The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 7 WEEKEND UPDATE October 24, 2015  |  Doug Shain


Check out our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!



The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Weekend Update of the Hail Mary. All updates will be in bolded italics.

One of the practices I preach for building a successful GPP lineup is to keep an eye on ownership percentage. I love going with guys who are going to be low owned. I look at ownership so much that I even made up (ok, my dad made it up) a term for the types of plays I like: HuLo – High upside, Low ownership. What’s important to understand about HuLo is that too much concern about ownership can leave you with too much risk and not enough certainty on your roster. You’ve got to have some foundation plays that are going to give you a solid base on which to build your team. You’ll see this week that I like a lot of guys who are chalk plays (chalk plays refer to guys everyone is going to own); mainly Cardinals and Steelers. I’m of the belief that if I build my lineup with a foundation of chalk plays that I can construct the rest of my team in a way, through HuLo plays, that will differentiate it from the rest of the GPP field. It’s that differentiation that I am counting on to propel me up the leaderboard, but I can’t use those upside plays if I don’t have my strong foundation.

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
Tom Brady – NE Carson Palmer – ARI Blake Bortles – JAX
Matt Ryan – ATL Ryan Tannehill – MIA Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ
Matthew Stafford – DET Brian Hoyer – HOU Alex Smith – KC
Drew Brees – NO Cam Newton – CAR Jameis Winston – TB
Andrew Luck – IND Eli Manning – NYG Derek Carr – OAK
Philip Rivers – SD Sam Bradford – PHI Landry Jones – PIT
  Zach Mettenberger – TEN


– It would not shock me if one rebound game was all it took for people to jump back on the Matt Stafford train. I’m not sure if he’s a great play this week against the Vikings, but regardless I think he’ll be more highly owned than guys who are less expensive and whom I like more (Fitzmagic and Bortles). If you’re going to stack Stafford with Megatron I can see it, but otherwise I’d rather drop down to my HuLo plays.

– If you’re going to pay up for QB it should be for Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, or Carson Palmer. Palmer is by far the top play of the week against a terrible Ravens defense and the only hesitation I have about playing him is that he’s going to be the highest owned QB by a mile this week. Even so, he might be worth it (there’s that strong foundation I was talking about, regardless of ownership). I’d probably play him more in cash games and look to Bortles or Rivers more in a GPP at this point. Luck’s matchup against New Orleans is great and his price is still down a bit. He’s in my top 4 QB plays of the week.

– Eli Manning is a really streaky player and this is one of those weeks where he could be on the upswing. Dallas isn’t anything special on defense and he loves playing them. After the clunker he put up on Monday night I can definitely see his ownership low. The other QB from Monday’s game, Sam Bradford, is starting to make some noise as a terrible real life, but decent fantasy, QB. I’m not buying it this week on the road in Carolina; I think he’s just going to be terrible.

– Some HuLo plays I’d prefer over Bradford are Bortles, Fitzpatrick, and Carr. All have decent matchups and give you more roster flexibility. Fitzpatrick in particular stands out to me as a guy that’s vastly underrated and much more consistent that you realize. His running ability is often overlooked but he gets you 30-40 yards a game with his legs, which translates into points that guys like Bradford just aren’t giving you.

– You really wanna go off the grid? Take a shot with Landry Jones against the worst pass defense in the league. Or you could go with Mettenberger in a game where he’s going to have to throw. He was a good fantasy QB at the end of last year and a Mett-DGB stack could be a very sneaky, GPP winning type of play. I wouldn’t do that if I was firing a single bullet, but if I was making a bunch of lineups I’d throw it in there on one of them.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Devonta Freeman – ATL Todd Gurley – STL LeSean McCoy – BUF
Marshawn Lynch – SEA Lamar Miller – MIA Ahmad Bradshaw – IND
Arian Foster – HOU Theo Riddick – DET Christopher Ivory – NYJ
Adrian Peterson – MIN Mark Ingram – NO Matt Jones – WSH
LeVeon Bell – PIT Doug Martin – TB Jonathan Stewart – CAR
DeMarco Murray – PHI Latavius Murray – OAK Justin Forsett – BAL
Christine Michael – DAL Branden Oliver – SD


