The NFL Game Breakdown will be a weekly analysis of every game on the NFL schedule in extreme detail. From targets to game flow and other matchup variables, this article will be your one-stop-shop for everything you could ever need to prepare for DraftKings NFL contests.
Want to see a specific game breakdown? Jump to the applicable page!
PAGE 2: DET @ GB, JAX @ BAL, MIA @ PHI, NO @ WAS, MIN @ OAK
Lions @ Packers
Point Total: 48
Spread: Packers -11.5
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers finally broke out for a big offensive game last week and against the Lions, who clearly have their eyes set on 2016 already, I won’t be shocked if a second big game follows here. While a lot has been made of the Packers lack of a running game, the truth is Rodgers has been playing with a banged up and pretty average group of receivers this year. With the Packers getting healthier and playing at home I expect the passing uptick to continue into week 10. Rodgers is a favorite of mine at QB this week.
Here’s the distribution of targets for the Packers from the last two weeks of play:
While many may jump on Richard Rogers after his two TD performance in week 9 the player I’m truly excited about in this offense right now is Davante Adams. Adams is finally healthy and acquitted himself very well last week against a tough Panthers secondary. At $4200 Adams is simply a much quicker target than James Jones right now and his ability to get separation should mean he keeps getting more love from his QB. Adams is definitely one of my favorite values at WR this week… I also don’t think you should rule out Randall Cobb from having a big game here too. The Lions haven’t shut down anyone this year and the shifty Stefon Diggs just posted a big day versus this team a couple weeks ago. Using Adams and Cobb in tournaments this week is a completely viable strategy for me as I can’t see Detroit limiting Rodgers the way Carolina was able to in the first half. I love both of these receivers this week and especially love the savings you get with Davante.
At RB the Packers have finally decided to declare James Starks their #1 RB, even though he has been out-producing Eddie Lacy almost from the get go this year. While you can still expect Lacy to still be involved this week I won’t be shocked if Starks has a breakout game versus Detroit who have been comically bad at defending the run at times in 2015, and have now allowed 7 TDs by RBs in their last 4 games. Starks at only $4900 is a great target and someone I’ll be considering across the board week 10.
The Packers defense has allowed an average of just under 320 yards per game passing the past two weeks and also been gashed for 4 rushing TDs in that span as well. Fortunately for the Packers they are playing the Lions who have yet to have an RB rush for more than 60 yards in a game thus far in 2015. I can’t see the incredibly slow Joique Bell running through the Packers at Lambeau the way the Broncos or Panthers did and am also pretty untrustworthy of Matthew Stafford in this spot too. This is a great week to fire up the Packers defense again as playing at Lambeau has brought out the best in them. Through 4 home games they have only allowed 6 passing TDs (versus 6 INTs) and also recorded 15 sacks in that span too. Versus the crumbling Lions Green Bay’s D is someone I want a lot of exposure to this week.
While I’m not very high on Detroit offensively watch the news on Calvin Johnson this weekend. Johnson suffered a minor ankle sprain week 8 and would be in a great spot this week for a lot of potential garbage time points should he suits up. If Johnson can’t go or is limited in any way I’d be very interested in rostering Golden Tate this week instead as he put up a string of 100 yard performances last season with Johnson out and comes super cheap at only $4600. Either way, the leading receiver for Detroit could be in for a big game as the Lions are huge underdogs and should be passing a ton late into this game.
Gameflow: This is a really bad spot for the Lions. The Packers offense finally got rolling last weekend and they should be taking all that confidence into this week’s matchup with the much weaker Lions. Even coming off a bye I don’t see much that Detroit will be able to do to slow down Aaron Rodgers, although with the way Green Bay’s D has played they should be able to put up a few points. Either way Green Bay takes one easily.
Packers 33 Lions 17
– Aaron Rodgers $7500
– James Starks $4900
– Davante Adams $4200
– Calvin Johnson $7500 (if healthy)
– Golden Tate $4600 (if Johnson out)
– Randall Cobb $6700
Jaguars @ Ravens
Point Total: 48
Spread: Ravens -5.5
The Ravens have been giving up a ton of points to QBs all season and allowed 343 yards and 2.25 TDs to QBs in their last 4 games. While Blake Bortles is still turning it over a lot he’s also now thrown for more than 300 yards and at least 2 TDs in 3 of his last 4 games, and also posted at least 20 running yards in that span too. Both the Ravens and the Jaguars are in the top 12 of the league in terms of pace of play (or offensive plays run per game) and so it’s hard for me to see Bortles not having another decent fantasy game here (regardless of how many picks he throws). At $5600 he’s likely the best QB option under 6k for DFS this week.
