Fantasy Football: Gdula's Game Notes for Week 16
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 16.
Jacksonville at Atlanta
Baltimore at Cleveland
New Orleans at Tennessee
Carolina at Indianapolis
Cincinnati at Miami
Pittsburgh at NY Jets
NY Giants at Washington
Detroit at Denver
Oakland at LA Chargers
Dallas at Philadelphia
Arizona at Seattle
Core Plays: Players suited for all types of daily fantasy games -- cash games and tournaments -- and players to target when building a main lineup.
Secondary Plays: Players who have good matchups or situations but are overpriced. Or players who are affordable but have tough matchups.
Tournament Plays: Players with paths to production but who are either overpriced or have tough matchups and who rate out with low production floors. Not everybody is in play in DFS, but players without the best prices and matchups still deserve consideration in large-field tournaments.
Jacksonville at Atlanta
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||-7.0|
|Implied Team Total||19.75||26.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||78%||73%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||99%||84%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||26||25|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||21||27|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||30||14|
Neither team is fast, neither defense is good, and neither team has playoff hopes. So we have a mixed bag here in terms of stackability, and the seven-point spread does also generate some concern for the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense. However, there's a ton of action on the over.
Jacksonville Offense Notes
- Gardner Minshew ($6,800) has generated 0.03 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back this season, shy of the NFL average of 0.09. Since entering the Week 13 game for Nick Foles, Minshew has been a mess (-0.11 Passing NEP per drop back) and has thrown downfield (16-plus yards) on only 11.8% of his drop backs. That'd rank him 51st among 51 qualified passers on the full season.
- D.J. Chark ($6,300) seems set on returning for this matchup and would regain the WR1 role for the Jaguars. Chark has a 22.6% target share on the full season and 20.0% from Minshew. Chark's return would send Chris Conley ($5,800) back to a secondary-at-best, tertiary-at-worst role behind or ahead of Dede Westbrook ($5,700). Conley had a team-high eight targets and two touchdowns last week without Chark, but if the Jaguars do trail, Conley still has value for his downfield targets (two last week) on turf.
- Leonard Fournette ($7,500) isn't off the radar despite his status as a road underdog, as he has six or more targets in seven straight games. Fournette's primary issue is touchdown equity, and Jacksonville's implied total is below 20 points this week. Fournette has played 71.4% of snaps or more in every game this year and is in play in game stacks against the league's 26th-ranked rush defense by Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs.
Atlanta Offense Notes
- The Atlanta Falcons' season is over, but you wouldn't know it by seeing Julio Jones' ($8,000) stat line from last week: 20 targets, 13 catches, 134 yards, and 2 touchdowns. With Calvin Ridley on injured reserve and out of last week's game, it's pretty telling that Jones got 51.3% of the targets and Austin Hooper ($6,000) and Russell Gage ($5,100) had 15.4% (6 targets each). Hooper does draw the NFL's 31st-ranked tight end defense by Target Success Rate. Since trading Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars rank 28th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers, so Gage at his salary is also viable.
- Matt Ryan ($7,700) has been fine on the full season, ranking 19th in Passing NEP per drop back. However, he has not thrown for more than two touchdowns since Week 6 and has averaged only 6.80 yards per attempt since returning in Week 10.
- Devonta Freeman ($6,200) has played 66.7%, 66.7%, and 79.1% of the snaps in three games since returning from injury. He has had 22, 21, and 15 opportunities in those games. The Jaguars are just 30th in adjusted rushing defense, and as a heavy home favorite, Freeman does have low-end appeal as a third back in a cash game lineup and actually deserves borderline core play attention.
Core Plays: Julio Jones, Austin Hooper
Secondary Plays: Devonta Freeman, Leonard Fournette, DJ Chark
Tournament Plays: Chris Conley, Matt Ryan, Russell Gage
Baltimore at Cleveland
|Over/Under | Spread||49.5||+10.0|
|Implied Team Total||29.75||19.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||75%||7%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||86%||4%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||32||25|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||4||17|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||26||29|
These teams played back in late September, a 40-25 win for the Cleveland Browns -- not the 12-2 Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore shapes up as a heavy road favorite, and this game has serious pace concerns with two slow offenses and two bad run defenses. That hasn't stopped people from betting the over.
