Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NFL DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NFL DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
It was an amazing start to the NFL season with my premium Core Plays taking down tournaments on the first slate of the season!
Week 10 brings us another small 10 game slate, but with some significantly better totals than in Week 9. As of now, it appears that the field is mainly going to concentrate on Joe Burrow and Geno Smith – with the ownership being pretty spread out across the board after those two. I think both are strong plays, and I’ll have exposure, but there are enough holes to poke in them that I don’t think they are slam dunks. Burrow looks fully healthy finally, but will be down Tee Higgins and likely with a hobbled Ja’Marr Chase. Geno Smith hasn’t been as good fantasy-wise this season, and as a sizable home favorite the Seahawks may resort to a run-first approach for the majority of Sunday’s game.
You can easily pivot from Geno Smith to Sam Howell in that same game, with much more secure passing volume on the Washington side.
You can also easily pivot from Burrow to CJ Stroud in that game, with Stroud being $100 more than Burrow I highly doubt we see much ownership on him – even after a 40 DK point game.
Spots I really want to hone in on are Jared Goff and Dak Prescott. Goff is playing in the highest-totaled game on the board at 48.5 but nobody wants to play him because it’s a “road game’. It is true that Goff has monster home/road splits — particularly in the TD department — during his time in DET. A lot of that can be attributed to indoor/outdoor stuff, however, and it’s important to note that this is a homecoming game for Goff. LAC has allowed the third-most DK points per game to opposing QB’s this season and I think this is a spot where Goff could defy any home/road splits in what should be a true shootout.
As for Dak, the Cowboys have the highest team total on the slate and he has been absolutely COOKING as of late. He’s topped 30 DK points in each of his last two games, one of which came against the Rams in a big blowout. I am not worried about the score of the game, and will once again be firing up Dak/CeeDee stuff. Dak is cheaper than Burrow, but projected for around 10% less ownership. With everyone playing Chase, that will leave CeeDee under-owned as well.
Brock Purdy is a trendy name this week, but I would prefer Sam Howell or even Kyler Murray to him.
I also want to bring up Lamar Jackson, who is going to be unowned against the vaunted Browns defense. Cleveland is an amazing defense, but Lamar has historically crushed them – including a near 30 DK points game THIS SEASON. Baltimore has score 30+ points in their last two games with Lamar accounting for just ONE TD. That TD luck is simply not going to continue, and with everyone off him he can certainly break a slate.
We have some huge chalk concentrating at RB this week, mainly because of the lack of games and injury situations. Joe Mixon is the highest pOWN% player, with Rachaad White, Tony Pollard and Travis Etienne just behind him. Mixon is fine in cash games, but I’m completely fine fading him at high ownership in tournaments. Last week I literally begged for the field to play Tony Pollard again so I could fade him, and I had one of my most profitable weeks of the season. I will once again be fading Tony Pollard in Week 10. White is in a tough match-up, while I love the role I will look elsewhere if he’s that popular.
Bijan Robinson will also be popular again, the match-up is great but the role isn’t. I understand people wanting to avoid him, but he is in play for me at his price. I’m neutral on him vs Arizona.
Najee Harris is cheap, and can be used in GPPs at just $4,900 on DK. You can certainly run on GB, and he hasn’t been as bad as people act this season. He has seven attempts inside the 10 this season compared to just one for Jaylen Warren. PIT could see some short fields here vs Jordan Love — and Najee/PIT DST stacks are in play for me in small-field.
I also really like some spend-up options this week — CMC and Austin Ekeler. McCaffrey just does it all, and I will consider him on any team I’m using a cheap stack. He’s projecting for half the ownership of Chase, but could easily outscore him.
Since I love the Goff stack, I want to run that back with Ekeler or look to mini Ekeler with ARSB/LaPorta. Ekeler’s role has been great since coming back. especially in the red-zone. He’s coming off a very unlucky game with just two catches on seven targets and I think he could really pop off if the game shoots out. He’s too expensive for anyone to play him, so I love the leverage you get spending UP at RB with most looking to spend down when he does have a ceiling on DK. I prefer Ekeler to Keenan Allen.
I also like Aaron Jones as a pivot coming off 26 touches. GB noted that they really wanted to get him going last week and he was fed, I don’t expect much different this week.
I prefer Jones to someone like White/Pollard at way higher ownership this week.
Kenneth Walker could also get some late steam as we head into the weekend. I think he is interesting in both non-Geno teams and as your run-back in a Howell team over one of the SEA WR’s. I’m neutral on him, but may end up with exposure.
