Fri Nov 8 1:21pm ET
By MIKE BARNER
Brees is a top DFS target
We have a tricky slate of DFS ahead of us for Week 10 with six teams on a bye. With the Texans, Patriots and Eagles among the teams who won’t play, we will be missing several of the top options at various positions. With that being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t still come out of it a winner. Here are some players to consider at various price points, as well as some to avoid, while creating your entry.
Top-tier option: Drew Brees, NO vs. ATL ($6,500): Brees wasted no time making an impact in his return from a thumb injury, completing 34-of-43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns in Week 8 against the Cardinals. The only other full game that he played this season came against the Texans in Week 1 when he threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns. Those are two teams who have struggled to defend the pass, which has certainly helped Brees’ cause. He’ll get another great matchup out of the bye with the Falcons tied for the third-most touchdown passes allowed (19) in the league.
Cheap target: Daniel Jones, NYG at NYJ ($6,000): We saw the good side of Jones in Week 8 when he torched the Lions for 322 yards and four touchdowns. However, turnovers have mostly been a problem since he took over for Eli Manning. He again struggled in that department against the Cowboys last week, fumbling twice and throwing an interception to go along with only one touchdown. Rookie quarterbacks can be inconsistent like that, so Jones is no sure-fire option in DFS. However, facing a Jets team that just allowed three touchdown passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins last week is awfully enticing.
Player to avoid: Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. BUF ($5,700): The Browns have lost four straight games and enter this contest as one of the more disappointing teams in the league at 2-6. Mayfield isn’t the only reason for their struggles, but it hasn’t helped that he hasn’t thrown for more than one touchdown in a game all season. Facing a Bills team that has allowed the third-fewest passing yards per game likely won’t help matters.
Top-tier option: Christian McCaffrey, CAR at GB ($8,600): At this point, the only reason not to deploy McCaffrey in your lineup is if you’re looking to be a contrarian in tournament play. He had another monster game last week against the Titans, rushing 24 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He already has 13 total touchdowns this season to go along with 881 rushing yards and 363 receiving yards. The Packers have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards per game and are tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns allowed. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Cheap target: David Montgomery, CHI vs. DET ($6,000): The Bears have finally unleashed their promising rookie, giving him 41 carries and nine targets over their last two games. He’s rewarded their faith in him with 223 total yards and three touchdowns. With Mitchell Trubisky struggling, the Bears would be wise to keep feeding Montgomery, especially considering the Lions have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game.
Player to avoid: Joe Mixon, CIN vs. BAL ($5,800): The Bengals are shaping up to be the worst team in the league with their offensive line being one of their many weaknesses. They haven’t opened many holes for Mixon, who has only 320 yards on 101 carries. While he does have three receiving touchdowns, he is still looking for his first rushing score of the season. The last time he faced the Ravens, they held him to 10 yards on eight carries. Considering they have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game, overall, things are once again looking bleak for Mixon.
Top-tier option: Michael Thomas, NO vs. ATL ($8,000): A Brees/Thomas stack will eat up a significant portion of your budget, but it will be difficult to resist in cash contests. Even with Brees sidelined for most of the season, Thomas has 73 receptions for 875 yards. His volume has been off the charts with at least 11 targets in six of his eight games. Don’t expect the Falcons to be the team that slows him down.
Cheap target: Christian Kirk, ARI at TB ($5,000): Kirk might be one of my favorite cheap targets at any position. Throw his two catch, eight-yard performance last week out the window. He was facing the 49ers, who have one of the best defenses in the league. Now he’ll take on the Bucs, a team that has allowed the second-most passing yards per game. The Cardinals have shown a propensity for wanting to get the ball in Kirk’s hands, giving him at least eight targets in four of the six games he has played.
Player to avoid: D.K. Metcalf, SEA at SF ($6,200): Metcalf is coming off the best performance of his young career after catching six passes for 123 yards and a touchdown versus the Bucs last week. While Kirk might benefit from that matchup in Week 10, Metcalf has to face the same 49ers team that shut down Kirk and the Cardinals’ offense. Add in Metcalf’s rising price tag and this might not be the week to add him to your entry.