– My buddy, never one to shy away from hyperbole, texted me the other day that Devonta Freeman is “the next Barry Sanders”, and while he’s not quite at that level, boy has he been good. His price still hasn’t caught up with his productivity so I’d say he’s actually a value play at this point. The thing that Freeman has going most for him is that he catches a lot of passes so he’s got a high floor and an immense ceiling. I really feel like the bubble is going to burst at some point, but this week at TEN isn’t it. Even with his ownership high he’s a foundation player that helps offset some of the chances you’re going to take with your other spots. He’s grown on me a lot this week. Other Public plays I’d get into my lineup are Foster and Bell because of their similarly high floor. I’m going to jump off AP for a week to see if he gets rolling a little bit. Yeah, no I’m not. He’s got a great history against the Lions, they have a terrible defense, and his price isn’t all that high. I’m not all in, but he’s in play.

– DeMarco Murray has been given a heavy dose of run the last 2 weeks and that’s going to make him a popular play. I’m not sold on him this week against a stout Carolina run D. I’m going to pass. I’m not going to pass on the other Murray though, Latavius. The Chargers just gave up a huge game James Starks. Murray is better than Starks. He catches passes as well, which keeps him on the field all 3 downs.

– My favorite plays of this week come from the Expert and HuLo lists. Todd Gurley is a beast and is still priced like a high end RB3. He’s a low end (possibly mid) RB1 right now. Cleveland can’t stop anyone from running the ball. He’s going to be highly owned, like 50%+, but he’ll be well worth the price. I also love the price/matchup combo for Lamar Miller, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy, and Christopher Ivory. Ivory is a sneaky play against such a high scoring Pats offense but the Jets are a lot better than you think and should keep this game close. He’s a low-end RB1 right now that you’re getting for RB2 prices. HuLo indeed!

– I didn’t talk at all about Mark Ingram earlier in the week but the Colts can’t stop the run and he’s worth a long look. It seems like everyone is talking about Christine Michael getting more work for Dallas. Isn’t that nice? I don’t want any of that. I think anyone who plays him is crazy to do so until we know more about his role; or until HE knows more about his role.

– I have a feeling that Alfred Morris is going to get some carries this week against the Bucs to try to keep Kirk Cousins from throwing a bunch more picks. That feeling is dead. He’s not safe at all, but if he doesn’t step up this week we could be talking a whole lot about Matt Jones in Week 8….because he’s going to catch a ton of passes this week with Thompson probably out and possibly overtake Alf Morris by the end of the game. He’s very HuLo and should be given a play in at least one of your lineups.

– Theo Riddick and Ahmad Bradshaw are both PPR plays that would work if you’re going to completely punt the RB position. I wouldn’t advise it since you can get really good production cheaply this week, but it’s something to keep in mind.

– Melvin Gordon is banged up and Danny Woodhead isn’t an every down back. Oliver has proven that he’s capable of carrying the load for the Chargers and could very well do that this week if Gordon is out (or if he keeps fumbling).


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Travis Benjamin – CLE Allen Hurns – JAX
Julio Jones – ATL Jarvis Landry – MIA Willie Snead – NO
Calvin Johnson – DET Stefon Diggs – MIN TY Hilton – IND
Antonio Brown – PIT Donte Moncrief – IND Eric Decker – NYJ
Amari Cooper – OAK Brandon Marshall – NYJ Albert Wilson – KC
Keenan Allen – OAK Martavis Bryant – PIT Pierre Garcon – WSH
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI Mike Evans – TB Steve Smith Sr – BAL
Odell Beckham – NYG John Brown – ARI Michael Floyd – ARI
  Dorial Green-Beckham – TEN

Arizona and Pittsburgh have insane matchups this week and I want all the receiving exposure I can get. I’m going to have lots of Fitz, John Brown, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant. I believe very strongly in these matchups and I think the Public will too. I’m OK with them being highly owned because I’m not sure if they’ll be highly owned as a stack, which is how I intend to play them. Antonio Brown was under 5% owned in Thursday GPP’s. Martavis Bryant was over 30% owned. That’s just wrong. Brown is cheap enough now that you can get him in your lineup with little issue. I’m moving my allegiance over to Brown from Bryant. Along those same lines, John Brown is banged up so Michael Floyd moves into heavy consideration.

