Every week of the season, Ricky Sanders will break down NFL GPP tournaments with his core plays, intriguing plays and hot takes. Take home all the money!
NFL GPP Core
Here are the players who can be found in a majority of my NFL GPP tournament lineups in Week 10:
Kyler Murray – Only the Seahawks, Chiefs, Packers, Saints and Steelers have averaged more points per game (PPG) this year than the Cardinals and this week’s Cardinals game has risen 4.0 full points since the open (from a 52.0-point over/under to a slate-high 56.0). Basically, this outlier total seems to be telling us that we cannot completely fade this game, especially considering the fact each of the past two Cardinals games has ended with 65-plus total points. Whereas the Bills call the 11th fewest plays per game, the Cardinals averaged a whopping 66.5 plays called, which ranks sixth amongst all teams. Furthermore, the Cardinals rank 10th in DVOA comparatively to the Bills at 17th, so the Cardinals side of this game is clearly the preferable spot to attack. Kyler Murray is tied for third in the NFL with eight rushing scores, behind only the likes of Dalvin Cook and Todd Gurley. Over the course of their past three games, the Bills have not allowed a single quarterback (QB) to exceed a 94.6 QB rating, but two of those games came against Cam Newton and Sam Darnold. Also, even in a game where Russell Wilson failed to reach a 100 QB rating, he still threw for 390 yards and two scores en route to 29.1 DK fantasy points. Murray is more mobile, meaning he should possess a higher floor from the rushing ability alone, and possesses a similar sort of ceiling in a game Vegas expects to go back-and-forth (like a typical Cardinals game). Even as chalk, Murray can be considered a building block in all formats, but fantasy owners will simply have to go out of their way to differentiate elsewhere if playing him in a tournament lineup.
Carson Wentz – One way to not have to kill yourself finding ways to differentiate is by simply rostering Carson Wentz at the QB position in Week 10. The projected pace of this game is nowhere near as friendly as Bills/Cardinals (projecting each team to run 62-plus plays) but the Eagles should dominate time of possession in a matchup versus a team with the worst offensive line in the league (Giants). In the first meeting versus these two squads, the Eagles dominated time of possession (32:38) and went on to produce 442 yards of total offense (including 346 via the air) …and that was without Miles Sanders, Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert in action. All three of those players are expected to suit up this weekend which gives Wentz much closer to a full arsenal of weapons than he had the first go-around. According to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric, the Giants rank just 28th in passing defense and have held opposing rushing attacks to production 16.4-percent below their seasonal average. In other words, they are a funnel-to-the-pass defense, and with left tackle Lane Johnson back, Wentz should be able to air it out with relative ease. As icing on the cake, he is priced below $6,000 on DK, making him a fantastic per-dollar option.
Jared Goff – Death, taxes and opposing QBs against the Seahawks appear to be the safest bets in life as yet another QB torched them last week: Josh Allen. In this article, Allen was listed as a fade, and even though he approached 40 fantasy points, he turned out to be a fine fade given that his top receivers were not the ones producing the majority of the fantasy points. Essentially, Allen stacks were limited by their weak link wide receivers (WRs), which propelled Drew Lock lineups above them in virtually all formats. The same may hold true this weekend for a once again chalky Allen in a matchup versus a top 10 DVOA defense and that is the reason he is not being included. However, this tidbit is about Jared Goff, and it seems unlikely his production gets too spread out if he indeed crushes because their receivers seldom come off the field. To date, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have each played over 88-percent of the team’s offensive snaps and Josh Reynolds has now played 73.6-plus percent of the snaps in three straight weeks. Goff has been a disappointment this year, throwing for 300-plus yards just thrice, but he has posted a 103-plus QB rating in all but three games. Every single Seahawks game turns into a shootout as evidenced by the fact zero of their games have produced fewer than 53 total points! In such a game environment, the Rams will not be able to sit back, relax and enjoy any sort of lead, so virtually all game flows lead to an outlier number of passing attempts from the Rams. Vegas lists the Rams as the favorite in this game, which means they will need to outscore Russell Wilson to get a victory. The Seahawks are a top 10 DVOA defense versus the run, meaning a win will have to come on the shoulders (and throwing arm) of Goff.
