Daily Fantasy Football: Sannes' Situations to Monitor in Week 10
How you play Week 10 is going to come down to two key questions.
1. How do you stack the slate's potential shootouts?
2. Which of the low-salaried running backs can you actually trust?
In an ideal world, we'd use those values at running back in order to splurge for the studs in the high-scoring contests. But every single potential value option has issues with either their floor or their ceiling, which throws a massive wrench into that plan.
Additionally, we've got three higher-salaried running backs who all grade out really well. As such, taking swipes at players with a more questionable range of outcomes becomes even dicier.
With this in mind, we've got to do two things today. We need to run through the shootouts and see if there are any low-salaried ways to get exposure. Then, we need to go through the situation for each of the potential value plays at running back to see if any of them are worth using when we could instead just pay up.
So, how should we be viewing these central questions on Week 10's main daily fantasy football slate? Let's dig in and check it out, starting with those shootouts.
Building Around Bills Versus Cardinals
It won't take a savant to tell you that you that the best game on the Week 10 slate features the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Buffalo Bills. It's got the highest total on the board for a reason, and you know almost every player in this game will carry popularity. But sometimes, that popularity is justified.
As a result of this game environment, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen rank second and third, respectively, on the slate in salary at quarterback, trailing only Russell Wilson. But with both players sporting healthy rushing volume, they're still the two best quarterbacks on the slate even after you account for salary. It helps that we can offset those salaries a bit with some value receivers.
On the Cardinals side, that guy is Christian Kirk, who is $6,300 on FanDuel. Kirk's role early in the season was underwhelming as he amassed just 57 receiving yards in his first two games. Then he got banged up and missed Week 3.
We're up to a five-game sample since Kirk returned to the lineup, though, and in that time, his role has been much more respectable. Here, a "deep" target is one at least 16 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
|Week 4 On||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
It's still DeAndre Hopkins leading the way, but the downfield throws are going to Kirk. Kirk's red-zone presence means he can potentially even bail you out if he doesn't get the yardage you need.
The yardage hasn't been a concern, though, with Kirk topping 75 yards in three of his past four games. The floor is still disappointing with Hopkins commanding a higher percentage of the targets, but Kirk is a top-tier tournament option even with projected popularity.
As for Hopkins, he'll likely deal with Tre'Davious White, who returned to practice Thursday after injuring his ankle in Week 9. Although that would downgrade Hopkins a bit (and could funnel additional targets to Kirk), the bigger concern may be the lack of downfield volume.
Hopkins has still had two 100-yard game in the five-game sample above, so the ceiling is there. But in the other three games, he has had 41, 73, and 30 receiving yards. His ceiling allows us to still use him in game stacks, but we should downgrade expectations from where they were the first few weeks.
The Kirk-esque value on the other side is John Brown. Despite a rebirth with 99 yards last week, Brown is still just $5,600 on FanDuel. And that rebirth wasn't purely a product of a date with the Seattle Seahawks, either.
Brown has been healthy now for five games, lopping off Weeks 3 and 6 where he either left early or was clearly hobbled. In those five games, Stefon Diggs has still been the lead dog, but Brown has been a respectable second fiddle.
|With Brown Healthy||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Again, Diggs is an elite option, and he should sit ahead of Hopkins among the high-salaried guys in this game. So make sure you're getting a healthy serving of Diggs. But Brown does give us access to this juicy game at a low salary.
Between Kirk and Brown, you should have the salary flexibility to get to either Murray or Allen even if you want to ride the bellcow backs. Murray's averaging 67.9 rushing yards per game, which -- without accounting for rushing touchdowns -- is worth more than 1.5 passing touchdowns. Murray's the top quarterback on the slate. Allen is firmly above the rest, though.
Normally, we wouldn't consider Drake. His role has been abominable for fantasy all season. But two things here do make him one of the viable value backs.
