BJ VanderWoude: Currently, there are only four games on the week 10 schedule with projected totals of 46+ points (New Orleans vs Buffalo, Houston vs LA Rams, Dallas vs Atlanta, New England vs Denver). Which of these games has the most predictable game script, and which players benefit the most from a shootout? Are there any games that you think have the potential to be a shootout with projected totals under 46 points?
James Brimacombe: Out of these four games it is an easy call as I will be on the Dallas at Atlanta game with the over/under set at 50.5 and the Falcons as a 3-point favorite. The Saints and the Bills could be in a defensive battle with ball possession from both running backs. Houston vs LA Rams would have my attention if Tom Savage wasn’t the starting quarterback and New England vs Denver it is looking more and more like we are not going to be getting much offense out of the Broncos with their current quarterback situation. As for the Cowboys and Falcons you have two really good quarterbacks squaring off against each other in Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan, you also have Ezekiel Elliott, Devonta Freeman, and Tevin Coleman in the running game that can all get it done on the ground or through the air with their respective quarterbacks. The Cowboys side of this game has some question marks with the status of Elliott up in the air every week with his possible suspension and now they have Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams both nursing an injury so it could be the likes of Jason Witten and Cole Beasley as the players seeing plenty of targets. On the Falcons side, you have Julio Jones 43/658/1 and Mohamed Sanu 31/325/3 who have been lacking in finding the endzone this season and this could be a great situation for Ryan and Jones to have a monster day together. It is hard to not see a scenario where both teams don’t go over 20 points in this game so I will be looking at this game closely as I build my DFS teams this week.
Justin Bonnema: James pretty much nailed it with game selections. But I do have some reservations regarding the Falcons hosting the Cowboys. Prescott is a great quarterback, but he’s never played a game where both Elliott and Bryant were out. If that ends up being the case, I think predictability of this game gets a little more difficult in terms of player selection. Alfred Morris and Jason Witten get the biggest boost, and while the crowd chases Terrance Williams, Brice Butler would surely see added snaps and makes for an interesting GPP play. Meanwhile, how healthy are Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones? If they’re banged up, how much confidence should we have on the current over/under? I think this game could end up being highly sought after by the crowd only to disappoint with a low-scoring, 23-20 type contest.
Week 1: 46-9 win over Indianapolis
Week 3: 41-39 win over San Francisco
Week 7: 33-0 win over Arizona
Week 9: 51-17 win over New York Giants
Houston undoubtedly qualifies as struggling on both sides of the ball. The Texans offense can't mask the stink of Tom Savage and their defense has become one to target for opposing passing games since J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost for the season. The only quarterback Houston has stopped since they lost their premier pass rushers is Kevin Hogan. Russell Wilson (452-4-1) annihilated the Texans in Week 8 and Jacoby Brissett (302-2-0) posted his second career 300-yard passing game against them last week.
By now, we can safely say LA doesn't lead the NFL in scoring by fluke. Jared Goff should be able to do what he pleases in this matchup and his wide receivers stand to benefit most. The Texans have allowed three separate 100+ yard wide receiver performances in the last two weeks. In their last three games, they've let up 93% more fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers than league average. Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, and Cooper Kupp remain available at $5K or below on DraftKings, making each worthy of significant exposure this week.
The Pittsburgh/Indianapolis game is another matchup where I see the total going over 46 points. This is a "get-right game" for the Steelers offense, who is averaging a disappointing 20.8 points per game this season. The Colts have passed the Patriots as the worst pass defense, allowing an NFL leading 8.3 yards per attempt and 280 passing yards per game. The Colts rush defense hasn't fared much better as they are ranked the seventh-worst in the league with an NFL leading ten rushing touchdowns. While this game most likely will not end in a shootout, the Steelers offense should cross the 30-point threshold for the first time this season. I am expecting monster performances from Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown this week.
New Orleans on the road is never a great bet, even if they are playing particularly well this year. The Bills are one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL, but they just added Kelvin Benjamin and are playing at home. This game could be a high scoring affair, but I wouldn't count on it for DFS purposes.
I'm all in on the Rams this week, regardless of whether I agree with the over/under projection. Sean McVay has this offense humming along and the Texans are a shell of their optimal selves.
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