The Week 10 main slate on FanDuel kicks off at 12:00 ET and features 15 games. Our breakdown will highlight core plays, which are cash game options and also players to build our GPP lineups around. We will also list some other players worth consideration for GPPs. As always, hit me up on Twitter with questions or comments (@hindery).
It is going to be a high-scoring slate. We have four teams with implied totals of over 40 points in what are expected to be competitive games (Oklahoma, Ohio State, Houston, and Syracuse). We want to fit in as many top players from these teams as possible in our lineups. We have another 16 teams with team totals of 27 or more, so there are going to be a lot of touchdowns scored on this 15-game slate.
The starting point in building rosters for Week 10 should be the quarterback position. Plugging in a pair of expensive quarterbacks will force us to go heavy on value plays at other positions, but the sacrifices elsewhere are worth it. Top options like D’Eriq King and Kyler Murray seemingly have a weekly floor of almost 30 points and the upside to go for 60 (like King did last week). The fact almost all of the other viable quarterbacks are priced up within $1,000 of the top guys makes the choice to pay up even easier. Plug King and Murray into cash lineups and move on.
In tournaments, there is a much better case for fading Murray or King based upon both game theory (getting some roster differentiation) and the fact there are some other talented passers in great spots. Eric Dungey was on the verge of getting benched going into last week but responded with a monster performance and is in an amazing spot against a bad Wake Forest defense. Dwayne Haskins doesn’t have the rushing upside of some other top guys but he has thrown for 400+ yards in three straight games and could be in a shootout against Nebraska. Taylor Cornelius, Adrian Martinez, Sam Ehlinger, Brock Purdy, and Tyler Huntley have each had some massive fantasy outings due to their dual-threat abilities and are the type of quarterbacks who are always in play for GPPs given their rushing upside.
D’Eriq King, Houston ($10,800)
There isn’t a lot that needs to be said here. When King is on the slate, we want to make sure he is in our lineups. He put up an incredible 61.2 fantasy points last week, doing major damage as both a passer and runner. For the season, he has 28 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns and is now averaging over 41 fantasy points per game. Houston has been incredibly consistent on offense, scoring 40+ points in every single game and the Cougars have a team total of 42.8 points at SMU. Nearly all of the touchdowns should come through King, who has over half of the team’s rushing touchdowns in addition to his prolific passing numbers. SMU has shown improvement on defense and will have a rowdy home crowd behind them, so this probably isn’t going to be.a spot where King has a monster game. But even if he comes in slightly below his season average of 41 fantasy point, we will still be glad to have King in our lineups.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma ($10,600)
As with King, we simply want Murray in our lineups whenever he is on the slate. Murray is one of the top contenders for the Heisman in arguably the nation’s top offense. His efficiency is insane. Murray put up a whopping 36.7 fantasy points last week despite attempting just 24 passes and running 5 times. We couldn’t ask for a much better matchup for Murray. The Texas Tech defense is improved compared to past years (79th in S&P) but they are certainly not a unit we need to avoid. Plus, the fast-paced, high-scoring offense of the Red Raiders should lead to more snaps than usual for Murray and the Oklahoma offense will need to keep the pedal to the floor for four quarters.
Also Worth Consideration
Eric Dungey, Syracuse ($10,200)
Dungey was beastly with 37.6 points against NC State last week. He had far and away his best passing game last week with 411 yards (previous high was 286) and did his typical damage as a runner. Dungey has scored a rushing touchdown in all but one game this season. The very real threat of a benching seemed to flip a switch for him. We could see Tommy Devito at some point, especially if Dungey struggles at all, so we can’t quite trust him in cash lineups but it looks like he has done what he needed to strengthen his grasp on the starting job. The lightning-fast pace of the Syracuse offense combined with Wake Forest’s high-paced offense means we could see a ton of offensive snaps in this game and it is a dream spot for Dungey. Wake Forest is the #102 defense, equally bad against the run (108th) and pass (109th). The Demon Deacons have allowed at least 35 points to every ACC opponent they have faced this season and Syracuse has a healthy 41.3-point team total.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State ($9,500)
All of the dual-threat quarterbacks listed above in the position overview are in play for tournaments because we have seen 40-point upside from each in the past. Purdy is worth highlighting in a week where very few are likely to be playing him. He is averaging 14.7 carries per game in his 3 starts and is an excellent athlete. While he is only 25 pass attempts per game, he has been extremely efficient and is averaging over 10 yards per attempt. Against the 96th-ranked Kansas defense, Purdy has the potential for a big game. He would be more exciting if he was coming at a bigger discount but if he ends up matching the production of the top quarterbacks on Saturday, the extra $1,000 in salary cap savings compared to Murray and King could be a big difference-maker in tournaments.
