The idea that a player is “due” to have a big game,
breakout of a prolonged slump, or score their first receiving touchdown
for a season is one of the least scientific but most commonly used
tools fantasy managers use when looking for value.
In season long leagues, owners looking for buy-low trade candidates
tend to look for receivers who have been the recipient of a sizable
target share from their quarterbacks, but have yet to covert those
targets to scoring plays.
Running backs who have yet to score touchdowns despite receiving
a high volume of carries are also attractive trade targets, as
the assumption is those games of 20-plus rushes will eventually
lead to rushing TDs.
Alshon Jeffery and Lamar Miller are two players that fit the
mold when it comes to disappointing fantasy touchdown production,
despite the fact that they are producing yardage totals that would
typically result in more fantasy points.
Through five games, Jeffery has posted 394 receiving yards for
an average per game of just under 80. If he continues on his current
pace, he will finish the season with a surprising line of 70/1260/0.
Considering the fact that since 1920, no wide receiver has caught
over 1000 receiving yards in a season without scoring at least
one receiving touchdown, history would tell you that Jeffery is
due to score at least a few TDs going forward.
According to ProFootballReference.com, Al Toon of the New York
Jets was the closet to reach the 1000 yard/0 TD plateau in 1991
when he caught 74 balls for 963 yards.
In terms of Miller’s TD drought to start the season, he is on
pace for 323 carries and 1187 rushing yards. Since 2000, no running
back has rushed for more than 830 yards without scoring at least
one rushing touchdown, with Marcel Shipp of the Arizona Cardinals
owning that dubious distinction in 2003.
While historical data is not a clear determinate for predicting
the future, (hence my admission in the lede that this idea is
unscientific), I would bet that Miller and Jeffery are not going
to set TD futility records this year and both of them will score
Now comes the fun part for DFS owners. At what point in the season
do we want to invest in these type of players based on the logic
that they are “due”? We don’t want to be too
early and waste salary dollars on another high yardage/no score
game, but we don’t want to miss out on the big game when
they do finally breakout.
There is no clear answer to that question. But I have decided
to invest in both of these players this week because they each
have advantageous matchups at home.
Here are a few other players I am targeting this week.
Is this the week? Alshon Jeffery is averaging
17.9 yards per catch but has yet to find the endzone.
After a much needed bye week to recover from ankle and knee injuries,
Wilson returns to action Week 6 against the Falcons at the Link.
Wilson’s salary is a full $1000 less than when he opened
Week 1 against Miami, primarily due to the fact that he has been
a disappointment this season with three of his four games averaging
less than 15 fantasy points.
But that is all going to change this week when Atlanta comes
to town, as the Falcons have allowed the second-most points to
opposing defenses this season. Assuming Wilson’s leg ailments
have healed to the point where he can move outside the pocket
and create plays with his mobility, Wilson should deliver a high
floor and possible high ceiling matchup perfect for cash games.
Mariota quietly delivered one of the best fantasy performances
of Week 5, with three passing touchdowns and one rushing score
against the Dolphins. Although I am not a Mariota apologist, and
I am not an advocate of his in season-long leagues, he is a an
excellent boom or bust play that you look for in GPP’s.
Keep in mind that the former Oregon Duck does come with some
risk. Prior to his 31 point explosion against the hapless Phins,
Mariota managed only 9.08 and 7.76 points against the Raiders
Fade - Eli Manning vs. Baltimore ($5,900 on
I was fully on board the Eli Manning hype train this preseason.
Another year in the McAdoo offense, a relatively easy schedule,
and the addition of Sterling Shepard led me to believe that old
Eli would be a solid fantasy quarterback in 2016.
Eli truthers will tell you that he has had a difficult schedule
as of late, with consecutive primetime road games against the
Vikings and Packers. But what excuse can those same truthers give
for his pedestrian 16.32 point game Week 2 against New Orleans?
