Week 10 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Considering game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next week as a double-digit road underdog, because the game scripts in these games are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides those numbers that are used for sports betting, as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This will give us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and how we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Here are some game scripts to target this week in DFS.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cardinals Implied Team Total: 23.75
Buccaneers Implied Team Total: 28.25
These two teams fit a perfect recipe for a game script we want to target.
They both have below average defenses, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranking 17th in numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric and the Arizona Cardinals coming in at 30th. They both like to play up in pace, as the Cardinals continue to lead the league in situation-neutral pace, per Football Outsiders. The Bucs have not been playing at a fast pace in neutral situations, but interestingly they have played at the sixth-highest pace when holding a lead of seven points or more. Getting a lot of plays in against these poor defenses would be beneficial to all the offensive players in this game.
Lots of people are into the over on this game total, with oddsFire telling us that 87% of the money wagered on this game is on the over.
Jameis Winston ($7,900 on FanDuel) has battled through turnover problems to be a solid fantasy option in recent weeks. We love to roster Jameis when the game can go back and forth like it did last week versus the Seattle Seahawks, and Winston was able to hit 20 FanDuel points. This week he gets to face the slate's fourth-worst pass D, per our schedule-adjusted metrics. We know the Buccaneers have preferred to pass this season, with the 10th-highest pass-to-run ratio in the league this season. Winston could have big upside against a pass defense as weak as this one, and he should be able to get in a lot of chances to exploit them. He ranks fourth in numberFire's projections at the quarterback position in both raw points and point-per-dollar value.
The top value at the position is on the other side of this game in Kyler Murray ($7,700). Murray bounced back last week after two rough games to put 23 fantasy points against the San Francisco 49ers' ferocious defense. Like Winston, he gets a good matchup against the Buccaneers' 22nd-ranked pass D, according to our metrics. The Cardinals will likely need to throw to stay in the game as underdogs, and moving the ball on the ground against Tampa's top-rated rush defense has proven to be ineffective.
When both quarterbacks are going to throw the ball a lot, the result could be a wealth of fantasy points for many players.
Mike Evans ($8,600) went off again last week against the Seahawks, catching 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. In his last three games, he has seen 16, 12 and 17 targets, which has jumped his target share to 30 percent. He also is the league leader in air yards by nearly 200 yards, per AirYards.com. The opportunity he is getting in the offense sets him up well every week -- especially this week with the increased pace. The matchup with Patrick Peterson is not one to be feared, according to Pro Football Focus, giving Evans a significant edge in this spot.
Others to Consider
Despite the Bucs' run-stuffing defense, David Johnson ($6,800) could still be worth playing. He gets a ton of looks in the passing game and could punch in a touchdown if the Cardinals get the ball close to the goal line.
Chris Godwin ($8,200) has slotted as the number-two receiver behind Evans lately but is still receiving 20 percent of the targets. That target share could provide a lot of upside if Tampa racks up a lot of pass attempts like we expect.
Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers
Panthers Implied Team Total: 20.5
Packers Implied Team Total: 26.00
The Green Bay Packers will host the Carolina Panthers in a game that should have fantasy options we can roster on both sides. The Packers' offense hit a road bump last week against the Los Angeles Chargers but still ranks fifth-best by our metrics. The Panthers were able to score 30 points against a solid Tennessee Titans defense last week, and they will be going up against another tough unit here as the Packers have the 10th-rated defense. The Pack are the second-worst team against the run, however, and I can think of a player who could exploit that in this game.
No prizes for guessing that the player is Christian McCaffrey ($10,500).
McCaffrey has been on the field for 96 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps this year, leading the league for a running back. In said game against the Titans, he went off for 146 yards on the ground. His three targets were a season low, but that could change if the Panthers are trailing in this game, as they are projected to be. McCaffrey has had just one game under 19.7 fantasy points this season, and that was against the aforementioned stout Tampa Bay rush defense. This week against the Packers and poor run D, he could be worth his expensive $10,500 price tag.
The only team numberFire has rated below the Packers against the run is the Panthers. Aaron Jones ($7,600) could exploit this weakness, with our projections having him as the fourth-highest scorer at the running back position. He is being heavily targeted in the pass game, as his 35 catches are sixth in the league for running backs. Since Carolina has been good against the pass, Jones could see more volume in the running game, or Green Bay will have to find creative ways to get him the ball through the air like we saw in Week 8 versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
D.J. Moore ($5,800) had a big game in Week 9 against the Titans. His volume has been great in the last three weeks, with 29 targets in that span. Moore has a higher target share than Curtis Samuel ($6,100) and can be rostered for $300 cheaper than his teammate. A player of Moore's talent and volume does not get to be at this low of a price very often, and he is worth playing even if Green Bay's defense is strong against the pass.
Davante Adams ($7,800) returned last week, and the Packers didn't try to ease him back into the game. He saw 11 targets in his first game since Week 4. Adams still leads Green Bay wide receivers in targets despite missing four games. Aaron Rodgers loves to lock onto Adams and will try to do so despite what could be stellar coverage for a good Carolina secondary.
Others to Consider
Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) is decent -- but not spectacular -- play against Carolina. The return of Adams and the increased usage of Jones in the passing game should help him and give him more chances to have a big game.
Greg Olsen ($5,100) is a cheap option at tight end, and he has seen at least five targets in two of the last three games. He won't get anyone too excited to play him, but he does face a Green Bay defense that has been beaten by tight ends this season.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
Chiefs Implied Team Total: 27
Titans Implied Team Total 21.5
This game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans surprisingly has the third-highest total on the slate. The big news heading into this game is that Patrick Mahomes ($8,400) has practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday. His return could light a fire in this game and put a lot of these players in situations that are favorable for us to roster.
Mahomes is obviously in play if he were to suit up. His 0.36 Passing NEP per drop back leads all quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs. The Titans have been able to stop the run with the fifth-best run defense, so it's unlikely that KC will be able to get a pretty weak ground game going this week. We know Kansas City loves to throw, holding the fifth-highest pass-to-run ratio in the league, and they'll have every reason to continue that on Sunday. Mahomes -- if he plays -- gets to face a middle-of-the-pack pass defense in a game in which KC may struggled to run the ball, making him a great fantasy option.
The way the Titans will likely try to win this game is on the ground through Derrick Henry ($7,000). Last week, Henry saw his lowest volume of carries on the season but was given three targets, which tied for a season high. With the Titans trailing nearly the whole game at Carolina and passing more than they'd like to, Henry was able to score on one of those targets. The hope for fantasy owners is that this will encourage the coaching staff to throw him the ball more as he is capable of being dangerous in the pass game. He still will likely do most of his damage on the ground, though, and should be able to do so against Kansas City's poor run defense as long as he's not game-scripted out.
Travis Kelce ($6,700) saw his normal target volume in the two games started by Matt Moore. Mahomes returning would obviously do wonders for Kelce's efficiency, but he can still be played with Moore. Kelce is sixth in the NFL in red zone targets but has yet to score from inside the 20-yard line this season. His target volume and opportunities in the red zone are rare at the tight end position, making him a great play.
Others to Consider
A.J. Brown ($5,500) saw seven targets last week with the Titans playing from behind. With Corey Davis missing practice for two straight days, Brown could be in line for a lot of targets if Davis were to miss this game.
Tyreek Hill ($8,000) is always dangerous when he takes the field. He should get more deep targets with Mahomes than he did with Moore and is capable of taking the top off any defense. Hill makes for a perfect high-upside pairing with Mahomes.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.