Get ready for some points this week. At least if you believe in game totals being accurate. Eight of Week 10’s 14 games have an over/under of at least 47 points. At one end of the high-scoring spectrum, we have the Bengals and Giants on Monday night. At the top end, we find the Falcons and Eagles, expected to play to a total of 50. In between, we have Broncos-Saints, Packers-Titans, Dolphins-Chargers, 49ers-Cardinals, Cowboys-Steelers, and Seahawks-Patriots. It’s going to take a big number to succeed in DFS this week.
Below are my ideal picks for both DraftKings and FanDuel. I will be playing lineups other than the ones I present here, but these are my go-to lineups for both sites. Be sure to read on and check out Andrew Perloff’s plays, as well.
Marcus Mariota (DraftKings: $5,700, FanDuel: $7,400) vs. Green Bay
Over the last five weeks, Mariota has finished fourth, third, 10th, 13th and first at the quarterback position. In that time, 1,262 yards, 8.14 yards per attempt and 13 touchdowns against three interceptions. He has also rushed for 163 yards and a pair of scores, and has at least two touchdown passes in all five games. All told, he has put up an average of 25.56 standard-league points per game. The oddsmakers are expecting a high-scoring game in Tennessee, giving Packers-Titans an over/under of 49.5 points with the Titans being slight underdogs. The Packers have allowed six of the eight quarterbacks they’ve faced to score at least 19.6 fantasy points, with three of them topping 25 points. Mariota is my favorite play, regardless of position, on a dollar for dollar basis this week.
David Johnson (DK: $8,400, FD: $9,400) vs. San Francisco
There’s no way around playing Johnson this week in cash games. If you don’t roster him, you risk falling so far behind your opponents that it becomes impossible to catch back up elsewhere. In case you haven’t heard, the 49ers have a historically bad run defense. They’ve allowed a 100-yard rusher in all but one game this season, and are surrendering the most fantasy points per game to running backs. The first time they met Johnson, he ran all over them for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 28 yards through the air. It’s not unrealistic to expect 30-plus points from Johnson this week. He’s a must-play.
Jordan Howard (DK: $6,000, FD: $6,900) at Tampa Bay
The Bears once again leaned on Howard in their last game, and he rewarded the coaching staff with 153 rushing yards, 49 receiving yards and a touchdown in an upset win over the Vikings. Howard now has three games with at least 130 yards from scrimmage this season. The Bears would be foolish to treat him as anything other than a workhorse back. The Buccaneers have allowed the seventh-most points per game to running backs and have been especially vulnerable through the air, where they’ve allowed 37 receptions for 426 yards and two touchdowns. Howard has the skill set to burn the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Darren Sproles (DK: $4,300, FD: $5,100) vs. Atlanta
I’m not the biggest Sproles fan, but the combination of his new role in the offense, price and matchup are too good to ignore. It’s rare to get a lead back, as Doug Pederson labeled Sproles earlier this week, for $4,300 on DraftKings and $5,100 on FanDuel. Sproles has at least 16 touches in both of the Eagles last two games, totaling 174 yards from scrimmage. The Falcons have surrendered the 13th-most points per game to backs this year, but where they’ve really had trouble is covering them as receivers. They’ve allowed the second-most receptions (71) and most receiving yards (547) to running backs. This should be just the sort of defense Sproles exploits.
Mike Evans (DK: $9,000, FD: $8,500) vs. Chicago
I extolled all of Evans’s many virtues in this week’s Target and Snap Report. You can read them there if you like. If you choose to stay right here, understand that Evans is a top-five receiver, based on both talent and situation, and should be right at the center of the fantasy MVP discussion. Evans is as good a bet for 13-plus targets as there is in the league, and if he gets that sort of volume against the Bears, he’s going to have himself another huge day. Chicago has allowed the third-most points per game to receivers this year, and has been particularly bad against the pass over the last month. In their last four games, the Bears have allowed T.Y. Hilton, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Stefon Diggs to combine for 42 catches for 474 yards and five touchdowns.
