Fri Nov 8 1:21pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
Brees is a top DFS target
We have a tricky slate of DFS ahead of us for Week 10 with six teams on a bye. With the Texans, Patriots and Eagles among the teams who won’t play, we will be missing several of the top options at various positions. With that being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t still come out of it a winner. Here are some players to consider at various price points, as well as some to avoid, while creating your entry.
Top-tier option: Drew Brees, NO vs. ATL ($6,500): Brees wasted no time making an impact in his return from a thumb injury, completing 34-of-43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns in Week 8 against the Cardinals. The only other full game that he played this season came against the Texans in Week 1 when he threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns. Those are two teams who have struggled to defend the pass, which has certainly helped Brees’ cause. He’ll get another great matchup out of the bye with the Falcons tied for the third-most touchdown passes allowed (19) in the league.
Cheap target: Daniel Jones, NYG at NYJ ($6,000): We saw the good side of Jones in Week 8 when he torched the Lions for 322 yards and four touchdowns. However, turnovers have mostly been a problem since he took over for Eli Manning. He again struggled in that department against the Cowboys last week, fumbling twice and throwing an interception to go along with only one touchdown. Rookie quarterbacks can be inconsistent like that, so Jones is no sure-fire option in DFS. However, facing a Jets team that just allowed three touchdown passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins last week is awfully enticing.
Player to avoid: Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. BUF ($5,700): The Browns have lost four straight games and enter this contest as one of the more disappointing teams in the league at 2-6. Mayfield isn’t the only reason for their struggles, but it hasn’t helped that he hasn’t thrown for more than one touchdown in a game all season. Facing a Bills team that has allowed the third-fewest passing yards per game likely won’t help matters.
Top-tier option: Christian McCaffrey, CAR at GB ($8,600): At this point, the only reason not to deploy McCaffrey in your lineup is if you’re looking to be a contrarian in tournament play. He had another monster game last week against the Titans, rushing 24 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He already has 13 total touchdowns this season to go along with 881 rushing yards and 363 receiving yards. The Packers have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards per game and are tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns allowed. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Cheap target: David Montgomery, CHI vs. DET ($6,000): The Bears have finally unleashed their promising rookie, giving him 41 carries and nine targets over their last two games. He’s rewarded their faith in him with 223 total yards and three touchdowns. With Mitchell Trubisky struggling, the Bears would be wise to keep feeding Montgomery, especially considering the Lions have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game.
Player to avoid: Joe Mixon, CIN vs. BAL ($5,800): The Bengals are shaping up to be the worst team in the league with their offensive line being one of their many weaknesses. They haven’t opened many holes for Mixon, who has only 320 yards on 101 carries. While he does have three receiving touchdowns, he is still looking for his first rushing score of the season. The last time he faced the Ravens, they held him to 10 yards on eight carries. Considering they have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game, overall, things are once again looking bleak for Mixon.
Top-tier option: Michael Thomas, NO vs. ATL ($8,000): A Brees/Thomas stack will eat up a significant portion of your budget, but it will be difficult to resist in cash contests. Even with Brees sidelined for most of the season, Thomas has 73 receptions for 875 yards. His volume has been off the charts with at least 11 targets in six of his eight games. Don’t expect the Falcons to be the team that slows him down.
Cheap target: Christian Kirk, ARI at TB ($5,000): Kirk might be one of my favorite cheap targets at any position. Throw his two catch, eight-yard performance last week out the window. He was facing the 49ers, who have one of the best defenses in the league. Now he’ll take on the Bucs, a team that has allowed the second-most passing yards per game. The Cardinals have shown a propensity for wanting to get the ball in Kirk’s hands, giving him at least eight targets in four of the six games he has played.
Player to avoid: D.K. Metcalf, SEA at SF ($6,200): Metcalf is coming off the best performance of his young career after catching six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown versus the Bucs last week. While Kirk might benefit from that matchup in Week 10, Metcalf has to face the same 49ers team that shut down Kirk and the Cardinals’ offense. Add in Metcalf’s rising price tag and this might not be the week to add him to your entry.
Top-tier option: Austin Hooper, ATL at NO ($6,100): It looks like we are finally experiencing the Hooper breakout campaign that many of us have been yearning for. Last season was the most productive of his career, but he’s on pace to blow past those numbers with 52 catches and 591 yards through eight games. He’s already hauled in five touchdowns, which is one more than all of last season. In a position that has a lot of volatile options, Hooper’s consistency is extremely appealing.
Cheap target: Mike Gesicki, MIA at IND ($3,300): If you want to spend elsewhere, taking a chance on Gesicki isn’t that crazy of an idea. He is coming off of his best performance of the season, catching all six of his targets for 95 yards against the Jets in Week 9. The Dolphins lost one of their top wide receivers in Preston Williams (knee) during that game, who has since been placed on IR. With the potential for an expanded role in the offense moving forward, Gesicki is at least an option in tournament play.