Aaron Jones – Oh no, once again the Packers will be playing a game in a wind tunnel, with around 24 mph winds expected throughout. The last time a Packers game possessed a similar forecast was literally two weeks ago against the Vikings in a game that Aaron Rodgers threw for 291 yards and three scores versus the league’s 27th ranked DVOA defense. This week, their opponent gets even worse, as the Jaguars rank dead last in overall DVOA including ranking 32nd in the passing game specifically. High implied totals correlate most strongly with the team’s starting running back (RB) and Aaron Jones has found the end zone seven total times in just six games this season. Look, the windy conditions did not mess with Rodgers the last time, but the team still rushed the ball 24 times (for 4.5 YPC). With Jones active this week, the team is likely to be equally (or more) successful on a per-carry basis, and despite missing two games, Jones is still one of just 18 backs (including Jamaal Williams) who has caught at least 23 passes. The only concern is the Packers get too far ahead too early and pull him for backups, but he very likely will have inflicted damage by that point anyway. I have Alvin Kamara projected for about 1.6 more raw fantasy points this weekend but he is $1,100 more expensive on DK and a few hundred more expensive on FD. On DK specifically, Jones rates as a much better per-dollar investment, and the closeness in price should cause his roster percentage to depreciate a bit on FD in a game where the Packers feature the highest implied total of the weekend.
Duke Johnson – This week, Alex Baker tweeted: “People faded David Johnson for nine weeks straight and now they’re about to play his backup at one of the highest ownerships on the slate.” His assertion sets up the premise for me that Duke Johnson is not David Johnson and he, in fact, is a better skill set fit for daily fantasy football. In seven games this year where David Johnson garnered double-digit rushing attempts, he exceeded 15 DK fantasy points just twice. Meanwhile, Duke Johnson received double-digit touches for this first time this year this past Sunday and finished with 16.3 DK fantasy points while equaling David Johnson’s season-high in receptions (four). At this point in their careers, Duke Johnson is both a better receiver and more athletic, and this is someone that should flirt with 20 touches by default in another expected competitive game environment. If you believe in narratives (which I do not), this will also be a revenge game for Johnson against his former team. Wind gusts are expected to approach 30 mph, which means the short passing game is going to reign supreme in the game flow. Not only do the Browns rank 20th in passing DVOA but they rank below the league average in rushing DVOA (18th) also so the matchup is double favorable for Johnson. His matchup is significantly more favorable than the next guy’s on paper and he is not expected to be quite as popular…
Mike Davis – Overlooking this misprice in cash games is simply impossible, but tournaments are where this one gets tricky. At times, sans Christian McCaffrey earlier in the season, Davis looked like a true RB1 and certainly was fed like one (averaged 18.8 touches per game in the six games without the team’s starting RB). Unfortunately, the matchup versus the Buccaneers is not ideal, as not a single player has topped 18.9 DK fantasy points against the Buccaneers this year. David Montgomery’s 18.9 fantasy points lead the pack with names such as Alvin Kamara, Mike Davis (in the first meeting), Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs all failed to reach even 16 fantasy points. Still, Davis is priced at just $4,000 on DK, which means he only needs to catch five passes to flirt with solid per-dollar value. If fading one of the chalky backs and looking to pivot, Davis is the one that clearly is the expendable one. Possible pivots: Jakeem Grant, Josh Reynolds, Keelan Cole
Davante Adams – Wind, schmind is what I say after Davante Adams’ last performance working against the conditions: seven receptions (RECs) on 11 targets for 53 yards and three (!) scores. Rodgers’ rocket arm is a nice deterrent against the wind and teams, for whatever reason, continue to single cover Adams game after game. Through six games, Adams is averaging more fantasy PPG (FPPG) than any receiver in history, and he has failed to reach 30 fantasy points just twice! With that being the case, why in the world would you not want to play him against the league’s worst passing defense? Brandin Cooks, Keenan Allen, Kenny Golladay and Will Fuller have all exceeded 100 yards versus the Jaguars and none of those players is anywhere near as dominant as Adams. The 2020 version of the Packers are running a condensed offense, somewhat resembling the old Steelers offense with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, who were viable daily fantasy football plays weekly…even in the same lineup. Keeping this game competitive is a longshot for a Jaguars squad on their second-string rookie QB which makes it hard to imagine a scenario for a true ceiling game for Rodgers (unless he can do so in three quarters). In game conditions like those, on a team with a condensed offense, the preferred play is to simply roster the players who will be touching the ball most often and exclude the QB. To put it differently, rostering Jones and Adams in the same lineup and not including Rodgers is far from a crazy strategy; a majority of my lineups are going to be built that way with the expectation that both Jones and Adams will see a significant portion of the overall offensive workload in a game the team almost assuredly scores over 30 real points.
