Fantasy Football: Gdula's Game Notes for Week 8
By Week 8, we can be set in our ways and presume we know which teams and players are trustworthy and which ones should be avoided in daily fantasy football, but adapting to new information is a huge piece of the DFS puzzle.
Of course, numberFire has no shortage of tools -- lineup generators, fantasy projections, and more -- to help you round out your rosters, but some extra prep never hurt anyone. So, here are some notes to know about each and every game on FanDuel's main slate for Week 8.
Seattle at Atlanta
Arizona at New Orleans
Philadelphia at Buffalo
Cincinnati at LA Rams (in London)
Tampa Bay at Tennessee
LA Chargers at Chicago
NY Jets at Jacksonville
NY Giants at Detroit
Denver at Indianapolis
Carolina at San Francisco
Oakland at Houston
Cleveland at New England
Seattle at Atlanta
|Over/Under | Spread||50.5||+8.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||11%||15%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||4%||9%|
|Implied Team Total||29.25||21.25|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||14||27|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||23||31|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||14||10|
- The Atlanta Falcons are not yet ruling out Matt Ryan ($7,600) despite his ankle injury. Update: Ryan has been ruled out. The high over/under makes this game enticing, provided the Falcons can keep it close, which isn't a guarantee, especially with Matt Schaub ($6,600) under center. The Seattle Seahawks rank 29th in pass rate over expectation and are not shy sticking with the ground game, so the under is in play for various reasons.
Seattle Offense Notes
- We got 41 attempts from Russell Wilson ($8,600) last week, but he didn't smash despite a plus matchup with a below-average pass defense. He gets another shot here. Game script is the only concern we should have with Wilson, so he's a borderline cash-game play. Wilson ranks fourth in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back.
- Chris Carson ($8,000) has 21-plus carries in four straight games and is getting receiving work, but he rarely posts a slate-busting ceiling. Still, against a defense that ranks 20th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, he's a high-floor option.
- Tyler Lockett ($7,200) and D.K. Metcalf ($6,600) didn't fully take advantage of Will Dissly's injury, though they're the top two options on this passing offense. Lockett ranks 41st in targets per game (6.9) and is 20th in downfield targets (13) among receivers. His role is that of a tournament play. Metcalf is even lower on the totem pole (5.7 targets per game) but has touchdown regression coming after going 0 for 9 on red zone targets.
- Jacob Hollister ($4,800) had six targets last week and was the main tight end beneficiary of Dissly's injury.
Atlanta Offense Notes
- So, with Matt Ryan out, the Falcons' total is down around three points. Blowout risk is likely.
- Julio Jones ($7,800) has a 22.1% target share on the season, but that's still 8.9 targets per game in a pass-heavy offense, and Seattle is 21st in deep-attempt defense. Jones' targets will be much less efficient, and he'll need volume to overcome it.
- The Mohamed Sanu trade should turn Calvin Ridley ($5,400) into less of a boom/bust option into someone with a higher floor. Ridley ranks first in value among receivers in my simulations when using a player's 75th-percentile outcome this week.
- Austin Hooper ($6,600) also should benefit from middle-of-the-field targets. Hooper ranks top-five in target market share among tight ends. Seattle is 19th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends, and the game should stay competitive if Ryan does play.
- Devonta Freeman ($6,200) is a bounce-back option after getting ejected in Week 7. Without Ito Smith, Freeman should be given a workhorse role in a neutral matchup. Atlanta ranks 20th in yards before contact generated; Seattle is 15th defensively, via PFF.
Core Plays: Russell Wilson, Chris Carson
Secondary Plays: Austin Hooper, Devonta Freeman, Calvin Ridley
Tournament Plays: Julio Jones, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf
Arizona at New Orleans
|Over/Under | Spread||48.5||-10.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||55%||66%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||63%||78%|
|Implied Team Total||19.0||29.5|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||1||29|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||28||14|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||27||13|
- The total is high, but a wide spread could lead to lopsided game script. The New Orleans Saints could get Drew Brees ($7,200) back, as well as Alvin Kamara ($8,100). Update: Brees will start. Kamara is out.