Here’s the distribution of targets for the Jaguars from the last two weeks of play:
While Allen Hurns has had a couple big games in a row he’s slightly banged up with a sprained foot and questionable to even play week 10. If he misses (and even if he doesn’t) Allen Robinson becomes somewhat of a must play for me. Robinson has looked dominant even against tough competition this year and averaged 5.5 catches and 99 yards receiving versus top corners Vontae Davis, Darrelle Revis and Stephon Gilmore. This week Robinson gets the Baltimore secondary who’s allowed some monster games to WRs all year and have given up an incredible 7 TDs to the WR position through their last 3 games. This is quite simply a great spot this week for a very talented receiver and Robinson will be a main target of mine in week 10.
The Ravens have lost their top receiving option in Steve Smith but Joe Flacco still managed to throw for over 300 yards in his last game versus the Chargers. With the Ravens run game being largely ineffective Flacco has taken to the air a lot in 2015 with Baltimore throwing on approximately 63% of its plays through 9 weeks. With Jacksonville allowing 2 or more pass TDs in their last three games Flacco’s defiantly a tournament consideration for me this week. This game has a high point total and features two vulnerable defenses… I could see both QBs having big fantasy games.
With Steve Smith out the remaining Ravens WR snaps from week 8 looked like this: Kamar Aiken 47, Chris Givens 33, Marlon Brown 30. The last time Steve Smith was out Kamar Aiken posted 4 catches for 78 yards. While Aiken’s probably a decent bet to post a similar or better type of line this week the receiving option I’m much more interested in for Baltimore this week is Chris Givens. Givens has been talked up by Jim Harbaugh over the bye week and has just missed connecting on a few big plays with Flacco even before Smith went down. I love targeting Givens as a low priced tournament play this week as I expect his targeting to go way up and love his chances to catch a deep ball or two. He’ll be my main target from BALT’s WR group.
While this may seem like a good spot for Justin Forsett, be aware that the Jacksonville run D has actually been quite stout this year and has held RBs to just 2.4 ypc in the last two weeks. Forsett’s figures to see a bit of a workload increase with Smith out so a big passing day could be in the cards for him, but at $6000 he’s too expensive for me in a bad matchup. I’ll probably look elsewhere for RBs this week.
Gameflow: This game should be wide open and great for fantasy. The Jaguars have been a tougher out so far in 2015 than in years past and came close to knocking off the Jets last week. The Ravens had a nice win versus the equally inept Chargers recent but will have a tough time covering some of Jacksonville’s receiving options. While it sounds strange, Jacksonville is actually the more solid team at the moment and should be able to take advantage of some good matchups on offense. I think an upset might be in the cards here.
Jaguars 28 Ravens 26
– Allen Robinson $6700
– Blake Bortles $5600
– Joe Flacco $5500
– Chris Givens $3200
– Justin Forsett $6000
Dolphins @ Eagles
Point Total: 47
Spread: Eagles -6.5
Outside of two big game versus Houston and Jacksonville Ryan Tannehill’s been under 20 fantasy points every week on DK this year. One of the main reasons for his poor production has been the fact Tannehill has been running far less this year. Whereas last season Tannehill was averaging 19.4 rushing per game this season he’s yet to record more than 17 yards rushing in a single game. The Eagles have been solid defensively all season and at home have held opposing QBs to 264 yards and 1.66 TDs in three games. I don’t see enough upside here for Tannehill who’s really struggled against tougher defenses, he’s a complete avoid for me week 10.
While Lamar Miller has turned into more of a focal point of the offense for Miami of late I don’t love this matchup for him either. Philly’s run defense hasn’t allowed a single TD at home so far this year and also hasn’t allowed a RB to gain more than 63 yards against them in a single game. Miller scored a couple short TDs last week but has been held to 2.8 ypc in his last two games. While Miller should see some targets in the pass game Philly did well to limit Darren McFadden’s production as a receiver last week and could conceivably do the same to Miller this week, he’s also a fade for me week 10.
Here’s the distribution of targets for the Dolphins from their last two games:
At $6700 and $4700 respectively both Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews are both considerations for me this week. Landry’s after-the-catch running ability could give the Eagles the same kind of issues they faced last week with Cole Beasly—who racked up over 100 yards and two TDs. While Landry has some tournament potential I still think Rishard Matthews is the better value play. Matthews matches up with Byron Maxwell who still ranks as one of PFF’s worst corners in coverage for 2015. Matthews is also 2k cheaper than Landry and shouldn’t have an issue getting open versus Maxwell in this game. If I was targeting one player from this game for Miami, Matthews would be it.
