Week 10 optimal DraftKings lineup: David Johnson first
Last week’s tournament squad didn’t win $1 million, but it did perform well enough to finish in the money in GPPs, assuming you swapped out Carlos Hyde with someone who, you know, actually played. Our swap suggestion was Mark Ingram, so that definitely would have worked.
And while it will cost you $444 to enter the DraftKings Milly Maker this week, there are still plenty of other cheaper tournaments you can enter for your shot at the top prize. So which lineup will you choose?
Below you’ll find my optimal DraftKings tournament lineup for Week 10’s main slate.
QB: Tom Brady, New England Patriots ($7,400)
In four games this season, Brady has averaged 28.5 DraftKings PPG, and he has topped the 30-point mark three times. The Patriots are rested after coming off a bye, and they are home favorites, which is always a plus for quarterbacks. The Seattle Seahawks played on Monday night last week, so they are playing on a short week and had to travel cross-country. The matchup against the Seahawks defense will also suppress Brady’s ownership, but they have given up an average of 307 passing yards per game over their past four contests. The matchup is not as bad as it appears.
RB1: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals ($8,400)
Johnson is not just the play of the week, he’s the play of the year. Johnson jumped off the page in my initial pass through Week 10 of DFS, and nothing has changed since then. The 49ers have given up the most attempts, yards and touchdown to running backs so far this year. We also have the Cardinals projected to beat the 49ers by 10-plus points, so expect a heavy dose of Johnson all game long. He’s going to be the chalk, but he’s also a near lock for 30-plus points.
RB2: Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,300)
Now officially the starter both in name and in practice, Sproles has already been labeled as one of the bargains of the week. Over the past two weeks, Sproles has out-snapped Ryan Mathews 122 to 16. He has out-touched Mathews 36 to 11. Mathews has been vulturing touchdowns — and that’s the risk with this pick — but Sproles is “the guy” in Philadelphia’s offense, and he remains a threat to score from outside to 10 yard line (and on punt returns). This also figures to be an up-tempo game, another boon to Sproles’ value.
WR1: Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears ($6,600)
This one is, unfortunately, not a secret. But I still like the play, even in tournaments. I highlighted why I like Jeffery in this points per opportunity article, but I’ll summarize again here: The Buccaneers have given up the third-most fantasy PPO to opposing wideouts so far this year, and Jeffery has seen his usage increase over the three previous weeks compared to earlier this year. If this keep up — and with Jay Cutler back in town, I expect it to — Jeffery could dominate down the stretch. It begins in Week 10 against the Buccaneers’ funnel defense.
WR2: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks ($5,800)
We’re using a mini Seattle-New England game stack by inserting Baldwin into the lineup. As Brady marches New England down the field one way, we’re looking for Baldwin to capitalize coming the other way. Baldwin runs 80.9 percent of his snaps from the slot, and the Patriots have been vulnerable to slot receivers this year. Larry Fitzgerald (8-81-2), Jarvis Landry (10-130), Andrew Hawkins (3-40-1), Tyler Boyd (4-79) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (3-30-1) have all had success out of the slot against New England. Fitzgerald and Landry are pretty good, but those last three are not. Baldwin should feast.
WR3: Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers ($3,400)
Inman is a cheap wideout in a good spot to far outperform his salary, assuming Travis Benjamin sits (keep tabs on that one). Over the past three weeks, Inman leads all Chargers receivers with 21 targets — and that includes games in which Tyrell Williams and Benjamin played. He has averaged 10.5 DraftKings PPG in those three contests, which is higher than 3x value on his salary. With Benjamin out, I like Inman’s chances to hit at least 4x value.
TE: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots ($6,900)
We’re stacking Brady with Gronkowski this week, and it feels good. You already know Gronkowski is great, so I don’t need a ton of stats to help prove it. But I’ll throw some out anyway, because that’s what we do here. Gronkowski leads all tight ends in fantasy points per snap (0.32) and points per opportunity (0.65). He has gained 3.56 yards per route run, which is so insanely good, the best way to describe it is visually. (click to enlarge)
The Seahawks have been strong against tight ends so far this year, but they haven’t played a good tight end yet, let alone one even close to Gronkowski’s level. Gronk is one of the few tight ends who can easily erupt for 30-plus points, which is exactly what you want for a tournament play.
Flex: Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,000)
Coates was the disappointment of the week in Week 9. Well, for me at least. He had a few golden opportunities, including one long would-be touchdown that he was just overthrown on, and another would-be touchdown that Coates flat out dropped in the end zone. He didn’t catch a pass last week, but he still saw five targets with an insane 30.2 average depth of target. Ben Roethlisberger was off his game last week, and Coates’ hands didn’t help the situation. Everyone will abandon ship, but I’m sticking with him in tournaments. Coates also draws Anthony Brown in coverage this week. Brown has given up 0.46 fantasy points per route run against him, which is the fourth-most among all projected starting corners this week.
D/ST: New York Jets ($2,800)
We have this game projected to be the third-lowest-scoring affair of the weekend, with just 44.8 total projected points. This game should feature a low number of total snaps, and while that does technically mean fewer opportunities for splash plays, it’s expected to be a low-scoring game because both the Jets and Rams have terrible offenses, not because either team is particularly good at controlling the clock (like the Cowboys). Keenum has thrown just one touchdown against five interceptions when under pressure this season. Keenum ranks 29th among quarterbacks in PFF grade. We’re banking on a few mistakes from him.