2022 USFL Week 10 Primer

by Mark Strausberg
2022 USFL Playoffs

I almost decided to pass on doing the 2022 USFL Week 10 Primer this week. Because quite honestly I have no idea what this weekend is going to look like.

As I mentioned last week, the playoffs are locked and loaded. There is not even jostling for seed. New Jersey will play Philadelphia and top seed Birmingham will play New Orleans in the playoffs next week in Canton.

But there are two questions I am really struggling to answer. One, will the playoff teams who are locked in, give much playing time to most of their starters? Two, those teams who are out of it, how hard will they play? My inclination is to say "no" and "about average" respectively. But what that means is we can basically ignore the Generals and Stars game altogether and pretty much bench our Breakers and Stallions. I got this feeling the "Battle To Win 2 Games" aka the Maulers/Panthers game could be pretty intense, but given the lack of overall talent in that game, do you really want to go heavy on it?

And don't get me started on the Tampa Bay Bandits. I really thought they would be one of the better teams this season. They weren't. That leaves us with Houston, who struggled to close out games and at best will finish 3-7. Please, convince me I'm wrong, but that leaves us with fewer teams to like this weekend than there are honest politicians. Okay, fine smarty pants, maybe the answer for zero is both.

But you get the point. So if there was a week to pull back on your USFL expenditures, this is it. But let's not kid ourselves, I will still be wagering at least something and playing at least one DFS lineup. Here is what I am looking at for the 2022 USFL Week 10 primer.

2022 USFL Week 10 Primer

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Week 10 Betting Thoughts

Seriously, no matter how confident you are, I strongly advise you to pull back this week. If you want, take some of that money and bet on a league winner. Currently, the books have Birmingham as the favorite at +175, followed by the Generals (+200), Breakers (+380), and Stars (+400). Remember, I am someone who liked the Bandits to win it all at the start of the season, so I'll let you make your own decisions on a champion.

Meanwhile, I'll do what I typically do by betting one 4-game parlay, and I will give it a higher floor with a 3-leg round robin.

My four-pick parlay pays +1258 and looks like this:

  • New Jersey Generals/Philadelphia Stars UNDER 41 (-110)
  • Birmingham Stallions/Tampa Bay Bandits UNDER 40.5 (-110)
  • Pittsburgh Maulers +3 (-105)
  • Houston Gamblers +3  (-110)

Let's look at each game.

New Jersey Generals/Philadelphia Stars UNDER 41

Had this game been two weeks ago, this could have been a great game. But given that both teams are seeing each other next week, my guess is the starters play very little and both coaches will use a fraction of their playbook. The offenses will be more boring than a 6-hour lecture on the history of mitochondria. Take the UNDER.

Birmingham Stallions/Tampa Bay Bandits UNDER 40.5

I suspect Birmingham will be steamed about losing last week and Jordan Ta'amu is going to be under pressure all day. I'm not sure how much the starting Stallions offense will play, so even 17 points might be a little tough. And I think the Birmingham defense keeps the Bandits under 24 points. I like the above UNDER far more than this one. But I hate the spread and points line for this game. I'll risk taking the under.

Pittsburgh Maulers +3 vs. Michigan Panthers

Both of these teams have one win. This could be a very low-scoring, close game. It's pretty much a coin flip. In that case, I'll take the underdog and the points.

Houston Gamblers +3 vs.New Orleans Breakers

Look at the injury report above. Kyle Sloter being out alone is cause for concern. But I don't think it matters too much. New Orleans knows they have nothing to gain by winning this game and they have tough game next week. When you have a game with a team resting its starters and another one trying to prove something, take the latter with the points.

Moving onto the DFS slate this week...

2022 USFL Week 10 DFS Picks

Quarterback: Jordan Ta'amu, Tampa Bay Bandits ($11,600)

If you look at the eight USFL teams, Ta'amu has taken a greater percentage of his team's snaps than any other signal-caller. That alone is reason to roll with Ta'amu this week given the number of starters that could play limited snaps this week. But I also think he will be motivated to show that he can make the necessary plays, if not for the NFL, then at least to return as the starter next year. I still think he throws a pick or two, but wouldn't be surprised to see Ta'amu account for maybe 3 TDs this week. I can't say that about any other QB option.

The fact that he is the league leader in passing TDs doesn't hurt either.

Running Back: Anthony Jones, New Orleans Breakers ($5,400)

If the Breakers hadn't clinched already, I'd probably put their stud RB, Jordan Ellis, in this spot. But I think the Breakers keep him healthy and fresh for the playoffs, thereby keeping him on the sideline most of the game. So instead they'll feed Anthony Jones who should feast this week.

Jones himself is averaging nearly a dozen DKFP a week. And he'll be facing a Gamblers team that has given up 134 rushing yards per game and the most PA (points against) of any team in the league.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: Cheyenne O'Grady, Tampa Bay Bandits ($4,400)

If I like Ta'amu this week, I might as well take one of his likely targets. And O'Grady's targets have increased each of the last couple weeks. He's also averaging over 8 DKFP a week and his high floor is a bargain at under $4500.

Defense/Special Teams (DST): New Orleans Breakers ($4,600)

Sure, why not? I know, not exactly a ringing endorsement. But I'm not really excited about any options this week. So I'll simply play the matchup game as Houston has struggled this year. They have the fewest passing yards per game as well as the fewest rushing yards per game. I'm 100% fine playing the defense against such a daunting offense.

Flex Options

Both teams have good defenses and not very good quarterback play. But despite the poor play under center, I've said all year that I really like what I've seen from Lance Lenoir ($9700).

Definitely one of the more expensive options I'm going to roll with this week. Looking for something a little cheaper? I got a very strong feeling about Rashard Davis ($6200) who is coming off a huge game. I'm not sure he has six catches for 112 yards and a TD again, but I think he could easily give you double-digit fantasy points and come close to what he did last week.  Want to go even cheaper? I do like my two favorite TEs this year, Sal Canella ($5000) and Bug Howard ($4300).

My apologies for being late and a little shorter than usual. I'll likely post some more DFS options before the games start this weekend, so follow me on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg). But that will do it for the 2022 USFL Week 10 Primer. Good luck!

Check out our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!

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