Fantasy Football: Gdula's Game Notes for Week 5
With four weeks of data -- and unfortunately, injuries -- now, we have a lot to go off of when examining Week 5's NFL matchups.
Of course, numberFire has no shortage of tools -- lineup generators, fantasy projections, and more -- to help you round out your rosters, but some extra prep never hurt anyone. So, here are some notes to know about each and every game on FanDuel's main slate for Week 5.
NY Jets at Philadelphia
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Jacksonville at Carolina
Minnesota at NY Giants
Buffalo at Tennessee
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
New England at Washington
Chicago at Oakland (in London)
Arizona at Cincinnati
Atlanta at Houston
Denver at LA Chargers
Green Bay at Dallas
NY Jets at Philadelphia
|Over/Under | Spread||44.0||-14.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||64%||65%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||50%||65%|
|Implied Team Total||15.0||29.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||7||26|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||14||25|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||4||19|
NY Jets Offense Notes
- The New York Jets come in as massive road underdogs and boast a low implied team total, the antithesis of a good DFS offense to target. They face an Philadelphia Eagles team that ranks 3rd in adjusted pressure rate while ranking 24th offensively.
- The interesting play here is Le'Veon Bell ($7,300) despite the low touchdown odds and likelihood that the Eagles slow down the game. Philadelphia ranks 1st in Rushing Success Rate allowed to running backs but are 28th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position. Bell has run at least 74.3% of the team's routes through the first three games and has posted target totals of 9, 10, and 4.
- Jamison Crowder ($5,800) offers the most bring-back stack appeal if you choose to load up on this game. Crowder owns a 30.8% target share.
- Luke Falk ($6,200) has just 6 deep attempts to rank him 34th in deep-attempt rate among relevant passers. That hurts Robby Anderson ($5,500). If Sam Darnold were to return, then we can bump up the offense, particularly Anderson.
Philadelphia Offense Notes
- A painful team to try to stack, the Eagles should put up points in Week 5. An obvious spot for scoring regression is Zach Ertz ($6,600), who has a 25.5% target share since Week 2 and is yet to score on the season despite 255 yards and 6 red zone targets. It's worth noting that the Jets rank first in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
- Carson Wentz ($7,800) is playable in cash games and tournaments against a mid-level pass defense that doesn't generate an abundance of pressure. The issue is a stacking partner. Alshon Jeffery ($6,700) saw a team-high 9 targets in his Week 4 return but has cleared 88 yards just twice since the start of 2018, surpassing 105 yards only in Week 15 of the 2018 season (160 yards). Nelson Agholor ($5,500) led the Eagles in snaps in Week 4 but drew one target.
- The backfield committee favored Jordan Howard ($6,500) in Week 4, when he scored three times and outsnapped Miles Sanders ($6,000). In doing so, he became the first Eagles back to surpass a 50.0% snap rate all season.
Core Plays: Zach Ertz, Carson Wentz
Secondary Plays: Le'Veon Bell
Tournament Plays: Jamison Crowder
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
|Matchup||Tampa Bay||New Orleans|
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||-3.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||50%||71%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||57%||65%|
|Implied Team Total||21.75||24.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||23||28|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||13||18|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||1||8|
Tampa Bay Offense Notes
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fresh off a 55-point outing and should draw attention in Week 5 in the Superdome, but we should be mindful of the adjusted paces here, as both teams are 23rd or worse when adjusting for game context.
- The New Orleans Saints rank second in pressure rate in 2019 once adjusting for opponents faced, and the Bucs have allowed Jameis Winston ($7,600) to be pressured at the 5th-highest rate in football by the same metric. He could bust in this spot.
- His top pass-catching duo of Chris Godwin ($7,800) and Mike Evans ($7,700) will already have a hard time paying off their salaries without ceiling games, which they've shared in recent weeks. The target share favors Evans 26.5% to 25.0%, as does the deep-target share (51.7% to 27.6%). In fact, Evans leads the league in deep targets with 15 total. The slot matchup is ripe for Godwin, as New Orleans ranks 27th in yards per snap allowed to the slot.
- Ronald Jones ($5,900) separated himself from Peyton Barber ($5,500) in Week 4 by playing 48.6% of snaps, and he has 3, 0, 4, and 3 red zone chances in his four games. If stacking this game, he's in play. If not, he should be left in the player pool.
