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DK Buffet Week 5: Key Stats for the Main Slate on DraftKings

When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations can help us figure out how to attack each slate.

Arizona Cardinals

Spread: +3.5 @ Cincinnati | Total: 47.5

The nature of this Cardinals offense is such that they run a ton of plays with four wide receivers on the field. Per Sharp Football, they run 10 personnel1 on 64% of their plays. That means that we have plenty of stacking options to go along with Kyler Murray ($6,300).

There are five options in the passing attack that have seen at least 18 targets. With Christian Kirk looking doubtful for this week’s contest, Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000) seems to have one of the safest target floors on the slate. We saw the Bengals defense basically roll over and die on Monday Night Football, and there’s no real reason to believe that they’ll put up much resistance on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons

Spread: +5 @ Houston | Total: 49

DraftKings seems hesitant to raise Austin Hooper’s ($4,500) salary for some reason. Unless RACR is factoring pretty heavily into their pricing algorithm, it doesn’t make much sense.  Hooper is the TE2 overall and is in the top 10 in every relevant statistic. They’re getting five points on the road, which might mean the Falcons will have to throw a bit to keep up with the Texans.

Baltimore Ravens

Spread: -3.5 @ Pittsburgh | Total: 44

Marquise Brown ($5,700), along with the rest of the Ravens, didn’t do much last weekend against Cleveland. In fact, his point total has dropped each week since his Week 1 explosion.  Brown has seen more than 20% of Lamar Jackson’s ($7,100) targets in each of the last three weeks, though. He’s seen the third most air yards of any wide receiver in the league. Brown is seeing plenty of valuable targets and is always just a play or two away from breaking the slate.

Buffalo Bills

Spread: +3 @ Tennessee | Total: 38.5

There’s some talk of Cole Beasley ($4,600) going around like a virus that needs to be stomped out. Beasley has seen the 10th most targets in the league, only falling below nine targets in one contest so far.   This usage seems like it’s something that we’d like to target. Unfortunately, he’s WR37 and isn’t going to see the high leverage targets that we want out of our WRs in DFS. Beasley has made exactly one catch on a pass that’s traveled more than 10 yards in the air so far in 2019.

Carolina Panthers

Spread: -3.5 vs Jacksonville | Total: 41

We pride ourselves on uncovering hidden gems here at RotoViz. He’s a little under the radar … but Christian McCaffrey ($8,700) is a name you should be watching in the coming months.  McCaffrey is in the top 5 in almost every relevant statistic among running backs and has been on the field for 98% of the Panthers’ snaps. Per the Weekly Stats tool, he’s seen 117 opportunities so far this season which is 20 more than the next closest position player.2

Cincinnati Bengals

Spread: -3.5 vs Arizona | Total: 47.5

The Bengals looked awful on Monday. With the injury to John Ross, Tyler Boyd ($6,500) and Auden Tate ($3,500) have a higher target floor3 Boyd had been shaping up to be a target hog through three weeks of the season. He saw at least 10 targets in each of those games but it dipped to six last week. Both Boyd and Tate are seemingly in play since Cincinnati is short-handed in the WR room.

Dallas Cowboys

Spread: -3.5 vs Green Bay| Total: 47

Ezekiel Elliott ($8,300) is the fourth-most expensive RB on the slate. The Packers have given up an average of 34.8 PPR Points to running backs so far this year. I’m not a huge proponent of team defense vs position matchups but at the tails it’s worth mentioning.  This new offense doesn’t seem to be prioritizing Zeke as a pass-catcher. Whether that’s a function of him getting up to speed or a shift in offensive philosophy remains to be seen, but the drop in targets is concerning.

Denver Broncos

Spread: +6.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 44.5

Noah Fant ($2,800) is dirt cheap this week. If this is a week where we want to jam in at least two high priced RBs4 then we need to find some deep value. He has the 12th most receptions among TEs despite his lack of targets. 

Green Bay Packers

Spread: +3.5 @ Dallas | Total: 47

With the news that Davante Adams ($7,600) only got a “little bit of jogging” in on the side so far this week during practice. That leaves Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,600) and Geronimo Allison ($5,000).  So far this year, Valdes-Scantling has lapped Allison with twice as many receiving expected points. If he is the focal point of the passing attack, there’s definitely value in the mid-$5,000 range.

Houston Texans

Spread: -5 vs Falcons | Total: 49

Deshaun Watson ($6,700) has taken us on a roller coaster this year. He’s yet to have a game between 15-25 DK points. He’s shaping up to be chalk this week as the Texans face off against the Falcons at home.  His passing attempts, completions, passing yards and EP per game are all outside of the top 15, but he’s still the QB5. Watson will be popular, but he’s set up for success in this matchup and makes for a solid cash or GPP play.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: +3.5 @ Carolina | Total: 41

The opportunity is off the charts for Leonard Fournette ($6,400) week in and week out. What he does with that opportunity is — shall we say — hit or miss? He’s been unlucky with touchdowns, which has hurt his efficiency. Outside of that, though, Fournette’s no worse than 11th in any of the major metrics we track for RBs. Of the top 10 RBs in EP, he’s one of just three with negative FPOE.5

Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: -6.5 vs Denver | Total: 44.5

The Chargers are an injury away from posting WR wanted ads in the classifieds.6 After averaging 14 targets per game over the first three weeks, Keenan Allen ($7,300) saw just six targets last week.  Given the lack of viable options in the passing game, I think that the first three weeks are closer to what we can expect from Allen than last week.

Minnesota Vikings

Spread: -5.5 @ New York Giants | Total: 45

The Vikings are a hot mess right now. Adam Thielen ($6,700) is making public comments about the lack of a passing attack. Stefon Diggs ($6,200) is making veiled comments about how there’s “truth to all rumors” regarding his trade requests and general discontent with the franchise. The interesting piece of this offense is Dalvin Cook ($8,400).  Cook has seen 89 opportunities through the first four weeks of the season — good for fourth among running backs. He had his lowest DK point output of the season last week but it was his highest EP game. The efficiency should be there against a lowly Giants defense.

New England Patriots

Spread: -15 @ Washington| Total: 42.5

Phillip Dorsett ($4,900) has quietly seen 16 targets over the past two weeks. It was a brutal matchup last week against Buffalo and he only managed to turn his nine targets into two catches.  If Dorsett can carve out a role like that and build some efficiency, it’s hard to imagine him staying below $5,000 for very long.

New Orleans Saints

Spread: -3 vs Tampa Bay| Total: 47.5

Last year, Alvin Kamara ($8,600) was on the field for just 66% of the Saints’ snaps. This year, he’s up to 76%. Kamara has been inconsistent this year, but he makes for a great GPP play week in and week out. He has two RB1 games already but the other two showings went for only 7 and 11.9 DK points.

New York Giants

Spread: +5.5 vs Minnesota | Total: 45

There’s some chatter that the Giants could pull the very smart7 move of allowing Saquon Barkley to return from his high ankle sprain after missing just one game. It could be tough sledding for the Giants no matter how you look at it. Nobody knows what to expect with Golden Tate ($4,600) so I think Sterling Shepard ($5,800) is in play.  He’s seen nine targets in each of the last two weeks and has averaged 23.5 DK points over that stretch.

New York Jets

Spread: +13 @ Philadelphia | Total: 43.5

Le’Veon Bell ($6,800) seems pretty cheap given his workload. He’s averaging over 19 expected points per game, which is second among running backs to Christian McCaffrey. Through the first three weeks of the season, he’s seen 50% of the Jets opportunities.8 At his price, he’ll be the forgotten man and could pay off in GPPs.

Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: -13 vs New York Jets | Total: 43.5

Zach Ertz ($6,000) seems like a disappointment so far this year given his redraft ADP. From a raw production perspective, he’s the TE8. He’s getting the workload that we were hoping to see, but is 97th in FPOE/gm. He is the most expensive TE on the slate, but at $6,000 it’s a very palatable price tag for a guy who’s seeing an average of 9.5 targets per game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: +3.5 vs Baltimore | Total: 44

JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,400) is coming to the side of a milk box near you if he isn’t found soon. The offseason hype on JuJu’s potential breakout has been quelled by questionable game plans and the loss of Ben Roethlisberger He’s outside of the top 25 in every volume stat so far in 2019. The $6,400 price tag is intriguing for a guy of his talent level who’s seeing an 86% snap share, but he’s GPP-only until the usage goes up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: +3 @ New Orleans | Total: 47.5

It would be great to see Mike Evans’ ($7,100) performance level out a bit. Even in a disappointing Week 4, Evans was still a WR1 in DK scoring with 18.9 points.  The Bucs obviously saw something in the matchup against the Giants where Evans had an advantage as they gave him 244 air yards in his 48 point outburst. Other than that, though, the air yards and usage has been reasonably steady. In GPPs, it’s hard to imagine that many WRs have a higher ceiling than Evans in any given week. 

Tennessee Titans

Spread: -3 vs Buffalo | Total: 38.5

A.J. Brown’s ($4,200) 24-point performance last week jumps off the page but I’m not buying it. Last week marked the fourth straight week that Brown saw five or fewer targets. He’s yet to be on the field for more than 50% of the Titans’ snaps. Don’t be the person who chases a two-touchdowns-on-three-targets performance. 

Washington

Spread: +15 vs New England | Total: 42.5

With the news that Jay Gruden “doesn’t have” a QB Plan for Sunday, this is a big-time stay away for me. There isn’t a single player I’m interested in from Washington this week.

Image Credit: Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Kyler Murray.

  1. Four wide receivers with one running back and no tight ends.  (back)
  2. Nick Chubb, for those of you keeping score at home.  (back)
  3. hopefully  (back)
  4. it is  (back)
  5. Philip Lindsay and Kerryon Johnson are the other two  (back)
  6. Yes, I know it’s 2019 and that isn’t a thing  (back)
  7. dumb  (back)
  8. Combined targets and rush attempts.  (back)

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