The Hail Mary (NFL HuLo GPP Plays): Week 10 WEEKEND UPDATE
November 11, 2017 | Doug Shain
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The Huddle – Opening Statement (I will try to keep this relatively short most weeks, but this week we’ll go a little longer)
Welcome to the Hail Mary for Week 10. For those of you who read this article last year or any of my stuff on The Fake Hockey and The Fake Baseball you’re going to find this article very familiar. For those of you who are new please allow me to take a moment to explain where I’m coming from and what you’re going to see in this article.
First and foremost I’m mostly a GPP player and that’s who this article is mostly designed to help. I write for players like me – the guy or gal who enters a single bullet in a couple of low limit GPP’s each week; the casual DFS player. This group of players probably makes up a much larger percentage of the DFS community than you think. If you are a cash game player or a high buy-in/high volume/multi-entry GPP player you should still read this because it’ll give you an everyman perspective that you might not get in other articles (there are plenty of those on this site and I urge you to read them as well because they are fantastic).
Be advised that playing a single bullet in a large field GPP is a very volatile game and you’re going to lose more often than you win. That’s a fact and it’s something you have to know before you start playing. Due to the volatility of this game I’m going to try to give you plays that can help you zoom to the top of your GPP leaderboard. These plays are very boom or bust, so please know that going in.
One way that I like to separate from the field is by trying to anticipate ownership rates of certain players. Over the course of the year I’ll get into this more deeply, but just know for now that all things being equal (and even in some cases when it’s not), I’m going to recommend the player that’s going to have a lower ownership rate.
I have some musts when building a GPP lineup. They include:
– It is a must that I get a QB that is going to throw a lot when building my GPP teams.
– It is a must that I get RB that are guaranteed touches when building my GPP teams.
– It is a must that my WR have upside when building my GPP teams.
– When building my GPP teams it is a must that my TE is elite or is a punt. There is no in between for me with TE.
– When building my GPP teams it is a must that my defense gets to the quarterback.
– It is a must that I take a min-priced kicker when building my GPP teams.
– It is a must that I include at least some HuLo plays when building my GPP teams.
– It is a must that I remember that chalk is chalk for a reason, and that using chalk isn’t a bad thing.
– It is a must that I remember that bad players and bad players even in good matchups.
The Depth Chart
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Matthew Stafford (DET) vs CLE||Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs NO||Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) vs GB|
|Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) @ IND||Andy Dalton (CIN) @ TEN||Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs CIN|
|Jared Goff (LAR) vs HOU||Kirk Cousins (WSH) vs MIN||Josh McCown (NYJ) @ TB|
|Dak Prescott (DAL) @ ATL||Tom Brady (NE) @ DEN||Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB) vs NYJ|
|Matt Ryan (ATL) vs DAL||Blake Bortles (JAX) vs LAC||CJ Beathard (SF) vs NYG|
|Eli Manning (NYG) @ SF||Drew Brees (NO) @ BUF|
Guys I Won’t Touch: Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota
– I am a risk averse person. When something catastrophic happens, like the loss of Ezekiel Elliott, I tend to avoid that team until we see how it affects their offense. Do I like Dak? I sure do, he’s a great fantasy QB. I’d rather get burned by not using him than by relying on this team to figure out what to do, on the road against a desperate team, rather than using him and getting beat. There are enough other options out there that I feel a full fade of Prescott is the right choice…”Outside” Drew Brees is a real thing, and it’s about 60 yards a TD worse per game. Why am I paying up for that when I have Ben, Ryan, and Stafford available? That seems foolish. I’m not trying to win the ownership game this week at QB, so Brees’s low ownership doesn’t entice me…What have Dalton, Cousins, and Mariota done recently that puts them in the conversation?