Baltimore Offense Notes
- The Ravens are 32nd in adjusted seconds per play and pass rate over expectation. Translation: they're the slowest and the most run-heavy team in the NFL.
- Lamar Jackson ($9,300) is a fantasy cheat code right now and has thrown for 4, 5, 1, 3, and 5 touchdowns over the past five games while adding 79, 95, 101, 40, and 86 rushing yards. He has one game with fewer than 20.8 FanDuel points. He's amazing, and the only concern is blowout risk, but he's so heavily involved in the offense that it's irrelevant. He's the top quarterback play on the main slate by a good margin.
- Jackson has stacking concerns, as there is only one instance where a Ravens' pass-catcher has had more than 10 targets in a game once (Marquise Brown ($5,700) had 13 in Week 2). The go-to stacking option is Mark Andrews ($6,500), who has had four of the team's six games with a 30% target share (Brown has the other two). The Browns are 20th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends, and Andrews has a team-high 23.9% target share this year (just 6.4 per game).
- Mark Ingram ($7,600) has spiked in the receiving touchdown column with four of them in his past five games. Ingram has played between 54.0% and 55.4% of the snaps the past three games but the offense's efficiency has rendered that irrelevant when the touchdowns flow. I still can't treat him as a core play at his salary.
Cleveland Offense Notes
- Baker Mayfield's ($7,400) transgressions have hampered the Browns' offense for most of the year, and even when we look since a bit of a turnaround in Week 9, his passing efficiency is just barely above the NFL average. That won't necessarily get it done against the Ravens' defense, which ranks first in both Passing NEP per drop back and Passing Success Rate allowed since trading for Marcus Peters. The volume could be there for the pass-catchers, though.
- In six games since Kareem Hunt ($6,100) joined the lineup, the targets have been fixated on Jarvis Landry ($6,900; 28.0%), Odell Beckham ($6,700; 27.0%), and Hunt (18.5%). Beckham and Landry each have 17 downfield targets in that span, but Beckham has caught only 4 of them, so possible regression is coming. The Ravens are fifth in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers since getting Peters, yet Landry and Beckham are the only real bets for any reliable volume. Beckham actually ranks 4th in weighted opportunity rating in this six-game stretch, and Landry is 12th, according to FantasyADHD.
- As a heavy underdog, Nick Chubb ($8,000) has bust potential in this game, as Hunt is much more involved as a pass-catcher. He has 37 targets to Chubb's 15 since joining the team. Conversely, the Ravens are 29th in adjusted rushing efficiency allowed, but the likely script sets up for a disappointing game for Chubb.
Core Plays: Lamar Jackson
Secondary Plays: Mark Andrews, Jarvis Landry
Tournament Plays: Mark Ingram, Odell Beckham, Kareem Hunt
New Orleans at Tennessee
|Over/Under | Spread||50.5||+3.0|
|Implied Team Total||26.75||23.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||69%||5%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||94%||9%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||28||22|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||12||16|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||10||4|
A (somewhat surprising) shootout spot emerges as the Tennessee Titans host the New Orleans Saints, two of the NFL's best offenses face off. The Saints' success isn't a shock, but the Titans are operating at an elite level under Ryan Tannehill ($7,800), and both teams have playoff aspirations. It's a game to stack with confidence for the most part, even though the paces are concerning.
New Orleans Offense Notes
- Drew Brees ($8,200) ranks 2nd in Passing NEP per drop back but is 49th in downfield attempt rate among 51 qualified passers and has a league-low average target depth of 6.4 yards downfield. It's quite a profile. The Titans are just an average pass defense on the full season and are 24th in Passing NEP per drop back allowed since Week 8.
