🚀 An RB Ready to Blast Off
Get him on your roster now...
My kingdom for a weekend without injuries to worry about…
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Unabated:
Trading for a Cowboys’ RB? In this economy? Hear me out.
Rankings Roundtable: Can we trust Rachaad White again?
DFS Stacks: It all revolves around the Sun God
QUICK HITTER: Q tags. Q tags everywhere.
The Return of the (Cardinals’) King. It’s time.
The Walkthrough: Kerrane gives us some hope for Geno Smith
Fantasy Bingo: Geoff with more winning plays for Week 10
It’s 11/11. Take it away, Chris Allen…
The trade deadline for most leagues is right around the corner. And if you’re already sitting at 7-2 or 6-3 and looking ahead or just want to make sure you make it to the dance, having another top-12 option on your roster could be all you need.
But trading for underperforming players is usually a dicey proposition.
Their lack of fantasy points could be due to a shift in workload, tough matchups, bad luck, or some combination of all three. The luck part we can’t control, but just looking at volume and schedule, one RB stuck out with the potential to re-enter the RB1 conversation in the coming weeks.
🤠 Tony Pollard, Cowboys
Tony Pollard has three RB1 finishes all season, with two happening in the first three weeks of the season. Since then, he’s averaged 10.0 PPR PPG and been outscored on a per-game basis by:
D’Onta Foreman - 14.2 PPG
Kareem Hunt - 11.2
Jaylen Warren - 10.9
There are other names, but I’m highlighting these specifically because they were waiver-wire adds earlier in the season. And it’s an argument you could use when negotiating for Pollard. But, of course, there has to be some upside to acquiring Dallas’ primary RB. His workload is the best place to start.
Pollard’s 56.1% share of the team’s rushing attempts ranks 11th amongst all RBs (min. 50 carries). Plus, he’s tacked on a 13.0% target share (sixth-highest) to go with his totes. But tough outs against the Eagles and 49ers over the last month limited his output.
However, the upcoming schedule is more favorable to Dallas’ running game, and it starts on Sunday.
The Cowboys face the Tommy Devito-led Giants, who just gave up 98 yards and two scores to Josh Jacobs last week. Jacobs, who’s usually involved as a receiver, didn’t even need a target to finish as the RB3 in Week 9, but a starting RB against the Giants looks like a situation worth buying. But Pollard’s positive schedule outlook doesn’t stop in Week 10.
Dallas has Carolina (31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs) and Washington (18) over the next two weeks, along with Buffalo (22nd) and Miami (16th) in the fantasy playoffs. With opportunity and situation working in his favor, Pollard is set up for success down the stretch and worth adding to your roster before the deadline.
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Debating between two guys on your roster? Need someone to break the tie for you? Matthew Freedman, Dwain McFarland, and Ian Hartitiz dove deep into their rankings to find a few players they’re willing to push into their starting lineup for Week 10.
At this point in the season, the real football implications are just as critical as the fantasy undertones.
We’re halfway through the season and about a month out from the fantasy playoffs. And yet, there’s not much doubt we’ll be talking about the outcome of Sunday’s matchups in late December. Our decisions now will be something we think about next week and the week after.
This weekend feels critical, but our approach to roster decisions should be the same. And, of course, our team has the projections and analysis to help you get your roster right.
Plus, as they do every week because they’re awesome, the rankers got together again to find a few players they’re higher or lower on relative to consensus. So, if you’re having questions about setting your lineup for Week 10, check out their notes before kickoff.
🦅 WR – Marquise Brown (Cardinals) vs. Falcons
I’m the highest ranker on Brown (WR20), and that might be a result of weighting his upside a little more than his median — but he’s an upside player.
Brown is easily the No. 1 WR on the team with 42-440-5 receiving and a 40% air share on 77 targets, and with the expected return of QB Kyler Murray (knee), we should see the Cardinals passing game improve: Brown is a mid-range WR2 with Murray.
Given that Brown lines up all across the formation, he’s likely to run roughly half his routes against CB Jeff Okudah, who has allowed 9.9 yards per target for his career.
🏴☠️ RB – Rachaad White (Buccaneers) vs Titans
Rachaad White has ripped off three straight top-12 PPR finishes with unbelievably nice utilization, and it’s like none of you even care:
While White’s rushing efficiency is nothing to write home about, his average of 1.26 yards per route run ranks 13th among 45 qualified RBs – and nobody has forced more missed tackles (16) on receptions this season.