Tier 1: Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Goff, Matt Ryan
– As I mentioned above, I’m not worrying about ownership at QB this weekend. I think there is a core of QB’s that will dominate ownership (Dak, Ben, Ryan, Goff, and Stafford) but none are so far and away the favorite that it should hurt my team. Are we really going to complain if Roethlisberger (my favorite QB this weekend) get us 325 yards and 3 TD if he’s 28% owned? I sure won’t. I have talked a lot this year about how bad “Road” Roethlisberger is and I stand by that. I just think that “Dome” Roethlisberger and “Vs the Colts” Roethlisberger trump “Road” Roethlisberger this weekend. Roethlisberger has only played 9 dome games in his career but he’s got a 104.2 QB rating, 70.6% completion percentage, and 9.2 YPA; all three of those are his best stadium dependent statistics (between dome, outdoors, and retractable roof stadiums). The Colts are one of Ben’s favorite teams to play; of teams he’s face 6+ times, he has his second highest QB rating against Indy (and the only team that beats that is vs KC and he burned them last year for a crazy game that skewed the numbers). He averages 315 yards (his highest total against any team he’s faced 6+ times) and 2.5 TD per game against the Colts. He’s also relatively inexpensive this weekend and there’s enough value out there for you to pair him with Antonio Brown…Jared Goff has been amazing this year and the Rams being the highest scoring offense in the NFL is no fluke. They’ve got a solid running attack that leaves a lot of holes in the secondary on play action. Goff is finding those holes and making defenses look silly. I don’t think he matches the crazy game he had against the Giants but this matchup is actually friendlier. LA is playing at home and the Texans just got burned by the Colts (especially on long passes downfield) after giving up 36+ points in three of their last five games. A sieve on defense against the highest scoring team in the league? Yep, Goff is in for a huge weekend…Of the Big Five at QB this weekend (Ben, Dak, Stafford, Goff, and Ryan), I think it’s Ryan that’s going to be the most overlooked. Atlanta hasn’t looked great all year but they were a pass or two away (one drop and one overthrow, both to Julio Jones) from a monster Week 9. I think that gets fixed this weekend and we see a revival of 2016 Atlanta (even if only for one game). Despite my love for Roethlisberger and Goff, I think that Ryan may very well end the week as the highest scoring QB. The only reason he’s not my favorite play is that ATL has been so shaky all year. If you’re more of a risk taker than I am, he’s a guy to surely target.
Tier 2: Matthew Stafford, Tyrod Taylor
– You’re going to hear a lot of talk this week about how good the Browns defense actually is, and that talk is not wrong. I just don’t see how the Lions plan to move the ball if they’re not passing. I also see how well Stafford is playing lately (356 yards per game over his last three games) and think that he’s good enough to overcome the Browns secondary. A lot of what I believe in is the great play of Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, both stackable in this matchup. I’ve got Stafford down in Tier 2 because I think he may end up the most popular play, and although I’m not playing the ownership game I’d rather move to one of the other QB in friendlier matchups. All told, I think Stafford ends up right around where he’s been lately; 300+ yards and 2+ TD…Tyrod is the poor man’s version of Dak Prescott. He throws a little, he runs a little, and he scores a few TD. He just isn’t sitting at 300 yards and 3 TD per game like Prescott is. He’s more of a 225 yard, 1.5 TD kind of guy. Those numbers don’t seem great but the Saints are coming into town and, while they’ve been playing better, they are a bit vulnerable outside and against the run. I like Taylor to put together a game near the top end of his range (230 yards passing, 40 yards rushing, 2 TD). His ownership should be nil, so if you are playing that game then he’s a guy to look at.