First, Chase Edmonds didn't dazzle in his audition as the bellcow. Only 4 of his 25 runs increased the team's expected points for the drive, per numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. NEP tracks the expected points added or subtracted on each play. For the season, Edmonds' Rushing NEP per carry and Rushing Success Rate are now lower than Drake's. We'd happily use Edmonds if Drake were to sit, but we can likely say that Drake didn't get Wally Pipp'd.
Second, the Bills are beatable on the ground, ranking 24th against the rush, according to numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. It's a good matchup, and it's a game to which we want exposure. Drake would need to get in a full practice by Friday, and he can't be a core or cash-game play, but we could include him in game stacks at $6,000.
The Well-Rested Rams
The other big total on the board is in Los Angeles for the Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams. You may be wary of the Rams given the dud they dropped in Week 8, but that was under some wild circumstances.
That game was their eighth of the season. It was their fifth on the road, but more importantly, it was already the fourth time they had played on the East Coast. No team has racked up the frequent flier miles like the Rams, and eventually, that's going to take a toll.
Now, not only do the Rams get to play at home, but they've had a bye to rest their weary legs. We should expect to see a much different team this Sunday.
It also doesn't hurt they're facing a Seahawks defense that ranks 27th against the pass and just 11th in defensive pressure rate. Jared Goff's going to have time to throw, and that is when he is most potent.
Whether that's enough to justify using Goff is a different question. He does provide a discounted salary of $7,400. However, the ceiling and floor combination on the rushing quarterbacks is just so tough to pass up. If we want Goff to actually move the needle, he'll need a monster game as a passer.
Since the start of last year, 12 quarterbacks have made a perfect FanDuel lineup with less than 20 rushing yards or without multiple rushing touchdowns. That's 12 out of 26, mind you, which shows how critical rushing production is.
Pushing that aside, here's the average statline for those 12 quarterbacks.
|Average Statline||Passing Yards||Passing TDs||FD Points|
Again, that's just the average. Six of the 12 threw for at least 400 yards, including all three who have done so this year.
In other words, if Goff's going to win you a tournament, he needs to ballistic. It's very possible he could. He actually threw for 395 yards in the Rams' first game with Seattle last year, and they're even worse against the pass now. It's just important to recognize that the rushing quarterbacks are a good chunk more desirable for Goff even after accounting for the salary discount.
Goff's pass-catchers are a lot easier to justify. And we might actually be able to scrape some value here, too.
The first two weeks of the season, Van Jefferson got a good amount of run, playing more than 35% of the snaps in both. He has since gone back in the garage with a snap rate under 30% in each game. That has allowed Josh Reynolds to actually get respectable usage.
|Week 3 On||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
That's not cash-game usage, by any means. But at $5,000 in a game and a matchup like this, that might actually work.
Reynolds is yet to top 60 receiving yards in a game this year, and we need more than that even out of our value options. But he's getting downfield looks (he had four in Week 7 alone), and this game has the potential to shoot out. That's enough to make Reynolds a value consideration at wide receiver.
Clearly, though, if you've got the salary, you'll want to get up to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Kupp's target total is being inflated by his 20-burger in Week 8, but even if you throw that game out, he's at 24.4% of the targets in this split with Woods at 20.6%. That makes Kupp the top option on this team. Woods' deep volume combined with his steady diet of rush attempts makes him a solid number two, though.
On the Seattle side, you might be scared a bit by the Rams' defense, which has allowed just 19.0 points per game on the season. But that's a misleading number.
Sunday's game will be just the second time all year the Rams have faced a top-10 offense by numberFire's metrics. The other outing was against the Bills in Week 3, and they let up 35 points there. They're still good once you adjust for schedule, but we shouldn't avoid them with an offense as good as Seattle's. Wilson is a tier below Murray and Allen but still a high-quality quarterback option on the slate.
That goes for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, as well. The matchups for them aren't great, but we know they've got arguably the highest ceilings each and every week. We should likely rank Diggs ahead of them among the high-salaried receivers in these two games, but you can make an easy case for putting Metcalf second on that list, even ahead of the Rams' guys.
