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The USFL season is at its end, giving us one more DFS slate for the memories. It's time to get back in the streets with a comprehensive breakdown of the Week 10 slate.
New Jersey Generals vs. Philadelphia Stars
Generals -2.5 / 41.5 O/U
Deandre Johnson got the start last week but nearly split his reps with Luis Perez to a standstill. Though Johnson is often capable of making up for his timeshare via rushing production, there's a strong chance that his rushing attempts take a hit in a meaningless game as far as playoff implications go.
Like the Generals (and every other team), this game is just for pride for the Stars. Unlike New Jersey, Philadelphia only plays one quarterback most weeks. Case Cookus seemingly got banged up mid-game last week to break that trend, but he didn't appear on the Stars' injury report this week. If healthy, Cookus has some upside based on the Stars' incredible passing volume.
Darius Victor and Trey Williams shared the New Jersey backfield last week. Victor, who leads the league with nine rushing scores, finally cooled off, going scoreless for the first time in a few weeks. Against an atrocious Philly run defense, Victor will once again be a rightfully popular option. Williams, who out-snapped and out-carried Victor last week, will be a sneaky DFS option.
Matt Colburn dominated the snaps (72 percent), carries (12), and targets (four) for the Philadelphia backfield in Week 9. As the only running back averaging more than 15 DraftKings points per game, Colburn closes out the year as the RB1.
KaVontae Turpin has emerged as the league's premier target hog when on the field. The fact that he only plays half of the team's snaps is frustrating but hasn't kept him from posting big games. Look for him to bounce back in Week 9. Darrius Shepherd fell one yard shy of the 100-yard bonus last week. He saw 11 targets and soared past 100 air yards. Playing nearly every down, Shepherd also has some tournament appeal.
Birmingham Stallions vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
Stallions -3.5 / 40.5 O/U
Before injuring his ankle a few weeks ago, Alex McGough returned to the lineup to take some snaps away from J'Mar Smith. He was out last week but is listed as full-go for Week 10. With the Stallions coming off their first loss and Smith slumping over the past three games (two touchdowns to three interceptions), it's possible McGough gets more reps under center.
After a four-touchdown performance in Week 6, Jordan Ta'amu has come screaming back to Earth over the past three weeks. He has thrown three touchdowns to six interceptions and the team was eliminated from the playoffs last week. Despite his accuracy woes, Ta'amu remains a solid fantasy option based on his rushing production. He is averaging 38 yards on the ground this year and is one of the few quarterbacks unlikely to leave the field in favor of a backup.
CJ Marable led the Stallions in snaps last week, though Bo Scarbrough out-carried him 11-9. Marable also operated as the team's third-down back. Marable hasn't been fantasy-relevant for a while, which could keep his ownership low.
The non-quarterbacks on Tampa Bay's rostered rushed 17 times for one yard last week. Given how inept their ground game has been all year, a final week of fading them should do the trick.
Victor Bolden returned to his typical ways in Week 9, turning 10 targets into an 8/74 receiving line. Marlon Williams also saw plenty of looks and has emerged as the team's clear No. 2 option, even with Bolden healthy. Both players are strong stacking options with Smith this week. Osirus Mitchell remained the team's unproductive WR3. He generally plays plenty of snaps but has yet to convert on that role. He goes down as a deep dart throw in tournaments.
Rashard Davis and BJ Emmons paced the Bandits with 16 percent target shares each last week. Derrick Dillon led the team with an 85 percent snap share while six different receivers saw at least one snap. This team remains a mess, though Dillon is likely the bets bet to pair with Ta'amu.
Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Michigan Panthers
Panthers -2.5 / 42.5 O/U
Editor's note: You can't just say "nope."
Fine, Vad Lee played nearly every snap at quarterback last week and was shaky, per usual. He tossed one score but was intercepted twice and averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt. The passing attack remains a fade in Pittsburgh.
It's unclear if Paxton Lynch or Eric Barriere will start for the Panthers in their finale. Hopefully, it's Barriere, who threw for 5,070 yards and 46 touchdowns in his senior season at Eastern Washington. He also won the Walter Payton Award, the FCS's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. If we get any indication that he will star, I will be well over the field on him in tournaments.
Garrett Groshek saw 11 carries last week, but none of Pittsburgh's backs topped a 40 percent snap share. A three-headed committee on the league's worst team sounds like an easy fade for me.
Reggie Corbin was sent to the practice squad because of an injury but is practicing in full. If he plays, the USFL's leader in yards per carry among non-quarterbacks would be a solid DFS play. Stevie Scott saw 13 carries in Corbin's absence last week and would be a viable play with Corbin out.
The Maulers have been forced to throw often because of their constant deficits, making their receivers mildly interesting. Delvon Hardaway and Jalen McCleskey led the team in routes last week. McCleskey paced the team in targets while Hardaway has played a consistent role in the Maulers' passing attack throughout the year.
Lance Lenoir once again led the Panthers in targets, seeing 10 looks, but it was Joe Walker who showed up in Week 9. Walker scored twice on nine targets and went for 129 yards. Week 10 is our final shot to cash in on the Lenoir air yards, but Walker is clearly pushing him for looks down the stretch.
New Orleans Breakers vs. Houston Gamblers
Breakers -3.5 / 40.5 O/U
Kyle Sloter has been struggling for weeks and left with a shoulder injury in Week 9. He hasn't practiced all week, putting Zach Smith in line to start. Smith has completed 69 percent of his passes at 6.6 yards per attempt, though that comes on a tiny sample of throws. He is worth a look in large-field contests, though Smith is far from a safe option.
The Gamblers knocked off the formerly undefeated Stallions with a slow, defense-heavy game last week, and that has been their style all season. Though Kenji Bahar is coming off a relatively efficient outing, his team doesn't care to put points on the board.
Jordan Ellis paced the New Orleans backfield with 14 carries and three targets last week. He also found the end zone once. The Breakers have entered a full backfield-by-committee, but they should be able to win in Week 10, setting both Ellis and Anthony Jones up for plenty of second-half runs. Both players are worth taking some shots on with Ellis being the better option (before considering ownership) of the two.
The Gamblers could not get anything going on the ground last week, but Mark Thompson is back after a short absence. He should return to dominate the carries once again. Thompson flashed some home-run hitting ability early in the year and is still fifth in rushing yards.
Jonathan Adams and Sal Cannella have been the only "reliable" receiving option on the Breakers this season, though that may be a bit generous. Adams has been one of the better receivers on film and is fourth in receiving yards in the USFL. Cannella isn't far behind at sixth. Johnnie Dixon also ran a route on the bulk of the Breakers' passing plays last week, making him a worthwhile stacking option with Smith in large tournaments.
Tyler Palka led the Gamblers with nine targets last week but was fourth on the team in routes. Isaiah Zuber, on the other hand, did not sit out for a single passing play. Zuber, Teo Redding, and Anthony Ratliff-Williams were the starting trio for Houston. I'm not buying into Palka as the next Turpin, though crazier things have happened in this league.