Information Overload: Week 6

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 6

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
— Site pricing comparison
— 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

Devonta Freeman, RB, ATLOUT
Tyler Kroft, TE. CINOUT
Giovani Bernard, RB, CINOUT
Terrance Williams, WR, DALOUT
Jack Doyle, TE, INDOUT
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JACOUT
Rashard Higgins, WR, CLE – Expected OUT
Isaiah Crowell, RB, NYJ – Status Uncertain
Kerryon Johnson, RB, DET – Status Uncertain
Leonard Fournette, RB, JAC – Status Uncertain
T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND – Status Uncertain
DeVante Parker, WR, MIA – Status Uncertain
Paul Richardson, WR, WAS – Status Uncertain
Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS – Status Uncertain
Josh Doctson, WR, WAS – Status Uncertain
Ted Ginn, WR, NO – Status Uncertain
O.J. Howard, TE, TB – Status Uncertain
Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN – Likely to play
Greg Olsen, TE, CAR – Likely to play
John Ross, WR, CIN – Likely to play
Lamar Miller, RB, HOU – Will play

We have a few situations that are known and will lead to increased roles for others. They include Devonta Freeman (bump for Tevin Coleman), Giovani Bernard (bump for Joe Mixon), and Jack Doyle (bump for Eric Ebron). Tyler Kroft has also been ruled out, which is a bump for the value of C.J. Uzomah, but that’s not one that we can bank on in terms of fantasy production.

Some players with uncertain injury statuses could lead to some value opening up. Most notable is the RB situations in Detroit and New York where Kerryon Johnson (who I expect to play) and Isaiah Crowell (who I do not expect to play) could open up additional volume for the likes of LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, and Bilal Powell. Leonard Fournette remains iffy which of course is a plus for those wanting to roster T.J. Yeldon. It also looks like T.Y. Hilton will remain sidelined, which means additional volume for the likes of Chester Rogers and a player I’ll mention below as having a plus matchup.

A couple other situations to monitor is the WR situation in Washington where all three starters have uncertain statuses. Brian Quick week ya’ll? One last one is O.J. Howard in Tampa – if he is unable to go for some reason, Cameron Brate will become a very popular play in the expected shootout there.


Utilizing Site Pricing to Identify Values and Avoids

While players are generally going to be good plays regardless of their price, there is an argument to be made for leveraging pricing differences between the two major sites when determining your shares of players. Obviously, ownership will also go up (or down) where one site has a large discrepancy on a player, but you can counter that by going overweight or underweight relative to the field. The following chart lists the FanDuel and DraftKings pricing for the majority of skill position players and notes the difference in terms of positional rank for the two sites. I’ll analyze these briefly to help determine where some outliers are that we can take advantage of if playing both sites.

Week 6 Google Sheet With Site Pricing and Differentials

QB

Kirk Cousins QB7 FD QB2 DK
Andy Dalton QB10 FD QB5 DK
Case Keenum QB21 FD Q13 DK
Cam Newton QB2 FD QB7 DK
Philip Rivers QB3 FD QB9 DK
Mitchell Trubisky QB11 FD QB17 DK

RB

Jordan Howard RB21 FD RB7 DK
Chris Thompson RB25 FD RB10 DK
Javorius Allen RB36 FD RB20 DK
Dion Lewis RB36 FD RB22 DK
Carlos Hyde RB12 FD RB19 DK
Adrian Peterson RB10 RB20 DK
Kenyan Drake RB17 RB25 DK
Chris Carson RB15 RB33 DK
Austin Ekeler RB21 RB37 DK
Royce Freeman RB28 RB43 DK
Ronald Jones RB32 RB43 DK

WR

Mike Evans WR8 FD WR3 DK
DeAndre Hopkins WR2 FD WR6 DK
Quincy Enunwa WR32 FD WR23 DK
Tyler Lockett WR18 FD WR27 DK
Dede Westbrook WR35 FD WR28 DK
Jordy Nelson WR42 FD WR29 DK
Robby Anderson WR45 FD WR35 DK
Ryan Grant WR45 FD WR35 DK
Larry Fitzgerald WR27 FD WR39 DK
Chris Godwin WR31 FD WR46 DK

TE

Cameron Brate FD TE22 DK TE10
Vance McDonald FD TE19 DK TE13
Geoff Swaim FD TE29 DK TE16
Antonio Gates FD TE13 DK TE21
Ricky Seals-Jones FD TE13 DK TE24


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 6 Pace

Pace Up Games

Los Angeles Rams (-7) at Denver O/U 51.5
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3) O/U 57.5

Two of the higher totals this week also have teams ranking among the top in pace. On the surface, the Rams aren’t a fast-paced team as they rank 19th overall. That’s more a function of them consistently having a big lead, however. If you for some reason think the game stays close in Denver, the Rams are 7th in neutral pace (score within 6 points) while the Broncos are a top 10 team in overall pace and neutral pace.

The other game has the highest total of the slate and is a no-brainer in terms of potential fantasy production. Both defenses are bad. Both teams play relatively fast. The biggest question will be how much exposure to this game do you want.

Pace Neutral Games

Arizona at Minnesota (-10.5) O/U 43.0
Seattle (-2.5) at Oakland O/U 48.5
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland (-1) O/U 45.5
Jacksonville (-3) at Dallas O/U 41
Indianapolis at New York Jets (-2) O/U 45.5
Baltimore (-2.5) at Tennessee O/U 42.0
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-1) O/U 51.5
Buffalo at Houston (-10) O/U 41.0

There are a couple games here that have the potential to outperform their point totals. Buffalo and Houston has the fastest overall pace of this group, but Buffalo has been so bad on offense that it’s hard to see them putting up more than 10 points. The pace says they’ll have plenty of plays, but when you do nothing with them it doesn’t really matter.

