Week 10: Fanball DFS Primer
If you’re new to DFS (daily fantasy sports) don’t worry! Fanball has contests for beginners so you can test the waters along with other new players. In this article player’s are categorized by position, price, and then reason for being listed. Here’s a few different words you’ll be seeing often what they mean for fantasy purposes. Value is when a player reaches three times their salary or higher. A fade is a player to avoid using and typically will have a high ownership percentage. A contrarian-play is a player that won’t be used by most. A stack is the use multiple players from the same game.
Stud – Philip Rivers – $6,800 – LAC @ OAK
The Raiders have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw exactly three touchdowns in each of their past three games. They also allow the most fantasy points per dropback and the 10th-most fantasy points to the position. If Nick Mullens can toss three scores on Oakland’s pass defense, surely Philip Rivers can do the same. Rivers has multiple touchdowns in each of his last nine games dating back to last season, twice against Oakland. In those two games, Rivers averaged 363 yards and completed 78 percent of his passing attempts.
Value – Ryan Fitzpatrick – $6,300 – TB vs WAS
Over their last five games, The Redskins are allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 315 passing yards and over two touchdowns per game. They’re also allowing the fifth-highest passer rating during that time. That’s good news for Ryan Fitzpatrick who ranks second-best among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game, despite being pulled from one game and coming off the bench in another. Even though he’s putting up 26.2 fantasy points per game, Fitzpatrick has 13 quarterbacks priced higher than him. He’s also averaging three touchdowns and 316 passing yards per game, potentially giving him tremendous value.
Fade – Alex Smith – $6,500 – WAS @ TB
It’s the best matchup Alex Smith could possibly ask for, considering Tampa allows the most passing touchdowns, the third-most passing yards per game, the most fantasy points per game, and the highest completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks. Smith might be running for his life before he can take advantage of this matchup. Even if he does have time, it’s not like he has any proven pass-catching options. The Redskins will definitely be without their starting left tackle, both starting guards, receiving back Chris Thompson, and wide receiver Paul Richardson. They might be missing starting slot receiver Jamison Crowder and starting tackle Ty Nsekhe as well, so things might be tougher than expected for Alex Smith.
Stud – Melvin Gordon – $8,400 – LAC @ OAK
This was a toss-up between Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt, but ultimately I went with Gordon because he has the cheaper salary. Gordon was out in week seven and on a bye in week eight, bounced back with 21.3 fantasy points against Seattle last week. He’s averaging 27.1 fantasy points per game which ranks fourth-highest overall. He’s scored over 20 fantasy points all but one game this season and has eclipsed 100 total yards in four consecutive contests. He did both against Oakland back in week five and has a great shot at repeating. Over their last five games, the Raiders allowed more rushing yards than any other team, surrendering 152 yards per game to opposing backs. On a per-game basis, Oakland’s defense ranks bottom-three in points, touchdowns, rushing attempts, and rushing yards.
Value – Dion Lewis – $4,600 – TEN vs NE
Last week, Dion Lewis had a season-high in snaps and it’s been trending in that direction. Over the last three weeks, Lewis’s snaps rose from 32 to 45 to 59, yet he’s cheaper than Derrick Henry on Fanball. At $4,600, Lewis is a tremendous value and would need a mere 13.8 fantasy points to return value. Over his last two games he’s averaged 77 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards per contest. Opposing running backs have just one rushing score against New England since week two, so it won’t be easy. Luckily, the Patriots can be beaten by receiving backs like Lewis. They’ve allowed the second-most receiving yards, the fourth-most catches, and tie for the seventh-most receiving touchdowns to opposing backs.
Fade – Nick Chubb – $7,000 – CLE vs ATL
I think people will just look at the matchup and forget about the actual teams involved. After all, Atlanta allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs. They’ve held opposing running back groups to the eighth-fewest rushing yards this year, but were killed by rushing touchdowns. They’ve improved some at least, giving up 62 rushing yards and 0.5 rushing touchdowns per game since week six. Atlanta’s been burned through the air, however, giving up the fourth-most yards and the most catches to opposing backs. That’s why I’m fading Nick Chubb and his three-catch season. Duke Johnson is fresh off a nine-catch performance and clearly the receiving back under new offensive coordinator, Freddie Kitchens.
