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Creating Your FanDuel Core – Week 10

Michael Dubner highlights the players he’s considering for his core FanDuel lineup in Week 10.


  • Link to Week 9 FanDuel Core
  • Kenny Golladay and Courtland Sutton both disappointed (<1.5x), but allowed you to pay up for stud RBs so it wasn’t a complete whiff.
  • While I traditionally like to pay down at TE, it made sense to pay up for Travis Kelce with all of the WR value. It also makes sense to pay up for a player who is the clear class of his position.
  • Cam Newton hit 2.5x value but “ran bad” considering the Panthers scored 42 points. It feels like meat was left on the bone.
  • Alvin Kamara obviously smashed as my core RB this past week, but the correct answer between the high priced RBs was “all of them.”
  • I consistently gravitate towards Jarvis Landry and David Njoku due to cheap volume. While their continued inefficiencies played a part in them performing below expectation, the bigger surprise was Landry seeing his fewest targets of the season (seven) in negative game script.
  • Biggest takeaway from this week: On weeks like Week 9 where I loved the WR value but RBs weren’t really popping off the page, it actually made more sense to pay down at the position I liked (WR) to then pay up at the position I didn’t like (RB). That may feel counterintuitive, but ultimately that allows us to lock in points at cheap cost at the position we feel confident in, while locking in the more guaranteed points at the position we’re less confident in.1


I’m primarily a cash game and single-entry tournament player, and have the vast majority of my money (80 percent) on one lineup. Playing one team forces me to make the optimal lineup. Below are the primary players I’m considering for my FanDuel core in Week 10.



While Todd Gurley is deservedly in the spotlight for his historic touchdown pace (currently at 16), Hunt isn’t far behind with 13, with at least one score in eight-of-nine games. It certainly helps that the Chiefs’ explosive offense has afforded Hunt with 31 red zone opportunities (third).

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While Hunt sits in the 15-18 carry range and his targets have fluctuated, the Chiefs are 16.5 home favorites and the Cardinals are 31st in fantasy points per game to RBs. While Arizona’s 4.2 yards per carry against is average (14th), game script has allowed opponents to stuff RBs with 29.5 carries (most), leading to 132 ruYds (31st) and 1.25 ruTDS (30th). Hunt projects as one of the best plays on the slate.

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Like Hunt, Melvin Gordon has been dominant in his own right.

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He continues to churn out touchdowns, finding the end zone 10 times in just seven games. Despite missing one game due to injury and having a bye week, Gordon is seventh in red zone opportunities (26). In addition to his touchdown upside, his large pass-catching role of 6.6 targets per game makes him game script independent.

The Chargers are 10-point road favorites with an implied team total of 30 points. After trading Kahlil Mack and Amari Cooper, it’s not surprising that the Raiders might be starting to feel hopeless. Last week the Raiders lost to a Nick Mullens-quarterbacked team and surrendered 144 rushing yards and a TD to 49ers RBs. Overall, Oakland is allowing the fifth most fantasy points per game to RBs. Gordon has one of the highest projections on the slate.

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In Week 8 — Byron Leftwich’s first game as the player caller — Johnson saw encouraging usage with 20 touches, which he turned into 100 yards (his second 100 yard game of the season). While four receptions is still lower than we’d like, it’s still in the right direction considering he only had one four reception game prior to Leftwich calling plays.

It may surprise people that despite Johnson performing below expectations this year, he’s provided a solid floor of double-digit fantasy points in six of eight games and is 11th in expected fantasy points per game.

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The Cardinals being 16.5-point road underdogs with a 16.5 implied team total is far from ideal. But the Chiefs are 32nd in fantasy points allowed to RBs per game, which includes 5.3 yards per carry (32nd), 70 reYDS (32nd), and 1.45 TDs per game. Johnson’s finally priced at a point that I will strongly consider him.



While it’s hard to peg down which Rams pass-catcher will have the best game, there’s such a large pie of production in this offense that it increases the likelihood of all pass-catchers hitting value. I gravitate towards Kupp because he’s the cheapest of the group, but also has the largest red zone role. While Kupp doesn’t see a ton of air yards, this offense’s scoring potential has helped him see 1.6 red zone targets per game (14th) and score six times in six healthy games. In his six healthy games,2 Kupp is averaging 7.8 targets and 88 reYDS.

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We also gain some equity on FanDuel where Kupp is priced as the WR22 (10.8 percent of the salary cap) versus the WR14 on DraftKings (12.8 percent).


I highlighted Kenny Golladay as a core play last week because Golden Tate left behind a 27 percent target share.

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While Golladay remains an upside play moving forward, I like Jones as the more stable piece of this offense. Jones was more boom-or-bust earlier this season due to his low reception count and high aDOT, but his volume is trending in the right direction the past two weeks.

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It’s fair to question the game environment, as it’s a 45 point total, Detroit is on the road, and both the Lions and Bears play at a relatively slow pace. However, Jones still offers a good enough floor with strong upside, considering he’s 13th in air yards per game, 11th in red zone targets (11), and second in end zone target share (56.5 percent; 13 targets).

I’ve been burned by Jarvis Landry in recent weeks, and at a certain point I have to buy into the inefficiency of the Browns pass-catchers, so  I will refrain from writing him up as a core play (again). But I’ll personally have exposure to him with his awesome matchup in the slot against the Falcons.3


The Buccaneers are three-point home favorites with an implied team total of 27.25. Yes there is always a low-ish probability that Fitzpatrick is benched mid-game. But I don’t play DFS scared. “TB QB” is first in passing yards per game (357) and second in passing touchdowns (23).

Neil Dutton pointed out in his GLSP QB article that Fitzpatrick “hasn’t finished lower than QB6 in any game in which he has played the majority of snaps.”

Despite being priced as the QB15, the DFS Lineup Optimizer projects Fitzpatrick to not only be the best QB value on the slate, but also to be the highest raw scorer on the slate.

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A good way to discover under-the-radar players you previously weren’t considering is by seeing who pops in the DFS Lineup Optimizer. Last week the optimizer loved Kapri Bibbs, who I had to manually block because “I just couldn’t get behind that”. Well he somehow scored 10 FanDuel points at 4.8K… Trust the process.

Below is the optimal FanDuel lineup for Week 10.

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What Pops Out: Building rosters with at least two of the expensive RBs will likely be chalky this week, but the optimizer loves the expensive WRs. This illustrates the point of not having to play “off the wall” guys to differentiate your lineup in GPPs. Rather, you can use an under-owned roster construction to separate yourself from the field, such as paying up at WR.


  • Considering there’s seven teams with an implied team total of 27-plus points, it’ll likely be another week where cash lines are inflated. As we’ve seen with most weeks this year, it’s becoming more and more necessary to make sure that even your cash lineups have some upside.


Below are links to the tools I use for my DFS research every week. Hopefully I am helping you learn how to use these tool so you can use them yourself to uncover information that gives you an edge to become a winning FanDuel player.

You can follow me @Michael_Dubner, where I’ll provide any updates to my FanDuel core throughout the weekend. Good luck everyone. I hope to see you all at the top of the leaderboards.

  1. Not to mention, RBs are traditionally more reliable on a given week considering their volume. So when in doubt, just pay up at RB.  (back)
  2. Defined as playing 50-plus percent of the snaps.  (back)
  3. See how I did that there? Mention Landry without him counting as a core play so I don’t feel guilty if he disappoints again.  (back)

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