Hello and welcome to the Week 10 Sunday Morning Update. What is this article? Mostly it’s a follow-up to yesterday’s big DFS piece – Scott Barrett’s Week 10 DFS Breakdown. But this article should also offer some utility of its own for redraft and dynasty players.
Each week Graham Barfield and I will be breaking down the key injuries, news, and notes from Saturday / Sunday and will be updating this article up until kickoff (1PM EST). And we’ll also be providing a sort of TL;DR to yesterday’s big DFS article. Who are my core cash game plays? Who are Graham’s preferred low-owned plays for tournaments? You can find that at the end of this article.
Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes
Sunday Morning Update
– James Robinson WILL PLAY.
– Jonnu Smith is INACTIVE. Smith hasn’t caught more than 2 balls in five-straight, but it’s still worth bumping Hunter Henry up just a bit.
– Rhamondre Stevenson is ACTIVE.
– Zack Moss is ACTIVE.
– Chris Godwin is ACTIVE.
– Corey Davis is ACTIVE.
– Marlon Mack is a healthy scratch again.
– Michael Gallup is ACTIVE. He’s officially back.
– Rhamondre Stevenson is EXPECTED TO PLAY. More on Stevenson in contrarian plays below.
– Chris Godwin is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
– Just like last week, it’d be a shock if Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins play…
Three Cardinals - Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore - are questionable for Sunday. Moore is the most likely to play, Hopkins the least, and it doesn’t sound promising for Murray, per sources. Cards will make final decisions in pregame, but sounds like QB-WR inactive.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2021
– James Robinson is a true game-time decision and, even if he’s active, we could see some sort of timeshare split between him and Carlos Hyde…
#Jaguars RB James Robinson (heel) is a true game-time decision today, sources say. Playing likely won’t make it worse, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll go. Robinson will work out pre-game.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 14, 2021
– Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is OUT (COVID). Mason Rudolph to start.
- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Bills RB Zack Moss is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Cardinals WR A.J. Green is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Chargers WR Keenan Allen is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Steelers TE Eric Ebron is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Panthers QB Sam Darnold is OUT.
- Browns RBs Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Demetric Felton, and John Kelly are all OUT.
- Saints RB Alvin Kamara is OUT.
- Lions RB Jamaal Williams is OUT.
- Seahawks RB Chris Carson is OUT.
- Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Antonio Brown are OUT.
- Washington WR Curtis Samuel is OUT. So is Logan Thomas.
- Panthers QB Cam Newton is DOUBTFUL.
- Chargers RB Justin Jackson is DOUBTFUL.
- Jets WR Corey Davis and RB Tevin Coleman are QUESTIONABLE.
- Washington WR Dyami Brown is QUESTIONABLE.
- Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam is QUESTIONABLE. Tim Patrick is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- Broncos CB Patrick Surtain is QUESTIONABLE.
Things I Think
I think this is a fun but tricky slate in the sense that there are a lot of tight plays that feel like coin-flips. Obviously, the expensive tier of RBs is tricky. But still, this slate doesn’t feel very tough. Nowhere near as tough as last week’s slate ended up being.
The Ben Roethlisberger situation is tricky as well. What happens to Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris, two of my favorite plays of the slate? Well…..
I think D’Andre Swift becomes an even better play now, and we already liked him quite a bit… Detroit DST now leapfrogs Tennessee DST as the chalk in my mind… Mason Rudolph is legitimately in play. In 9 career starts, he has only one game over 17.0 DK fantasy points, but that was also his most-recent and lone start in 2020. Detroit ranks 7th-worst in passing FPG allowed (17.4), but dead-last in opposing passer rating (112.7) and fantasy points allowed per pass attempt (0.63). He’s legitimately in play, at just $4,100 on DraftKings, needing only 16.4 fantasy points to hit 4X value. I don’t expect to wind up with very much exposure, but again, maybe that’s a mistake… But, realistically, I’m not expecting much. With Roethlisberger taking starter’s reps in practice all week, I’m expecting Pittsburgh to lean massively run-heavy. The increase in rushing attempts for Najee Harris will probably almost (but not quite) result in a wash, in contrast to the now slightly worse field position, gamescript, lack of sustained drives, and scoring potential. (The spread has only fallen 2.0-points, making Pittsburgh a 6.5-point favorite now. And they’ve only lost 0.5-points off of their implied total, now at 23.5.) The matchup is very favorable for Harris. Detroit ranks 2nd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed (+9.0), 3rd-worst in rushing FPG allowed (18.5), and worst in fantasy points per target allowed to opposing RBs (2.54)… I’m now just about fully off of Diontae Johnson (4 targets with Rudolph under center last year) and Pat Freiermuth. You can make an argument for James Washington, Rudolph’s favorite receiver in college, plus they have #TheBackupConnection having worked together in practice all season, but that never hit when we tried it in 2019. So I won’t probably won’t have any exposure to him either.
