Don’t look now, but we are halfway through the regular season. If you’re a tournament player like me, you are looking for that one big week. I am confident in my research, and I’ll use that information to help us find the best plays on the slate. I pay attention to projected ownership, but you should choose your players based on what you think is going to happen on Sunday.
Contrary to most DFS pros, I don’t usually run 150 lineups or use an optimizer. I hand-build one or two of my favorite lineups using my own projections and enter them into multiple tournaments. I typically play all the Milly Makers, a few single-entry contests, and I’ll dabble in the satellites & qualifiers.
Having a strategy is important when you’re playing DFS, especially since you’ll be going up against some of the best players in the country.
Texans RB Dameon Pierce $6,300
Pierce projects to be one of the best Point Per Dollar plays on the slate, which means he’s also going to be the chalk. I think this one is worth eating due to several factors. The Giants are allowing 2.25 yards per rush before contact, and 5.46 YPC which are both at the bottom of the league. Since Week 2, Dameon Pierce is averaging 23 opportunities per game so he will get his chances. Even if game flow is a potential factor, the Texans will continue to feed him, being that he’s the most talented player on this offense. Pencil him in tomorrow.
Jaguars WR Christian Kirk $5,900
The Jaguars are traveling to Kansas City this week, which has all the makings of a shootout with an O/U of 51, highest on the slate. Kirk is going to be peppered with targets from Trevor Lawrence, especially since the Jaguars are also 10-point underdogs. Kirk ranks 12th in the league in targets and is the clear No.1 target for Lawrence. The Chiefs have given up a league-high 17 passing touchdowns and aren’t forcing a ton of turnovers either. Lawrence will outperform his projections tomorrow, and I think Jaguars RB Travis Etienne deserves some consideration at $7,000. In a game where they must score 30 points to have a chance, this is a perfect spot for a Jaguars stack. More on this game to come.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Juju Smith-Schuster $6,000
I am sticking with my favorite game of the week here. Smith-Schuster has been on a tear in recent weeks, and it looks like he has solidified his role in this offense. The Chiefs love spreading the ball out, but he’s still seeing close to eight targets per game. Mecole Hardman has been ruled out, and Kadarius Toney is still getting familiar with the playbook, so I expect Mahomes and Smith-Schuster to connect more than a handful of times in this game. The Jaguars are a middle-of-the-pack defense but make no mistake, they are no match against Kansas City’s offense. This is the game of the week, and you’ll want some players on both sides.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley $8,600
What an incredible year it’s been for Barkley, who many of you know, I was all over this offseason. This week, he gets a cakewalk matchup at home against the Texans. If you’re not playing Pierce, you should be spending up for Barkley here. Houston is allowing 3.94 yards post-contact per rush, and a total of 5.45 YPC, which are both at the bottom of the league. We might see some big plays in this game since both teams just cannot stop the run. Barkley only has five TDs on the year, but coming off a bye in a smash spot in New York is a recipe for a blowup game in the making. Bold prediction: Barkley runs for 200+ yards and two TDs. Feel free to make him the staple piece of your team tomorrow.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes $7,900
If you can find value at other positions, you should prioritize the No. 1 QB on the slate – Mahomes. I’ve talked a lot about this game already so I’ll make it quick and simple. Bills QB Josh Allen is dealing with an injury, and he’s $8,600. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is dealing with an injury, and he is $7,200. This leaves Mahomes on an island by himself in terms of top-end quarterback talent with no red flags. You’ll have a blast watching football tomorrow when he tears up the Jaguars’ defense.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry $8,300
Henry has five straight games of 100+ rushing yards and has scored six touchdowns in his last five games. The Broncos’ defense is allowing 4.91 YPC and are having trouble tackling in recent weeks. That is not a good recipe against Henry, who’s going to touch the ball at least 25 times. With the Titans at home and favored in this game, there should be no issue with the game flow here. In fact, I like pairing up Henry with the Titans’ defense at $3,200. If Henry’s price was above $9K, I would still consider locking him in.
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