- Michael Thomas ($9,000) has an NFL-best 32.5% target share on the season and is the only player to average more than 10.1 targets per game (he's at 11.4).
- Since a Week 9 bye and Alvin Kamara's ($7,200) return to the lineup, Thomas has a 32.6% target share, Kamara is at 22.0%, and Jared Cook ($6,600) is at 14.7%. For as good as the offense is, it's Thomas and Kamara and then a pretty dispersed offense. Cook is in play for game stacks against his first ever NFL team, which ranks 27th in Target Success Rate to tight ends.
- Kamara draws the NFL's 20th-ranked running back receiving defense, one that is also 4th against the run overall. The funnel nature of the defense sets up for a high-volume day for Kamara, who has 10, 10, 9, 8, 6, and 5 targets since returning from injury.
Tennessee Offense Notes
- Tannehill ranks eighth the NFL in per-drop back Passing NEP at 0.22 and is fifth in Passing Success Rate. He's been a great fantasy producer with modest rushing production baked in, as well. He's not a must for cash games at the price, but with a weak quarterback slate, he's on the short list.
- A.J. Brown ($7,200) is priced way up, but it's justified. Brown is coming off a 13-target game and has emerged as a true WR1 over the past month. In the past four games, Brown has a 28.7% target share, and nobody else is above 14.9% (Corey Davis ($5,200)). Brown figures to face shadow coverage from Marshon Lattimore, so at the salary, he's relegated to non-cash-game territory for me.
- Jonnu Smith ($5,400) is a game-stack option, as the Saints are softer against tight ends (19th) than they are against receivers (5th). Smith, though, has just a 13.1% target share in a low-volume offense (3.7 per game) over the past three weeks.
- Derrick Henry ($8,800) busted last week despite 21 carries. He had just 86 yards and no catches, which is very much in the range of outcomes for a back without a receiving floor. Henry faces the NFL's fifth-best rushing defense by Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. He's again an assumption-only play in tournaments when predicting that the Titans keep it close or play from ahead. The floor is just too low for the price for anything more than that.
Core Plays: Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara
Secondary Plays: Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown
Tournament Plays: Jared Cook, Drew Brees, Derrick Henry, Jonnu Smith
Carolina at Indianapolis
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||-7.0|
|Implied Team Total||19.75||26.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||51%||50%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||57%||72%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||3||23|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||11||20|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||32||15|
The Carolina Panthers are likely turning the offense over to rookie quarterback Will Grier ($6,000), so everything we know about their offense is thrown into question. They're also road underdogs against a run-heavy Indianapolis Colts team. As the worst rush defense in football, Carolina could bleed play volume, and that's not fun for daily fantasy.
Carolina Offense Notes
- Kyle Allen's inefficient ways are likely a thing of the past, but Grier has a lot of question marks surrounding him, too. He averaged 6.3 yards per attempt on 61 preseason pass attempts but had promising efficiency metrics as a collegiate passer. With an 11-game slate, I don't particularly view Grier as a cash-game consideration even at minimum salary.
- The bigger impact is on the overall offense, as Christian McCaffrey ($10,800) is expensive and needs touchdown equity to pay off entirely. With a below-20 implied team total, McCaffrey rates out more as a secondary play than a must play despite his heavy involvement in the offense. Indianapolis is 8th in Rushing Success Rate and 11th in Target Success Rate allowed to backs, as well. The argument for McCaffrey is a clear willingness to ride him toward scrimmage yard records and value available to help get there.
- The Colts are softer against the pass and are 28th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and 23rd against tight ends.
- Greg Olsen ($4,900) cleared concussion protocol, and that'll muck up the usage for Ian Thomas ($5,100), who has had 14 targets over the past two weeks. Over the past two games without Olsen, McCaffrey leads the team with 27.2% of the targets, D.J. Moore ($6,600) is at 22.2%, Thomas has 17.3%, and Curtis Samuel ($6,000) has 14.8%. Moore is the most likely candidate to lead the team in work, but with the quarterback switch and uncertainty, this is not a team we can chase with confidence, as neither team has a playoff case.