New Orleans Offense Notes
- The Saints are getting league-average efficiency from Teddy Bridgewater ($7,200), who is 0 for 7 on passes traveling at least 16 yards downfield, owning the worst deep-pass attempt frequency of any starting quarterback in football.
- Bridgewater's reluctance to throw deep is stifling Michael Thomas ($7,700), who doesn't come in with much of a discount but does offer pivot potential from Godwin and Evans at the same price. Thomas has a 34.5% target share from Bridgewater, a league-high mark since the start of Week 2. Thomas should move to the inside more, where Tampa Bay has been vulnerable. The lack of upside keeps Thomas out of core play territory, yet the target floor and favorable inside matchup makes him more than a mere tournament dart.
- Alvin Kamara ($8,200) ranks second on the team in target share (19.0%) since Week 2 and has played at least 75.8% of snaps in three of four games. Tampa Bay ranks first in adjusted rush defense and is third in both Rushing Success Rate and Target Success Rate allowed to backs.
- Jared Cook ($5,300) is a home favorite tight end with a strong implied team total and has run at least 62.2% of routes in every game -- if you're looking for ways to stack this game.
Core Plays: Alvin Kamara
Secondary Plays: Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Michael Thomas
Tournament Plays: Jameis Winston, Ronald Jones, Jared Cook
Jacksonville at Carolina
|Over/Under | Spread||41.0||-3.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||41%||28%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||16%||48%|
|Implied Team Total||18.75||22.25|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||30||2|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||16||4|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||18||26|
Jacksonville Offense Notes
- It's a pace-up game for the Jacksonville Jaguars but also one against a tough pass defense.
- The money is heavy on the under (84%).
- Leonard Fournette ($6,900) is fresh off a 225-yard game on the ground, and he's played at least 83.5% of snaps in every game this season while ranking 3rd on the Jags and 7th among running backs in target market share (5.5 targets per game).
- Gardner Minshew ($6,600) is hovering around the NFL average in terms of efficiency, according to our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. He's been solid when throwing deep (11 of 20, 334 yards, 2 touchdowns to rank third in adjusted yards per attempt on deep balls), but the Carolina Panthers rank third in deep-pass defense.
- If looking to the passing game options, D.J. Chark ($5,800) has to be the preference for his high-leverage target share. Combining deep and red-zone attempts, Chark ranks 17th in money target share among wide receivers. Dede Westbrook ($5,300) is cheap and is averaging 6.5 targets per game of his own, same as Chark, but he has a tiny average depth of target of just 5.2 yards downfield.
- The Panthers rank 30th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends. James O'Shaughnessy ($4,500) is a low-ceiling punt play after playing at least 58.8% of snaps in every game and seeing 5, 4, 3, and 4 targets.
Carolina Offense Notes
- Christian McCaffrey ($9,100) is a core play of all types, as he has played 100% of snaps in three games and 92.1% in Week 3 while averaging 29.3 opportunities per game. The Jags rank below-average in Rushing Success Rate and Target Success Rate allowed to running backs.
- Kyle Allen ($6,500) has done enough to keep the Panthers as a league-average passing offense during his tenure, and he has thrown it deep at the 9th-highest rate in football to mixed results (6 of 13 for 168 yards and 1 touchdown). The Jaguars are 22nd against the deep pass so far.
- With Allen under center, the targets have favored McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel ($5,500), who have 14 apiece. Greg Olsen ($5,700) has 11. D.J. Moore ($5,900) actually has just 7, fewer than Jarius Wright ($4,500), who has 8. Moore did house a 52-yarder on a deep attempt in Week 3, but he didn't get a deep target in Week 4. Through two games, Olsen (4), Samuel (3), and Wright (3) all have more. To varying degrees, the Panthers' pass catchers -- and even Allen -- are viable this week.
