Stat Factors: Week 6

NFL Advanced Data is more accessible than ever, and with the power of providers like Sports Info Solutions and PlayerProfiler.com, RotoGrinders is here to bring them to your doorstep. Each week, Stat Factors will compare 99 team level metrics and hundreds more advanced player level analytics to bring you five key “Stat Factors” that matter for each game. We’ll then break them down and teach you how to empower your decision making for the week using these factors. The best DFS players in the world supplement their process with sports analytics, and we’re here to help you enhance your week of research.

Week 6

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants


Philadelphia Eagles Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Zone Block Success Matchup
Top 10 Yards Before Contact Matchup
Top 10 RB Bounce Rate Matchup
Top 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush TD Matchup
Bottom 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 WR Target % Matchup
Bottom 10 Seconds per Play Matchup


The Philadelphia Eagles rank 24th in DVOA offense and have the 20th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 11th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The New York Giants rank 24th in DVOA defense and have the 25th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 4th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.

The Pace of play is a concern reflected in the relatively low game total. Both teams are bottom 10 in situation-neutral pace. with the Eagles ranking 23rd and the Giants ranking 26th. The potential pass funnel created by the Eagles defense and the lack of strong starting runners for the Eagles could cause both teams to increase their pace though, and this is reflected in Kevin Cole’s RG projection model in which the teams rank 6th (Eagles) and 13th (Giants) in total projected plays for the week.

The Eagles rushing attack will be without Jay Ajayi for the balance of the season due to injury. Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood will take control of the primary duty while Josh Adams and (eventually) Darren Sproles will keep this committee situation convoluted. In Week 3 we saw this exact situation and a split of 47% Clement / 29% Smallwood / 18% Adams carry distribution. Smallwood had 5 targets to Clement’s 4. The Eagles rushing attack ranks 5th in success rate and 10th in yards before contact per attempt. The Giants run defense ranks 10th in yards before contact allowed and 12th in rush success %. While the committee situation is alive and well, both Clement and Smallwood have a case to be used in this matchup on single game slates. On the all weekend slate, only Clement’s 5000 tag on Fanduel seems attractive at all.

The Giants can’t get to the QB and that has been the challenge for Carson Wentz since returning, under siege roughly 35% of the time and sporting a YPA under 6 on those attempts. When kept clean, his YPA soars to 7.72 with a 103 rating. The Giants do get Olivier Vernon back to help improve their pass rush, but if he isn’t enough the Eagles passing game could succeed. The Giants otherwise have allowed just a 44.51% (25th) pass success rate, but as noted above have faced one of the easiest schedules of opponents so far per sharpfootballstats.com. The Giants have issues against explosive passing allowing 22 such plays which is the 5th most in the league. All of the Eagles WRs are dart throws in their own way, and thus I am left to suggest that the most explosive players should be weighted with greater emphasis. That would be Alshon Jefferey (aDOT 12.44) and maybe a trashy Thursday night dart in the direction of Shelton Gibson (aDOT 37). Nelson Agholor is in a fine matchup, but his predictability is shot at this point. You are left to your own devices gambling on when his target volume might accidentally translate to touchdowns, missed tackles, or other scenarios we can’t readily point to with metrics based on his current role.

Zach Ertz has run 73 routes from the slot this season, and leads the Eagles in target share. At the end of the day, he’s the WR1 in this offense and is viable with a high floor and a massive ceiling in tournaments. His TD production leaves something to be desired, but otherwise can find no fault in your continued trust in this high-value role.

The Factor: Corey Clement
The X-Factor: Zach Ertz

New York Giants Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Pass% Matchup
Bottom 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Seconds per Play Matchup
Bottom 10 Rush% Matchup
Bottom 10 Rush Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Blocks Matchup

The New York Giants rank 16th in DVOA offense and have the 13th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 13th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Philadelphia Eagles rank 11 in DVOA defense and have the 5th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 16th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.

The Eagles are one of the most difficult teams to run against in the NFL, flashing a 6th best Rush DVOA and 38.38% rush success rate allowed (29th). The Giants are the least successful rushing attacked (36.73% success rate) despite their talented backs, and we should be expecting a pass funnel. Saquon Barkley showed us last week why he’s matchup proof, and we need not dismiss him simply because his production is likely to come through the air. One minor concern is the Eagles target rate allowed to RBs. They allow just the 22nd most against a relatively average schedule of offenses played.

Expect targets to flow to WRs in this game, and for many of them to reach Odell Beckham. His individual matchup could see him covered by Jalen Mills, one of the most targeted and lucrative spots in the NFL for opposing QBs. I have him pegged for a matchup advantage of 28.58, which is best on the slate per the WR/CB chart here on RotoGrinders. Jam.

In the absence of Evan Engram, you can go ahead and dial up Sterling Shepard once again. Per the premium usage app here at RotoGrinders (courtesy of Fantasy Insiders), Shepard is seeing a healthy 22% of air yards and that could inflate given the Eagles’ tendency to let WRs do the damage (66% target rate, 3rd most).

If you want to use Eli Manning, you have to follow this simple rule. Examine the matchup, and then search Google images for Eli Manning face. If you still think the matchup is good enough to overcome the powerful impact of those images, it must be a good time to use him.

The Factor: Odell Beckham
The X-Factor: Sterling Shepard

Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Rush% Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush TD Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Top 10 3WR + % Matchup
Top 10 10-19 Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass% Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup


The Seattle Seahawks rank 19th in DVOA offense and have the 28th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 3rd-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Oakland Raiders rank 29 in DVOA defense and have the 30th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 24th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a relatively neutral matchup with some discouragement against the Seahawks thanks to an easy schedule of defenses and agreement from the grading at PFF that they may have overachieved.

We can project safely that this game should be slow from a pace perspective. Seattle is the 2nd most rush heavy team at 46.54% and runs the 13th fastest situation-neutral pace. They’ll be playing a slow Raiders team that would prefer to be slightly more run-heavy than their 35.88% rush to date. The Raiders are the 27th fastest team in terms of situation-neutral pace. We project both teams with a bottom 10 play volume in our projections. The matchup is also a bottom 10 plays per drive matchup per my Stat Factors tool.

The run game matchup is neutral for SEA. Both teams rate equally mundane in metrics like Rush Success % and adjusted line yards. Volume is the name of the game for the Seahawks, as they have shown a propensity to favor a run-heavy style under their new OC Brian Schottenheimer. On the other hand, it is a top 5 points allowed matchup for the WR position and opponents of the Raiders have thus far chosen to lineup often in 3WR sets. No team has seen the WR targeted more often than the Raiders at 67.3%. I expect the Seahawks to continue to operate their game plan and run the ball a lot, but I don’t see any particularly noteworthy advantage in the matchup that makes Chris Carson an exceptional play, even at fair price points. Carson does have 210 yards after contact, which tells us he is capable of overcoming a bad offensive line at times. It’s still just a pace down spot to ignore for me.

