The cold weather is going to start gripping much of the country here soon, and this could be our last week where the north-central and east coast games have mild weather. Soon, we will have to start checking the forecasts on a more regular basis for wind and snow impacts! Thankfully, we aren’t there just yet, especially since one of the most exciting games this week is in the northeast. Here are some quarterbacks and running backs to look at (and a few to avoid) in Week 10 on FanDuel.
Five to target
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots ($9,100)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($9,200)
3. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,800)
4. Eli Manning, New York Giants ($7,400)
5. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions ($6,900)
The Patriots/Giants game checks in with the highest Vegas total of the week at 55 points, and a shootout is in the works. Brady makes for a high-upside option against a questionable Giants secondary that has nobody capable of matching up with Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman. The Giants are also allowing the second-most passing yards per game in the NFL. Brady should have a field day here.
Aaron Rodgers rebounded from an awful performance against a good Denver team with a 350+ yard game against a good Panthers Defense a week ago. The good times should continue to pick up steam as the Packers return home to face a bad Detroit squad. They are solid 11-point favorites in this game, and most of the damage is likely to be done courtesy of the arm of Rodgers. Eddie Lacy has been awful this season, and the running game is virtually non-existent. I don’t like him as much as Brady, but Rodgers is a solid “1B” this week.
If quarterback A is playing the Ravens, roster quarterback A. That has been a viable strategy for much of the 2015 NFL season, as the Ravens rank 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game at 284. Blake Bortles has quietly been improving this season, as he has a 17/10 TD/INT ratio after throwing more interceptions than touchdowns a year ago. He should find plenty of success against a very questionable Baltimore secondary. The price tag on FanDuel seems a little steep, but the upside for Bortles is certainly there in this matchup.
On the other side of the expected Patriots/Giants shootout, don’t completely ignore Eli Manning. He has been up-and-down of late, but he showcased his upside just two weeks ago in an entertaining shootout against Drew Brees and the Saints. He will be forced to throw it more often this week against the Patriots, and the price tag is very manageable on FanDuel at just $7,400. Manning is a solid mid-range option at the quarterback position this week.
The Lions are having a tough year, and they will likely lose their game this week against Green Bay, but that’s not to say that Matthew Stafford can’t have a sneaky good passing day. He played well against the Bears a few weeks back, and the Lions will likely be in full chuck comeback mode in the second half of this game. He has good receivers that can make plays, and we have to evaluate the garbage-time potential here. I probably wouldn’t use Stafford in cash games, but he is a high-upside, low-owned tournament option. You could get a nice upside stack if you pair him with Calvin Johnson, too.
Two to avoid
The heart-warming story will come to fruition this week, as Peyton Manning is just three yards away from breaking the all-time passing yardage record that is currently held by Brett Favre. Unfortunately, that is not enough to hide the fact that Manning is having a brutal season. He has nine touchdowns to thirteen interceptions, and his quarterback rating this year is his lowest since his rookie season of 1998. The defense and the running game are being forced to carry the Broncos, and Manning is virtually unplayable in DFS these days.
Marcus Mariota turned in an impressive performance last week against the Saints, and his return was a welcome sight for Titans fans. Unfortunately, he draws a tough matchup against the undefeated Panthers in Week Ten. There will be spots to target him later on this season, but don’t chase last week’s performance when setting your lineups this week. There’s too much risk involved in this matchup.
Five to target
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings ($8,600)
2. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints ($7,500)
3. Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys ($7,000)
4. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots ($6,900)
5. Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titants ($6,000)
Adrian Peterson found the end zone last week and remains a workhorse for Minnesota. The Vikings are tied with the Packers for first place in the NFC North and draw a favorable matchup this week against the Raiders, who were gashed by DeAngelo Williams a week ago. Peterson has checked in at less than 7% ownership in each of the last four Minnesota games, and though he should be more highly owned this week, he is a rock solid top-end option at the position. It’s not that I don’t like Todd Gurley this week, but Gurley costs $600 more than Peterson and that seems like a steep price to pay.
Mark Ingram owners got a little unlucky a week ago, as the Saints scored their touchdowns through the air, and Ingram was stifled on a few goal-line attempts. His workload was unquestioned, though, as he saw 22 carries to just two for C.J. Spiller. Ingram also caught four passes in the game, and his involvement in the passing game has been a pleasant surprise in 2015. He should rebound nicely against a porous Washington defense this week.
If you are seeking out a safe mid-range option at running back, give Darren McFadden a look. Christine Michael saw zero snaps in last Sunday’s game against the Eagles, and Joseph Randle is no longer on the team. McFadden is a safe bet for 20+ carries in a game where Dallas should be able to move the ball. He has had some tough luck on the touchdown front, but this could be the game where he parlays those carries into a touchdown or two.
Dion Lewis will miss the rest of the season, so the Patriots are down James White and Brandon Bolden behind LeGarrette Blount. Neither of those backs is a real threat to Blount’s rushing-down work, and they will primarily be used in the passing game. Blount saw a massive 29-carry workload a week ago and should be used heavily again in Week 10. He is a fine play at this price, though the risk of a lessened workload if the Patriots happen to fall behind is what makes him more of a tournament play than a safe cash game option.
Much like the new coaching staff in Miami has helped out Lamar Miller, the new regime in Tennessee has freed Antonio Andrews. They have professed a desire to use him as a true lead back, and the Titans have followed through on that promise in the last two games. He is not the most talented runner in the world, but he’s very cheap at $6,000 on FanDuel and should push for 15-20 carries in this game. That puts him squarely in play despite a tough matchup against the Panthers.
Two to avoid
It has been a markedly disappointing season for Marshawn Lynch, as he has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for a good portion of the season. Yet, his price remains inflated on FanDuel at $8,000. This is not the spot to give him a look in what should amount to a defensive battle between the Seahawks and Cardinals. Leave Lynch on the sidelines this week.
Speaking of tough matchups, Justin Forsett is also one to avoid this week. Jacksonville has been sneaky-good against the run this season, as they rank first in the NFL in yards allowed per carry. Even though Chris Ivory scored twice last week, he had 23 carries for just 26 yards (1.1 yards per carry!) in the contest. The Jaguars are a legitimately good rush defense, and they will be able to stack the box to stop Forsett, since the Ravens have nobody left to catch passes in the absence of Steve Smith.