Core Plays: Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, Greg Olsen
Secondary Plays: Curtis Samuel, Kyle Allen
Tournament Plays: D.J. Chark, D.J. Moore
Minnesota at NY Giants
|Over/Under | Spread||43.5||+5.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||50%||52%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||26%||30%|
|Implied Team Total||24.5||19.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||21||10|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||12||22|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||3||17|
Minnesota Offense Notes
- As road favorites, the Minnesota Vikings could have their chance to kill the clock and play from ahead here, which has plagued their offensive assets outside of Dalvin Cook ($8,200) all season. Cook has produced at least 16.0 FanDuel points in all four games while netting 21-plus opportunities per contest. He's a top-tier play this week with his role against a below-average defense.
- In terms of market shares, Adam Thielen ($6,900) and Stefon Diggs ($6,000) grade out as fine -- not elite -- fantasy assets, but the catch is the team's unwillingness to pass. Thielen's 23.6% target share ranks him 20th among receivers this season; Diggs' 21.3% puts him 30th. In terms of targets per game, they're at 5.3 and 4.8, respectively, ranking outside the top 60 at the position. The New York Giants rank 28th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers, so the matchup is beatable, yet the Vikings' 32nd-place ranking in pass rate over expectation dampens the floor and ceiling.
- Kirk Cousins ($6,800) has thrown just 3 touchdown passes on 99 attempts and even when removing sacks and adjusting for volume, he's been bad in 2019, though -- after adjusting for opponent -- he's been pressured more frequently than any other quarterback. Cousins is aware of his miscues when targeting Thielen. It could correct this week, and that's a reason to consider this passing game in tournaments. We also have the Squeaky-Wheel-Gets-the-Grease narrative with Diggs and the off-the-field trade chatter.
NY Giants Offense Notes
- So, Daniel Jones ($7,000) may be human after all. Who ever would have thought. Through two games, though, Jones still has around league-average passing efficiency when accounting for sacks. He gets Golden Tate ($4,500) in the mix this week to bolster the passing game. The Vikings rank 12th in adjusted pass defense and are 6th in adjusted pressure rate generated, so it's not a cake matchup by any means.
- Tate is pretty much a lock for cash-game builds at $4,500. numberFire projects him for a 21.7% target share this week, around 7.8 targets. We still project at least 8 targets for both Evan Engram ($6,300) and Sterling Shepard ($6,500). In my game simulations, Engram is the best point-per-dollar tight end play on the board against a team that ranks 4th in fantasy points per target but 26th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position. Shepard bumps down to a top-20 type of play, not really a must in daily fantasy rosters unless stacking this mostly unappealing game.
- Wayne Gallman ($6,300) handled 25 opportunities (18 carries and 7 targets) while playing 60.3% of the Giants' snaps last week. Priced where he is -- regardless of matchup -- he's a viable play.
Core Plays: Dalvin Cook, Evan Engram, Golden Tate
Secondary Plays: Wayne Gallman, Stefon Diggs
Tournament Plays: Adam Thielen
Buffalo at Tennessee
|Over/Under | Spread||38.5||-3.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||20%||62%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||17%||63%|
|Implied Team Total||17.75||20.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||12||22|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||8||3|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||29||5|
Buffalo Offense Notes
- The Buffalo Bills are a tough sell this week with an over/under shy of 40 and a date with a top-tier defense in both facets. Neither team in this game protects the passer or generates pressure, so Josh Allen ($7,000) could run wild, but even in that case, the ceiling for this game seems dangerously low.
- John Brown ($5,500) has air yards totals of 133, 110, 57, and 173 in four games with target totals of 10, 8, 5, and 11. The Tennessee Titans rank 19th against the deep pass through four games.
Tennessee Offense Notes
- The Titans are home favorites, so it could be a Derrick Henry ($6,700) game, but the touchdown equity is low unless the game goes over. He has seen 21, 18, 19, and 29 opportunities through four weeks and played 75.0% of snaps last week in positive game script. The Bills' defense is solid rock for except for a small culvert in space, which is little more than a drain: their run defense.
- As for the pass-catchers, they all face tough matchups, especially Delanie Walker ($5,300) against a top-three tight end defense. Walker's cheap price keeps him in punt play territory. He ranks ninth among tight ends in targets per game.