I have not given up yet on little brother Manning, but I am avoiding
him in DFS until he puts together back-to-back solid games.
It is somewhat disappointing that Murray, one of the top three
fantasy running backs in 2016, has yet to top 30 points in a single
week on DraftKings. How is it possible that a back of his caliber
has yet to give a monster game for fantasy owners this season.
Of course I kid. Although Murray has yet to top the 30 mark in
a week, he has yet to deliver less than 21.5 points. He has been
the pinnacle of consistent and is a stalwart for cash game lineups
Although his $7,700 price tag makes him the second-most expensive
running back behind Bell, I think he is more than worth it against
a Browns defense that has allowed the 9th-most points to opposing
backs. Barring an injury or terrible game script, Murray is a
lock this week for 20 points.
I am putting my money where my lede is and going with Miller
this week in GPP contests. The Colts have allowed six total touchdowns
to opposing running backs through five games, including three
to the Lions in Week 1.
The Green Bay Packers have given up the fewest points to running
backs this week, forcing me to fade Elliott Week 6. I am somewhat
nervous about this pick, as the league’s leading rusher
has more than proven his skills and abilities in the NFL this
I fear Rodgers and the Packers will do well offensively to create
a negative game script for Elliott. Avoid if you can, but don’t
be surprised if he sneaks in one rushing TD.
The 25th ranked Chiefs passing defense has allowed five touchdowns
to opposing wide receivers in four weeks, while the Oakland passing
attack has been flourishing during that span, with Michael Crabtree
and Amari Cooper trailing only Pittsburgh and Denver for the top
receiving duo in the league through five weeks.
Although Cooper is the bigger name and will likely get more attention
this week from the Chiefs defense after his 138-yard game Week
4 against San Diego, Crabtree has been the more consistent performer
in fantasy, with double-digit points in every contest this year.
Surprise, Surprise. I am also putting my money where my mouth
is with Alshon Jeffery this week against the Jags. One thing I
didn’t mention in the opening paragraph is the fact that
Jeffery stormed off the field and was vocally upset about his
lack of usage against the Colts Week 5.
Like the old adage goes: The squeaky wheel gets the oil. I hope
the chirping wide receiver gets the targets.
I hate to sound repetitive by choosing Jones for a second consecutive
week, but his matchup on the road against the Seahawks is terrible
and he is not worth the price. While we will ultimately need to
wait and see if Richard Sherman shadows Jones this week, my money
is on the all pro corner shadowing the main WR receiving threat
for the Falcons.
Jones may have a decent game, and I am starting him in two of
my season-long leagues, but I don’t think he is the worth
the risk this week for $8,900.
Clay is starting the click with Tyrod Taylor this year (5 catches
in each of his last two games) and the absence of Sammy Watkins
has made the former Miami Dolphin TE a more heavily targeted weapon
in the Buffalo passing attack.
The loss of Navarro Bowman earlier this season was a crushing
blow to an already suspect 49er defensive unit. Without a viable
cover linebacker to patrol the middle of the field, San Francisco
has struggled against opposing tight ends (aside from last week
against the Cardinals. Although, you could argue Larry Fitzgerald
is more of a tight end now in the Arizona offense, and he scored
twice last week.)
It may sound odd to recommend fading a tight end that just scored
three touchdowns Week 4 against Cleveland. It may sound even more
odd to recommend a tight end that has Tom Brady throwing the ball
The idea here is that tons of people are going to go with Bennett
simply because he was so amazing last week. There are tons of
mouths to feed in that offense, and I have a feeling another player
in the offense is going to have a breakout game. I am predicting
two Gronk Spikes this week, and maybe a few Edelman short TD throws.
Play of the Week: Buffalo vs. San Francisco
($3,700 on DraftKings)
Although they are the most expensive DFS play of the week, the
Bills have averaged 18 fantasy points over the past three weeks,
and should continue to have success Week 6 against Colin Kaepernick
and the 49ers.