Arizona Offense Notes
- Kyler Murray ($7,400) is a bounce-back candidate this week against an average pass defense. The Saints rank first in adjusted pressure rate defensively, but the Arizona Cardinals are fourth offensively. Murray, overall, ranks 15th in Passing NEP per drop back and has run at least 10 times in three straight games.
- Christian Kirk ($5,600) has practiced the past two weeks but hasn't played, so he should be finally good to go in Week 8, though he's still iffy. He ranks 10th among receivers in targets per game (9.3). Larry Fitzgerald ($5,400) has now played shy of 75% of snaps in three straight games. Even without Kirk for those three, he commanded only a 21.8% target share for 46.3 yards per game. We should finally look the other way in cash games, though the Saints grade out 31st in yards per snap allowed to the slot.
- Until we get word on David Johnson's ($6,800) health and role, he's virtually untouchable after getting 4.6% of the snaps while banged up in Week 7. Update: He is out. Chase Edmonds ($6,100) dominated with Johnson on the sideline last week, and he's a top-five per-dollar play this week in my simulations.
New Orleans Offense Notes
- Drew Brees ($7,600) is starting at a reasonable salary against a beatable secondary. He's second in tournament value (using a player's 75th-percentile projection instead of his median projection), per my simulations.
- Latavius Murray ($6,200) becomes a core play -- possibly the top value of the entire slate -- with Kamara out. He had a workhorse role last week.
- Michael Thomas ($8,500) will square off with Patrick Peterson's shadow coverage, but I don't think anything can really turn us off from Thomas' league-best target share, especially with Brees' return. Still, with the price where it is, he's not a core play on FanDuel, when we need to be spending up for running backs and not chasing big games from receivers.
Core Plays: Latavius Murray, Chase Edmonds, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Kyler Murray
Secondary Plays: Christian Kirk (if he plays),
Tournament Plays: Larry Fitzgerald, Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,300), Josh Hill ($5,000)
Philadelphia at Buffalo
|Over/Under | Spread||43.5||-2.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||49%||50%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||67%||57%|
|Implied Team Total||20.5||23.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||26||12|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||21||12|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||6||25|
- These two defenses are polar opposites, as the Philadelphia Eagles stop the run but not the pass, and the Buffalo Bills stop the pass but not the run. Each team also ranks below average in pass rate over expectation, so they're run-heavy, particularly the Eagles, who rank 28th. The under is very much in play, and each team has market share problems for daily fantasy players. Update: There is a lot of wind here, which downgrades everything.
Philadelphia Offense Notes
- Carson Wentz ($7,400) has been about league-average in passing efficiency this season, ranking 19th in Passing NEP per drop back, and has thrown for more than 260 yards just twice. In his past four games, he is averaging 30.5 attempts and 211.5 yards.
- Even if we could buy in on Wentz, we're really limited to Alshon Jeffery ($6,600) and Zach Ertz ($6,300), who own 28.1% and 24.0% target shares since Jeffery's Week 4 return. That's actually a positive for daily fantasy rosters, yet the matchup and low expectations from Wentz kill the offense. Buffalo also ranks top-five in Target Success Rate to both positions. It's a 12-game slate. We don't have to roster Jeffery, but Ertz is one of the few tight ends who shouldn't completely bust from a lack of targets.
- The backfield bounces back and forth depending on the week, and only once has an Eagles back surpassed a 60% snap rate.
Buffalo Offense Notes
- Josh Allen ($7,700) ranks 27th among relevant passers in Passing NEP per drop back but is 11th in deep-attempt rate. The Eagles are 17th against the long ball but are 28th overall in Passing Success Rate allowed. Allen has added at least 20 rushing yards in every game but has maxed out at 254 yards passing. He isn't a must play, but this week could finally unlock his ceiling if the play volume is there.
- John Brown ($5,900) has a 35.9% air yards share and 23.3% of the Bills' targets on the full season, as well as 100-plus air yards in four of seven games. Cole Beasley ($5,600) has averaged just 42.8 air yards per game outside of an outlier Week 4, and this game doesn't have enough shootout potential to look to him.
