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Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 10 DraftKings Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of Sunday’s Week 10 NFL contests on DraftKings along with player rankings. Keep in mind that price has a huge impact on a player’s ranking.

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Quarterback

  1. Aaron Rodgers – $7,500 – Green Bay Packers
  2. Blake Bortles – $5,600 – Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Kirk Cousins – $5,200 – Washington Redskins
  4. Andy Dalton – $6,500 – Cincinnati Bengals

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been a staple of DFS rosters this year like he has been in the past, but he’s pretty clearly the top quarterback play for me this week. First, his matchup with Detroit is great as the Lions rank 30th against quarterbacks in 4for4.com’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) and 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA. Second, his price is more than reasonable. He’s the second most expensive quarterback, but he’s $1,100 cheaper than Tom Brady and $1,100 cheaper than what his salary was in Week 1. His big performance in Week 9 only pushed his price for this week up $100.

Finally, Rodgers wasn’t super highly owned in the Thursday Fanduel contests. To be fair, he’s the highest priced QB on Fanduel this week, $100 more than Brady, so his DK ownership is likely to be higher this weekend. But it’s possible that he’s not ubiquitous in this weekend’s contests. Still, he may be too chalk for GPPs, but he’s hard to pass on in cash games.

Andy Dalton is the poor man’s version of Rodgers this week. Dalton wasn’t one of the highest owned quarterbacks in the Thursday contests, but he is also more expensive on FD than he is on DK. As a result, I expect his ownership this weekend will be higher than the FD contests might lead you to believe it would be. If you can’t afford Rodgers in cash, Dalton is a cheaper option. But find a way to afford Rodgers.

Now, for the contrarian tournament plays. I’d really like to say Blake Bortles fits that bill. But if you look at this set of ownership percentages from the Thursday contests, you’ll see that Bortles can’t be considered contrarian. Plus, he is also more of a value on DK than he is on FD, so he could be a very popular play this weekend. With Baltimore ranking 31st in aFPA and 28th in pass DVOA, the matchup for Bortles is just too obviously good. Going back to the idea of cheaper cash game play, Bortles is probably a better option than Dalton.

About as contrarian as I can get is Kirk Cousins. He was roughly the seventh or eighth most owned quarterback on Thursday with an ownership percentage around seven percent. He’s about as cheap on each site relatively speaking, so I wouldn’t expect his ownership percentage to be much higher this weekend. He’s got a great matchup with the Saints who rank dead last in both aFPA and pass DVOA. That game has the second highest over/under of the weekend, and the Redskins are a slight favorite. The matchup sets up for plenty of volume, and that’s been a staple for Cousins who has 40+ pass attempts in his last three games and in five of the last six.

Running Back

  1. DeAngelo Williams – $6,500 – Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Todd Gurley – $7,300 – St. Louis Rams
  3. Darren McFadden – $4,900 – Dallas Cowboys
  4. Justin Forsett – $6,000 – Baltimore Ravens
  5. Antonio Andrews – $3,700 – Tennessee Titans
  6. Matt Jones – $3,300 – Washington Redskins

DeAngelo Williams and Todd Gurley are the safe plays of the day at this position, and everyone knows it. Williams will face the Browns who rank 26th in aFPA against running backs in PPR leagues and 30th in run DVOA. Gurley will face the Bears who rank sixth in aFPA but 31st in run DVOA. With Ben Roethlisberger likely out for Pittsburgh, both backs play in offenses with quarterbacks who can’t be relied upon to matriculate the ball down the field, so expect both backs to see plenty of volume. And expect both of them to be very highly owned as they were the two most highly owned running backs on Thursday. You may have to look elsewhere in tournaments, at the very least in one of your RB slots.

Somewhat lesser owned backs include Darren McFadden and Justin Forsett. McFadden remains relatively cheap, so his ownership was higher on Thursday around 11 percent, which made him about the sixth most owned back in those contests. Forsett’s price tag is a bit higher and perhaps a little more off-putting. He had an ownership rate around six to eight percent on Thursday, making him the 10th or 11th most owned back.

McFadden’s matchup is not great against Tampa Bay who ranks 12th in aFPA and 10th in run DVOA. But McFadden has had even tougher matchups the last two weeks against Seattle and Philadelphia and had 17.3 and 16.2 fantasy points in those contests, respectively. He touched the ball at least 26 times in each of those games, and he is running behind an offensive line that ranks fifth in Football Outsiders adjusted line yards, a stat which assigns rushing production to the offensive line. So somehow McFadden is almost matchup proof, cheap and not totally a chalk play.

Forsett is a bit more contrarian and for good reason. The Baltimore back simply hasn’t been overly productive. He’s averaging 14.4 fantasy points per game and has only had one game with more than 18 fantasy points. As for his volume, in the last two games he has seen 17 and 15 touches, but in the three games prior to that he had 24, 25 and 27 touches. It’s a bit concerning that he hasn’t seen the same workload recently, but at least there’s the potential for 20+ touches.

Forsett’s matchup against Jacksonville is a bit tricky. On one hand, the Jags rank 27nd in aFPA but second in run DVOA. Thankfully, there’s a bit of a tiebreaker in how the Jags rank in DVOA against running backs as receivers. The Jags are 30th in that stat, so there’s a chance that Forsett is really able to do some damage through the air in this one, especially with Baltimore’s receiving corps so thin right now.

If you’re really looking to go contrarian and cheap, consider Antonio Andrews and Matt Jones. Andrews had the best game of his career last week with 20 touches and over 100 yards from scrimmage. There’s a slight concern that David Cobb, activated off IR this week, could eat into Andrews’ workload, but my guess is that if and when that happens, it happens a bit further down the road. Andrews will face the Panthers who rank 24th in aFPA and 11th in run DVOA.