Another Week With no Christian McCaffrey
Just as quickly as Christian McCaffrey sprinted back to DFS relevancy last week, he is yet again taken from our player pools.
Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey is not expected to play Sunday against Tampa Bay due to a right shoulder, per sources. McCaffrey now will be considered week to week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2020
Life is harsh, and everything is bad. And it's hard to know what level of faith we should have in Mike Davis.
When McCaffrey first went out, Davis was crushing in fantasy with McCaffrey-esque usage. That usage went down as time progressed, though, especially in key categories. The "Adj. Opp." column here is "adjusted opportunities," which is carries plus two-times the player's target total with targets being worth twice as much as a carry for a running back on FanDuel.
|Davis Without CMC||Carries||Targets||Adj. Opp.||Snap Rate|
The downtick for Davis overlapped with Curtis Samuel returning from injury in Week 7. Samuel played just nine snaps in the backfield those games, per Pro Football Focus, but he did scoop a short rushing touchdown in both. Missing out on high-leverage touches is tough.
The plus for Davis is that he was still on the field a bunch, and we know he can get big work in the passing game. He's going to need that against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that ranks first in Rushing Success Rate allowed to opposing running backs.
If you add up all six games, Davis averaged 25.5 adjusted opportunities per game with McCaffrey out. That's more than enough to be viable at $5,400, even when you consider the matchup. But if he's going to see a target decrease and lose meaningful touches to Samuel, there are multiple paths to failure.
This does not mean that Davis is out of consideration. A back who plays this much at $5,400 is hard to turn down no matter the matchup. But with a couple of holes in his profile, this seems like a good week to be underweight on him relative to the field.
Nick Chubb's Return
Chubb wound up missing four games due to his knee injury but has been designated to return from injured reserve. He's been practicing all week, and we should expect him to be back in full form on Sunday. That requires us to hit the reset button on this backfield.
The team got in three full games before Chubb went down. Here's the per-game workload that he and Kareem Hunt got in those outings.
|First 3 Games||Carries||Targets||Adj. Opp.|
It's exciting to have Chubb back. But we can't forget how mediocre his workload was before the injury.
This doesn't necessarily mean that Chubb is completely off the table. The Texans' defense is hideous, so you may not need a ton of volume to post a big score against them. And Chubb did top 23 FanDuel points in two of those three full games. But with a max of 24 adjusted opportunities in that span, you need monster efficiency to blow up.
The problem is that Chubb's salary is $8,200. The only two healthy players with higher salaries than him are Alvin Kamara and Aaron Jones, who are both averaging at least 26.0 adjusted opportunities per game. Again, Chubb's max is 24.
If Chubb is going to continue to not catch passes, he needs to go nuts as a rusher to burn you. He's very similar to Derrick Henry in that sense, so we should handle him similarly to Henry. Ask yourself what are the odds that Chubb goes for 120 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, as that's basically what he needs to do to make you regret not using him. Then allocate your exposure accordingly.
In this matchup, the odds he hits those benchmarks are not zero. But they're also high marks to hit. As a result, if you are throwing out a bunch of entries, Chubb is worthy of exposure, but he's a far cry from a core play even in a great spot.
Instead, you could pivot to the Browns' passing game. They're likely to be more run-heavy with Chubb back, and there are some weather concerns, but there's lingering value here with Odell Beckham out of the equation.
In the Browns' first game without Beckham, Jarvis Landry racked up a whopping 11 of 25 targets, 2 of which were deep and 3 of which were in the red zone. The offense ran through him.
That outing led to just 52 yards, but it's important to remember this happened in a Category Three hurricane. If Landry's going to get that kind of volume -- with those high-leverage looks -- he's going to be in play at $6,000. That's especially true with Rashard Higgins likely dealing with Bradley Roby, who figures to be back after sitting in Week 9.
The other option is Austin Hooper, who returned to practice last week after his appendectomy. Hooper averaged 7.3 targets per game in the three games before his surgery. He's just $5,100 and fills tight end, making both him and Landry high-quality options if you want exposure to the Browns without paying the hefty toll on Chubb.