- If punting at tight end, you can do worse than Dawson Knox ($4,600), who had five targets last week, two of which were deep looks. He's a home favorite, and Philly is 28th against tight ends in terms of Target Success Rate.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Zach Ertz
Tournament Plays: Josh Allen, John Brown, Dawson Knox
Cincinnati at LA Rams (in London)
|Over/Under | Spread||48.5||-13|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||24%||90%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||10%||89%|
|Implied Team Total||17.75||30.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||6||1|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||27||18|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||19||11|
- Two speedy teams with a high total can only be derailed by travel fatigue and a blowout. This game is daily fantasy fun, but the betting action is quite down on it.
Cincinnati Offense Notes
- Among 38 quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts, Andy Dalton ($6,900) leads in attempts but ranks 32nd in Passing NEP per drop back and 36th in deep-attempt rate. Despite all the attempts, Dalton has been shy of 280 yards in every game since Week 3. In four games against bottom-half pass defenses, Dalton has clung to league-average efficiency, but the Los Angeles Rams now have Jalen Ramsey in the fold.
- In two games with Alex Erickson ($5,500) playing heavy snaps (79.0% and 94.4%), Tyler Boyd ($5,600) leads with a 26.3% target share. Erickson is next at 25.0%. Auden Tate ($5,400) ranks third at 22.5%. While they're spreading it out, those are pretty concentrated target numbers.
- Joe Mixon ($6,000) has five targets over those two games and has 12 rushing yards in those games -- on 18 carries. Cincinnati Bengals running backs have seen just 0.79 yards before contact, second-worst in the NFL, via PFF.
LA Rams Offense Notes
- Even in four games against bottom-half pass defenses, Jared Goff ($8,000) has managed 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, though that comes with average efficiency and 362.3 yards per game. Cincinnati generates bottom-three adjusted pressure and grade out 27th in numberFire's adjusted pass defense metrics overall. Goff could erupt.
- The receivers are in a plush spot against a team that is 21st in Target Success Rate allowed to the position. The wideout ladder still favors Cooper Kupp ($7,700), who has a 27.1% target share and 23.5% of the team's air yards this season. Kupp had at least nine targets in each of his first five games before seeing six and eight the past two weeks. Brandin Cooks ($6,900) should see eventual touchdown regression. He has 611 air yards but just a single touchdown, yet he has target totals of 3, 3, and 7 the past three games. Robert Woods ($7,000) isn't being treated like he was last year, as Gerald Everett's ($6,100) role continues to grow. Over the past four weeks, Everett (19.0%) is right on the heels of Woods (19.6%) in terms of target share.
- Todd Gurley ($7,400) played 60.5% of snaps last week in a blowout win and had 18 carries to go along with it. He has at least 14 carries in all but one game and has 17 targets over his past three. Cincinnati ranks 26th in Rushing Success Rate and 31st in Target Success Rate allowed to backs. It's a great spot for Gurley.
Core Plays: Todd Gurley, Jared Goff
Secondary Plays: Cooper Kupp, Tyler Boyd, Gerald Everett
Tournament Plays: Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Alex Erickson, Auden Tate
Tampa Bay at Tennessee
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-2.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||50%||35%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||73%||24%|
|Implied Team Total||21.5||24.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||16||25|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||20||7|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||1||8|
- To me, this game could go either way in terms of both the winner and the total, but the betting action sees it going over, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers covering.
Tampa Bay Offense Notes
- The Buccaneers are fresh off a bye but run into a top-12 pass defense. The Tennessee Titans have allowed just two games of above-average passing efficiency so far this year, including a Philip Rivers blowup game last week. Jameis Winston ($7400) has taken 13 sacks in his past two games, and the Titans rank sixth in adjusted pressure rate. Overall, Winston ranks 24th in Passing NEP per drop back.
- Chris Godwin ($8,100) is pretty much priced out unless you're stacking this game or looking only for tournament differentiation pieces. His 75th-percentile outcome value ranks him 30th at the position. Mike Evans ($7,400) has peak-and-valley target totals of 15, 7, 3, and 17 the past four games. Tennessee ranks 11th against receivers in Target Success Rate, and only one wideout has cleared 76 yards against them.