- A.J. Brown ($5,600) has yet to play more than 50.0% of snaps. He has twice surpassed 90 yards despite air yards totals of 54, 25, 69, and 43. We should bank on a bust week against a top-three wideout defense.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Delanie Walker, Derrick Henry
Tournament Plays: Josh Allen, John Brown
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
|Over/Under | Spread||44.0||+3.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||67%||41%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||53%||43%|
|Implied Team Total||23.75||20.25|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||29||13|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||29||15|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||30||14|
Baltimore Offense Notes
- A lowish total in this game for Baltimore still comes in a pace-up spot against a mid-level defense.
- Everything starts with Lamar Jackson ($8,300), who has produced at least 21 FanDuel points in every game so far. The Pittsburgh Steelers rank 23rd in adjusted pressure rate, which helps us go back to Jackson with safety.
- The Steelers are 8th in Target Success Rate but 22nd in FanDuel points per target allowed to tight ends. Mark Andrews ($6,100) ranks second among tight ends in air yards (318), trailing only Travis Kelce, and only five tight ends total have more than 200 air yards.
- Pittsburgh ranks 29th against the deep pass, allowing 10 completions on 19 attempts for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns. Marquise Brown's $5,400 price tag bakes in his floor. Brown ranks third in the NFL in deep targets per game (3.0) but has caught just 4 of those 12 deep targets. A blowup game could be coming.
- Mark Ingram ($7,500) is overpriced for a back who has opportunity counts of 14, 15, 20, and 13 through four games and who has only seven targets through four games.
Pittsburgh Offense Notes
- The Ravens' defense isn't what it used to be, so this could be a sneaky spot for the Steelers' offense.
- Mason Rudolph ($6,500) grades out as a top-eight play in my simulations and ranks third in value when looking not at his median projection but at his 75th-percentile outcome. I'm not quite as high on Rudolph as the simulations are, but Rudolph has been around the NFL average as a passer and now is in a plus spot.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,300) is priced reasonably, given his 19.7% target share (36th among wideouts) and 6.8 targets per game (42nd). He has scored just once on 258 yards but has only 4 deep targets, tied for third on his own team. Baltimore ranks 20th in yards per slot snap allowed and 28th in adjusted yards per attempt allowed on deep passes. It could be a bounce-back game.
- Diontae Johnson ($5,000) is cheap access to the offense and has run at least 75.8% of routes in two straight games.
- James Conner ($6,900) has an ankle injury, making his status uncertain. If he sits, Jaylen Samuels ($5,000) would be in the conversation as the value play of the week against a bottom-three rush defense. Conner seems like a guarantee to suit up, so a backfield split kills the value of both. Of course, Samuels is very much a punt play option at his price.
Core Plays: Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown
Secondary Plays: Mark Andrews, Jaylen Samuels
Tournament Plays: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mason Rudolph, James Conner
New England at Washington
|Over/Under | Spread||42.0||+14.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||38%||4%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||23%||2%|
|Implied Team Total||28.25||13.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||19||11|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||2||28|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||9||13|
New England Offense Notes
- As heavy road favorites, the New England Patriots could put this game away early, given their stout defense and the fact that Dwayne Haskins just didn't look good in Week 4.
- The Pats' pieces are again affordable, but that has a lot to do with their tendency to share the ball.
- The most relevant sample for New England are Weeks 1 and 4 -- without Antonio Brown and with James White ($6,200). The team's target distribution in those games: 18 for Julian Edelman ($6,500), 17 for White, 13 for Phillip Dorsett ($5,400), 11 for Josh Gordon ($6,200), and 9 for Rex Burkhead ($5,300).
- Of note, Dorsett leads with 217 air yards, followed distantly by Edelman (134) and Gordon (100). Washington is 32nd in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and 32nd in deep-ball defense. They're 29th in yards per snap allowed to the slot.
- This should be a Sony Michel ($6,300) game, but his yardage upside is too low to consider him unless chasing something like a three-touchdown game. White has a high floor but also a low ceiling while sharing the snaps. Of note, he did play 47.1% and 52.3% of snaps in Weeks 1 and 4, the most relevant sample for the offense.
Washington Offense Notes
- A date with one of the NFL's best defense and a team that notoriously puts the clamps on rookie quarterbacks is a nightmare spot for Washington. Haskins ($6,200) imploded last week against a weak Giants defense, albeit while coming in to replace Case Keenum. The team might even start Colt McCoy ($6,000).
