By Mario Mergola
With no game in London and only four teams on byes, we have one of our biggest slates in weeks. More importantly, we have a large number of lopsided matchups that play well into attempting to project game flow. Making Week 10 even sweeter, we have a few ‘revenge games’ to target, as well.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 10 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs
Luke’s DFS Take: This game has the biggest likelihood to be a blowout, which means there is fantasy appeal galore; there almost always is when the Chiefs play, and this week is no different. The Chiefs should be able to score at will, as usual, and Kareem Hunt figures to continue his stellar play as they should be playing with a lead throughout and run the ball plenty. Even with this game flow, the Chiefs always find ways to throw the ball, and they should have plenty of success doing it. If Sammy Watkins is out, things become very interesting on who to target in the Chiefs passing game. There is the possibility that Tyreek Hill gets shadowed all game by Patrick Peterson, and considering Peterson is one of the best in the league, and the rest of the Cardinals’ defense is mediocre, it may be smart for the Chiefs to largely use Hill as a decoy this week. If he sees fewer targets than normal, and Watkins is out, that makes Travis Kelce even more appealing than normal, and it also makes Chris Conley very interesting. He figures to have a much bigger role than normal anyway, but if Hill is shut down, that could be even more work for Conley who can be had for a cheap price. We know the Chiefs will score, so does that mean we can have any faith in the Cardinals offense to compete? They may not be able to keep the game close, but I do like their chances of being productive. Even though their last game was ugly, it did produce Josh Rosen’s biggest passing yardage, and first multi-touchdown game. That type of confidence can help him moving forward, but there are other reasons to believe in this offense now. They are coming off a bye week in which their new offensive coordinator will have had time to implement his version of the offense which should be an improvement. That fact combined with the expected game script, and the matchup with a Chiefs defense that still ranks amongst the worst in the NFL, and it makes Josh Rosen, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk all worth serious consideration.
Mario’s DFS Take: One of the themes about which we write on a weekly basis is the likelihood of a lopsided contest in which one team has to throw to keep pace while the other will be looking to run to wind down the clock. Such is the case on Sunday, as the 2-6 Cardinals travel to Kansas City to face the 8-1 Chiefs. The game will be decided before the coin toss, but the fantasy implications will have 60 minutes to unfold. Therefore, Kareem Hunt is an obvious, excellent choice from Kansas City, while Josh Rosen actually has high upside for the Cardinals. If, nothing else, his volume will be high. And, as always, I prefer to pair him with Larry Fitzgerald. Christian Kirk is also getting some love, as he has received at least six targets in each of his last three games. David Johnson makes for an intriguing play, as the game flow is certainly against him, but he had made a career out of being one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league. He has sneaky upside in any point-per-reception format.
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Luke’s DFS Take: This is a matchup that plenty of people are targeting for stacking players. Washington’s offense had one of its most productive games of the season, last week, and Tampa Bay bleeds points like crazy and then scores a ton playing catch up. While all of that may be true, the only reason that Washington was so productive, last week, was because they allowed 38 points to the Falcons and threw the ball more than they had all season long. That was only the third time this season that the Redskins allowed more than 20 points in a game, and those three games came against Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck. Ryan Fitzpatrick has had some strings of great play, but he is nowhere near the quarterback that those other players are, and he is far more likely to implode and turn the ball over frequently. Add in the fact that the Redskins lost two more members of their offensive line, and I think the Redskins’ defense may feast this week, and it will control the game. It will also allow the Redskins to play their game of just running the ball which give Adrian Peterson some appeal. The Buccaneers will likely score some garbage time points like they always do, but I don’t expect it to be enough based on what people are expecting from this game, so outside of the Redskins’ defense and possibly Peterson, I will be passing this game and hoping it disappoints the masses.
Mario’s DFS Take: I’m the first one to be on the lookout for any glimmer of a potential ‘trap,’ but I don’t see one in Tampa Bay on Sunday. Instead, it appears as if the Washington Redskins are being sold so heavily by the football-watching world that they are, indeed, expected to lose. I disagree. The Buccaneers have had an incredibly potent offense, all year, but they are equally erratic and mistake-prone – the most turnovers in the league, to date. Washington’s defense had been outstanding prior to a collapse against the Falcons, but this only increases the likelihood of a better rebound performance in the encore. In fact, the Redskins’ defense is a nice ‘sleeper’ play because of the ‘bounceback’ potential and Tampa Bay’s high turnover rate. If the Buccaneers can’t push the envelope, it might lower the ceiling for Washington’s Alex Smith in response. But, if he has to throw the ball at any time, he should have nothing but success. Every other quarterback has against Tampa Bay, anyway. Finally, I usually don’t like to pick between Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson, but Thompson’s injury leaves Peterson as the main running back. He has his own injury concerns but, if he is playing, he will probably be in my lineup.