- The culvert in the Helm's Deep fortress that is the Titans' defense is at tight end, where they rank 27th in Target Success Rate. O.J. Howard ($5,000) has a 7.7% target rate since Week 4.
Tennessee Offense Notes
- Derrick Henry ($6,900) runs into the league's top rush defense by Adjusted Rushing NEP per play, Rushing Success Rate allowed, and yards before contact allowed to backs. With a max of three targets in a game, Henry has a lot of bust potential.
- Ryan Tannehill ($6,900) has been -- well -- good over 45 pass attempts. Not including sacks, Tannehill has been the most-efficient passer in the NFL. That won't stick, but the point is that he has been good enough to keep this offense afloat against the funnel defense of the Bucs, which is vulnerable on the back end. Unfortunately, just 6 of Tannehill's 45 passes were at least 16 yards downfield, a rate that ranks 36th among 40 qualified passers.
- Tannehill's top targets have been Corey Davis ($5,500; 11 targets), A.J. Brown ($5,500; 10), and Adam Humphries ($5,100; 8). While the arrow may be pointing up overall, but until someone carves out a dominant target share, we can really only treat them as game-stack pieces.
- Delanie Walker ($5,200) has just two targets from Tannehill; Jonnu Smith ($4,900) has four, including two deep targets.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: None
Tournament Plays: Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Jameis Winston, Derrick Henry
LA Chargers at Chicago
|Over/Under | Spread||41.0||-4.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||45%||43%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||52%||59%|
|Implied Team Total||18.5||22.5|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||32||5|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||26||8|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||20||4|
- This game is gross.
LA Chargers Offense Notes
- Philip Rivers ($7,300) ranks 14th in Passing NEP per drop back and slings it deep at the 6th-highest rate in football but will hardly ever crack 25 FanDuel points, which he hasn't done all season. Against a top-eight pass defense that is average in generating pressure, Rivers is a tough sell.
- In two games with Hunter Henry ($6,700) back (which also includes Melvin Gordon ($6,400) and Mike Williams ($5,700)), the Los Angeles Chargers' target distribution is: 17 for Henry and Keenan Allen ($7,500), 16 for Williams, 12 for Austin Ekeler ($6,800). Henry leads all tight ends in targets per game in that sample, and the Chicago Bears are 18th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position.
- Williams has had a better high-leverage workload than Allen over the past three games since returning, but each rank top-seven among wide receivers in money targets (deep and red zone) since Week 5.
- Since returning, Gordon has played 45.7%, 59.7%, and 53.1% of snaps. Ekeler has played 65.7%, 45.2%, and 59.4%. A full-on timeshare should be expected after Gordon fumbled the game away in Week 7.
Chicago Offense Notes
- Mitchell Trubisky ($6,700) ranks 29th in Passing NEP per drop back on the season and has a good matchup. Despite his efficiency, he has had two games with at least 20 FanDuel points out of four games with relevant playing time. The others were 5.6- and 0.36-point outings. There's a tournament angle to playing Trubisky, but that's it.
- Trubisky's target distribution in 2019: Allen Robinson ($7,100; 26.9%), Tarik Cohen ($5,400; 19.4%), Taylor Gabriel ($4,800; 10.0%). With Anthony Miller ($5,100) back to 70% in Weeks 5 and 7 (they had a Week 6 bye), the distributions are: Robinson (29.6%), Cohen (23.5%), and Miller (19.8%).
- David Montgomery ($5,700) didn't stick to an elevated snap rate in negative script in Week 7, playing 46.1%. Chicago is favored, and the Chargers are a below-average rush defense, but he's not the type of back we should be making a core play.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Hunter Henry, David Montgomery
Tournament Plays: Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson
NY Jets at Jacksonville
|Over/Under | Spread||41.5||-6.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||49%||51%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||45%||57%|
|Implied Team Total||17.75||23.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||9||28|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||16||15|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||2||30|
- Two middling pass defenses could help this game go over, but the betting action doesn't indicate much either way in that regard.
NY Jets Offense Notes
- Le'Veon Bell ($7,000) looks really good here at this salary. He has had at least 15 carries in every game but has seen only 4 targets over his past two. He's a top-three back in my simulations.