One thing we can see in this screenshot from the Usage App is that Tyler Lockett dominates air yards on this team so far. Doug Baldwin had a strong Week 4 in this stat, but otherwise it is has been a steady dose of downfield attacks to Lockett when they look to the passing game. Oakland has surrendered the third most explosive passes at 23, and that makes Lockett a high upside GPP option at his price on DraftKings. I’ve been touting David Moore #teampreseason long before people saw his talents last week. That said, we’re talking about a just 20% share of targets on 21 attempts last week from Wilson. Soon. Not yet.

I am all in all not enthusiastic about the Seahawks offense in a potentially slow game, but if I was, it would be Russell Wilson that I ranked as my X-Factor. He’s a direct pivot from the chalk and won’t be on the list of popular options this week.

The Factor: Tyler Lockett
The X-Factor: Russell Wilson

Oakland Raiders Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 WR Target Success Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass % Matchup
Top 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Top 10 Blown Blocks Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Oakland Raiders rank 13th in DVOA offense and have the 21st-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 19th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Seattle Seahawks rank 9th in DVOA defense and have the 19th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 21st-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This is another neutral matchup.

The Raiders seem to be oddly pass heavy considering their RB1 is playing out of his mind. No team allows it’s RB fewer yards before contact than the Raiders, and PlayerProfiler.com ranks the run block efficiency for Marshawn Lynch at #78. Meanwhile, Lynch is showing skill with 186 yards created, which ranks 3rd in the NFL and 44 evaded tackles, which is still the most and I’ve been mentioning this for three weeks. He’s doing all this with an average 7.1 men in the box which is fewer than just 19 total ball carriers. I’d be screaming into my helmet too. Gruden needs to feed his Beast against the 17th ranked DVOA defense that allows the 4th most yards before contact in the NFL. He’s not priced for DFS success and we can’t be sure the coaches will do what I think they should. By the numbers, he is certainly positioned well for a big revenge game. The narrative is too good for me to avoid on FanDuel, where I don’t necessarily require the pass catching upside.

The Raiders have a high pass success % thanks in part to clean pockets for Derek Carr. Their 83.96% ranks 4th in the NFL and their 54.72% success rate is third. This certainly was nowhere to be found last week against the Chargers. The Seahawks are a good matchup for the Raiders in terms of wide receiver targets success rate allowed. Both teams rank in the top 10 in favorability for the offense. Amari Cooper leads the Raiders with a 24.2% share of team air yards, but lags behind tight end Jared Cook for the team lead and share of overall targets. The Raiders have spread the target love around with six receivers above the 10% share. For this reason, Cooper is just a volatile tournament play due to fluctuating volume, but potentially high ceiling elevated by the slim chance he sees the lion’s share of the targets.

Jared Cook remains in play thanks to his relatively consistent roll in the offense. The Seahawks have done well to prevent 20+ yard passes as a % of attempts, and have allowed success on passes in the short area. That would be beneficial to Cook if the trend continues.

The Factor:. Marshawn Lynch
The X-Factor: Jared Cook

Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins

Chicago Bears Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Blitz Pressure Matchup
Top 10 Clean Pocket Matchup
Top 10 Holding Calls Matchup
Top 10 Pass Behind Line % Matchup
Top 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Top 10 Rush% Matchup
Bottom 10 Seconds per Play Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass% Matchup

The Chicago Bears rank 17th in DVOA offense and have the 14th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 10th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Miami Dolphins rank 5th in DVOA defense and have the 20th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 5th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. Somehow, the lackluster Bears offense looks to be at the advantage.

The Dolphins have rated well in DVOA, but have done so against an easy schedule of opponents. Meanwhile, the Bears rushing attack ranks second with a 54.31% success rate on the ground any second rank 2.57 yards before first contact average. They also have a 61.29% success rate when targeting the running back out of the backfield. One of the best reasons to ignore DVOA right now is because short sample size theater can occur, such as we are seeing with the Dolphins defense. In my mind, I want to favor the Bears running attack over the Dolphins run defense if forced to choose which set of metrics I believe based on early-season schedules. Jordan Howard has received 100% of carries inside 10 yards over the last two weeks and has received over 55% of the rushes despite seeing a reduced workload against the Buccaneers last game. At $6200 on FanDuel, he fits the site scoring well and should be extremely low owned which is a recipe for GPP arbitrage on that site. Howard has not been efficient this season, but has also faced light fronts just 31.2% of the time, which is ranked 41st among running backs. This would be a play that succeeds on volume and touchdown efficiency.

The Bears aren’t suddenly trustworthy in the passing game simply because they decimated the horrific Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. Mitchell Trubisky will have the benefit of operating from a clean pocket thanks to the Bears third-ranked 84.29% clean pockets rate and the dolphins fourth highest 82.2% clean pockets allowed. It looks like the Bears offensive line straight up has the advantage in all phases of the game this week, and that should allow offensive success for Chicago. I’m unwilling to place big bets on receivers like Allen Robinson, despite the fact that Xavien Howard isn’t yet deserving of shutdown level fearfulness. Minkah Fitzpatrick may also give a marginal amount of trouble to Taylor Gabriel. The Dolphins allow the third highest target rate to the running back position and just the 26th most targets to the WR. It seems clear to me that we want to attack with the backs and a tight end like Trey Burton, if we want to use the Bears offense at all.

Following up on that last sentence, I’m not that interested in using the Bears passing game due to game flow concerns. This is a bottom 10 seconds-per-play matchup based on situation-neutral pace comparisons, and we can do much better than over-exposing ourselves to this game.

The Factor: Jordan Howard
The X-Factor: Tarik Cohen

Miami Dolphins Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 WR Target % Matchup
Top 10 3WR + % Matchup
Bottom 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Total Plays Matchup
Bottom 10 Seconds per Play Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Pass Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Pass Blocks Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Miami Dolphins rank 18th in DVOA offense and have the 30th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 25th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Chicago Bears rank first in DVOA defense and have the 1st-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 13th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Bears have a big edge.

