Daily Fantasy Football is the ultimate week-to-week test of acumen. There is worry about bye weeks or injured players like in season-long formats. FanDuel offers a variety of cash and tournament contests consisting of a single week of matchups. Projecting player ownership to build lineups is an integral strategy to long-term success. Here are the key players for Week 10:
THE CHALK PLAYS
Jay Cutler (at TB), $7,000: Cutler was surprisingly solid (252-1-0) against Minnesota in Week 9, his first start since way back in Week 2. Tampa Bay offers less resistance with an optimal 18-to-4 touchdown/interception ratio. The Bucs also allows an NFL-high 13.3 yards per completion and their 281 yards per game through the air is 4th-most in the league. Stacking Cutler with Alshon Jeffery is a strong Week 10 option. Expect to see top-5 ownership for Cutler at the position and approaching 10%.
David Johnson (vs SF), $9,400: Johnson's Week 10 salary is his highest of the season and deservedly so. The Cardinals have the choice matchup of the week as nearly two-touchdown favorites against the 49ers. Johnson also saw rest with a bye in Week 9. The 49ers have seen the most rushing attempts in the NFL, consistently operating in a negative game script situation and allowing an NFL-high 12 rushing touchdowns. Johnson easily has the highest floor and ceiling of the running backs this week. Johnson is likely to surpass 50% ownership.
Melvin Gordon III (vs MIA), $8,300: Gordon is one of the few running backs with a snap stranglehold of his backfield. Gordon has hit 4x value twice in the past three weeks and his salary is now at a season high. His receiving floor is high (at least four receptions over the last three games), and 20 total touches is a lock outside of injury or low overall offensive play volume for San Diego. With affordable wide receivers and tight ends this week, paying up at running back is optimal as a staple lineup construction. Gordon may be the only running back outside of David Johnson with more than 20% ownership.
Darren Sproles (vs ATL), $5,100: Sproles is the new Eagles starting running back, yet still comes with a flyer-level salary on FanDuel. In a projected shootout against the Falcons, Sproles fits the spread look of Philadelphia's offense needing consistent points to prevail. Atlanta is the 6th-best matchup for running backs and allowing the 2nd-most receptions to backs. Sproles will challenge for top-3 running back ownership in Week 10 with 10-20%.
Mike Evans (vs CHI), $8,500: Evans has hit 3x value in 3-of-6 recent games and twice over the past three matchups. His target floor is the highest in the NFL with at least 11 looks in seven straight games. Chicago is the top matchup for opposing receivers and allowing the 3rd-highest completion rate. Evans only worry is a setback in the concussion protocol late in the week, but was already a full participant in practice on Wednesday, a full-speed-ahead sign for Week 10. Evans (and Alshon Jeffery listed below) will battle for top ownership of the week, north of 20-25%.
Alshon Jeffery (at TB), $7,200: Vernon Hargreaves is a clear target cornerback matchup, rated outside the top-100 by ProFootballFocus.com. Jeffery will see plenty of Hargreaves this week. Jeffery is one of the strongest touchdown regression candidates in the NFL. Despite a touchdown in Week 1, Jeffery has just a single score on 36 receptions this season after a 9.5% rate over his previous four seasons. Look for Jeffery to get hot finding the end zone over the second half of the season, specifically with the strong matchup in Week 10.
Larry Fitzgerald (vs SF), $7,200: Adding to the notes of Carson Palmer above, the 49ers have allowed the most touchdowns to wide receivers in the NFL (15). Fitzgerald is one of the better touchdown regression plays of the week, held without a score in his last three games, spanning 25 receptions. Expect at least one score and 2x value from Fitzgerald in this optimal matchup. Expect to see Fitzgerald in the top-5 of receiver ownership in the 15-25% range.
Tyler Eifert (at NYG), $6,100: The Giants are a neutral matchup overall against tight ends, but struggle to rush the passer. Eifert is coming off 3.7x value in London and the clear No.2 option in Cincinnati's pass game. While the top-salary tight ends are lackluster values, Eifert comes at $1,000+ savings with similar floor and upside.
Chandler Catanzaro (vs SF), $4,500: Do not overthink kicker this week and use Catanzaro regularly. Arizona is in rarified air with a 31 Vegas team total and multiple touchdown favorites. Catanzaro is also minimally-priced.