Top-tier option: Austin Hooper, ATL at NO ($6,100): It looks like we are finally experiencing the Hooper breakout campaign that many of us have been yearning for. Last season was the most productive of his career, but he’s on pace to blow past those numbers with 52 catches and 591 yards through eight games. He’s already hauled in five touchdowns, which is one more than all of last season. In a position that has a lot of volatile options, Hooper’s consistency is extremely appealing.
Cheap target: Mike Gesicki, MIA at IND ($3,300): If you want to spend elsewhere, taking a chance on Gesicki isn’t that crazy of an idea. He is coming off of his best performance of the season, catching all six of his targets for 95 yards against the Jets in Week 9. The Dolphins lost one of their top wide receivers in Preston Williams (knee) during that game, who has since been placed on IR. With the potential for an expanded role in the offense moving forward, Gesicki is at least an option in tournament play.
Player to avoid: Jimmy Graham, GB vs. CAR ($4,500): There’s not a lot to see here with Graham. While he’s had an impressive career, he’s a shell of the player that he once was. He’s posted 20 or fewer receiving yards in three of his last four games and has caught more than four passes in a game only one time all season. I’d argue that Gesicki has similar upside, so I can’t justify spending the extra $1,200 for Graham.
Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery finished with 14 carries for only 31 yards during the loss to the Rams on Sunday night. He also managed to catch a single pass for 19 yards but was outperformed in all areas by Tarik Cohen, who finished with more receiving and rushing yards, while also recording a touchdown. With this one in the books, Montgomery, who was nursing an ankle issue coming into this one, will hopefully be 100 percent for a showdown with the Giants in Week 12.
Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (hand) is not expected to play in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 21. He'll see a specialist this week to figure out how long he'll be out.
Fantasy Spin: Jordan Wilkins could be the featured back against the Houston Texans. It's not a good matchup, but Wilkins is at least worth a flex play.
Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen outplayed David Montgomery on Sunday night in the loss to the Rams. Cohen rushed for 39 yards, eight more than Montgomery, on nine attempts in addition to five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. This was arguably the most productive outing of the year for the 24-year-old, who has now scored in his last two games. He likely will return to yielding touches to Montgomery on a week-to-week basis moving ahead, but he still possesses PPR appeal in deeper formats due to his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He will look to keep it going against the Giants at home in Week 12.
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled on Sunday night in the loss to the Rams, finishing with 190 yards, a touchdown, and a pick on 24-for-43 passing. The 25-year-old, who threw three touchdowns the week before against the Lions, suffered a hip injury early in this one but continued to play before finally shutting it down late in the fourth quarter. Trubisky will likely take it easy during practice throughout the week, with his status for Week 12 against the visiting New York Giants in limbo at the moment.
New England Patriots TE Benjamin Watson caught three of his four targets for 52 yards in Week 11 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: The 52 yards nearly doubled his previous season high. Watson is bringing more fantasy relevancy to the position than Matt LaCosse or Ryan Izzo did, but the 38-year-old is still not an advisable streamer and probably won't be at any point this season.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu hauled in two of his four targets for four yards and added an eight-yard run on his only rushing attempt in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: It's definitely not what fantasy owners were looking for after he posted a 10-81-1 line in his last game before the team's Week 10 bye. Then again, New England's offense wasn't exactly clicking on all cylinders against an inspired Eagles' defense. Sanu should be considered a low-end WR3 or WR4 option in Week 12 versus the Dallas Cowboys.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor had four receptions for 40 yards against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Fantasy Spin: With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson out, Agholor was the de facto WR1 for Carson Wentz -- his nine targeted balls were more than Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside combined. He made some plays but again left some on the field, and he had a chance to tie the game late on a tough ball that he couldn't haul in. Agholor is a WR4 when Jeffery is healthy and could bump up to a WR3 when he's not.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman hauled in five of his 10 targets for 53 yards in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also threw for a 15-yard touchdown on his only pass attempt.