Cardinals Receivers – Tre’Davious White is considered one of the top cornerbacks (CBs) in the league but, given the results this year, should he be? When White has been targeted, QBs have produced a 117.0 QB rating and he has yielded three receiving scores. To be fair, White has not been targeted very often, and his 1.00 yard allowed per coverage snap is well above the league average. The question that needs to be posed is “should fantasy players fear DeAndre Hopkins versus an above-average but seemingly not elite (any longer) corner?” Wherever one falls on that argument should lead to which Cardinals receiver they prefer playing between Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Hopkins’ matchup is the more preferable of the two, but Levi Wallace is the corner targeted way more often (once every 7.1 coverage snaps and a reception against per every 11.7 coverage snaps). The defense, having to keep an eye on Murray running, should only create more open space for the Cardinals receivers, who are amidst a mighty productive season. Hell, there has only been one week this season in which neither Hopkins nor Kirk have broken 20 fantasy points and that came in a game versus the Panthers where Kirk still caught a TD pass. Remarkable consistency has been the name of the game for the Cardinals passing offense thus far and there are no true red flags in this matchup signifying an incoming implosion. On DK, where receptions are more heavily prioritized, Hopkins is still the preferred option despite the individual matchup.
Jalen Reagor – Rostering a few of these Eagles pass-catchers is going to take a leap of faith but Jalen Reagor returned in Week 8 to play 73-percent of the snaps. Although that may not seem like much, it is higher than his total for the season, and it was his first game back. It seems reasonable to infer that number will continue to rise as long as he remains healthy given the Eagles selected him 21st overall in this year’s draft. Travis Fulgham has been nothing short of amazing in Reagor’s absence, as he truly was able to hold down the fort and dominate the target share, but he has now risen to $2,200 more expensive than Reagor on DK. To this point, the Giants have done a solid job of limiting explosive passing plays against (ninth-lowest rate), but a lot of that can be credited to James Bradberry. In coverage this season, Bradberry has held opposing QBs to a 74.4 QB rating, 0.89 yards per coverage snap and he has only allowed a reception once every 12.1 coverage snaps. PFF expects Bradberry to shadow Fulgham, which should lead to targets funneling elsewhere in the offense…and that means Reagor should be busier than usual. Poor Isaac Yiadom and his 146.9 QB rating allowed will be tasked with covering the speedy Reagor and this guy is targeted a ton (once every 6.1 coverage snaps). When targeted, he has allowed the 11th most yards per coverage snap of any CB in the league (min. 20-percent of snaps played), which means Reagor should have a field day at a minuscule cost.
DeVante Parker – The injury to Preston Williams is looking likely to lead the field toward punting a receiver spot and potentially rostering Jakeem Grant at the bare minimum. If fading one the cheap backs, he certainly makes sense given the upside at a free price point, but the absence of Williams will undoubtedly also lead to a larger target market share for DeVante Parker. In two games playing alongside Tua Tagovailoa, Williams was actually leading the team in target market share but, after his injury, it was Parker who paced the team with seven targets in Week 9. Casey Hayward Jr. is another CB once considered to be dominant but is now 31-years-old and past his prime. He is another guy who is not targeted incredibly often but has been burned when teams do decide to throw his way; opposing QBs own a 102.1 QB rating when targeting Hayward Jr. and the Chargers corner is one of only 12 players to have allowed at least four TDs in coverage. If funds are available after punting an RB spot and/or going cheap at QB, Parker is initially projecting to be rostered on under 7.0-percent of DK teams. Remember, Parker’s talent level is no joke, so he is not someone you will want to whiff on when he is the only show in town.
Dallas Goedert – To personify just how often Carson Wentz throws to his tight ends (TEs), Zach Ertz has missed each of the team’s past two games and still leads the Eagles in targets. Of the team’s 294 total targets this year, 83 of them have gone to players at the TE position (28.2-percent). Following the team’s bye, Dallas Goedert is back and practicing in full, signifying he is healthy and ready to go. In his first game back, he caught his lone target and none of the other TEs were targeted in that game. With Goedert two weeks healthier than he was before, I expect him to revert to the heavy volume we saw him receive towards the end of last season (and earlier this year). Before being targeted a combined two total times in his previous two games (which include the game he was injured and first game back), Goedert averaged 9.8 targets per game over his previous four games, which is closer to the role to expect for him against a Giants team susceptible to passes in the middle of the field. Taking the Giants TE data this year at face value is misleading because they have played so many teams that rarely rely on the position. However, with Bradberry guarding one of the receivers on the outside, passes have naturally funneled to the middle of the field against this team, and Richard Rodgers led the team in receiving in the last meeting versus the Giants. Expect Goedert to step into a similar role on Sunday.
