THE AMBUSH, WEEK 10
This article is not only intended to help YOU the reader out with your NFL DFS enjoyment for the week, but it’s also my Bible that I will rely upon each week to do my lineups, contest selection, bets, GIFs, angry twitter rants or whatever else I need for that given weekend of NFL action. You can expect this article to come out on Saturday’s as Friday nights are my grind time (… no, not that kind of grinding, cmon people …) to get this article done and ready for the weekend. I’m a big CFB player so Saturday’s are reserved for watching college football (or doing actual life stuff), but I will then come back to my article on Saturday night and make sure all my lineups and entries are set before eventually going to bed for the evening. You can expect me to not want to change a single thing on Sunday’s and I’ll likely not even want to answer any questions you have on Sunday’s. If you want the best time to get your lineups done, it should be Saturday night’s when you are reading this article.
Here’s a recap of what this article covers
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my MAIN lineup & what that is being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my SECOND tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my THIRD tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover my favorite weekly BETS for the weekend games.
- This article will cover who I feel is chalk and how it should be addressed.
- This article will cover all my NFL thoughts in one spot.
What are The Ambush plays? These are my plays that I feel warrant the most attention for a given week. It’s a mix of three types of players/teams each week. We’ll cover the stud you gotta have no matter what. We’ll cover the contrarian pivots. We’ll cover my favorite games/stacks of the week.
Sunday Morning Updates
Added this last week and you can expect any updates that are relevant to be posted here Sunday Morning before NOON EST.
9:22 AM … Started off the day by making a fantastic life decision. I opted to not do the things I need to do today before the games start instead putting them off until later this evening when I no doubt will be a little intoxicated and ultimately will end up not doing them. Nothing like prioritizing your procrastination folks…. OK. On with the morning updates
- Matt Stafford is OUT
This has no impact on the Lions side of the ball because I wasn’t going there to begin with. Quick, name the Lions backup QB? If you said Jeff Driskel then congrats, you cheated, but congrats. The Bears defense was a tempting play and the Bears really felt like a great bet to begin with. They get the obvious boost because the Lions cant run the ball to begin with and now Driskel will severely limit their passing upside.
- I am so sick and tired of 90% of fantasy football questions being related to the f’n Miami Dolphins. Enough folks. I don’t care about playing time or opportunities or value. They suck. Stop.
- We are smashing NHL. If you aren’t playing NHL, what is wrong with you? Join us.
I compare this week to like April Baseball where there are a couple games down south or in dome’s that get all the attention over cold weather games. The difference here though is that cold doesn’t mean bad offense for fantasy, so what has happened is Vegas Totals drop immediately on all the outdoor northern games and all the my spreadsheet is my life donkeys out there will gravitate towards only a couple games which meaaaaaaaaaaans …. Happy contrarian week! That’s right, there’s plenty of spots this week to build your lineup completely differently than everyone else. This is a week where 80% of players will look at a few big names and try to force in those studs first where as in prior weeks we had some value plays that everyone forced into their lineups first. Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans — they’re all high priced and heavily desired by anyone who looks at the slate and has been paying attention. I get it, all are facing defenses they should gash. That doesn’t mean all will put up 30 fantasy points this week. The common builds will be to force in high priced studs and then take gambles on value plays and I personally see a different theme this week.