It is really hard to get up to the top-priced RBs on the slate and there isn’t a good reason to unless you are playing multiple entries in tournaments. The $10,000 backs don’t project all that differently from the $9,000 backs and we need all the cost savings we can find. The upgrade an extra $1,000 in salary can buy you at either quarterback or wide receiver is significant, so we want to be as price-conscious as possible in choosing our running backs.
There are not any outstanding punt options at the running back position on the slate, so ideally we can find at least $8,000 for both of our running backs. The core plays and many of the top secondary options all come from the $8,000 to $9,300 range. Matt Colburn II of Wake Forest has a really nice price tag at the bottom of that range and we can feel good about some of the RB1 options in the low-9K range, especially Zach Moss and Karan Higdon.
Matt Colburn II, Wake Forest ($8,100)
We have already highlighted Syracuse and quarterback Eric Dungey and we can’t ignore the other side of this super fast-paced shootout. The Demon Deacons are home underdogs but have a healthy team total of 34.8 points. Colburn has been getting slightly more work than Cade Carney in a timeshare this season and has been the clearly better option of late. In fact, Colburn is coming off of a 243 yard, 3 touchdown performance against Louisville last week. Syracuse ranks just 87th defending the run and got destroyed by Wake Forest on the ground in a 64-43 loss last season. In that matchup, Colburn ran the ball 31 times for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. On a slate where we are desperate for value so we can fit in a pair of elite quarterbacks, Colburn’s bargain price is especially attractive.
Zach Moss, Utah ($9,100)
Moss comes with a high floor ideal for cash games. He has scored a touchdown in every game except one (against USC) and in that game he still rushed for 136 yards. Moss has also been prolific racking up yardage, with 100+ in 4-of-5. He is coming off of a 225-yard, 3-touchdown performance against UCLA last week and the Utah offense has looked unstoppable for the past month. Arizona State has done a nice job keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone but still ranks just 98th against the run.
Karan Higdon, Michigan ($9,200)
Higdon has yet to have a truly monster game of 25 or more points this season and has a mediocre matchup against a decent Penn State defense, so he may not be a popular play. However, the sheer volume of carries points to a player with the potential for a slate-winning performance. Over the last four weeks, Higdon has 110 touches (27.5 per game) and Michigan now ranks as the #11 rushing offense in S&P. Higdon should again see in the neighborhood of 25 touches on Saturday in one of Michigan’s biggest games of the season. The only negative with Higdon has been his lack of touchdowns. Fullback Ben Mason has the same number of rushing touchdowns (6) as Higdon and has played fantasy spoiler as a go-to short-yardage option down around the red zone.
Also Worth Consideration
Trey Sermon, Oklahoma ($8,900) and Kennedy Brooks ($8,600)
Sermon out-touched Brooks 12-5 last week and still seems like the bell cow despite Brooks continuing to out-produce him on a per-touch basis. Joe Mixon went nuts with 377 yards and 5 TDs the last time Oklahoma traveled to Texas Tech and in a game with a 45.5 team total there should be a lot of touchdowns scored. Few are going to be on Sermon this week, so he makes for an intriguing GPP play. So too does Brooks, who despite a lack of touches (just 38 on the season) has been on a fantasy hot streak due to his ridiculous 11.9 yards per carry. Even if Brooks only sees 10-12 touches, he can still rack up a lot of fantasy points in a hurry.
David Montgomery, Iowa State ($9,500)
Montgomery hasn’t been very efficient (just 4.5 yards per carry) but has been getting a massive workload. He ran 33 times for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns last week and 29 times for 189 yards and a score the week before. In a matchup against Kansas’ 98th-ranked rushing defense, Montgomery could feast. He is a great tournament option and the huge volume puts him in play for cash games if you can find a way to make the salary fit.
AJ Dillon, Boston College ($9,800)
Dillon is back healthy, logging 32 carries last week. While Virginia Tech isn’t typically a run defense we want to target and they have been excellent at times this season (Florida State and Duke games especially) but they have also been extremely vulnerable in other games. The Hokies were smashed on the ground by Georgia Tech last week. It wouldn’t be a shock if Virginia Tech bottled up Dillon like they did last season but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if he has a monster game, which makes him an ideal play in tournaments.