– Aside from those top plays I’m very comfortable with DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Johnson, and Keenan Allen (if he’s healthy) from the Public list. All 3 get a lot of targets and should give you a solid return on your investment.

– Travis Benjamin is a guy I wrote about in Week 3 (or 4) as a fade play because he was all or nothing. He was seeing 3 targets a game and was just a longball threat. My opinion has changed on that as Benjamin is averaging around 10 targets a game over his last 4 games. If you’ve read anything of mine this year you know that targets = cash. He’s a very safe play with a bunch of upside. Other Expert plays that I will have in my lineups this week are Brandon Marshall, Stefon Diggs, and Mike Evans.

– The Texans’ secondary is pretty banged up, and they weren’t that good to begin with. I can see Landry busting out for a good game here. Donte Moncrief is actually Andrew Luck’s favorite target (4 TD in 4 games with Luck) and is pretty inexpensive.

– If Allen Robinson’s injury has him limited or out this week then Allen Hurns is a very intriguing play (he’s pretty interesting even if ARob does play). Buffalo has been getting torched through the air over the last 3 weeks, and Bortles has been hot. That’s a combo for success for the Jags’ passing game. I also can see TY Hilton finally emerging as the true #1 for Andrew Luck in a very juicy matchup against the Saints. I’ve cooled off of Hilton. Play Moncrief instead. Eric Decker has scored in 4 straight games and the Jets are going to need to score to keep up with the Pats this week. Albert Wilson has developed a rapport with Alex Smith and if Jeremy Maclin is hurt this is an interesting cheap play.

– Green-Beckham is a pure upside, boom or bust type of play. Mettenberger has a rocket and DGB could get behind the defense for one this weekend.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen – CAR Charles Clay – BUF Delanie Walker TEN
Rob Gronkowski – NE Antonio Gates – SD Ladarius Green – SD
Jimmy Graham – SEA Ben Watson – NO Gary Barnidge – CLE


– It’s been a while since Gronk truly Gronk’d. If you like him, you play him. He’s a little too rich for my blood this week.

– Greg Olsen is matchup proof, but he doesn’t need to be this week against the Eagles. He should continue to be a huge part of the Carolina offense.

– Do you feel like Chris Hogan can have a big week? Neither do I. Charles Clay is going to get fed this week in London.

– “Play your TE against the Raiders” is what they say; it’s what I say, too. This week I think the cash game play is Antonio Gates, while the GPP play is Ladarius Green. Everyone is going to be so keyed up on Gates but it’s Green that I could see having the big day. I’m completely off Antonio Gates right now and going all in on Ladarius Green. Even if Gates plays I think it’s Green who has the big day.

– Ben Watson will not do again what Ben Watson did last week. Avoid.

– Do people know about Gary Barnidge yet? If they don’t, they should. He’s not a high volume guy, but McCown loves him. In a few weeks people aren’t going to know about him anymore. It’s been a nice streak but I don’t see it continuing. Do people realize how solid Delanie Walker is? If not, they should. He gives you a ton of production every week for a low price. Given the choice of the two I want Walker, the volume guy, over Barnidge, the flash in the pan. Though it is important to note that Mettenberger did not heavily target Walker last year, but this is a new year and I’m still on the Walker bandwagon.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Seattle Seahawks Atlanta Falcons New York Jets
Miami Dolphins Arizona Cardinals New York Giants
Buffalo Bills Saint Louis Rams Washington Redskins


– Seattle should be a good play against a weak SF offense but I’m not willing to pay up to find out. I also am not sure I trust Miami after only one good game against a terrible Titans offense.

– All 3 expert plays have phenomenal matchups this week and are at the top of my list. Based on price alone I’ll be riding the Rams a lot but I can’t fault you for ATL or ARI if you’ve got the cap space. These are pretty much the only defenses I’d play this week.

