Welcome to The Gauntlet. We are going to break down each and every game to find our NFL DFS week 10 top plays on what is considered the main slate on DraftKings and Fanduel. This consists of the games only on Sundays. If you are playing other slates, such as the primetime slates, be sure to check out our other DFS content for plays in those games. In this breakdown, we are going to dive deeply into each matchup which is why we are going to stick to just the main slate of games. The numbers in parenthesis are the Vegas implied totals for each team. All of the stats in this breakdown are from Football Outsiders, while all of the player grades are from Pro Football Focus. Let’s get to it…
Packers (16.25) at Bears (21.75) Total 38
There are two plays I am even remotely considering here. The Bears do not want to throw the ball. They have made that clear. Instead, they prefer to just run Jordan Howard over and over again. Vegas seems to agree with me on the fact that Brett Hundley is in the argument for top 5 worst QBs in the NFL. He is bad. This Packers team is going to struggle to move the ball and that puts the Bears D in play here. Not only that but when an offense struggles to move the ball, it creates a shorter field for the offense. This, in turn, should lead to a Jordan Howard TD or two here. It isn’t the greatest matchup in the world for Howard, but based on volume and field position, he has a safe floor and great upside this weekend. On DK he is $6100 and that is just way too cheap for this opportunity this weekend.
Top Plays: Howard, Bears D
Bengals (18) at Titans (22.5) Total 40.5
At the beginning of the year, the Titans were a pass D we wanted to target with full air attacks. They have started to round into form over the last couple weeks, however, which makes me want to get off the Dalton wagon this weekend, but I still want heavy exposure to AJ Green. He got ejected last week and should be out there playing pissed off all game long. In a game projected to be trailing, it will be the AJ Green show. He has upside in any matchup, and this is no different this week and is actually underpriced for his talent level. Lock him in.
On the Titans side, nothing excites me outside of Corey Davis. This is a pure talent play at a cheap price. The Bengals have limited opposing receivers all year, but Davis is going to be one of the top receivers in this league in the coming years. He is only $4K on DK and while I don’t love it, if you need the salary, I don’t hate it.
Top Plays: AJ Green
Jets (23.25) at Bucs (20.75) Total 44
Even though watching this game will probably lead to bleeding eyes, there is some great value plays here. I want no part of the Bucs side of the ball. Sure, you can argue Jackson and Brate are in a good opportunity with increased targets, but with the defense keying on them without Evans playing, this should limit their upsides. I can’t trust Fitzpatrick either. Instead, I prefer the Jets D as Fitz is notorious for throwing INTs on the regular.
On the Jets side, however, I want exposure to this air attack. Matt Forte is already ruled out and that makes Powell the top value play of the weekend. He is also super effective in the passing game and can be paired with McCown. ASJ is also in a great spot here as he should continue to see the most targets, especially in the red zone. If you want a value WR to pair with McCown, Robby Anderson is in play here. You beat the Bucs through the air, and I expect nothing to change this weekend.
Top Plays: McCown, Powell, Anderson, ASJ, Jets D
Browns (16.25) at Lions (27.25) Total 43.5
This is the Milly Maker game right here. I think this Lions air attack actually goes overlooked, and I think the wrong players will be owned here by the people who do attack this game. If you can pair the right guys with Stafford, you are going to win all the money. Let me help you do that.
Let’s start with an interesting point of info. Cleveland quietly has one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Their adjusted line yards are second best at 2.92, which is absurd. Next, they are allowing the 5th least rushing yards per game to RBs at 74.25. It is not like teams aren’t choosing to run either as teams against the Browns have rushed the 6th most in terms of attempts. So 6th most attempts and 5th lowest yards is not a good combination for a team that can’t run the ball at all, to begin with. So by default, this air attack is going to feast in order to get to this Vegas total of 27.25.
Ameer Abdullah fumbled twice last week and I would be shocked to see him thrust back into a full workload here, especially in this awful rushing matchup. Instead, my favorite tourney play of the entire weekend should get more snaps and touches. Enter Theo Riddick who is basically free. This guy is by far the best RB on this team and is mainly utilized as a pass catcher. He should be heavily involved here as the Browns blitz the third most in the NFL, and a common way to beat a blitz is slip screens to an athletic RB. This is exactly what happened when he took his 63-yard screen almost to the house against Green Bay. McCourty, who was the highest graded corner on PFF before his injury is back this week and he should shut down Marvin Jones. This leaves more targets for the other guys, and since TEs against Cleveland is one of the most profitable strategies over the past two years, I actually love Ebron here as Cleveland has been torched over the middle of the field, particularly the shorter routes. This has to be because of their blitzing scheme. RBs and TEs are the safety blankets for blitzes a lot of times as the WRs don’t have time to progress through their full routes.
