Last week I explained the
merits of using FFToday’s
Consistency Calculator to identify players who have proven to
be consistent performers each week, which is paramount when playing
in head-to-head contests against a single opponent.
Another powerful and free tool that daily fantasy football players
should use on FFToday is the fantasy
points against feature located under the stats section. Owners
can search by position to see which teams struggle against which
offensive skill positions, providing an excellent starting point
when looking for DFS values.
With four games in the books and a quarter of the NFL season
already gone, the fantasy points against tool has more than enough
data to give an insight into which teams struggle against the
run and which ones have difficulty stopping opponents’ tight
ends or wide receivers. Heath Cummings, a well-known fantasy football
podcast host recently said that two weeks in the NFL is more than
enough time to identify and exploit trends. While I agree with
Cummings’ premise, I think a four-game span is a more accurate
way to discern between a flukey game and a true trend. This holds
true even more at the start of the year as some teams take a few
weeks to find their defensive identities in early September.
A quick search with the fantasy points against tool reveals that
the Raiders have been terrible against opposing tight ends, allowing
nearly five more points per game than the second worst team (Giants),
while giving up a ridiculous six receiving touchdowns in four
games. This fact makes Owen Daniels ($4,900 on Fanduel) and almost
any tight end a solid play each week against Oakland.
Here are a few other picks for Week 5 that are upside plays based
on advantageous match ups found using the fantasy points against
Antonio Gates returns in time for matchup
against the Steelers who've had trouble stopping TEs.
Gates returns to action after a four-game suspension for violating
the league’s substance abuse policy. The veteran tight end is
likely chomping at the bit to get back on the field and put his
suspension behind him. The fact that he is going to have a chip
on his shoulder and the recent injuries to the Chargers receiving
corps (Stevie Johnson - hamstring) make him a nice play this week
against Pittsburgh. Add in the fact that the Steelers have allowed
the fourth most points to opposing tight ends, and you have a
recipe for a big game for Gates.
Royal posted an impressive 7-54-1 line week four against the
Raiders with Alshon Jeffery on the sideline with an injury. Jeffery’s
gimpy hamstring may keep him out in Week 5 as the Bears head to
Arrowhead to play a Kansas City defense that has allowed the most
receiving yards and touchdowns to opposing wide receivers.
Although Aaron Rodger’s five touchdown performance against the
Chiefs in Week 3 skewed the numbers quite a bit, attacking the
KC defense in the air is clearly the trend we have seen over the
first four weeks. At only $5,500 on FanDuel, Royal is a nice third
WR option for owners who invest heavily on running backs and QBs
When fantasy owners think of Buffalo, they think of a tough run-first
team that boasts a stingy defense lead by Rex Ryan. While they
may have name recognition with Ryan, they have been anything but
stingy this year against opposing passing offenses. After four
weeks of play, the Bills have allowed the third-most points to
opposing offenses, including a 6-113-2 game to Rishard Matthews
in Week 3 and two more passing TD’s at home against the
Giants last Sunday.
Mariota has been impressive this season with eight passing
touchdowns to only two picks, with Kendall Wright clearly his
number one target. Wright has posted a touchdown and 80 yards
in two of his last three games, and should continue to put up
numbers this week against the Bills.
Morris has been a disappointment this year with only 261 yards
on 66 carries and zero touchdowns. He has lost carries to rookie
Matt Jones, and change of pace back Chris Thompson has been far
more effective this season both catching and running the ball.
Now that I have sufficiently trashed Morris, let me explain why
I think he is a sneaky play this week against the Falcons. The
only way the Redskins will beat Atlanta this week is if they control
the clock by running the ball and keep Julio
Jones and Matt
Ryan off the field. Luckily for Morris owners, the Falcons
are the worst team in the league against the run and have given
up seven rushing touchdowns in four games. Look for Morris to
receive around 15 to 20 carries for 80 yards and his first TD
of the season.