Sam Bradford had his first game without an INT and threw for just under 300 yards versus a pretty tight Dallas secondary in week 9. The loss of Cameron Wake could really hurt Miami in this game as Bradford’s lack of mobility won’t be as big of an issue for Philly. I like attacking this crumbling Miami D this week and think using Bradford in a Philly game stack for tournaments is a decent way to do it. I’ll have some exposure to him in week 10… While the Eagles have mostly spread the ball on offense WR Jordan Matthews had a huge week 9, converting a team high 12 targets into 9 catches and a TD. I love Matthews in this matchup as the Dolphins have allowed other teams main targets WRs (Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson, and Sammy Watkins) to post huge days against them. While I’m still somewhat nervous about using Philly players Matthews is in a great spot here for his second big week in a row and I’ll definitely have some exposure to him as well.
Here’s the distribution and production of work from DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews for the past two weeks for the Eagles:
While DeMarco Murray is now playing on over 50% of all the snaps for Philly Ryan Mathews production has been hard to ignore. Mathews has averaged 9.64 ypc in his last two games and just looks great every time he touches the ball. With the Dolphins run D getting smoked last week for over 200 yards by the Bills I think both Murray and Mathews are viable plays this week. Mathews small amount of usage obviously makes him more of a risky option for me, but if Philly gets out to a big lead he could see a bump in playing time. I’ll consider both this week but would probably limit Mathews to a few tournament lineups.
Gameflow: I see these two teams as going in two very different directions at the moment. The Eagles offense has looked improved the past few weeks while the Dolphins are coming off their second butt-kicking in a row. I expect the Dolphins to keep things close like they did last week but ultimately expect a big day from Philly’s offense and a Philly win.
Eagles 28 Dolphins 21
– DeMarco Murray $6200
– Jordan Matthews $6200
– Rishard Matthews $4700
– Ryan Mathews $3500
– Jarvis Landry $6700
Saints @ Redskins
Point Total: 50
Spread: Saints -1
Drew Brees came out on fire last week but really sputtered in the second half as the Saints blew a big lead against the Titans. While the Redskins have had some injuries in their secondary this year they’ve yet to allow a 300 yard passing game against them all season. Against a pretty underrated Skins team who just held Tom Brady to his worst game of the season I’m not a huge fan of this spot for Brees, and am currently leaning towards leaving the Saints QB out of my plans for week 10.
Here’s the distribution of targets for the Saints from their past two games:
After a slow start Brandin Cooks now has three TDs in his last two games and is finally flashing some of the big play ability we saw in the preseason with regularity. While Willie Snead and TE Ben Watson have out targeted Cooks the past couple weeks it’s important to note that Cooks has done more with less and produced more fantasy points per target than either of his counterparts in that span. This game has a high point total and even if I don’t like paying up for Brees, getting exposure to the big play ability of Cooks makes sense as the Skins secondary is capable of giving up a big game to the speedy WR. He’s definitely my target from the Saints receiving core.
The Skins have given up the following yardage totals to RBs in the past 4 games: 153, 146, 136, 129. While Mark Ingram got completely shut down by the Titans tough front last week I expect he’ll find the going much easier this week versus the Skins. Ingram played on 88% of the snaps last week and also saw five targets in the pass game for the second week in a row. Ingram is by no means my favorite RB but this matchup and his recent usages screams big day to me and I’m going to force myself to use him this week after he disappointed in week 9. He’s my main target from New Orleans.
The Saints D has now given up 10 TDs and just under 900 yards to QBs in their last 2 games. While I’m not a huge fan of Kirk Cousins at $5200 he’s a cheap QB you can consider this week simply because of the matchup. With the Skins un able to rush for more than 100 yards since their shock week 2 win over STL Cousins has been forced to throw 40 or more times in 3 of his last 4 games. While I may chicken out on using Cousins in cash games I’ll definitely have some exposure to him this week. The price and matchup make him too attractive a play to pass on.
