Week 10 FanDuel Top Shelf & Bargain Bin Plays: Bortles Balls out in Baltimore

Week 9 had some standout fantasy performances and I’d like to start with the Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. I recommended him last week and he exceeded my expectations with 301 yards passing and four touchdowns. He’s a lot of fun to watch and might end up being the top quarterback to emerge from the 2014 NFL draft class that includes Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. Speaking of the Raiders, they were gashed by the Steelers for a franchise record 597 yards. Antonio Brown blew up for 17 catches for 284 yards leading the Steelers to a big win! Brown was another guy that I recommended to play last week so hopefully you took my advice. DeAngelo Williams continued to turn back the clock and had one of the  best performances of his career. It’s time to consider Williams as a top five option moving forward and I’ll have more on him later.

I’ve tried to avoid the devastating news but it’s impossible not to talk about the elephant in the room which was the loss of Dion Lewis. Week 9 claimed another key fantasy contributor when Lewis tore his ACL versus the Redskins. The blows just keep coming but remember, DFS is still the best outlet to escape all this and start with a fresh slate every week. Speaking of fresh slate, it’s time for my Week 10 FanDuel Top Shelf and Bargain Bin Plays. Without further ado here are the picks that can help you cash out in Week 10 and help build your bankroll. One of my favorite plays is another second-year quarterback and I’m excited to watch Bortles ball out in Baltimore in Week 10!

Top Shelf Picks


Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers $9200

vs Detroit Lions

While it’s obvious that Aaron Rodgers is missing Jordy Nelson, he’s discovering new weapons in the passing game with James Starks, Richard Rodgers, and Devante Adams emerging. Rodgers is heating up and last week had his best performance since his five touchdown performance on Monday Night football versus the Chiefs back. Rodgers eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for only the second time this season versus the Panthers, throwing for a season-high 369 yards and four touchdowns. He was dialed in and engineered a late comeback drive that ended with an interception by Thomas Davis with two minutes left in the game. It was a vintage Rodgers performance regardless of the final outcome.

This week Rodgers gets to come home to the Frozen Tundra that is Lambeau Field, where he’s averaged 23.58 FanDuel fantasy points per start. Rodgers will look to take control of this divisional matchup early and should have an easy day at the office finding plenty of holes in the Lions secondary. The Lions defense ranks 30th on Football Outsiders, only the Saints and 49ers are rank below them. The Packers have a division title on the line and a two game losing streak giving them some extra motivation to make this a statement game. Rodgers will right the ship and put the team on his shoulders making him the top quarterback play of Week 10.

Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints $8600

at Washington Redskins

There isn’t a hotter quarterback in the NFL right now than Drew Brees. Just when we were ready to write off Brees and order his tombstone, he exploded for 60 fantasy points in Week 9 versus the Giants. He followed it up with another amazing performance in Week 9 versus the Titans. Over the past two weeks Brees has completed 67 of 89 passes (75.2 CMP%) for 892 yards, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions, and one rushing touchdown. He is spreading the ball around and connected with nine different receivers last week versus the Titans. The shoulder sure seems to be feeling better and I’m betting he stays hot this week on the road versus the Washington Redskins.

Bargain Bin Plays

Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars $7800

at Baltimore Ravens

Blake Bortles is maturing nicely in his second NFL season and has been very consistent this year. Bortles has four games with 298 or more passing yards and has reached this number in four out of his last five starts. That is something Aaron Rodgers has only accomplished twice this season. Bortles is coming off arguably his best performance as a pro passing for a career-high 391 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9. He did throw two interceptions but the Jets own one of the top defenses in the NFL, ranking fifth overall on Fantasy Outsiders.

As long as Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are lining up on the field, Bortles is going to continue to fire heat-seeking missiles in their direction. He is now on pace for almost 4,400 yards and 34 touchdowns. In Week 10, Bortles gets to face a Ravens defense that’s ranked 29th against the pass (283.9 yards per game) and have allowed 16 passing touchdowns with a microscopic three interceptions. This game has the third highest Vegas line of the week with a 48 point over/under. I definitely think this game could turn into a shootout making Bortles even more intriguing this week.

Eli Manning – New York Giants $7400

vs New England Patriots

In DFS I prefer to target players in matchups with high Vegas lines and this week’s Pats-Giants game has the highest over/under at 54.5 points. Eli Manning has been a mixed bag this year and has passed for less than 213 yards in five starts. He’s only eclipsed 300 yards passing twice this year but has a 9:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in those two games while throwing for 791 yards.

