NFL Grind Down: Week 10 - Monday Night Football

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the statistics, insights and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts. Vegas lines are broken down to show projected team totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow.

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New York Giants San Francisco 49ers

New York Giants

Notable injuries and suspensions: None

Quarterback: It seems like his clock is ticking, but Eli Manning is, for now, still the Giants’ QB1. Eli has been Captain Checkdown this season, as he’s averaging just 7.55 yards per attempt. The matchup this week is fine, but Eli hasn’t looked like a capable starting quarterback for the majority of the season. He has a couple of huge weapons in Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., but Manning has essentially flashed zero upside this season.

Running Backs: Saquon Barkley is the Giants’ offense. The rookie has been outstanding this season, as he’s racked up 519 yards with 5 touchdowns on the ground and another 497 yards with 2 scores as a receiver. He’s topped 20 fantasy points in every game this season, and his massive usage in the offense gives him one of the highest floor-ceiling combinations of any player at any position. The 49ers are the opposite of what I’d call a daunting foe, which makes Barkley easily the top option on the Giants side of things. He is clearly someone to prioritize.

Pass Catchers: Odell Beckham Jr. has picked up at least 130 receiving yards in 3 of his last 4 games, so the early-season struggles seem to be in the rearview mirror. He only has 2 touchdowns all season, but he leads the team in targets by a mile (91) and Manning is going to keep looking his way. I would still prioritize spending up on Barkley if you can only afford one of the expensive options in this offense, but Beckham is a more than acceptable pivot at what will presumably be lower ownership. Sterling Shepard makes for a solid salary-saver if you need to save a bit of cash. Evan Engram is a distant fourth among the pass catching options if you include Barkley, but he does have some TD upside.

The Takeaway: Giants not named Manning look like decent plays in an exploitable matchup with the 49ers. Barkley and Beckham are stellar plays, while Shepard and Engram are the fringe options.

San Francisco 49ers

Notable injuries and suspensions: Garcon (Questionable), Kittle (Questionable), Mostert (Out)

Quarterback: Nick Mullens will draw another start this week after impressing in his debut. Mullens looked great in his first game, but let’s not forget it came at the expense of the disastrous Raiders. Still, the undrafted rookie finished 16-for-22 with 262 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s an impressive outing regardless of the hapless opponent. The matchup this week against another miserable defensive team bodes pretty well for him. I’m not convinced he’s going to look like Joe Montana again, but Mullens is still cheap and the Giants have been dreadful (27th in DVOA) against the pass all season long. Mullens is viable, all things considered.

Running Backs: Matt Breida played 49% of the snaps for San Francisco last week, but Raheem Mostert out-carried him 12 to 7. Alfred Morris also logged 7 carries. However, Mostert is likely out for the season after injuring himself against the Raiders, so Breida should be back in the saddle handling most of the rushing duties this week. The upside isn’t great here, but he’s fairly priced and he figures to produce if the reps are there. Morris is little more than a GPP pivot in my eyes.

Pass Catchers: Pierre Garcon played last week, but he’s still on the injury report with the same knee injury that forced him to sit out in Week 8. He’s passable if he plays, but it’s hard to get too excited about him considering he’s playing hurt. Marquise Goodwin is a big play waiting to happen, but he’s pretty all-or-nothing as a result. That makes him a strong tournament play, however. The prime target here is George Kittle, who leads the team in receptions (41) and targets (61). Kittle has easily been the most reliable offensive option for the 49ers this season, and a matchup with the Giants is doing little to temper my enthusiasm. Fire him up.

The Takeaway: Mullens looks like a strong value play, while the same can be said for Breida since Mostert went down with an injury. Kittle is the clear top option in the passing game, while Garcon and Goodwin are tournament fliers.

About the Author

  • Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

  • Taylor Smith is a native Texan (required by all fellow Texans to report this at all times) and Southern California-based sports writer. He has been playing daily fantasy sports regularly since 2012, going back to the days of DraftStreet (RIP). He specializes in MLB and NBA while dabbling in a few other sports like a true degen when the other two are out of season. He has written about DFS in the past at Bang The Book, and you can find some of his previous work on SB Nation and FanRag Sports.


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