Daily Fantasy Football Bargains and Best Buys: Week 10
The NFL season is past it's halfway point, which means we're running out of weeks to build up bankrolls and take down by prizes in daily fantasy football. But it also means we've got plenty of data from this season to work with to make the best choices for Week 10.
As always, I'll provide eight players I'm using in my lineups this weekend, split into two categories. The first category - Bargains - is pretty obvious. These are undervalued players who will allow you to spend more elsewhere, or who offer a ton of upside based on their cost. The other category is Best Buys, which includes players who are more than worth a large chunk of your budget, and will deliver on their high price tag.
Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens - You may be frustrated by Justin Forsett's continued failings (or lack of opportunities) in finding the end zone, but his overall production makes him a fine choice this week in another solid matchup. The Ravens take on the Titans, who rank 28th in our opponent-adjusted Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) defense rankings.
That ranking has translated into Tennessee allowing the eighth-most points per game to running backs. That's good news for Forsett, who has posted 20-plus touches in his team's two most recent competitive games. His volume was reduced in a big win against Tampa and a big loss against Pittsburgh, but a game against the Titans should be a bit more balanced for the at-home Ravens. He's one of a select few running backs with a decent price point this week, so if you're not paying up, Forsett is one of your best bets to save some salary cap space.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan's price is really low across most of the daily fantasy industry this week, and he's in a matchup that's too good to overthink. The Falcons take on the Buccaneers, who have the worst pass defense according to our metrics. That showed the last time these two teams played, as Atlanta demolished Tampa Bay on Thursday Night Football to start the trend of horrible games on TNF.
Ryan has been quiet as of late, but did throw for two touchdowns against the strong Lions defense his last time out. The Bucs are the opposite of the Lions on defense, and allow the sixth-most points per game to quarterbacks. Ryan is as safe of a bet as you'll find at quarterback, and for a fantastic price.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers - Martavis Bryant wasn't even activated to play for the first handful of Pittsburgh games this season, but once he was unleashed, he quickly became one of the team's top playmakers on offense. Over the past three contests, he's fourth on the team in touches behind Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount.
Bryant has also been targeted in the red zone more than any Pittsburgh receiver other than Brown, and has the size and ability to be nearly impossible to cover inside the 20. That will serve him well in a fantastic matchup with the Jets, who rank 26th in passing defense according to our data.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles - LeSean McCoy is in the same boat as Matt Ryan in that neither is a true bargain across the industry, but the potential to exceed their expected value is tremendous, and they're priced well below the top players at their positions. McCoy is an incredible play this weekend against Carolina, who currently have the 10th-worst run defense in our rankings.
McCoy will get star guard Evan Mathis back to lead the way, not that he needed the help given his recent string of successful games after starting the year slowly. McCoy has 20 carries or more in four straight games, and has gone over 80 yards in each game. A cake matchup this week should end his touchdown drought and provide big numbers for those who don't overthink things and keep him out of their lineups.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - Forte is the first of three players from this game that will be included in "Best Buys," because this game should be an absolute shootout, and Forte will benefit from a tremendous matchup combined with his consistent volume. The Packers rank last in rushing defense according to our data, and allow over 20 points per game to opposing backs.
Forte has five or more receptions and 12 or more carries in every game this season, whether it's been a big win, a big loss, or anything in between. He's gone over 100 total yards in five straight, and has scored six times in his last four games, plus adding in a two-point conversion. If you're paying up for a running back this week, it has to be Forte.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers - On the other side of this matchup is Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who may be kept out of some lineups made by emotional players let down by Rodgers' performance against New Orleans. Don't let last week beat you twice in this instance.
The Bears allow the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks, and rank 25th in pass defense according to our data. Rodgers is one of the best in the business (fourth in per-drop back efficiency) and was on a roll prior to the hamstring injury and subsequent struggles against the Saints. In the four games before last week, Rodgers had thrown three or more scores in each game with no interceptions, and should bounce back to that production against the rival Bears.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons - If you're playing Matt Ryan, you almost have to pair him up with Julio Jones this weekend. Jones has dominated the Buccaneers over his career, averaging a score per game against the division rivals from the south, including two in their first meeting this season.
The Bucs allow the most points per game to opposing wide receivers, and Jones has been heavily targeted for most of the season. His production and volume have dropped just a bit recently, but that will only serve to drop the price on a player who always shows up against the Buccaneers.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers - Jordy Nelson began the season seeing a ridiculous majority of his team's targets, and while his grasp on the workload in the Green Bay offense has loosened, that's only served to keep his price reasonable for this week's matchup. Vegas sees this as a very high scoring game, and their line currently has the Packers scoring at least four times. The odds of Nelson missing out on all four scores is very, very low.
I've already mentioned Chicago's poor pass defense, which allowed Nelson to score twice in their last meeting on 12 targets. Rodgers and Nelson are both in need of a bounce-back game, and a date with Chicago is just the stage to get things right and post big numbers in a beatdown of their rivals.