Today’s fantasy football daily fix delivers news and notes about Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, and Percy Harvin, as well as DraftKings Week 10 daily fantasy football D/ST recommendations for the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, and Detroit Lions.
News & Notes
Bad News for Aaron Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers aren’t making any promises regarding Aaron Rodgers’ recovery, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that it’ll be at least a month, if not longer, before the best player in football retakes his post under center. Obviously, this is devastating for fantasy owners who built their teams around Rodgers, but the ripple effect on the rest of the Packer offense is just as bad. Jarrett Boykin goes from an intriguing fill-in to an emergency option, Jordy Nelson no longer sniffs the WR1 slot in any format, and Eddie Lacy will almost certainly struggle as he receives more attention from opposing defenses.
Fill-in quarterback Seneca Wallace isn’t a complete stiff, but with the likes of Nick Foles and Terrelle Pryor (both of whom are likely to start on Sunday) lounging on waiver wires in at least 40% of leagues, there’s no reason to take a chance on him. Heck, I could even be talked into Texans spark plug Case Keenum, football’s answer to Nate Robinson, as a better Rodgers replacement.
Arian Foster Late to Work for Doctor’s Appointment
Ok, so that’s not exactly what happened, but Foster did miss practice on Wednesday to have his back injury diagnosed. The diagnosis hasn’t been reported and it’s unclear whether he’ll play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but I wouldn’t count on it. In any case, there’s not much Foster owners can do; Ben Tate is owned in just about every league, and neither Deji Karim, Ray Graham, nor Dennis Johnson are worth your attention.
Percy Harvin Works Out, Doesn’t Practice
Pete Carroll himself tossed passes to Percy Harvin on Wednesday, saying that Harvin had a “really good” workout and is progressing well in his rehab. Harvin has long since been scooped in just about every league, but this development makes Russell Wilson a sneaky trade target. He’s been really good this season, but he’s a top five option at quarterback with Harvin back in the lineup. If I just lost Rodgers, I’d strongly consider making a Godfather offer to Wilson’s owner.
DraftKings Defense/Special Teams Recommendations
If you’ve never played DraftKings before, it’s time to start. You’re reading this column, so I know you like fantasy football, and new depositors get a free ticket into a Millionaire Grand Final qualifier, a contest that as me so excited, I wrote a whole damn article about it!
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Once you’re registered, check out the multitude of options DraftKings has to offer; the Double Up and Triple Up contests are my personal favorites.
This isn’t a good week to splurge on an expensive fantasy defense. The Seahawks have a nice matchup against the reeling Falcons, but $5,000 is quite a chunk of change for a defense playing on the road against an offense that’s been bad, but is still brimming with latent talent (ANAGRAMS!). The Panthers and Niners both have offenses that can hurt the other side, the Texans and Eagles are frisky enough to make me really distrust the Cardinals and Packers defenses, and Baltimore is just too familiar with its divisional foe for me to shell out big money for the Bengals.
The only high-priced defense I’m on board with this week is the Tennessee Titans ($4,000). It’s a spectacular price for any home team facing Jacksonville, let alone the ninth-best fantasy defense in football. Only the New York Giants, who have turned the ball over a frightening 25 times this season, allow more fantasy points to opposing defenses than the hapless Jags. Chad Henne is a disaster at quarterback and although it’ll be fun to see two former Michigan quarterbacks in the backfield at the same time, even that isn’t enough to elevate the Jacksonville offense to credibility.
Although the final score didn’t turn out in their favor, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($3,100) were pretty stout on defense last week in Seattle; they shouldn’t have to suffer for the fact that their offense crapped its collective pants after halftime. They’re home this week against the weakened Miami Dolphins. This Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin business is surely taking a toll on Miami’s collective psyche, not to mention its already horrid offensive line. Tampa Bay may very well lose this game, but the matchup alone should be enough to keep it a low-scoring affair.
Don’t look now, but the St. Louis Rams ($3,000) have the best pass rush in football, according to Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate. The sight of Robert Quinn and Chris Long simultaneously tearing around their respective ends brings back memories of the deadly Robert Mathis/Dwight Freeney combination that bookended the Indianapolis defensive line during Peyton Manning’s glory years. It appears the Colts haven’t learned; the Indy offensive line has improved since last season, but it’s still just about average in pass protection. Given the way that St. Louis succeeded against a similarly prioritized Seattle offense (run first, pass second, dynamic quarterback always) a couple of Monday nights ago, the Rams are worth a shot here.
The Detroit Lions ($2,500) aren’t a great defense, but they’re too cheap this week. Regardless of whether Ndamukong Suh gets the matchup he wants, I like this matchup for Detroit’s defense. The Lions have a load of talented pass rushers; they’re absolutely worth this price against a banged-up Jay Cutler or a back-up Josh McCown.
Before I begin this last recommendation, I’d like to clarify a few things. No, I am not under the influence or any controlled substance, nor is any outside force influencing what I’m about to write. I am a fully healthy person acting of his own volition, who is about to recommend that his fantasy constituents spend their DraftKings cash on the Jacksonville Jaguars ($1,700) defense this week. My recommendation isn’t so much a statement about the Jags as it is a statement about the unpredictability of fantasy football defenses and the resulting impact on daily fantasy strategy. The Jags are $800 cheaper than any other defense this week. I can’t recall seeing any fantasy defense priced this low all season – and it’s really not that tough of a matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Sure, they’re probably among the worst options, but I’d exchange the Atlanta Falcons $2,500 defense for Jacksonville for the right to swap Larry Fitzgerald for Demaryius Thomas, or to upgrade from Jarrett Boykin for Terrance Williams or Riley Cooper. The advantage in picking the Jacksonville defense has nothing to do with picking the Jacksonville defense, it’s about what it enables you to do elsewhere.