Noah Fant – Sure, Noah Fant burned us last week, but remember he left the game early with an ankle issue. Still, Fant was left completely off the injury report this week, so whatever the issue was, it is now behind him. Instead of going through the “this guy is insanely athletic checklist” again, as was included in the article last week, why not focus on the opponent? Denver is listed as 4.0-point underdogs on the road against a Raiders squad that ranks 26th in passing DVOA. The running game should factor more into this week’s game-plan but playing from behind will force the team to throw (and do not look now but Drew Lock is starting to look competent). Fant’s roster percentage will be cut in half this week after a failure, so do not be afraid to go back to the well.
Other Strong Single-Entry GPP Options: Drew Lock/Justin Herbert/Russell Wilson, James Robinson/Alvin Kamara, Keenan Allen, Jakeem Grant and Darren Waller
Intriguing Plays of the Week
Robby Anderson – Curtis Samuel is the talk of the town receiver in the Panthers WR room which makes this a perfect week to choose one of the others. While Samuel has out-produced Robby Anderson in back-to-back games, Anderson has out-targeted him 21-14 during that span, so something has got to give here. Especially in lineups where fading Davis, the potential outcomes for the Panthers are either get blown out or rely completely on the receivers to remain competitive in the game if Davis remains quiet all afternoon. The Buccaneers defense has proven to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which means they show up some weeks and others they do not. As home underdogs, the need to pass throughout seems likely, which puts double-digit Anderson targets firmly in play once again.
Jarvis Landry – Those paying attention closely realized Jarvis Landry once again played the most snaps of any Browns receiver before the bye. Why is this noteworthy? Well, Rashard Higgins played more snaps in Week 7 but, remember, Landry has been dealing with broken ribs. Surely, having the additional week to rest helped the healing process, and Landry is going to be the healthiest he has been in quite some time heading into this week. Winds are expected to reach 28 mph in this game, which means the teams will need to rely on the short passing attacks (since balls thrown in the air will be redirected). Landry excels in the short passing game, and Texans slot corner/safety Eric Murray has yielded a 132.2 QB rating in slot coverage. We saw Adams dominate this team, as the Texans refused to double-team him at any point in the game, so there is no reason to worry about double-coverage coming for Landry at any point. Like everyone else that has taken on Murray, Landry should beat him like a drum, and Landry is on red-alert to approach 20 DK fantasy points from receptions/yards alone before even talking about his TD potential.
Josh Reynolds – All three Rams receivers are in play but Josh Reynolds is extremely involved comparatively to most other third receivers. It is rare to see a team play so many three-receiver sets as evident by Reynolds playing 81-plus percent of the snaps in two of the past three games. What game flow would ever theoretically require the need for more three passing downs than playing the high-powered Seahawks offense that also features a passing defense that is torched every single week? Reynolds has quietly received 17 targets over the course of the last two weeks and is priced like a total scrub. In this matchup, he is anything but a scrub, and the pass-heavy nature of the game plan should include plenty of him.
James Conner – Over the course of the past two weeks, James Conner’s snap share has been trending downwards, as he went from 83.5-percent snap share in Week 7 to 58.5-percent in Week 8 and 46.4-percent in Week 9. The team kept him off the field in the first half in big short-yardage situations where they ran Anthony McFarland and Benny Snell Jr. three straight times which did not work out for them (in a game they presumably figured they should win easily). Of course, the downtick in recent usage is concerning, but it would not be shocking at all for the usage to bounce back in a big way in a divisional matchup versus the Bengals. The Steelers are being chased by a 6-2 Ravens team and the 5-3 Browns so they need to keep winning to maintain their divisional lead. Part of the reason the Steelers defense had been struggling was the fact Tyson Alualu had been out (as the team allowed 5.7 YPC in the two games without him). If the Steelers go back to their usual game flow which is taking an early lead and rushing the passer late then this game will likely be the setup those who rostered Conner last week thought they were getting…just a week later. There is no guarantee the workload fully rebounds but Conner has played over 61-percent of snaps for the season so the recent few games, at this point, should just be considered a blip on the radar. Oh, by the way, the Bengals allow the fourth-most rushing yards per game and the most YPC of any team, as well (5.2).
QB Pool in 150 Lineup MME Set
Kyler Murray – 25%
Carson Wentz – 20%
Jared Goff – 20%
Russell Wilson – 15%
Deshaun Watson – 5%
Ben Roethlisberger – 5%
Drew Lock – 4%
Justin Herbert – 4%
Tom Brady – 2%
Underweight QB Play of the Week: Josh Allen
Underweight RB Play of the Week: Josh Jacobs
Underweight WR Play of the Week: N/A
Underweight TE Play of the Week: Austin Hooper
Potential Slate Edges: Eagles Stacks and Aaron Jones/Alvin Kamara lineups (with everyone going cheap at back!)
Don’t miss our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!