Indianapolis Offense Notes
- The Colts are 27th in pass rate over expectation and could ride Marlon Mack ($7,300) this week unless they just use a committee in the backfield. Mack had only 11 carries and played 44.6% of snaps last week, but things got out of hand on Monday night. Mack gets a shot at the NFL's worst rush defense in what should be positive game script, though he's still not a lock on a team that is eliminated.
- T.Y. Hilton ($7,300) played only 51.8% of snaps in that blowout game but did have 9 targets last week, a team-high mark. Zach Pascal ($6,600) had 6 targets (18.2%) but only 26 total air yards, and Jack Doyle ($6,200) had 5 targets (15.2%). Of note, Marcus Johnson ($5,900) racked up 108 air yards on 4 targets. Overall, it's messy, and with Jacoby Brissett ($7,500) playing just at the NFL average in efficiency since returning (with 4 touchdowns and 3 picks in five games), this passing offense isn't particularly appealing from either a floor or ceiling standpoint.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore
Tournament Plays: Marlon Mack, Will Grier, Jack Doyle
Cincinnati at Miami
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||-1.0|
|Implied Team Total||23.75||22.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||46%||90%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||77%||87%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||21||5|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||29||32|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||27||25|
If you're looking to target players from teams with playoff hopes, this ain't it, but the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins have enough of an offensive pulse for some consideration. However, with draft positioning at stake, we could see some strange usage if both teams take the foot off the gas, which frankly seems inconsistent with what they've done the past few weeks.
Cincinnati Offense Notes
- Andy Dalton ($7,100) has generated -0.09 Passing NEP per drop back in three games since returning, terrible efficiency. He did do something positive in terms of efficiency against the only below-average pass defense in that split: 243 yards and 1 touchdowns against the New York Jets in Week 13. Against the league's worst pass defense and at the salary, Dalton isn't entirely written off.
- The target shares are a little hard to pinpoint, as John Ross ($5,200) has been back for two weeks but Auden Tate moved to injured reserve for the Week 15 game. Last week, Tyler Boyd ($6,300) led the team with a 24.1% target share, followed by Alex Erickson ($5,100) and Tyler Eifert ($4,700) at 17.2%. Ross and Joe Mixon ($7,800) were at 10.3% of the looks, though Ross had a 17.3-yard average target depth and is always in play for a deep score. Boyd remains the best bet and is very much in play at just $6,300.
- Mixon is priced up but faces a rush defense that's 29th in Success Rate allowed to backs and 26th in yards before contact allowed. That should free up Mixon to make good on his recent workload: 24.5 opportunities per game since their Week 9 bye. He's a core play.
Miami Offense Notes
- Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,400) has quietly(?) gone over 20 FanDuel points in three of his past four games and has had at least 33 rushing yards in three of those. The Bengals are a bottom-four pass defense, and while his efficiency isn't particularly good even against weak pass defenses, Fitzpatrick rates out as a top-five per-dollar quarterback in my early-week simulations.
- DeVante Parker ($6,900) is priced well for his role. If we remove his Week 14 game (when he left after 25.0% of the snaps), he has a 25.0% target share in five games without Preston Williams -- plus 41.3% of the team's air yards.
- Mike Gesicki ($5,300) has a 17.3% target share in these relevant games, and the Bengals are only 26th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends. It's a pretty good gig, and the price is right for a low-end cash-game tight end.
- Patrick Laird's ($5,500) tenure as a high-floor, low-ceiling DFS play look to be over after playing the same number of snaps last week as Myles Gaskin ($5,200) -- a 47.9% snap rate for each of them. Laird's price still keeps him somewhat relevant, but unless you're playing for the over, he's a tough sell.