Rhamondre Stevenson is legitimately enticing, with Damien Harris out. Basically, I’m viewing him almost identically to how we would have viewed a healthy Harris in this matchup. And probably a little bit better than that. Which means he’s a strong value, priced $1,400 (DK) and $900 (FD) cheaper than Harris this week. Unfortunately the matchup is brutal, as Cleveland ranks 4th-best in YPC allowed (3.67) and 6th-best in rushing FPG allowed (10.3). And, because D’Ernest Johnson and Mark Ingram are such better plays, he’s not really necessary at all. So, I don’t expect to have much exposure. But, he is, I suppose, excellent leverage off of Johnson for large-field tournaments, and especially if stacked with New England’s DST.
I’ll leave the contrarian plays to Graham, but I will just say I’m really falling in love with Mike Williams and Tyler Lockett, who are coming in far lower-owned than their counterparts and are nearing super-contrarian levels of projected ownership.
Graham Barfield’s Contrarian Angles
Overlooked Stacks / Games
Carson Wentz + Michael Pittman
With everyone on Jonathan Taylor (for good reason), both Wentz (3% FD projected ownership) and Pittman (10%) are tracking to go under-owned on FanDuel. Wentz / Pittman stacks are projected to be a bit more popular on DK because they are too cheap there. The Colts have the fourth-largest team total (29 points) on the slate and JT is going to fail, it’ll be because Wentz hoards all of the TDs. Wes loves this spot for this duo, too.
Contrarian Plays With Slate-Breaking Upside
(Projected ownership in parenthesis).
– Christian McCaffrey (3% DK | 6% FD) is the stone cold nuts in tournaments. There are at least 12 RBs in play this week – which is three times more than last week – and it’s leaving CMC extremely under-owned. Everything's adding up… There are so many cheap RB plays to feel comfortable about and Najee Harris / Jonathan Taylor / Dalvin Cook / Ezekiel Elliott / Austin Ekeler are all going to draw ownership on the high end. CMC turned in 106 scrimmage yards on 18 touches and just a 49% snap share last week. What does he do this week with PJ Walker under center? I’m expecting CMC to be the focal point of the Panthers game-plan. All in.
– Rhamondre Stevenson (4.5K DK | 5.4K FD) is going to come in at 12-15% ownership while the similarly priced D’Ernest Johnson (4.7K DK | 5.4K FD) and Mark Ingram (4.5K DK | 5.5K FD) are going to be the highest owned players on the slate by a significant margin. So, there is natural leverage with Stevenson just based on price – but does that inherently make him a great contrarian play? While Johnson and Ingram have projectable roles (3-5 targets) in the passing game, we can’t say the same for Stevenson because Brandon Bolden has out-snapped Stevenson 27 to 11 on passing downs over the last two weeks. My lean is that Stevenson is more in play on FanDuel and Yahoo than DraftKings because of the 0.5 / 1 PPR difference. It’ll be easier for Stevenson to out-score Johnson and Ingram on FD / Yahoo if he only catches a pass or two.
– DK Metcalf (8% DK | 7% FD) got a massive 32% target share in Weeks 1-4 with Russell Wilson. We’ve seen alpha’s absolutely destroy the Packers with Jaire Alexander out – Chase had 6/159/1 in Week 5 and McLaurin had 7/122/1 in Week 7.
– TJ Hockenson (2% DK | 3% FD) is easily my favorite TE play of the week. He’s finally not on the injury report after being dinged up all year and is now getting a Steelers secondary that has given up 4/48/1 to Seattle TEs, 9/98 to Browns TEs, and 8/115 to Bears TEs in their last three. Over his last three games, Hockenson’s target share has been insanely good: 28.2%, 28.1%, and 34.4%.
Chalk Plays (Ownership Projections)
- D'Ernest Johnson (27.32%)
- Tyler Johnson (25.37%)
- Davante Adams (22.73%)
- Jonathan Taylor (20.36%)
- Najee Harris (18.39%)
- Austin Ekeler (17.14%)
- Dalvin Cook (16.29%)
- Diontae Johnson (16.29%)
- D'Ernest Johnson (29.31%)
- Dalvin Cook (23.45%)
- Davante Adams (23.04%)
- Diontae Johnson (21.65%)
- James Conner (17.66%)
- A.J. Brown (17.57%)
- Keenan Allen (17.48%)
- Josh Allen (17.23%)
Cash Core (DK/FD)
QB: Dak Prescott (DK), Josh Allen (FD), Mason Rudolph (DK)
RB: D’Ernest Johnson, Mark Ingram, James Conner (FD), Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Najee Harris (DK), D’Andre Swift, Dalvin Cook (FD)
WR: Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Jerry Jeudy, Cole Beasley (DK), Mike Williams, Tyler Lockett
TE: Dan Arnold (DK), Kyle Pitts / T.J. Hockenson (FD)
DEF: DET, TEN (DK), ARI, BUF (FD)