The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 6 WEEKEND UPDATE October 17, 2015  |  Doug Shain


Check out our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!


The Huddle – Opening Statement

Anything big happening in the DFS landscape this week? Feels so quiet here in Nevada. For those of you who haven’t been reading my incessant rambling on Twitter, yes, I live in Nevada. And yes, I don’t get to play DFS for money anymore. But no, I won’t stop writing. You’ll continue to get the same high quality (let’s pretend this is high quality) writing from me week in and week out. New thoughts are in bolded italics. Best of luck this weekend. Remember, I’m playing vicariously through you now!

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your QB/TE combo (Rivers/Gates) go off on Monday night and still fail to cash. Occasionally the above scenario plays out because of some bad luck (like a Jamaal Charles ACL tear right as he was starting to get going) and, while that stings, at least you know you made a good play that was ruined by some bad luck. I can live with that; it happens. What I find harder to live with is losing money because I got too cute for my own good. And by too cute I mean putting Boobie Dixon in all of my lineups. Look, it would have been fool-hearted to not have some exposure to a min-priced “starting” RB. It’s even more fool-hearted to rely on said player without really knowing what his role in the offense is going to be. There’s a reason he started the season as a 3rd string RB, you know?

“WHAT ABOUT THOMAS RAWLS???” I can hear you all screaming. Yes, Rawls worked out very well for you this week, but do you know what? You would have been just as fool-hearted to have started him in all your lineups as I was for relying on Boobie. Same scenario, better result. Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have some wild lineups. You absolutely should, that’s how people win GPP’s. What I am saying is that if you have multiple lineups, rotate some of your value plays to make sure you’re not overly dependent on one 3rd string guy to carry you.

So why am I telling you this cautionary tale? Two words, Charcandrick West. You’ll thank me on Tuesday. Seriously, FADE!

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Aaron Rodgers – GB Matthew Stafford – DET Andrew Luck – IND
Tom Brady – NE Jay Cutler – CHI Carson Palmer – ARI
Matt Ryan – ATL Sam Bradford – PHI Colin Kaepernick – SF
Peyton Manning – DEN Andy Dalton – CIN Joe Flacco – BAL
Eli Manning – NYG EJ Manuel – BUF Marcus Mariota – TEN
Josh McCown – CLE Teddy Bridgewater – MIN


– I think this is going to be a pretty rough week for QB. Most of the Public plays have some warts, so if I’m going to spend up it’s going to be all the way up to Rodgers or Brady. I don’t like playing anyone on Thursday night, but I especially don’t like playing anyone from a road team whose best player is hobbling. Matt Ryan is a clear fade for me. Peyton’s got a noodle arm and looks mortal and Eli, well, when was the last time Eli strung 2 good games together in a row?

– Josh McCown is the hottest QB in football. Denver has the best defense. I’ll place my faith in Denver and fade the career journeyman.

– With the way people are talking about Stafford this week you’d think he was good. He’s not. There’s no way I’m playing him, even against the bad Chicago defense. There are too many other cheap plays I like to take this risk.

– The more I think about it the more I like Sam Bradford at home on Monday night against a bad Giants defense. He’s not safe, but he’s safer than Stafford.

– I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying to play Teddy Bridgewater this week against the Chiefs because, you know, Jamaal Charles. I’m sorry, I seem to forget all those times Charles lined up on defense for KC. That said, the correct justification to play Teddy B is that the Chiefs passing D is one of the worst in football. THAT being said, without Jamaal Charles playing offense for the Chiefs it’s much more likely they are not going to score a lot. If they don’t score a lot then MIN won’t need to throw a lot. If MIN doesn’t throw a lot then they’re going to run a lot. Teddy B doesn’t run the football. Therefore, correct logic and the transitive property would say that if Jamaal Charles doesn’t play for KC, then it’s Adrian Peterson who is the beneficiary, not Teddy Bridgewater. *Mic dropped*.

– I actually like Drew Brees this week (there goes that “don’t play Thursday guys” theory). He plays very well in the Superdome and should be low-owned after his stinker in Philly (which wasn’t too big of a stinker in fantasy terms). Detroit is terrible so a Jay Cutler play isn’t all that bad of an idea either. I still don’t trust Bradford. Andy Dalton is due for a clunker and a road game in Buffalo is a pretty logical place for that to happen.

– EJ Manuel is the QB epitome of getting too cute. Just don’t.

– My favorite QB play this week outside of Brady and Rodgers is Carson Palmer. I know there’s the whole “west coast team coming east for an early game” thing at play but Pittsburgh’s secondary is very beatable. Arizona is going to want to play well for Arians as he heads back to Pittsburgh. Colin Kaepernick is a sneaky good play against an awful Baltimore defense. If Andrew Luck actually gets suited up this week he should do well in an expected shootout with the Patriots. I’m still waiting for Mariota to start running a little, but when he does, watch out.