- Sam Darnold ($7,400) grades out dreadfully in terms of Passing NEP per drop back (37th) and is fresh off an 86-yard, 4-interception game against the NFL's best pass defense on Monday night. The Jacksonville Jaguars exactly that but aren't a pushover, either. There's enough to give life to Jamison Crowder ($5,800) and Robby Anderson ($6,200). In two games with Darnold back, he has targeted Anderson 16 times and Crowder 14 times. Demaryius Thomas ($4,800) also has 14 targets. Of note, Anderson has nine deep targets, and Thomas has eight. The Jaguars are 23rd in deep-ball defense.
Jaguars Offense Notes
- Leonard Fournette ($7,700) has had a high floor despite poor luck in the touchdown department. Fournette has one of the best overall workloads in football, and while the Jets rank 2nd in adjusted rush defense, they're 19th in Target Success Rate allowed to running backs. Fournette has averaged 5.4 targets per game.
- Gardner Minshew ($6,900) popped as a nice tournament play in my simulations, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. He had faced a really tough schedule up until Cincinnati last week but completed 15 of 32 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown. I'll use him if and when I stack this game.
- D.J. Chark ($6,300) remains the pass-catcher of choice, given his deep work (10 targets since Week 3). His 94.8 air yards per game in that split rank 18th among receivers, but the Jets are 9th against the deep pass. Dede Westbrook ($5,800) is a low-aDOT floor play as usual. Chris Conley ($5,100) has been trending back up with eight deep targets since Week 3, including three last week.
Core Plays: Le'Veon Bell, Leonard Fournette
Secondary Plays: D.J. Chark
Tournament Plays: Robby Anderson, Dede Westbrook, Gardner Minshew
NY Giants at Detroit
|Over/Under | Spread||49.0||-7.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||41%||58%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||24%||45%|
|Implied Team Total||21.0||28.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||10||11|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||23||5|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||12||16|
- The total is 50 points, and both teams are top-12 in pace. It's a pretty good game to stack, especially because we know how the market shares should look at the end of the game.
NY Giants Offense Notes
- Saquon Barkley ($8,600) was fine last week, securing 15.5 FanDuel points and possibly finding himself dealing with another ankle injury. The Detroit Lions, though, rank 16th in adjusted rush defense and are 27th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to running backs. They're tough everywhere else.
- Evan Engram ($6,300) again rates out as the best tight end value in my simulations. Detroit ranks 31st in Target Success Rate to the position, and Engram ranks 1st among tight ends in targets per game (8.8) and 8th in air yards per game (53.7).
- Daniel Jones ($7,000) ranks 35th among 38 qualified quarterbacks in Passing NEP per drop back. The Lions just got tagged by Kirk Cousins last week but have been a strong pass defense all season. Jones has had multiple touchdowns in just one game this season. I'm treating him as a game-stack only option.
- Golden Tate ($6,100) has averaged 10.0 targets and 103.5 air yards over the past two games without Sterling Shepard.
Detroit Offense Notes
- Ty Johnson ($5,200), a sixth-round back from Maryland, should step into a featured role without Kerryon Johnson, though we have to be a tiny bit careful that J.D. McKissic ($5,400) has a significant role. Last week, Johnson played 64.5% of snaps. McKissic played 25.0%.
- Matthew Stafford ($7,700) is ninth in per-play passing efficiency, based on numberFire's metrics, and he has three games with at least 23 FanDuel points. The New York Giants are 23rd in adjusted pass defense. He's a cash-game consideration for me.
- Marvin Jones ($6,300) obliterated touchdown regression last week by scoring four times. He's in a more-than-fine spot again this week, as the Giants are 30th in Target Success Rate allowed and 22nd in adjusted yards per attempt allowed on deep passes. Kenny Golladay ($6,700) is a recency bias bounce-back candidate after getting two targets last week, the first time he had fewer than eight.
Core Plays: Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Matthew Stafford, Ty Johnson, Evan Engram
Secondary Plays: Marvin Jones
Tournament Plays: Daniel Jones, T.J. Hockenson ($5,300)
Denver at Indianapolis
|Over/Under | Spread||44.0||-6.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over Favorite||31%||93%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||7%||80%|
|Implied Team Total||19.0||25.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||22||20|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||13||19|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||17||29|
- Everyone hates the game, and nobody thinks the over will hit -- at least not those with the heavy bets. That doesn't mean there aren't some value plays here, however.
