FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4 Monday Night (Falcons at Packers)
The total is 56.5 points. That pins the Packers' implied team total at 31.5 points with the Falcons' sitting at 25.0. Suffice to say, this one could lead to some big fantasy scores.
Which plays, then, stand out for the single-game slate?
Before we dig in, don't forget to brush up on some single-game perfect lineup trends and leverage our Sharpstack single-game optimizer for correlated lineup plays. Let's dig into MVP considerations and flex possibilities, as well.
Aaron Jones ($14,500) - Jones is the first place to look at MVP when not rostering a quarterback there and is getting top billing for me on this slate. He's nearly as likely (24.6%) to lead the slate in FanDuel points as Aaron Rodgers (28.7%) and Matt Ryan (21.5%) are over a thousand simulations of the slate.
Historically, running backs are the most likely position to land in the optimal MVP spot. Jones, through three games, has averaged 16.7 rushes and 6.0 targets to go along with 3.7 red zone rush attempts and 2.7 red zone targets. As a home favorite against a dreadful defense (Atlanta ranks 20th against the rush and 25th overall based on numberFire's metrics), Jones deserves the highest MVP exposure with Davante Adams out.
Aaron Rodgers ($15,000) and Matt Ryan ($14,000) - Between the two of them, Rodgers and Ryan combine for a 50.2% probability that one of the quarterbacks leads the slate in FanDuel points after simulating the slate a thousand times. Rodgers, of course, leads there and is the favored quarterback. Over 124 optimal lineups from last season, 32 of the MVP choices were winning quarterbacks (25.8%). Through three weeks, both pass defenses rank in the bottom eight (Green Bay is 25th and Atlanta is 26th), based on numberFire's opponent-adjusted metrics.
Typically, quarterbacks are more popular in the MVP spot than they should be, but it's fairly easy to make the case for either of them to fit here.
Calvin Ridley ($13,000) and Julio Jones ($12,500) - Both receivers are expected to play, and that gives us two more MVP-viable candidates with no Adams. Adjusted for games played, Ridley has a 27.1% target share with Jones at 17.6%, lower than Russell Gage's 18.6% share. Ridley has averaged 186.7 air yards and 116.3 yards per game by way of 11.7 targets. Jones' numbers (131.5, 90.5, and 8.0, respectively) are a step behind but could lead to lower popularity than what Ridley gets after his blistering hot start. They both get downfield work, but Ridley has been more involved in the red zone (2.3 to 0.5 targets per game). Jones is likely to be less popular in the MVP slot than Ridley is.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($10,000) - Valdes-Scantling should be super chalky with both Adams and Allen Lazard out for this game. Valdes-Scantling has had 6, 7, and 4 targets with 3, 3, and 1 downfield targets (16-plus yards downfield). He also had a game in Week 2 with three red zone targets. That should keep him very viable even at high popularity, though he's far from a lock.
Todd Gurley ($11,000) - I don't think you can play Gurley as your MVP from a process standpoint -- it'd be just game theory. He has had 14, 21, and 14 carries with just 5, 0, and 2 targets while playing 45.6%, 64.0%, and 51.5% of the snaps. The middling snap rates and efficiency just don't really put him on the slate-busting-upside radar, so he's more of an affordable, floor play. I think a full fade is pretty enticing in case he doesn't hit pay dirt and just winds up with the usual 65-yard game that Gurley has given us.
Russell Gage ($9,500) - Gage fits less from a "value" standpoint and more from a "differentiation" standpoint if you were to roster him over Jones and/or Ridley. Gage has had an 18.6% target share through three weeks on a middling average target depth of 7.0 yards (and a 23.1% share if we look only at his two games with at least 25% of the snaps). Gage has averaged a downfield target and two red zone targets in those two full games and is a candidate to score a touchdown. He's super intriguing.
Robert Tonyan ($7,000) - There are a ton of ways to differentiate here. When simulating the slate, only the above players in the MVP and Flex sections had a 40% chance to finish as a top-five play. Everyone else is down below 16%. Tonyan is still intriguing because he should see an elevated target share with the Packers' injuries. Tonyan has had just 3 and 5 targets in his two healthy games but has had a red zone target in each and has a downfield target to his name. numberFire projects him for 5.6 targets, fifth-most in the game.
Darrius Shepherd ($5,000) - Shepherd played 37.1% of snaps last week with no Adams and ran a route on 45.5% of drop backs. He had just a single target, but it was 33 yards downfield. Shepherd should slot into a heavier workload with no Lazard in this game, and numberFire projects him for 4.7 targets. That'll work at this salary.