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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |

Finding DFS Value Plays Using Fantasy Points Against

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 tool.

Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates returns in time for matchup against the Steelers who've had trouble stopping TEs.

TE Antonio Gates, SD ($5,500 on FanDuel)

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.

WR Eddie Royal, CHI ($5,500 on FanDuel)

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 this week.

WR Kendall Wright, TEN ($5,900 on FanDuel)

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.

Marcus 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.

RB Alfred Morris, WAS ($6,300 on FanDuel)

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.