTIONABLE OUT with knee swelling. Bilal Powell makes for an excellent fill-in, and his price is depressed across the industry.
Chris Hogan OUT.
Sam Bradford has been placed on IR. Keenum will continue to lead the Vikings’ pass defense.
Damien Williams QUESTIONABLE, but he practiced on Saturday and should play.
*Check back SUNDAY MORNING before lock for injury and optimal lineup updates for the Main slate.
Dak Prescott at Atlanta:
It is a bit frustrating to recommend Dallas players every week while the he-said/she-said Ezekiel Elliott/NFL scuffle keeps going back and forth, but Dak stands out as a solid play no matter who is running the ball. Prescott has been one of the most consistent plays all season, save for a recent matchup against Washington. He has topped 22 points in five of his past six games, and only fallen below 17 points once all season (the aforementioned divisional matchup against the ‘Skins). As far as floors, Dak has one of the highest on the entire slate and represents an excellent cash play with solid upside in a game with a 50.5 over/under. The optimizer likes him as well, projecting him as the top QB on the slate this week.
Jared Goff vs Houston:
Goff busted out last week with a massive effort, finishing with an astounding 28.44 FD/Yahoo points (31.44 on DK). This week he gets a Houston team that has not been the same since losing JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus in Week 5 against the Chiefs. Including that time, they have allowed three of their past four opponents to pass for at least 300 yards and multiple scores. Frankly, the only thing that could hold back Goff this week is if the Rams get out to too big a lead early, led by Gurley. Even so, blowouts aren’t really nearly as much to worry about in the NFL as they are in the NBA. Goff is a lock in cash games, and he is worth plugging into tournaments as well.
Eli Manning at San Francisco:
I hate–HATE–recommending Eli Manning. However, when the matchup is as good as this, I at least have to throw his name into the ring of players to consider. The 49ers have given up the fourth most points to the quarterback position this season. Quarterbacks have not scored lower than 14.14 points in any week this season, which is quite the floor for a QB priced at only $5,100 this week. As odd as it seems, I honestly expect a shootout this week between the two teams, even with Janoris Jenkins back from suspension. The optimizer doesn’t have Eli as the highest scoring QB this week, but he is projected to return the highest value, which means he’s an excellent play if you want to fit in high priced RBs and WRs.
Other options: Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bargain across the industry. He deserves to be in at least one of your GPP lineups this week. Andy Dalton has a solid matchup vs Tennessee, and is only $5,300 on DraftKings and an even cheaper $21 on Yahoo. I’d rather have Fitzpatrick or Manning for a similar price, but a Dalton/Green stack in lineups offers some solid differential.
Le’Veon Bell at Indianapolis:
Sometimes, you just need to plug in the best (or second best, depending on how you rank Bell and Zeke) player, and put your fantasy team on autopilot. Bell has been an absolute workhorse of late. His 125 touches in the past five weeks easily pace the league, despite the Steelers having their bye week during that time. Indianapolis is a bottom-six team against the run, and Bell should have no trouble carving them up this week. I expect a huge game. Zeke is also perfectly playable this week against Atlanta…if he plays. Who knows at this point?!
Alvin Kamara at Buffalo:
Kamara has, not so quietly, seemingly taken over as the #1 back for New Orleans. Mark Ingram is still getting touches, but they are declining rapidly. Since a lost fumble in Week 6 to the Lions, Ingram has lost touches each week, while Kamara’s have stayed consistent. Last week Ingram only had one more touch than Alvin, and I’d expect the time share to continue the rest of the season. Kamara’s receiving skills make him the better play of the two this week against Buffalo, who has allowed six RBs to catch at least four passes this season, including three-such players in the past two games. His price is climbing, though, and he’s not the value play he once was only a couple of weeks ago. Despite the 1/2 point PPR, I like him best on Yahoo this week at $25.
Duke Johnson at Detroit:
Duke is simply criminally underpriced, which has often been the case this season. I mean, he’s still only $13 on Yahoo…$13!! Come on, people! I know Hue Jackson is all over the place when it comes to who sees touches any given week, but Duke has at least had consistent output. He’s caught at least 3 passes in every week since Week 1, and has scored in double digits in PPR leagues (DK) five times this season. I’m not sure if you can ask for a more consistent player at his rock-bottom price this week. He’ll be a fixture in my cash lineups.
Update: Bilal Powell at Tampa Bay: Matt Forte is out this week, which leaves Bilal as the top dog for the Jets. His touches have been inconsistent this season, but he saw 25 touches in the first game Forte missed this season, en route to 190 total yards and a score. He then inexplicably saw only 6 touches against the Browns, but the coaching staff seems to have learned their lesson.Powell hasn’t seen fewer than 9 carries since the bye, and he should see at least 15 touches this week, and likely more. His price is depressed across the industry, which makes him a near must play, especially on DraftKings where is is only $4,000. He is very playable on other sites as well, and I’m happy to use him in all formats.