Implied for under 20 points and operating and operating in a pace down environment is not a great situation to target to begin with, but is exceptionally bad when the team in question has overachieved in the early stages of the season. The Dolphins have bottom 10 matchups in yards per drive, total plays, points per drive, plays per drive, past success rate, explosive passes, and blown blocks. The Bears ranked first in sack percentage at 11.61% and the Dolphins may be without Laremy Tunsil. Just about the only thing they’ve allowed his success rate to the WR position. Kenny Stills dominates air yards for the Dolphins, but the target rate is spread thin across six players with a 10% share or better. I am sure there is a way to conjure up the creativity to find something to like about this matchup for absolutely anybody on the Dolphins offense… but that creativity will not be coming from me.

The Factor:. Bears DST
The X-Factor: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets

Indianapolis Colts Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Total Plays Matchup
Top 10 Pass% Matchup
Top 10 Blitz Pressure Matchup
Top 10 3WR + % Matchup
Bottom 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Rush% Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 10 2 RB+ % Matchup

The Indianapolis Colts rank 25th in DVOA offense and have the 15th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 30th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The New York Jets rank 6th in DVOA defense and have the 9th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 10th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Jets are at the marginal advantage here.

Generally speaking, the pace of play only elevates when both offenses operate at a fast pace. The Colts are the absolute fastest team in the NFL in terms of situation-neutral pace, but the Jets are the second slowest team. I would expect the pace of play to be relatively slow to average.

Nobody throws the forward pass more often than the Colts as a percentage of their total plays this season. They have thrown on 71.66% of their plays. This comes as no surprise based on their personnel and incredibly tough schedule of opposing defenses per sharpfootballstats.com. Good defenses don’t allow their opponents to operate in favorable conditions via rushing success allowed. This game script seems too bad for a guy like Marlon Mack coming back from injury and favors short and intermediate route receivers. A player who might have been intriguing in the absence of Mack is Nyheim Hines, but it seems unlikely the workload will be there for DFS success. This was a split backfield the last time the Colts were all healthy.

It looks like Eric Ebron is in danger of missing this game. If that is the case, you might be tempted to punt with Eric Swoope. The Jets have not been a strong matchup against the tight end this season allowing a bottom five rate of fantasy points allowed. It’s also possible they faced the easiest schedule against tight ends with the Broncos, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Lions all favoring targets to the wide receiver position rather than the TE. Despite the lack of being tested, Swoope is just a 48th percentile sprinter whose position has been more closely associated with an in-line tight end then a high upside move tight end. He’s a pure punt if Ebron is out, but there are reasons to monitor the ownership projections in case he gets too popular to use in GPPs compared to upside. If he Ebron plays, I just wasted a ton of your time and you can consider playing him in tournaments if you hate fun and like paying for him when he’s the highest priced tight end on the slate.

It looks like the Jets secondary is a bit banged up. Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine may miss the game, and that pits Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant in favorable spots while Zach Pascal draws the short straw based on historical alignments. He’ll have to deal with Morris Claiborne at times. Assuming TY Hilton is out and a pass-friendly Game script once again for the Colts, one of these buffoons has to do something of at least marginal interest. The most likely based on recent usage would be Chester Rogers, having seen 19% of targets and 22% of air yards last week both ranked second. The man who ranked first, Ebron, may be out. That would leave the Rogers in a must-welp situation in which simple math tells use the football has to go in somebodies direction. I suppose it will be his. If Ebron suits up, I have wasted your time for the second consecutive paragraph.

The Factor: Avoiding the situation
The X-Factor: Eric Ebron (if in), Chester Rogers (if Ebron out)

New York Jets Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 TE Target Success Matchup
Top 10 RushTD Ratio Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush TD Matchup
Bottom 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup

The New York Jets rank 29th in DVOA offense and have the 29th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 29th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Indianapolis Colts rank 13th in DVOA defense and have the 17th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 2nd-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. Indianapolis has the edge.

The Colts run defense has been relatively stout, but they allow targets at the fourth highest rate to the running back position at 26.4%. The Jets have an abysmal 39.69% success rate on the season, but did manage to produce some big plays against the Broncos last week. There’s nothing to really hide here with the Colts run defense, there is also no reason to get overly excited to play the Jets unless Isaiah Crowell is out. In that case, Bilal Powell’s workload would increase and the likelihood that he can capitalize on the Colts running back target tendency would put him squarely in the mix. Powell received 20% of targets Week 4 and has shown in the past to be a capable receiver. Crowell is expected to be available, and that puts Powell as just a GPP dart throw.

I basically wrote the script for Robbie Anderson’s game in this article last week and forgot to listen to my own advice and play him. I don’t even want to tell you who I played instead. The important thing to recognize is that this won’t be a repeat performance with the return of Kenny Moore, Nate Hairston in Quincy Wilson to the depleted Colts secondary. The Colts have allowed just 14 passes of 20+ yards, which is good for 24th most in the NFL. They are also a bottom five matchup in terms of production to the wide receiver position. I wouldn’t be looking to attack them with deep threats. Quincy Enunwa is effectively the tight end for this team. He may not line up that way, but has just an 8.13 yard average depth of target. The Colts have allowed tons of production to the tight end position, and perhaps similar depth routes from Enunwa we’ll be successful. Enunwa has a dominant 29.1% share team targets. He is not available at a great price on DraftKings where PPR would benefit him most, but on FanDuel he’s dirt cheap. He’s a GPP longshot there.

The Factor:. Quincy Enunwa
The X-Factor: Bilal Powell

Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans

Buffalo Bills Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Rush% Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush TD Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Before Contact Matchup
Bottom 10 Rush Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 RB Target Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass% Matchup
Bottom 10 Holding Calls Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Rush % Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Bottom 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 DVOA Matchup

The Buffalo Bills rank 32nd in DVOA offense and have the 32nd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 31st-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Houston Texans rank 10th in DVOA defense and have the 23rd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the Easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Texans have the edge on paper.

The pace of play in this game could be an uptick for the Buffalo Bills. The Texans have run the 6th fastest situation-neutral pace to date. The Bills operate at the 18th fastest situation-neutral pace. The Texans have the second-ranked rush DVOA despite their opponents rushing against them at the league’s 9th highest rate. The Texans also have just the 31st rush success rate allowed at 37.68%. The Bills rush with just the 25th best rush success percent and yards before contact average. The Bills are either going to pass more than usual or get trounced.

Lesean McCoy bounced back to a 55% share of team carries last week though Chris Ivory remained in the mix. This Texans team is tough against the run by the numbers, but it is worth mentioning they have faced the absolute easiest schedule of opponents. I would still call Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley worthy rushing adversaries, and would be skeptical of any lineup I saw featuring McCoy.

