Metric of the Week: Using Weighted Opportunities to Value Running Backs

by Matthew M. Stevens, September 29, 2020

Myles Gaskin’s player profile doesn’t scream elite talent, but he’s seeing the most meaningful touches in Miami’s backfield and making the most of them. He has see 47.9 (No. 8 among qualified running backs) Weighted Opportunities through three games, and while he hasn’t produced a breakout game, one is on the horizon. Gaskin has caught 15 of 16 targets, good for a 93.8-percent (No. 6) Catch Rate. He also hasn’t found the end zone yet, which will change soon given the weight of his touches.

On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Ingram’s slow start can be traced back to his unimpressive 21.9 (No. 45) Weighted Opportunities. While has seen six (No. 35) Red Zone Touches through the first three weeks, none came from inside the 5-yard line and they resulted in only one (No. 29) touchdown. He’s also drawn only four (No. 54) targets. This much is clear: Ingram no longer possesses workhorse back upside, and should not be viewed as anything more than a middling RB3.

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Brandon Aiyuk and Other Week 4 Waiver Wire Targets

by The Podfather, September 29, 2020

Brandon Aiyuk is less widely rostered than Justin Jefferson but unlikely to be available in deep leagues. He is a stronger add than Jefferson and Tee Higgins this week, because he would likely operate as the 49ers’ No. 1 wide receiver until Deebo Samuel is 100-percent back online.

Travis Homer is a more versatile and explosive back than Carlos Hyde and received the first backfield snap in a clutch situation after Chris Carson went down on a dirty play at the end of Seattle’s epic Week 3 win. Like Myles Gaskin last week, Homer is this week’s signature darkhorse free agent fantasy running back and a high priority add. Because he did not pop in the score, he can be added for a small percentage of most FAAB budgets.

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Week 3 Lessons Learned: Kamara and Hopkins, Clubhouse Leaders

by Tyler Strong, September 28, 2020

Alvin Kamara’s monster usage and raw talent has lifted him above every other player in fantasy football through the season’s first three weeks. The Saints have fed him as much as he can handle with Drew Brees’ arm shot and the offense already missing their only true playmaker on the outside in Michael Thomas. He’s Christian McCaffrey in a better offense, and at a reduced cost. A Week 4 contest against the Lions is a lock button spot for fantasy’s most involved running back.

Kyler Murray is locked onto DeAndre Hopkins, targeting him heavily on the outside in both short-yardage situations and downfield. Hopkins faces the defensively challenged Carolina Panthers next week, who surrendered 330 passing yards to Justin Herbert in his second ever NFL start. Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler destroyed the Panthers in the middle of the field. Deploying Hopkins in the slot would be a successful operation. With unmatched usage, he is a premier pay-up candidate in DFS.

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Going Long – Identifying the Best Spot Starts for Week 3

by Ikey Azar, September 27, 2020

Through two favorable matchups Mitchell Trubisky currently ranks No. 15 among qualified quarterbacks in Fantasy Points per Game, just outside QB1 territory. He’s recorded 14 (No. 6) Red Zone Attempts, eight (No. 9) in Deep Ball Attempts, and 8.7 (No. 10) Air Yards per Attempt. Through two weeks, the Atlanta Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Joe Burrow leads the NFL with 97 passing attempts and Bengals tight ends have drawn a 21.6-percent Target Share. With C.J. Uzomah out for the rest of the regular season, Drew Sample walks into a prime opportunity to soak up most, if not all, of that target share. Remember, this Bengals regime spent a second round pick on Sample in last year’s draft. Through two games, the Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

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The Infirmary- Week 3 Injury Report

by The “Mad Chatter” Ryan MK, September 27, 2020

Kenny Golladay and Julio Jones are tricky this week. The Detroit offense badly needs a playmaker, but in a late-afternoon game it’s difficult to stay hopeful for this game-time decision. Let Golladay ride the pine another week. As for Jones, this isn’t unfamiliar territory for those who roster the Falcons star receiver. It’s a much tougher sit if he does play, but the fear of a donut is a strong motivator. Oh, and play Russell Gage with confidence, if you weren’t already.

The top wideouts to miss this week will be Michael Thomas and A.J. Brown. For New Orleans, Thomas’ injury is clearly devastating to the offense and the aging Drew Brees. Tre’Quan Smith is still a great play, but expect the team to rely heavily on Alvin Kamara. As for Brown, the Titans will be fine this week without him. Derrick Henry will lead the way against a banged up Vikings defense while Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries (that’s right, no Corey Davis fawning here) handle receiving duties.

