5 Reasons Why Martellus Bennett Isn’t as Good as You Think in Week 6
Whether you’re playing on DraftKings or FanDuel, you probably looked at the prices and got very excited at Martellus Bennett’s cheap price. I did the same thing at first. I mean, $5,900 for those numbers? Against the Falcons? Indoors?
Well, there’s a funny thing about this. When it looks like the algorithm is just wrong here, there are actually a ton of factors working against Bennett in this case. This is one of those moments where you can get a huge edge on the daily fantasy competition by not using a popular play that could really work out in your favor.
1. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have been playing injured – For some reason, a lot of people have forgotten this factor. Remember, it recently was reported by Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com that Marshall had talked his way into playing the last few weeks and even said he wasn’t supposed to play. Marshall racked up those three TDs in the late charge against the San Francisco 49ers, but he clearly wasn’t close to 100 percent and wasn’t himself. Marshall’s targets progressively declined as Alshon Jeffery’s started to increase after he suffered his injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. The lost factor in this is that neither player actually missed a complete game, and none of their stats looked terrible. Therefore, unless you really payed attention to the play calling of the Chicago Bears in the first five weeks and how the receivers looked, you didn’t understand that both receivers have been far from their usual capabilities.
2. The Falcons are third in FPTS allowed to TEs – Okay, it’s five weeks into the season. How much can we really value that sample size? Well, they faced Jimmy Graham and Larry Donnell. Graham caught eight passes for 82 yards, but didn’t get a TD. Donnell saw 76% of snaps against the Falcons (about average for him and top 10 of all TEs in the NFL) and put up a big fat doughnut. The other teams were Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Minnesota, which means Jermaine Gresham, Brandon Myers and a variety of Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford (Kyle Rudolph out). You might think that’s bad competition overall, but that’s actually fairly solid when you think about the lack of great TE production overall in just five weeks. How many teams have played better than arguably the best TE, another very good TE, an okay but proven TE, an average TE and just a lack of TEs due to injuries? Not many. And on that note, the Falcons have not allowed a TD to a TE yet with that defense.
3. Bennett ranks third on the Bears in red-zone percentage involvement – This is just a simple but important stat. Here’s how the Bears’ red-zone percentage numbers go:
1. Matt Forte – 10.07%
2. Brandon Marshall – 6.71%
3. Martellus Bennett – 6.45%
Keep in mind also that the Falcons have particularly short corners and are going against the biggest one-two punch WRs in the NFL.
4. There are a lot of options at TE this week – Julius Thomas against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, Rob Gronkowski against a terrible pass defense and is playing full time now, Delanie Walker against the Jaguars (duh), Larry Donnell’s price dropped and is against a poor pass defense who gets a ton of red-zone targets. There are some others worth considering too.
5. Everyone is going to use Bennett – It depends on what site you used and what tournament you were in, but here are a lot of the most-played guys from last week: Rashad Jennings, Reggie Bush, Jimmy Graham, DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Steve Smith, Delanie Walker.
Okay, I will give injury passes to Jennings and Graham since they had some early production and went out early. That still doesn’t mean they were going to be great, and they weren’t exactly on track either. I will not give a pass to Bush. He left the game early in the fourth quarter, had barely done much until then and fell into my favorite motto of – unless you’re a complete and featured back, there will always be someone behind you with a week of preparation. Murray did well again, and he was a great play. Bell, Brown and Walker all had mediocre-to-poor games, and none of them got into the end zone.
That’s not to say all these plays at the time were terrible. The point is that the obvious and/or most popular play can often not be the correct move. This is especially true for GPPs, but it does go for all formats. Bennett has been plastered all over Twitter, other articles and was heavily used in Thursday lineups on both sites. For example, Bennett was 17.8% used in the Thursday Bomb on FanDuel. Even at tight end, that’s really high.
To be fair, I’m not recommending that you fade Bennett altogether. I simply wouldn’t use him very much, and that especially goes for GPPs. His upside isn’t nearly as great as you think. In 50/50s and heads-up tournaments, it’s more reasonable to use him.
But I’ll repeat the important thing to take away from this – don’t take the obvious just because it seems great on paper. This almost sounds like I’m talking about sports betting, but there is some truth to it with daily fantasy. If there is great reason to not use a popular play, it can be one of your greatest assets at winning big money in daily fantasy.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz