FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 10
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel NFL primer, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of this week's top plays of the slate.
Patrick Mahomes ($8,500 on FanDuel): Mahomes tops this week's projections, taking on a Jaguars team that ranks 25th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics. The Chiefs have the slate's highest implied team total (30.00) by a wide margin as 9.5-point home favorites.
Mahomes is averaging the second-most FanDuel points per game (26.0) by leading the league in passing yards (325.6) and passing touchdowns (2.6) per game. Unsurprisingly, he's been brutally efficient through the air, ranking second in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back and third in Passing Success Rate.
He may not run as often as other elite fantasy quarterbacks, but he scampered for 63 rushing yards and a score on Monday, so it's not like he can't have the occasional productive day on the ground, too. With Josh Allen looking iffy with an elbow injury, Mahomes is arguably the slate's top overall quarterback play.
Justin Fields ($8,300): Fields' fantasy stock has been on the rise for several weeks now, but you can slap a hundred rocket emojis on it after he obliterated the Week 9 slate with 42.72 FanDuel points. On top of throwing three touchdowns and rushing for one more, Fields set the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 178.
The dual-threat has now run for over 80 yards in three of his last four games, and he's behind only Lamar Jackson in rushing yards per game at the position this year (66.9).
Fields has a great chance to keep the momentum going against the Lions, a team that continues to sit 32nd in adjusted total defense and has allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks.
Tua Tagovailoa ($8,100): Tagovailoa is taking full advantage of having two stud wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and is coming off back-to-back 300-yard, 3-touchdown games. He is the only quarterback averaging more Passing NEP per drop back than Mahomes this season.
Miami has the second-highest implied team total (26.00) in a potential back-and-forth spot at home against Cleveland. While this isn't a pace-up spot for the Dolphins, this game still has a sizable 48.5 over/under, and this offense typically likes to throw it, ranking seventh in pass rate over expectation.
Although the Browns' defense is more susceptible to the run, Tagovailoa shouldn't have any trouble throwing against the 18th-ranked adjusted pass defense.
Saquon Barkley ($9,500): We haven't seen many true spike weeks from Barkley this season -- he's cracked 20 FanDuel points just twice this season -- but he's in a great spot to blow up against Houston this week.
Barkley continues to have one of the NFL's best workloads, averaging 29.1 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) per game, which trails only Austin Ekeler. He also ranks first at the position in both snap rate (83.9%) and route rate (64.5%), and he's second in scrimmage yards per game (121.0).
On top of all that, this is a pristine matchup against a Texans team that's 31st in adjusted rush defense and has allowed the most FanDuel points per game to opposing backfields. The Giants should be prepared to take advantage following their bye week, and that's reflected by their status as 5.5-point home favorites.
Despite the lack of production on Monday, Kamara has now averaged a robust 31.2 adjusted opportunities over his last five games, so better days are ahead. He actually saw a season-high 87.8% snap rate in the last game, too, and that uptick in snaps could remain while Mark Ingram is out.
The Saints ought to have an easier time keeping things competitive as 1.5-point road favorites over the Steelers, and Kamara should be able to move the chains against the 21st-ranked adjusted rush defense.
Travis Etienne ($8,000): If the Jaguars can stay within striking distance of the Chiefs, Etienne should continue to pile up the FanDuel points as their workhorse back.
Over the last three weeks, Etienne has logged a 79.8% snap rate while averaging 28.7 adjusted opportunities and 135.7 scrimmage yards per game. He's scored at least one touchdown in all three weeks, leading to 18.4, 23.7, and 25.6 FanDuel points.
This matchup has the highest total on the board (50.5), so it could turn into a fantasy bonanza if Jacksonville keeps pace with Mahomes and friends. The Chiefs are 24th in adjusted rush defense this year.
Jonathan Taylor ($7,000): Imagine telling someone at the beginning of the season that we could roster Taylor at $7,000 in Week 10 -- and he wouldn't be anywhere close to a slam dunk play.
Well, that's the sad state of affairs for Taylor and this rapidly deteriorating Colts team. While it's yet to be determined whether Taylor will play this week, he's trending in the right direction after returning to practice this week.
Now, let's be clear, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see the Fightin' Jeff Saturdays get their clocks cleaned by the Raiders this weekend. Between all the moving parts of this surprise mid-season coaching hire, the team's overall struggles, and whether or not Taylor is even healthy enough to be productive remains to be seen.
And yet, Las Vegas began the week as high as 6.5-point home favorites with the majority of money and bets on the Raiders -- but the line has actually trended down to 5.5.
If this proves to be as close a game as the oddsmakers think, Taylor will likely be Indianapolis' main mode of attack pretty much by default, potentially opening up a buy-low opportunity. Even while battling injuries all season, he's averaged 26.2 adjusted opportunities per game and a 73.2% snap rate.