– Before I was banned from DFS (Nevada sucks sometimes) I made a lot of lineups. The guy in most of them? Colin Kaepernick. He’s so bad but he had a good game Sunday night against the Giants and gets an even worse passing defense this week in the Ravens. He’s dirt cheap and gives you so much flexibility elsewhere (hello AP/Foster/Nuk/Gronk lineups). He’s in my top 4 plays.

My guys: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Adrian Peterson – MIN Arian Foster – HOU Eddie Lacy – GB
Devonta Freeman – ATL Justin Forsett – BAL C.J. Spiller – NO
Matt Forte – CHI DeMarco Murray – PHI Chris Johnson – ARI
LeVeon Bell – PIT Dion Lewis – NE Zach Zenner – DET
David Johnson – ARI Ronnie Hillman – DEN Carlos Hyde – SF
Charcandrick West – KC Duke Johnson – CLE Buck Allen – BAL
Shane Vereen – NYG Knile Davis – KC


– We’re down to about 4 reliable Public plays at RB. I’m fine with you starting any of AP, Freeman, Forte, and Bell. All 4 are in my top 10 RB this week. I really love Forte against the Lions. And I love Peterson against the Chiefs. LeVeon Bell is matchup proof because of his receiving skills. The floor is just so high with him. The Freeman bubble is going to eventually burst, but I don’t think it’ll happen this week against a weak Saints Run D. With Julio hurting the Falcons are going to have to rely on Freeman even more this week. Yep, bought in about 3 weeks too late here. He’s a stud going forward. As for David Johnson and Charcandrick West….no. FADE!!!!!!!!!! This is our Too Cute Club at RB. Johnson isn’t getting 2 TD’s on 3 carries every week and we have no idea what West can do. Even if he goes off, it’s still not the right play.

– If you do want to get cute, it’s Knile Davis that’s listed as the starter for KC. We’ve seen what he can do. Nobody wants to play him. I mean, you could make a lot worse decisions (*cough* Boobie *cough*).

– Arian Foster is still and by far my top RB play this week against a Jags team that just got gashed by Doug Martin and Charles Sims (look at the receiving line he put up). Foster can do it all and he’s about a week away from regaining the public’s trust. Speaking of regaining trust, DeMarco Murray will be fairly well-owned this week and rightfully so, you know, unless he’s too injured to play. If that’s the case I do like Ryan Mathews, just not as much as I would have liked Murray. He should get a fair share of opportunities against the Giants on Monday night. If Forsett is able to play he’s a solid go against the 49ers. If he’s not I’m fine with Buck Allen as long as you have him paired with a guy like AP/Forte/Bell. Dion Lewis is reliable but unspectacular (more of a cash game play).

– I’m seeing/hearing a lot about Shane Vereen as the guy who benefits most from the Beckham injury (assuming he can’t play). I totally buy this. At his price he’s definitely worth a shot. I mean, you were playing Lance Dunbar and Darren Sproles. This guy is a more reliable version.

– Has anyone seen or heard from Eddie Lacy? Is he a figment of our imagination? This guy was going #1 overall in fantasy drafts in August. He’s done nothing this year, but that’s what makes him such a good play this week. He’s a slow starter and this week he’s got a good matchup against the Chargers who are coming east after a short week. Seriously, nobody is on him. This is the week he goes 105 yards and 2 TD. Also in play is Carlos Hyde against a run-down Ravens defense. He showed some signs of life on Sunday night in New Jersey and should be able to carry that momentum into this week. Zach Zenner is probably a too cute play but if you only put him in one lineup that’s not all that bad. Ameer Abdullah has a case of the dropsies and Joique Bell isn’t healthy. Theo Riddick is not carrying the load for the Lions so it could be Zenner who benefits. This is a very high risk play, but he’s about as HuLo as HuLo gets. Don’t look now but CJ2K is starting to be reliable. Who saw that coming?

My guys: Adrian Peterson, Matt Frote, LeVeon Bell, Arian Foster, Eddie Lacy, DeMarco Murray, Buck Allen, Shane Vereen


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Julio Jones – ATL DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Anquan Boldin – SF
Antonio Brown – PIT Torrey Smith – SF Brandon Marshall – NYJ
Demaryius Thomas – DEN Julian Edelman – NE Jeremy Maclin – KC
Randall Cobb – GB Keenan Allen – SD TY Hilton – IND
A.J. Green – CIN Marquess Wilson – CHI Brandin Cooks – NO
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI Willie Snead – NO Kamar Aiken – BAL
Odell Beckham – NYG Andre Johnson – IND Jamison Crowder – WSH
Allen Robinson – JAX Josh Huff – PHI
Dwayne Harris – NYG Allen Hurns – JAX

– I’m way off most of these public plays this week. Julio is banged up and playing on a Thursday night so he’s definitely a fade. Demaryius Thomas should be getting a lot of Joe Haden (Haden is now OUT) and has Old Noodle Arm throwing to him (can you believe I traded away Freeman/Hopkins for DT 2 weeks ago in a home league?? Can you believe I’m still only 6 points out of first??). Beckham and Thomas are pretty much off my board with their injuries. Antonio Brown is only playable if Big Ben comes back this week (Big Ben is now OUT). My favorite Public play is Larry Fitzgerald. He’s rejuvenated and still isn’t terribly expensive.

– DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best values in all of DFS, regardless of sport. He’s a target machine and targets = dollars. He’s a must play (a little Foster/Hopkins stack could produce huge). Marquess Wilson is the last man standing for Jay Cutler and they have developed a nice little rapport. Everyone gets a score against Detroit these days so he’s a great value play. He’s so cheap that he’ll allow you to go out and get a Foster/Bell combo. Definitely a good play here. Willie Snead is the new favorite target for Drew Brees and I’m definitely willing to go with a Saints stack of Brees/Snead/Cooks if you’re playing the Thursday slate. Edelman and Allen get a ton of targets and are always good mid-level plays. The Ravens’ pass D has been getting torched, but I just can’t bring myself to play Torrey Smith, narrative be damned (how well did that work out for Leonard Hankerson last week?). If I’m playing a 49ers WR (and I will), it’s going to be Anquan Boldin. I’ve got him in every lineup where I have Kaerpernick, none where I don’t. You either stack the two of you don’t play either.

– If Beckham can’t go that gives more run for Dwayne Harris. I don’t love him but he makes for an interesting cheap play in what figures to be a shootout against Philly on Monday night.

– Marshall and Maclin = targets. Kamar Aiken is about the only WR on BAL I trust and they’ve got a good matchup against SF. Jamison Crowder is the Willie Snead of the Redskins offense (the QB likes him and he’s producing). Josh Huff has overtaken Nelson Agholor in Philly. Allen Hurns may very well be a legitimate NFL WR and is still a good value, though if I’m playing a Jags WR it’s going to be Robinson. Hurns is legit, ARob is a stud in waiting. He’s out of play if Bortles is too injured to start this week. The matchup against a bad Houston D is intriguing.

My guys: Marquess Wilson, Allen Robinson, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall, Kamar Aiken


Public Plays Expert Plays >HuLo Plays
Rob Gronkowski – NE Antonio Gates – SD Gary Barnidge – CLE
Greg Olsen – CAR Tyler Eifert – CIN Charles Clay – BUF
Jimmy Graham – SEA Travis Kelce – KC Delanie Walker – TEN


– Last week Gronk didn’t Gronk. This week Gronk gonna Gronk. He’s my top play at TE if you can afford him.

– It’s possible people have forgotten about Greg Olsen after the Panthers bye. That could keep his ownership low. Eifert lit up Seattle for 2 TD’s last week so the matchup doesn’t scare me for Olsen.

– Had Ben Watson in the sample lineups, forgot to put him here. Don’t I feel stupid? Can I blame the DFS ban for my oversight even though I wrote the article 2 days before the ban? No? Fine, I messed that up. I hope you were able to get the cheat sheets in time to benefit from there (shameless plug). The Brees/Watson lineup is looking mighty fine right about now.

– Let Jimmy Graham be someone else’s problem for now.

– All 3 Expert plays are good to go this week. I prefer Eifert of the three, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. I do expect a large ownership for Kelce due to him being one of the only playmakers left in KC. Gates’ ownership is going to be sky high. He’s off my radar for that reason alone.

– Barnidge is a total fade for me. Anyone against the Denver D is a total fade for me. Charles Clay could actually see his usage increase with EJ Manuel under center and no running game to speak of. Delanie Walker has a great matchup against the Miami tire fire defense.

My guys: Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Eifert, Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Denver Broncos Cincinnati Bengals Tennessee Titans
Seattle Seahawks New York Jets Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings Philadelphia Eagles


– Denver is always in play. They are a defense that’s worth paying up for. They should bring the Browns back down to Earth. I’m going to fade the Public and pass on Seattle and GB.

– If Tyrod Taylor doesn’t play then Cincy would be my top defense of the week (right now it’s the Jets). If Tyrod does play I think Cincy is in play but they are less clear cut. Keep an eye on that as kickoff nears.

– The Jets should be able to handle the Redskins and the Bengals have a great matchup against a woeful Buffalo offense. I’m not so sure the Vikings are a great play even though they are at home against the Jamaal-less Chiefs.

– Anyone against Miami and Detroit is in play so hello Titans and Bears! The Eagles are the most underrated defense in fantasy. They get at the QB, force turnovers, and are always a threat to return a kick. I always play them and I rarely regret it.

– Philly may give up a ton of points but they are going to turn Eli over and sack him a lot. The Eagles always seem to return a punt against NYG as well. They should be very underowned.

My guys: NY Jets, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the Fantasy Aces section but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

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