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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Daily: Week 10 Walkthrough

The evolution of the New Orleans Saints offense continued Week 10 with an impressive 47-10 beatdown of the Bills on the road in Orchard Park. Three Saint running backs finished with double-digit points, highlighted by Mark Ingram’s 131-yard, three touchdown performance.

A successful run game is not something new for head coach Sean Payton and the Saints, as New Orleans finished in the top three for total fantasy points to RBs in each of the last two seasons. But this year’s Saints may be the best rushing unit in the history to of the team and is currently on pace to score the most fantasy points since the 2006 Chargers led by Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

A negative effect of the stout ground game in New Orleans is the reduced fantasy value of Drew Brees. The veteran quarterback is currently ranked 13th in average fantasy points per game (21.14), behind Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, and rookie QB C.J. Beathard. Brees is on pace for 25 touchdowns and 4,200 passing yards, which would be career lows since joining the Saints in 2006.

For DFS purposes, I wrote about Brees and his diminishing value in my preview piece for Week 10. I will continue to avoid the future hall of famer on future tickets as long as the Saints continue to dominate on the ground and with their surprisingly strong defense.

In Week 10 I opted to go with another veteran quarterback in Eli Manning against the 49ers, in what appeared to be a high scoring game against Beathard and the 49ers. Manning had a decent game, and my Giants stack with Sterling Shepard paid off, but my running backs fell short and I missed out on cashing.

The following is a losing ticket from the Week 10 Millionaire contest on DraftKings.

Quarterback: Eli Manning
Points: 17.82
Grade: C

Manning’s inexpensive $5,100 price tag gave me the ability to invest a significant amount of my budget on running backs. With only two games over 20 points this season, Manning has been a subpar fantasy option that should only be considered as a GPP play against weak opponents. The 49ers met the requirements of a weak opponent, and the combination of Sterling Shepard and Manning seemed like a nice low-cost stack. With 273 yards and two touchdowns, Manning was serviceable, but he fell well short of a monster game needed to cash in a GPP.

Running Backs: Jordan Howard & Bilal Powell
Combined Points: 9
Grade: F

Nine points is the worst combined point total for a running back tandem in my DFS career, and a shocking result considering how confident I was in Jordan Howard vs. the Packers. Green Bay entered the game allowing the 5th-most points to opposing running backs, and Howard rushed for over 100 yards in two of his previous three games. Sometimes a perceived recipe for success turns out to be a fruitcake or liver and onions. In the case of Howard in Week 10, all I received was a liver and onion flavored fruitcake.

Powell seemed less of a certainty due to the unknown usage level with Elijah McGuire sharing carries in the absence of Matt Forte. But the upside of playing against the Bucs seemed like a great option, and nearly 45% of people playing daily in DK felt the same way. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay defense stepped up their game against the Jets and Powell dropped a turd.

Wide Receivers: Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Martavis Bryant
Combined Points: 58.2
Grade: B+

The struggles of the Browns pass defense against slot receivers and Tate’s consistent play this season made him a no-brainer in all formats. I predicted seven catches for 90 yards with the upside of a touchdown, and he came through with nearly that identical stat line. If he continues to be underpriced as a mid-level WR, I will continue to have him as a mainstay in my lineup.

Sterling Shepard’s volume since returning from injury has been near elite levels with 22 targets and 16 combined receptions in his last two games. At $5,500, he was the best value of the week for sub-6k wide receivers against a 49er defense that ranks near the bottom in points allowed to opposing WRs. With 11 catches for 142 yards on 13 targets, Shepard proved to be worth every penny.

I bought into the post-benching hype on Bryant, with the hope that he and Ben Roethlisberger were able to figure out their rapport issues over the break. Bryant did manage to get a two-point conversion, but he was unable to connect with Big Ben on a deep touchdown.

Tight End: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Points: 12.7
Grade: B+

The ASJ/Josh McCown revenge game looked too good to pass up and Seferian-Jenkins seemed primed for a bounce-back game after two sub-par performances in Weeks 8 and 9. The predicted volume was there with six catches for 67 yards, but he and McCown were unable to connect for a score.

Flex: Le’Veon Bell
Points: 16.2
Grade: C-

Going with a cheap quarterback like Manning gave me the ability to start Bell against the Colts in what had the makings of a monster game for the Pittsburgh running back. Bell, Howard, and Tate were my three must-start plays of the week, with each of them offering a high volume floor and the upside for a huge day. Only Tate proved to be worth the investment, with Bell delivering a mediocre 16 point game and Howard providing next to nothing. It is difficult to overcome a bad game from one of your star players, but trying to cash with two duds is nearly impossible.

DST: Detroit Lions
Points: 14
Grade: A

I went back and forth multiple times between the Jags and the Lions for my DST this week but decided to bet against a rookie quarterback in DeShone Kizer over a veteran like Philip Rivers. Kizer’s struggles with interceptions and the Lions’ propensity for causing turnovers seemed like an excellent formula for a defensive score.