The last guy I’ll note is Alexander Mattison – who is another guy I would play over White if that OWN% holds. His role is just as good with no Akers, and you can easily stack him with Olave or Taysom on the other side.
There are a ton of moving parts at this position this week, with some big injury news dropping on Friday. For starters: Tee Higgins is OUT for the Bengals, while Ja’Marr Chase is questionable with his back injury (sounds like a back bruise?). Nico Collins is also out for the Texans, while Robert Woods is back healthy for them. Given that injury news, we should expect heavy ownership on all of Ja’Marr Chase (if active), Trenton Irwin (Higgins replacement, stone-min on DK), Tyler Boyd and Tank Dell with no Collins. In addition to those players, these are the WR’s projecting for the highest-OWN% on DK: Hollywood Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Diontae Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Terry McLaurin.
Brown is someone I never like to roster as chalk, but prefer to be low-owned. That being said, he is too cheap for what his performance should be with Kyler Murray back and he can easily be mini-stacked with a Falcons player on the other side.
Two guys I LOVE this week are St. Brown and Diontae Johnson. As I noted with Goff above, this DET/LAC game has the highest total on the slate but it doesn’t appear many people want to stack it. I will be taking advantage of that in tournaments and I think that ARSB is arguably the top overall play on the slate. Johnson is someone I have played aggressively this season, which you know if you read this article. He has looked the best he’s looked in his career to me and is getting a ton of separation. He finally found the end-zone in their last game, and I think the floodgates are open in that aspect moving forward. I’m expecting him to smash as we move to the close of the season and with Jaire Alexander doubtful to play, I love the match-up. Johnson with Aaron Jones or Christian Watson on the other side is how I plan to play him.
I could see Hopkins being a good play this week as well, I’m not sure if I will full-stack that game but Nuk with Rachaad White or a Bucs WR makes a lot of sense to me if you’re using a cheaper QB/WR stack.
Obviously with my interest in the SEA/WAS game I will be looking at the WR’s there as well, and I was pleased to see that no SEA WR is projecting much higher than 10% ownership this week. All of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba crack my player pool, with Metcalf being my favorite. Double-stacks are certainly in play here and I prefer Jahan Dotson or Curtis Samuel to McLaurin for a bring-back of he is going to be the clear highest-owned option on the other side.
Two other tournament plays I really like this week are CeeDee Lamb and Deebo Samuel. People are way too concerned about the Cowboys blowing out the Giants. Even if they win by 30+ points, Dak and CeeDee will have a big part to do with that 30 points and this looks like another week that we get that stacked lower-owned. Samuel can be used on any non-CMC team – and I’m expecting him to be sub-5% owned. Jacksonville has called a very zone-heavy defense this season while Deebo excels against zone-coverage using his YAC ability to rack up fantasy points. Brandon Aiyuk averages over 2.3 YPRR vs man-coverage compared to just 1.4 for Deebo — those numbers are basically inverse against zone-coverage signaling this as a clear Samuel spot.
I likely won’t run back my Dak team – but you can certainly look to double-stack any of DET, SEA, WAS, CIN or HOU.
As for any BAL stacks, I would actually look to Odell Beckham in a REVENGE spot, or Mark Andrews. Beckham has seen a big role increase since complaining about a lack of targets – and coming from someone that grew up in NE Ohio…it would be so Browns to see him find the box on Sunday.
The JAX guys will crack my pool as well, but mainly as mini’s with CMC or Deebo.
If you watched last weeks Sunday Morning stream, you’d know that I ended up very heavy on Taysom Hill in my TE spot. This worked out perfectly, gaining leverage off a chalky Kamara while Hill scored and threw a touchdown en route to over 20 DK points. We have some clear chalk at this position again this week, with Trey McBride, Evan Engram and TJ Hockenson all projecting for over 20% ownership. I can understand McBride being chalky due to his price in cash games, and that’s primarily where I’ll look to play him while being underweight in tournaments. I’m not in love with the other two options, and will look to get off the board or implement TE in my stacks in Week 10.
Options that stick out to me are Sam LaPorta, Cade Otton, Chig Okonkwo and David Njoku. LaPorta has been great down the stretch for the Lions and I’ve noted above that I want to be aggressive playing this game. Otton/Okonkwo can both be mini’d within that game or used as one-offs at those prices. Okonkwo benefits from Treylon Burks being out for the Titans. Njoku has had one of the better roles for a TE in recent weeks and always has success against the Baltimore Ravens. Both he and Mark Andrews are strong GPP options.
I’ll also note again that while his price is up, you can use Taysom Hill on any non-Kamara team..
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)