The theme I see this week is that you should be building based off stacking teams this week, which is NOT THE NORM IN NFL. In fact, this might end up being the ONLY week all year that I will give you this type advice and that’s because it’s normally NOT the best way to build a solid lineup. But read below in the AMBUSH section and you will get some further details around this. I also have some bold calls below, but let’s get into the slate …
DFS Chalk Report – Week 10
|Position||Chalk Player||Chalk Level?||Notes / Why & Possible Ways to Pivot|
|QB||Jameis Winston / Kyler Murray||15%||Not a heavy QB chalk week this week as it is spread around across a few different guys with Winston being the top.|
|Drew Brees||10-15%||Brees at home vs Atlanta. 300 yards and 2 TD. Rinse. Repeat. Wanna pivot for bigger? Okay. Fine. Gonna die if you fade him? Prob not.|
|RB||Saquon Barkley||20%||Not quite insane chalk but with other mouths out he will always be up there in ownership.|
|Christian McCaffrey||15-20%||Price will keep him lower than normal. He’s CMC. He is the entire offense. Moving on now.|
|David Montgomery||15%||Chalk based upon recency bias and folks wanting him to be the real deal here. Bears passing game will do well enough vs DET that he shouldnt blow up.|
|WR||Mike Thomas||28.3%||Pivot is Ted Ginn or just paying up at RB.|
|Mike Evans||25%||The target share lately is way up there. Pivot is Godwin who wont be that low but lower.|
|TE||Rhett Ellisson (DK)||25%||HUGE chalk on DK. He sucks. But at $2500 at a weak position its not that bad.. No pivot.|
|Austin Hooper||15%||Play Kelce instead on FD|
|DEF||Ravens||20%||Pay lower if you pivot and on DK we’ll see lots of punting on defenses.|
WEEK 10 AMBUSH PLAYS
A quick PSA about the AMBUSH plays. This week is like many weeks where I have a QB, some RB, the 3 WR and a TE recommended in my AMBUSH plays and the natural instinct is to simply go straight down 1-2-3-4 and play all of those guys together in ONE lineup. While I definitely will have that, it’s not intended to be your only source for building lineups. I give 4 to 5 AMBUSH plays each week with the idea that it’s the CORE for building up to five lineups and placing them in proper contests each week. Use each of the AMBUSH plays isolated by itself paired with other construction thoughts that you have and then if you want to do one full AMBUSH play then do that, but the plays are all isolated by themselves as spots to help carry each lineup when they go off (like Coleman for 4 TD last week).
You guys know I am not one to go heavy into the analytics of NFL because, well, I think they are utterly useless noise and only referenced when not watching and having an understanding of depth charts, schemes and what has gone on in prior weeks. But I can assure you that the Tennessee Titans DB’s are going to have a rough stretch going forward. They were already the weakest link of an okay D-unit and now with Malcolm Butler on IR we are left with LeShaun Sims, Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson who are all just okay (Jackson being the most consistent of the group), and benefit from good safety play. But when facing the Chiefs the safeties have to worry about coverage on Kelce and Tyreek Hill busting a deep one. Insert Samuel Benjamin Watkins IV, a decent value on FD at $6400 and a fantastic value at $5100 on DraftKings this week. Hard not to like the boost that Mahomes should give and we’ve seen week after week where teams really don’t try to run a ton on the Titans, so I expect a good catch volume (6+) game from Watkins with high potential for 1 if not a massive 2 TD day.
AMBUSH PLAY #1: Sammy Watkins Finishes Top 5 WR this week and Ted Ginn scores.
RETURN OF THE JONES (and Mack)
I am sure that somewhere out there on the interwebs or on the radio airways or on a podcast there has been a horrible reference of “Return of the Mack” in reference to playing Marlon Mack this week against the Miami Dolphins at home. Oh wait, I kind of just did that here too? Well, Marlon Mack is nice and all and certainly makes a ton of sense as a good floor play, but the no doubter guy who is actually coming off a very very very low performance last week is Aaron Jones.
It’s gotta be A-A-Ron week in Green Bay and with temperatures around freezing and the Carolina Panthers poor road rush defense (also starting to break down at home too as Derrick Henry had a good game last week) is coming into Lambeau to get absolutely gashed by the Packers ground game. Aaron Jones had a down week last week as the entire Green Bay offense did not show up despite getting Davante Adams back while in California facing the Chargers. This week they are one of my favorite bets to cover against the Panthers and that’s gonna give us Aaron Jones scoring in the first half and Aaron Jones scoring in the second half with a Rodgers TD pass or two mixed in the middle as Green Bay ramps there way to a 5 TD offensive day which means we want that 7k range priced home running back that’s gonna go for 100+ yards on the ground and two scores.
Gimme Mr. Jones and Mr. Mack as my 1-2 RB punch this week.
AMBUSH PLAY #2: Aaron Jones and Marlon Mack RB Combo both go for 100 yards rushing and a TD.
