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All last week long, after Odell Beckham Jr was announced as signing with the LA Rams, all I heard across the board for Fantasy Football – No, You Can’t Play Odell this week. There were lots of reasons to support this claim – He Doesn’t Know the System, He has no chemistry with Matthew Stafford, He’s looked washed for two years now … the list went on and on and on and then …
Robert Woods went on Season Ending IR
So now here we are, hours from Kickoff. Has the Robert Woods news changed the sentiment that you “can’t play Odell” tonight? Let’s get into it…
The Short Answer for me is – yes, yes you can play Odell Beckham Jr tonight. Do I see Beckham getting 10 targets and catching 6 for 89 and a score? No, not exactly. But with Woods done for the season a massive hole has been left in this offense. How massive? After a disappointing week 1 for Woods, he had been averaging 8.1 targets per game. That number propped up by two double digit target weeks, but even without those games Woods would have been averaging 6 targets a game. Rest of season that would have equaled 54 targets! Plus so far this season Woods had rushed the ball 8 times. So I guess what I am saying is, where do those targets go – if not some combination of OBJ and Van Jefferson (and Cooper Kupp too, but we already know Kupp is the target leader on the offense so to me the Woods targets are going to mainly go to OBJ and Jefferson).
So in the short term, I think Van Jefferson takes a big step forward – in the long term I think the Rams are hoping that OBJ can fill the shoes left by Robert Woods. And while I think Van Jefferson becomes close to a must start tonight, I also think we will see OBJ get some action – and wouldn’t it be something if OBJ scores his first TD of the season night one of his Ram’s career, right?
Rams Captain/MVP Picks
Your highest owned Captain on DK tonight will be Cooper Kupp and why not. Kupp has seen no less than 9 targets per game this season with double digit targets in 8 of 9 games. He’s gone over 90 yards in 8 of 9 games, 5 of which he’s gone over 100 yards, 3 of which he’s gone over 130 yards receiving. He has 10 Touchdowns on the season and if the MVP voting wasn’t a QB’s game to lose, in my opinion Kupp would be the odds on favorite. Ironically he gets to face a 49ers Defense that is averaging over 200 yards per game through the air and with Robert Woods now done for the season, it’s possible Stafford will be looking even more for Kupp tonight. It is also possible we see Kupp get the nod on some of the running plays Robert Woods was known for. If you are multi-entering, you may be able to get away with rostering Kupp in the flex on a few lineups but for me he should be a lock at the spot in single entry or 3 entry max type lineups. Kupp sits at $18,000 at Captain, $12,000 DK Flex and $16,000 on FanDuel.
Meanwhile your highest owned MVP on FanDuel is Mathew Stafford who is certainly coming off a disappointing Week 9 where for the first time all season he had more interceptions than touchdowns, to name one of many errors on the day. Now he steps into week 10 down a core receiving option in Robert Woods and with a new squeaky weapon in OBJ. Do I like Stafford tonight? Sure. The 49ers are second to last against Quarterbacks and as mentioned already averaging over 200 yards though the air allowed. But last week we saw the volatility that defined his career in Detroit and I question if the 49ers aren’t just watching that game film and just saying, let’s do what the Titans did. The head scratcher for me though is his popularity at MVP on FanDuel. Stafford doesn’t offer a lot with his legs, his season high in rushing was 21 yards in Week 4 – and FanDuel doesn’t award a bonus for yardage either. So I’ll be looking elsewhere for MVP and on DK, if I am paying up it is for Kupp. Stafford is $16,200 at Captain, $10,800 Flex, $17,000 FD.
My favorite Ram MVP is Darrell Henderson at 8% ownership he is the 4th most rostered player at the spot on FD and I love the opportunity. Henderson has had double digit touches in every game this season and he has seen 3 or more targets in 3 of the last 6 games. With Robert Woods gone, I could easily see that number rise tonight. Not to mention the 49ers are 21st against running backs allowing over 130 yards on the ground this season. I also like that it has seemed he is the preferred Red Zone running back and all of what I just spoke about means he has the opportunity to EAT tonight.
If I am paying down at DK Captain tonight and playing a Ram, I am going to take a chance on Van Jefferson. With Robert Woods on the field Jefferson has seen 6 or more targets in the last 3 games and was averaging 3 catches for 60 yards… but now with Woods off the field and OBJ still ramping up, I am betting that this is a game we could capitalize on Jefferson to take a step forward in this offense. He is less than 5% owned at Captain on DK at $8,100 on Captain you are getting quite the savings going from Kupp to Jefferson. Not to mention it could be Jefferson and not Kupp who gets the Robert Woods end arounds and wide receiver screens tonight, both of which could pad his stat line even more than just a couple extra targets. Jefferson is also $5,400 on DK at Flex, $8,000 on FD.