Jones will face the Saints who rank 20th in aFPA and 18th in run DVOA. Arguably Jones has a better matchup than Andrews, and Jones is cheaper. But volume is a much bigger concern for Jones. He hasn’t had more than 13 touches since Week 2, and Chris Thompson returned from injury last week, which takes away some of Jones’ work in the passing game. Ultimately, I’d try to avoid having to go this cheap at running back, but both Andrews and Jones were virtually unowned in Thursday contests if you’re really looking for contrarian tournament plays.

Wide Receiver

  1. Randall Cobb – $6,700 – Green Bay Packers
  2. Allen Robinson – $6,700 – Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Michael Crabtree – $5,800 – Oakland Raiders
  4. Demaryius Thomas – $7,400 – Denver Broncos
  5. Stefon Diggs – $5,100 – Minnesota Vikings
  6. Brandon Lafell – $4,100 – New England Patriots
  7. A.J. Green – $7,600 – Cincinnati Bengals
  8. Alshon Jeffery – $7,100 – Chicago Bears

Once again, let’s start with the safe cash game plays that figure to be highly owned. Randall Cobb and Allen Robinson are stack options for the top two quarterbacks ranked above, and they were also two of the three highest owned receivers on Thursday. Michael Crabtree, ranked third here, was the other highest owned receiver. Cobb and Robinson have great matchups against the Lions and Ravens who rank 28th and 30th in aFPA against receivers in PPR leagues, respectively. Also each receiver has a great matchup on an individual level according to Pro Football Focus’ WR/CB matchup chart. Of the 84 receivers assigned an individual advantage score by PFF, Robinson and Cobb have the fourth and sixth best individual matchups, respectively. Crabtree’s matchup is a bit tougher against the Vikings who rank 11th in aFPA and 15th in pass DVOA, while his individual matchup advantage is the 19th highest.

Other receivers ranked here that were fairly highly owned on Thursday are A.J. Green and Stefon Diggs. Green was the fourth most popular receiver on Thursday, and his matchup is not spectacular on either a team or individual level. Unless you really like Dalton, I probably wouldn’t roster Green. Diggs was between the fifth and seventh most popular receiver on Thursday. His matchup is better than Green’s, and he’s quite a bit cheaper, so he is an option in cash games.

Moving a bit further down the list of ownership percentages, we find Demaryius Thomas with an ownership just a tad under 10 percent, making him the 10th or 11th most popular receiver on Thursday. He’ll face the Chiefs who rank 31st in aFPA and 14th in pass DVOA. Per the WR/CB chart, his individual matchup is almost exactly average. With Thomas, you have to keep an eye out for the availability of Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday. No Sanders would mean an increase in volume for Thomas, but it’s also means his ownership percentage would likely rise.

Like Thomas, the ownership level of Alshon Jeffery will depend on someone’s health…Alshon’s. Alshon tweaked a groin in practice, missed Thursday’s practice and returned to take limited reps in practice on Friday. That uncertainty about his health, coupled with an average-at-best matchup with the Rams, could make Alshon a contrarian play. He’s working on three straight games with 28-plus fantasy points, so he could be worth a gamble.

A cheaper contrarian play is Brandon LaFell. LaFell has seen his receptions and yardage increase in each of his three games back. He’s also seen his price spike as a result, but $4,100 still leaves room for value potential. The Pats will face the Giants who rank 29th in aFPA and 26th in pass DVOA, so the matchup is good on a team level. And on an individual level, the matchup is nice for LaFell as the corner he was likely to see the most of, Prince Amukamara, will not play this week.

Tight End

  1. Jordan Reed – $4,600 – Washington Redskins
  2. Richard Rogers – $3,000 – Green Bay Packers
  3. Martellus Bennett – $4,700 – Chicago Bears
  4. Rob Gronkowski – $8,000 – New England Patriots

Jordan Reed was the second most owned tight end on Thursday, but I really don’t care. The Saints are absolutely horrendous against tight ends. They rank 31st in aFPA against tight ends in PPR leagues, 32nd in DVOA against tight ends, and they have allowed the most yards to tight ends this season (725). Just last week Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano combined for three touchdowns against the Saints. With only the 10th highest salary at tight end and in that matchup, Reed is to hard to pass up.

If you want to go contrarian or just cheap at tight end, consider Richard Rogers. He has a good matchup against Detroit who ranks 21st in aFPA and 22nd in DVOA against tight ends. Were you dead set on using the Green Bay QB in tournaments, I would probably stack him with both Cobb and Rodgers in order to be a bit different. Rodgers was virtually unowned on Thursday.

A less radical contrarian option is Martellus Bennett. Marty B was only owned in about two percent of Thursday contests. If Jeffery happens to be unable to go for Chicago, Bennett should see a nice uptick in volume. I suspect his ownership percentage would rise as well, but coming from two percent on Thursday night, I doubt he would end up being one of the most highly owned tight ends. That said, I expect Alshon is able to give it a go.

Finally, Rob Gronkowski undeniably has a good matchup against the Giants who rank 30th in both aFPA and DVOA against tight ends. The problem is that Gronk is both overpriced and a popular play as he was the third most owned tight end on Thursday. I could live with paying his price tag if it was going to put me in a contrarian position, but I’ve never been able to justify overpaying for a highly owned player, not matter how good his matchup.

Defense

  1. Green Bay Packers – $3,200
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers – $3,000
  3. Philadelphia Eagles – $2,700

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