If we start our lineups by building around a pair of top quarterbacks and don’t roll the dice on any sub-$8,000 running backs, we aren’t left with much cap space for the wide receiver position. While this makes finding plays we feel great about difficult, it is worth it because we should be able to rack up a ton of points at the other positions and won’t necessarily need our wide receivers to smash. In most of the favored builds this week, we have just $20,000-22,000 available and the core plays reflect our forced focus on the lower-priced options.
Binjimen Victor, Tarique Milton, Nyheim Johnson, Reggie Roberson, Jr. and Jaylen Waddle are some of the lower-priced options that stand out on a slate where value is tough to come by.
In tournaments, it makes sense to try to find a way to get up to some of the high-priced wide receivers if you are entering multiple lineups. Marques Stevenson, Antoine Wesley, Greg Dortch, Tylan Wallace, and James Proche each have the potential for huge games and are worth trying to squeeze into tournament lineups.
Binjimen Victor, Ohio State ($5,900)
Ohio State spreads the ball around at wide receiver. K.J. Hill and Parris Campbell are the top options but Victor has been starting to emerge as one of the go-to outside receivers. He saw nine targets against Purdue and should get plenty of looks again in a high-paced potential shootout against Nebraska. With Austin Mack out for the season with a foot injury suffered in Ohio State’s loss against the Boilermakers, Victor is now the starting X-receiver for the Buckeyes. As such, he stands out as the top sub-$6,000 play on the slate and a key guy to help us find the salary for King and Murray in cash games.
Reggie Roberson, Jr. SMU ($8,100)
In cash games, Roberson is at the very top of the pricing range to target and one of the top relatively affordable options on the slate. He is a West Virginia transfer who was granted immediate eligibility. Roberson got off to a bit of a slow start but has been very good lately, with three straight games of 99 or more receiving yards. He had a breakout performance (7-147-2) against a good Cincinnati pass defense last week. In a game where SMU is probably going to need to score in bunches and be playing from behind, Roberson should see plenty of targets as the clear #2 option behind James Proche in the Mustangs pass offense.
Tarique Milton, Iowa State ($7,000)
Milton is a redshirt freshman who has started to emerge as one of the go-to options for a solid Iowa State offense. He has been incredibly efficient, catching 25 of 26 targets. His 11.1 yards per target ranks behind only Hakeem Butler for the Cyclones and Milton looks to be emerging as the #2 receiving option in this offense. He caught all seven of his targets last week and has 15 catches for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns in Brock Purdy’s three starts. In a week where we are scraping for value, we may have to take some chances on guys like Milton to make everything else fit.
Also Worth Consideration
Marques Stevenson, Houston ($9,800)
Stevenson is the guy we want to stack with D’Eriq King if we can find a way to make the salary work. He is averaging 10 yards per target on 9 targets per game. He could even see a few extra targets with starting wideout Courtney Lark out due to a knee injury.
Raelon Singleton, Houston ($4,400)
As noted, it is extremely difficult to find a way to get the top pass catchers on our rosters while doing what we want to do at other positions. We have to get extremely creative and take some chances to get there salary wise. One path worth considering is Singleton. He is a grad-transfer from Utah who had a hamstring injury that kept him out early in the season. He was also buried on the depth chart behind three or four other guys. He has started to come on at least a little bit, with 4 catches for 59 yards and 1 touchdown over the last 2 weeks. The touchdown came late in the game last week after Courtney Lark went down with an injury. Singleton is one of Houston’s options to replace Lark and it is potentially worth gambling on his chances of seeing a handful of targets given what his salary allows us to do elsewhere.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama ($6,500)
Waddle is a mega-talented true freshman who has worked his way up to being one of the top pass catchers in the Crimson Tide offense. His production has been very spotty, however. He has had quite a few non-impact games but also a 33-point and a 20-point fantasy game in the past four weeks. He is actually second on the Crimson Tide in receiving yards this season (457). Waddle is especially intriguing this week because #2 wide receiver Devonta Smith has been nursing a sore hamstring. He could miss but most likely will suit up and give it a go in what should be a reduced role. Smith’s injury and limited practice reps could lead to a couple more targets for Waddle. With his deep speed, it only takes one long touchdown catch to make good on this salary. Waddle is a boom/bust GPP option as a salary saver.