The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): WEEK 9 FIRST LOOK November 4, 2015  |  Doug Shain


The Huddle – Opening Statement

We have reached the midway point of the NFL season which means it’s time to break out the good old KWL chart. Remember, KWL stands for what I know, what I want to know, and I’ve learned.

What I know What I want to know What I’ve learned
It is never a bad idea to play Tom Brady. Is Andrew Luck ever going to be worth his high price tag? You can win a GPP with a bad QB on a bad offense if you’re able to pinpoint which one will air it out in garbage time.
The RB position is a mess right now. Will any RB step up and join Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley as every week safe plays? If so, who is it? Ronnie Hillman? Latavius Murray? Adrian Peterson?


I kind of already knew this, but opportunity is king for RB. DeAngelo Williams, Charcandrick West, and Dion Lewis are all mid to top tier DFS RB simply because they’re the guys getting the ball.
WR is one of the hardest positions to narrow down each week because of the wealth of options. Can Peyton Manning’s noodle arm hold up long enough for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to reach their potential? It doesn’t take long for a virtual unkown (Stefon Diggs) to become one of highest owned WR each week.
You don’t have to pay up for Gronk each week to have an advantage over the field at TE. Be smart and play the matchups. Can Ben Watson continue to be a reliable target for Drew Brees?

Is Johnny Manziel going to ruin Gary Barnidge? Will Coach Chud turn Coby Fleener into a stud?

TE is a great place to find value and give you roster flexibility.
Getting at the QB and forcing turnovers is a lot more important than how many points you give up for DFS purposes (I’m looking at you, Philly). Is Houston going to be able to build on their performance last week and become a top flight defense? You can never go wrong playing the Denver or Rams defenses.
Hitting on an under-owned QB/WR stack can be huge. Who is the next Stefon Diggs? Is it Tavon Austin? Travis Benjamin? Malcolm Floyd? Michael Floyd? A sneaky way to stack is QB/TE (Brees/Watson) or QB/pass catching RB (Brady/Lewis).
The Chargers defense is so bad that Philip Rivers is a pretty solid play every week. When will the RB injuries stop? It is never a good idea to play anyone on Detroit. They are very, very untrustworthy.


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 Philip Rivers – SD Blake Bortles – JAX
Aaron Rodgers – GB Andy Dalton – CIN Ryan Tannehill – MIA
Drew Brees – NO Cam Newton – CAR Tyrod Taylor – BUF
Ben Roethlisberger- PIT Derek Carr – OAK Jameis Winston – TB
Matt Ryan – ATL Jay Cutler- CHI Kirk Cousins – WSH
Eli Manning – NYG Andrew Luck – IND
Peyton Manning -DEN

– Eff You Mode Tom Brady is always in play no matter the ownership levels or the matchup. You can totally win a GPP with a 30+% owned Brady. ARod has another tough matchup this week but I’m not sure he’s capable of two bad games in a row. He might actually be a lot more HuLo than you’d think. It could look pretty dumb but I’m fading Drew Brees and Eli Manning this week since I expect their ownership to be sky high and there’s no way they replicate last week’s success.

– Once again my favorite QB play this week is Philip Rivers. His defense and running game are so bad that he’s always going to be throwing. Even with banged up weapons he should be able to light up a terrible Bears defense. Speaking of the bad Chargers defense and banged up weapons, Jay Cutler should be throwing a lot this week. Derek Carr going to Pittsburgh will be a true test to see if he’s a fantasy stud or just a few week wonder. I’m betting he’s closer to fantasy stud than dud.

– Blake Bortles is so much better than you realize. A matchup against the Jet seems daunting, but remember what Derek Carr just did to them. Tyrod Taylor is back! He’s immediately in play against the Dolphins. On the flip side, I expect a bounce back from Ryan Tennehill after the Patriots game debacle. Jameis Winston is limiting his mistakes and takes on the weak Giants D that just got torched for 7 TD’s. At least we know that Kirk Cousins is going to have to throw.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL DeAngelo Williams – PIT Jeremy Langford – CHI
Adrian Peterson – MIN Mark Ingram – NO DeMarco Murray – PHI
Dion Lewis – NE Jeremy Hill – CIN Gio Bernard – CIN
Ronnie Hillman – DEN Darren McFadden – OAK TJ Yeldon – JAX
Devonta Freeman – ATL Chris Ivory – NYJ CJ Spiller – NO
Latavius Murray – OAK Lamar Miller – MIA LeSean McCoy – BUF
Doug Martin – TB Jonathan Stewart – CAR

– The price and ownership levels on Todd Gurley is out of control. His matchup isn’t great this week and I’ll be fading him. The Public RB’s I like most this week are Hillman (vs a wretched Colts run D) and Freeman (very high floor). As long as Brady is throwing then Dion Lewis is in play on PPR sites.

– DWill is a top 10 RB the rest of the year with LeVeon Bell out. He should have a very good game this week against the Raiders for RB3 prices. Khiry Robinson’s season ending injury probably locks Mark Ingram into goal line carries. Those carries were the only thing keeping him from being a top 5 RB this year. Jeremy Hill gets the Browns but it’s always a crapshoot between him and Gio Bernard. With Joseph Randle’s release we can finally look at DMC as a reliable bell cow.