The Duke Johnson Revenge Game
If David can't go, it might position Duke Johnson for a good ol' fashioned revenge game against his former team.
With David leaving early in Week 9, Duke played 81.3% of the snaps and racked up 16 carries and 4 targets. That's 24 adjusted opportunities, which is more than what David was averaging in the weeks leading into his injury.
We do have a sample on this backfield with one of the Johnsons out. Duke missed Weeks 2 and 3, and it led to David playing more than 94% of the snaps in both games. That type of playing time would make Duke a borderline no-brainer at $5,800. There are two words of caution here, though.
The first is that even David Johnson in his role didn't generate ceiling games. His max FanDuel output was 18.4 points in Week 1, the only time he has topped 15 points this year. Since the start of 2019, no running back -- regardless of salary -- has made a perfect lineup with less than 20 points.
Second, the Houston Texans don't have much incentive to win this game. They're 2-6, and while they won't be tanking thanks to the Laremy Tunsil trade, there is incentive to see what younger players on the roster can do. Buddy Howell logged his first offensive snaps of the season in Week 9, and the team protected both C.J. Prosise and Scottie Phillips on the practice squad. The coaching staff has already mentioned Phillips' name as someone who could get run, making it likely the team promotes him from the practice squad this week.
That's why we need to treat Johnson similar to Davis and keep him from being a core play. There are too many paths to failure.
The reasons to at least keep Johnson in your player pool are his passing-game work and the potential for this game to shoot out. Just be wary that your exposure levels don't get too high with guys like Phillips lurking.
Instead, the better route to exposure to this offense could very well be the passing game, weather permitting. The Browns rank 28th against the pass, and we know where the ball is going when Deshaun Watson throws. If the wind obliges, Watson is among the top quarterback plays on the slate, and both Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks grade out favorably in their respective salary tiers at receiver.
The Saints Finally at Full Health
Sunday will be the first time the entire season where we've seen the New Orleans Saints at full health against a non-top-10 defense. That has to have you jazzed if you're a Saints fan.
The only two games the Saints have played with Michael Thomas this year have come against Tampa Bay. The Bucs are numberFire's second-ranked defense once you adjust for schedule. Thanks to their slew of injuries, the San Francisco 49ers are 12th. And the Saints catch them while playing indoors.
This should be the highest we've been on the Saints' offense all season. We just have to decide how they'll divvy up the volume with so many mouths to feed.
Unfortunately, Week 9 won't give us a good read on this because things were so lopsided. The one saving grace is that the Saints did run 40 plays in the first half, giving us at least a glimpse at what to expect.
Five players had multiple targets in that half. It seems as though Thomas slid into a familiar role right away.
|First Half||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
It was a pretty typical Saints performance: limited deep volume and spread-out red-zone volume. Still, it seems like we have good levels of faith in Thomas and Kamara.
Thomas isn't ever going to be someone who racks up long balls and bathes in air yards. However, he gets high-percentage throws, and he can cash those in for big days. His outlook this week depends on your confidence in the 49ers' ability to keep pace, which we'll touch more on in a second.
Kamara's less dependent on a shootout to pay off. He had 13 adjusted opportunities in the first half last week, and he had 28 in Week 1 with Thomas healthy. He'll likely lose some targets with Thomas back, but the team's offensive efficiency should increase, too. The boost to Kamara's touchdown projection mostly offsets the downtick in targets.
The matchup will be better here, too. Although the 49ers' rush defense is solid -- they're 11th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to running backs -- they're nowhere near the level of the Bucs (who are first). Kamara's floor came last week when he got limited run in the second half, and he still hit 13.4 FanDuel points there. Once you mix it all together, there's a strong case for ranking Kamara highest among all backs on the slate.
The 49ers' side of things is still pretty banged up, They're not going to have Jimmy Garoppolo or George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel seems likely to sit after missing practice both Wednesday and Thursday. Still, it'll at least be better than it was in Week 9.
