USFL DraftKings DFS – Core Plays and Cheat Sheet – Week 10 (6/18/22)
We enter Week 10 of the USFL season with another 5k 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.
Jordan Ta’amu ($11,600) – Going into this weird and final week of the regular season, QB selection gets quite a bit more complicated. Four of the top five QBs, in terms of passing yards, are on teams that have already locked up their playoff matchups and could, potentially, be sitting going into this weekend’s matchups. The lone man left standing is Jordan Ta’amu. Now, these non-playoff teams may not have any reward waiting for them this season in the USFL, however it’s important to keep in mind that each USFL game is a stage for these players and as long as they’re in the game, there is a chance to impress NFL scouts. Ta’amu is 2nd in the league in passing yards – a mere 8 yards behind Kyle Sloter and he has thrown for a USFL leading 12 touchdowns. Birmingham is a tough matchup, currently the 2nd best in the league from a fantasy standpoint, against QBs. However, knowing that they’ve already secured a playoff spot, there’s a decent chance that we could see Skip Holtz sitting some key players. More importantly, Ta’amu appears to be the most secure QB on the slate as far as projectable workload, he’s one of the few I’d be comfortable rolling out in a high number of lineups this weekend.
Eric Barriere ($6,500) – Last week Michigan continued to struggle with the health of their QBs. Paxton Lynch was held out of action on the Inactive List, leading Josh Love to another start. However, Love sustained a knee injury and it thrust the starting role upon Eric Barriere. The Eastern Washington alum performed admirably coming off the bench as he went 14 of 24 for 118 yards through the air with a touchdown and interception. If Lynch and Love aren’t at 100%, Coach Fisher may want to let Barriere prove his worth and let things ride rather than put either other option at risk of re-injury. The Maulers have allowed the fewest passing yards this season, however that may be partially due to the fact that teams have been able to run on them at will. I think Michigan will be able to move the ball well and Barriere should be able to capitalize and get the ball in the endzone a few times, at least. The main risk to this play is confirming the status of Love and Lynch prior to kick.
Reggie Corbin ($7,500) or Stevie Scott ($5,600) – So Reggie Corbin was held out of last week’s game after suffering an injury in Week 8. In his stead, Stevie Scott saw the most carries on the team (13) against New Jersey. We just mentioned above that Pittsburgh’s defense is porous at best against the run and allows 135 rushing yards per game – good for the 2nd worst average in the league. So it’s not hard to draw the line to Scott as a good play. That being said, if Corbin suits up, most of that goes out the window. Corbin maintains the best yards per game average (73.4) in the league and he is a smash if we get word that he’s cleared for action. The argument for Stevie Scott, even if Corbin is active, is a tough one – but not nonexistent. Even if Corbin’s on the active roster, there is a chance that he may not want the full workload, as his performance so far this year should have him poised for an opportunity in an NFL camp this Fall. Risky re-injury could be a costly proposition for Corbin, so Scott’s opportunity may still be there.
Anthony Jones ($5,400) – This play is leaning into the idea that the Breakers may decide to rest some of their starters for some of (if not all of) this game. Jones has proven to have a 20+ point ceiling when he’s given the reins to this backfield and the likelihood that the team gives Jordan Ellis some time to rest going into the playoffs seems decent. When New Orleans played Houston last time, in Week 4, Jordan Ellis had his strongest performance on the season, scoring 25.1 fantasy points, so the team has shown to have an advantage in the trenches and the ability to run on the Gamblers’ defense. Even if Ellis gets a share of the backfield in this game, as he did last week, Jones still saw 48% of the snaps and looks to have a role regardless. I believe he’s one of the safer options on this slate.
Wide Receiver / Tight End
Joe Walker ($4,500) – It’s rare to see all three WRs that I write-up to be under $5K, but as I mentioned above: this is a weird slate. The list of usual suspects at WR all have tremendous risk as the potential for resting stars on playoff teams remains high. Even if they don’t rest the star players, the ideal game script for the postseason members is a game without injury and without tipping their hand too much. This means the incentive for vanilla play-calling and attempting to shorten the game with the running attack is huge. So where do we look for our receivers this week? Well, if you haven’t noticed this trend yet, a non-playoff team against the Maulers seems like a pretty good bet. We’re talking a QB-RB-WR stack for Michigan against Pittsburgh and Joe Walker’s standout performance last week suggests he should be a go-to target if Barriere sees action again. The chemistry was there last week as Walker won Offensive Player of the Week with his 129 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. Going back to the well this week seems like a good plan, but Lenoir and Hyman offer viable pivots.
Adrian Hardy ($3,500) – So, I know what you’re thinking: “Ethan, why are we considering a WR on a team that has nothing to play for and every reason to pack it in this week, just like you so eloquently laid out above?” I am so glad you asked. We are interested in Adrian Hardy because A) he’s not one of the team’s top WRs, so he’s got a good chance to be used in a high-opportunity role should Bolden Jr. and/or Marlon Williams get rest, and B) he’s also a high-efficiency player who hasn’t seen much action this year, so there’s an argument to get him in rhythm and up to speed before the playoffs. Hardy saw his first game action Week 8, where he turned 3 targets into 3 receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. In Week 9, he followed that up with a 2-target, 2-reception game where he gained 39 yards and scored another touchdown. So Hardy’s earned the opportunity to see his usage grow and this week, where Birmingham’s top WRs (Bolden Jr. and Williams) who have been banged up should get some rest, provides the perfect spot for him to do so.
Tyler Palka ($3,300) – Houston WRs have been hard to pinpoint this season and with the lack of consistent QB play these last few weeks, it’s made things even more volatile. That being said, Tyler Palka received 9 targets last week and really seemed to be Kenji Bahar’s favorite target. He turned those targets into 6 receptions for 83 yards and put together a performance that should get rewarded with increased usage. He was great last week on shorter, underneath routes and fit the security blanket role well. As the Breakers have proven to be an aggressive defense, I believe that he’ll see another high-target week as the Gamblers look for traction and consistency moving the ball.
Cheat Sheet – Week 10
|High||Jordan Ta'amu (11.6k / 18.51)||Matt Colburn II (10k / 16.73)||KaVontae Turpin (10.4k / 14.99)||Cheyenne O'Grady (4.4k / 8.65)||Breakers (4.6k / 9.54)|
|Lance Lenoir Jr. (9.7k / 12.50)||Bug Howard (4.3k / 5.28)|
|Medium||Reggie Corbin (7.5k / 2.12)||Rashard Davis (6.2k / 8.64)|
|Mark Thompson (7.7k / 4.59)|
|Low||Eric Barriere (6.5k / 5.63)||Anthony Jones (5.4k / 6.24)||Adrian Hardy (3.5k / 9.80)||Sage Surratt (2.5k / 3.65)||Panthers (3.6k / 6.29)|
|Kenji Bahar (6.3k / 11.15)||Stevie Scott III (5.6k / 5.14)||Joe Walker (4.5k / 10.58)||Gamblers (3.2k / 6.65)|
|Ishmael Hyman (3.2k / 8.64)|
|Tyler Palka (3.3k / 6.38)|