USFL DraftKings DFS – Core Plays and Cheat Sheet – Week 9 (6/10/22)
We enter Week 9 of the USFL season with another 10k to first tournament on DraftKings
The USFL is back and with it comes some slight rule changes that you may not be used to with the NFL. You can check out our Introduction to the USFL article which will serve as a quick learning piece for the league in general.
J’Mar Smith ($10,600) – The USFL has been shaky ground for Quarterback talent this season. The primary delineator when it comes to finding a quality DFS play at the position has been consistency. J’Mar Smith comes into this week 3rd in the league in passing yards (1,241) and the highest Team Total on the slate (28) but the reason that I’m drawn to Smith this week is how consistent his performances have been week-in and week-out, only falling below 13.5 Fantasy Points in one of his performances so far this year. In Week 2, when Birmingham played Houston for the first time, Smith had his most prolific outing, passing for 222 yards on 30 attempts. I think Smith brings a decent floor to this slate while also being in the running for a 20-point-plus type of performance.
Roland Rivers ($8,100) – Whenever looking at options further down the salary listing this season, the mindset has to be ceiling, as all the QBs outside of the top-3 most expensive have a fair amount of risk baked into them. Roland Rivers’ risk is two-fold: 1st of all, he hasn’t had the job for long as this is just the 2nd week that he’s expected to start. 2nd of all, Maulers’ Head Coach, Kirby Wilson has been the most erratic in the league when it comes to pulling starters for questionable reasons (see: benching Vad Lee for his body language and the lack of involvement for Bailey Gaither and Tre Walker last week). That being said, Rivers’ athleticism and willingness to tuck the ball and get some hard yards on the ground gives him the upside to consider at his mid-range salary. The Maulers draw a matchup with Philadelphia this week and the Stars let Paxton Lynch throw for 250 yards and rack up 3 touchdowns, including one on the ground, in Week 8. Rivers should be able to take advantage of a pass-heavy game script as Pittsburgh enters the matchup as 8.5-point underdogs.
Matt Colburn ($9,000) – Over the last three weeks, no player in the USFL has put up more fantasy points than Matt Colburn (84.3). Colburn has found his rhythm on the ground during that time, accumulating 268 yards on the ground, 5 rushing touchdowns, and 9 receptions. He is proving himself to be one of the most versatile backs in the USFL and one that can succeed regardless of game script. The more the Stars lean on Colburn, the more they seem to find success. On the other side of the ball, Colburn will be going against the Maulers’ Defense, which has allowed the most Fantasy Points to RBs so far this season. This seems to be a smash spot for Colburn, especially if his backfield partner, Darnell Holland is inactive for another week.
Reggie Corbin ($7,100) – Last week Reggie Corbin went down with an injury in the first quarter and left a smash spot with negative fantasy points. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you start an under-priced rushing leader against one of the most porous run-defenses in the league. However, we can’t let getting burned last week scare us off of one of the league’s best players. Corbin has a tough matchup and hasn’t officially been cleared for this week’s matchup, so keep an eye on the news, but if he gets the green light, expect Michigan to feed their star RB both on the ground and through the air. Despite the misstep last week, Corbin still remains the top Runningback in terms of YPG (73.4) and is firmly in the running for the USFL’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Note: Reggie Corbin has been moved to the Inactive Roster as of Friday morning. Assuming nothing changes between now and game-time, he should be a full-fade.
Wide Receiver / Tight End
KaVontae Turpin ($10,000) – Turpin has finally risen to the top-tier salary to match his top-tier talent on the field. Second, only to the aforementioned Matt Colburn, in total fantasy points over the last 3 weeks, this former TCU WR has lit up the USFL and made the most of every opportunity he’s been given. He has turned 45 targets into 444 yards and has over 125 more YAC (280) than the next closest player (152). Athleticism like that gives a player such a huge advantage in a developmental league such as the USFL and I expect Turpin to continue to leave his mark on this league through the final two weeks of the regular season. Michigan is a mediocre defense that should not cause anyone to look off of this week’s matchup. Turpin’s trajectory continues to appear impressive.
JoJo Ward ($6,500) – Again, athleticism is the trend as we look at JoJo Ward. Last week, the former Hawaii WR only saw 3 targets, however the fact that when Houston saw their offense sputter, they looked to manufacture touches with their return specialist was a good sign. This is a little bit of a gut-play for me this week, I expect to see Houston forced to throw the ball a bit more this week as they’re 12.5 point underdogs against Birmingham, and if Isaiah Zuber is out for a second-straight week, Ward should see continued snaps and involvement in the game plan.
Update: It looks like Zuber is active for this game, so Ward moves back to a tournament option though his athleticism should keep him in play here.
Marlon Williams ($6,100) – Last week was the perfect storm for Marlon Williams as he returned from injury right as Stallions’ leading WR, Victor Bolden Jr., became inactive with an injury. This resulted in 12, count them, TWELVE, targets in an eruption spot against a previously tough Breakers’ defense. Now, as Birmingham takes on the Maulers (who have allowed the most fantasy points to WRs so far this season), Williams should be cemented as a significant contributor in this passing game, regardless of Bolden’s status. Obviously, if Bolden is out, the ceiling of this play absolutely soars, however I still would project 7 or 8 targets for each WR if both are healthy headed into Saturday evenings’ game.
Update: Bolden is active.
Cheat Sheet – Week 9
|High||Kyle Sloter (11k / 15.88)||Darius Victor (9.2k / 21.55)||KaVontae Turpin (10k / 19.43)||Sal Cannella (4.7k / 11.20)||Stars (4.8k / 8.42)|
|J'Mar Smith (10.6k / 15.91)||Matt Colburn II (9k / 20.63)||Jordan Suell (8.5k / 14.22)||Cheyenne O'Grady (4.4k / 6.12)|
|Bo Scarbrough (7.6k / 9.31)|
|Medium||Case Cookus (9.8k / 17.41)||Marlon Williams (6.1k / 11.84)||Breakers (4.2k / 6.31)|
|Jonathan Adams (7.1k / 10.84)|
|JoJo Ward (6.5k / 8.23)|
|Low||Roland Rivers (8.1k / 14.22)||Anthony Jones (5k / 11.24)||Teo Redding (5k / 11.00)||La'Michael Pettway (3.3k / 9.34)||Gamblers (3.2k / 6.31)|
|Cameron Scarlett (4.3k / 8.94)|