In that one, the 49ers didn't have Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kendrick Bourne due to Bourne's positive COVID test. All three will be back this week. That's a big help for Nick Mullens, and as we saw in that game, Mullens needs all the help he can get.
It's not super likely that the 49ers make this game a shootout, a la last year's barnburner. However, their outlook is better than it was two weeks ago. That's enough to put Thomas in play for tournaments at what is likely minimal popularity, and it could allow Jerick McKinnon to grade out as an interesting value.
In that blowout, McKinnon played 73.7% of the snaps. He paid off for fantasy thanks to some garbage-time runs, but McKinnon had a clear edge over JaMycal Hasty, doubling him up in carries in the first half.
In the games McKinnon has played at least 50% of the snaps, he's averaging 15.2 FanDuel points per game, and he has hit double digits six times. That's in large part because McKinnon has more touchdowns than he should have based on his yardage, but he gets targets and receiving yards, and those can add up in a hurry. There's risk in McKinnon if the offense collapses again, but he's sneakily one of the higher-upside value backs at our disposal. If you're equally wary of Davis and Johnson as I am, then McKinnon seems to be an optimal pivot.
The New-Look Buccaneers Offense
Even in that aforementioned blowout Sunday, the Bucs kept their first-team offense out there all four quarters, trying to develop a rhythm with the new pieces. That helps us get a better read on them than we have on the Saints.
The problem is that it looks like things will be spread out.
For the game, Tom Brady threw 38 passes. Nobody was targeted on more than six of those throws.
|In Week 9||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Basically, things are playing out the way we feared they could. That ain't great for DFS.
It does seem as if -- at least among the big names -- Chris Godwin stands out most. He was one of the guys with six overall targets and led the team in air yards with 99. If you're just ranking these guys straight up, Godwin would deserve to be first on the list.
The problem is that Godwin is $7,500, right in the thick of the receivers in the two shootouts out west. He hasn't had more than nine targets in a game this year, and his target share in the games he has played is 20.0%. That's counting just one game with Brown in the mix, which seems likely to dilute things even more.
Mike Evans is an even tougher sell at $7,300 with rough market shares the entire year and a lack of downfield looks in Week 9. Evans may be viable down the road as he gets further removed from his ankle injury, but we likely should wait to see that uptick before buying in.
Brown had only nine fewer air yards than Godwin in Week 9, and he ran a route on 36 of 44 pass plays, according to Pro Football Focus. He had a decent role there, and his workload seems to have more upward mobility than that of Godwin or Evans. Brown isn't a priority at $6,500, but he's likely the top receiver here.
Gronkowski finished with just two receiving yards in Week 9, but that's not in line with what he had been doing going in. He actually leads the team with a 17.2% target market share since O.J. Howard's injury, and he has three more deep targets than Evans in that time. Gronkowski's far from a value at $6,100, but he fills tight end and has a path to a solid game. He likely sits behind Brown and Godwin but is an acceptable option in this offense even with Brown in the fold.
The target numbers could push you toward using Leonard Fournette, but it's also important to remember the context in which they happened. Fournette is the team's pass-catching back, so a negative script clearly favors him over Ronald Jones. Fournette had a good role in Week 8 after Jones was benched (again), but it was Jones who started as the early-down back in Week 9. Fournette's the guy we should favor straight up on this team, but they're going to split the high-leverage touches. That's not a formula for success when you can pick from any running back on the slate.
The Eagles... Might Be Healthy?
Very rarely does a game with big playoff implications in Week 10 get as little buzz as this one is. That's because the entire NFC East has been doggy doo this year, and the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are not immune to that. Still, it helps that the Eagles might be the healthiest they've been all year.
They were able to get both Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert back before the bye. With the extra time to rest, it looks like Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson will join them, and Isaac Seumalo has been designated to return from injured reserve. They've had all of those guys healthy for precisely 25 snaps this year. So, yes, things are looking rosy.
With Johnson and potentially Seumalo back, we should increase the expected efficiency of the offense. That makes everybody more appealing, so give them all a slight bump there.