The same could be said for the Ravens and Titans game. This game has the third fastest pace of this group, but we’re dealing with a very good defense in the Ravens and an inefficient offense in the Titans. I like this game more than the first in terms of fantasy potential.

Sneaky shootouts that I think are possible from this grouping are the Colts/Jets game and the Chargers/Browns game. Both have modest totals of 45.5 and I think both have the potential for 50+.

Pace Down Games

Chicago (-3.5) at Miami O/U 42.0
Carolina at Washington (-1) O/U 44.0

Chicago and Miami are 30th and 32nd overall in pace. Yuck. Carolina and Washington aren’t much better as the two rank 28th and 22nd in pace respectively. While there are viable fantasy plays from both games, they aren’t the type of games you are going to want to stack more than two players from.


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

Bills receivers against Texans
Cowboys receivers against Jaguars
Torrey Smith against Josh Norman (WAS)
Courtland Sutton against Marcus Peters (LAR)
Donte Moncrief against Chidobe Awuzie (DAL)
Tyrell Williams against Denzel Ward (CLE)

These matchups aren’t ones you probably were going to target anyway so this is merely confirmation as a tie-breaker when making your roster builds that these receivers aren’t as viable as others.

Matchups to Exploit

Falcons receivers against Tampa Bay
Buccaneers receivers against Atlanta
Rams receivers against Denver
A.J.Green against Artie Burns (PIT)
Chester Rogers against Buster Skrine (NYJ)
Dede Westbrook against Jourdan Lewis (DAL)
Quincy Enunwa against Pierre Desir (IND)

More confirmation for the Falcons/Bucs game – it’s going to be interesting how to approach this game this week in DFS. It’s clearly the best in terms of expected fantasy production, but we all know expectation is not always a guarantee for success. I think there’s always an argument to taking a contrarian approach in GPP’s when there is a massive chalk game, but with the way chalk has been crushing in 2018, that is a scary proposition.

Who would have thought any receiver group against the Broncos would be a matchup to exploit, but that’s where we are at in 2018. Even Pro-Bowler Chris Harris has fallen down to earth and is a plus matchup for the Rams receiver group. Some potential sleepers in this group with Enunwa, Rogers, and Westbrook that could go overlooked.


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

Tampa Bay vs Atlanta
Atlanta vs Tampa Bay
Rams vs Denver

Overall Plus Matchups

Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati
Carolina vs Washington

Overall Negative Matchups

Indianapolis vs Jets
Miami vs Chicago

Overall Terrible Matchups

Tennessee vs Baltimore
Dallas vs Jacksonville
Buffalo vs Houston

Top Positive Run Matchups

Denver vs Rams
Carolina vs Washington
Rams vs Denver
Seattle vs Oakland
Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati

Many will be on Todd Gurley (even at his inflated price tag) and rightfully so as the matchup is one of the best out there. However, on the opposite side of the field the Broncos run game lines up to be just as good. Don’t sleep on Royce Freeman or Phillip Lindsay – they’ll likely be low-owned in what most will perceive a tough matchup with a negative game script. Christian McCaffrey and James Conner will be popular plays in good matchups, but the Seahawks run game will go ignored and could be a sneaky source of fantasy production.

Top Negative Run Matchups

Buffalo vs Houston
Minnesota vs Arizona
Tennessee vs Baltimore
Miami vs Chicago
Houston vs Buffalo

I generally think most will ignore the run games from these teams. LeSean McCoy, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, and Lamar Miller have all struggled this season and all have tough matchups. You could make an argument for Miller as a massive favorite against the Bills, but I kind of think the Bills will keep this game closer than Vegas is anticipating.

Top Positive Pass Matchups

Atlanta vs Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay vs Atlanta
Rams vs Denver
Seattle vs Oakland

I guess the Oakland defense is pretty bad as the Seahawks also have a positive matchup here. The problem with trusting the Seahawks pass game, however, is they just aren’t dropping back to pass enough to make it a high upside type of play. And we have yet again more verification to attack the pass games for the Falcons/Tampa game and I already mentioned how much I liked the Rams passing game against Denver.

Top Negative Pass Matchups

Dallas vs Jacksonville
Tennessee vs Baltimore
Miami vs Chicago
Indianapolis vs Jets

I think we were all clearly avoiding the pass games from all of these teams with perhaps the exception of the Colts, who do have some upside against the Jets in what could potentially be a sneaky shootout (according to my pace evaluation).


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.

Offensive Line

2018 Week 6 Offensive Line

Defensive Line

2018 Week 6 Defensive Line

Run Success by Direction

Offensive Line

2018 Week 6 Offensive Line Run Success

2018 Week 6 Offensive Line Run Direction Percentages

Defensive Line

2018 Week 6 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

Comments

  • tkdman14

    • 788

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    Love this column every week Aaron, very informative. Question about the Defensive line run success rates: Is that considered success for the offense or defense? Thanks

  • thehazyone

    RG Contributor

    • Blogger of the Month

    @tkdman14 said...

    Love this column every week Aaron, very informative. Question about the Defensive line run success rates: Is that considered success for the offense or defense? Thanks

    It’s how often the defense is successful against that run type. So defense.

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