Antonio Brown at Indianapolis:
Brown was simply OK in his last outing against the Lions, who held him to a pedestrian (by his standards) 5/70 line. This week presents a much easier matchup against a Colts team who are seventh worst against opposing wideouts. The only thing holding him back here is if Le’Veon Bell totals 300 yards, which is not out of the realm of possibility.
Robby Anderson at Tampa Bay:
The matchup simply could not be better, as Anderson and the surprisingly efficient Jets’ passing game heads into Tampa to face a Bucs team that is giving up the second most points per game to wide receivers this season. Anderson’s price has risen in recent weeks for good reason, as he has found the end zone in each of his past three games. He has a better than not chance of making it four in a row this week. The optimizer ranks him tied for #1 in terms of scoring consistency amongst wide receivers playing this week.
Adam Humphries vs NY Jets
With Mike Evans out, Humphries will take over his starting spot as the Bucs face a very beatable Jets secondary. Humphries has performed well when given consistent targets. Earlier this season, he had at least 51 receiving yards in each game from Week 2 to Week 5. Despite all of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s shortcomings as a QB, he is healthy, which cannot be said for Winston. As such, he should sling the ball repeatedly all game long without his shoulder falling off, which means Humphries will have a ton of opportunity to hit value at near-minimum salary across all sites.
Update: Danny Amendola at Denver
The slot receiver for Denver has excelled in the past few matchups against Denver, and that role is all Amendola’s with Edelman and Hogan out. Cooks should struggle, but expect Brady to look at Amendola, Gronk, and his running backs repeatedly on short passes over the middle and screens. I love Amendola as a sneaky punt play this week in DFS, assuming he plays, which seems likely.
Rob Gronkowski at Denver:
The best play of the week at the position is the best player. Who needs to analyze anything? Denver’s defense can stop many things, but not the tight end position. They rank third worst on all sites, and New England is without many of it’s top receivers with Hogan still out. Expect a lot of passes to running backs and Gronk this week, as New England should dominate the Broncos after a week’s rest.
Kyle Rudolph at Washington:
We’ve been waxing poetic about the woeful Washington tight end defense for weeks. The fact of the matter is, they repeatedly allow the position to dominate them…or at least come away as fantasy relevant. Washington has allowed the most receiving yards to the tight end position, and they have allowed eight tight ends to score at least 8 PPR points against them this season. Rudolph has at least 5 catches and 7 targets in each of his past four games, which should continue once again this week. He’s a bit too expensive on Yahoo for me ($22), but he’s a go-to on both DK ($4,600), and FD ($5,400).
Garrett Celek vs NY Giants
The Giants have easily been the most generous defense to opposing tight ends in 2017, allowing 16.6 points per game in 1/2 PPR and 19.6 points per game in full PPR to the position. Celek has never been a fantasy darling, but he fills a void on a team lacking receiving options without George Kittle and Pierre Garcon. Given the matchup, opportunity, and minimum-salary, he’s at the very least worth using in a couple of your tournament lineups.
Mike Nugent at Atlanta:
If you can fit in Zuerlein, go for it. If not, then might I suggest Mike Nugent. Filling in for Dan Bailey, Nugent gets a matchup against the most forgiving defense to kickers this week. My rules for picking a kicker are 1) the team should be in a high scoring game 2) the team should have a strong offense 3) don’t break the bank. The first two I always abide by, the third can be broken depending on the rest of your team. For example, I was able to fit in the Z-man in my example FD lineup below.
Detroit vs Cleveland:
Detroit’s defense doesn’t seem to be getting love in the press, at least not to the extent that teams like the Jaguars are. Yet, here we are in Week 10, and they are fifth in points per game. They get a matchup at home in the dome against an overmatched Browns team that doesn’t know its face from it’s rear, exemplified by 0 wins and only 119 points through 8 games played. Yikes. The Lions are 13 point favorites this week, and the Browns have an implied total of only 15.25 points, lowest in the league. They are as safe a cash play as it comes this week.
Jacksonville vs LA Chargers:
Look, at this point we know who the Jaguars are; they are a ruthless defensive force with a secondary that rivals the best the league has ever seen. All Jalen Ramsey needs to do is look at an opposing wideout, and they go crazy and try to put him into a choke-hold. They have scored in double digits in six of eight games, and come into this week as favorites in one of the lowest scoring matches of the week. Despite the week off, the Chargers have to travel across the country for a morning game, which rarely bodes well. It’s conceivable that Melvin Gordon has adequate output, but it would be shocking for Philip Rivers and the passing game to come away from this unscathed.
Chicago vs Green Bay:
The Bears are 6 point favorites in what is predicted to be the lowest scoring game of the week, as the line is currently set at only 38 points. The Packers couldn’t get anything going against the Lions on Monday night, and they have to travel to Chicago on a short week to face a Bears defense that has been a surprising bright spot this season. Chicago enters this week ninth in DST points per game, and has had a week to rest. I expect them to force Hundley and the Packers into a lot of mistakes and to easily pay off their price, especially on FanDuel where they are only $4,300.
Note: These lineups were created using the DFS optimizer. I locked in a few key plays on each of the three sites, and then ran the models. You can see which players were locked in the images below.