From a dart throw at Captain perspective, the Rams offer a lot for you to choose from. Tyler Higbee is a leading candidate. Higbee saw a season high in targets against the Titans in 10. And not to sound like a broken record but Robert Woods’ target share has to go somewhere. The only hiccup here is that the 49ers have been pretty good against tight ends, ranked 8th in the league against the position – but part of that may be due to the schedule. Since Week 1 against Detroit the 49ers haven’t really had tough TEs to slow down, seeing Arizona twice as well as Indianapolis and Seattle. None of those teams have a tight end the caliber of Higbee so I think he makes a fine sneaky Captain play at $9,300.
On FanDuel for a sneaky, cheap, low owned Rams MVP, I’d take a stab RB Sony Michel. In 4 of the last 5 games Michel has seen 7 or more touches and in over the last 2 games he has been targeted 3 times. Again with Robert Woods no longer on the field, we could potentially see a season high for targets for Michel and he also did find the endzone against the Titans. Crazier plays have won the money than Sony Michel here. Michel is $7,000 on FD.
Believe it or not I am also not opposed to taking a shot at the Rams DST tonight at Captain. The word going around the campus is that Van Jefferson will play tonight alongside Aaron Donald and Jaylen Ramsey and the boys. It could lead to some good things for the DST which has underwhelmed somewhat recently. The Rams are $6,900 at Captain.
49ers Captain/MVP Picks
Your highest owned 49er at Captain on DK tonight is Deebo Samuel, but in saying that at 12% ownership he is 50% of the ownership than Cooper Kupp and so he tops my list as my overall #1 Captain play tonight. The only difference between the spectacular play of Samuel and Kupp is the touchdowns. Samuel has 4 to Kupp’s 10. However Samuel has never dipped below 8 targets per game all season, with double digit targets coming in 4 of 9 games played. He also has topped 90 yards in 5 of 9 games and gone 100 or over in 4 of those games. Ironically in the 5 games that he has gone over 90 yards, 4 of them were against NFC opponents. 4 times this season, Samuel has also run the ball, for what it’s worth. I am expecting a big game out of Samuel tonight, especially if the 49ers are chasing points. Samuel is $13,500 at Captain, $9,000 Flex and $13,000 on FD.
Much like with Stafford on FanDuel, your highest owned MVP is Jimmy Garoppolo at $14,000. Over the last two games against Arizona and Chicago, Jimmy G has gone over 300 yards passing and in both games he had 2 touchdowns – Chicago most notably he ran for 2 scores. In fact he has 3 rushing TDs on the Season to Stafford’s zero. So I guess for the potential of rushing TDs, he is a better play than Stafford for MVP? I don’t know that seems like a stretch. Garoppolo’s overall rushing has resulted in almost equal negative yards to positive yards and again with no passing yardage bonus on FanDuel, I am just not seeing it. I prefer Jimmy G at Captain on DK at $15,000, he also is $10,000 in the Flex on DK.
My pick at MVP on FanDuel may surprise you but it’s Eli Mitchell the running back at $12,000. Since taking over the backfield in the wake of injuries, Mitchell has seen 8 or more carries in every game including back to back 18 carry games in Weeks 7 & 8. His most often on the field handcuff has been Jaymycal Hasty, who is out. And with Jeff Wilson only in his second week off of an Injury that kept him off the field for the first 8 weeks of the season and the 49ers seeming to have no faith in Trey Sermon, I think this is Mitchell’s backfield for another week. Additionally Mitchell saw a season high 5 targets in week 9 and against what is believed to be an even more improved Ram’s pass rush, I could see Mitchell matching or exceeding that target total. The Rams are allowing just a hair under 100 yards on the ground so this matchup does not scare me either. He is also $9,600 on DK at Captain and too cheap at Flex on DK at $6,400.
If you aren’t playing Deebo at Captain, but you are playing a 49er – I hope it’s George Kittle at $11,700. This has been a dissapointing season overall for Kittle who has dealt with injuries BUT in his return last week Kittle saw 8 targets and went 6 for 101 and a score. This topped his previous season high in yardage and was his first TD of the Season. The Rams rank 20th against Tight Ends and are allowing close to 250 passing yards per game. I would look for Jimmy G to get Kittle going early and often tonight.
Much like the Rams regarding Dart Throws at Captain, the 49ers have a few names you can also consider if you are multi-entering. The most notable would be WR Brandon Aiyuk. After a very quiet return from injury, Aiyuk has been on the rise the last 2 weeks. 7 Targets in Week 8 and then 8 targets for 6 for 89 and a score in Week 9. If the Rams figure out a way to slow Deebo down, Aiyuk could be in for a big game here and even if Deebo does Deebo things, I still like Aiyuk to have a solid game tonight and perhaos we could even see him get back to the gadget plays that made him famous last year. Aiyuk is $9,900 at Captain on DK, $6,600 at the Flex and $7,500 on FD.
