Information Overload: Week 10

Using highly valuable visuals, Aaron Hendrix looks closely at various advanced data sets and then comments on how we can best take advantage in daily fantasy football each week.

Week 10

All data in Information Overload is utilizing 2018 season data only. For reference to last season’s data, please refer to my Week 1 article.

Information Overload

How much information is too much information? Those familiar with my Information Overload article from the 2017 NFL Playoffs know that I believe there’s never enough. Over the course of the 2018 season, I’m going to present a boatload of data and projections (along with analysis) to help guide you through this weekend’s massive GPPs.

Here’s a quick summary of everything that is included in this article. You can click on the images to view them in more detail if you have problems viewing them. If you have ideas for things you’d like to see in future articles, be sure to leave them in the comments.

— Injury situations to monitor for the upcoming week
— Leverage situations utilizing projected ownership and projected fantasy points (Returning Week 11)
— Pace chart showing where teams rank in terms of pace in different game flow situations (utilizing a custom infograph)
DVOA matchups (utilizing a custom infograph)
— Offensive line versus defensive line matchups (utilizing a custom infograph)
— Team run success (offense and defense) based on run direction and offense run direction percentage (utilizing a custom infograph)
— Defense against the pass based on pass direction and distance (utilizing a custom infograph)
— Defense against specific receiver types (utilizing a custom infograph)
— My analysis of how each section impacts players and matchups from a DFS perspective


Injury Situations to Monitor

A.J. Green, WR, CINOUT
Charles Clay, TE, BUF – Status uncertain
Sammy Watkins, WR, KC – Status uncertain
Taywan Taylor, WR, TEN – Status uncertain
Robby Anderson, WR, NYJ – Doubtful
Sam Darnold, QB, NYJ – Doubtful
Sony Michel, RB, NE – Likely to play
Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN – Likely to play
Randall Cobb, WR, GB – Likely to play
Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS – Likely to play

It’s a relatively quiet day on the injury front as there aren’t any situations that are going to create massive chalk. MVS is going to be a popular play in Green Bay even if Cobb plays – his ownership will only get driven up if for some reason Cobb is out. Sony Michel returning is a hit to the value of James White. The same could be said for Joe Mixon with Giovani Bernard returning but I don’t think that impact is quite the same. Sammy Watkins potential to be out I think creates more opportunities for Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt more than it does for the backup WRs. A.J. Green being out is probably the biggest injury in this list as Tyler Boyd will now become a popular play facing a porous Saints defense and an expected high volume.


Pace Ranks

Pace, or the speed at which teams play, is an often overlooked statistic when it comes to NFL DFS. Those that play NBA DFS are well versed in its importance – the more possessions an NBA team has, the more opportunities a player has to score fantasy points. While efficiency with those possessions, in both basketball and football, matter – ultimately fantasy production will always benefit from more times touching the ball.

The fastest paced teams in the NFL will average under 25 seconds per play compared to the slowest paced teams averaging close to 30 seconds per play. That 5-second play differential might not seem like much but over the course of a 60-minute football game it’ll add up to more than 10 additional plays for the faster-paced team. Knowing how fast NFL teams play should be one of the steps you take each week in your weekly research process. It’ll help us identify games where there might be more plays called then in an average week (and thus more opportunities for offensive players to touch the ball) and vice versa with a slower-paced game meaning fewer opportunities.

2018 Week 10 Pace

Pace Up Games

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-3) O/U 47.0
Atlanta (-6.5) at Cleveland O/U 50.5

The concern with the Jacksonville-Colts game is whether or not the Jaguars will continue to run their offense at a faster pace with Leonard Fournette back. Their defense, despite some hiccups, still ranks top 10 in DVOA. That said, I think the game has some potential for points given it is in a dome and the Colts love to play fast and throw the ball a ton. I much prefer the second game though if I am looking to attack a fast-paced game as the Browns defense is in a freefall and the Falcons defense has been terrible all year. I love some game stacks with this game and it’s the first time all season I’ve wanted to roster more than a small percentage of Baker Mayfield.

Pace Neutral Games

New Orleans (-5.5) at Cincinnati O/U 54
Washington at Tampa Bay (-3) O/U 51.0
New England (-6.5) at Tennessee O/U 46.5
Miami at Green Bay (-10) O/U 47.5
Arizona at Kansas City (-16.5) O/U 50.0
Seattle at Rams (-10) O/U 51.0

All of these games have some fantasy potential and you can make arguments for each one hitting the over. Most will be on the Saints and Bengals game, but I think that’s the one game of this bunch that has the highest probability of going under the total. I think the Saints control this game by running the ball and slowing the pace down on the road. I also think the Washington/Tampa Bay game has potential to be a little lower scoring with Alex Smith and the Redskins offense not looking that prolific this season and the weapons available lacking greatly. My favorite two games to attack are the last two – from the opposing side (Arizona and Seattle). Everyone and their brother will be on Kansas City and the Rams and rightfully so but I think there is some massive scoring potential for Cardinals and Seahawks stacks and Russell Wilson might be my favorite QB play of the week.