Core Plays: Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki
Secondary Plays: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Tournament Plays: Andy Dalton, Patrick Laird
Pittsburgh at NY Jets
|Over/Under | Spread||37.5||+3.0|
|Implied Team Total||20.25||17.25|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||22%||13%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||59%||19%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||24||16|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||3||24|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||1||3|
This game has the lowest total on the board, and it's actually dropping. However, there's money on the over, an against-the-grain trend. We have two top-three rush defenses, and the New York Jets don't project to move the ball much against one of the NFL's best defenses.
Pittsburgh Offense Notes
- Devlin Hodges ($6,900) has averaged a solid 7.49 yards per attempt but has 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions for poor overall passing efficiency (0.00 Passing NEP per drop back). He has maxed out at 212 yards in a game, and Jamal Adams is a significant boost to the Jets' defense.
- In three games with Hodges starting, the target shares favor Diontae Johnson ($5,700; 27.8%) and James Washington ($6,600; 26.4%), and Washington owns 53.5% of the air yards. Still, that's attached to a weak passer in a mostly unappealing game. I won't really be going here, as the ceiling is still low with Hodges under center.
- James Conner ($7,400) played 57.6% of the snaps in his return last week and had 8 carries and 5 targets, yet the Jets are the best rush defense by Success Rate allowed and are fourth in yards before contact allowed to running backs. It's just a bad situation and offense.
NY Jets Offense Notes
- In three games against top-12 pass defenses, Sam Darnold ($7,400) has averaged 158.7 passing yards and -0.36 Passing NEP per drop back. He has largely played to the level of his opponents, and that's a disappointing notion against the Pittsburgh Steelers' top-three unit.
- Jamison Crowder ($6,000) has a 23.1% target share since Darnold's Week 6 return and had 11 targets last week alone. The Steelers are 19th in slot yards per snap allowed, so Crowder has some low-end appeal but not much. Robby Anderson ($6,100) has a 20.3% target share since Darnold's return and owns 37.2% of the downfield targets. With a realistic shot of neither team clearing 225 yards passing, this game is tough to love.
- Le'Veon Bell ($7,100) has his revenge spot, and the Steelers are just 14th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, but the implied total is just barely above 17 points. Bell's ceiling has been capped all season long due to the lack of offensive efficiency. This week projects to be more of the same.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Le'Veon Bell
Tournament Plays: Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson, James Washington
NY Giants at Washington
|Over/Under | Spread||41.5||-2.5|
|Implied Team Total||19.5||22.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||57%||40%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||36%||20%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||19||29|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||28||25|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||11||24|
Both offenses are surprisingly showing signs of life relative to their full-season baselines, and that's at least more than we can say for a lot of teams out of playoff contention. However, we shouldn't get overconfident with these offenses, and the heavy money is on the under. We also have Daniel Jones ($7,300) returning to the starting lineup for the Giants.
NY Giants Offense Notes
- Jones' Passing NEP per drop back of -0.12 is pretty darn dreadful, and it ranks him 45th among 51 qualified quarterbacks. Washington's defense has actually played as a top-10 unit over the past month and ranks second in sack rate in that span. Jones has been sacked at what would rank as the fifth-highest rate on the full season.
- We have only one game with Jones, Sterling Shepard ($6,300), and Golden Tate ($6,200) and no Evan Engram. In that game, the targets were 9 for Shepard, 7 for Tate and Darius Slayton ($6,000), 6 for Kaden Smith ($5,100), and 3 for Saquon Barkley ($8,800). The air yards were 73 for Tate, 53 for Slayton, 51 for Shepard. None of them are particularly strong plays with Jones back under center, but Shepard is the preference.
- Barkley is priced up for a matchup with the Washington defense, which ranks 21st in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. Barkley had 143 total yards last week and 2 touchdowns. His touchdown equity is still fairly low in this offense, and that bumps him out of core play status for me -- especially with Jones and pace concerns.
Washington Offense Notes
- Dwayne Haskins ($7,000) finally had a game with positive passing efficiency, and he demolished the league-average barrier of 0.09 Passing NEP per drop back when he put up 0.47 against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Haskins still takes sacks at an alarming rate but avoided them last week. The New York Giants are seventh in adjusted pressure rate. There's not much reason to chase.