Don’t expect the Buccaneers to score 37 points every week – they previously hadn’t cracked 20 in a game since Week 4 – but White’s pass-game prowess should again be on display this Sunday against a pass-funnel Titans squad that has low-key also struggled to slow down opposing rushing games in recent weeks:
Week 1: 69 rushing yards allowed
Week 2: 62
Week 3: 78
Week 4: 72
Week 5: 193
Week 6: 139
Week 8: 140
Week 9: 166
White is my RB13 on the week and deserving of similar treatment as high-volume/low-efficiency options like Joe Mixon and Tony Pollard.
🦁 RB – David Montgomery (Lions) at Chargers
Montgomery was removed from the injury report after a full practice on Thursday and should be 100% when the Lions take on the Chargers in Week 10. However, while Montgomery was out, Jahmyr Gibbs captivated the hearts of fantasy managers and possibly the Lions' coaching staff.
The rookie erupted for 220 yards and two TDs on 37 totes and tacked on 15 targets, which he converted into 14 receptions for 95 yards. Gibbs was the No. 1 back in fantasy land over the last two games with 28 and 30 points.
After those performances, I expect Gibbs to have a more significant role but still believe Montgomery to be the lead back. When asked about the split, Dan Campbell said it will be a committee but noted, “So, we're gonna ask those guys to do things they do well, and that helps our offense move the football.”
Based on how we have seen these players utilized together, their skill sets, and the recent comments from Campbell, it makes sense for Montgomery to continue as the primary early-down back, with Gibbs ramping up involvement on passing downs. While Montgomery will also likely cede touches on the ground, he should be in line for over 50% of the work and – most importantly – retain his role as the primary back inside the five-yard line.
Montgomery has given us RB17, RB2 and RB5 performances in three outings where he played at least 50% of snaps.
Moving forward, he will be more game-script-dependent but still good for low-end RB1 to high-end RB2 production.
This weekend, the Lions carry a top-four team total (25.75) against a Chargers team, which should mean an opportunity or two for Montgomery to punch in a score. Los Angeles has become more stingy against the run, allowing the fifth-fewest yards per game on the ground (89.5), but Detroit has shown a willingness to stick with their run game – they rank 10th in rushing attempts over expectation.
Montgomery is my RB8 and No. 13 overall, 11 spots ahead of our consensus ranking.
Finding the right player stacks can be the key to building a profitable roster in DFS. If you want to get the jump on this weekend, James McCool from Paydirt DFS has the data to guide you for Week 10.
🥇 Popular option: Detroit Lions
Detroit has had a neutral pace all year, but their dropback rate and DBOE (dropback rate over expectation) have left something to be desired, with either a balanced or run-heavy approach in every week and just two games with a dropback rate of 60%+.
When looking at just WRs with 50+ routes on the season, Amon-Ra St. Brown is sixth in the league with a targets per route run (TPRR) or 28%, and his lowest PPR outcome so far has been a healthy 16.2, which leads the league.
Opposing offenses are averaging a QB rating of 96.6 against the Chargers, with a 3.8% touchdown rate and a 68% completion percentage.
📊 Stack info (DraftKings)
💰 Salary and projections:
Combo 1 (Goff/St. Brown/LaPorta): At a premium of $20,400, this combination has the highest Median score on the slate at 50.29, suggesting its strong potential to maximize fantasy output.
Combo 2 (Goff/St. Brown/Reynolds): A slightly more modest investment at $18,500, offering a Median score of 44.10, representing a valuable proposition for those looking to optimize their spending.
There are relatively drastic differences in each different combination as it goes with the top finish rate and projection. Both St.Brown and Sam LaPorta are equally important for upside in terms of their price and position. That said, if you need savings, you can replace either with Josh Reynolds to look for some touchdown or big play upside.
🧮 Finish percentiles
Combo 1 (Goff/St. Brown/LaPorta): Leads confidently with a 15.10% Top Finish, a strong 41.50% Top-5 Finish, and a 59.50% Top-10 Finish, alongside an impressive 21.40% chance to hit the 60+% Fantasy Points.
Combo 2 (Goff/St. Brown/Reynolds): Follows with a 3.90% Top Finish, a solid 19.60% Top-5 Finish, and a 38.40% Top-10 Finish, plus a 7.60% opportunity to exceed 60+% Fantasy Points.
🔥 Combo 1: Elite Choice with Maximum Value
This combination is a premium choice with the highest potential for top-end finishes. The balance of salary, projection, and potential returns makes it a strong contender.
🤷♂️ Combo 2: Balanced Approach with Upside
Offering a blend of value and upside, this combo provides savings while maintaining competitive odds for high finishes. Its value proposition for 2x and 3x salary returns is particularly appealing.
📝 Start Kyler in his first week back? Walker or Charbonnet? All the insight you need for Week 10 right here.
👑 Arizona lets us know their QB1 is back. So hyped after watching this.
