WATCH: PRICE CHECK – WEEK 10
Week 10 is now upon us, and it’s never too early to start thinking about next weekend’s lineups. While all of Sunday’s action is still fresh in your mind, here are a few players from each position to consider.
Aaron Rodgers @ TEN ($7,600) – Rodgers wasn’t necessarily living up to preseason expectations as the year was getting underway, but he has heated up lately, with 10 touchdown passes in his last three games. He has thrown the ball 40+ times in four of his last five (and 38 in the fifth), as the Packers have turned away from the running game almost entirely, suddenly making him someone you can trust in a cash game while still maintaining his elite upside.
Matt Ryan @ PHI ($7,300) – He has one of the best outside weapons in the game, and for once, the story doesn’t end there. Julio had a big game on Sunday, but Ryan’s was bigger, as he managed to throw touchdowns to four different receiving options. With 300+ yards five different times this season, he is a bad matchup for the Eagles more than the other way around, especially if the Eagles’ offense can get going and they end up trying to play keep-up with each other.
Carson Wentz vs. ATL ($5,400) – The Atlanta secondary has holes big enough for Mike Evans to drive through with 150 yards and a couple of scores. While the Eagles might not have a Mike Evans, Wentz did seem to get onto the same page with some of the guys we know to be his most talented targets last weeekend, which could bode well for the future. Ertz, Matthews and Agholor combined for 18 catches for more than 225 yards, which is a great base to be able to turn to for a young QB.
David Johnson vs. SF ($8,400) – On a week where I can envision plenty of lineups spending plenty of salary on running backs, with most of the top options just seeming like fantastic plays, Johnson is the most expensive by far, and I believe he’s worth it. He’s awesome – we agree. But this 49ers defense isn’t just the worst in the league against the run – it’s all-time bad against the run. It gave up 245 yards on the ground to the Saints last weekend, which actually isn’t all that new, considering it gives up an average of 193 rushing yards per week. The upside here is unlike the upside anywhere else on the board in Week 10.
Jordan Howard @ TB ($6,000) – In Jeremy Langford’s return from his injury designation last week, Howard got 26 carries against the stout Vikings defense and turned in 153 yards and a score, all while also recording four catches for 49 yards. At this point, Howard has earned the honor of being the guy with the job to lose in Chicago, at least in the short term. And, in this case, the short term means Sunday against Tampa Bay, which is allowing everyone its faces to look good on the ground.
Chris Ivory vs. HOU ($3,400) – The concern is that his playing time might be limited by all the recent fumbles (or go away altogether if he has another one). But he had 18 carries last week against KC under the new Jacksonville offensive coordinator, and he has looked like the more efficient back carrying the ball all year long when comparing him to Yeldon. Houston is not a team that is likely to put up enough points to blow Jacksonville out, and a lack of garbage time would hurt Bortles and the receivers, and potentially help someone like Ivory.
Mike Evans vs. CHI ($9,000) – Evans just destroyed a Falcons secondary that didn’t have anyone to guard him, but this week he is getting a Bears defense… that also doesn’t have anyone to guard him. Assuming he and Winston are both healthy (Evans was seen at practice this week as he attempts to work through the concussion protocol), there is nothing to see here but potential. Evans has received at least 11 targets every week since Week 2, and there is no reason to think that won’t continue again in Week 10.
Stefon Diggs @ WAS ($6,200) – The Vikings came out last week with a new offensive coordinator, and he unveiled a game plan that, to put it mildly, featured Stefon Diggs. Yes, he had 13 catches on 14 targets, which is obviously amazing, and yes, those 13 catches only came with a total of 80 yards, a YPC that is obviously not at all amazing. But what you can concentrate on here is that they were deploying Diggs in several different ways, and he was able to execute a number of different routes effectively. He looked good out there, so while 13 catches isn’t going to happen every week, there is a chance that that kind of involvement in the game plan does.
Jamison Crowder vs. MIN ($5,000) – He had two big games in a row heading into the Redskins’ Week 9 bye, but after the first of those games, the narrative was that he was picking up some slack left behind with Jordan Reed’s injury. But then Reed was back and played a central role in the offense against the Bengals, and still Crowder came through with nine catches for 107 yards. This Minnesota defense has shown some cracks, but it’s still not likely to give up a bunch of yards on the ground to this offense, which is going to lead to them leaning on Cousins and all his weapons, which means the opportunity could be there again for Crowder.
Jimmy Graham @ NE ($5,300) – Russell Wilson looked as good as he has all season on Monday night, and in his best game of the year, he featured Jimmy Graham. With eight catches for more than 100 yards and two scores, he had the kind of game you only dream of from your tight end. Even if he is hard to trust consistently, he is back in a small and elite group of TE options who at least have the realistic upside of getting you that kind of production.
Tyler Eifert @ NYG ($5,200) – This is not to say I prefer him to Gronk, Reed or Olsen – I don’t – but those guys feel obvious. But the idea of liking Eifert more than Kelce, for example, does make sense to me. Eifert came back to action for the two weeks prior to the bye, but had just two targets in Week 7 before coming up with 9 for 102 in Week 8. Coming off a Week 9 bye, you have to believe he’s healthier and now even more integrated into the offense, which could mean he jumps up closer to that top-three group by the end of the year – we’ve seen it out of him before.
Zach Ertz vs. ATL ($3,700) – Ertz has, to put it mildly, disappointed this year, but he has now caught 12 balls on 12 targets in the last two weeks. Last week was 8-for-8, his highest target total of the year, evidence that Wentz is finally starting to trust him a bit more. So, even though this efficiency rate might not be sustainable, a position as a prominent piece of this offense could make him a valuable commodity down the stretch.
Baltimore Ravens vs. CLE ($3,700) – Yup, it’s obvious – I start the defense playing the Browns. It has worked all season, and there is no reason to think it is going to stop now, but this is also a note drawing your attention to the fact that the Ravens defense has actually been playing well lately. It had some good matchups early, so it was easy to ignore, but now with games against the Giants and the Steelers in recent weeks, it has still managed to prove more than serviceable, making a tilt against Cleveland look even tastier on paper than it did in Week 2.
San Diego Chargers vs. MIA ($2,900) – They have created six turnovers in their last two games, and nine in their last four. They have seven games so far this year with more than one sack. And, perhaps most importantly in this context, all this means they have had double digit fantasy points in three of their last four, production that means real value at this price.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.