DFS Early Look: Week 10


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DFS Early Look: Week 10

Another week of NFL football is in the books, which means that more NFL football is right around the corner. With both Fanduel and DraftKings having released their Week 10 DFS pricing, it’s time to look ahead to next Sunday’s DFS slate.

Here are the most glaring values I’ve found after analyzing pricing.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (VS. ATL)

DraftKings: $6,900 (QB6) | Fanduel: $8,100 (QB4)

Dak Prescott is averaging 23.5 FPG this season if we eliminate his Week 2 outing against LAC, who currently ranks as the league’s 2nd-toughest fantasy defense for opposing QBs, allowing -4.7 schedule-adjusted FPG. And over his last 10 full games (minus the LAC game), Prescott averages 27.7 FPG.

23.5 FPG makes Prescott the QB4 this season, while 27.7 FPG would be the 2nd-greatest QB fantasy season of all-time behind 2019 Lamar Jackson.

There is a strong argument to be made that Prescott would be a DFS value if he was facing a league-average opponent in an average scoring environment this week. I won’t have to make that argument, however, because Prescott is facing one of the best possible matchups for opposing QBs, in the highest-total game (53.5) of the Week 10 main slate.

Atlanta ranks 6th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing QBs (+3.2) and 4th-worst in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA (28.7%). That’s great, but what’s even better are Prescott’s historical numbers in these high-total games. Since 2018, Dak has averaged 30.3 DraftKings FPG and 27.6 Fanduel FPG in games with a total higher than 52.5 (7 instances). This is one of the best game environments we could ask for, and Prescott is a QB who has been playing at an all-time pace when healthy over the last two years. Expect him to be one of the most popular QB options of Week 10, especially on DraftKings where he clocks in as QB6.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (AT ARI)

DraftKings: $8,400 (RB1) | Fanduel: $9,000 (RB3)

CMC is back! Or, well, at the very least back on the field. Carolina HC Matt Rhule has historically been rather conservative with injuries, and he showed that again in Week 9, with McCaffrey only logging a 49% snap share, but crucially - 18 total touches. And despite the limited snaps, those 18 touches still constituted a 75% backfield touch share. The Panthers coaches wanted to keep CMC fresh, but they also really wanted him to touch the ball.

With another week of rest, CMC should get closer to the incredible 29.5 touches per game he saw in Weeks 1 and 2 before getting hurt. Will he see the full CMC treatment in Week 10? I lean no, but still, if his workload in Week 10 is 80% of what we’ve grown accustomed to since 2019, then we are looking at 117.7 YFS per game, 20.5 touches per game, and 23.4 FPG. This season, those numbers rank 2nd, 4th, and 1st among slate-eligible RBs. And that’s not even his ceiling, because if CMC were to see a full workload (which is possible), he would be far and away the top RB play of the slate. On DraftKings, CMC has only been cheaper than this once since Week 12 of 2018, and that was this past week, when he was clearly going to be limited. And on Fanduel, McCaffrey hasn’t been this cheap since Week 3 of 2019. Anything resembling his previous historical workloads would make this the best ‘buy-low’ spot on CMC in a number of years.

His matchup with Arizona is on the tougher end, as they’ve allowed -4.0 schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing RBs this season (6th-toughest) and the total is a rather low 45.0. Still, the Panthers situation is growing increasingly desperate - sitting at 4-5 and in last place in the NFC South, which could push them towards featuring McCaffrey in Week 10 against the 1st place Cardinals. CMC is clearly too risky for cash games with a decent amount of uncertainty as to what his Week 10 workload will look like. But, the unmatched upside of CMC potentially returning to his previous usage makes him arguably the top tournament RB play of the slate.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions (AT PIT)

DraftKings: $6,800 (RB11) | Fanduel: $7,300 (RB13)

Swift always seems to be priced too low. He ranks 5th among all RBs in XFP per game (18.6), 8th in FPG (18.6), and 1st in targets per game (7.5). His 225 routes this season lead the position, and his overall receiving involvement has made him a consistent, mid-range RB1. And if there’s anything we like to see for an elite receiving RB like Swift, it’s negative gamescript. The Lions are 9-point underdogs to the Steelers this week, and Swift has averaged 22.1 DraftKings FPG and 18.9 Fanduel FPG in the 5 games the Lions have been underdogs by 5.0-points or more this season. Pittsburgh has one of the stronger run defenses in the NFL, ranking 3rd in PFF team run defense grades, but they also haven’t faced a receiving back of anything close to Swift's caliber yet this season. If Detroit can’t get anything going on the ground, that should just mean more pass game work for the top receiving RB in the NFL. Until Swift is priced in the RB6-RB8 range on both sites, I’m going to keep playing him. Week 10 appears no different.

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals (VS. CAR)

DraftKings: $6,300 (RB13) | Fanduel: $7,000 (RB14)

So far this season, the Cardinals have the 7th-highest scoring backfield in fantasy football, averaging 27.3 FPG. Granted, that work was divided into a pretty annoying timeshare between Chase Edmonds and James Conner. Until Sunday, when Edmonds went down with an ankle injury, opening the door for Conner to dominate the backfield market share.

And he did exactly that, seeing a season-high 26 touches on a season-high 77% snap share and scoring a slate-breaking 40.3 fantasy points. So, if Edmonds is forced to miss Week 10, it’s reasonable to expect Conner to absorb around 70% of backfield FPG, with Eno Benjamin serving as the spell back to keep Conner fresh. 70% of current backfield production would be 19.1 FPG, which would rank 7th among all RBs this season. And the Cardinals are 10-point favorites, implying a decent likelihood of a run-heavy gamescrip.

