Winning a DFS tournament while competing in a field of 100,000 entrants is an outrageous task. The best way to tilt the odds in your favor is to play into the chaos of the NFL week. Profit disproportionately when things don’t go as planned.
Here are three ways to build that kind of leverage into your lineups for Week 10.
MOVING OFF MIKE DAVIS
Despite a disappointing Week 10 performance, Davis is shaping up to be one of the most popular plays at running back once again. The difference between last week and this week is that Davis is $2,400 more expensive on DraftKings. That means an eight-point outing from Davis will ruin lineups using him, unlike last week.
After seeing 25 targets in his first three starts for the Panthers, Davis has come back down to earth as a receiver. He has only 3.4 targets per game in his starts after Week 5. D.J. Moore has been the biggest beneficiary of Davis’ downturn, seeing a 49% air-yard share and 27% target share in those games. He and Robby Anderson, who still leads the team in targets and air yards, are both solid leverage points off Davis.
Hill is expected to start for New Orleans this week instead of Jameis Winston. He’s likely to draw considerable ownership on DraftKings because of a $4,800 salary, but his primary receiver may come in as less popular than other expensive options. Hill's presence isn’t a death sentence for Thomas. In an admittedly noisy sample of gimmick plays and preseason reps (to give us a larger sample), Hill has been an adequate passer.
AccurateAccurate PlusCatchable InaccurateQBs w/ 50+ Attempts59.08%11.09%21.77%Taysom Hill59.80%12.30%24.60%
He slots in as a slightly above-average passer among the quarterbacks who have thrown at least 50 passes this year. His career 8.8-yard average depth of target is higher than Drew Brees has been in any season over the past decade. Hill also has a career deep pass rate that is 2.8 percentage points higher than Brees’ league-low of 4.4% this year. A few extra deep targets could bode well for Thomas' rebound. In 2019, Thomas brought in all seven of his catchable deep targets and averaged 28.6 yards per target on looks over 20 yards downfield. Thomas has caught all 29 of his catchable deep targets since entering the league.
On FanDuel, Hill is listed as a tight end and is only $4,500. He will likely be in over half of tournament lineups. The best way to leverage this obvious error is to stack him with Thomas and play Matt Ryan plus one of his receivers.
Running it Back
On the other side of the ball, there are two pass-catchers worth looking at as run-it-back options. Calvin Ridley is tentatively projected to return to the lineup this week, and he will likely be less popular than Julio Jones if he plays. For lineups that play a lot of chalk elsewhere, pivoting off Jones to Ridley makes sense.
With the Winston/Thomas stack shaping up to be fairly uncommon, most lineups should be fine running it back with Jones. His 2.65 yards per target ranks fourth among receivers, and his 83.6 receiving grade ranks as a top-10 figure (both min. 30 targets). Jones gets the second-most advantageous WR/CB matchup for a receiver on the main slate, behind Michael Thomas.
MILES SANDERS IS A WORKHORSE
Every Philadelphia back except Sanders scored last week, but he continued to get the bulk of the targets and carries. He rushed 15 times and saw five targets. His backups combined for four carries and one target but managed to score twice. In the games he has started and finished, Sanders has averaged 15.4 carries and 5.6 targets per game.
He currently ranks as PFF’s RB7 on the week and is one of just five backs projected to top 90 yards from scrimmage. Sanders is going to be less owned than running backs who cost more and see just as much work on all three downs. He’s the best way to buy volume at a discount in price and popularity.