Here’s the distribution of targets for the Redskins from their past two games:
TE Jordan Reed was defended well by the Patriots in week 9 but gets a glorious matchup with the Saints in week 10 which provides him with a great opportunity for a big bounce back game. The Saints have allowed an average of 6 rec. 80 yards and 0.77 TDs per game to the TE position thus far in 2015 and with Reed being treated almost like a WR by Washington on most plays he’s going to be a mismatch nightmare for an already vulnerable secondary. At $4600 I have Reed down as a near must play this week and would consider him for use as a TE or flex in your lineups… While you could consider Desean Jackson this week in tournaments I don’t love the fact he’ll likely be shadowed by Saints corner Delvin Breaux who’s been great in coverage all year. Jackson also looked a little rusty to me last week too after being out for so long. He’s definitely got big game upside but might be a little too risky for me to use on DK at the moment.
Gameflow: This has the appearances of another shootout. The Skins cannot stop anyone on the ground at the moment and the Saints cannot stop anyone period. I personally think the Saints are being given a bit too much credit in this game considering how bad they’ve been on defense lately and expect the Skins to do enough to slow them down at home to get the win.
Redskins 28 Saints 24
– Jordan Reed $4600
– Mark Ingram $6400
– Kirk Cousins $5200
– Brandin Cooks $6000
Vikings @ Raiders
Point Total: 44
Spread: Raiders -3
Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice early this week and is on track to start versus Oakland in week 10. This is potentially great news for fantasy as the Raiders top three Corners are all ranked well below league average by Pro Football Focus in coverage and as a group have allowed 2 or more passing TDs to everyone not named Peyton Manning so far in 2015. While Bridgewater hasn’t thrown it a ton in 2015 the Raiders solid run defense and explosive offense might force their hand in this game. I’m extremely optimistic about a Teddy breakout game here and love him as a tournament play in week 10.
With Antonio Brown going nuts against them for over 284 yards last week don’t be shocked if the Vikings new number 1 WR, Stefon Diggs also puts up a second big game versus them this Sunday. Diggs has a lot of the same qualities as Brown (great route runner, speed and agility) and should give Oakland all kinds of trouble in coverage. I love the idea of pairing Diggs and Bridgewater this week but will be using Diggs in a lot of lineups regardless of who my QB is. He’s great value at only $5100.
The Raiders got gashed last week versus the run but in their last two home games have held opponents to under 50 yards rushing. I like the way Adrian Peterson’s been running this year but don’t like his price this week as the second most expensive RB at $7100. I think the Vikings will need to attack via the pass in this game am fine leaving Peterson off my rosters this week and using better value plays at RB.
The Raiders Derek Carr has been brilliant this year and is now averaging over 300 yards and 3.66 TDs over his last three games. Carr has picked apart some pretty solid pass defenses the past few weeks and even though Minnesota has been great at limiting the passing totals of opposing QBs (zero 300 yard passing games and zero games of 3 TDs allowed in 2015) I am not of the opinion that the Vikings can completely shut down Carr given the way he is playing. At $5800 Carr is playing like an elite QB but is priced well under other elite options, he’s in play for tournaments for me in week 10.
Here’s the distribution of passing targets for the Raiders from their last two games:
Both Raiders WRs have been getting consistent targeting all season. While Michael Crabtree dominated red zone targets early in the year it was interesting to note that the Raiders actually went Cooper’s way twice in last week’s game. Cooper will be getting Xavier Rhodes in coverage this week who’s been entirely awful this year and was torched for a big game two weeks ago by Alshon Jeffery. At $6800 I think Cooper offers some big game potential in his matchup with Rhodes and while I am not down on Crabtree at all, I’d probably lean towards rostering the rookie over him if forced to choose… in truth, the way Derek Carr is playing either or both men could have big days.
At RB for the Raiders Latavius Murray is currently in concussion protocol and questionable to play week 10. Murray could be an interesting play in this game at $5700 if he plays and he’s been close to putting together a couple big weeks in his last few games. In two road games versus the Broncos and 49ers this year the Vikings were gashed for well over 100 yards on the ground. Murray’s averaged just under 5 ypc this year and could be in for a breakout game in this spot.
Gameflow: I like both of these teams but I think the matchup favours Oakland. While the Minn D has been tough they haven’t exactly been facing world class offenses every week (STL, Det, Chic, Denver) and I think Oakland is a huge step up for them in that respect. Oakland showed last week they can go toe to toe with the best offenses in the league and should be able to score enough to get by Minn.
Raiders 27 Vikings 21
– Derek Carr $5800
– Stefon Diggs $5100
– Amari Cooper $6800
– Teddy Bridgewater $5100
– Latavius Murray $5700 (if healthy)
– Michael Crabtree $5800
NFL GAME BREAKDOWN – PAGE 2