Another week is nearly in the books, but it’s never to soon to look ahead to Week 10. The Early Look will highlight salaries that jump out on this 11-game main fantasy football slate.
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Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. ARI ($7,200) – Mahomes was his usual self in Week 9 against the Browns, topping 30 DKFP for the fourth straight game. While the gunslinger couldn’t keep his streak of at least four TDs alive, he did throw for a career-high 375 yards, reaching the end zone on three occasions. Arizona has a decent defense, and the game script doesn’t set up for Mahomes to have to keep his foot on the gas the entire game, but the consistency is too much to ignore here. Of course, paying up for Mahomes could be an issue with some great value options this week.
Drew Brees, NO at CIN ($6,300) – Brees playing outdoors is a place I never feel comfortable investing. While he’s played outdoors just twice this season (New York and Baltimore), Brees is averaging under 13 DKFP in those spots. It’s a totally different world for this Saints offense outside of domes, so at his highest price since Week 5, Brees sets up as an easy fade for me.
Philip Rivers, LAC at OAK ($6,000) – While you can talk me into a lot of value plays at QB this week, Rivers is the one who stands out the most in the early going. He’s been insanely consistent on the season, scoring at least two touchdowns in each game, but only tossing three picks. The matchup couldn’t be more perfect against an Oakland defense which just got shredded by a guy named Nick Mullens — who none of us knew existed until last Thursday’s thrashing. Rivers had his second-best DKFP total of the season hosting the Raiders earlier this year with 24.36 DKFP, and Jon Gruden’s defense has only gotten worse since then — 28th in DKFP allowed to QBs.
Other value options: Tom Brady ($6,000), Andy Dalton ($5,800), Russell Wilson ($5,700), Alex Smith ($5,300)
Todd Gurley, LAR vs. SEA ($9,400) – Gurley finally let us down, and it wasn’t even a real dud — 20 DKFP against the Saints. It was the first time the RB failed to score above 25 DKFP in a game this season, and he might’ve topped that number yet again if his backup Malcolm Brown ($4,200) didn’t take his lone touch of the game 18 yards for a touchdown. Gurley torched this Seattle defense on the road back in Week 5 for 33.3 DKFP, so there’s no reason to be scared of rostering him yet again.
Alvin Kamara, NO at CIN ($8,700) – It’s really setting up to be a week with four elite RB plays — Melvin Gordon ($9,000) and Kareem Hunt ($8,500) as the other two. All three of these guys outside of Gurley have a pretty sizable increase in salary in these terrific spots. I reserve the right to change my mind as the week goes on, but Kamara pops out given the workload he saw against the Rams. Mark Ingram ($4,400) gained 36 yards on 10 touches, losing a fumble, while Kamara was spectacular — 19-82-2 line as a rusher and a 4-34-1 line as a receiver (33.6 DKFP). It’s obvious this is Kamara’s backfield, and New Orleans may need to lean on him more heavily playing in Cincinnati. In the two other games outdoors, the Saints have handed him the ball 36 times, resulting in 198 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Duke Johnson, CLE vs. ATL ($4,700) – The coaching change in Cleveland resulted in a huge bonus for Johnson. While he played a similar snap count to what he had been playing, Johnson saw a season-high nine targets, catching all of them for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While 29.6 DKFP might be a bit lofty in terms of expectations moving forward, this week’s matchup sets up perfectly. The Falcons rank 31st against RB this season, the majority of that damage due to how poor they are against pass-catching backs. This feels like a spectacular spot for Johnson given how we saw him utilized in Week 9.
Other value options: Aaron Jones ($5,000), Jordan Howard ($4,700)
Julio Jones, ATL at CLE ($8,300) – Welcome to the end zone, Julio! His 7-121-1 line was good for a welcomed 28.1 DKFP against Washington, but it’s amazing that it was just his third-best fantasy effort of the season without even reaching the end zone in those games. He’s been an absolute target/yardage monster, which should only continue against a Browns defense that ranks 21st versus WRs. What the Falcons did outdoors in Week 9 was eye opening. No need to be afraid of rostering them in Cleveland.
Tyler Boyd, CIN vs. NO ($7,500) – There are some interesting options atop the WR rankings on this slate, but none with the intrigue of Boyd. At first glance, most will likely tout him as much too overpriced, but it sounds like A.J. Green ($7,600) will almost certainly miss time with a toe injury, potentially in need of surgery — we’ll have updates on DK Live later in the week. Boyd’s topped 21 DKFP in five of his last seven games, including a career-high 31.6 DKFP in Week 8 against Tampa — 9-138-1. If this matchup against the Saints (ranked dead last in DKFP allowed to WR) turns into a game Green is out, Boyd could make for the top WR play of the week.
Adam Humphries, TB vs. WAS ($3,900) – It’s an extremely scarce week for WR value from the early looks of things. Of course, that can change by Sunday, and let’s hope it does. For now, Humphries jumped out as the best value, fresh off another terrific game. Humphries is now averaging nine targets over his last three games, going for a total of 15-158-2 over his last two games alone. He seems to be in favor in Tampa, and given the target numbers should continue to provide some value.
Other value options: John Ross ($3,900)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. ARI ($7,000) – Kelce thrived in a favorable matchup against the Browns in Week 9, going for 7-99-2 (28.9 DKFP). While he’s capitalized on some good matchups along the way, the streak he’s on since a Week 1 bust speaks to his consistency. Arizona isn’t the best of matchups, but given the landscape at the position, Kelce is the premier option. The lack of value on this slate might push most of us to a value TE by default, though.
Austin Hooper, ATL at CLE ($3,800) – Hooper’s generally been a pretty safe, cheap option this season. He carries a floor right around seven DKFP, but has the 20-point upside we like to see as well. This week it’s his turn to go up against the Browns’ 26th-ranked defense versus TEs, leaving him as the lowest priced TE on my radar for the time being.
Other value options: David Njoku ($4,200), Trey Burton ($3,900)
Bears D/ST vs. DET, ($3,600) – The Bears should be mighty popular this week, leaving me wanting to pay up for D/ST for the first slate in a while. Chicago was dominant in Buffalo, and while it was against the worst offense in the league, the way it scored those 28 DKFP was impressive — four turnovers, four sacks, two touchdowns and just nine points allowed. Meanwhile, the Lions offense looked inept in Minnesota last week. The Vikings D/ST scored 22 DKFP against Detroit, and while nine points allowed and a touchdown was great, the 10 sacks was the highlight. The Bears could be in position to put a real hurting on this lack of an offense.
Patriots D/ST at TEN ($2,700) – The Patriots have been pretty impressive on the defensive side of the ball in recent weeks. While the Pats scored just four DKFP in Week 9, it was against a high-powered Green Bay offense. Prior to that, this defense scored 39 DKFP in Weeks 7 and 8 combined. Against this lackluster Tennessee offense, there’s not much downside.
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