- Terry McLaurin ($6,500) converted on an elite workload last week when he put up 130 yards and a touchdown on just 5 targets. Steven Sims ($5,700) has had an expanded role and actually leads the team in target share over the past two games (34.0%). McLaurin is at 22.6%, and Kelvin Harmon ($4,800) is down to the WR3. Sims also led the team in snap rate last week.
- Adrian Peterson ($6,500) has shown a pulse of late and has cleared 13.6 FanDuel points in three straight games, but those have come with a rushing touchdown and fewer than 100 yards. The ceiling is never high for Peterson, and the Giants are fourth in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs this year. It's a tough matchup and a low-octane offense.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Saquon Barkley
Tournament Plays: Sterling Shepard, Terry McLaurin
Detroit at Denver
|Over/Under | Spread||37.5||-6.5|
|Implied Team Total||15.5||22.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||47%||80%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||31%||80%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||7||20|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||26||10|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||16||13|
Detroit Offense Notes
- David Blough ($6,600) has disappointed with -0.10 Passing NEP per drop back and FanDuel totals of 18.3, 10.2, and 10.3 points.
- Last week with Blough but no T.J. Hockenson or Marvin Jones, the targets were 13 for Danny Amendola ($6,000), 7 for Kenny Golladay ($7,400), and 5 for Jesse James ($4,600) and Ty Johnson ($4,900). Golladay and Amendola split four downfield targets. It's a pretty poor situation overall with Blough's efficiency. The Denver Broncos are a top-10 pass defense. Golladay could be a volume-based play but is priced at a high number.
- Kerryon Johnson ($4,500) is minimum salary and has some appeal at such a low salary -- if he plays. If not, Bo Scarbrough ($5,900) is another tough sell as a 6.5-point underdog. Johnson is interesting, but we have other cheap backs with much more secure roles in better offensive situations.
Denver Offense Notes
- Drew Lock ($7,300) has narrowly outpaced the NFL average in per-drop back efficiency, and the Detroit Lions are only 26th in adjusted pass defense. Lock touched up the Houston Texans' 22nd-ranked defense in his best performance to date.
- Lock's target distribution so far: 23.7% for Courtland Sutton ($7,100), 16.1% for DaeSean Hamilton ($4,700), 14.0% for Tim Patrick ($5,400), 10.8% for Noah Fant ($5,900). Fant has been limited with injuries in this sample, and Sutton isn't getting quite the concentrated targets that Brandon Allen gave him, but it's still a good workload. The Lions are 16th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and 28th against tight ends.
- Phillip Lindsay ($6,300) had his short-lived surge come to an end last week when he got just 39.0% of the snaps and was out-chanced by Royce Freeman ($5,500). Lindsay has only twice surpassed 15.2 FanDuel points, and this backfield lacks legitimate value unless Lindsay is featured in positive script.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: None
Tournament Plays: Kenny Golladay, Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay
Oakland at LA Chargers
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-6.5|
|Implied Team Total||19.5||26.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||32%||29%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||35%||28%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||31||30|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||31||19|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||23||22|
Two of the three slowest teams in the NFL and divisional opponents doesn't quite equal the recipe for DFS fireworks. The total is decent compared to some of the other games, but both teams have upside concerns. Modest price
Oakland Offense Notes
- Derek Carr ($7,300) has one game with more than two passing touchdowns and none with even 300 yards, which really reduces the ceiling for this offense. The Los Angeles Chargers have a top-10 pass defense since getting Derwin James and Adrian Phillips back three weeks ago.
- In three games without Hunter Renfrow ($5,400), Darren Waller ($6,500) is the only pass-catcher to get more than 14.8% of the targets. He’s at 28.4% and has again emerged as an elite tight end option after a mid-season lull. DeAndre Washington ($5,600) is second at 14.8%, followed by Tyrell Williams ($5,600) at 12.5%. There's just not much we can hang our hats on here. Renfrow was limited in practice on Wednesday and had led the team in target share in a brief stint of relevancy while healthy.