– The player who may benefit the most from Khiry Robinson’s injury is CJ Spiller. I expect him to get more snaps between the 20’s and he’ll become the primary pass catching RB. This role has a lot of value in PPR leagues.   DeMarco Murray is probably chomping at the bit to run all over Dallas. He’s a little costly but this is one narrative that I’ll buy in to. Jeremy Langford may or may not be any good, but he’s cheap and he gets one of the worst defenses in the league this week with the carries all to himself. I will be playing him a lot.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Julio Jones – ATL Alshon Jeffery – CHI Eric Decker – NYJ
Odell Beckham – NYG Malcolm Floyd – SD Michael Crabtree – OAK
Antonio Brown – PIT Mike Evans – TB TY Hilton – IND
AJ Green – CIN Jarvis Landry – MIA Willie Snead – NO
Demaryius Thomas – DEN Allen Robinson – JAX Tavon Austin – STL
Julian Edelman – NE Donte Moncrief – IND Jamison Crowder – WSH
Dez Bryant – DAL Brandin Cooks – NO Ted Ginn – CAR
Stefon Diggs – MIN Allen Hurns – JAX Dwayne Harris – NYG
Amari Cooper – OAK Rishard Matthews – MIA

There are so many WR to choose from. Of the more highly owned players I’m most inclined to get Demaryius, Antonio Brown, and Amari Cooper into my lineup. I’d have considered Julio but ATL should demolish the 49ers and I’m not sure the Falcons are going to need a big game from Jones.   I’d be much more comfortable with Freeman and Tamme in this matchup.

– Malcolm Floyd has a great rapport with Rivers and with Keenan Allen out for the year he’s going to be the guy to own. His price is spectacular and a Rivers/Floyd stack is my favorite of the week. Allen Robinson may be stuck on Revis Island so I’d probably be more likely to play Allen Hurns. This is going to be the week that Mike Evans goes off; one week after all the hype. Jarvis Landry is only going to get better and Buffalo’s defense has been exposed. I like both he and Rishard Matthews this week. Brandin Cooks is finally starting to become a reliable WR for Brees. I prefer him over Snead.

– Eric Decker has been extremely consistent and his price remains low. As long as Geno or Fitzpatrick get the start this week he should be good for 60+yds and/or a score. Tavon Austin is one of my favorite plays this week. He doesn’t get a ton of volume, but he’s been extremely productive with his opportunities and I love how he’s being used since Todd Gurley became the starter. Ted Ginn is a whole new WR since he came to CAR and is an upside play against the Packers this week. Jamison Crowder is a decent play in PPR leagues. I’d probably not chase the 2 TD game from Dwayne Harris.



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Rob Gronkowski – NE Tyler Eifert – CIN Jordan Reed – WSH
Gary Barnidge – CLE Ben Watson – NO Vernon Davis – DEN
Greg Olsen – CAR Charles Clay – BUF Austin Seferian Jenkins – TB
Antonio Gates – SD Coby Fleener – IND Jacob Tamme- ATL

– Gronk gonna Gronk HARD against the Redskins. You’re either paying up for him or you’re not. There’s really nothing else to say so I’ll just keep repeating it every week.

– Barnidge has been great but I’m not sure if I love him with Manziel at the helm.

– With Pep Hamilton out and Rob Chuzinsinsinsihi (ok, I can’t spell it, we’ll call him Chud) in as Colts OC I expect a lot more Fleener. Coach Chud loves his TE’s. You know who else loves his TE? Tyrod Taylor. Welcome back to relevance, Charles Clay.

– I’m going to ride this Ben Watson thing until it ends.

– Jacob Tamme has stolen all the targets from Roddy White. He’s the de facto #2 pass catcher in ATL right now. If Vernon Davis suits up for Denver he’s immediately in play. Jordan Reed should be good for some garbage time against the Pats.



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
STL Rams New England Patriots Atlanta Falcons
Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers Buffalo Bills
New York Jets Philadelphia Eagles Jacksonville Jaguars

– Denver and STL are pretty much in play against anyone right now. The Jags offense is improved but Bortles is still throwing picks. I like all the Public plays this week.

– Phily is always in play as they get at the QB and force turnovers. Matt Cassel is the opposing QB.

– The Jags against “who knows” at QB for the Jets is rather appealing. Look what they did in London against EJ Manuel (even if they gave up a ton of 2nd half points). The Falcons against Blaine Gabbert and the dysfunctional 49ers seems like free money.

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!

4 Responses

  1. KG says:

    Hi there, love reading your weekly thoughts on the players. Why no mention of Stevie Johnson?

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey KG,

      Thanks for reading and submitting a question.

      I probably should have included Johnson in the Expert Plays section this week because I’ve seen his name a lot. The reason I omitted him is because I wanted to make sure I highlighted just how much I like Malcolm Floyd this weekend. Given the choice, I’m playing Floyd 100 out of 100 times this week. Johnson may end up going 7-65, but I think it’s Floyd who’s going to get the TD’s. I could totally see a stat line of 4-120-2 for Floyd and that’s what I’m shooting for.

      Best of luck this weekend!

  2. Ben says:

    I have Langford and L. Murray at RB. Trying to decide on flex, PPR. Hillman or Hurns?


    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Ben,

      Thanks for reading and sending along your question.

      I was pretty much locked in on Hillman, but with his injury concerns now I think I’d lean Hurns in this situation. He’s going up against Cromartie, and Cromartie is really, really bad. Jacksonville is not going to be able to run on the Jets so I think that this is going to be a game where they throw a ton.

      Best of luck this week!

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