Tier 3: Blake Bortles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Tom Brady
– If you subscribe to The Fake Football Cheat Sheets and Optimizer (and you should, they are straight fire), you’ll find that the Opto really likes Blake Bortles in a GPP this weekend. He’s a low priced QB that opens a lot of doors for you elsewhere. He wasn’t really on my radar this weekend but I trust that optimizer so I did more research. Over his last three weeks, Bortles has averaged 277 yards and 1 TD per game. Those aren’t world beating numbers but they are enough to get you over the hump if you’re loading up with stud players elsewhere…I am very intrigued by the Jets-TB game. I think it could be one of the better shootouts this weekend. I have players from that game (particularly the Jets side) all over the place. I wouldn’t invest a ton of capital in that game but if you are making multiple lineup then I’d make sure to play around with a few game stack combinations. Don’t forget that this is a revenge game for Fitzmagic (and he has one wild game every year, why not this weekend?) and Josh McCown has been a real NFL QB going on six weeks now…If DK had the NE-DEN game I’d probably consider Brady a Tier 2 play. People are going to be scared off by the matchup in Denver but Brady does pretty well against the Broncos and that secondary is not nearly as effective as it was in 2016. Denver gives up a ton of production to the TE, so if Brady focuses on Gronk and the RB out of the backfield, then he could be in line for a huge game. I’d definitely give him a look on sites that include the Sunday Night game in their main slate.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Jordan Howard (CHI) vs GB||LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs NO||Mark Ingram (NO) @ BUF|
|Alvin Kamara (NO) @ BUF||Ameer Abdullah (DET) vs CLE||Isaiah Crowell (CLE) @ DET|
|LeVeon Bell (PIT) @ IND||Rex Burkhead (NE) @ DEN||Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs DAL|
|Bilal Powell (NYJ) @ TB||Melvin Gordon (LAC) @ JAX||Tevin Coleman (ATL) vs DAL|
|Leonard Fournette (JAX) vs LAC||Lamar Miller (HOU) @ LAR||Dion Lewis (NE) @ DEN|
|Todd Gurley (LAR) vs HOU||Carlos Hyde (SF) vs NYG||Rob Kelley (WSH) vs MIN|
|Orleans Darkwa (NYG) @ SF||Duke Johnson (CLE) @ DET||Jerick McKinnon (MIN) @ WSH|
|Alfred Morris (DAL) @ ATL||Elijah McGuire (NYJ) @ TB|
Guys I Won’t Touch: Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller, Rob Kelley, Ameer Abdullah, Any NE RB, Alfred Morris
– I loathe Mark Ingram. So does Sean Payton. You know who else I loathe, fantasy “experts” who keep ranking Ingram one spot ahead of Kamara in their weekly rankings. All 3 guys on the NFL Network did that this weekend. Have some guts and just say it, Alvin Kamara is the better player. He’s the better fantasy asset. He’s the guy to own. I’ll take a stand. Don’t touch Mark Ingram…Devonta Freeman is slowly becoming the Falcons version of Mark Ingram; Dan Quinn just likes Tevin Coleman better. Freeman is as cheap as he’s been in two years and I still don’t want to use him. That says something…I’m hearing way too much love for Lamar Miller this week. He’s sharing the workload with D’Onta Foreman and even when he does well, he has no real upside. Could he score 3 TD this weekend and make me look dumb? Sure he could, but it’s much more likely that he gets you 75 yards and 0 TD. That’s not what I want…Kelley and Abdullah are just “meh”. I don’t do “meh”…I think Rex Burkhead has a very good game this weekend but I’m not using him. I don’t trust Belichick to give any of his RB enough work to make them useful. I need more certainty in my life than that…I’m not touching any Cowboys player until we see how their distribution of touches is going to work.