Even with the injuries, Sanders was running well before his injury. He ranks second in the league in Rushing NEP per carry among running backs with at least 50 rush attempts. Rushing efficiency isn't a huge part of the equation, but it does increase confidence that Sanders will get a healthy role upon his return.
In his four full games, Sanders has averaged 15.5 carries and 5.8 targets per game, which amounts to 27.0 adjusted opportunities per game. The Giants' rush defense is above average, but it's really hard not to love Sanders for tournaments at $7,700.
There's opportunity available for the receivers, too. We just have to decide what the target distribution will look like.
What we can say pretty definitively is that both Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor will be on the field. Fulgham has earned a locked-in starting role, and Reagor just brings more juice than you'd expect out of Alshon Jeffery if he were to play. So, that part we can feel good about.
Even with Reagor and Goedert back in Week 8, Fulgham still led the team with seven targets, two of which were downfield. The one concern is that he could see shadow coverage from James Bradberry. Bradberry was largely on DeSean Jackson in Week 7, but with Jackson out, Fulgham is the most likely target.
That doesn't mean we should avoid Fulgham. He saw a lot of Trevon Diggs in that Week 8 game, and Diggs has been pretty sticky, as well. Plus, Bradberry hasn't shadowed every top receiver he has faced. As such, Fulgham's floor is lower than it was with Reagor out, but we can still give him a sniff in tournaments at $6,800.
Reagor's floor is low for a different reason. That's because the targets he gets are low-percentage throws, and Wentz hasn't been connecting on those this year. Reagor is in play at $5,600, but Fulgham's the preferred route despite the salary difference.
If you want to save salary, then it's likely Goedert you should covet. He checks in at $5,800, which is more of a mid-range number for a tight end. However, he actually led the team in targets the first two games and returned to an 84.4% snap rate in Week 8. He didn't have production in that time, but this is a great spot for a bounce back at an acceptable salary.
A Bump Up for DeVante Parker
Preston Williams can't catch a break. Right when it seemed like he was springing back to life from last year's torn ACL, he hurt his foot in Week 9 and is now on injured reserve. It's a massive bummer.
As a result of Williams' injury, we should push DeVante Parker up in our minds.
For the full season, Parker has 20.0% of the Miami Dolphins' targets and 24.3% of the team's deep targets. Those are largely in line with the numbers he had last year while Williams was healthy (18.6% and 23.0%, respectively). But once Williams was out, Parker got a massive role boost with 23.5% of the overall targets from Week 10 on and a whopping 41.1% of the deep targets. The quarterback and offensive coordinator aren't the same as they were then, but we should at least expect a decent boost for Parker.
Mike Gesicki was the other guy who spiked when Williams was out last year, sporting a 17.9% target share from Week 10 on. However, Gesicki's role has been wholly unsatisfactory of late with no more than four targets the past three games, and his snap rate has been just mediocre. As a result, if we want to react to the Dolphins' new personnel, Parker is the clear route for doing so at $6,000.
The Jaguars With Jake Luton
As we've discussed throughout the year, even at running back, we want a close game. This allows the back to get targets throughout, something that doesn't happen when his team is up big.
That's a concern for Aaron Jones this week with the Green Bay Packers 13.5-point favorites. It's not enough to push him out of play -- Jones is the second-best back on the slate behind Kamara -- but it could dent his ceiling.
It was at home against a terrible Texans defense, but Luton finished with 0.21 Passing NEP per drop back. That's higher than the league average (0.15) and an upgrade from Gardner Minshew's mark of 0.10. The obvious caveats apply, but we can at least now assume competence from the offense.
We're going to need another showing like that from Luton if the Jaguars are going to keep pace. It's not enough to suddenly go all in on the Packers' passing game, but it further justifies Jones as being worth his salary.
