I think the best part about Saturday Football is that we get an extra NFL DFS Slate on Draft Kings and FanDuel. Season long players are cursing the NFL – what if my stud bombs and I’m stuck with those points anchoring my playoff hopes to the bottom of the ocean. Yeah – try having Austin Ekeler on your roster this week pal. Sorry, just venting. But DFS players are amped – so you are telling me I have a shot at winning some cash and increasing my bankroll going into Sunday? Yes! Yes! Yes! It also helps that both games on Saturday have the chance to be competitive which only adds to the DFS Intrigue. So let’s get into it!
Because we only have two games I am actually going to take this position by position. I will highlight my favorite plays and the ones that I am less high on, even ones I am going to fade. I will finish the article with some dart throws that I want highlighted, mainly so you can find some value to plug into your lineups.
Tier 1: Aaron Rogers: Aaron Rogers is no surprise the highest priced quarterback on the slate but interestingly he is projecting to be the second highest owned quarterback on the slate. I believe his ownership is a cause of there only being a $600 difference between Rogers and Josh Allen on Draft Kings and a $1,200 difference on FanDuel. That is some real savings (by the way Allen is the cheaper one) on a slate loaded with studs to pay up for. The thing is though, the Panthers are giving up over 260 passing yards per game and they also rank near the bottom of the league against Quarterbacks. Additionally since the Packer’s bye in week 5, there has been only one game Rogers hasn’t attempted 30 or more passes and on top of that in EVERY game this season Rogers has thrown for 2 or more touchdowns. If the ownership holds, I will be very heavy on Rogers in my lineups. I think the Panthers do enough to keep this game competitive and that will keep ARod throwing … let’s go.
Tier 1: Josh Allen: Josh Allen is projecting to be the highest owned quarterback on the slate while being the second highest priced. Allen has earned the nickname of Gunslinger this season and the nation got to see that on full display in Prime Time last week and I think a combination of the price difference between he and Rogers and the star factor is driving his ownership up. While the Broncos Defense doesn’t scare me, he definitely does have the tougher matchup than Rogers does. The Broncos are allowing under 240 passing yards per game and they are just outside the top 10 against Quarterbacks. To his credit, Allen has only attempted under 30 Passes Twice this season and he has only 1 game this season where he did not show for multiple touchdowns. It is Allen’s rushing however that also makes him a solid play on Saturday. Since Week 4 Allen has attempted 6 or more rushes in every game and there is also how often he is using his sneaks at the goal line that really enhance his upside in any game. So I certainly understand why more people will gravitate to Allen over Rogers – but for me I like the ownership discount with Rogers and the matchup a bit more than I do Allen’s. But that’s just me…
Tier 2: Teddy Bridgewater. There is so much of a difference in price and ownership between Rogers and Allen and Bridgewater, it is actually causing Teddy Two Gloves to be my favorite QB on the Saturday Slate. Bridgewater is over $2,000 cheaper than Rogers and Allen and is projected to be close to 50% less owned than the top two, which makes him the definition of a pivot play. It isn’t just the salary discount or suppressed ownership that will have me heavy on Bridgewater though. For me it is that he is giving you a little bit of what makes Aaron Rogers such a great play (30 or more passing attempts in 3 of his last 4 games) and a little bit of what makes Josh Allen a great play (7 times this season he has 3 or more rushing attempts). Plus it is the matchup with the Packers. While the Packers have been top 5 against quarterbacks they are still giving up nearly 250 passing yards per game and allowing close to 25 points per game. Thee is also the very likely game script where the Panthers will be playing catch up which will only help to increase Bridgewater’s passing attempts. For the value and upside that Teddy brings into this game, I will be overweight on Bridgewater on Saturday.
Tier 3: Drew Lock. Yes Lock is coming off of his best game of the season and yes the Bill’s defense can be had through the air. Yes Lock also just through 4 touchdowns in week 14. These things are true, However I just don’t know if you need to go down to Drew Lock with the the ownership on Bridgewater already a huge discount in price and ownership from the top 2. Additionally If you take Week 14 out of this season, by and large Lock hasn’t been that great at all this season. He has only thrown for 300 yards once this season and here is a stat – he has thrown only one more touchdown than he has interception too (12:11 TD:INT). While he should have his full compliment of pass catchers available, I am just not sure I can trust Lock to hit a ceiling in this game and again, I just don’t know you need to go all the way down in this quarterback group to save salary and be contrarian. Just like with Allen, I am not saying don’t play Drew Lock – I am just saying I will have very little of Lock in my lineups. Again though, that is just me.
