Week Ten NFL DFS AutoMattek Absolutes
Times have changed in DFS. When I first started writing the AutoMattek Absolutes six years ago, cash games were all anyone wanted to talk about. A majority of players considered themselves cash game grinders and tournaments were secondary to the 50/50’s, head to heads and double-ups.
That is no longer the case. Tournaments are the primary source of discussion and interest for both the casual and serious DFS players. As such, the content has to evolve with time. Throughout the 2019 NFL season, the AutoMattek Absolutes will be a hybrid GPP strategy/individual plays highlight column to help you get prepared for the Sunday main slate of tournaments.
Once More Into The Breach, My Brothers
Oh, you thought that just because the Arizona Cardinals are going to be a little bit more owned this week that we weren’t going to attack them? Well, you thought wrong. Despite slowing their pace up over the second half of this season (going from #1 overall in pace to closer to league average), the offense has maintained its’ elements that make it fantasy-friendly. The arrival of Kenyan Drake Miami is going to gum up the works for a $5,700 David Johnson but my anticipation for that would be that Johnson is going to retain his normal amount of passing volume. With Chase Edmonds out of the fold, there are 8-10 touches and 20 snaps open for Drake to take.
Where it might get tricky with the Cardinals this week is their secondary options. There has been a shuffling of the order with KeeSean Johnson and Damiere Byrd both randomly inactive over the last few weeks. Pharoh Cooper still plays snaps, Trent Sherfield earns a few targets per game and Andy Isabella just had an 88-yard receiving touchdown. Instead of speculating on those secondary options, it makes sense to perhaps bring that rule above down to just “at least one” Cardinal with Kyler and then institute a bring back rule.
This week really feels amazing as my favorite pass catcher in the NFL (Mike Evans) positively correlates with my favorite quarterback in the NFL (Kyler Murray). I refuse to look this gift horse in the mouth, even though I expect Kyler and Evans to be popular individually. Something we have found when looking back at tournaments this year is that less than 5% of total lineups are using the 2+ stack with at least one player from the opposing team. There is still leverage to be had.
Me And Mr. Reynolds
I have a long and spotted history with Josh Reynolds. There were definitely a few moments last year where I insisted that he would seamlessly fill in for Cooper Kupp and welp, that never happened. However, Reynolds has been a valuable player in fantasy when starting. Last year, in games that Cooper Kupp did not play, Reynolds averaged over five targets per game and .62 touchdowns per game with 45.6 yards. Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee should see increased snaps with Brandin Cooks likely not playing this week for the Rams but it will be Reynolds who sees his baseline of playing time increase the most.
Reynolds is pretty interesting this week because there are some very highly projected players (Mike Evans, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas) but there is not a free square running back like Jaylen Samuels. It is possible that we feel more confident in Ronald Jones or maybe Le’Veon Bell does not suit up for the Jets but as of right now, Reynolds is one of the building block value plays on a higher team total of the week.
Most weeks, I think that the right way to attack every single lineup is to use at least one stack in every lineup. That can vary from QB+1 WR or as heavy as QB+ two pass-catchers + one opposing player. I think this week, with not a ton of quarterbacks that I am interested in playing, there is room for playing solo lineups with Lamar. Marquise Brown is the best Air Yards target on the team but has been lacking production and Mark Andrews is now in a legit three tight end rotation. Lamar has the best 90th percentile QB projection (as he should) but none of his pass-catchers are extremely good values. There a lot of interesting 90th percentile plays at WR who are affordable (Sammy Watkins, Zach Pascal, DJ Moore) that make great fillers with Lamar and I think are solid arguments as to being rotated in L-Jax MME teams.
The Case For The Thin Running Backs
As of right now (and it is early), we have only four positive values at the running back position on DraftKings. There will be injuries, projections will be tweaked here and there but by and large, this is a tough week for running backs. Christian McCaffrey is trying to set records for FPPG and for DK price while SaQuon Barkley just has not been as effective this season as he was in his rookie year.
So where do we go at the running back position in tournaments? David Montgomery is a positive value but due to the team that he plays for and his lack of per-carry efficiency, I am tempted to see this as a spot where he is closer to bad chalk than a good spot to match the field. David Montgomery is no Jaylen Samuels. As of Wednesday, I am closer to taking an anti-Montgomery stance but there is no denying that his carry and target share make him a play at his decreased salary.
The play that I think makes the most sense but that might end up being too owned relative to his 75th percentile projection is Ronald Jones. Jones played 52% of the snaps last week and saw his most touches of the season while scoring a touchdown. He now gets the A+ matchup against the Arizona Cardinals as a home favorite. He still is only minimally involved in the passing game (two targets last week) and lost goalline carries to Dare Ogunbowale last week. Granted, he is only $4,300 and he is the sort of athletic, explosive player we would project to do well with 15+ touches but the fact that he has been such a limited pass-catcher has me wondering if he is worth being overweight on.
Devin Singletary is coming off of 20 carry, five target performance takes his game on the road to play the 2-6 Cleveland Browns. The Bills are actually underdogs in this game and while Singletary appears to have won the primary passing-down duties, he has no goalline work after Frank Gore and Josh Allen have their shares. I actually think Singletary is going to carry some ownership this week but I prefer David Johnson, Devonta Freeman, and Damien Williams as the tournament plays straight up over Singletary. Williams, in particular, should be getting Patrick Mahomes back as his QB this week, played 72% of the snaps last week and had his best rushing game as a pro. Williams will likely be my biggest overweight position in GPP’s this week at the RB position.