NFL fantasy duds that ruined Week 10
By MATT MUSICO
No one wants to say it, but it's true. These guys were duds. All of them. In one way or another.
Unlike most weeks, the majority of these players will go right back into my lineup next week. They are too good to put up back-to-back shenanigans.
But before we let bygones be bygones, let's look at why these duds were in our lineups in the first place and lament our folly.
Tom Brady ($9,100, 15.2% owned) – 19.26 FDPs at New York Giants
In real football, Brady played a fine game. But in FanDuel, when a quarterback is priced over $9,000 you need a 20+ point performance from him. Anything less is a let down, especially when he's facing a team that gives up the fourth most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks. He was close to 20 points, but he's not even going to be a top-10 quarterback this week. That's disappointing.
But hey, Brady only has one other performance in when he scored under 22 FanDuel points. I'm going to plug him in again next week, and the week after. This week, I overpaid. Next week, I'll get value.
Peyton Manning ($7,700, .9%) – -2.60 FDPs versus Kansas City Chiefs
Awkward. Two huge events happened in the same Denver Broncos game today.
1. Peyton Manning eclipsed Brett Favre's record of 71,838 career passing yards.
2. Peyton Manning got benched after throwing four interceptions.
The entire 2015 season has been a rough one for the elder Manning, therefore very few of you rostered him (even as a contrarian play in a nice matchup). When a future hall of famer ends a day with a -2.60 FanDuel score, no one wins.
DeAngelo Williams ($7,600, 43.0% owned) – 7.4 FDPs versus Cleveland Browns
Everyone and their cat played DeAngelo Williams this week. Why wouldn't they? Last week Williams was the highest scoring running back on FanDuel when he rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders. This week he faced the woeful Cleveland Browns, the team that gives up the fifth most FanDuel points to opposing running backs. Everything was aligned for big time production.
We also thought that the Steelers would lean on the run because they would start backup quarterback Landry Jones. Sure enough, at the top of the game Jones gets hurt and the Steelers bring in a backup... Ben Roethlisberger? Yep, that happened! So instead the team became an Antonio Brown highlight reel and Williams never got into a rhythm.
Darren McFadden ($7,000, 11.4% owned) – 7.3 FDPs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Dallas Cowboys have had one of the most turbulent seasons in the league this year. Injuries have plagued them, and that's why it's even more surprising that Darren McFadden, one of the most injured players in league history, has been able to stay upright and play at a high level. In FanDuel, you don't need to worry about long term injury issues, you just need to worry about this week. That is exactly why 11.4% of you decided to plug him in this week.
Tampa Bay has a better run defense than most people acknowledge, and going into this week they were giving up the 10th fewest FanDuel points to opposing running backs. Also, with Matt Cassel under center, the Buccaneers were going to key in on the run. They don't respect the passing game.
Luckily Tony Romo should be back in Week 11 and perhaps this offense can start moving the ball and McFadden's numbers should just right back up.
Stefon Diggs ($6,600, 13.6% owned) – 6.6 FDPs at Oakland Raiders
Diggs is the first rookie in league history to acquire 85 receiving yards in the first four games of his career, but he's been rather quiet over the last two weeks. In fact, in that time he only has five receptions and 88 yards.
There are a few reasons for this decline in production. One, he was questionable last week with a hamstring injury. Hamstrings come back often and affect performance. Two, Teddy Bridgewater had a couple weird outings as well and even got knocked out cold last week towards the end of the game. And three, the biggie... Adrian Peterson is back. Peterson has had his two of his best games over the last two weeks and coach Mike Zimmer is going with the hot hand.
Randall Cobb ($7,700, 23% owned) – 7.5 FDPs versus Detroit Lions
I'm at a loss for words when it comes to the Green Bay Packers. This was a cushy matchup, at home, and it looked like Aaron Rodgers was bouncing back last week at Carolina. Well, the connection is still odd with Randall Cobb. Cobb only caught five of his 10 targets for 53 yards. He only has five touchdowns on the season, three of which came in Week 3. Next week they travel to Minnesota, so it's hard to believe he'll bounce back there considering the Vikings give up the eighth fewest FanDuel points to opposing receivers.
Martellus Bennett ($5,400, 2.1% owned) – 3.3 FDPs at St. Louis Rams
Last week it looked like Bennett was back to form. He caught 8 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown at San Diego. St. Louis obviously has a much tougher defense, but this was a huge drop off in productivity. More troubling, Bennett's targets went from nine to three. MOST TROUBLING, tight end Zach Miller caught all five of his targets for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Keep you eye on his usage before deciding to plug him into more of your lineups.
Benjamin Watson ($5,500, 5.8%) – 3.4 FDPs at Washington Redskins
A lot of experts were ready and willing to declare Benjamin Watson the new breakout tight end of the season, but that all came crashing downs when Watson only caught three passes for 19 yards against Washington. To be fair, Washington went into the game giving up the sixth fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends. Fair or not, this game was a let down and a far cry from the vintage Jimmy Graham performances that we miss dearly. Benjamin Watson will have occasionaly big weeks, but the consistent tight end production left town when they traded away Graham. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Each of these players (save Peyton) can get plugged in again, especially in the right matchup. That's what FanDuel is all about. Matchcups and opportunities.
All is not lost and starting Tuesday it's another week. Good luck in Week 11.