My personal stack here is going to be Stafford, Riddick, and Ebron and I’m hoping it gives me a shot at the Milly Maker this weekend.
Browns should be playing from behind so Duke Johnson is always in play.
Top Plays: Stafford, Riddick, Ebron, Johnson, Lions D
Steelers (27.25) at Colts (17.25) Total 44.5
The Steelers are in arguably the best spot of the weekend. The challenge with them is just figuring out where the production is going to come from. Martavis Bryant is back in the mix this weekend and we have seen JuJu emerge as a top target of Ben’s. If paying up for AB or Bell you need them to absolutely smash at their salaries, and to do that, it will be at the sacrifice of production from the cheaper guys. So if paying up for AB or Bell, I would limit my other Steelers exposures.
Mack and Doyle are the only Colts I am interested in, but I wouldn’t call them top plays. TY gets an ugly matchup as the Steelers tend to limit smaller speedy receivers. See their games against the Chiefs. The Chiefs are more known for their speed and always struggle against Pitt. This is because Pitt has a fast defense. TY not in play for me here.
Top Plays: Ben, Bell, AB
Vikings (22) at Redskins (20.5) Total 42.5
This Redskins situation is one to avoid right now. Their entire offense is banged up and they are struggling to produce. Chris Thompson is the only guy I would consider.
On the Vikings side, Theilen has the best matchup of the bunch as slot WRs have torched the Skins. However, I don’t know if I can pay the price tag that he is currently at. I think I would rather go down to Sterling Shepard for the same kind of talent.
Top Plays: none
Chargers ( 18.5) at Jaguars (22.5) Total 41
The two players I want in this game are the RBs. Gordon and Fournette are in incredible spots as both defenses have been torched on the ground. My current RB rankings have Bell 1, Fournette 2, Gurley 3, and Gordon 4 this weekend. So I love both of these guys here in a low scoring close game. And of course, the Jags D is always in play.
Top Plays: Fournette, Gordon, Jags D
Bills (21.75) at Saints (24.75) Total 46.5
This Saints D has been extremely respectable lately. They have only given up more than 17 points once this season and that was to the Lions. This Buffalo team doesn’t have the firepower to make me think they can do what the Lions did. I don’t want to pay up for McCoy here as the offense should be a little different and could actually struggle if they try to force Benjamin the ball just because he is their “shiny new toy”.
On the Saints side, both RBs are in play because of how explosive they are and because of their use in the passing game. With EJ Gaines slated to play, this is a slight hit to Michael Thomas. He won’t be shut down completely, but I wouldn’t expect a massive game here. I actually think this Vegas total may be a tad high.
Top Plays: None
Texans (17) at Rams (28.5) Total 45.5
Another day ending in “Y”, and another day of me recommending this Rams offense. I will continue to recommend them as I did this offseason. McVay is showing his capability as an offensive mind and it has led to the Rams scoring the most points in the NFL. Feel free to load up again here! Gurley, Goff, Woods, and Kupp all in play.
Tom Savage is #bad. No thanks.
Top Plays: Gurley, Goff, Woods, Kupp, Rams D
Giants (22) at 49ers (19.5) Total 41.5
While this seems like a great spot to load up, this low total scares me. Instead, I would rather just play one player from this game. You can pick and choose from Shepard and Engram from the Giants and Carlos Hyde from the 49ers. Since Beathard took over, Hyde has led the NFL in receiving targets to RBs and he is underpriced. This Giants team wants their coach fired and they refused to tackle anybody on the Rams last week, so Hyde could be in for a massive game here.
Top Plays: Shepard, Engram, Hyde
Cowboys (22.5) at Falcons (25.5) Total 48
This is the highest total of the week, but it comes with some caveats. We don’t have a good idea of how this offense is going to operate without Zeke. Pretending like it won’t affect this team’s productivity is wrong. Zeke is one of the best RBs in the NFL. I think the offense will have to transition more to leaning on Dak, and with his already safe floor due to the rushing upside, this makes him even safer. I think if you can afford Dak this week, he is the safest play on the board. Dez is dealing with an injury that could limit him, so as much as I want to say he sees a huge bump here, I would temper expectations.
On the Falcons side, alternate receivers have done the damage to the Cowboys. I would look for Sanu to continue to get consistent looks in this matchup, but I must add, just like I do every week, that Julio has tournament winning upside in every single matchup and is always in play.
Top Plays: Dak, Ryan, Julio, Sanu
Patriots (26.5) at Broncos (19) Total 45.5
This is going to be the Gronk and James White show on offense. No Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks has a bad matchup. Look for White and Gronk to see all the targets, but especially in the red zone.
The Broncos are a complete avoid for me here just because of Osweiler. He is so bad. I would rather watch paint dry than watch him play QB.
Top Plays: Brady, Gronk, White, Pats D