- The real appeal here is bring-back stack options, which could include Chris Thompson ($5,400) and Terry McLaurin ($6,000).
Core Plays: Julian Edelman, Tom Brady ($7,600)
Secondary Plays: James White
Tournament Plays: Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon, Chris Thompson, Terry McLaurin
Chicago at Oakland (in London)
|Over/Under | Spread||40.5||+5.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||4%||28%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||5%||28%|
|Implied Team Total||22.75||17.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||9||32|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||9||21|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||2||7|
Chicago Offense Notes
- Frankly, the "downgrade" from Mitchell Trubisky to Chase Daniel ($6,500) should be minimal in this London game against the Oakland Raiders, who rank 21st in adjusted pass defense and 27th in adjusted pressure rate. Daniel grades out as a top-five point per dollar play in my simulations, but I'll treat him more hesitantly than that.
- A running back is emerging in this backfield: David Montgomery ($5,700). He has played at least 66.7% of snaps in back-to-back weeks, and Mike Davis' inactive status has cemented Montgomery as a viable DFS play at this salary.
- Allen Robinson ($6,900) is probably overpriced given the low expected offensive output, but he did get seven targets last week and owns the fifth-highest high-leverage target share (deep and red zone targets) among wide receivers.
Oakland Offense Notes
- In a positive script last week, Josh Jacobs ($6,000) handled 17 carries and 2 targets while playing 53.1% of the snaps, which has really been the best-case scenario for him. With the Raiders expected to trail, Jacobs is a low-ceiling avoid this week.
- Darren Waller ($6,400) is up against a Chicago Bears defense that ranks 25th in FanDuel points per target allowed to the position -- but 9th in Target Success Rate. He leads all tight ends with a 30.1% target share. Aside from Waller, the only relevant pass-catcher for Oakland is Tyrell Williams ($5,900), who missed practice Wednesday with a foot injury and still ranks just 48th among wideouts with 6.0 targets per game. He is unlikely to play.
Core Plays: David Montgomery, Darren Waller
Secondary Plays: Chase Daniel
Tournament Plays: Allen Robinson
Arizona at Cincinnati
|Over/Under | Spread||47.5||-3.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||34%||14%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||40%||18%|
|Implied Team Total||22.25||25.25|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||4||20|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||20||31|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||28||23|
Arizona Offense Notes
- This game has multiple angles to become a shootout: the Arizona Cardinals' fast pace, the Cincinnati Bengals' defense, the solid play-makers.
- There's hesitancy on this game going over, likely due to injuries to top-tier wide receivers.
- Kyler Murray ($7,400) still isn't priced down at all. He threw deep just 4 times last week, and his single-game average depths of target marks are 10.6, 8.2, 5.9, and 5.3. The Bengals rank 15th in deep attempt rate faced but are 23rd in adjusted yards per attempt on such passes.
- David Johnson ($6,800) remains cheap despite playing at least 85.7% of snaps in every game where he didn't leave with injury, and he ranks 13th among backs in adjusted opportunities per game (carries plus doubled targets).
- With Christian Kirk unlikely to play, Larry Fitzgerald ($5,800) should be in the mix for the most targets of Week 5. He already had averaged 9.0 targets per game (12th-most in the NFL), and Kirk had averaged 9.3. The likely beneficiary other than Fitzgerald is KeeSean Johnson ($4,600), who has played 76.4%, 31.7%, 48.0%, and 57.1% of snaps through four games. Trent Sherfield ($4,500) played 84.1% last week, his first game with significant playing time. Andy Isabella ($4,500) is hard to project for a significant enough role relative to Pharoh Cooper ($4,500), as well.
Cincinnati Offense Notes
- With John Ross out for eight weeks, the Bengals have volume to go around. Ross had averaged 8.0 targets per game (a 19.9% target share). Tyler Boyd's ($6,700) target floor should be elevated against the NFL's 24th-ranked slot defense by yards per snap allowed. Auden Tate ($5,300) has run 86.8% and 93.5% of routes the past two games and should benefit most from a volume standpoint without Ross among the non-Boyd wideouts.