If you believe the Bills can keep this game close, you have to believe that Josh Allen and the passing game arrive to Houston with a pass first attack. I’m going to stop short of suggesting any member of the Bills passing game is a good option particularly since they allow 35.58% pressure (12th-highest in the league). However, let it be known that the data is suggesting the Bills should attack this way, and if they do, the pace of play could elevate and lead to a fantasy friendly game on both sides.

The better bet here is that the Texans smash at home, the Bills continue to wallow in total disaster mode on offense.

The Factor: Not Playing the Bills at All
The X-Factor: Texans Defense

Sunday Update: I think I am going to add a second X-Factor option of stacking this game with Allen + 2 Bills WR as a possible GPP route. It’s obviously gross, but passing volume has been hurting the WRs and if Allen suddenly wakes up to an efficient game he’s $4700 on DK and Kelvin Benjamin is $3500. That’s $8200 for 50% of last week’s air yards and a QB with rushing upside against a team that plays the fastest offensive pace in the league. Somehow — I see it better now and I am going to run this disgusting stack purely on game theory + the line of success I just mentioned being > the the ownership by quite a bit.


Houston Texans Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Gap Block Success Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush Matchup
Bottom 10 Zone Block Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass Behind Line % Matchup
Bottom 10 DVOA Matchup

The Houston Texans rank 23rd in DVOA offense and have the 8th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the Hardest schedule of opposing defenses. The Buffalo Bills rank 7th in DVOA defense and have the 10th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 8th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Bills have the smallest of edges in a neutral matchup.

The Texans should be pounding the rock against the 13th-ranked Rush success rate allowed by the Bills (47.15%), but significantly lower efficiency allowed in the past game. Bills have allowed 17 explosive runs which is seventh most in the league, while allowing just 13 explosive passes which is 27th most. This doesn’t help us for DFS purposes because the options to exploit this are bland. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue are the quintessential tapioca pudding and stale-multigrain-roll combination in the NFL. They offer zero excitement, but technically qualify as sustenance if you’re desperate.

The Bills relatively soft schedule to start the season may be masking there ability to allow production in the passing game. They are average at allowing clean pockets with the 14th highest rate at 78.79%. In terms of past success rate they allow the ninth highest rate at 48.99%. The Bills have only one true shutdown corner who should be busy with DeAndre Hopkins all day. That should yield a few extra targets to one of Will Fuller or Keke Coutee. Coutee gets the rookie on rookie matchup with Taron Johnson that leaves him with a chance. His DFS price tags keep him out of the mix for me. As for Hopkins and Fuller, this is a be my guest situation since they’re both good, but the overall game environment is pointing in the direction of bad for their upside. I think in the long run using salary more wisely is the better move.

The Factor: Fades
The X-Factor: Deandre Hopkins at low ownership

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Top 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Top 10 DVOA Matchup

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank 8th in DVOA offense and have the 4th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 5th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Atlanta Falcons Rank 31 in DVOA defense and have the 29th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 18th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a matchup that favors Tampa Bay.

The pace of play should be relatively average. The Bucs rank 4th in situation-neutral pace, but will be on the road. The Falcons rank 15th in situation-neutral pace. Neither team is tremendously capable at stopping the run and the offensive points are likelier to come from efficiency than raw play volume.

The Falcons defense continues to be a potential target for backs, having allowed a second worst 56.45% rush success rate and a top fantasy points allowed ranking. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay does not feature a running back fully capable of exploiting the defensive weakness. They rank third to last in yards before first contact created and third to last in rushing success rate at just 39.54%. They’re also dead last in running back target success an feature 3 backs who aren’t good receivers.

The Falcons allow a league-high 29.8% targets to the wide receiver position. I think I’m supposed to say something remotely positive about this Tampa Bay backfield, but their median projections are trash. Per Kevin Cole’s ceiling projections on Rotogrinders, no running back eclipses a 17 point ceiling. Despite their discount price tags, we just can’t view a stone cold jobber like Ronald Jones in the same light that we viewed Connor, Bernard, Kamara, and McCaffrey. Not interested.

One of the best reasons to like James Winston in the Tampa passing game is the fact that the Falcons have struggled to generate pressure on opposing QBs. The Atlanta Falcons went 28th in pressure rate at 27.4%, and 28th in sack rate at 4.3%. Allowing James Winston time to throw could result in football death, as Winston delivered an 8.55 yards per attempt average in 2017 went kept clean (eighth highest rate in football). Winston is priced in such a way that he’ll be one of the highest on quarterbacks the season, and in a game that sets up this well for passing success against the 28th ranked DVOA defense in a 58 total I can’t say that is shocking.

O.J. Howard has a pair of issues that have him participating in a limited fashion in practice. Many DFS players would like him to miss the game so that they can play Cameron Brate on the cheap. It’s an exceptionally strong matchup for the tight end, but the overall game environment favorites playing anyone we can get her hands-on at the scarce and wildly unpredictable tight end position.

If you’re so inclined, feel free to dial up any of the wide receivers including DeSean Jackson. Tampa bay has allowed 20 passes of 20+ yards and this is the ninth highest total in the NFL. As noted earlier, Winston could be throwing from a clean pocket if the Falcons can’t get pressure. Mike Evans is the team leader in air yards share (35.8%) and target share (26.8%). No WR has a higher ceiling in this game for Tampa Bay then Evans and it’s not close at 39.16 compared to the next best total of 23.08.

The Factor: Jameis Winston
The X-Factor: Cameron Brate (if no Howard), Mike Evans if Howard is in.


Atlanta Falcons Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 WR Target Success Matchup
Top 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Top 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Atlanta Falcons rank 11th in DVOA offense and have the 18th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 14th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses.The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rank 32 in DVOA defense and have the 26th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 19th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a smash matchup for the Falcons.

Running back Devonta Freeman missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and looks set to miss this game. If that’s true then Tevin Coleman will get yet another shot to produce in a prime spot against a rush defense that has allowed the fourth high success rate at 54.44%. Running Back is just about the only position Tampa doesn’t allow a top-five rate of fantasy points to, and it’s relatively difficult to predict how the Falcons will leverage their backs inside the 10-yard line. So far Ito Smith has vultured Tevin Coleman at every turn. The run game is clearly the second-best phase to leverage against the Buccaneers in the Atlanta backfield isn’t that appealing even with the Freeman injury. Tevin Coleman is a relatively good value for floor in DFS cash games and cannot be crossed off the list for tournaments. We just have to except the terms and conditions of volatile upside with the latter.

