DFS Core Four and Value Stacks: Week 10
This Week 10 NFL DFS article consists of two parts, the "Core Four" and value stacks. The Core Four are my four favorite plays on the main slate for any game format, regardless of price or projected percent rostered. All four will almost assuredly be in my cash lineup and be an integral part of my GPP core plays (though they probably won't all be in the same GPP lineup).
For the value stacks, I’ll be using 4for4's Stack Value Reports to find stacks that can take down a tournament. I like building contrarian stacks around my chalkier core of players because you only have to get one instance correct for it to hit. Though there may be a chalkier player or two within the value stack, I will usually add a piece from the game that makes the stack a bit contrarian.
For example, if we hit on a contrarian quarterback play while having a pass-catcher or two from that same game, the positive correlation of those stacks is technically getting one contrarian play correct despite filling multiple roster slots. I feel this is easier than having a chalkier stack while trying to hit multiple individual low-rostered plays throughout the rest of your lineup. Keep in mind that these are contrarian stacks, so you don’t have to use these stacks in a large percentage of lineups to be overweight on the field. They should be used in tandem with a chalkier core of players.
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Core Four Plays
Update: With Alvin Kamara out and Chris Godwin likely in, I'm swapping Mark Ingram for Tyler Johnson as one of my core four plays this week in cash. Ingram has been highly involved despite the presence of Kamara the last two weeks. I don't think Ty Montgomery or any other back is going to cut into Ingram's work too much.
Additionally, Tyler Johnson can be swapped out for JD McKissic in Bucs/WFT stacks. I still don't mind going to Johnson in tournaments, but he's not as strong as a play with Godwin in.
Najee and JT have pulled to neck and neck for me. With Marlon Mack inactive and Ben out, I think it's a coin flip and really, personal preference.
RB D'Ernest Johnson ($5,400 FD/$4,700 DK)
Johnson is probably going to play every snap at an extremely discounted rate for a starting running back. Provided Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton are officially ruled out, Johnson is a lock for cash games. You can absolutely lock him in for tournaments as well, but there is merit to rostering him at a lower percentage than the field or not rostering him at all. Fifty total yards, a couple of catches and no touchdowns is well within his range of outcomes and that's only seven or eight DK points. It's a massive leverage spot if you can find a pivot. That said, the last time he started a game in place of Chubb, he racked up 168 total yards and a touchdown.
WR Najee Harris ($9,400 FD/$7,900 DK)
Harris popped up on the injury report as a limited participant because of a foot, his first time on the injury report all season. Harris gets a dream matchup against the hapless Lions' run defense that allows the second-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs. His usage is absolutely off the charts the last four weeks, averaging just under 30 opportunities per game. The Steelers are going to be short-handed at the skill positions so the likelihood that the offense runs through Harris against the Lions is high. Harris checks every box for a core cash play. He plays nearly every snap, gets every running back touch, is game script independent, and gets all the goal line work. As long as there are no limitations reported as of Sunday morning, he's an excellent play in all formats.
QB Josh Allen ($8.700 FD/$7,900 DK)
Allen possesses the highest floor/ceiling combos of any quarterback in football. The Bills somehow only managed two field goals against the Jaguars last week and he still scored 13 fantasy points. That's not going to get it done at his salary, but that's his absolute worst outcome. Allen accounts for a large chunk of the Bills' rushing production too. With Zack Moss banged up, the Bills will have to rely on Devin Singletary at running back. There's a clear theme in all of the core picks this week, and it's that the players chosen are part of concentrated offenses made even more concentrated by injuries. I can't see a scenario where Allen truly fails. Singletary isn't running for three touchdowns and completely sniping all his value like a back such as Ezekiel Elliott can do to Dak Prescott.
WR Tyler Johnson ($5.600 FD/$3,300 DK)
The trend continues of targeting players on concentrated offenses. The Buccaneers could be without Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and Chris Godwin. Johnson has flashed when given the opportunity. Last week he racked up a 6-60 line that we'll surely take at his near-minimum salary. This week seems like it's a good week to jam in as many studs as possible. There are a plethora of players at the top of each position group that are in really good spots like Najee Harris, Josh Allen, and Davante Adams. Johnson getting increased opportunities allows you to have some extra money for a stars-and-scrubs build.
Value Stacks to Target
QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($8,300 FD/$7,600DK)
WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($7,400 FD/$6,900 DK)
WR Tyler Johnson, Buccaneers ($5,100 FD/$3,300DK)
WR Terry McLaurin, Football Team ($7,100 FD/$7,600 DK)
Though I've labeled this as a four-man stack, we can push it to five and use either quarterback. This is one of my favorite games to target. Both Terry McLaurin and Mike Evans should dominate target share and air yards share on offenses that have been ravaged by injuries. An added plus is that teams have attacked both defenses through the air with success.
McLaurin is averaging 10 targets per game—with the projected game script and offensive scheming, I’d expect him to hit that fairly easily in this game. Evans on the other side has virtually no competition for end zone targets in this game. Evans is a bit more volatile but has produced three ceiling games over the course of the season. With the limited options, Brady will have, I'd expect him to also push for 10 targets.
Both Tyler Johnson and J.D. McKissic can be added to this stack. Johnson is incredibly cheap here but is contingent upon the absence of Chris Godwin. As I mentioned above, Johnson has played well when on the field for the Buccaneers and his snaps should skyrocket without Godwin or Brown active.
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($7,800 FD/$7,100 DK)
WR Davante Adams, Packers ($8,700 FD/$7,900 DK)
WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks ($7,100 FD/$6,500 DK)
All indications are that Rodgers will return to face the Seahawks in Lambeau in Week 10. He checks all the boxes for a ceiling play. The Packers have a 27-point team total and are facing a Seahawks pass defense that allows the fourth-most passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Of course, there's a bit of narrative that Rodgers will be playing angry after the negative attention he's received over the last 10 days. With Rodgers back, Adams is set to flourish again as well. He's currently sitting at a 35% market share of targets and a 45% market share of air yards.
I've added Lockett to this stack because I think he may be less popular than Metcalf. I'm not sure why, but DK gets the steam out of these two. It may be because he's more consistent and Lockett is wildly volatile, but I love targeting Lockett in tournaments. He has a 41% share of air yards throughout the first nine weeks and a 28% target share. His price has come down significantly as well. With the potential cheap options at running back this week, we can target stud stacks.