Denver Offense Notes
- Courtland Sutton ($6,000) has at least seven targets in every game and has seven deep targets over the past two weeks; he's become the team's clear number one and will be all but guaranteed a heavy target share with Emmanuel Sanders out of town. DaeSean Hamilton ($4,800) runs about 70% of the team's routes and should see a volume boost against a team that ranks 27th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers.
- Noah Fant ($4,500) is viable as a punt play.
- Despite being fine with three of his pass-catchers, Joe Flacco ($6,500) is a really tough play to justify with only six touchdowns and bottom-10 efficiency.
- Royce Freeman ($5,700) remains cheaper than Phillip Lindsay ($6,300) despite owning better receiving work. As underdogs, Freeman should be the preferred back for DFS lineups.
Indianapolis Offense Notes
- Marlon Mack ($6,800) sets up as a home favorite in for a big rushing workload. Denver ranks 17th in adjusted rush defense but are a much more formidable 8th in Success Rate allowed on the ground to backs. He's a high-floor option whose ceiling may be capped.
- Jacoby Brissett ($7,500), in three games against, top-half pass defenses has posted league-average passing efficiency but just 207.7 yards per game. T.Y. Hilton ($7,600) seems a bit overpriced for anything other than a tournament lineup. He has a 34.0% air yards share and 25.0% target share in games when playing at least half of the Indianapolis Colts' snaps but now faces Chris Harris.
- Jack Doyle ($4,900) nearly doubled up Eric Ebron ($5,400) in routes last week, and neither have done enough to carve out a significant passing role to feel like we need them against a top-10 defense against tight ends.
Core Plays: Courtland Sutton
Secondary Plays: Marlon Mack, Royce Freeman, Noah Fant
Tournament Plays: T.Y. Hilton, DaeSean Hamilton, Phillip Lindsay
Carolina at San Francisco
|Over/Under | Spread||42.0||-5.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||60%||57%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||35%||72%|
|Implied Team Total||18.25||23.75|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||3||19|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||4||2|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||23||7|
- A pair of top-five pass defenses square up here, and the money is on the under, which is how I'm anticipating the game as well.
Carolina Offense Notes
- Christian McCaffrey ($9,600) is a locked-in cash-game play and a heavy tournament option no matter what. The San Francisco 49ers are 11th in Rushing Success Rate and 15th in Target Success Rate allowed to backs. McCaffrey's workload is pristine.
- Kyle Allen ($7,000) will stick as the starting quarterback. The Niners have clamped down on passers and rank second in Passing Success Rate allowed. That dings D.J. Moore ($5,500) and Curtis Samuel ($5,800). The slot matchup is better against San Fran, so that's positive vibes toward Samuel. Samuel also has 13 combined red zone and deep targets since Week 3, when Allen took over. Moore is at six -- none in the red zone.
- Allen's target tree is: 28 for McCaffrey, 26 for Samuel, 25 for Moore, and 20 for Greg Olsen ($5,500). Olsen faces the NFL's best pass defense by Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends. It's not a great spot for any of them.
San Francisco Offense Notes
- Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,400) has not yet thrown for 300 yards in a game and has not thrown a touchdown pass in either of his past two games. The 49ers are dead last in pass rate over expectation in the NFL.
- Only George Kittle ($6,900; 25.8%) has better than a 12.9% target share on this team. That holds up even after their bye week. Kittle draws the Carolina Panthers' 23rd-ranked tight end defense by Target Success Rate allowed.
- Emmanuel Sanders ($5,400) could be featured, but until we see it -- and in this low-volume pass offense -- we probably can afford to wait and see what the role is.
- Tevin Coleman ($6,200) has had 16, 18, and 20 carries in his past three games, as well as 14 red zone carries and 5 total targets. He has played 55.1% and 65.6% of snaps the past two games.