Could Eno Benjamin syphon off work from Conner? Sure. But Benjamin was on the team last year during Week 9 when Kenyan Drake didn’t play, and Chase Edmonds saw a 96% snap share and 28(!) total touches. Based on that, it wouldn’t be hard to make an argument that our initial estimate of a 70% backfield share for Conner is too low.

Conner will likely be the highest-owned RB of Week 10, but it's for great reason.

Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (VS. SEA)

DraftKings: $7,900 (WR1) | Fanduel: $8,700 (WR1)

In his last 21 games with Aaron Rodgers under center, Adams has averaged 10.5 targets per game, 100.9 receiving yards per game, 2.9 red zone targets per game, and 23.9 FPG. This season, among slate-eligible WRs, those numbers rank 1st, 1st, 1st, and 1st. Adams should be regarded as the WR1 on the Week 10 slate by a wide margin, and yet he’s available at a relative discount. His Week 10 salary of $7,900 on DraftKings is $511 cheaper than his average DK salary this season, and his $8,700 Fanduel Salary is 8.7% more than the WR2 (D.K. Metcalf), despite the fact Adams has been 13.7% more productive this season.

Adams should have no problem continuing his dominance against a Seattle coverage unit that ranks 7th-worst in PFF team coverage grades (50.9), and has no CBs with a PFF coverage grade over 64.8. Plus this game is expected to be a shootout, boasting the 3rd-highest total of the Week 10 main slate. Since 2017, Adams has averaged 26.5 DraftKings FPG and 20.2 Fanduel FPG when the game total is higher than 50.0 (20 instances). Adams is far and away the top WR of the Week 10 main slate, and I’d expect him to be a very popular play as a result.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (AT WAS)

DraftKings: $6,900 (WR9) | Fanduel: $7,400 (WR10)

With Antonio Brown still in a walking boot and Rob Gronkowski’s Week 10 availability still up in the air, we may be headed towards another week of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin being basically the entire show at WR for Brady and the Bucs. Both Godwin and Evans can be considered strong plays, but in GPPs, I’d expect most of my exposure to end up on Mike Evans. Why? Well, it all revolves around his usage, and this matchup.

Since Brady joined the Bucs, Evans leads the team with 20 end targets and an absurd 60 red zone targets. On a per game basis, those numbers would rank 21st and 1st among all WRs this season. And as most DFS players know, that kind of red zone and end zone usage can easily lead to the ceiling TD performances that win GPPs.

The Washington pass defense is making a push for the worst in the NFL, allowing the 3rd-most FPG to opposing outside WRs (25.6), the most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing WRs (+8.3), ranking 2nd-worst in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA (31.0%), and 3rd-worst in PFF team coverage grades (37.6). And they rank 5th-worst in FPG allowed on deep passes (10.9), great news for Evans given 29% of his fantasy production has come on passes of 20 or more yards. His upside against this defense is just ridiculous, and that makes him a stellar GPP play if we assume ownership doesn't get out of hand (which it could).

Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons (AT DAL)

DraftKings: $5,000 (WR32) | Fanduel: $6,000 (WR31)

Gage has only played in 1 game without Calvin Ridley this year, and that was this past Sunday, where Gage tied for the team lead in routes, saw 8 targets (27% target share), and scored 13.4 fantasy points. Sure, that’s not an earth-shattering statline, but it’s reasonable to assume Gage is a top-3 pass catching option for the Falcons, and given they are playing Dallas in the best scoring environment of Week 10 as 9.5-point underdogs - Gage is absolutely in play for DFS.

Cowboys slot corner Jourdan Lewis ranks 93rd of 117 CBs in PFF coverage grade this season, and Dallas ranks middle of the pack in the pass coverage metrics that matter to me, so a poor matchup isn’t really a concern here. Gage is going to play as much as any Falcons’ WR, and with Atlanta expected to throw as much as any team, a double-digit target outing for Gage isn’t out of the question. And since Gage is, well, Russell Gage, it’s unlikely he’ll carry anything resembling high ownership. I won’t be going overboard here, but given the game environment Gage is certainly a player I’ll have some shares of in GPPs when I MME on both sites.

Dan Arnold, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (AT IND)

DraftKings: $3,500 (TE13) | Fanduel: $5,100 (TE15)

Dan Arnold has played five games with the Jaguars. The first game (Week 4) he hadn’t had time to get acclimated to the new offense, and played just 18 snaps and earned just two targets. Since then, he’s been an outstanding fantasy commodity.

Over the Jags’ last 4 games, Arnold is tied for the team lead in targets (26), tied for 2nd on the team in routes (122), leads the team in receiving yards (219), and leads the team in YPRR (1.80). Among TEs over that timespan, Arnold’s numbers rank 3rd (tie), 6th (tie), 5th, and 10th. And he’s turned that into 10.0 FPG, a mark that ranks 13th on the year - just behind Dallas Goedert, and just ahead of Hunter Henry. And he’s had 60 or more yards in three of his last four games. He’s seeing the volume, and generating the production, of a low-end TE1. Relative to the other TEs on the Week 10 main slate, he’s still underpriced.

Indianapolis is on the plus side of matchups for TEs, allowing the 2nd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs over the last 5 weeks (+7.9), and allowing the 8th-highest target share to TEs (24.6%). Arnold’s tournament-viability will come down to ownership, but his volume and usage has been so consistent he’s certainly not out of the conversation for cash games, at least on DraftKings.

Jake Tribbey is the 2022 FSWA Football Writer of the Year and the leading Spring Football expert in the fantasy industry. He is a lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.