I think my strategy with running backs on this slate will be to pay down and save salary for the pass catchers. Let me explain why. You highest priced and projected highest owned PLAYER on the entire slate it Aaron Jones. Is Aaron Jones a strong play against the Panthers? The metrics say absolutely. The Panthers rank 19th against the run on the season and 29th against running backs in general. However somehow they are allowing on average only 11 Fantasy Points to running backs against them. That may have more to do how well teams are able to pass against them, but still. At $7,500 on DK and $8,200 on FD, you really need Aaron Jones to score well into the double digits to match his opportunity cost. But the even bigger reason why I am down on paying up for Jones is that his opportunity per game hover close to 15 while Jamaal Williams, his back up is seeing 10 opportunities per game. That is a big thing to consider. It actually has me with more interest in using Williams instead of Jones at 60% less ownership.
Please don’t mistake what I am saying as “Don’t Play Aaron Jones”. This certainly could end up an “Aaron Jones multi-touchdown Game” as the Panthers don’t overly scare me against a running back like Jones who also is involved in the passing game as heavily as he is. All I am saying is he is very a). pricey and b). is projecting to be north of 75% owned in tournaments and that level of ownership scares me and makes me want to pivot away. (I was about to go into the weeds as to why such high ownership scares me with running backs but I think that is a lesson for another day. If you want a deeper dive on this, please DM me @delrayboston). I mean right now Jones projects to have 20% higher ownership than Davante Adams! So the most expensive Wide Receiver on the slate is suddenly the ultimate pivot from Aaron Jones? Isn’t that normally the other way around? What is going on???? (Do you see what I am getting at here?)
The type of split that Jones and Williams have also exists with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss of the Bills. While the matchup for the Bill’s backs is actually better on paper than the Packers, it is the split in opportunities that make me shy away from Singletary all together while a $4,500 Zack Moss certainly appeals. While Singletary is seeing roughly 12 opportunities per game, Moss is seeing roughly 7. But it is the all important goal line opportunities that make my choice clearer. Moss is seeing 2 – 1 the RedZone opportunities to Singletary’s and with a Quarterback that is an ever present threat to rush into the end zone itself, I just don’t see the upside to roster a lot of Singletary. So while I do like Aaron Jones, due to his extremely high ownership I really like the pivot to Jamaal Williams. I also like the cheaper price tag for Moss over Singletary and in fact I may not have a single lineup with Singletary on it. I just don’t see the upside in Singletary enough to play him. But again – that is just me. If you are a Singletary Truther – more power to ya!
The back I am willing to pay up for is Mike Davis. Christian McCaffery will again miss and so it will be Davis again leading the backfield. The biggest difference between Davis and the two backfields that I mentioned above is that Davis really isn’t seeing much competition for snaps, touches and targets from his backups. That type of 80-90% presence are things we look for in DFS as it gives the running back a higher likelihood of opportunities. I especially like Mike Davis if Curtis Samuel sits as the Packers have created gadget run plays for the talented receiver. The Packers are near the bottom of the league against Running Backs and have issues with pass catching backs to boot. Davis is a pay up spot at $6,500 on DK and $7,400 on FD but he is about $1,000 cheaper than Aaron Jones which is nice and Davis also gives you an ownership discount from Jones by 15% which makes him a pivot within the same game.
The last backs I will talk about are Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsey. Gordon to his credit has bas been looking good over the last half of the season and does look like the lead back in Denver. He does carry a questionable tag right now, so we will see if he can take the field. Gordon is seeing targets from Drew Lock however while Phillip Lindsey really is not – so if he does play, I don’ mind taking a couple shots on him – but again it is tough to really trust Gordon with Philip Lindsey seeing close to double digit opportunities. Lindsey also carries a Q tag and if he can’t suit up my interest in Gordon will grow exponentially. If neither Gordon or Lindsey can play, I have a lot of interest in taking a dart throw on Royce Freeman. The real fear on the Denver backs however for me is that if the Broncos are playing from behind for most of the game as the Bills are favored by a Touchdown, how much will they be able to run the ball?