Antonio Brown (DK: $8,900, FD: $8,600) vs. Dallas
Ben Roethlisberger returned last week after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus suffered in Week 6. He wasn’t particularly good, completing just more than 50% of his passes for 264 yards, 5.87 YPA, one touchdown and one interception. And yet, Brown got his, because that’s what he always does. Brown caught seven of 11 targets for 85 yards and Roethlisberger’s lone touchdown in the Steelers 21–14 loss to the Ravens. With Roethlisberger one week healthier and the Steelers returning home, there’s good reason to believe the offense will be better, even if it isn’t humming as usual. Brown is well worth the price of admission this week.
Stefon Diggs (DK: $6,200, FD: $6,700) at Washington
As detailed in this week’s Start or Sit column, few receivers have been as bankable as Diggs, when healthy. He has been absent from the injury report in four weeks this season. In those four games, he has 37 catches for 441 yards and two touchdowns, good for 14.03 standard-league points per game. In the three games he has played after appearing on the injury report, Diggs has just 11 catches for 105 yards. He’s entirely healthy heading into this week’s game in Washington, but you’re getting a cheap price because of his up-and-down play this year. Take advantage.
Rishard Matthews (DK: $4,200, FD: $5,800) vs. Green Bay
Finally, we’ve written about Matthews a lot this week. In fact, I believe he appeared in every column, other than the Roundtable. That’s because his star is rising in fantasy leagues, with 21 catches, 240 yards and five touchdowns over his last five games. Just as importantly, he played 87% of Tennessee’s snaps two weeks ago, and 89% of them last week. Matthews is a great value play to pair with the likes of David Johnson and Evans this week. He also gives us a nice stack with Mariota to go after the Green Bay defense.
Zach Ertz (DK: $3,700, FD: $4,600) vs. Atlanta
Ertz’s plummeting price on FanDuel makes him too good to pass up, even though we have to go into playing him with eyes wide open. Ertz was a non-factor for the entire season until last week, when he caught eight passes for 97 yards. That’s a formula that could work again for the Eagles, especially against a defense like Atlanta’s. The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most points per game to tight ends this season. They’ve given up double-digit standard-league points to Clive Walford, Coby Fleener, Greg Olsen and Cameron Brate, and only the Browns and Lions have surrendered more touchdowns to tight ends this season.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (DK: $3,500, FD: $5,200) vs. Jacksonville
The case for Fiedorowicz is based on his increasing presence in the Houston offense. He first played more than 60% of the team’s snaps in Week 4, and hasn’t looked back since. In five games since crossing that 60% threshold, he has 24 catches for 272 yards and three touchdowns, which comes out to 9.04 points per game. That’s fourth among tight ends, trailing only Olsen, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed. If he had that average across all eight of Houston’s games this season, he’d be second in total points, looking up at just Olsen. Fiedorowicz is locked in as a TE1, but he’s still priced as a TE2.
It’s our old pal Lutz. You know the drill here. He’s minimum priced, tied to a great offense, and playing in a game that’s expected to be high scoring. Lutz also has the benefit of kicking indoors this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (DK: $2,600, FD: $4,300) vs. Dallas
I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t an ideal pick. The Steelers defense has averaged just 4.5 DraftKings points and 4.6 FanDuel points this year. I prioritized all offensive positions, though, forcing me to look for a bargain in this spot. As great as Dak Prescott has been all season, this is a huge test for any rookie quarterback. He’s going into Heinz Field, a tough environment, and will likely have to put up at least 24 or 27 points to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. It won’t be a perfect game from Pittsburgh’s defense. Put simply, the unit just isn’t that good. But the bet here is that they will be able to force Prescott into a couple of mistakes in a hostile environment.
DraftKings lineup: QB: Marcus Mariota RB1: David Johnson RB2: Jordan Howard WR1: Mike Evans WR2: Stefon Diggs WR3: Rishard Matthews TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz FLEX: Darren Sproles DST: Pittsburgh Steelers
FanDuel lineup: QB: Marcus Mariota RB1: David Johnson RB2: Jordan Howard WR1: Antonio Brown WR2: Mike Evans WR3: Rishard Matthews TE: Zach Ertz K: Wil Lutz DST: Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m in a season-long league with Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey (don’t ask) and his analytics-based trade offers kind of went away once the season started. There’s no point to that story, other than a casual name drop and to brag that I’m 6–3 in that league despite taking Allen Robinson in the second round. But I’m actually kind of hot in DFS … more humid, but hopefully this week’s lineup is blazing…
Marcus Mariota (DK: $5,700, FD: $7,400) vs. Green Bay
I’m using Mariota in some lineups, some Jay Cutler and a sprinkling of Aaron Rodgers. Mariota has put up close to 30 points in three of the last five weeks. The Packers had issues when Andrew Luck moved around last week and Mariota should be able to have success.
