FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 5 Monday Night (Raiders at Chiefs)
Kansas City is a 7.0-point home favorite, and the total is up at 51.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook. A heavy amount of bets (74%) and money (75%) on the spread is backing Kansas City, so it's going to be easy to sell ourselves on their offense.
That said, pivoting to the Raiders could pay dividends in a single-game format.
What stands out for tonight's matchup?
High-Level Simulation Results
I simulated this game 10,000 times -- using numberFire's projections -- to see some high-level takeaways. Here's what I found.
Across 20 single-game slates so far this season in which a game had a total of 47.5 or higher, we saw 9 MVPs come from the quarterback position. Further, six were wide receivers, four were running backs, and one was a tight end.
That has put a heavier emphasis on quarterback MVPs (45.0%) in that split than overall this season (32.0%), so we can really take a long look at Patrick Mahomes ($17,500) in the MVP slot.
The sims love Mahomes and consider him 48.1% likely to lead this slate in FanDuel points. He'll be a popular play, yes, but his path to a ceiling is always obvious. The Raiders rank 22nd in pressure rate and 29th in EPA per drop back allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Mahomes has a league-best 0.30 EPA per drop back over expectation. He's been great, and it's a coin flip that he leads the slate in fantasy points. That doesn't mean he's a lock to do it. Just be sure if you're fading him that you're doing it with a purpose.
If all of the primary players put up points, we'll need salary to get them into the best lineup possible. Where Mahomes wins out is if he pops off and few at elevated salaries also have big games or if some value plays emerge. That salary -- $17,500 -- is no joke, and he's only 37.6% likely to be a top-five value. He's not a must-play, but he is the best play.
What about Derek Carr at $15,000? Carr has been super average (-0.05 EPA per drop back) and has had a low ceiling (his best game so far is 20.82 FanDuel points). There's always a case to be made for a quarterback in any single-game format, especially one at "just" $15,000 in a game with a huge total.
That being said, the sims actually lean slightly toward Davante Adams ($14,500) from a median standpoint -- and also a ceiling standpoint. As laid out earlier, this is a receiver-friendly game environment as far as MVP options go. Adams has maintained a 32.2% target share for the season and has ran a route on 98.2% of the Raiders' drop backs this season. It's hard to gloss over 11.8 targets per game against a team that has allowed a league-high 8.1% catch rate over expectation to receivers.
Travis Kelce ($13,500) is always a fascinating single-game player because single-game formats aren't usually super friendly to tight end MVPs. Kelce isn't quite a regular tight end, of course. He has a 24.5% target share (8.5 per game), and the Raiders are letting up a catch rate over expectation of +4.6% to tight ends this year. The sims like him about as well as anyone other than Mahomes at MVP.
Josh Jacobs' role shifted drastically in Week 4. Jacobs had entered that game with snap rates of 58.9%, 75.4%, and 64.6% before playing on 89.2% of the Raiders' snaps in Week 4. He was leaned on heavily in those snaps: 28 carries and 6 targets for 175 scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns. The high-total nature of this game doesn't disqualify Jacobs from MVP consideration. He's very much in play if we're open to fading Davante and Carr and hoping the touchdowns come on the ground tonight. As far as pure leverage goes, Jacobs and Kelce will likely be the best MVP options while Mahomes is the chalk and Carr and Adams project to hover around 20% each.
Everyone else should be considered a flex-only option outside of the truly contrarian builds who are expecting chaos (i.e. a low-scoring matchup).
Darren Waller ($10,500) has capped out at 14.0 FanDuel points and is coming off of consecutive games of 5 targets and 3 catches for fewer than 25 yards. Further, Hunter Renfrow ($8,500) is expected to play tonight. In Weeks 1 and 2 with Renfrow active, the target shares were as follows: 32.4% for Adams, 21.6% for Renfrow, 18.9% for Waller, and 12.2% for Mack Hollins ($7,500). Hollins still has touchdown potential yet is likely to take a step back tonight.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($12,500) has had a ton of red zone success but ultimately carries only an 18.2% red zone rushing share and a 44.5% snap rate. A dud game with that workload is very possible. Our models do love Jerick McKinnon ($6,500) from a value basis.
The Chiefs' non-Kelce pass-catchers have no discernable separation based on a median outcome, yet if we include the variance that comes from air yards and downfield targets, then Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($8,000) is your man. MVS is projected by me for 97.6 air yards, trailing only Davante Adams' 107.3 in this matchup. Valdes-Scantling also leads the Chiefs' receivers in route rate (80.8% with JuJu Smith-Schuster's 78.1% and Mecole Hardman's 55.0% trailing).
Both kickers are viable, and in the 20-game sample of single-game slates with a total of 47.5 or higher this season, 10 of them (50%) featured a kicker or defense.