One of the reasons I am so interested in paying down at RB2 is because I want to pay up for Davante Adams the highest priced Wide Receiver as well as the projected highest owned. But I don’t care. Adams has been on fire lately with a touchdown or multiple touchdowns in every game over the last 8 weeks. He also has seen 10 or more targets in 6 of the last 8 games as well. The games he didn’t see 10 targets, he saw 9. With the Pantera allowing over 260 passing yards per game, I expect Adams to SMASH. On the other side of the ball, DJ Moore will be back on the field from his one week Covid absence but at the time of this writing Curtis Samuel is carrying a questionable tag that appears to make him a game time decision. Whether Samuel plays or not, my favorite Panther Wide Out is Robbie Anderson who has been the leading target for Bridgewater this season including 12 targets and 8 catches for 84 yards last week. As of right now Anderson is projecting to be the 4th highest owned receiver on the slate – literally 50% less ownership than either Adams or Stefon Diggs and he makes for a High Upside Pivot Play. Additionally it makes me even more interested in a stack with Bridgewater – Anderson – Adams. I think if Curtis Samuel sits, DJ Moore will see an increase in targets but I do have to wonder if he will see more of Packers star Corner Jaier Alexander who returned to practice on Friday. Not that I am as worried about Moore in Shadow Coverage as I am in the Panthers scheme to be avoid the matchup with Alexander. If Curtis Samuel is out however, I think you need to look at both Anderson and Moore today. If Samuel is in, I have less interest in Moore and more in Samuels actually. How the Panthers use Samuels in both the passing and running game could be a headache for the Pack and I don’t mind attacking it.
The tough thing about paying up for Davante Adams is it will be tough to also get to Stefon Diggs who at a $2,000 discount from Adams he is still a pricey player ($7,500 on DK and $8,200 on FD). Diggs had an amazing Week 14 with 10 catches for 130 yards and a score and despite the Broncos being in the top 10 against Wide Receives they are still allowing close to 240 passing yards per game, I think Diggs could be in store for another clutch perfomance. Diggs should be right behind Adams in ownership, so as a pivot I also like Cole Beasley who Josh Allen loves to target seeing 22 in the last 2 weeks. On the Broncos side, I think you have to take a look at Tim Patrick with 3 touchdowns in the last two weeks. The only issue with Patrick is that he isn’t seeing more than 6 targets per game and you have the rookie upstart KJ Hammler who EXPLODED last week to the tune of 86 yards and 2 Touchdowns. The thing that really interests me in Hammler is that he’s is projected to carry around 11% ownership today while Jerry Jeudy, who has gone from 8 – 10 targets earlier this season to 4 targets in both of his last two games, is closer to 20% ownership, I don’t mind the Hammler Pivot especially as a run back on Bills stacks with Allen and Diggs. The Broncos Wide Receivers are all cheap too which makes them nice plays to include in your lineup and get some value…
Aaron Rogers just seems to love to target Robert Tonyon who has a receiving Touchdown in 4 straight games and the Panthers are ranked 23rd against the Tight End position. He is my favorite play at $4,500 on DK despite a projected ownership of 45%, if he catches 50 yards and a score, he pays off his salary for you. I also like Tonyon’s price of $6,500 on FanDuel. Last week I poopoo’d Noah Fant and he made me pay easily being Drew Lock’s favorite target on the day. However he still really didn’t do much with the targets (57 yards and no Touchdowns). That is the story on Noah Fant. He hasn’t had a touchdown since Week 2 and he also has yet to crack 60 receiving yards in a game. I’d rather take a shot on TE2 Nick Vannet who has saw 4 targets last week and caught a touchdown pass. For what it’s worth, the Bills have struggled against tight ends this season – so perhaps this is the week that Fant snaps his Touchdownless streak – or maybe it’s Vannet again. With so much ownership going to Tonyon and Fant, I think Dawson Knox is flying a bit under the radar a bit and I think you can take advantage of that. Knox saw 7 targets from Allen last week and should have caught a beautiful bomb in the end zone as well. He snapped a two game Touchdown Streak last week and I could see Allen giving his Tight End a chance or two to get back on that horse. At $2,800 on DK and $4,800 on FD I think Knox is firmly in play as an ownership pivot from the chalkier Tonyon and Fant. And if you want to Punt at Tight End, the Panther’s Ian Thomas is only $2,500 on DK and IF Curtis Samuel is out, Thomas could see an extra look or two including a Red Zone look – anything is possible. He did have a season high in targets a week ago at 4.