- Tyler Eifert ($4,800) has had 6, 5, 1, and 6 targets but has yet to play more than 49.4% of snaps. The Cardinals rank 29th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
- Joe Mixon ($7,100) gets a possibly prime matchup against a bottom-five rush defense as a home favorite, though the Cardinals do rank ninth in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. He's topped 8.3 FanDuel points just once this year and may be a low-ceiling play.
Core Plays: David Johnson, Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, Tyler Boyd
Secondary Plays: Joe Mixon, Tyler Eifert, Keesean Johnson
Tournament Plays: Auden Tate, Andy Dalton ($7,500)
Atlanta at Houston
|Over/Under | Spread||49.0||-5.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||28%||69%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||58%||72%|
|Implied Team Total||22.0||25.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||27||15|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||27||10|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||6||27|
Atlanta Offense Notes
- The Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans have possible shootout potential with the elevated over/under, and the money (58%) is heavier than the overall bets (28%) on the over.
- Each team has had offensive problems, primarily pressure. Atlanta is 20th in adjusted pressure rate allowed.
- Matt Ryan ($7,700) doesn't come at any sort of discount despite middling passing efficiency in 2019. My simulations love his floor but are a little less certain about his ceiling on the road.
- Despite Ryan's modest start, Julio Jones ($8,200) has 4 touchdowns and is averaging 9.3 targets per game, 9th-most among all wide receivers, and he ranks 11th in the NFL in high-leverage target share. Austin Hooper ($6,700) is the most expensive tight end on the main slate but ranks 4th among tight ends in targets per game (8.3) and 9th in target market share (19.3%). Calvin Ridley ($5,400) is priced down despite playing 75.0% of snaps in 3 of 4 games and has air yards totals of 79, 158, 6, and 92.
- Devonta Freeman ($6,200) is a road underdog but draws a below-average rush defense and a Texans defense that ranks 25th in Target Success Rate allowed to backs. He's a borderline top-12 play at this price, making him a secondary type of option.
Houston Offense Notes
- My simulations love Deshaun Watson ($8,000) this week against a bottom-six adjusted pass defense. Watson, at home, has averaged 159.5 yards and hasn't thrown a touchdown at home this season, which is abnormal for him. Atlanta is 15th in adjusted pressure rate. Watson has had the second-worst protection through four weeks. It's a prime bounce-back spot.
- DeAndre Hopkins ($8,500) ranks 12th among wide receivers in targets per game and 15th in deep targets per game but hasn't had much red zone usage (2 of 12 targets). A blowup game is inevitable for Hopkins, who has the ninth-most air yards on the season, but he'll need that at his price to be worth it.
- If Kenny Stills ($5,300) misses because of his hamstring injury, then we can elevate the floor for Will Fuller ($5,700) and Keke Coutee ($4,500). Coutee ran 62.8% of routes last week. Fuller has as many deep targets -- nine -- as Hopkins.
- The game script should favor Carlos Hyde ($5,600) over Duke Johnson ($5,300), but Atlanta has done well to limit running backs, ranking top-12 in both Rushing and Target Success rate allowed to backs.
Core Plays: Deshaun Watson
Secondary Plays: Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, Calvin Ridley, Devonta Freeman, DeAndre Hopkins
Tournament Plays: Matt Ryan, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee
Denver at LA Chargers
|Over/Under | Spread||44.5||-6.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||43%||77%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||44%||48%|
|Implied Team Total||19.0||25.5|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||24||31|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||26||30|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||31||21|
Denver Offense Notes
- The Denver Broncos are getting some love to cover the spread (52%).
- Still, they and Los Angeles Chargers could play down in pace here, and Denver's implied team total is below 20 points.
- Worse yet, they split the backfield work, although Royce Freeman ($5,400) did play 61.8% of snaps last week -- compared to 45.5% for Phillip Lindsay ($6,700). Freeman has to be the preference due to the price discount and surprising passing game work (19 targets, same as Lindsay).
- Emmanuel Sanders ($5,600) and Courtland Sutton ($5,700) are borderline top-24 in target share and targets per game. The Chargers are 30th in adjusted pass defense and 30th in Target Success Rate allowed to wideouts. It's a good matchup but not a good game script, so that makes it more of an off-the-radar game stack rather than a core game to attack.