🤕 Tee Higgins out. Ja’Marr Chase questionable. But the Texans’ injury report somehow looks worse.
🚀 We’ve waited all season for a blowup game from this WR. Is it coming in Week 10?
📽 Need a deep dive into the hottest matchups of the week? The Fantasy Life crew has you covered!
💪 The 49ers WR group back to full strength coming out of the bye. Who do you like most out of the group?
😡 Mad about your team’s record? Take to the streets! Let’s see if Panthers fans actually do it.
😲 Keat-on Truckin? How about Keat-on Staying Healthy? Let’s hope Baltimore’s speedy RB plays on Sunday.
😬 The one WR the Bills can’t afford to be injured was limited. But they’ve got the extra day for him to get right.
An all-encompassing Week 8 preview breaking down EVERY game with an array of advanced analytics as well as devoted film analysis from a champion expert in the field who just so happens to also be a rather great writer — is that something you might be interested in?
Geno Smith ranks just QB27 in EPA per game, but he’s a far more respectable QB11 in success rate. Even after his Week 9 meltdown, there’s a strong possibility that Smith’s success rate signals potential for positive regression.
This matchup is the positive regression spot. The Commanders rank 30th in EPA allowed per dropback despite having faced an easy schedule. And, of course, they traded away their top two EDGE players at the deadline. Mac Jones didn’t take advantage of the matchup, but Smith should be able to.
DK Metcalf is seeing targets at the exact same rate (21%) as Tyler Lockett and rates lower in open score, so he's not standing out from his teammate at first glance.
But Metcalf usually faces double coverage at a significantly higher rate. And helpfully, the Commanders aren’t aggressive about double coverage, double-teaming WRs at the second-lowest rate this season.
For example, in Week 4, they double-teamed A.J. Brown at just a 12% rate. They woke up in the rematch, doubling Brown on 30% of his routes—not that it mattered. But Metcalf sometimes sees far more attention than that. The Rams double-teamed Metcalf on 44% of routes, the Panthers on 38%, and the Bengals on 44%. If Washington dares to leave Metcalf in one-on-one coverage at a high clip, he will command a massive target share.
Per PFF, Metcalf has a 42% TPRR against single-man coverage, with an elite 3.07 YPRR. Since 2022, he's posted a 46% TPRR with a 3.55 YPRR against single-man coverage.
You might think that with Washington’s low double-coverage rates, they don’t play a lot of man… but they play a ton of man. Per Fantasy Points, they have the highest man coverage rate in the league. After logging a full practice on Friday, Metcalf looks poised for an eruption game.
Of course, we all like fantasy football. And who doesn’t like to hang out and play a few rounds of bingo? Well, now you can do both! Our friends over at Rival Fantasy have a new format for fantasy gamers to check out, and Geoff has some plays to start you off with a winning strategy.
If you’re new to Rival Fantasy, a quick overview:
“A bingo card costs $1 and is played on a 5×5 grid with 25 random achievements, such as 3 Total TDs, >50 Rushing Yards, and many more. If no one wins, the jackpot rolls over...
… Build a roster of players to unlock these achievements and win by getting five in a row or a corner of four”
For every Bingo card we create, we are building a no-salary restriction roster (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, FLEX) that is all about UPSIDE as we try to unlock as many achievements (yards, TDs, etc) as possible.
The Week 10 bingo plays are below…
🤝 QB/WR stack: Justin Herbert / Keenen Allen
QBs facing Detroit have averaged 35.1 pass attempts per game, and Herbert, in the four games where he’s thrown 35+ times, has thrown for multiple TDs in each instance.
As for Allen, the Chargers are down two WRs and facing a Lions team that allows just 3.7 yards per carry. Allen’s in a spot to potentially cross over some big landmarks (8+ catches, 100+ yards) with Herbert coming along for the ride.
😤 RB: Javonte Williams, Breece Hall
Williams has also entered bell-cow back territory as he took 11 red zone touches in Week 8 on his way to a 27-85, 3-13-1 day. Buffalo is third to last in yards per carry against and has allowed six TDs to RBs over their last six games (all rushing).
Hall is in a great matchup as well. The Raiders have a poor set of coverage linebackers and have allowed the sixth most rushing TDs to opposing RBs. Hall has 3 rush plays of 30+ yards this year (2nd most in the league).
💥 WR: DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins plays a Tampa Bay secondary who has both of their starting cornerbacks listed as questionable and allowed 470 yards passing last week. He has seen 15 targets since QB Will Levis took over two weeks ago.
📈 TE: Sam LaPorta
LaPorta faces a Chargers defense that has allowed the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. He’s still seeing great volume (22% target share), and he saw a season-high 3 red zone targets in his last game.