With 4 Defenses to choose from I think Defense will be the place where most people will either go all the way up (Packers) or all the way down (Panthers). For me though, it has to be the Bills. Drew Locks 12 TDs to 11 INTs is just too hard to ignore and if there is any game too that could be totally one sided, it’s also the Bills and Denver. If the Bills end up too chalky though, I will likely pivot to the Broncos in that same game. They are at home and Josh Allen has also thrown 11 Interceptions this season. The next closest would be the Packers at home.
Stacks & Dart Throws
I love the stack of Teddy Bridgewater – Robbie Anderson – Davante Adams. That gives you a high upside stack to build around and plenty of salary on the table. I was able to build a lineup with that stack with Mike Davis, Zack Moss, Cole Beasley, Robert Tonyon, Tim Patrick and the Bills DST nicely with plenty of cash to spare if I wanted to upgrade any of the positions. If you note this team I’m doing a double stack of Packers (hopefully getting all of the Touchdown targets) and correlating that with Mike Davis and Robbie Anderson who will both get targets from Bridgewater – plus a mini game stack of the Bills and Broncos too for further correlation.
I should mention, if Curtis Samuel does play I do not mind using him and Anderson or Moore as a mini stack as a run back on Aaron Rogers/Packer stacks. I think most people will use Mike Davis stacked with Rogers and Adams and you may be able to get a little edge using the Panthers receivers instead.
I also like the stack of Allen – Diggs – Hammler. That gives you another high upside stack to build on and I was able to build a lineup with Mike Davis, Jamaal Williams, Dawson Knox, Alan Lazard and Bills DST. Again, I am double stacking Packers Pass Catchers with a pivot off of Aaron Jones (Chalk) and correlating that with Mike Davis. Then I am double stacking pass catchers with Allen and including Moss as a contrarian play in that stack and running it back with Denver’s most explosive play maker (in my opinon).
If you do want to create a Broncos Stack with Drew Lock, I would actually start with Diggs and Patrick and if you want to be contrarian use another pass catcher not named Noah Fant. Of all Broncos Fant is garnering the most ownership and I think he will be a favorite run back option for people stacking Bills. So if you are stacking Broncos, leaving Fant off and stacking the other pass catchers could be a nice leverage play today.
If you can look at what I built above and use the philosophy of correlation from it and put it to use in your own lineup construction, then my work is done. (HaHa)
A few Dart Throws to also give you.
Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Don’t sleep on MVS. There is a real narrative that Aaron Rogers doesn’t trust MVS but I have to say, I have seen a good amount of Packers games this year and Rogers is really targeting MVS down the field. It only takes 2 40 yard grabs and a touchdown to get MVS 20 FPTS … I’m just saying don’t sleep on MVS. No one is playing him and he is CHEAP. While Alan Lazard also has the narrative that Aaron Rogers trusts him, I just haven’t seen whatever that trust is materialize into targets or yards since his return in Week 11. I’d rather take a shot on MVS with his big play ability.
Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie. Without John Brown on the field, both of these guys have become targets for Josh Allen and both of them had touchdowns last week. Cheap plays that have real upside and at low ownership? I like it! Davis in particular makes and interesting pivot from Diggs, in stacks with Allen.
Pharaoh Cooper. IF Curtis Samuel is out, Cooper could slide into that #3 role and last week he caught all 3 of his targets for 52 yards. He is the bare minimum ($3,000) on DK and if he does see additional snaps I would not be surprised to see his targets and yardage also spike.
Royce Freeman. Keep an eye on Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsey’s health before kickoff. If either are out or limited, Freeman will get into the game and last week he took 8 carries for 50 yards. He has a bit of a thumper quality too and especially if Gordon is out or limited, he could see some goal line work.
Good Luck in your Contests!