There’s a pizza place located in a strip mall about a block away from my high school in East Toronto. It’s called “The Real McCoy,” and it serves the type of greasy, New York-style slice that leaves the paper plate accompanying it see-through by the end of the meal. It’s family owned and operated, it’s been in the neighborhood for decades, and it only costs three bucks for a piece of pepperoni and a Coke. I essentially lived there for four years of my teenage life, but what can I say? It was really, really good. You don’t even have to just take my word for it, as I noticed a signed photo of Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks professing the same love on my most recent trip back home to Scarborough. That’s pretty high praise.
So, what does this have to do with DFS? Well, as with a lot of things in life, some of the truly great aspects are found a little off the beaten path. Some of the best values take a little bit of digging. Heck, some of the best values might not even seem appealing on the surface. With that in mind, let me help you make Dillon Brooks proud in Week 10.
RYAN TANNEHILL, QB, KC AT TEN, $5,100
Look, no one in the world understands how quickly Tannehill can go from looking competent to incredibly frustrating better than me. I’m not only a long-suffering Dolphins fan, but I also own a Tannehill jersey. It still is hanging up in my closet as a write this because there are few players who elicit as apathetic a response as the Texas A&M product. Still, he never has been a bad quarterback, and it’s become increasingly clear the past three weeks he should’ve been starting over Marcus Mariota for the entirety of the season. In that span of time, Tannehill ranks as QB5 in standard formats, trailing the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford. He’s averaging a more-than-respectable 0.57 fantasy points per drop back, he’s managed two 300-yard passing games, and, somewhat surprisingly, he’s one of just six qualified pivots producing more than seven air yards per completed attempt. Honestly, there’s very few metrics that don’t support his recent run of success.
It’s likely not something that’s going to be stopped by an underwhelming Kansas City secondary, either. Going back to the beginning of Week 6, the Chiefs have surrendered 22.6 DKFP per game to opposing QBs — a number that remains impressive despite being somewhat skewed by the presence of a Joe Flacco clunker on Thursday night in Week 7. Another element to consider is the health of Patrick Mahomes (knee). If the reigning MVP is back and putting up points like usual, that’ll serve only to induce more passes from Tannehill and Tennessee. Let’s cross our fingers.
JAMAAL WILLIAMS, RB, GB VS. CAR, $5,200
Neither Williams nor Aaron Jones ($7,400) was able to get much going against the Chargers last weekend, but that wasn’t really at the fault of the running backs themselves. Green Bay trailed by multiple scores throughout its 26-11 loss, culminating in a massive 77.6% pass ratio when everything was said and done. Plus, with Los Angeles controlling the football and operating at the league’s third-slowest neutral situation pace, the Packers compounded their low rushing rate by mustering a mere 49 offensive snaps. The result was just a pair of carries for Williams and eight attempts for Jones. I can assure you, that will not be the case this Sunday against Carolina.
First and foremost, from a game flow perspective, the Panthers run the fourth-fastest offense in the NFL and have conceded an average of 68.1 opponent plays per contest — the second-highest mark in the league. Volume, in general, should not be an issue. On top of that, Carolina has been getting destroyed on the ground for the whole of 2019. The team ranks dead-last in rush defense DVOA entering Week 10, it’s allowed a massive 4.60 adjusted line yards per carry, and the 1.4 rushing touchdowns per game the Panthers surrender is easily the most in all of football. Yes, Jones likely is going to be the main beneficiary of these weaknesses, yet Green Bay’s backfield hasn’t been anything close to a monopoly when Williams has been active this season. In fact, in the Packers’ past four matchups, Williams has played roughly 45% of the offensive snaps, seen 19 targets directed his way, and, most importantly, has garnered a red zone touch each week. That’s how you create viability and score a touchdown in four-straight games.
GOLDEN TATE, WR, NYG AT NYJ, $5,900
At this point, I’m just not sure if there’s anywhere else Daniel Jones ($5,700) can throw the football. Sterling Shepard ($5,000) has missed New York’s past four games with concussion symptoms and is questionable to suit up this Sunday. Evan Engram reportedly is not playing due to a foot issue. With things progressing at this rate, it’s looking more and more possible Tate will be leading a bare bones receiving corps this weekend against the Jets; which, if recent history holds, means very, very good things for the Notre Dame product.
Minus Shepard, Tate already had separated himself from the pack in terms of volume. Since the beginning of Week 6, Tate’s averaged a whopping 9.0 targets per game, and he’s converted those opportunities into 26 catches and 309 receiving yards. However, Engram’s injury might provide a new wrinkle to Tate’s value. The tight end and Shepard rank first and second, respectively, among all Giants skill-position players in red zone targets, combining for a 34.2% target share inside their opponent’s 20-yard line and a 42.1% share inside the 10-yard line. Those are a lot of high-leverage passes up for grabs and, with Tate garnering three red zone targets on Monday Night Football against the Cowboys, we already have seen a glimpse of who’s next in line in New York’s wideout hierarchy. Considering the Jets have surrendered six passing touchdowns to opposing WRs in the past two weeks, I’m penciling in some scoring expectancy to go along with Tate’s usual high-volume floor in Week 10.
MIKE GESICKI, TE, MIA AT IND, $3,100
Since Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,200) took back his starting job in Miami during a Week 6 loss to Washington, Gesicki has regained a bit of a fantasy pulse. The numbers aren’t exactly staggering; however, within that span of time, the sophomore TE has collected the seventh-most targets of any player at his position (19) and has translated that volume into 10.4 yards per target — a figure that trails only Austin Hooper, George Kittle and Darren Waller among tight ends with similar usage. Gesicki also is coming off a career-best performance in the Dolphins’ win over the Jets, hauling in six passes for 95 yards and 15.5 DKFP.
Now, it might be easy to write that game off as an aberration considering how inconsistent Gesicki has been throughout his brief professional life, yet I don’t think you’ll have to worry about his involvement this Sunday versus the Colts. Preston Williams, Miami’s team leader in targets (60), is lost for the remainder of the season due to injury; which, as you might expect, is going to open up a lot of opportunities in the Dolphins’ passing attack. Of equal importance is Indianapolis’ inclination to funnel opponent passing attempts towards TEs. Dating back to the beginning of Week 3, the Colts have seen opponents direct 27% of targets towards their tight ends — the highest rate of any AFC squad in that frame of time. With Miami’s offense scoring points at at least a league-average level the past few contests, Gesicki makes for some solid value at just over $3K.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.