Tier 1: Bilal Powell, Orleans Darkwa, Alvin Kamara, Jordan Howard
– I’ve totally flipped on RB this weekend from where I was on Tuesday. I was sure that I was going to build my lineups around stud RB (and there are many) and value WR. Somewhere along the way a ton of value opened up at RB (Powell and Darkwa especially) and I have come around to using them and building with stud WR. Powell should get a ton of work with Matt Forte ruled out this weekend, and against a bad Tampa team that has given up on its coach, that could mean 100 total yards and a number of catches out of the backfield…Darkwa appears to have taken the Giants lead RB job. He has a respectable 71 yards last weekend in a blowout loss to the Rams. If he could get his hands on a few targets and maybe sneak into the end zone, we are looking at a potential top ten play this weekend against the worst run defense in football. Everyone runs on the 49ers…The Bills have morphed into the 2016 Falcons when it comes to stopping pass catching RB. They are getting burned weekly by that position and there are few RB that are better at catching passes than Kamara. He’s become the featured back for the Saints, and despite a rising price tag, still seems to be paying off every week. Since the AP trade he’s averaging 13.5 touches per game, including 17 catches over that stretch. Over his last two games he has 3 TD and an average of 114 yards per game. I like him to continue that against the Bills in Week 10…Jordan Howard is going to see 20+ carries this weekend. The Bears win by playing solid defense and pounding the rock with Howard. GB is terrible on defense. I like Howard in the first Tier because he’s cheaper than some of the other high volume backs on this slate (Bell, Fournette, Gurley, McCoy).
Tier 2: LeVeon Bell, Leonard Fournette, Carlos Hyde
– If I was going to spend up at RB, there are only two guys that I want to look at: LeVeon Bell and Leonard Founette. Bell should see a ton of work against a terrible Colts team. He’s so highly priced that it’s hard to fit him into a lineup with other quality players, but it is doable. He needs to hit about 30 points to make him a worthwhile play, a tall task, but if anyone is up for that it’s Bell. His price and my love for the passing game move him down to Tier 2, but he’s a strong Tier 2 play…Fournette hasn’t played in a month so he’s going to have some very fresh legs. I bet he comes out and dominates after getting benched last week for a violation of team rules. Jacksonville has been living on the edge and letting Blake Bortles throw a lot over the last month. They are going to be more than happy to give it to Fournette 20+ times this weekend to keep the LAC passing game off the field. Let’s also not forget that Fournette has scored a TD in ever professional game he’s played; I expect that again this weekend…Hyde may not be the runner we all expected him to be but now that he’s catching passes out of the backfield he doesn’t have to be. Last week he has 9 catches, which follows in the upward trend we’ve been seeing from Hyde. He has seen less than 6 targets in a game only twice all season. His upside is somewhat limited because of how bad his team is, but he’s a lot safer option than you think because of that high volume of targets.
Tier 3: LeSean McCoy, Tevin Coleman
– I still believe that Buffalo wants to run the ball, despite the trade for Kelvin Benjamin and the return of Charles Clay. Shady looked awful against the Jets in Week 9 but he’s had ten days to rest up and should be fresh for this game. New Orleans is giving up 125 rushing yards per game on the road this season, so there’s plenty to like from that perspective as well. I expect a game of 20+ touches with goal line work. He’s not the first guy I’m going to turn to this weekend, but he makes sense in secondary lineups…I have a feeling that Tevin Coleman has a big game in Week 10. The DAL-ATL game is already looking like a shootout and Coleman seems to be a favorite of Dan Quinn. Let’s not forget that he was drafted to be the starter, not Devonta Freeman. He has been inconsistent all year but even with all that inconsistency, he’s had five games of double digit fantasy points and two more where he scored over 9 points (even though he averages under 10 touches per game). That doesn’t seem like much, but add in a TD or a handful of extra touches and you’re looking at 15+ fantasy points, an acceptable return on your investment. I think he gets that this weekend against the Cowboys.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Brandin Cooks (NE) @ DEN||Terrance Williams (DAL) @ ATL||Ted Ginn (NO) @ BUF|
|Michael Thomas (NO) @ BUF||Marvin Jones (DET) vs CLE||Deonte Thompson (BUF) vs NO|
|Golden Tate (DET) vs CLE||Desean Jackson (TB) vs NYJ||Sammy Watkins (LAR) vs HOU|