CONGRATS ON THE STACK of CASHHHHHHHHH
I hope you have played every week this season and had some success. If you have done both of those things then you have most likely followed the advice to choose proper contest selection and not just gone out there and blindly stacked into a tournament and been angry when only one guy in your stack went off. NFL is a sport you can profit from by getting the ‘optimal’ type plays each week when there’s a good amount of scoring around the league.
This week has a strong odor to it. Not only are there a perceived set of just bad games, but we have cold weather rolling in, totals dropping and lots of spots that just don’t look like they are going to shootout. I mean, the top games for shootouts feature Jameis Winston vs Kyler Murray in one game and Matt Ryan in the other game, where he’s a 13 point underdog. Doesn’t exactly scream confidence meter. None the less those are the best games in warm weather/dome conditions this week. But it doesn’t mean we won’t see other spots potentially go off. When doing a stack this week I wouldn’t necessarily go for the game stack of QB-WR with WR on the other side. I’d actually lean to one team blowing up another team and going with QB-RB-WR-TE or QB-RB-WR-WR type stack where a team blows out another team who is just about to die/run out of gas. Here are some suggestions of said type of matchups
- Green Bay vs Carolina: One could even convince me to throw the DST into this one as well, but I love both A-A-Ron’s to score 2 TD this week. For Rodgers a third would be necessary for true blow-up potential, but I could definitely see them easily force feeding Adams 2 TD. The full stud stack of Rodgers-Jones-Adams-Packers DST would be quite contrarian indeed. Carolina is bleeding on defense and is quickly headed to a 6-10 finish. Double A-A-Ron’s. In his prior two games against the Ron Rivera Defense Rodgers ended up chucking it 48 times (both in ‘lina) and put up massive yardage stats. With the Packers at home they’ll likely get more rushing going and they’re no doubt gonna ground this one out in the end with a big lead (unlike the prior years in ‘lina). But with Rodgers calling out his team the prior week and them getting ready to go into a BYE, they GOTTA make a statement this week and drop 30+ to get right. This stack is gonna beat out the Saints triplets stack.
- New Orleans vs Atlanta: The Falcons probably should have fired Dan Quinn during their BYE week. The Saints are home and healthy and also coming off a BYE. This is the chalk spot, but nobody will roll this stack on FanDuel (except moi). Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Ted Ginn, Taysom Hill. What? You thought I’d make it this entire week without noticing that Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself & Taysom Hill is WR eligible on FanDuel now??? Ha. I’ve got $283 in play with him at WR this week folks.
- Kansas City vs Tennessee: Based on my favorite plays this week, you’ll see me liking Mahomes, Watkins, Kelce and D.Henry on the other side. But its 4th because it’s not that crazy enough. This is likely the main lineup stack to roll with IMO, but not a get weird spot.
- NY Giants vs NY Jets: The Jets and Browns both had disaster all over them last week, but between the two I lean the Jets to get blown up by the Giants in a ‘rivalry?’ hype game in the Meadowlands. Part of this is that I can see the Jets moving the ball quickly on the Giants to force a good game flow and the other part is just that I look at Jones, Barkley, Shepard, Tate, Engram and say My God, how does everyone here not have a decent to potentially big game?
DONT BE SCARED STACK OF THE WEEK … OKAY, BE SCARED, BUT BE BOLD!
- Chicago Bears vs Detroit: Trubisky, Montgomery, Cohen, Robinson, Gabriel …. When in rome? Yeah, when stacking the Bears, do it stupid and blind folks.
AMBUSH PLAY #3: STACK AWAY
RECAP OF THE AMBUSH PLAYS
- SAMMY WATKINS TOP 5 WR
- AARON JONES / MARLON MACK RB COMBO
- DO THE STACKING
FULL AMBUSH RANKINGS
This isn’t a week like last week where we had a no doubter 4+ TD game looming from a high priced stud in Russell Wilson. But it’s also a week where I’d prefer to lock in one of the guys I view as safer up top than take too much of a gamble for my main lineup. That said, read between the lines there and understand that rarely will you lose because of QB and with last week being one of those weeks, odds are this week isn’t one. So you can get creative here, but here’s my favorite plays.
