With six teams on bye in Week 10, you might already have come to grips with taking a loss this week in your season-long fantasy football league.
If this is the case, there’s no better time to take a stab at DFS.
In case you’re new to the world of daily fantasy, let us help you build a strong roster. Here’s our Week 9 “optimal lineup” for DraftKings’ main Sunday slate (early afternoon and late afternoon games), which allots a $50,000 budget for a roster of nine players.
Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints ($6,700)
Brees didn’t miss a beat in his first game back from injury, completing 34 of 43 passes for 373 yards with three touchdowns in New Orleans’ Week 9 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The veteran quarterback, who will be coming off a week of rest, is bound to light it up again Sunday against the Falcons. Atlanta is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to QBs this season and has given up two or more passing touchdowns in six of its eight games.
Running Backs: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans ($6,400); David Montgomery, Chicago Bears ($5,300)
Henry quietly is putting together a strong season. The bruising back has rushed for a touchdown in six of the Titans’ nine games this season and also has racked up two receiving scores. Tennessee’s offense is powered through its RBs and tight ends, and Henry should be in line for a big day Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, who’ve allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to RBs this season.
As Mitchell Trubisky continues to be painfully mediocre, the Bears need to start leaning more on their running backs. Week 10 presents a great opportunity, as the Lions have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game this season, as well as the most fantasy points per game to RBs. Coincidentally, Montgomery is starting to find his groove, having scored four touchdowns in Chicago’s last five games. It’s tough to bank on anyone from the Bears’ offense at this point, but the rookie might be worth the risk this week.
Wide Receivers: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,600); Golden Tate, New York Giants ($5,900); Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts ($5,300)
Evans has been an absolute monster of late. The star wideout has collected a combined 32 catches for 474 yards with three touchdowns over the Bucs’ last three games. Evans almost always is a good play, but he’s looking like a sure-fire bet this week against the Cardinals, who’ve allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to WRs this season.
Tate has been as-advertised upon joining the Giants. Since returning from a four-game suspension, Tate has hauled in six or more catches in four of five games. He’s also been one of the few receivers who’s managed to find the end zone this season against the vaunted New England Patriots secondary. He’s poised for increased productivity this week against the lowly New York Jets, especially considering the Giants likely will be without both Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.
Pascal has stepped up his game with T.Y. Hilton sidelined. The second-year WR shined last week against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense, catching five passes for 76 yards with a touchdown. It remains to be seen who will be under center for the Colts this week, but it might not matter. The Miami Dolphins haven’t been able to slow anyone down this season. (Well, besides the Jets.)
Tight End: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams ($4,500)
Everett recently has become one of the better tight end options. He could see more targets this week, too, as the Rams will be down a pass-catcher with Brandin Cooks sidelined due to a concussion. And while the Steelers largely have been stout defensively this season, they’ve had their struggles against tight ends. Pittsburgh has allowed five TDs this season to players at the position, which ties for the third-most in the league.
Flex: J.D. McKissic, Detroit Lions ($4,300)
McKissic has seen an uptick in touches since Kerryon Johnson was placed on injured reserve. The third-year pro probably is the Lions’ best dual-threat back at present, highlighted by his three catches for 40 yards with a touchdown last week. It also might surprise you to know the Bears have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to RBs this season. McKissic admittedly is a risk, but he could find a few holes as Chicago fixates its attention elsewhere.
Defense: Baltimore Ravens ($4,000)
The Ravens have all the momentum imaginable after handing Tom Brady and the Patriots their first loss of the season last week. Their next challenge? A divisional matchup with the winless Cincinnati Bengals, who will trot out rookie QB Ryan Finley for his first career start. Need we say more?
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images