|AJ Green (CIN) @ TEN||Robby Anderson (NYJ) @ TB||Kelvin Benjamin (BUF) vs NO|
|Antonio Brown (PIT) @ IND||Adam Thielen (MIN) @ WSH||Stefon Diggs (MIN) @ WSH|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) @ IND||Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs HOU||Josh Doctson (WSH) vs MIN|
|TY Hilton (IND) vs PIT||Robert Woods (LAR) vs HOU||Marqise Lee (JAX) vs LAC|
|Dez Bryant (DAL) @ ATL||Adam Humphries (TB) vs NYJ||DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) @ LAR|
|Julio Jones (ATL) vs DAL||Marquise Goodwin (SF) vs NYG||Will Fuller (HOU) @ LAR|
|Sterling Shepard (NYG) @ SF||Tavarres King (NYG) @ SF|
Guys I Won’t Touch: Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Ty Hilton, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kelvin Benjamin, Desean Jackson, Dez Bryant
– I have and will talked a lot about how Denver has fallen off defensively this year. That doesn’t mean I’m targeting WR against them though. Cooks has only had a couple of really big games in 2017 and I’m not going to take a chance that the next one is in Denver against this secondary. Give me Gronk instead…What has Michael Thomas done that everyone is so enamored with? People keep talking him up but he’s looked pedestrian all year…TY Hilton may be very popular after his huge game last weekend. He’s now a little banged up and going against a staunch Steelers secondary. Let him be someone else’s problem…I love me some JuJu but the hype is out of control now. He’s had one good game, albeit his last one. Who says that Martavis Bryant didn’t mend some fences and earn a little extra playing time over the bye week? I worry less about ownership this year than I have in the past but I’m not losing that game with this play…Kelvin Benjamin is going to see a lot of Marshon Lattimore this weekend. The guy gives up an average of about 38 yards per game. I just can’t….I expected big things from DJax this year. He hasn’t come through. He won’t this weekend either. I expect Adam Humphries and OJ Howard to be the main targets this weekend for Fitzy…I won’t use Cowboys until I know how they plan to work the offense without Zeke.
Tier 1: AJ Green, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Adam Humphries, Robby Anderson
– I am living in this tier for Week 10. There are very few lineups where I venture away from some combination of these five guys. The Big Three of Julio, AB, and AJ Green all have fantastic matchups worthy of attacking. I know that the smart play this year has been to build lineups around high end RB and fade big boy WR but not this week. I want all the action I can get from these guys. If I were to rank them it would be Brown, Julio, and then AJ Green (I have many lineups with just the first two guys). AB kills the Colts and I want all of that. Julio was two missed connections away from a 200 yard, 2 TD game in Week 9, and AJ Green faces a Titans team that just gave up 9-98 to a banged up Jeremy Maclin. All three make me want to get all Jameis and eat that W…The last time that Ryan Fitzpatrick played for the Buccaneers he targeted Adam Humphries a lot (7 targets, leading to a 6-51 day). Mike Evans is out this weekend. Humphries is so cheap he’s like a free square. Another 6-51 day pays off his salary; everything else is gravy. He should be the chalkiest play on the board but I can’t fade him at his point with what else I want to do with my lineup. He’s my most widely owned player this weekend…In the lineups where I spend up on RB, I tend to target Robby Anderson as my WR1. He’s been on fire lately with scores in each of his last three game and now he’s going up against a bad Buccaneers pass defense. I think this game turns into a shootout and Anderson should be heavily involved. I can already see him streaking down that right sideline for his inevitable 35 yard TD catch.
Tier 2: Sterling Shepard, Marvin Jones, Cooper Kupp
– Shepard would have had an even bigger game last weekend if Eli Manning wasn’t awful. He missed Shepard a couple of times on wide open TD passes. Clearly he is the top (co-top) option in the Giants passing game, and against SF that could mean a big game. I think his ownership is going to be a bit high but I can live with that at his price…Out of nowhere, Marvin Jones has become the best WR on the Lions. He’s been on fire the last three weeks with an average of 12 targets and 110 yards per game (with 3 total TD as well). CLE has a decent pass defense but the volume is there for another big week…I like all the Rams WR against the Texans but it’s Kupp that takes the cake for me in Week 10. He’s consistently been a favorite target of Jared Goff and is basically a TD away from a value-hitting game each week. This week could very well end up being his best as he faces a poor Texans defense.
