5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 7
Imagine for a second that you're filling out a daily fantasy lineup. Before you add a player to your roster, you'll sometimes click on them to check out their game log, view their salary, and see if their headshot is that of someone who just learned that dragons aren't real. You've got to go through the full vetting process.
While doing so, you'll often run across some sort of quick-and-dirty summation of their upcoming matchup. It could be the opposing team's fantasy points allowed to their position, yards per game allowed, or something of a similar vein. The point is to give you a synopsis of whether or not this player's in a spot where he can succeed in that given week.
The problem is that -- at this point in the season -- that stuff's bound to be messy, and it can lead you down a bad path.
Because each team has played only five or six games, all of these measures are going to be heavily influenced by the teams they have faced. If a team has faced the New York Jets and Detroit Lions, they're probably going to look like they suffocate opposing tight ends. Or if another team has faced a bunch of pass-happy units, we may be led to believe that running backs facing them are destined to fail.
That's more true now than it will be at any point in the season. By Week 7, people may be more inclined to actually care about those numbers than they were four weeks ago. And by Week 15, they likely will have faced a wide-enough smattering of teams to give a more accurate portrayal.
But for right now, those numbers can lead us astray. And we have to work hard to make sure we know the context behind various numbers and whether or not a matchup is truly in line with how it appears at first glance.
To help us in this endeavor as we try to diagnose plus matchups for Week 7, we can turn to numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP). As opposed to a yards-per-attempt-esque metric, NEP shows the expected points added on each play, illustrating the difference between a three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 and a three-yard completion on 3rd and 4. Not only is NEP generally presented on a per-play basis to account for volume, but team-wide numbers are also adjusted for opponents so that we have a better context behind the numbers. If you're going to look at small-sample team numbers, this is the lens through which you should be doing so.
Context is going to be key behind a lot of the matchups we assess in Week 7. If we can properly account for that context and the small-sample nature of early-season stats, we'll give ourselves a leg up on the competition.
With that in mind, which matchups should we look to exploit in Week 7, some of which may be better than they initially appear? Let's check it out.