My Week 9 daily fantasy football (DFS) picks did pretty well. Whether you start at the top with Russell Wilson or scroll to the bottom with my Carolina DST pick, I know my picks won me some money this past weekend. Hopefully, they won you a little moolah too.
I am definitely up for the year, but as a DFS player, I know that a soul-crushing week could be just around the corner. If you cashed in last week, be smart about your winnings. Use them wisely. Do not blow the whole load rolling it over to this week.
However, if you are dumb enough to do that, know that I feel pretty good about my picks this week. Some weeks I don't. This is not one of those weeks. I actually have more faith in my picks for the Week 10 slates for both DraftKings and FanDuel than I have had in weeks. And remember, I'm right more often than I am wrong. But I have been wrong too. So if I fumble this week, I promise I will come back next week and apologize. Either way, see below for whom I like in Week 10.
Teams on bye: Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, Washington
Week 10 DFS Picks
Safe QB: Drew Brees vs. Falcons (DK $6700, FD $8300)
I know that I have Lamar Jackson atop my rankings. But that doesn't mean he's the obvious DFS picks this week. Sure, it was nice to see him defeat the dark side this past week...
... but he should not be priced as high as he is. Instead, I'll take the sure-fire Hall-of-Famer against Atlanta. Brees has more wins against Atlanta than any other team in the NFL. But it's not just the wins, he has more touchdowns and yards against them than anyone else too.
Of course, past performance doesn't always indicate future results. But with Atlanta allowing the third-most quarterback fantasy points? This is not the week to pass on Brees, especially on DraftKings.
High Risk/Reward QB: Matthew Stafford at Bears (DK $6400, FD $7900)
The Bears are the seventh-stingiest team in terms of giving up quarterback fantasy points. The Bears can absolutely bring the pressure, and Stafford has five fumbles this year already. He has an equal number of interceptions as well. But Stafford has been on fire lately. He has ten touchdown passes the last three weeks and over 1,100 passing yards during that span. With the Lions rushing game in the tank, expect Stafford's numbers to escalate quickly.
Safe RB: Mark Ingram at Bengals (DK: $7100, FD: $8000)
Just because I'm fading Lamar Jackson does not mean I'm fading Ravens this week. In fact, fading Ingram this week is only for the reckless. The Bengals have allowed the most running back fantasy points. Only the Bills have allowed more rushes inside the 5-yard line than the Bengals. Meanwhile, the Saints and Rams are the only teams that have attempted more than Baltimore. The Ravens are favored by double digits, and things don't always go as expected, but the script for Ingram to have a huge game could practically be carved in stone.
High Risk/Reward RB: Kareem Hunt vs. Buffalo (DK: $3000, FD: $4500)
While Ingram was a lock for my safe running back, I really struggled to come up with a "high risk" option at running back this week. I really like Devin Singletary and David Montgomery as potential high risk/high reward plays this week, but both felt too chalky to me. I scrolled down further and came upon Ronald Jones, but even he seemed a little too chalky to me. As I continue to scroll, I came upon Hunt. If his ownership is even 10 percent in any DFS game I'll be shocked. Outta sight, outta mind, right?
Yet, rumor is Hunt will get a few carries this week:
And remember that stat above about the Bills? I know Nick Chubb is still there, but throw in the fact that Buffalo is giving up nearly 25 fantasy points a week to running backs, and Hunt is looking like a high-upside play. At a rock-bottom price, he doesn't have to do much to pay off.
Safe WR: Michael Thomas vs. Falcons (DK: $8300, FD: $8700)
I've said it so many times that I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Or a glitching streaming device for you younger folks. But say it with me now... You start your stud wide receivers against the Falcons' secondary.
High Risk/Reward WR: Cooper Kupp at Steelers (DK: $3700, FD: $5100)
But you know what I have not talked very much about this year? The season that Kupp is having. He's a top-five fantasy wide receiver this year, averaging more than 17 fantasy points a week. But let's not lock him into all your lineups just yet. Two things here. First off, I am losing more and more faith in Jared Goff. This has to be taken with a grain of salt, but here's one argument against Goff:
Secondly, the Steelers' defensive passing numbers are steadily improving and are still being skewed by their miserable Week 1 against the Pats. That being said, the Steelers are still only the NFL's 23rd-best passing defense. The Rams are coming off a bye, and there's no Brandin Cooks this week to steal targets from Kupp. There is definitely risk but also enough upside to throw Kupp in a few lineups.
And if you're looking for a super deep pick this week, try Russell Gage. Who? The kid now taking Mohamed Sanu's spot who saw nine targets right before Atlanta's bye. Of course, if that's too deep, I do like some of his teammates too, including...
Safe TE: Austin Hooper at Saints (DK: $5500, FD: $6600)
No tight end is averaging more DK or FD fantasy points per week than Hooper. Given that the Falcons and Saints have the second-highest over/under this week, Hooper should see his weekly average of nearly eight targets this week if not more.
High Risk/Reward TE: Travis Kelce at Titans (DK: $6400, FD: $6700)
Kind of amazing that Kelce is considering a high-risk pick. But he's still being priced as if he's the number one tight end. And so far, his numbers say otherwise. But especially with the news that Patrick Mahomes will start, something tells me Kelce will get his.
Safe DST: Ravens at Bengals (DK: $4000, FD: $5000)
I don't think I need to tell you all the reasons why to start the Ravens this week. But maybe the people over at Yahoo! need to be told. Because the Ravens are not even priced as one of the top dozen defenses. Guess who I am playing in every Yahoo! lineup this week?
High Risk/Reward DST: Titans vs. Chiefs (DK: $2000, FD: $3400)
I absolutely nailed this pick last week with Carolina. It is not going to be two weeks in a row. I almost didn't include anyone here. But if you're looking to saving some money, perhaps make the very aggressive pick. For one, while it seems highly likely that Patrick Mahomes will return how confident are you that he won't be limited in some way? Also, given how Kansas City has managed in his absence, doesn't it feel like the Chiefs are due for a bad loss? And at Tennessee might be just the place. The Titans are very quietly allowing less than 19 points a game to their opponents. The Chiefs will likely score more than that, but the Titans can get after the quarterback and have the league's eighth-most sacks. If you utilize the savings elsewhere, you could do a lot worse at defense this week given these prices.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.