Photo Credit: Data Skrive(SI.com)
Hello Degenerates! After a week off to reconnect with friends and family we are ready to dive into this exciting upcoming DFS slate! This should be a good one and I believe there are plenty of great chalky plays as well as a few potential pivots that could lead us to a big DFS payday! As usual I will be tackling this slate from a DFS tournament perspective. Meaning, I am willing to get a little risky with my plays than a cash game setting. So, don’t be afraid to get weird with it and have some fun!
General thoughts: Holy runningback value. I don’t think I have ever seen a slate with so many good RB plays. The good news is that it should spread out ownership. The difficult part is picking out the best plays possible. Typically, I like to play wide outs in my flex spot on DK but, this looks like a week to play three RBs to me. In terms of top stacks you will see that I have my eyes set on two chalkier plays while sprinkling in a few contrarian options as well.
- Tampa Bay – Yes, I know I just talked about how it is important to make contrarian plays. Hear me out. DFS players are a fickle bunch who tend to let fear dictate their decisions. After last week’s depressing output, many will be ready to jump off the Brady bandwagon. NOT SO FAST! Sure, if you think Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones rush for four more scores this week play them. I’ll play the other side and hope to get the four touchdowns through the air. When it comes to stacking, this team can be tough to predict from a week to week basis but, my preferences are Gronk, Godwin, then Evans. I especially like paying up for Gronk considering so many DFS players will be gravitating towards the perceived slam dunk Foster Moreau play. One note to consider with Brady- Considering Brady isn’t getting there with his legs, I would advise stacking at least two of his pass catchers with him.
- Runbacks – I don’t think a runback is necessary considering the Bucs have the second highest neutral gamescript pass rate in the NFL. However, I think this is a good spot to get to Kyle Pitts. He’s been a big disappointment thus far(his only touchdown is from the Jets who tried to cover him with a defensive end) but, the Falcons are going to be throwing at an alarming rate. By sheer volume, Pitts can get there and he will be very low owned.
- LA Rams – Another obvious spot but, one that I won’t be afraid to get to. Several sites I have seen actually have the Rams as a lower owned team and if that is the case I’m going all out on these guys. Facing a feeble Jags team led by the second worst coach in the NFL (sorry Matt Nagy) I could see the Rams blowing up here. The Rams have the third highest neutral gamescript pass rate and after a rough couple games I could see McVay try to run up the score here a little if he can just to get his teams swagger back. Kupp obviously stands out the most but, Van Jefferson is actually my preferred option to OBJ. After receiving nine targets last week I think he has a similar workload to OBJ and with OBJ banged up I think Van is the high upside play here. Higbee also makes sense as a guy who plays nearly every snap and is an affordable price. Note: If Darrell Henderson ends up out you should be getting to ALL of the Sony Michel. In his one start this year with no Hendo, Michel gobbled up 20 carries and 4 targets. At the near minimum and in an amazing matchup it doesn’t get much better than that.
- Runbacks – Not much to force in here. I will note not to let James O’Shaughnessy’s DK photo scare you. He may look like your local mailman but, TLaw loves him. In his one start this year he received 8 targets. I don’t see much difference from him and Foster Moreau other than he will be a fraction of the ownership. Fire him up at 2600.
- Las Vegas Raiders – Time to get a little weird. This spot isn’t the best projection but, there are some things I like about this low owned spot. First off, it is in a dome which I love this time of year (Weather in Cincy/LA potentially has me worried). Second, it’s a great matchup. Third, it’s incredibly affordable. Hunter Renfrow is a great stacking option and I think if you’re playing the popular Foster Moreau it makes sense to stack him here since most people will be playing him as a one-off. Desean Jackson is also a fine tournament dart throw that can take the top off at any moment.
- Runbacks – Another reason I love the Oakland stack is because the runbacks here are amazing. First, Terry Mclaurin doesn’t look great from a points per dollar perspective but, he should be low-owned which is super appealing given his massive target share and ceiling. I’ll take a guy getting over 30 percent of his teams air yards any day of the week. Antonio Gibson is also in a smash spot here. There are a ton of great runningback plays but, this is one that stands out for me. Gibson received 36 opportunities last week and with pass-catching back JD McKissic out for this game it could be time to fully unleash Gibson in a tremendous matchup.
- Atlanta – This one is a sheer volume play in a game that has a high total. Not at all a cash play but, if you were thinking of lighting three dollars on fire, stop right now and make a Falcons stack instead. True degenerate status! Matt Ryan, Russel Gage, and Kyle Pitts are super affordable in a game that Ryan may throw the ball 45 times. I’ll take the chance on that volume and surround them with more popular chalky plays and see how it goes. Not to mention it’s easy to runback with any number of Bucs skill players.
I’ll list these players in order of price. You may notice that some players will be left off this list. It isn’t that I don’t think their good plays but, if you’re playing six or seven lineups you have to make a stand somewhere. For example, you’ll notice one of my big fades is Jamaal Williams. Is he set up for a massive workload and he is super cheap? You bet. Projects great. However, everyone knows that. He will be super popular and I prefer to roll the dice on some other players in the price range. So, if you have strong leans with other players go for it. Here is what I will play this week though. I also am not including some players that I have already mentioned I love (Gibson, Michel).