- Along those lines, Noah Fant ($4,900) is fresh off a game with 72.7% of the team's snaps played, and the Chargers are 30th in FanDuel points per target allowed to tight ends.
LA Chargers Offense Notes
- We have no real idea what the workload split will look like between Melvin Gordon ($6,800) and Austin Ekeler ($7,200), but if it's close to even, they're both overpriced at those numbers in a game that doesn't promise a lot of points or plays, based on the over/under and pace.
- Per head coach Anthony Lynn's sentiment a few days ago, Gordon should have the clear edge in red zone touches, which gives him the edge over Ekeler.
- Keenan Allen's ($7,500) Week 4 dud brought his price down a bit, but he'll have to deal with majority coverage from Chris Harris. The Broncos rank 14th in yards per snap to the slot. Allen could lose out on red zone opportunities to Gordon.
- Aside from Allen, the target have been dispersed, but Dontrelle Inman is on injured reserve after getting eight targets last week. Mike Williams ($6,100) and Travis Benjamin ($4,500) practiced in limited fashion on Wednesday.
- Fortunately, the Broncos haven't generated pressure this year. Bradley Chubb just tore his ACL and will miss the season. Philip Rivers ($7,700) has at least 19.6 FanDuel points in three games this season.
- We need to circle back to the Chargers if we get more information.
- Update: Gordon and Ekeler are expected to split backfield reps. Mike Williams is expected to play.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Keenan Allen, Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon
Tournament Plays: Austin Ekeler, Emmanuel Sanders, Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton
Green Bay at Dallas
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||-3.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||55%||38%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||47%||56%|
|Implied Team Total||21.5||25.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||6||25|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||1||19|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||32||20|
Green Bay Offense Notes
- The Green Bay Packers get a pace-down matchup but a below-average defense on the road in a game with a solid over/under.
- Davante Adams ($8,000) seems unlikely to play, leaving behind 26.3% of the Packers' targets. The Dallas Cowboys rank 6th in FanDuel points per target allowed to receivers but are 24th in Target Success Rate, a possible underrated matchup for Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($6,300) and Geronimo Allison ($5,600), each of whom ran at least 86.4% of the team's routes last week.
- Third on the route rate list last week was Jimmy Graham ($5,500; 76.3%). Similar to their wide receiver splits, the Cowboys are 9th in FanDuel points per target but 20th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
- Aaron Jones ($6,800) could see extended run with Jamaal Williams likely out, yet Dexter Williams ($4,500) could mix in and overtake Jamaal Williams' role. Jones played 84.0% of snaps in Week 4. The team will have had extra days to get Dexter up to speed. Jones could be a higher-risk play than he seems at first glance, though this is coming from someone who is always hesitant about Jones' workload.
Dallas Offense Notes
- Up against the NFL's top pass defense, the Cowboys will be without stud tackle Tyron Smith. Without him in 2018, their rushing success rate fell from 48.2% to 39.2%, though their passing success rate remained steady (50.1% with him and 52.4% without him), according to The Quant Edge. Perhaps most problematically, though, their sack rate allowed bumped up to 12.7% without him from 8.1% with him. The Packers rank 14th in adjusted pressure rate, enough to be concerned.
- That makes Dak Prescott ($8,200) a tough target at his price unless we buy into the shootout potential these two offenses offer.
- Amari Cooper ($7,900) is also priced up and has over-performed in the touchdown column so far, scoring 4 times on 286 yards and just 3 red zone targets. Michael Gallup ($6,400) is trending toward playing. In his two healthy games, Gallup led the team in yards (226) and targets (15), compared to Cooper's marks of 150 and 14, respectively.
- The Packers have been more generous against tight ends (17th in Target Success Rate) than against wide receivers (2nd), keeping Jason Witten ($5,000) in play as a home favorite tight end with a strong team total.
- Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) gets the good end of the funnel defense the Packers own, as they're 32nd in adjusted rushing defense, per numberFire's metrics. Additionally, they rank 30th in Rushing Success Rate and 20th in Target Success Rate allowed to running backs. The Smith injury, however, could limit the offense's potential, and Elliott has yet to get to 20 FanDuel points this season.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Ezekiel Elliott, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Aaron Jones, Jimmy Graham
Tournament Plays: Geronimo Allison, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup