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Dollars Per Opportunity: Austin Ekeler Still Matters

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I utilize our GLSP projections to find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective with a focus on Yahoo! DFS.

There’s no sugar-coating it — last week was a bloodbath as the Seahawks-Cardinals game saw its worst possible outcome, which was the Seahawks getting out to an early lead and grinding it out for three quarters. Thanks to Christian Kirk for dropping a touchdown in the first half that would have kept things interesting! Also, Marlon Mack saw his worst possible outcome happen with the hapless Raiders getting out to a 21-10 lead in the first half forcing the Colts to pass the ball 46 times.

That’s what we call poor variance, but you need to have a short-term memory in DFS and keep plugging along. As a reminder, within this article you will see screenshots from various amazing tools that RotoViz provides, such as the Stat Explorer, GLSP Projections, and DFS Optimizer.

Let’s get to the plays!

Get $25 FREE at Yahoo! DFS with your first deposit using promo code “VIZ25”!

QUARTERBACK

Kyler Murray | 17.0 Opp Score | $27

Until Kyler Murray‘s price is corrected I’m going to keep recommending him, especially in a soft matchup. In three-of-four weeks, the Bengals defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to score more than 6.5 points vs. expected and Murray has put up expected point values of 28.2, 21.7, 23.7, and 14.9 this season. You know the spiel by now, but the Cardinals plan every week is to run a ton of plays and pass, pass, pass and at under $30 that kind of opportunity is a steal.

Chase Daniel | 16.5 Opp Score | $20

Chase Daniel isn’t usually a player you have recommended in DFS, but when he’s minimum price and gets a great matchup (see table below) you have to take notice. Not only is it a great matchup, but it’s the Raiders (who have nothing to play for) traveling halfway across the country to play under the lights in London. I expect things to get ugly for the Raiders and Daniel should enjoy some great starting field position, which only increases his touchdown upside and exceed expectations.

 

RUNNING BACK

Austin Ekeler | 27.1 Opp Score | $26

The news of Melvin Gordon returning this week will have a lot of people off Austin Ekeler, but we know that the Chargers are going to ease Gordon in1 so the opportunities should still be there for Ekeler. His projected opportunity score is just a tad lower than Christian McCaffrey’s (29.0), but it doesn’t account for Gordon’s role in the backfield. So yes, Ekeler will probably lose out on some goal-line work, but no one is better at making the most out of his opportunities as he ranks first among running backs in fantasy points over expected per game. It’s still a great matchup, Ekeler should see more than 50% of the backfield work (for now), and his price decreased $5 from last week, which makes him a slam dunk play again.

Ronald Jones II | 13.1 Opp Score | $13

Don’t look now but Ronald Jones — a.k.a. fantasy Twitter’s favorite punching bag — is finally taking over the Tampa Bay backfield, which is evident by his increasing snap share and opportunities:

His projected opportunity score isn’t reflective of a change in the Tampa Bay backfield so if you’re subscribing to that fact then Jones becomes a great value play. His $13 price is comparable to running backs like Duke Johnson (time share/low floor), Royce Freeman (time share/medium floor), Tarik Cohen (time share/low floor), and Wayne Gallman (lead back/bad matchup).

WIDE RECEIVER

Adam Thielen | 13.0 Opp Score | $28

When it comes to squeaky, there’s no wheel making more noise than the Vikings wide receivers. If you buy into that narrative (spoiler alert: I do), this is the perfect matchup where Adam Thielen and even Stefon Diggs get greased up against a terrible Giants secondary. There are no numbers to reference here because it’s been an ugly start to the season,2 but sometimes you need a little faith.

Emmanuel Sanders | 19.0 Opp Score | $18

With Casey Hayward back it’s a good possibility he shadows Courtland Sutton as he did twice last season. This will open up a lot of opportunity for Emmanuel Sanders, who is coming off the biggest weighted opportunity week of the season:

He comes with a very solid floor this week and if targets get funneled to him, he should have a monster game. The Broncos have been one of the more pass-heavy teams so far, which should only solidify Sanders’ projection.

Auden Tate | 8.2 Opp Score | $10

This is your free square of the week as Auden Tate comes at the minimum price and has fallen into a big receiving role due to John Ross‘ injury. Don’t overthink things this week and just throw Tate into your lineups.

 

TIGHT END

Jimmy Graham | 8.4 Opp Score | $13

Don’t pay too much attention to Jimmy Graham’s low opportunity score projection as the model is still accounting for Davante Adams’ nine projected targets. You have to think Graham will get a piece of that and especially near the end zone. With Adams leaving last week early, Graham saw his target share spike close to 20 percent and his expected points skyrocketed, which bodes very well for his Week 5 projection.

 

Lineup Optimizer

Here’s what the DFS Optimizer spit out after locking in some of the plays above:

 

Good luck this week!

Image Credit: Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Austin Ekeler.

  1. that is, if you buy into coach speak during the week.  (back)
  2. The GLSP has taken notice with a terrible 13.0 opportunity score projection  (back)

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