– Just because the Giants got thrashed last week doesn’t mean that Matt Cassel can do it this week. He’s going to get hit hard and turn the ball over. Jameis Winston is going to suffer the same fate against Washington’s underrated fantasy defense.

Make sure to check back on Saturday morning for my WEEKEND UPDATE.

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!


11 Responses

  1. Doug Shain says:

    Hey MIke,

    I actually like Brees and Atlanta. Eli is fine if you don’t have a better option, but Brees has a great matchup and even in his bad games he finds a way to put up 300 yards and a couple of scores. Can’t say the same thing about Eli.

    As for Atlanta, they’ve got a top 3 matchup today. I’m not sold on the Pitt D at all. No reason to mess with what’s working.

    Best of luck!

  2. Mckay says:


    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey McKay,

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re finding my advice helpful.

      My Twitter handle is @bankster17. Feel free to give me a follow. I answer all Twitter questions.

      Best of luck this weekend.

  3. Mckay says:

    Very insightful Doug. I read this post me setting my lineups and we have similar thoughts

  4. Mike says:

    1 point ppr. Can play up to 3 rb’s, 4 wr’s, 2 te’s. Stuck this week.
    Can choose between Ingram, D Lewis, McCoy, M Jones then wr’s are Marshall (of course play) Diggs, M Floyd Then my Te;s are L Green, Barnidge, Reed

    Currently leaning Ingram,McCoy,Jones, Marshall,Diggs, and Reed. Thinking hard about possibly 2 te’s, Reed and Green along with Marshall and 3 rb’s from above.

    LOL!! Confusing, little help???

    Thanks, love the write-ups!!

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for reading and submitting a question.

      Here’s how I rank your guys:
      RB: Ingram, McCoy, Jones, Lewis (I just don’t see it this week)
      WR: Marshall, Floyd, Diggs
      TE: Green, Barnidge, Reed

      I think Ingram is the top play from the entire list of players. Indy can’t stop the run at all and I think they’re going to learn heavily on him in this road game. Marshall is on fire right now and has to be played in all formats. I like any starting RB against the Jags, so McCoy kind of has to be in the lineup. I don’t get the whole Dion Lewis thing and would rather go with the upside of Matt Jones (he’s going to have a similar role to Lewis but in a much better matchup). I assume M Floyd is Michael, and with John Brown hurting I think Floyd is going to step up big. If it’s Malcolm then I’d put him behind Diggs. I’m not in love with Diggs this week; the Vikings don’t really know what to say about him (he’s starting, he’s not, he is, he’s not) and that worries me. I’m all in on Ladarius Green this week whether Gates plays or not. He’s been productive the last 2 weeks with Gates in there and the matchup is outstanding. I’m not a big fan of Barnidge or Reed, but if I had to play one of them it’d be the more healthy guy who’s been playing out of his mind (and that’s Barnidge).

      Hope that helps. Best of luck this weekend!

      • Mike says:

        Much thanks Doug!! Just recently found the site and it is tops brother!! Lewis is out I just read.

        As for Floyd, yes it is Michael. Going to go with the tree Rb’s in McCoy,M Jones, and Ingram along with Marshall, M Floyd, and TE Green

        Great stuff, thanks!!

      • Mike says:

        Doug, 1 other quick hit to you. In my year long league, I currently have Brees starting with Eli on the bench. Thoughts?
        Also, I am rolling with Atl in DFS, but have both Atl and Pitt in two year long leagues. Tempted to go Pitt with the D getting healthier, linebacker back today as well.

        Have a good day

  5. Ben says:

    Gronk or C. Clay this week? PPR.

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Ben,

      Thank for reading and submitting your question.

      From a season long perspective you can’t ever sit Gronk. He cost you a really high draft pick and he’s done nothing to put him into matchup play territory (like, say, a Peyton Manning has).

      As for DFS, I’d go Clay this week. His price is so much lower than Gronk’s that he’ll give you the opportunity to go big at RB and/or WR.

      I hope that helps. Best of luck this weekend!

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