Julio Jones continues to see a fine share of the offense though his target share was down last week. His air yard share was still high and now he gets to face one of the juiciest secondaries in pro football. Tampa Bay has allowed 20 passes of 20 or more yards which ranks ninth in the league. They possess a 48.6% pass DVOA (dead last), and Julio is likely to line up against a washed Brent Grimes, who has allowed a 127 passer rating in coverage and has no safety help worth mentioning to prevent Julio from somehow breaking loose for a long game and possibly a long touchdown. Grimes is one of the lowest graded cornerbacks in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Julio Jones has been one of the most expensive mistakes of the past 20+ NFL weeks, but at some point is due to give us a partial refund. I suppose this could be one of those days. All of the wide receivers are in an acceptable spot and can be used in GPP game stacks.

The price for Austin Hooper makes him attractive on DK. I doubt he’ll see the type of target share he saw last week, but he’s well in play for enough to pay off a $3500 bill. I said I liked every single pass catcher, and that should tell us to like Matt Ryan as well.

The Factor: Julio Jones (for damn sakes do something!)
The X-Factor: Pretty much the rest of the passing game including Matt Ryan

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Total Plays Matchup
Top 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Top 10 RB Target Success Matchup
Top 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Top 10 Gap Block % Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Top 10 Blitz Pressure Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Zone Block % Matchup

The Pittsburgh Steelers rank 9th in DVOA offense and have the 16th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 16th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Cincinnati Bengals rank 20th in DVOA defense and have the 4th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 28th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The matchup is slightly in favor of the Steelers offense.

This is two slightly above average pace teams and this could turn into a shootout in a hurry. That is no guarantee with Big Ben on the road in division, but the possibility is certainly there for an uptempo environment particularly if either team jumps out to an early lead. I’ll call the pace above average with upside.

The Steelers are not a great rushing team with a 43.64% rush success rate and have relied on aerial assaults in many of their matchups. Last week they did find some success against the Falcons using James Connor, who’s +20.5 production premium per PlayerProfiler.com is 15th best in the league. The Bengals have allowed the 10th highest rush success rate at 48.85%. Conner is an option again if you want him as a spend.

The Steelers may not face a huge amount of pressure from the Bengals given their ability to keep Ben clean against a neutral set of opponents. The 85.27% of clean pockets is first in the league while the Bengals have allowed the 13th most clean pockets as a percent of plays. I’m not somebody who likes to look back at past matchups in a series, but I’ve heard something like Antonio Brown isn’t good against the Bengals. Whatever. You have other options to pay up for and his individual DB matchups aren’t that attractive. He’s also the last person you want to have zero of at lower than usual ownership when he’s capable of making much better players than William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick look foolish. I’m not enthusiastic about Juju at his price tags, but he remains well on the radar.

Vance McDonald is an interesting guy to run it back with. He crushed people’s hopes and dreams last week but that’s what chalk TEs do. The Bengals allow a very average target distribution and that could mean better than average pass catchers still have a chance. Vance did not see his prices move and that is a boner inducing proposition on FanDuel at $4600.

The Steelers are somehow going to be lower owned than we are used to, which is merited on the road in division, but still interesting for GPPs in a game theory vacuum.

The Factor:. Antonio Brown on FanDuel, Ben Roethlisberger stacked with Vance on DK.
The X-Factor: Vance McDonald on both FanDuel and DraftKings

Cincinnati Bengals Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 Yards Before Contact Matchup
Top 10 Pass% Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush TD Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass Matchup
Top 10 DVOA Matchup
Top 10 10-19 Yard Pass% Matchup
Bottom 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Rush% Matchup
Bottom 10 RB Target Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Blocks Matchup

The Cincinnati Bengals rank 6th in DVOA offense and have the 10th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 12th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Pittsburgh Steelers rank 16th in DVOA defense and have the 15th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 31st-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Bengals have the edge.

Defenses don’t matter in neutral spots and this is a pretty neutral spot. That said, the 11th ranked rush success % of CIN (48.18%) matches up just fine with the 42.97% (21st rank) mark of the Steelers. The concern is that the Steelers have played a tough schedule and they could be due to surprise on defense at some point. Joe Mixon has looked incredible and I’m not here to overthink his 85% share of carries from last week. His 7500 price tag works for the roster build this week and DFS players don’t have much of a reason to say no.

Tyler Boyd has a 22.6% share of team air yards and the second highest ADOT on the team behind John Ross. His price tag on FanDuel is highly attractive in a top 10 Match up for explosive past TDs, intermediate passing percentage, and explosive passes in general. This is also a top-five matchup for the wide receiver position in terms of fantasy points allowed. It’s a nice way to stack this game no matter if you use Bengals or Steelers as the base.

Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah gets a matchup against a defense that allows 27.9% of passing targets to the tight end, which is the highest percentage in the league. Target share was not there for him last week, but that could change in a hurry in this spot. At $3,000 on DK, he’s my favorite Bengals player on that site. TE is a rough position this week, and perhaps his lack of target share could turn off more players than it should.

The Factor: C.J. Uzomah
The X-Factor: Tyler Boyd

Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Bottom 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Rush % Matchup
Bottom 10 Clean Pocket Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Pass Blocks Matchup
Bottom 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Arizona Cardinals rank 31st in DVOA offense and have the 31st-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 2nd-easiest schedule of opposing defenses.The Minnesota Vikings rank 26th in DVOA defense and have the 22nd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 14th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Vikings are in position to bounce back on defense.

The only two top ten ratings I have down for the Cardinals in my core metrics are QB pressure rate allowed (39.19%, 3rd most) and Blown Pass Blocks % (11.49%, 9th most). Everything else about the matchup screams we need volume and some major improvements from the Cardinals offensive efficiency. Right now, I see the offensive line as their biggest issue and it isn’t getting better anytime soon. This is why David Johnson is operating as one of the least efficient backs, sporting a -4.6 (rank #36) production premium and just 48 rush yards per game. He has just 15 receptions and I would have thought in this situation he could accumulate that in a game. The Vikings are an under-performing unit though the PFF grades suggest that is because they are actually playing sub par and are not just unlucky. They have allowed the 6th highest rush success % that could help the Cardinals improve their abysmal 31st ranked skills (38.38%). Johnson is just $5900 on DraftKings and fully in effect on that site.

The Vikings allow the 4th most targets to the TE position and 11th most targets to the WR position, which is a concern for the low target situation already in play with David Johnson this season. If the Vikings continue to funnel in that direction, this could be a crushing. The Cardinals would have to rely on Ricky Seals-Jones and Jermaine Gresham as primary weaponry in the pass game, while Christian Kirk and company deal with the Vikings unit most likely to see an upward trajectory. Yes, the secondary has under-performed and allowed the third most explosive passes (23) and a massive 64.86% of success on TE targets. That being said, the pass rush is why I think the Cardinals will fall hard. They allow pressure as noted before and face the team with the most forced blown pass blocks (16.11%), 7th highest sack , 10th highest QB pressure rate, and second fewest clean pockets allowed (72.22). This is the wrong the matchup at the wrong time for the Cardinals, and I like the Vikings in every way to dominate on defense.