Pace Down Games

Chargers (-10) at Oakland O/U 50.0
Detroit at Chicago (-6.5) O/U 44.0
Buffalo at Jets (-7) O/U 36.5

I love the Chargers side of this game, but they have been playing at a slow pace all season and the Raiders have been trying to keep opposing teams off the field as much as possible. I’m not going to ignore the Chargers, but I’m not going to go overboard on my exposure to them. The other two games are clear avoids for me outside of some utilization of the DSTs and maybe a few Mitchell Trubisky stacks against a woeful Lions secondary.


Pass Defense Matchups

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a defense, especially when it comes to pass coverage, can provide a significant edge as to how teams might attack an opposing defense (or should, but not all NFL teams are actually smart). In this section, we’re going to look at how defenses do against opposing pass offenses based on the pass direction (right, middle, and left) and distance (short and deep). We can also look at how they are against specific receivers (WR1, TE, RB, etc;). All this data is taken from Football Outsiders’ Defensive Efficiency Ratings.

There are a few points to take from their chart. First, the data does not include passes where there is a sack or an intended receiver. The numbers are adjusted based on the opposing offenses and do include defensive pass interference. Short passes are defined as those that go up to 15 yards through the air, with everything else being a deep pass. If looking at the actual chart where the rankings are taken from, positive numbers equate to more scoring thus making negative numbers better from a defensive perspective.

2018 Pass Direction and Distance

2018 Pass Defense vs Type of Receiver

Matchups to Avoid

Detroit receivers against Bears
Titans receivers against Patriots
Buffalo receivers against Jets
Jets receivers against Bills
Jordy Nelson against Casey Hayward

Matchups to Exploit

Tyler Boyd against P.J. Williams
Michael Thomas against William Jackson
Rams receivers against Seahawks
Chargers receivers against Raiders
Bears receivers against Lions
Julio Jones against T.J. Carrie
Davante Adams against Xavien Howard
DeVante Parker against Bashaud Breeland
Marquez Valdes-Scantling against Torry McTyer
Tyreek Hill against Jamar Taylor


Offense and Defense DVOA

One of the simplest ways to identify matchups is to simply look at how well teams matchup against one another. Utilizing DVOA data can help you do precisely that.

Offense

Defense

The Overall Matchups are Offense vs Defense

Overall Supreme Matchups

Chargers vs Oakland
New Orleans vs Cincinnati
Chicago vs Detroit

Overall Plus Matchups

Cincinnati vs New Orleans
New England vs Tennessee
Washington vs Tampa Bay

Overall Negative Matchups

Detroit vs Chicago
Tennessee vs New England

Overall Terrible Matchups

Jets vs Buffalo
Buffalo vs Jets

Top Positive Run Matchups

Chicago vs Detroit
Chargers vs Oakland
New Orleans vs Cincinnati
Rams vs Seattle

Jordan Howard will likely face another positive game script, but even with two rushing TDs last week he didn’t smash value. I’d expect more of the same this week… 60-80 total yards with 1-2 rushing TDs. Safe but not a tournament winner. Three of the top backs in the game in Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, and Melvin Gordon are all in smash spots. Jam ‘em in!

Top Negative Run Matchups

Jets vs Buffalo
Buffalo vs Jets
Detroit vs Chicago
Cincinnati vs New Orleans

Joe Mixon has a tough matchup but he’s still a viable GPP play although the return of Giovani Bernard does cap his upside somewhat. No interest in any of the backs from the other tree teams listed here.

Top Positive Pass Matchups

Chargers vs Oakland
New England vs Tennessee
Chicago vs Detroit
Cincinnati vs New Orleans

The Chicago-Detroit game should be slow paced and I worry that the Bears try and grind it out with the run, but if the Lions can somehow keep it close then some Trubisky stacks with the likes of Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel are in play. The other three pass games are all in excellent spots and should be utilized in your lineups.

Top Negative Pass Matchups

Jets vs Buffalo
Buffalo vs Jets
Detroit vs Chicago
Arizona vs Kansas City

I actually kind of like Josh Rosen to Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, but the other three pass games I have no interest in.


Offensive Line vs Defensive Line Matchups

It’s easy to just plug in an elite RB based on name value alone. “It’s Todd Gurley … what could possibly go wrong” is not an uncommon thought process for many DFS players. The same can often be said for cheaper running backs getting a big workload. While many DFS players will look at how opposing defenses rank against the run, they make a mistake by solely looking at that metric. We can take our research one step further by looking at how offensive and defensive lines perform in different situations including short-yardage and second level/open-field plays. We can compare the relative strength of one unit against another to find mismatches that will either have us targeting a run game more heavily than we might have previously or avoiding one we might have had our eyes on but the metrics give us cause for concern. We can even use this data to help us identify DST’s that will have a higher likelihood of putting pressure on the QB.

The following charts are provided for informational purposes. There is no analysis, but if you want my take on how to interpret the data, please feel free to leave a question in the comments.

2018 Week 10 Offensive Line

Offensive Line Run Success

2018 Week 10 Defensive Line

Defensive Line Run Success

About the Author

  • Aaron Hendrix (thehazyone)

  • Aaron Hendrix is a former professional poker player who made the transition from season long fantasy sports to DFS in October of 2014. He used to cover poker tournaments for a living until stepping into his current role at RotoGrinders. He can be found on Twitter at @aaronhendrix

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