- Josh Jacobs is out this week, and when we saw him miss in Week 14, Washington played 63.5% of the snaps and had 14 carries and 7 targets. He's a fine low-end cash-game play who can outperform that salary and will be heavily rostered in tournaments.
LA Chargers Offense Notes
- Philip Rivers ($7,500) has averaged 8.36 yards per attempt since a coordinator change in Week 9 but has tossed 9 touchdowns to 11 picks in that span for subpar efficiency (0.03 Passing NEP per drop back). There aren't many matchups better than this one, though. Rivers has thrown for 307 or more yards in three of the past four games, so maybe he can get it done this week.
- Since the coordinator change, Keenan Allen ($6,700) has led the team with a 25.0% target share. Hunter Henry ($6,100) and Austin Ekeler ($6,800) are at 17.9%, and Mike Williams ($6,500) has a 15.8% target share. Of note, Williams has a 35.7% air yards share, which works out to 106.3 per game, and his average target depth is 20.6 yards downfield. There's enough intrigue here for tournaments.
- Melvin Gordon ($7,000) is losing his lead over Ekeler, who has led in snaps for two straight games -- with neither clearing even 50% in this stretch. Logic dictates that Gordon will have a big workload in positive script, but that didn't necessarily pan out two weeks ago in a 45-10 win for the Chargers.
Core Plays: DeAndre Washington, Darren Waller
Secondary Plays: Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, Melvin Gordon
Tournament Plays: Philip Rivers, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams
Dallas at Philadelphia
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||+1.5|
|Implied Team Total||24.0||22.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||67%||20%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||70%||13%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||10||27|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||18||23|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||19||5|
This is one of only two games (out of the 11 on the main slate) that features two teams with greater than a 1% chance to make the playoffs, so both sides have something on the line, and that alone carries value. Both pass defenses are below average, too.
Dallas Offense Notes
- Dak Prescott ($8,000) made headlines by being limited in practice for the first time in his career on Wednesday, as he is dealing with a sore throwing shoulder. Prescott just put up 212 yards and 2 touchdowns (on just 23 attempts) against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15. In seven games against bottom-half pass defenses, Prescott has averaged 305.3 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game. If he's healthy, he's going to be one of the better quarterback plays on the slate.
- Since their bye week, the passing game usage has actually been pretty dispersed, and nobody has even a 20.0% target share. Michael Gallup ($6,500) is close at 19.9%, followed by Amari Cooper ($7,700) at 19.6%, Jason Witten ($5,800) at 16.6%, and Randall Cobb ($5,300) at 14.4%. The air yards are also distributed fairly evenly with Gallup leading at 29.2% and Cooper getting 27.1%. More accurately, nobody has a dominant workload, not even Cooper. The offense's efficiency helps for that, but these pass catchers aren't without some concern.
- Ezekiel Elliott ($8,700) has a 12.2% target share of his own in this split and just had 24 carries for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. He now has 4 rushing scores over his past two games, eclipsing 22 FanDuel points in each of them, breaking a five-game streak below 18.5. Elliott is a road favorite and is getting enough receiving work again to feel comfortable with at his salary. The Philadelphia Eagles are second in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, but the overall game environment helps out. Elliott still isn't a must-play, however, as there are enough concerns about the overall offensive market shares, Prescott's health, and his individual rushing matchup.
Philadelphia Offense Notes
- Miles Sanders ($7,400) regained his featured role in the backfield last week, getting 19 of 25 carries between he and Boston Scott ($5,400). Scott did get more targets (7) than Sanders (6), but Sanders was still heavily involved as a pass-catcher. The Dallas Cowboys are 20th against the rush in terms of Success Rate allowed to backs, and the Eagles' offense ranks 9th in yards before contact generated.