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Tomorrow’s Newspaper: Bryan Edwards and Waiver Wire Prescience for Week 3

by Ray Marzarella, September 27, 2020

A bet on Bryan Edwards is a bet on one of the highest ranking prospects in this year’s rookie class via the Breakout Finder. A player with the second-highest Breakout Age in the entire database and a 48.4-percent (94th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Dominator Rating against SEC competition. If he puts up a usable fantasy performance while facing Stephon Gilmore’s coverage, we will unequivocally know that he’s for real.

With Jerry Jeudy a game-time decision for Denver’s Week 3 contest against the Bucs, it’s time to stash K.J. Hamler, who tied Jeudy for the team lead with seven targets last week. Having Jeff Driskel under center lowers his ceiling for now, but Courtland Sutton being unavailable for the rest of the year raises his rest-of-season floor, and Drew Lock’s eventual return will raise the sky-high ceiling back up. He also draws the Jets in Week 4, if exploiting winnable matchups is something you’re interested in.

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Top DFS Flex Value Plays for Week 3

by Taylor Smith, September 26, 2020

With Sterling Shepard landing on IR, Darius Slayton is the clear alpha receiver in the Giants offense. He already showed what he can do with that role in Week 1, where he rang up 102 yards and two touchdowns on an elite Pittsburgh secondary. He is an underpriced smash play against this banged-up 49ers defense. Expect double-digit targets given New York’s offensive injuries in this soft matchup. He should be a high-floor, high-ceiling lock in cash lineups this week.

The real way to attack the Rams is on the ground. They rank No. 27 in Defensive Rushing DVOA and have allowed Miles Sanders and Ezekiel Elliott to rack up 258 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in two weeks. Devin Singletary has shown a solid receiving floor with 10 (No. 6 among qualified running backs) targets through two weeks, so we can project him for workhorse touches with no Zack Moss and a soft matchup. At $4900 on DK, he’s a solid cash game option.

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Metric of the Week: Using Route Participation to Identify Week 3 TE Starts

by Akash Bhatia, September 26, 2020

Mark Andrews ranked No. 23 among qualified tight ends in Route Participation with a 55.1-percent rate last year. Through 2 weeks in the post-Hayden Hurst era, that rate has jumped to 82.0-percent (No. 9). If he carries over anything close to his efficiency from last year, Andrews will smash in this new role. You’re obviously starting him if you have him, and he is an easy buy-high candidate.

We expected a big season from T.J. Hockenson this year, but the Lions have surprisingly only unleashed him for a route on 70.7-percent (No. 19) of their passing attempts in 2020. Having caught 100-percent of his targets through two games, he might be a sell-high candidate if the low Route Participation number fails to creep up.

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NFL Monkey Knife Fight Props: Week 3

by Cody Carpentier, September 26, 2020

Gone are the days of Derrick Henry starting the season slow. Through the first two weeks, Henry has recorded 59 touches, with 200 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. For the first time in his career, the Titans are 2-0, reeling with injuries at wide receiver and cornerback. Jonnu Smith, through two weeks, has already tied a career-high with three touchdowns. Smith has run 19.4-percent of snaps out of the slot, one of Minnesota’s weakest positions.

The Podfather will hammer the FOX Game of the Week in the afternoon slate. Ezekiel Elliott averages 22 rushing attempts per game and has scored three (No. 4) touchdowns while averaging 4.2 (No. 27) True Yards per Carry. When Dallas gets in the red zone, it’s either Zeke or Dak Prescott getting the touches against a Seattle defense that gave up two rushing touchdowns in Week 2. 

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Air Yards DFS Value Index – Week 3

by Edward DeLauter, September 25, 2020

A.J. Green enters Week 3 of his age-32 season leading the league in Air Yards. Unfortunately, the veteran wide receiver has translated this opportunity to only 8.0 (No. 69 among qualified wide receivers) Fantasy Points per Game. Leading the league in Unrealized Air Yards and ranking No. 1 on this week’s Air Yards Value model, the former Pro Bowler is at a inflection point. Is he still one of the game’s top wide receivers or is he a sell low candidate?

A devastating season-ending injury to Saquon Barkley may result in the Giants airing it out a bit more in the passing game. If they do, Darius Slayton is the clear beneficiary. He continues to lead the Giants in Air Yards and has remained efficient with his opportunities, posting a +29.3 (No. 17) Production Premium, with only 44 Unrealized Air Yards. Still priced below $5,000, Slayton will look to continue his excellent efficiency against a banged up 49ers defense.

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