The Factor:. Vikings DST
The X-Factor: David Johnson

Minnesota Vikings Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 WR Target % Matchup
Top 10 TE Target Success Matchup
Top 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Top 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 10 TE Target % Matchup
Bottom 10 Gap Block % Matchup
Bottom 10 Clean Pocket Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 10 10-19 Yard Pass% Matchup

The Minnesota Vikings rank 15th in DVOA offense and have the 7th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 21st-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Arizona Cardinals rank 8th in DVOA defense and have the 24th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 29th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a neutral matchup that the Vikings get the edge in based purely on QB play.

Dalvin Cook is likely to return to face the Cardinals behind an offensive line that has produced the second-fewest yards before first contact per carry, the 3rd fewest clean pockets for his QB, the 4th fewest explosive rushing plays, the 6th lowest rushing success rate at 41.67%, and the most blown blocks overall (20.83%). This includes a gargantuan 31.25% blown run blocks. Dalvin has a sliver of a chance against a run defense that has allowed the 11th highest success % and a top 5 rate of fantasy points allowed to the RB position. That said, I expect this to be a somewhat sloppy game that the Vikings manage to win via Kirk Cousins skills and not some sudden resurgence of a broken running game powered by a broken offensive line. Riley Reiff is the highest graded Vikings lineman with a nice 69 on a 100 point scale. They are basically replacement level or worse so far in 2018. Betting on Cook or Latavius Murray is a bet on either dump off passing volume or touchdown luck.

One man who is not replacement level is Kirk Cousins, and a second man well beyond that status and among the elite is Adam Thielen. Both players have shown a chemistry that is both required by the offenses inability to run the ball and demonstrative of their personal efforts to keep a struggling team on life support. This is a win they very much need, and I am certain that they both find relatively good raw fantasy point totals by the time it is over. The price tag on Thielen is in line with the expected production though, and that means he probably isn’t the best bang for the buck in a game they could have control over late.

So there you go. A game that I think the Vikings win running away and I don’t really think I like anybody for DFS. This is an example of where DFS analysis and plain old football analysis diverge. Defenses don’t matter, but prices do.

The Factor:. Kirk Cousins
The X-Factor: Adam Thielen

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Chargers Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Sack % Matchup
Top 10 RB Target Success Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Before Contact Matchup
Bottom 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Los Angeles Chargers rank 3rd in DVOA offense and have the 5th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 20th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Cleveland Browns rank 2nd in DVOA defense and have the 17th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the Hardest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a very even matchup.

The Browns defense continues to show up and it makes this road matchup for the Chargers somewhat unappealing from a DFS perspective. The total is pretty light and the Browns defense has some shocking numbers that seem to match the quality of the personnel on paper. They rank 29th in wide receiver targets success at 46.04% and 22nd in TE target success allowed at 51.22%. They have generated the most blown run blocks at 17.61%. The downfall has been explosive runs, a stat where they find themselves ranked 6th highest. With the Chargers 42.86% rush success rate, I predict the RB damage they will do will come via the air. The Browns allow 62.5% of RB targets to reach successful play status, and have seen three straight weeks of mediocre RB receivers. Gordon and Ekeler figure to have a better chance to buck the trend and you know they’ll be involved in the game plan. Gordon is extremely expensive on DFS sites and is one of the tougher decisions on the week in tournaments. It doesn’t seem like high ownership is on the way for him.

In a low total game and referencing this strong defensive performance to date from the Browns secondary, I can’t willingly endorse any of the pass catchers based on metrics. The Browns have the 2nd ranked DVOA defense and tremendous success slowing down TEs and WRs. The only metric you can point to with confidence is air yards share for Keenan Allen and Mike Williams followed by the target share of Allen. Allen is clearly the lead dog here, and they can move him around to find matchups they like if they really want to feature him. That leads me to the other metric that matters here: ownership. Allen will be totally forgotten in this hard to love matchup.

The Factor:. Melvin Gordon
The X-Factor: Keenan Allen

Cleveland Browns Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Top 10 20+ Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Before Contact Matchup
Bottom 10 TE Target Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Holding Calls Matchup

The Cleveland Browns rank 30th in DVOA offense and have the 27th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 4th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Los Angeles Chargers rank 18th in DVOA defense and have the 16th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 20th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.

For a team that has a relatively good roster and mediocre performance metrics, I am still finding that the Browns have some soft spots to attack in this matchup. The Chargers have not allowed the explosive runs that the Browns have been very successful at generating (23, rank 1st), but they have allowed the third highest rate of rushing success in general at 55.93%. With the team playing at home under Hue Jackson and starring a rookie QB, I’m willing to bet the Browns are plotting their game plan via the run this week. We should see an extremely healthy dose of Carlos Hyde on Sunday. He leads the league in attempts per game thanks in part to a lot of action for the Browns in overtime, but at $4900 on DraftKings you wouldn’t quite need a league-leading volume to get the job done.

The Chargers allow the leagues highest rate of WR target success at 64.71%. The vaunted DBs have not been playing at the level we saw in prior years, and there are reasons to want to consider Jarvis Landry at a nice $6900 tag on FanDuel. He has a massive 30.9% share of targets and air yards in this offense and figures to have a big role in this game if the Browns keep it close as expected. It’s contagious.

The Factor: Carlos Hyde
The X-Factor: Jarvis Landry

Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins

Carolina Panthers Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Zone Block Success Matchup
Top 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Top 10 RushTD Ratio Matchup
Top 10 Rush Success % Matchup
Top 10 RB Target % Matchup
Top 10 Gap Block % Matchup
Bottom 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Total Plays Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Pass Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass % Matchup

The Carolina Panthers rank 12th in DVOA offense and have the 22nd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 6th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Washington Redskins rank 23rd in DVOA defense and have the 13th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 7th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Panthers are at the advantage.

The Panthers figure to feature a run-first attack in the matchup against a weaker run defense. They are already the league’s third most run-heavy team and feature positive metrics in rush yards before first contact (2.38 yards, 4th most), explosive runs (21, 5th most), Rush Success Rate (50.82%, 8th highest), and RB targets success (60%, 4th highest). McCaffrey is in line for bell cow level workload again and is one of the highest floor options in DFS this week. Anyone with high workload like this is also capable of a high ceiling in GPPs and therefore he is just simply a high-quality play.