- Johnathan Taylor – Not much analysis here. Best runningback vs the Texans. Yup I’ll take some of that.
- Elijah Mitchell – You’ll notice I skipped a large range of backs here hopping all the way down to Mitchell. If you’re not paying up for Taylor, I just love getting to this sub 6k range because the volume and upside is immense. If the Niners can go a whole game without calling a pass play they’ll do it. I do have some concerns with Jamychal Hasty returning but, I got to have a little Mitchell here in an amazing matchup. The Hawks have the worst time of possession in the league and Mitchell may just break them much like Gibson did last week. 54 carries in the last two games and he’s 6k? What a steal.
- James Conner – Kyler coming back in a game with some wind vs a team that isn’t very good? Yup. Coming off a bye week, I think Conner may go slightly overlooked here despite being second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns. With the weather being a bit of a toss-up I prefer getting to backs in those spots and Conner is seeing a massive workload. Since Chase Edmonds went down here are Conners opportunites; 26, 14, and 27. Love it at 5.9k.
- Miles Sanders – Here we go the man of the hour and my favorite leverage play. Whether it’s fumbling, getting hurt, stuffed at the one yard line, vultured by a fullback, Sanders finds a way to fail all the time. I get it. However, my love life used to be a massive failure for a long time until I met the one (shoutout Brenna, the best wife ever). What I’m trying to say is all it takes in NFL DFS is one. One time for the stars to align and lead to a massive performance. The Eagles O-line vs. the Jets D-line may be the single biggest mismatch this weekend. Last week Sanders was massively popular and let everyone down. This week no one wants to play him in the best spot for runningbacks in the NFL for a team that runs more than any other team the last five weeks. With Jordan Howard out and Boston Scott questionable, not to mention Jalen Hurts hobbled, I love getting to Sanders as massive leverage off the more popular and safer Jamaal Williams.
Wide Receiver one-offs –
Just like the backs, I won’t mention guys that I have already mentioned I like such as Kupp, Van, Godwin, Evans etc. These are just a few other guys that I won’t stack but, I’ll throw them in to some lineups for some upside. Once again listed by price.
- Justin Jefferson – You’ll notice I left out Alexander Mattison in my RB plays. I love Mattison but, he will be extremely popular and I like pivoting some lower owned guys there. However, if I am not playing Mattison, it makes sense to hop on board the Jefferson train against the hapless Lions and hope to gain some leverage on the field.
- Jamarr Chase – He’s been quiet lately and everyone loves Mixon. On paper Mixon is the better play. Just look at the DK site. Next to the OPRK Chase has a red 2 and Mixon has a green 31. The matchup looks way better for Mixon but, I want to pivot the other way here. The Chargers have given up some massive games to wide outs such as Justin Jefferson and Devonta Smith, and Chase most certainly has the talent to blow up the slate. He’s been eerily quiet lately, now looks like a good time for Chase to erupt.
- DK Metcalf – The old squeaky wheel narrative. Perhaps the most misused talent in the game at the moment, I think DK could be looking at a massive amount of volume this week. Now, will all those targets and prayer yards turn into anything useful? Odds say no but, for under 7k and with no ownership I’ll take a few stabs with this elite talent.
- Chase Claypool – The Steelers sure do look washed. That’s what everyone is thinking. Great opportunity to pounce on a player with huge upside. Can Big Ben get him the ball deep? Probably not but, again we are looking for low-owned plays that at least have the opportunities. Claypool plays 100 percent of the snaps and the Ravens secondary doesn’t scare me. 17 targets in the last two games it the volume I am looking for. I have a feeling the Steelers aren’t quite down for the count yet.
- Mike Williams – Keenan Allen makes a lot of sense and is safe, but for the upside I’ll take the much cheaper Williams. He hasn’t seen the workload he was receiving earlier in the year but I have to think a smart coach such as Brandon Staley is going to realize he needs to get his big man going here. Again, check the weather on this one. This could be a game I end up stacking or, one I don’t play at all depending on what happens there. Another reason I love Williams and another man in I mentioned in Hunter Renfrow is that they are direct pivots from a massively popular Brandon Aiyuk.
- Josh Reynolds – If you need a cheap 3k wide out why not take Reynolds here. Playing in a dome? Check. Jared Goff’s best buddy? Check (for whatever that’s worth). Last week Reynolds played a ton and produced a decent score. I have no problem getting to him vs. the Vikings who do not have a cornerback in PFF’s top 80. He also is a great leverage play from Jamaal Williams.
It’s Foster chalk week! Of course he projects as an amazing play but, everyone knows that. I like to get away from him unless I am playing Derek Carr. Most of the time in fact I think I will just be attaching whatever QB I play with his tight end. My one exception is listed below(in addition to Pitts who I already mentioned).
- George Kittle – Feels like everyone and their degenerate mother is paying down for tight end this week. No Deebo Samuel? This feels like a smash spot for someone on the Niners and I’m thinking it’s either Mitchell or Kittle. Kittle should soak up a few more targets and I still think he’s relatively affordable for how talented a player he is. This guy has accomplished way too much to be this low-owned. Just three weeks ago he had a 24 point fantasy day and that was with Deebo. Love him.