This is a big game for the Giants who will host the undefeated New England Patriots. Manning finally has a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal and one would think Eli will be slinging the football 40 plus times this week in an effort to keep up with Brady and company. The Patriots secondary has been vulnerable through the air this year and have allowed an average of 245 passing yards a game. This game could turn into a track meet really quick with lots of points being put up on the board. If I’m going with a cheaper option in some GPP’s I think Eli is very much in play at his current FanDuel salary of $7400. Be sure to stack him with his favorite target Odell Beckham Jr. if you play him this week.

Top Shelf Picks

Running Back

Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams $9200

vs Chicago Bears

If you’ve been reading my FanDuel articles, then you know how much I love the Gurley Man! With Devonta Freeman on bye, Gurley is the slam dunk top running back option in Week 10. He’s averaged at least 19 carries in every start this year and is getting all the work in the Rams backfield. He has to be licking his chops to face a Bears defense that has a short week to prepare for him after playing the Chargers on Monday Night Football. The Bears have allowed an average of 121.6 rushing yards a game and 4.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. It’s surprising that they’ve only allowed two 100-yard rushing performances this year, fellow rookie Thomas Rawls and Adrian Peterson accomplished this feat. I expect Fisher to keep feeding Gurley the ball until he pukes this week at home. The Rams own a stout defense so they should control the time of possession by letting Gurley do his thing on the ground. Gurley is a strong cash play but I could see fading him in GPP’s due to high owner percentage and his astronomical FanDuel salary of $9200.

DeMarco Murray – Philadelphia Eagles $7700

vs Miami Dolphins

DeMarco Murray got his revenge in Week 9 versus his former team, the Dallas Cowboys. Murray ran 18 times for 83 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 78 yards leading the Eagles to a big division victory. It was Murray’s best fantasy performance of the year and cemented him as Chip Kelly’s bell cow running back moving forward. All that talk about Ryan Mathews taking on a larger role in the offense during the Eagles bye week turned out to be hot air. Murray was a dangerous weapon out of the backfield and I’m most impressed with his involvement in the passing game.

Murray has a plus matchup this week versus a Miami Dolphins defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards (1,137) in the NFL, only the Browns have allowed more yards on the ground. The bottom line is Murray is finally healthy and running like the same back that led the NFL in all-purpose yards last year. His FanDuel salary is still very reasonable at $7700 for a Top Shelf option, at a position that has been decimated with multiple season-ending injuries.

DeAngelo Williams – Pittsburgh Steelers $7600

vs Cleveland Browns

I recommended DeAngelo Williams last week versus the Raiders and he didn’t disappoint. Williams came through bigtime with a monster workload of 27 carries for 170 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and 55 receiving yards. After being the top scoring fantasy running back over the first two weeks of the season, Williams was once again the top scoring fantasy running back in Week 9. He scored 37.5 fantasy points on FanDuel and, if you played him, chances are you cashed out in the majority of your cash and GPP lineups. While some people may be concerned with the possibility of Big Ben sitting out, I think this results in the Steelers leaning more on the running game than before with Williams. In Week 10 DeAngelo gets to face a Cleveland Browns defense who have given up the most rushing yards in the NFL (1,328) while allowing an average of 147.6 rushing yards per game to opposing backs. I’ll keep going back to the well until it dries up and there is no sign of that happening anytime soon. The good news is that Williams FanDuel salary is still in the mid-tier range at his position so enjoy it while it lasts.

Bargain Bin Plays

LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots $6900

at New York Giants

The injury bug hit again in Week 9 with the waiver wire sensation of the year, Dion Lewis tearing his ACL. With every devastating injury there’s a main benefactor and in this case, it’s LeGarrette Blount. Blount saw a season-high 47 snaps and 29 rushes in last week’s game versus the Redskins. He made the most of the opportunity and parlayed the increased usage into a season-best 129 rushing yards and a touchdown. Blount has been a risky play so far since it’s hard to predict what game plan Bill Belichick will go with on a week-to-week basis. The Lewis injury makes the situation much clearer moving forward. Blount will do the heavy lifting on first and second down and handle the short-yardage/goal line work. The only work Blount will surrender is pass-catching downs and situations to either James White or Brandon Bolden. Blount runs hard and is a load to bring down for opposing defenders. This week Blount is reasonably priced at $6900 and one of the top bargains on FanDuel. Blount faces a  Giants defense that have allowed the eighth-most yards per game and the ninth-most yards per rush to opposing backfields this season, setting Blount up for a busy day of early down duties.