Core Plays: Christian McCaffery, George Kittle
Secondary Plays: Tevin Coleman
Tournament Plays: Greg Olsen, Curtis Samuel
Oakland at Houston
|Over/Under | Spread||51.5||-6.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||72%||70%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||46%||51%|
|Implied Team Total||22.5||29.0|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||31||15|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||24||11|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||10||31|
- A lot of the bets are on the over even at 50-plus points, but the money doesn't track quite so hard, so a letdown game is possible here if pace gets in the way.
Oakland Offense Notes
- Derek Carr ($6,900) ranks sixth in the NFL in per-play passing efficiency, yet that hasn't made a lick of difference, as he has not yet even hit 17 FanDuel points in a game. Carr has not yet hit a 300-yard passing game in 2019.
- Darren Waller ($6,800) has a 26.7% target share, highest among all tight ends. Houston has ranked top-six against tight ends in FanDuel points per target and Target Success Rate allowed to the position.
- Josh Jacobs ($7,200) has carved out more of a three-down role, with 53.7% of snaps or more in his past three games, and 2, 4, and 3 targets in those games. Houston is 31st in adjusted rushing defense overall but 12th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs and did limit Marlon Mack last week to 44 yards on 18 carries.
Houston Offense Notes
- Deshaun Watson ($8,400) should be the first place to look in cash games and even tournaments, regardless of his ownership. Watson ranks fourth in Passing NEP per drop back and gets a cakewalk matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
- DeAndre Hopkins ($8,200) has had 12 targets in consecutive games and has finally started seeing red zone work again. After being frozen out there since Week 1, he has five red zone targets over the past two games. No Will Fuller should help his deep work, though Kenny Stills ($5,700) slots in ready to take over those looks. Stills played 93.9% of snaps last week and had a pair of deep targets with 5 overall.
- The game script should set up for Carlos Hyde ($6,100), but with one game over 12 FanDuel points, he's a tough player to roster in any format outside of full-on game stacks.
Core Plays: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Stills
Secondary Plays: Darren Waller
Tournament Plays: Carlos Hyde
Cleveland at New England
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-13.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||46%||82%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||27%||89%|
|Implied Team Total||16.25||29.25|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||8||17|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||17||1|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||24||14|
- The Cleveland Browns are massive underdogs and haven't shown much life at all this season and now face the NFL's best pass defense. It could get ugly here, and the expectation should be the under.
Cleveland Offense Notes
- I'll start with Nick Chubb ($7,700), who is overpriced in a spot as a massive underdog with a low implied total. The New England Patriots are more vulnerable on the ground than through the air but still rank fourth in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. On a 12-game slate, Chubb is relegated to tournament status.
- Baker Mayfield ($7,300) ranks 34th in Passing NEP per drop back but does have signs of life and ranks 8th in deep attempt rate. Still, he's one of the worst per-dollar plays among 24 starters in Week 8.
- Odell Beckham ($7,400) surely will be the focal point of the Patriots' defense. He has a stellar 28.0% target share, but he's been bogged down by Mayfield. Despite 642 air yards, he has scored just once. Jarvis Landry ($6,400) also grades out as a poor play. He hasn't scored yet and has averaged just 63.0 air yards over his past three games.
New England Offense Notes
- Tom Brady ($7,900) has accounted for 20-plus FanDuel points in five of seven games but has thrown for single-digit (or zero) touchdowns in three of his past four games. The Browns' mid-level pass defense shouldn't pose much of a threat unless they can generate enough pressure.
- Josh Gordon is on injured reserve. Julian Edelman ($6,600) is quite cheap for his workload (a 26.0% target share and 31.4% air yards share). Edelman does square up with the top-ranked defense by slot yards per snap, yet with at least seven targets in his past five, Edelman can still hold value.
- I'll be taking a wait-and-see approach with Mohamed Sanu ($5,100), though it'd be pretty typical for the Pats to get him red zone work in his debut.
- Sony Michel ($6,500) has averaged a 45.3% snap rate over his past four games and has 8 targets over his past three. Cleveland is 24th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, so he should be in a prime spot here.
Core Plays: Julian Edelman, Sony Michel
Secondary Plays: Tom Brady
Tournament Plays: Mohamed Sanu, Nick Chubb