In a 45 total on the road, I can’t get behind the Carolina Panthers passing attack. The only two noteworthy target shares belong to McCaffrey and low volume dart throw Devin Funchess. Funchess is a guy we’d rather have in a more pass-heavy uptempo script, and the 25th ranked pace/5th most run-heavy team vs. the 22nd ranked pace/3rd most run-heavy team hardly sounds uptempo.

Cam Newton is a dart throw aiming at high TD efficiency or a great rushing performance. His best tandem pairing is by far with McCaffrey in this game.

The Factor:. Christian McCaffrey
The X-Factor: Cam Newton

Washington Redskins Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 TE Target Success Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass % Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 10 Zone Block Success Matchup
Bottom 10 Total Plays Matchup
Bottom 10 Clean Pocket Matchup

The Washington Redskins rank 20th in DVOA offense and have the 25th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 8th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Carolina Panthers rank 26th in DVOA defense and have the 28th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 22nd-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Redskins may have a small edge here.

Both Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson are expected to play and that means we can have some reservations about playing them both. The Panthers are more vulnerable to passing weaponry and have allowed just the 24th highest rate of rushing success at 42.17%. They haven’t been generous to RB target success either and have one of the lowest RB target rates allowed through 5 games. Thompson is cheap on FanDuel, but that’s no where we want to leverage a player like this in a bad matchup for RB receiving anyway.

If we don’t like the rushing attack to do damage, perhaps there is a way to exploit in the passing game. Indeed, this is a top 10 target success % matchup to the TE position. Jordan Reed is alternating 29% air yard shares every other week and is by no means dead in this offense. His overall target share of 19% seems like it is in a valley to me, and I don’t have a problem speculating that it will go up in the future at some point. He’s priced through the nose on both sites and it makes it difficult to fall in love with in DFS, but in terms of fantasy football it’s probable his stock rises soon and this game sets up for him to have a chance.

I’m essentially off this offense so you can take these picks below with a grain of salt. The best-dressed pigs at the ball so to speak.

The Factor:. Jordan Reed
The X-Factor: Panthers DST

Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Rams Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Seconds per Play Matchup
Top 10 Pass Behind Line % Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Pass Matchup
Top 10 Blown Run Blocks Matchup
Top 10 Blown Blocks Matchup
Top 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 RB Target % Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Los Angeles Rams rank 1st in DVOA offense and have the 1st-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 15th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Denver Broncos rank 22nd in DVOA defense and have the 12th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 23rd-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. It’s wheels up for the Rams offense again.

Todd Gurley has reached 10k on DraftKings and we don’t need to look at stats to know he’s good. We can look at the price and know he’s a tough fit despite a very beatable matchup, and likely eliminate him from cash game builds. If the Rams smash (as is within the realm of possibility,)their top-ranked rush success rate (54.86%) could prove useful in clock-killing time and mean another huge game for Gurley. He owns every role in the offense and nobody deserves this price tag more than he does.

It looks like both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks have a shot to play in this potentially up pace game. Both teams are in the top 10 in situation-neutral pace and the Broncos project to be trailing and throwing against a defense that hasn’t shown us much in the way of being able to slow their opponents down over the past two weeks. It’s easy to like the Rams passing game in this uptempo environment featuring efficient offense expected from the Rams that rank 1st in explosive pass , second in WR targets success, and second in overall pass percent. FanDuel is the softest spot to attack if you want a lower owned Kupp and Woods. These are concussions we are talking about, so if these guys can go… they are basically 100. Target share amount the starters is ridiculously even, while Robert Woods continues to pace the crew in Air Yards as shown above (36% total share) with Cooks not too far behind. This is a double stack waiting to happen situation with Jared Goff.

I am torn about how much stock to put into the Rams defense in this matchup since they are on the road in Denver. With that being said, on a neutral field I think the Rams would crush, and I am a bit hesitant to make this passing game my primary GPP attack spot as a result. The game could get out of hand if the pass rush is on point.

The Factor: Todd Gurley
The X-Factor: Robert Woods


Denver Broncos Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Seconds per Play Matchup
Top 10 Rush Success % Matchup
Top 10 Explosive Rush % Matchup
Bottom 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Holding Calls Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Pass Blocks Matchup
Bottom 10 Blown Blocks Matchup
Bottom 10 Blitz Pressure Matchup
Bottom 10 10-19 Yard Pass% Matchup

The Denver Broncos rank 10 in DVOA offense and have the 12th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 17th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Los Angeles Rams rank 14 in DVOA defense and have the 3rd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 14th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Rams get a small edge in this matchup.

The Broncos have been surprisingly effective running the ball, producing the third-ranked Rush success rate at 53.66%. They have coupled this with a 2.74 yards before first contact average and 23 explosive runs…both best in the NFL. It is assumed that most DFS players will avoid using the split backfield even at low prices, so it’s not worth using our imagination on ways Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman could uncork a monster here. This is 48%/40% split of carries that would take an game injury to improve, and even then Devontae Booker is lurking.

Courtland Sutton and some backfield targets have eroded what was once a duopoly in the Denver receiving game. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are now splitting roughly 22% of targets each while the rest of the primary load gets split among 4 others. The Rams are a high pressure defense with the 2nd highest rate forced (43.26%) while the Broncos allow the 6th most pressure (38.05%) and the 3rd highest rate of blown pass blocks (10.67%). The more I think about how this game might go, the more it seems we are about to see a feast from the Rams D as a trailing Broncos pass game stretches to keep the game close later in the game. I expect Case Keenum to find some garbage-like stats and the pass along some of them to the three WRs. However, the 68.54% clean pockets rate (Lowest in football) allowed by the Rams makes me nervous about using the Denver attack. It also encourages me to want to buy low on the Rams defense, priced fairly at 3100 on DK and much more aggressively at 4800 on FD.

The Factor:. Rams DST
The X-Factor: Case Keenum

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Top 10 TE Target % Matchup
Top 10 3WR + % Matchup
Top 10 0-9 Yard Pass % Matchup
Bottom 5 WR Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup

The Jacksonville Jaguars rank 22nd in DVOA offense and have the 26th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 26th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Dallas Cowboys rank 15th in DVOA defense and have the 14th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 11th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. Dallas is at the advantage at home, but this is a very even matchup.