James Starks – Green Bay Packers $6000

vs Detroit Lions

Don’t look now but it looks like we may be witnessing a changing of the guard at the running back position in Green Bay. Eddie Lacy has arguably been the biggest bust at running back this year. It’s clear to everyone watching him play that he’s overweight, injured, and has some major conditioning issues. If you’re just looking at the numbers alone though they can be misleading. Starks has 78 carries for 334 yards, while Lacy has 83 carries for 308 yards. Don’t let the numbers fool you, Starks has been the better running back and has shown something Lacy hasn’t all year: breakaway ability. Starks has the two longest runs for the Pack this year with a 65-yard score and a 35-yard run. He’s also been great in the passing game with 19 receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns. In comparison Lacy’s longest run of the year is 16 yards and longest reception went for 26 yards.

While I highly doubt Lacy will be completely phased out, the writing is on the wall and Starks has earned a starting role. On Wednesday, Mike McCarthy told reporters that the team views Starks, not Eddie Lacy, as the top back heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions. Speaking of the Lions, they’ve allowed the fifth-most rushing yards (1,070) and an NFL-worst 14 rushing touchdowns this season. The Packers are riding a two-game losing streak so it’s no surprise that McCarthy is finally ready to make some changes in the backfield. I have James Starks as my best FanDuel bargain running back of the week at his current salary of $6000. How many starting NFL backs in a high-powered offense can you find for that price? The answer is simple, zero unless you trust guys like Ronnie Hillman or C.J. Anderson. Be sure to get Starks in your cash and GPP lineups this week.

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Top Shelf Picks

Wide Receiver

DeAndre Hopkins– Houston Texans $8900

at Cincinnati Bengals

DeAndre Hopkins gets to be the king of the hill this week at receiver with Julio Jones on bye. Honestly I don’t really need to sell you on Hopkins. He’s leading all receivers in the NFL with 14 targets per game and will retake the lead in total targets with Jones on bye. He’s fourth in league with 66 receptions, third in yards (870), and fourth in receiving yards per game (108.8). Opposing teams can bracket cover him all they want too but Nuk is still putting up monster numbers regardless. He’s about as matchup proof as they come and this week will face a stingy Bengals defense that’s allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Given his role on a team that’s forced to throw early and often, I’m expecting another big game for Nuk. Over the past three games the Texans have averaged 40 pass attempts with Hopkins averaging about 13 targets a game. He’s just too good to be completely shut down and is going to continue his record-breaking pace this week.

Dez Bryant– Dallas Cowboys $8100

at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Its official folks, Dez Bryant is back and not as a decoy. Last week, Dez made an amazing catch in the end zone versus the Eagles. He finished the game with five receptions for 104 yards and the aforementioned Hail Mary touchdown catch. It was good to see him finally connect with Matt Cassel even though Tony Romo is slated to return under center in Week 11. Dez is an elite athlete capable of making unbelievable catches in a lot of traffic. The only cause for concern would be that he banged up his left knee while making the highlight reel catch. Dez will be ready to go on Sunday and is just resting up as a precautionary measure. This week’s opponent is Tampa Bay who have given up the second-most receiving touchdowns (19), only the Saints have allowed more. I prefer Dez this week over higher-priced options on FanDuel like A.J. Green and Odell Beckham Jr.

Alshon Jeffery– Chicago Bears $7600

at St. Louis Rams

Alshon Jeffery has been a target monster since returning from his hamstring and calf injuries. In the three games since his return to the starting lineup he has 28 receptions, 414 yards and two touchdowns. Jeffery should have scored twice on Monday Night Football versus the Chargers. On the opening drive Jeffery failed to secure Jay Cutler’s pass in the end zone with Jason Verrett defending on the play. He was also ruled down at the one-yard line after appearing to extend the football across the pylon. Jeffery is locked in as Cutty’s top target and has very little competition outside of Martellus Bennett. The Rams have been stingy lately against opposing receivers but Jeffery is playing at a different level. Jeffery is locked and loaded as an elite receiver however his FanDuel salary has yet to catch up with his level of production.

Bargain Bin Plays

Allen Robinson- Jacksonville Jaguars $7500

at Baltimore Ravens

Allen Robinson proved last week that even a date with Revis Island couldn’t slow him down. He finished the game with six receptions for 121 yards. Robinson continues to pile up the counting stats and has benefited from the maturation of Blake Bortles and emergence of Allen Hurns. Opposing defenses are less likely to double Arob knowing that Hurns will beat them instead. The Allen’s are breaking out and became the first teammates to gain 600 receiving yards and score six touchdowns in the first eight games of the season since 2007. The last duo to accomplish this feat was Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The Jaguars passing offense has become one of the better fantasy situations to target. Most weeks the game-script forces them to abandon the run and for Bortles sling the pigskin in full comeback mode. Robinson gets a juicy matchup versus the Ravens porous secondary in Week 10. Only the Chiefs have allowed more than the 207.9 yards the Ravens give up on average to opposing receivers.