- AARON RODGERS
- DREW BREES … Brees has a couple massive things going for him in DFS this week. Atlanta shouldn’t be able to run the ball much and their best success against New Orleans is when they go hurry up offense and basically force the Saints into playing zone which gives Julio Jones some pretty good upside as he carves up zone defenses. What does this mean for Drew? It means the Saints should win time of possession 40 to 20 this week. So with him likely running so many plays it’s hard to imagine him not accounting for 300 yards and 2 TD.
- PATRICK MAHOMES … I’m confident either Mahomes or Rodgers beats Brees and the other finishes below. I have Mahomes slightly below.
Just missing the cut on the AMBUSH plays this week was Derrick Henry, but I really wanted to highlight him in this section as someone who makes a ton of sense versus a Chiefs defense which ranks near the bottom against the run and when teams have had success against them they’ve done it on the ground. Henry is the type of physical back that can get the ball a ton and accrue some nice stats this weekend and would be a good third mid range RB to look at this week along with Jones and Mack.
MY PRIMARY RB TO TARGET
- AARON JONES: 100 yards + TD, great for his price. I dont see any RB going for 30-35 pts this week. He will do.
- MARLON MACK: Ditto him.
- CMC: Yeah, he’s pricey. No, he won’t suck.. Huge upside on DK with the full PPR.
- SAQUON BARKLEY: Virtually same story as CMC but cheaper so he is higher owned. Barkley busts ONE big one this week.
- ALVIN KAMARA: Game flow is huge for AK41. No reason for him to catch a shit ton of balls, but people need to realize he eats into Thomas some and the Saints are gonna spread around the TD
TIER TWO BACKS
- DERRICK HENRY: Good volume spot.
- TARIK COHEN: Not only does he give you a pivot off David Montgomery chalk, but he is a perfect DK pivot off Ronald Jones and he’ll be 1% owned. If that. Good spot for Bears believe it or not and Richard was KILLING the Lions last week as the pass catching RB.
- JAYLEN SAMUELS: I’ll bite on him this week. I think the game has good entertainment value in it and he’s gonna have to contribute
MY TRIPLETS THIS WEEK
- SAMMY WATKINS: Outlined above.
- A.J. BROWN: 2 TD spot if Tannehill is on and they cant get Henry going consistently.
- TED GINN JR: Ted Ginn has played 32 games with the Saints. He has 7 touchdowns. All 7 touchdowns have come in divisional games (10) and only once in a home divisional game has he not scored a TD. The biggest downside here is that he no doubt will be under 5 receptions this week. So you’re going boom or bust on that TD, which I feel is a lock and for his price — I’ll take it.
TIER TWO ONE OFFS
- CHRIS GODWIN … Go right back to the Chris Godwin well this week people. Do not pass go, do not play Mike Evans. Go directly to the Chris Godwin train this week.
- MICHAEL THOMAS: 7 catches, 89 yards, 0 TD. That’s your final result if the Saints win this game by anywhere from 3 to 28 points.
- DAVANTE ADAMS: Packers roll, he gets a TD back at home and they get him right before their BYE.
- COOPER KUPP: 10 catch game upside as another week without Cooks. Goff will lock in on Kupp for a high PPR volume making him someone I feel you can use over Michael Thomas this week at about 99% lower ownership.
- ALLEN ROBINSON: Hey, wanna go for a ride with me on the AROBII train again?
- CALVIN RIDLEY: Just too bleeping cheap on FD in a game where Atlanta could go hurry up the entire second half.
SNEAKY VALUE WR
- ROBBIE ANDERSON: Speed kills … The Giants
- DIONTAE JOHNSON
I have been absolutely horrific on Tight Ends when not going to Josh Hill this season and uh, it’s not a Josh Hill week. So we need to get this train back on the tracks and I feel good about all of these guys ranked in order of preference. Really Everett and Howard are my high main focus guys to look at this week. OJ Howard? Yeah, he should be back in that lineup and shredding the ‘Zona defense. Everett though gets a boost with Cooks out again and the Steelers haven’t been shutting down TE either.