Player to avoid: Jimmy Graham, GB vs. CAR ($4,500): There’s not a lot to see here with Graham. While he’s had an impressive career, he’s a shell of the player that he once was. He’s posted 20 or fewer receiving yards in three of his last four games and has caught more than four passes in a game only one time all season. I’d argue that Gesicki has similar upside, so I can’t justify spending the extra $1,200 for Graham.
Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers missed his first kick in four weeks when he missed an extra point in Seattle's Sunday night loss to the Rams. Myers' missed kick came after a pick-six by Quandre Diggs, and while it hurts to see any missed chances at points, Seattle's offense was so pitiful that the miss proved inconsequential. Myers has been money since his meltdown against the Bucs, and hopefully this will just be a minor blip. He did drill both field goals he attempted in the game, so maybe that'll help keep his confidence up and keep him focused.
Seattle Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs continued to turn fans into believers by snagging a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six, in Seattle's loss to the Rams. Both of Diggs' interceptions came on back-to-back possessions, and he now has three interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in just four games. The Seahawks Defense certainly wasn't at its best on Sunday night, but with the offense doing it zero favors, it put up a pretty strong performance. Also of note, one-handed feel-good story Shaquem Griffin continues to be a revelation since he moved into a more pass-rushing role. He's given a huge boost to Seattle's pass rush as of late.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was targeted six times on Sunday night, and he hauled in all six passes. That's the first time in his career that he's caught every pass thrown his way, and it further accentuates the growth he's had as a receiver this season. Unfortunately, Seattle lost the game and Metcalf was held without a touchdown, but improved catching is a wonderful bit of growth for the rookie. Metcalf now sits at 783 yards receiving on 50 catches, and he's been able to score five touchdowns. For a guy who was thought to just be a workout warrior, it's been quite the impressive rookie campaign.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett caught four passes for 43 yards on Sunday night against the Rams, but he's clearly still hampered by the combination of the serious shin contusion and flu. Lockett seemed to struggle to get open on critical downs, and Russell Wilson was forced to turn to less dependable options for some throws. Lockett's connection with Wilson is famous, so it's logical to conclude that the injury/illness are still affecting his play. It's unclear if the coaching staff will address it in any way or continue to run him out there, but the Seahawks will need him completely healthy if their offense is resume the high-flying act it was at the start of the year.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a rough night on Sunday when he was one of many players on the team who struggled. Wilson took five sacks and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season. The shellacking by the Rams came to a head on third downs when it felt like Wilson was bombarded by defensive lineman from the moment the ball was snapped. With Seattle moving to 10-3, the team will be trying to bounce back and officially punch their ticket to the playoffs when they face the Carolina Panthers next week. Hopefully, they can have more energy and focus in Charlotte than they had in LA.
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson was able to rack up 91 scrimmage yards on Sunday night, but like the rest of the Seattle offense, he was unable to find the end zone. Carson was forced to pick up the slack after backfield-mate Rashaad Penny went down with a significant knee injury early in the first quarter, but offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer seemed uninterested in leaning on Seattle's run game. Carson only carried the ball 15 times, his second-fewest times in the last 10 games, even though he was averaging more than five yards per carry. Hopefully, the team will get back to giving him the rock next week when they head to Carolina.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny looks to be lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in Sunday night's loss to the Rams. Head coach Pete Carroll told the media that Penny sprained his ACL at the end of his first play of the night, and while the team doesn't know how serious it is just yet, Carroll ominously described it as "significant." Penny had just started to live up to his billing, stepping up huge in two straight games, but this injury will be yet another setback for the young running back. With Seattle almost guaranteed a playoff spot, perhaps there's a chance the youngster could come back for some postseason football, but it depends on what the team finds out in the next few days.
Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt is easily the least-known member of the trio of NFL brothers, but he got on the board on Sunday when he hauled in a one-yard touchdown against Jacksonville. Watt is one of a number of bruising fullbacks that have appeared in the league in the last couple years as the position has undergone a resurgence, but this was his first time being the man to haul the rock over the goal line. Watt them followed it up with a solid end zone celebration of a dog being let off its leash, and it's a sure thing that he had many a celebratory phone call with the family after the game.
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Michael Badgley knocked through the only field goal try he had all day, but it turned out that it wasn't much needed. The Chargers walloped the Jaguars for 45 points, topping their last two performances combined, and Badgley found himself drilling extra points all day instead of field goals. Badgley knocked six extra points through without incident, and his 40-yarder was no sweat either. Badgley has now made seven of his last eight kicks from within 50 yards, and he hasn't missed an extra point all season. He's not going for any records, but he's still been one of the best kickers in Chargers recent history.
Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa hadn't recorded a sack in over a month coming into Sunday, but he took care of that problem. Bosa dropped Gardner Minshew twice in his team's throttling of the Jags, and he also did a beautiful job of holding running back Leonard Fournette behind the line of scrimmage by his ankle on what could have been a big gainer. Bosa was a wrecking crew up front, regularly ending up around the ball, and the Chargers Defense dominated the Jaguars. They only allowed 10 points, and their offense took care of the rest. It was the smallest point total they held an opponent to since Week 4.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry was one of a host of players to catch touchdowns against the Jaguars on Sunday, and his was the easiest of the bunch. For some reason, Jacksonville completely lost track of Henry late in the second quarter, and he caught a pass from Philip Rivers where he was so wide open that no defenders were even on the screen on the broadcast. A couple small secondary members met him just before he reached the goal line, but Henry easily ran through the tiny would-be tacklers. The touchdown was Henry's fourth of the season, and he continues to be a very productive member of the offense when healthy.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Virgil Green got in on the action in the team's steamroll of the Jacksonville defense on Sunday. Green got the honor of putting the final nail in the coffin when he caught a wide-open touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor early in the fourth quarter. It was Green's first regular season touchdown catch since the first week of October in 2018, though Green did haul one in during the team's playoff game against the Patriots last year. Green is much more well known for his blocking prowess, so this TD was a surprise gift to the ninth-year pro.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen caught five of his passes sent his way on Sunday, tallying up 83 yards in the team's massive win over the Jaguars. Allen snagged a quick pass over the middle and led defenders on a long foot race to rack up a 45-yard gainer at one point. His 83 yards was the most receiving yards he's recorded in a game in over two months, and while he was held out of the end zone once again, it was good just to see him break free on a couple of routes. The 45-yarder was also Allen's longest single catch this season. He'll have a tougher matchup next week when he faces the stout Vikings Defense, but he's only been held to less than five catches once in his last six games. He should find a way to get his.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams didn't see a lot of chances on Sunday, but he fought to make his couple of opportunities count. With the team already up by 21 points late in the third quarter, Williams' number got pulled when Philip Rivers lofted a deep ball to the end zone on a long third down. Williams snatched at the ball and tumbled to the ground with both arms securely hanging on to it. Only problem was that the Jacksonville defender had both his arms around it too. The officials ruled that the catch was good, and Williams had officially broken his touchdown drought with his first of the season. Williams' only complication is the assortment of weapons available to Rivers on his offense. Otherwise, Williams is everything a team could want in a star receiver.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor saw his first extended action on Sunday night as he was called upon to close out the thrashing the Chargers were delivering in Jacksonville. Taylor took full advantage, tossing his first touchdown of the year to tight end Virgil Green. Taylor completed three of five passes in his quarter of play, and he looked comfortable and relaxed in the pocket. Taylor has been in the news recently as a possible insert if Philip Rivers were to be benched for poor play, but Rivers has turned it around just in time. That said, Rivers is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of this season, so there's an outside chance Taylor could find himself in a starting role next year.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler stole the show in Jacksonville as he single-handedly routed the Jaguars Defense. Ekeler finished the night with 101 yards rushing on just eight carries and 112 yards receiving on four catches. He's the first player this season to rack up 100+ yards in both disciplines in the same game, and he made highlight reels across the country by gashing through the defense on every opportunity. His money moment came when he caught a pass at his own 14-yard line, two yards behind the line of scrimmage, and didn't stop running until he reached the opposite end zone, completely untouched along the way. Ekeler's playmaking ability is unmatched, even if he isn't officially the starter.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers celebrated his 38th birthday with some flair as he demolished the Jaguars. Rivers set a new personal best with an 84-yard touchdown pass (86 yards of which was provided by Austin Ekeler), and he finished with 314 yards on just 16 completed passes. Rivers has had more than his fair share of rocky performances this year, but he's also completed more than 65% of his passes and is on pace to have the third-most prolific season of his career, yards-wise. Rivers isn't a superstar anymore, but he's still not quite ready for the trash heap.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon wasn't the talk of the town after Sunday's game against the Jaguars, but he was still productive for fantasy owners. Gordon only touched the ball 17 times in the team's rout of Jacksonville, but it was enough to get him a touchdown. He combined for 84 total scrimmage yards, and he averaged more than 4.6 yards per carry on the ground. It wasn't a whole lot compared to Austin Ekeler's ridiculous performance as his counterpart, but Gordon still held up his end of the bargain. Expect a tougher time next week against Minnesota, but Gordon should still be one the key players in the game.
San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould knocked in two field goals and six extra points in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. The Niners offense was on fire with 48 points on Sunday and Gould benefited, punching in all his opportunities. Gould played the hero in the waning seconds with a walk-off 30-yard field goal to clinch the victory for the road Niners. Back from his lengthy quadriceps injury, Gould is a fine kicking option down the fantasy stretch.