Rams (at NYJ), $4,600: The Jets have 19 turnovers, tops in the NFL and have allowed 20 sacks, an above-average mark. The Rams are stingy against the run (3.7 yards per carry), leading to a projected string of obvious passing downs for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who leading the NFL in interceptions and sports an anemic 6.6 yards-per-attempt. The Rams are a top-3 ownership rate venture this week in the 10-15% zone.
THE SNEAKY PLAYS
Carson Palmer (vs SF), $7,900: The Cardinals offense is the auto-play of the week. Their Vegas team total is a balmy 31, easily clear of the rest of Week 10's options. The 49ers are a neutral matchup overall for opposing pass games, but allowing the 4th-most passing touchdowns (18) and are a below-average pass rushing defense. Palmer is coming off his best game of the season in Week 8 and a needed bye week. Expect Palmer to be owned in the 5-10% range.
Carson Wentz (vs ATL), $6,800: Atlanta-Philadelphia offers a top Vegas over/under in Week 10. While the Falcons offense has excelled, their defense is a target matchup for opposing quarterbacks. Atlanta's defense offers the 2nd-highest completion rate, highest touchdowns, and just six interceptions all season through the air. Wentz is a strong touchdown regression candidate with just two touchdowns in his last four games, spanning 86 completions. Week 10 is a true 'get well' game for Wentz and he is projected with less than 5% ownership.
C.J. Prosise (at NE), $4,700: All recent signs point to Prosise's snap count continuing to grow. The Patriots offer a matchup where Seattle is more likely to trail and use their pass-catching weapon out of the backfield. The Patriots are a neutral matchup on the ground but have allowed the 3rd-most running back receptions on the season (nearly seven per game). Prosise is poised for a handful of receptions and approaching 12-15 touches overall in Week 10. Prosise is likely to be in less than 2% of lineups.
Jordan Matthews (vs ATL), $5,900: The Falcons offer an optimal passing game matchup and Vegas sees a shootout between the two NFC contenders. Atlanta is allowing the 2nd-most touchdowns to receivers and more than 200 yards per game to wide receivers alone. Matthews' role is stable with Nelson Agholor underwhelming all season and Matthews has hit 2x value in two consecutive games. Despite a touchdown in Week 8, Matthews is still a strong touchdown regression candidate with a 7% touchdown rate this season (well below his career average) and just one score over his 27 catches. Matthews should hover in the 10% range of ownership.
Dez Bryant (at PIT), $7,500: The Steelers struggle to rush the passer (just 11 sacks), opening the door for even more time for Dak Prescott to explore deeper routes to Bryant this week. Deep threats DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, and Mike Wallace have seen the most success against Pittsburgh pass defense on the season. Bryant is projected in the 3-5% range of ownership this week.
Will Tye (vs CIN), $4,500: If needing to go discount shopping at tight end this week, Tye is your guy. Larry Donnell has faded into the backdrop of snaps for the Giants and the Bengals are tough on the perimeter of their pass defense (bottom-5 in receiver fantasy points allowed). However, the Bengals are No.3 in tight end points allowed and are getting worse by the week. The Patriots' duo had 12-210-1 in Week 6, the Browns logged 7-87-0 in Week 7 and before Cincinnati's Week 9 week Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis combined for 14-192-1. Will Tye is a strong play this week despite ownership in the 1% range.
Wil Lutz (vs DEN), $4,500: The Broncos are allowing just 1.5 touchdowns per game, 4th-lowest in the NFL. However, the Vegas line is optimistic for New Orleans - at home - to score and win the game. On the flip side, Denver has allowed 21 field goal attempts on the season, 4th-most in the league. Expect multiple cracks for Lutz and the added boost of playing in a dome giving him long-range upside this week.
Chiefs (at CAR), $4,700: The Panthers offensive line has struggled all season. Jonathan Stewart back in the run game helps, but Carolina has allowed eight sacks over the last three games, including five against Los Angeles in Week 9. Carolina also has 17 turnovers, 2nd-most in the NFL. Kansas City is getting healthy on defense, after a slow season start, with multiple sacks in 4-of-5 games and 13 sacks over the same span. The Chiefs are one of my favorite low-ownership plays of the week, projected below 3%.
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