Each week, we’ll dive into Fanduel’s main slate to highlight some of the juiciest matchups and situations to exploit. Whether it’s finding the low(er)-owned gems in a popular upcoming shootout or identifying an overlooked clash that DFSers can use to gain leverage over a tournament field, our aim is to provide you the individual plays and overall strategy to consider as you chase profitability in your DFS portfolio. Let’s jump in.
Cardinals at Chiefs (-16.5, 49.5)
It only takes one look at the teams in this matchup, let alone the Vegas point spread, to know that the game script is going to lean heavily toward the run for the Chiefs. If you’re not convinced, consider that the Cardinals allow the third highest percentage of allowed yardage — and it’s a lot of yardage in their case — to come via the ground. If all goes as expected, the Chiefs will be milking clock by halfway through the third quarter. Not only should DFSers expect a big game from Kareem Hunt ($9,000), who presents a strong alternative for those unwilling to spend five figures on Todd Gurley, but they shouldn’t be surprised if Spencer Ware ($4,900) delivers 10-plus points himself.
Redskins (-3, 51) at Buccaneers
Another week, another focus on a Buccaneers matchup. Only this time we’re not picking on them. While the Redskins are favored and have played well thus far, they have also forced opposing teams to take to the air to move the ball, something that’ll allow the Bucs and Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,600) to remain in their wheelhouse. As we all know, Fitzpatrick is a threat to completely tank a lineup at any point. We also know that he’s more than capable of 25-30 FanDuel points at a reasonable price. As far as his targets, don’t be afraid to go back to the well on Mike Evans ($7,500). Evans delivered a dud last week, there’s no doubt about that, but he still saw 10 targets and volume is the constant variable we should lean on each week. With their defense still being unable to stop anyone, the Bucs should have to continue to throw the ball early and often.
Saints (-5.5, 54) at Bengals
It’s not every week you see a legit playoff contender getting 5.5 points in Vegas, but that’s what happens when A.J. Green is set to miss the contest. In spite of his top receiver’s absence, Andy Dalton ($7,900) should still garner a long look as a sleeper option at the position. No, Dalton is not a slam dunk option at the quarterback position this. However, he is a player whose likely low ownership puts you in a position to create some separation from the tournament field you’re competing against and sometimes that is just as — if not more — important than rostering the industry’s “lock”. On the receiving end, expect Tyler Boyd ($7,800) to remain busy as Bengals OC Bill Lazor orchestrates an aerial-focused game plan aimed at taking down a defensive unit funneling offensive production through the air.
Run for it!
For those value-conscious owners looking to save a bit at running back this week, there are a few matchups and moderately-priced plays worth considering. Both the Colts (-3, 46.5) and Jags are back in action which means Marlon Mack ($7,400) will try to make it three strong performances in a row after ripping off 30.9 and 27.9 FD points over his last two contests. The Jaguars are bottom third in terms of defending the run as teams are so discouraged from throwing against their top-rated pass defense. While Andrew Luck will certainly see his fair share of dropbacks and attempts, Mack will serve as a prominent factor in the Colts’ offensive attack.
It’s been a bit of an up and down year for Jordan Howard ($6,500), who looked like he was on his way to being a consistent 15-20-touch back before seemingly falling out of favor. It’s no secret that Tarik Cohen remains a big part of this offense, but Howard has been productive in the right spot. And another one of those spots is on tap for Week 10 as the Bears (-6.5, 44) host the Lions and their beleaguered run defense. While his ceiling isn’t sky high, Howard has seen three games with 20-plus touches and enters a situation in which another 20 or more chances is a reasonable expectation.
Finally, assuming Aaron Jones ($6,500) isn’t chained up in the proverbial doghouse for his costly fumble against the Patriots last Sunday, he could also end the week as one of the top values at running back. He’s seen 14 and 16 touches over the last two contests and could finally be on the cusp of taking ownership of the lead role in the backfield. The Packers (-9.5, 47.5) are not only heavy home favorites, but they’re facing a Dolphins defense that has seen teams attack them on the ground. With Aaron Rodgers serving as the primary threat against any opposition, the Packers really have a chance to put the Dolphins in a bind and open up even more holes through which Jones can gallop and rip off chunk yardage. Teams gashing the Dolphins front seven has been a common occurrence in recent weeks and the stage is set for another bludgeoning.