Michael Crabtree– Oakland Raiders $6400

vs Minnesota Vikings

I recommended a Oakland Raider last week with Derek Carr and he stayed red-hot tossing four touchdown passes versus the Steelers. One of Carr’s favorite targets this year has been Michael Crabtree. Crabtree finished last week with seven receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns. If you’re keeping score at home that’s two weeks in a row that Crabtree has topped 100 yards and three weeks in a row he’s found the end zone.

Crabtree was miscast in San Francisco for years as a number one wideout and was a victim of the Jim Harbaugh system. I wrote about the Raiders offense last week and it bears noting again this week in respect to Crabtree. It’s obvious that having a viable quarterback under center and a great supporting cast has contributed to Crabtree’s return to fantasy relevance. Amari Cooper is drawing a lot of attention from opposing defenses thus opening up things for Crabtree. Over the past four games Crabtree has 10 more targets than Cooper and four touchdowns to two for Amari. Crabtree is flying under the radar and is just the type of player to target in DFS. His low ownership percentage makes him a great contrarian GPP play and he’s more than affordable at his FanDuel salary of $6400.

Top Shelf Pick

Tight End

Tyler Eifert– Cincinnati Bengals $6200

vs Houston Texans

Tyler Eifert’s breakout season continued in Week 9 versus the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. Eifert was a one-man wrecking crew reeling in five catches for 53 yards and three touchdowns. It was the third game this season that Eifert has recorded multiple touchdown catches. It has been a common trend this year and Dalton has made a habit of targeting Eifert in the red zone. Last week versus the Browns, Eifert dominated in the red zone, catching all four of his red-zone targets for three scores. Eifert has 10 red zone receptions this season, and all nine of his receiving touchdowns have come from in-close, per ESPN Stats & Info. Speaking of touchdowns Eifert leads the league with nine receiving touchdowns and the next closest player has seven. The Texans defense has been putrid this year and they’ve allowed 16 scores through the air. Eifert is putting up Gronk-like numbers and is $1800 cheaper on FanDuel.

Bargain Bin Play

Eric Ebron– Detroit Lions $5300

at Green Bay Packers

Eric Ebron has been hard to trust so far but has shown some flashes. He’s had at least five targets in every game this season he’s played in except one. You would think that Jim Bob Cooter would want to get the second-year tight end more involved moving forward. This could be just the week with the Lions traveling to Lambeau Field to take on a struggling Packers team. The Packers have been struggling to contain opposing tight ends recently. Over their past three games they’ve allowed over 100 yards a game to opposing tight ends and two scores in that time span. I think the Packers will smell blood early and look to rack up lots of points forcing Stafford to air it out. Megatron is banged up and Golden Tate has been invisible lately making Ebron an interesting dart throw at tight end.

Defenses To Target

Arizona Cardinals- $4700

at Seattle Seahawks

Call me crazy, but I really like the Cardinals on the road this week in Seattle. The Cardinals face a Seahawks team that is coming off their bye and boy did they need it. Russell Wilson got paid in the offseason but has done nothing to back up the enormous contract they gave him. He’s yet to throw for more than one touchdown in any home game so far. The offensive line is hurting and Wilson is on pace to be sacked over 60 times this season. The Cards defense on the other hand has been amazing even after the departure of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The Cardinals are the third-ranked defense by Football Outsiders behind the Panthers and Broncos. Arizona has also allowed the seventh-fewest passing yards and they’re tied for a league-high 13 interceptions. This should be a great game but I’m betting the house the Cards come in and play inspired football forcing Wilson into a few big turnovers in rainy Seattle.

Carolina Panthers- $4700

at Tennessee Titans

I’m really confused why the second-ranked defense is so cheap this week on FanDuel. I think they’re scared away by Marcus Mariota and his second four touchdown performance of the season. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid considering Mariota’s best games of the season have come on the road versus terrible defenses in the Buccaneers and Saints. Go back and check out what Mariota did against the Buffalo Bills back in Week 5. In what was his toughest test so far Mariota passed for 187 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception.  Well get ready rookie because the Carolina Panthers are going to cause some major headaches. The Titans are already minus Kendall Wright and with Josh Norman coming to town I’m predicting Mariota has multiple picks in what will turn out to be a blowout. I hope everyone else fades the Panthers defense based on Mariota’s most recent performance.

11-11-2015 10-29-24 PM11-11-2015 10-42-09 PM

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