Tyreek Hill ($9,000): Hill already has 1,104 receiving yards this season, averaging a ridiculous 122.7 per game. Only three other players are averaging over 100 receiving yards per game, and none of them come anywhere close to that mark.
Hill continues to see immense volume, averaging the league's second-most targets per game (11.1) and the most downfield targets of 10-plus air yards (5.8).
At this point, he's in play regardless of opponent, but it sure can't hurt that Cleveland ranks 31st against wide receivers in adjusted fantasy points allowed per target. Hill is projected for the most points among wideouts on Sunday.
Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,900): With Aaron Rodgers completely self-destructing with three interceptions last week, the Lions were content to rely on their ground game to grind out a win, leading to just 26 pass attempts from Jared Goff.
While that meant a quiet fantasy day for St. Brown, his usage remained phenomenal. Despite the low passing volume, the wideout still saw nine targets (37.5% share), and with four of them being of the downfield variety, he even saw a massive 73.5% air yards share.
Across his five games playing over half the snaps, St. Brown is now averaging 10.4 targets per game with a 31.0% target share and 26.0% air yards share, and with the way Fields is playing these days, Detroit will likely have to air it out far more this weekend. The Bears are 28th in adjusted pass defense and are 27th on a per-target basis to wideouts.
Christian Kirk ($6,800): This Jaguars-Chiefs matchup is one of the few showing any obvious shootout potential on Sunday, and if the Jags' passing game holds up their end of the bargain, Kirk figures to be one of the main beneficiaries.
Among Jacksonville wide receivers, Kirk leads in target share (23.7%), snap rate (89.0%), and route rate (94.7%) this season, and he's second in air yards share (29.4%). He's also been the preferred target in the red zone (29.3% share), with all five of his touchdowns coming from within the 20-yard line.
Kansas City has a mediocre defense again this year and ranks just 26th in adjusted fantasy point per target against wide receivers.
George Pickens ($5,600): Needless to say, rostering anyone in this Pittsburgh offense typically isn't advisable, but they're coming off a bye week and recently dealt Chase Claypool, theoretically leading to more looks for the Steelers' remaining pass-catchers. Claypool leaves behind a 17.5% target share and 20.9% air yards share that should primarily be spread between Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
In the five games that quarterback Kenny Pickett has played at least a part of, Pickens has a 16.8% target share and 29.8% air yards share while leading the team in downfield targets per game (3.6). While those may not be eye-popping marks, it's helped him to double-digit FanDuel points in three of those games, and the absence of Claypool could elevate his fantasy upside.
The matchup could also give Pickens a boost; the Saints are below-average at defending wide receivers.
Travis Kelce ($8,500): Although Kelce will cost you $2,000 or more in cap space compared to anyone else at the position, his median projection is nearly double that of any other tight end.
Mahomes' favorite pass-catcher is seeing a 24.7% target share, and his 9.6 targets per game easily leads all tight ends. He scored at least 15 FanDuel points in six of his eight games, which is simply unheard of consistency at the position these days.
T.J. Hockenson ($6,000): Unfortunately, we're just not going to be able to work our way up to Kelce in every lineup build, and it's pretty wide open among the rest of the field.
But Hockenson is an intriguing option after logging a 90.8% snap rate, 81.3% route rate, and 23.1% target share in his very first game with the Vikings. He was actually second on Minnesota with nine targets, and if he's getting this type of usage after less than a week with his new team, it's abundantly clear that this offense has big plans for him moving forward.
Despite a tough matchup against Buffalo, Hockenson's still projected for the third-most points among tight ends.
Tennessee D/ST ($4,400): Maybe Denver's offense shows new signs of life out of the bye, but until they prove otherwise, they look like a team we want to attack with opposing defenses. Entering the weekend, the Broncos are 31st in adjusted total offense, per our metrics.
Russell Wilson has the league's fourth-highest sack rate (9.2%) while throwing just six touchdowns to four interceptions in his seven starts. While this projects as one of the slowest, run-heavy games this week, if the favored Titans can build an early lead and force the Broncos to pass, we might see Russ cook up another stinker for us.
New Orleans D/ST ($3,900): Kenny Pickett and the Steelers will also be looking for better results out of the bye, but Pickett hasn't helped his cause much thus far.
Among quarterbacks with a minimum of 50 drop backs, he's averaged the sixth-worst Passing NEP per drop back, trailing even former starter Mitchell Trubisky. Pickett has thrown at least one pick in all but one of his five appearances, including three in a game he didn't even start.
Despite having a salary below $4,000, New Orleans' defense is projected for a top-five score on Sunday.