And as as much as I like Eli Mitchell on FanDuel, and really if you are mass multi entering – I’d recommend at least one line up with Jeff Wilson JR at MVP. This is only my guy talking, but it is quite possible that we see a decent amount of Jeff tonight. With Hasty going down, it could speed up the Niner’s plans for Wilson who we KNOW that they like after seeing him on the field last season. If they (Mitchell & Wilson) splitting carries tonight, you’ll be glad I mentioned him. He is $5,000 on FanDuel and NO ONE is playing Jeff Wilson at MVP tonight … he is also $1,800 at Captain on DK and $1,200 in the Flex.
Also – I don’t mind one lineup with the 49ers DST at Captain on DK if you are multi-entering. We just saw the worst of Stafford last week with the Titans Defense and there is a chance that the Niner’s watched that tape and will be attack attack attack. Nothing surprises me any more this season. They are $3,600 at Captain on DK.
FLEX STRATEGY & DART THROWS
If I am building around the Rams tonight and knowing that the Kupp – Stafford stack will be mega chalk, I am going to try and offset as much as possible by 3 manning by adding in either Van Jefferson or Tyler Higbee … or (and yes, you have been waiting for it) using OBJ in that 3 man stack. OBJ is $7,400 in the Flex on DK, $11,100 at Captain & $10,000 on FD. As of this writing, OBJ is only 10% owned in the flex on both sites and 1% owned at Captain or MVP. He is more of a mass multi-entry tournament pivot off of Jefferson or Higbee in Kupp-Stafford stacks, but still – I think OBJ needs to be in your player pool.
I also think you can take some shots in Rams stacks on WR Ben Skowronek and JJ Koski… if not OBJ, it could be one of these guys getting extra looks tonight with Woods off the field and both are CHEAP at $200 on DK. Interestingly however Skowronek is seeing massive ownership – 33% – so the field expects him to be the next man up. So play with caution – and I’d love for OBJ to play spoiler here!
The other way I am going with the Rams is focusing on the run game with Darrell Henderson and stacking the Defense with Cooper Kupp or Matthew Stafford. It is possible the Rams come out and dominate this game and so I would want (in that scenario) the most likely top Rams scoring options rostered together.
My Top 49ers Run Backs shouldn’t be surprise it’s Samuel, Kittle and Aiyuk. However if you think this game is defense heavy I don’t mind running back Rams stacks with Eli Mitchell. Also whenever the Niners are playing a good defense, I like to stick the Fullback Kyle Juszczcyk in at the end of the lineup. The Niners love to target Juszczcyk when the chips are down and you never know when it will be a Juszczcyk Touchdown game either. Juszczcyk has seen a target in Every Game this season including 3 weeks in a row when he saw 4. I like him as a low owned run back on Rams stacks at $2,000 in the Flex on DK, $3,000 Captain and $5,500 on FD.
I think the most popular game stack tonight will be Kupp-Stafford-Deebo Samuel, so for my 49ers builds, I am starting with George Kittle and building from there. I like the Jimmy G – Samuel Stack fine but it will be tough to fit both Stafford and Garoppolo in the same lineup due to costs. I think most players will opt to prioritize Stafford. So I don’t mind Kittle (Captain) – Samuel – Garoppolo as my primary 49ers build. I don’t mind including Aiyuk in that mix, but I’m more inclined to 4 man it with a Running Back, Mitchell or Jeff Wilson primarily. I think if you are multi-entering, you may want to have at least one share of Trey Sermon in the event he sees the field and gets hot (small chance but always a chance).
Speaking of Multi-Entering, if you have 150 lineups going or something like that – Stick QB Trey Lance in a couple lineups. You just never know.
My other approach here is to focus on the Skill Positions and actually leave Jimmy G out. If it is that the Rams enhanced pass rush gets home, Jimmy G may be in for a long night but some of the primary weapons could still see solid numbers. I like the stack of Samuel-Kittle Mitchell as a primary stack to build around. Here I would run back this stack with Darrell Henderson, Stafford and a receiver like Van Jefferson or Tyler Higbee to save some salary. I also don’t mind using both defenses in lineups like this too as you are projecting both quarterbacks having some struggles.
Even though I have written a lot about the defenses here, I am not as high on the Kickers as you may think – but I would say if you are multi-entering, keep them in your player pool. I just see a lot of 4th down plays in the red zone tonight with these two teams…
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!