The second highest MS rush belonged to Blake Bortles last week. The third highest player was released. That leaves T.J. Yeldon alone at the top of the mountain and his share should increase even further from where it has been. The Cowboys defense is not a pushover against the rush, ranking 5th in DVOA and allowing just a 41.01% rush success rate (27th). They do allow a massive 25.6% target share to the RB position and that is beneficial to Yeldon, who just last week saw a 17% share and overall has commanded 15% on the season. The Jags may be able to give Yeldon a chance on the ground as they produce the 6th most yards before contact on average. It’s a tough overall matchup on the ground, but the padding of the passing game work keeps Yeldon viable, At $6400 on DK, he should be one of the most popular plays for good reason.

The Cowboys have allowed just 12 explosive passes and overall allow a middling 15th ranked pass success rate. With a cavalcade of jabronis parading in and out of the Jaguars pass-catching group, we really can’t place too much trust in any single one of them in this spot. Westbrook (17%), Moncrief(16%), and Cole (16%) all see shares of the work that are just too think for GPP winning upside and not safe enough for cash. We don’t need to live here in Week 6.

The Factor:. T.J. Yeldon
The X-Factor: Fading chalky T.J. Yeldon in GPP

Dallas Cowboys Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 Rush% Matchup
Bottom 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Total Plays Matchup
Bottom 10 Third Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 TE Target Success Matchup
Bottom 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Plays Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass% Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 Holding Calls Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Pass Matchup
Bottom 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 DVOA Matchup
Bottom 10 Clean Pocket Matchup
Bottom 10 Blitz Pressure Matchup
Bottom 10 10-19 Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Dallas Cowboys rank 26th in DVOA offense and have the 19th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 9th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Jacksonville Jaguars rank 3rd in DVOA defense and have the 11th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 3rd-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Jaguars are at a huge advantage.

Don’t play the Cowboys. The Jaguars defense is 24th in total plays allowed, 26th in Clean Pockets allowed, 27th in yards before contact allowed, 27th in WR target success, 27th in TE target success, 30th in Pass success (40.91%), 31st in explosive passes allowed (11th), and dead last in rush success % allowed (34.92%). This is a situation where the pricing and pace of play make the Jags defense an unappealing DFS play, and yet the offensive success potential of every single Cowboy is totally shot by the matchup, pace, and general inefficiency of the players themselves in 2018. This is one of the worst spots of the year we’ve seen for any team, short of the fact that the Cowboys are playing at home.

The Factor:. Full Fading the Game
The X-Factor: Jaguars DST

Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans

Baltimore Ravens Skewed Matchups of Note

Top 10 QB Pressure Matchup
Bottom 5 TE Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 5 RB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 3WR + % Matchup

The Baltimore Ravens rank 14 in DVOA offense and have the 23rd-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Tennessee Titans rank 12th in DVOA defense and have the 8th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 9th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. The Ravens get the small edge.

In yet another potentially sluggish affair, at least we have the Ravens high pace to give us a glimmer of hope for scoring. They run 27.18 seconds per play in neutral situations, which is the second-fastest rate in the NFL. The Titans rank 20th in situation-neutral pace and figure to struggle on offense. It’s an environment that I do not anticipate will be glorious for game stacking.

The Ravens are rather unspectacular on offense in any way. They feature a 4-way committee TE situation, a split duty backfield with a between the tackles a grinder and not quite used enough satellite back plus. The Titans defense is thus far showing more strength defending the run and a push towards WR targets and away from RB targets. I don’t see much of a reason to be investing in Buck Allen’s 25% of team carries or Alex Collins 48%. This is particularly true with rumors of Delance Turner becoming more involved.

The Titans have done fine generating sacks bu tare doing so on a relatively low volume of pressure. The Ravens like to pass and allowing Joe Flacco time to throw will allow him time to find John Brown down the field. Brown is hoarding 50% of team air yards over the past 3 weeks and 34% since the start of the season. His individual matchups this week are not intimidating against Malcolm Butler, one of the most burnable DBs in the game right now. Butler is credited with a 139.7 passer rating allowed per Playerprofiler.com and 7.6 targets per game allowed. Brown is priced affordably enough to use in DFS this Week, and makes for a fine option on both sites.

The Factor:. John Brown
The X-Factor: Chuckling at people who play Alex Collins

Tennessee Titans Skewed Matchups of Note

Bottom 5 QB Fantasy Points Allowed Matchup
Bottom 10 Yards Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 TD Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 RB Target Success Matchup
Bottom 10 RB Bounce Rate Matchup
Bottom 10 Points Per Drive Matchup
Bottom 10 Pass Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 Explosive Pass TD Matchup
Bottom 10 Early Down Success % Matchup
Bottom 10 DVOA Matchup
Bottom 10 20+ Yard Pass Success Matchup
Bottom 10 0-9 Yard Pass Success Matchup

The Tennessee Titans rank 28 in DVOA offense and have the 24th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 24th-easiest schedule of opposing defenses. The Baltimore Ravens rank 4 in DVOA defense and have the 6th-graded PFF unit. They have accumulated these rankings against the 30th-easiest schedule of opposing offenses. This matchup could be dominated by the Ravens.

The Titans have just a single metric in the top 15 (clean pocket , 8th) and otherwise do not bring much prowess to the table against this somewhat highly rated Ravens defense. I would say that the Ravens have faced an easy schedule and scream regression if the Titans weren’t an easy opponent themselves. The run game for the Titans is sluggish and not effective with a 43.45 rate (21st) facing off against the Ravens 37.72% success rate allowed good for 30th in the league. The passing game is possibly less efficient with a 43.4% (26th ranked) success rate and a 32nd ranking in success % allowed by the Ravens. This just look bad across the board and isn’t appealing to me in the slightest. There are a dozen lopsided matchups listed above that give us more confidence to avoid the Titans.

Corey Davis is the dominant figure in the passing game, receiving a 28% share of targets and 39% share of air yards. If we were to live by the creed that defenses don’t matter, he is the defenses don’t matter play of the day for the Titans. He’s really the only Titan that gets any volume that looks even remotely appealing. The entire rest of the team is a split committee at RB, and a set of secondary WRs in bad matchups against the 4th ranked pass DVOA defense and 6th overall graded PFF defense.

The Factor:. Ravens DST
The X-Factor: Corey Davis

About the Author

  • Chris Gimino (ChrisGimino)

  • Chris Gimino is a top mind in the DFS industry and one of the primary contributors at RotoGrinders including one of the most accurate ownership projection systems in the industry. A multiple time live-finalist, Chris delivers actionable tools and advice for RotoGrinders Premium subscribers that helps them make informed decisions for their lineup builds.

Comments

  • ubermuffin

    “If you want to use Eli Manning, you have to follow this simple rule. Examine the matchup, and then search Google images for Eli Manning face. If you still think the matchup is good enough to overcome the powerful impact of those images, it must be a good time to use him.”

    LOL

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