- Carson Wentz ($7,700) has played to the NFL average against bottom-half pass defenses with averages of 260.5 passing yards and 2.0 touchdowns in eight such matchups but doesn't do enough to inspire tons of confidence for the Eagles' passing game while he is without healthy receivers.
- Zach Ertz ($6,900) is an exception, as he has double-digit targets in four of his past five games and a team-high 25.6% target share over the past two weeks. The Cowboys are just 30th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
- Greg Ward ($5,700) has a 20.0% target share in two games with an expanded role and draws a Dallas defense that's only 23rd in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers. He has a middling 7.2-yard average target depth, however, and doesn't profile as a high-yardage option. At the elevated salary he's a bit of an afterthought.
Core Plays: Zach Ertz, Dak Prescott (if healthy)
Secondary Plays: Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, Miles Sanders
Tournament Plays: Amari Cooper, Carson Wentz, Greg Ward
Arizona at Seattle
|Over/Under | Spread||51.5||-9.5|
|Implied Team Total||21.0||30.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||52%||43%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||70%||53%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||2||18|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||30||14|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||20||17|
This game could have a lot of stacking appeal if the Arizona Cardinals can keep it close. If not the Seattle Seahawks can bleed the clock, as they are 29th in pass rate over expectation, and the Cardinals are bottom three in adjusted rushing defense.
Arizona Offense Notes
- Last week was the Kenyan Drake ($7,100) show. He scored 4 times on the ground on 22 carries and played 75.4% of the snaps, giving him at least 64.3% in all six games with the team. He is being given RB1 treatment, and the Seahawks are just an average rush defense -- plus 30th in Target Success Rate allowed to running backs.
- Kyler Murray ($7,700) lacked touchdowns last week because Drake took all but one. Murray has run 8, 4, 6, and 8 times over the past four games. Murray's overall passing efficiency hasn't been overly impressive, but he should have the volume here in catch-up mode. For a quarterback who runs, that's valuable. The Cardinals are 17th in adjusted passing offense, and the Seahawks are 14th in adjusted passing defense.
- In six games with Drake on the team, the target share has favored Christian Kirk ($5,900) at 24.6%, Larry Fitzgerald ($5,700) at 19.7%, and Drake at 14.8%. Kirk also has 10 of 32 downfield targets and leads the team in average target depth -- at a modest 7.4 yards. He's still the clear number-one here and remains underpriced for his workload.
Seattle Offense Notes
- Chris Carson ($8,200) should see a carry floor of 20 as a heavy home favorite. The Cardinals are a below-average adjusted rush defense but do sit 10th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs on the full season. Either way, Carson is coming off a 24-carry, 133-yard, 2-touchdown game against the NFL's worst rush defense and now gets a pace-up matchup.
- Russell Wilson ($8,300) has returned fewer than 20 FanDuel points in five straight games and in seven of his past eight. He put up 14.3 against Arizona in their first matchup, a 27-10 win for Seattle. Wilson's efficiency isn't the issue. Seattle is sixth in adjusted passing offense. They're just the fourth-most run heavy team when adjusting for pre-snap win probability, and he has just three games with more than two passing touchdowns. This is the type of game where he could see elevated volume, though, and that matters on a slate with few standout quarterback plays.
- With Josh Gordon suspended, there isn't a huge opening here, as he averaged 2.2 targets per game and only once played more than half of the snaps. However, we did see Tyler Lockett ($7,600) return to form with nine targets last week. Healthy again, Lockett deserves WR1 treatment in the Seattle offense, but that comes with the caveat of being in a low-volume offense. D.K. Metcalf ($6,300) has actually led the team in target share over the past eight games (22.9% to Lockett's 22.4%) and has a claim to high-leverage work in the red zone.
- Jacob Hollister ($5,700) has had 10, 4, 8, 6, and 3 targets over the past five games and checks the box as a a home favorite with a high implied team total. Oh, and the Cardinals are 32nd in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
Core Plays: Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf, Christian Kirk, Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Kyler Murray
Secondary Plays: Jacob Hollister, Kenyan Drake
Tournament Plays: None