Stud – Michael Thomas – $8,400 – NO @ CIN
I don’t care that he’s the highest-prices wide receiver on the slate. I don’t care about the game being outdoors and away from the dome, either, I want Michael Thomas in my lineup. It’s a fantastic matchup against the Bengals. They’ve allowed the fifth-most fantasy points and the third-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers. The Saints are paper thin at wideout, losing Dez Bryant, Ted Ginn, and Cameron Meredith to the injured-reserve. Tre’Quan Smith has potential, but he’s still developing as a rookie, leaving Michael Thomas as the only proven option at wide receiver.
Value – Marquez Valdes-Scantling – $4,900 – GB vs MIA
An injury to Geronimo Allison once again opens the door for Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He should start at wide receiver and lineup on the outside, meaning he should be on the field for the majority of snaps. Randall Cobb is questionable as well, only boosting the potential value of Valdes-Scantling. His price gives him a 14.7 fantasy-point goal to reach three times his salary. That’s more than reasonable, considering he’s caught a touchdown or surpassed 100 yards in each of his last four games.
Fade – Kenny Golladay – $5,700 – DET @ CHI
The Lions travel outside of their dome to face the Bears on Soldier Field. Right from the start Detroit’s passing takes a hit from playing outdoors in the cold, but that’s not the only negative for Kenny Golladay. He matches up with Kendall Fuller, one of the best cornerbacks in the slot. His quarterback, Matthew Stafford, might have a hard time getting him to ball as well. Stafford was sacked 10 times last week and Chicago ranks inside the top ten in sacks per game and sack percentage. Golladay has struggled over his last three games, averaging two catches for 32 yards. I don’t expect a big comeback game this week.
Start – Travis Kelce – $7,600 – KC vs ARI
I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb here by recommending Travis Kelce, but I doubt he’s going to be heavily-owned this week against the sixth-best fantasy defense vs tight ends. He’s matchup-proof and could lead the Chiefs in targets this week. Tyreek Hill will have Patrick Peterson to deal with and Sammy Watkins is banged up, so Travis Kelce might be the focus of the Chief’s passing-attack. If nothing else, Kelce’s always a threat to score and he leads the NFL in red-zone receptions.
Sit – Jared Cook – $6,000 – OAK vs LAC
Jared Cook is the fifth-most expensive tight end on the slate, yet he’s been held to 20 or fewer yards in three of his last four contests. He started off hot, averaging 20 fantasy points per game through his first four. He faded quickly though, putting up a pedestrian 7.6 fantasy points per game since. His low-volume scares me away, with only three catches per game over his last four contests. In their first meeting this season, Jared Cook caught four balls for 20 yards against the Chargers. Nothing suggests he will improve that output this time around.
Defense and Special Teams
Start – New York Jets – $3,200 – NYJ vs BUF
The Jets are at home facing the worst team in the league vs opposing DST’s. Matt Barkley will start at quarterback for the first time in two years. He averaged two interceptions and one touchdown per game back in 2016 while completing less than 60 percent of passes. The Jets blitz at the sixth-highest rate and rank eighth-highest in interceptions per game, so they should be a solid bet this week.
Sit – Los Angeles Rams – $2,800 – LAR vs SEA
Seattle dropped 31 points when these teams met back in week five. The Rams finished with two sacks and zero takeaways, giving them just two points as a DST. They have two or fewer sacks in 66 percent of their games and rank ninth-worst in sacks per game. Seattle will limit their chances at sacks and interceptions, considering they call the highest percentage of running plays in the league. The Rams on the other hand, allow the ninth-most yards per carry, so expect another run-heavy approach from the Seahawks.
Evan Bletz (@evanbletz1) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.