- GERALD EVERETT: Very simple for me. Kupp or Everett get the Rams passing game volume.
- T.J. HOCKENSON: Loved him last week and he did very little. You know the drill here.
- OJ HOWARD: Too cheap because he has been too bad.
- MARK ANDREWS
No, Derek Brooks, Ronde Barber and Warren Sapp aren’t walking out onto the field this Sunday, but the Quarterbacks who shred the Tampa secondary are ones with accuracy or good offensive lines to do well against 3 to 4 man rush from Tampa. Arizona has neither of those things and Tampa has linebackers playing well enough in my mind to contain Kyler and disrupt him as well with extra pressure at times. This is a play where I know Tampa is gonna give up some points to Arizona, but I love their defense to score and rack up some sacks along the way. Very low priced and very low owned play.
- TAMPA BAY
- INDIANAPOLIS: Weekly team to pick on the Dolphins.
- NEW ORLEANS: Not sure they are worth the inflated price this week, but I don’t see Atlanta being able to score a ton. Saints special teams always in play vs Atlanta.
- GREEN BAY: Just too cheap on FanDuel at $4,000
A new section that I am bringing to my article each week. This is my sneaky way of providing thoughts on lots of the games without actually “touting” or recommending specific plays each week. It’s for those of you who love to ask questions on Twitter, Slack or whatever other method you prefer.
Okay, what’s the game you aren’t heavy on that scares you?
I mentioned how there’s easily a bunch of teams who can roll some blowouts this week and Baltimore is an obvious one against the Bengals where Lamar, Ingram, Edwards, Brown, Andrews, etc could all have big games. Well, the reason I am not on them is because I don’t see ONE guy there doing all the work. I don’t love playing Ingram off a big game and I think Lamar does it through the air. You dont want Lamar in an air it out game. He doesn’t need to run and they’ll go three deep at RB this week. Too many guys do well here and the one nobody will have (Snead) probably is the one who scores the first TD and tilts everyone.
Got any rants about analysis that is being said recently?
Why yes, I do in fact.
Something that I have even done myself in the past – but really try to avoid saying anymore. I heard it a ton this week and really you’ll hear it EVERY DAY there is a Showdown slate. It’s the whole “game flow” discussion around who is playing from ahead and who is playing from behind.
The common narrative is that you want a RB who is playing with the lead in a blowout. And you want a Quarterback who is playing behind. I get it. At it’s core it makes sense in that teams with a lead run the ball late in the game and teams who are trailing throw the ball late. But the reality is those one or two drives where that is the primary function has VERY LITTLE impact on the relevance of a player for the spot. I would say in general the Running Back has more upside by the fact that he will have the lead but if the RB has done NOTHING prior to that point then what good is an extra 30-40 yards rushing at the end off a bad day? Meanwhile, let me give you a scenario on two Quarterbacks this week. Let’s take Drew Brees and Matt Ryan for example.
Let’s say at the half New Orleans is up 31-7. Some analyst will say oh, Matt Ryan should be trailing so he is a good play. Drew Brees could be up big and slow down.
So wait. You don’t want the QB who led his offense to 31 points and instead you want the one who led his offense to 7? Take the good players.
Which WR should I start? I’m looking for someone who’s like 8th in Total Air Yards. Someone who was supposed to go off these past few weeks but still hasn’t & hasn’t scored a touchdown since last years so he’s due for “regression against the mean” all based on Air Yards Metrics.
Every woman immediately stops drinking as they are now pregnant.
CONTEST SELECTION REMINDERS
Reminder on a couple things you should be looking for each week are as follows
- Tournaments with less than 1k users in them
- Tournaments with less than 300 users in them
- Tournaments that pay 10x to first not 50x to first
- Higher paylines (% of people who get paid)
- How much does 10th place get? 20th place?
Focus on not first place but below that. Make sure you are playing a tournament that is one you can win in and will not have a ton of tilt by entering a lineup and having to worry about every single person who scores on the slate. You’ll find that in the long run any tournament that only pays 10x to first is one you will profit in.