Fantasy Spin: The receiving yardage total was his lowest since Week 7, but offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels helped saved his fantasy day by dialing up a trick play for the former college quarterback to throw a touchdown pass that ultimately led to Phillip Dorsett getting hurt. With at least 10 targets in five consecutive contests and at least five receptions in six straight, Edelman is a rock-solid WR2 with WR1 upside. Expect similar production in Week 12 versus the Dallas Cowboys.
New England Patriots RB James White carried five times for 20 yards and caught four of his seven targets for 16 yards in Week 11 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: Considering how good the Eagles' rush defense is, this should have been a James White game. However, it was a bad day for most of the Patriots' offense as Philadelphia played one of its better games on defense. Amazingly, White has scored only two touchdowns in 2019 after erupting for a career-high 12 last year. He'll be a low-end RB2 play at best in Week 12 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 against the New England Patriots.
Fantasy Spin: Goedert's TD was originally ruled an interception before being overturned on review. That gives him three TDs in his last four games, though with so many players missing it seemed like a day to get Goedert more involved. Still, his propensity for touchdowns does give him some fringe TE1 value.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady went 26-of-47 for 216 with no touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 11 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: Brady did not look particularly good in this one, although the Eagles' defense did their part to make it tough on him. Still, he uncharacteristically missed throws he usually makes. His biggest chunk play was on a 30-yard screen pass in which Rex Burkhead did most of the work. Week 11 marked the third time this season in which he failed to throw for a score and the second one in which he did not account for one. He'll be in the QB2 conversation in Week 12 against the Dallas Cowboys.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel rushed for 33 yards on 10 carries and added two receptions for 11 yards in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fantasy Spin: Same story, different week for his fantasy owners. Michel has been a touchdown-dependent RB2 for most of the season, but he has been nearly unusable whenever Rex Burkhead has been active. Owners should consider other alternatives in Week 12 when the Patriots host the Dallas Cowboys.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz logged nine catches for 94 yards during the team's Week 11 loss to the New England Patriots.
Fantasy Spin: After some lean weeks Ertz has bounced back with a vengeance, posting consecutive nine-catch outings and easily leading the team with 94 receiving yards against the Pats. He's a must-start TE1 each and every week.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz completed 20 of 40 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots in Week 11.
Fantasy Spin: Yes, the Pats might have the NFL's toughest defense. Yes, the Eagles were missing some key weapons. And yet it's hard not to lay some blame at the feet of Wentz, who has now passed for fewer than 250 yards and exactly one TD in five of his last six games. Bottom line, those aren't QB1 numbers, and it seems unlikely he'll get healthy against a rested Seahawks club in Week 12.
Chicago Bears WR Anthony Miller caught six passes for 54 yards against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Fantasy Spin: Six receptions were a season high for Miller, who has now topped 50 yards receiving four times in his last six games. While that qualifies as encouraging, Miller has no TDs this year and hasn't reached the 70-yard plateau. He's a fringe bench option in large leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals LB Nick Vigil finished with 12 tackles (six solo) in Week 11 versus the Oakland Raiders.
Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith was credited with 11 tackles (six solo) against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11.
Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller hauled in five of his team-high seven targets for 78 yards in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He also lost two yards on an end-around.
Fantasy Spin: Although it's hard for owners to be too upset with Waller considering the return on investment they've already realized, he had not topped three catches or 52 yards in three straight before this outburst. The breakout star is not exactly the blame, however, as the Raiders typically enjoyed positive game script and become run-heavy over that stretch. With tight end being the black hole it is in fantasy, owners should feel good about continuing to start him moving forward, including Week 12 against the New York Jets.
Chicago Bears WR Taylor Gabriel tallied seven receptions for 57 yards against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Fantasy Spin: Gabriel caught half of his 14 targets and has been a decent secondary producer behind Allen Robinson. He hasn't topped 75 yards in a game, however, and Chicago's passing attack isn't exactly providing opponents with many sleepless nights. Gabriel has some deep-league value, but in standard formats you should be able to do better.
Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson had four receptions for 15 yards in the club's Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Fantasy Spin: Robinson seemed to frequently attract the attention of Jalen Ramsey in coverage, and Chicago's top wideout finished with less than 20 yards receiving for the second time in three weeks. While Robinson remains the top Bears receiver to own, he's a risky WR3 at this point.