Alternates: Cutler is definitely back against a porous Buccaneers pass defense. Everyone will presumably jump on Carson Palmer against the Niners—and for good reason. And Rodgers has had three straight solid weeks and is a good anchor despite the price.
David Johnson (DK: $8,400, FD: $9,400) vs. San Francisco
Will that price scare away anyone from the Mild Thing? Maybe not, but might as well build his 30 points (at least). Johnson had 157 rushing yards and two TDs against the Niners in San Francisco back in Week 5. And practically every other back who has faced the 49ers has had a huge game.
Devontae Booker (DK: $7,000, FD: $7,800) at New Orleans
Booker’s play percentage will dip because he had just 22 yards on 10 carries last week against Denver. He’s got Kapri Bibbs (huh?) breathing down his neck. But this is about the Saints’ D. This is a risk, but I want in on that game.
Alternate: There are two interesting bargains out there. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Darren Sproles (DK: $4,300, FD: $5,100) is his No. 1 back. Philadelphia-Atlanta has a high over-under and is worth investing in. And Chris Ivory (DK: $3,400, FD: $5,200) seems like he’ll be the man under new coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in Jacksonville—he rushed for 107 yards against a good Kansas City defense last week. On the high end, Pittsburgh-Dallas has a high over-under as well, so Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott must be considered even at hefty prices. And don’t be afraid to have exposure to either Melvin Gordon or Jay Ajayi in what could be a RB-fest between the Chargers and Dolphins.
Alshon Jeffery (DK: $6,600, FD: $7,200) at Tampa Bay
Cutler looked pretty good last week against Minnesota’s formidable defense and could look like last year’s Cutler against Tampa Bay’s 27th-ranked pass defense. The Bucs likely don’t have an answer for the Bears No. 1 WR, who caught a TD against the Vikings and could be poised for a big finish this season.
Stefon Diggs (DK: $6,200, FD: $6,700) at Washington
New coordinator Pat Shurmur is going full West Coast with Diggs as the main weapon. He had 13 catches on 14 targets last week. Diggs, who is actually very good in the red zone, is bound to get into the end zone eventually. The downside this week—Washington’s Josh Norman. But A.J. Green still managed to rack up yards last week against the Redskins and the Vikes will try to hide Diggs in multiple formations.
Jordan Matthews (DK: $5,900, FD: $5,900) vs. Atlanta
Atlanta ranks 31st against the pass and will be without top cornerback Desmond Trufant. Matthews seems to hit a 15–20 point ceiling despite plenty of targets but this would be a week to break out. He’s a better FD option. Maybe replace him with non-related Rishard Matthews in DK.
I’m interested in getting into that Broncos-Saints game, and Emmanuel Sanders is an option. And if you don’t have David Johnson or Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald is a wonderful entrée into the Cards-Niners. And if you haven’t looked at Steelers slot receiver Eli Rodgers yet, he’s fun to root for at a great price and is coming off a 103-yard performance against Baltimore.
Travis Kelce (DK: $5,600, FD: $6,300) at Carolina
Kelce is the only reliable Chiefs target and he’s going to be ticked after getting booted last week for his glove throw. The Panthers seem to be improving on defense, but they still rank No. 29 against the pass. Look for the Chiefs to move Kelce around to make sure he gets involved.
The Falcons’ Austin Hooper is a great bargain option with Jacob Tamme out. The Cowboys’ Jason Witten didn’t jump up too much after his dominant performance last week against the Browns. Hard to believe he’ll repeat that success, but he’s still a good value in a game that could have some points.
Will Lutz ($4,500 FanDuel) vs. Denver
The Saints kicker could be on the field often. Denver’s defense is beat up, but I could see New Orleans stalling near the goal line.
New York Jets (DK: $2,800, FD: $4,800) vs. Los Angeles Rams
Most teams can pass on the Jets, but the Rams have been hesitant to open up the offense and their conservative style will play right into New York’s hands. Hopefully the Jets will repeat the four-INT performance the other New Jersey team, the Giants, had against Case Keenum.