The other thing it could do is allow us to consider James Robinson or DJ Chark in mini stacks with Jones. Chark had 12 targets with 5 deep balls in Week 9. He had just eight deep targets the entire year from Minshew. Here, Chark cashed in, catching three of those five targets for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Stud Packers corner Jaire Alexander has missed each of the team's first two practices to open the week. If he sits, it'll upgrade Chark's matchup considerably. We'll have to keep an eye on the wind here -- it's currently projected at 24 miles per hour -- but there are enough positive signs here to justify Jones and consider Chark as a bring-back option.
If the wind does get wild, then Robinson will be the preferred stacking partner. Robinson ranks fourth on the slate in adjusted opportunities per game, and he's actually first across the past three weeks. That kind of workload is always appealing at $7,300, even on a below-average offense. We should prioritize Sanders in the second tier at running back, but Robinson is a solid secondary tournament play.
A Healthy Josh Jacobs
All season long, Josh Jacobs has been dealing with one ding after another. He has been on the injury report in some capacity every week except Weeks 1 and 7.
Let's knock on wood, but he's not currently on there for Week 10.
Last week, Jacobs was questionable due to a knee injury and an illness. He wound up playing 56.0% of the snaps, but he finished with just one target. That tied a season-low.
Early in the season, Jacobs' workload was legit. He averaged 29.2 adjusted opportunities per game in the first five weeks, a number that would rank second on the slate behind Kamara if it were his full-season mark. We also just saw Jacobs get 31 carries in Week 8 before coming down with the illness.
Jacobs is likely to go overlooked this week due to the value and the appeal of the higher-salaried studs. We should at least give Jacobs some consideration as a tournament option after we get our fair share of Kamara, Jones, and Sanders. He's in the same tier as Robinson and likely sits slightly ahead of Robinson due to the Raiders' team strength.
In those Jacobs lineups, you can absolutely run it back with Jerry Jeudy. In the games Jeudy has played alongside Drew Lock, Tim Patrick, and Noah Fant, Jeudy has 23.4% of the targets and has averaged three deep targets per game. You can do plenty of damage on that against this Las Vegas Raiders defense. Jeudy will be popular after his blow-up last week, but using Jacobs at a lower roster rate will partially offset the chalk.
More Giovani Bernard
With Joe Mixon missing practice again Thursday, it looks like we'll get another game with Giovani Bernard as the Cincinnati Bengals' lead back. Unfortunately, Bernard runs into similar issues as the other value options.
In two games without Mixon, Bernard is averaging 23.0 adjusted opportunities per game. That'll work against a poor defense; it probably won't cut it against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's especially true with Bernard's salary no longer an extreme value at $6,200.
Instead, if you're hunting for value in this game, you may want to go with Diontae Johnson. We're up to a three-game sample with the Steelers' "big three" at wide receiver healthy, and it seems like Johnson has had the steadiest workload.
|Past 3 Games||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
The volume between Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster is relatively even, and both have concerns about their yardage ceilings. But with Johnson's salary $700 lower, those red flags are more palatable. We likely still don't want to go over board here in case the Bengals can't keep things close and force the Steelers to throw (thus allowing us to prioritize guys like Kirk, Brown, and Reynolds), but Johnson is at least an option when you're differentiating.
Sometimes, missing pieces in an offense can open up value due to increased opportunity for the healthy options. But at some point, if you lose too many players, the offense is just gonna fall flat.
The Detroit Lions are about to hit that tipping point.
Not only are they likely to be without Kenny Golladay this week, but T.J. Hockenson had to sit Thursday due to a toe injury. The Lions' offense was bad without Golladay; losing Hockenson would make things only worse.
You can feel free to sniff guys like Danny Amendola, Marvin Hall, and D'Andre Swift if you want. But the ceilings of all players are muted in an offense like this, and their floors are rough if the offense collapses. You've got better places to burn roster spots than on them.
Instead, this is just a reason to bump up the Washington defense and special teams. They were already in play thanks to their monster pass rush at $3,800. But taking Golladay and Hockenson out of the equation would better enable Washington to take control of the game, further bolstering the appeal in them as an option when spending down.