We have an excellent 10-game main slate on tap for Week 10 that begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
This piece will highlight the top NFL DFS players at each position in our FantasyLabs Player Models in terms of their projected ceiling from our award-winning Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner.
(Do people even read intros?)
Let’s dive in.
Top Model Quarterback Ceiling Projections
Jameis Winston ($6,800 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel)
Winston leads our ceiling projections on DraftKings as he gets one of the most pass-friendly matchups on the board against the Cardinals defense that ranks 28th in pass DVOA this year. Overall, Arizona is allowing 8.27 yards per attempt and 279.7 passing yards per game, both marks rank in the bottom-six of the league.
Additionally, quarterbacks have mostly played well against them as they’ve averaged a league-best 118.35 quarterback rating against them this season. This spot sets up well for Winston considering he’s averaging 300.9 passing yards per game. On DraftKings, he’d get a three-point bonus for eclipsing the 300-yard mark.
It’s hard to see Winston failing in this spot given the poor quality of the Cardinals’ defense. He has one of the best receiving duos in the league and the Bucs are implied for a healthy 28.25 points. Winston is a solid play in all formats.
Lamar Jackson ($7,300 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel)
In all likelihood, Jackson will be my cash game quarterback, but I also like him for tournaments. Quarterback ownership is typically spread out in tournaments and he offers week-winning upside. There aren’t many quarterbacks in the league who can do that, but Jackson falls into that category.
This season, he’s averaged an absurd 27.65 DraftKings points per game with a +8.59 Plus/Minus and 87.5% Consistency Rating. He’s scored 26 or more DraftKings points in six of his eight games this season, including three games over 33 points.
His rushing ability adds an absurd floor and ceiling combination. Overall, his 637 rushing yards ranks 11th among everyone in the league. You’re almost getting two players for the price of one: Lamar Jackson the quarterback, and Lamar Jackson the running back.
The Bengals have an abysmal defense, ranking 31st in defensive DVOA and should provide little resistance to Lamar.
Top Model RB Ceiling Projections
Saquon Barkley ($8,800 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel)
At the time of writing, Barkley leads our ceiling projections by nearly two points over Christian McCaffrey. He’s an intriguing option over CMC because he’s projected for substantially less ownership on DraftKings. As a result, Barkley boasts a +6.0 Leverage Plus/Minus, which is the fourth-best mark among all running backs in Week 10.
Since returning from his ankle injury in Week 7, the Giants thrust Barkley right into his typical workload, as he’s averaging 22.7 touches per game over that time frame. While the Jets have been solid against the run, I’ll take the volume Barkley gets over a poor matchup anytime. Especially with his added value through the air. Since his return, his 7.7 targets per game trails only Golden Tate. The absence of Sterling Shepard (concussion) and Evan Engram (foot) absence should only help his target share.
Devonta Freeman ($5,100 DraftKings; $6,200 FanDuel)
The last time I wrote up Freeman, he was ejected against the Rams, so that was neat. Anyway, Freeman has the 14th-highest ceiling projection in our models, but he’s priced as the No. 17 back on DraftKings.
He’s actually one of the better values in our models, sporting a +3.07 DraftKings Plus/Minus. It’s a poor matchup against the Saints, but with Ito Smith (neck) likely on the shelf again, he has little competition for touches in the backfield. With Smith out in their last game, Freeman played 80% of the snaps. More importantly, he saw eight targets in the passing game with the Falcons in catch-up mode.
With the Falcons sitting at 14-point road underdogs, it’s not hard to imagine Freeman being heavily involved in the passing game again, and he should be inline to see nearly all of the rushes, as well.
Top Model WR Ceiling Projections
Michael Thomas ($8,000 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel)
Thomas is seeing an incredible 32% of the target share for the Saints, and he should find very little resistance against a Falcons defense that ranks 31st in pass DVOA. Overall, his 11.1 targets and 109.4 receiving yards per game this year leads all receivers.
There really isn’t much that needs to be said about Thomas and the Saints’ 32.5-point implied team total. Fire him up in all formats.
Zach Pascal ($5,300 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel)
Pascal owns a top-eight ceiling projection on DraftKings and a top-12 one on FanDuel for his matchup against the Dolphins. Their receiving group is in rough shape with T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Parris Campbell (hand) expected to be out this week.
With the limited options, Pascal should be inline for 6-8 targets against a Miami defense that ranks 32nd in pass DVOA. Because of his expected volume, I don’t expect Pascal’s projection to take a huge hit of Colts QB Jacoby Brissett is unable to play.
The main concern would be if the Colts have little reason to pass much since they’re 12.5-point favorites, but with an implied team total of 28.25 points, I’d think Pascal would have a few opportunities to find the end zone.
Top Model TE Ceiling Projections
Travis Kelce ($6,400 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel)
With six teams on a bye this week, I like the idea of targeting Kelce. He gets Patrick Mahomes (knee) back, and he’s at his lowest price points on DraftKings since Week 5 of 2018.
Kelce is due for some positive regression, as he’s failed to hit salary-based expectations in all but two games this year. His production hasn’t been great, but he’s seen eight or more targets in all but one game this season.
This seems like the right spot to buy low on Kelce.
Mike Gesicki ($3,100 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel)
With Preston William (knee) out for the season, that frees up 21.5% of their market share of targets. It’s reasonable to think Gesicki sees some of that volume, especially against a Colts zone defense that allows a lot of underneath passes.
It’s hard to pass up Gesicki with his incredibly cheap price on both sites. However, he’s a better value on DraftKings with his 96% Bargain Rating and top-two Projected Plus/Minus.
Top Model D/ST Ceiling Projections
Indianapolis Colts ($3,500 DraftKings; $4,900 FanDuel)
The Colts lead our ceiling projections on DraftKings, which isn’t too surprising since they face a turnover-prone Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Colts possess the 10th-highest pressure rate this season and will now face one of the league’s worst offensive lines.
Since the Dolphins are 12.5-point underdogs, they should have plenty of chances to rack up sacks against Fitzpatrick. Their 2.9-sack projection is tied for the highest mark on the slate with the Chiefs.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($2,600 DraftKings; $4,100 FanDuel)
The Steelers aren’t popping in our models, but I’m extremely intrigued by them since they rank fourth in pressure rate, fourth in sack rate and third in sacks per game this year.
And Jared Goff has struggled on the road this season behind his terrible offensive line. He’s been especially bad when under pressure, sporting an abysmal 4.9 yards per attempt, the eighth-worst mark in the league, per Sports Info Solutions.
Pictured above: Travis Kelce
Credit: USA Today Sports