Tier 3: Golden Tate, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods
– I probably won’t get down to this tier, but if I do I like all three of these guys for a good game. Even with Marvin Jones playing well, Tate is still getting his (8.5 targets, 100 yards per game over his last two). If he ever gets into the end zone, he’d crush his price…Have I mentioned how much I like the Rams this weekend? There’s an argument I could make that a full Rams stack is the way to go. They are the highest scoring offense in football and the Texans have given up 36+ points in half of their last six games; not including getting burned last weekend by TY Hilton. I really like Watkins here even if he doesn’t see more than 3-4 targets. As we saw last weekend, it only takes one broken coverage for him to hit value.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Kyle Rudolph (MIN) @ WSH||Tyler Kroft (CIN) @ TEN||Charles Clay (BUF) vs NO|
|Evan Engram (NYG) @ SF||Vernon Davis (WSH) vs MIN||Eric Ebron (DET) vs CLE|
|Rob Gronkowski (NE) @ DEN||Cameron Brate (TB) vs NYJ|
|Garrett Celek (SF) vs NYG||Delanie Walker (TEN) vs CIN|
|Jack Doyle (IND) vs PIT||CJ Fiedorowicz (HOU) @ LAR|
Guys I Won’t Touch: Delanie Walker, Eric Ebron
– Delanie is fine but he’s still a bit banged up and I can save money and use just about any other TE. Why wouldn’t I do that?…Eric Ebron has a great matchup against the Browns but the presence of Darren Fells scares me. Stafford seems to like him a lot and that’s enough to pull me off Ebron. I’d rather just spend down and take my chances with Celek.
Tier 1: Garrett Celek, Kyle Rudolph, Rob Gronkowski
– If you lined up at TE, you could score on the Giants. Garrett Celek is better than you, barely, so I’m assuming he’s going to have a nice day. At the very least he’s going to see 5+ targets and at his price that’s more than enough. There A LOT of high end players I want this weekend so a guy like Celek becomes important to open some doors. He’ll probably be the most widely owned TE this weekend but I can’t ignore his potential value…Over his last four games, Kyle Rudolph has averaged 8 targets per game (converting an average of 5.5 of them into catches). After a slow start to the season, he’s back to being Kyle Rudolph. Some of that production can be attributed to the injury to Stefon Diggs but even more of it should be attributed to Minnesota remembering how to use Rudolph. Washington is terrible against the position, so I expect Rudolph to dominate once again this weekend, and at a very reasonable price…if you wanted to spend up on the TE position then Gronk is the man to target. I look at him as the Clayton Kershaw of football. Either you’re going to spend up on him and find a way to make the rest of your team or you’re going into full fade mode. Against the Broncos, a team that’s been repeatedly getting burned by TE, I’m leaning towards using him. Clearly we can’t do this on DK since the game isn’t on the slate, but we sure can on every other site. I don’t if I want to spend up on a TE for my main lineup, but if I’m going to make more than one then I have to make sure to have Gronk on a few of those teams.
Tier 2: Jack Doyle, Evan Engram
– This is not an ideal matchup for Doyle but the guy is a target machine (10.3 targets per game over his last four games) and I can’t ignore that. I also can’t ignore his increasing price tag and that’s what puts him down into Tier 2. He’s one of the pricier TE on the slate and I’m not ok with that. If you have the cap space you can go ahead and use him but I’m not going to go out of my way to get him into my lineup like I did last weekend (he was the first name I locked into the opto in Week 9; not so in Week 10)…Since the Giants have accumulate all their injuries, Engram has basically become the de facto WR1 for New York. Over his last three game he’s averaging 9.7 targets per game with a TD in each one. SF is a defensive wasteland and I think Engram could realistically be the top scoring TE on the slate. The only thing keeping him out of my top tier is his ridiculously high price tag.
Tier 3: Charles Clay, Tyler Kroft
– If Clay is healthy, then he probably reassumes his role as the top pass catcher for the Bills (yes, even with Kelvin Benjamin on the team). I don’t think that Buffalo is going to pass a ton against a much improved New Orleans defense but with Lattimore locking down the WR1, the main targets will go Clay’s way. I doubt he has a monster game but 5+ targets is not out of the question. If you are looking to win the ownership game, then he’s a guy to keep an eye on because nobody is going to look his way…Tyler Kroft is super boring but he’s got a little bit of speed and has the eye of Andy Dalton (4+ targets in all but one week since he took the starting TE job. Tennessee is weak against the position so if you want to zig while other zag, Kroft is an option.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Detroit Lions vs CLE||Tennessee Titans vs CIN||Buffalo Bills vs NO|
|Pittsburgh Steelers @ IND||Minnesota Vikings @ WSH||Los Angeles Chargers @ JAX|
|Jacksonville Jaguars vs LAC||Los Angeles Rams vs HOU||San Francisco 49ers vs NYG|
|Chicago Bears vs GB|
Guys I Won’t Touch: San Francisco 49ers
– I don’t see why you’d take this chance. If you’re going to spend down, get the Bills. The Giants could have their best weekend of the season. SF may end up being a trendy sleeper pick in Week 10, I don’t care for trendy.
Tier 1: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions
– There are a lot of defensive options this weekend so I’m not totally married to too many teams, but good lord are the Bears being overlooked. I was watching the Fantasy show on NFL Network last night (Marcus Grant has to go, he’s so uninformed) and there was no love for the Bears defense. The highest I saw them ranked was #7 by Fabs. What am I missing here? Chicago has been locking teams down all season and now they get face Brett Hundley at Solider Field. They give up 10 points less per game at home (16 ppg vs 26 ppg on the road) and they give up only 211 passing yards per game at home. Over their last four games they are averaging 3.8 sacks and 2 turnovers per game (despite having one game with 0 turnovers) with an average of 16.8 points per game allowed and three games of under 200 passing yards allowed. Brett Hundley has thrown 4 picks and an average of 163 yards per game over his three starts. What am I missing? I love the Bears this weekend…Cleveland is terrible. Detroit has a shockingly good defense and they’re at home. DET will be widely owned but, come one, it’s Cleveland!
Tier 2: Minnesota Vikings
– Minnesota gets no love from the fantasy community, and maybe it’s earned with only 10 turnovers forced all year, but this team gives up only 16.6 points per game and hasn’t allowed a team to surpass 161 pass yards or 115 rushing yards in any of their last five games. They’ve sacked the QB an average of 3 times per game this year, including 12 over their last three games. The turnovers will come when a defense is getting in the backfield as often as MIN. This week’s matchup isn’t ideal but this year’s Redskins aren’t last year’s Redskins; they are vulnerable
Tier 3: Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills
– I don’t know if Jacksonville is worth their high price (hence the Tier 3 ranking) but I do know that they are one of the safest defenses in football. They are sack machines (4.4 sack per game; two games of 10 sacks), they have a nose for the end zone (5 DTD this year), and they force turnovers (2 TO/game). LA is once again playing an early game on the east coast, a scenario which they flounder in. If you have the cap space, JAX is a good play (I’d just rather save the money and use the Bears)…PIT is going to be very popular in Indy and for good reason, the Colts offense is bad. TY Hilton showed up on Friday’s injury report. If he’s out, or limited, the Colts really have nobody that can get downfield. Jacoby Brissett is going to be a sitting duck and that means turnovers and sacks. Even as Tier 3 play, I really like PIT…I’ll take a speculative shot with any defense against “Outdoors” Drew Brees. Buffalo is more like a Tier 3.5 play, but screw that, I’m not making more tiers. I would only use them if I needed to save money on defense as a punt with some upside.
Your feedback is always welcome. If there’s a player you don’t see or would like to talk more about, you can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments. I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.