Fantasy NFL Thoughts For Week 6 And Beyond
It’s been two weeks since I’ve researched Daily Fantasy Football because of my wedding and honeymoon, Since getting back yesterday and checking out team news and numbers, I found myself with a lot of thoughts about this NFL season and Week 6 strategy. Below are those thoughts, in no particular order.
- Eddie Lacy: Green Bay has the 2nd highest point projection, and the highest rushing point projection by a mile according to our NFL point share tool. San Diego has one of the worse run defenses in the league, so the matchup is juicy as well. Eddie Lacy was a very good fantasy running back last year, and got off to a similarly slow start. Green Bay had a good offensive line last year, but reserve Don Barclay has had to fill in for injured Bryan Bulaga for the first 4 games of the season, and he’s been terrible, possibly causing the whole offensive line to get out of whack. Bulaga returned last week and we should see the Packers O-Line at full strength this week. I definitely like Lacy a lot. His only downside is his snap count was quite low last week, only 57%. But if he gets it going, I think we see him in the 70-80% range.
- Something tells me the Giants are going to be the worst defense against TEs and pass catching RBs this season (they’ve been almost that so far). TEs and RBs are mostly guarded by Linebackers and Safeties, and the Giants appear to have very bad players at those position in pass coverage, while having solid corners in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara. MLB Uani Unga is the worst graded middle linebacker in the league according to ProFootballFocus, and Landon Collins has the worst pass coverage grade among Safeties. I think Zach Ertz could have a really big game, as well as Darren Sproles, who should get more work than usual against the run stuffing Giants.
- Speaking of the Eagles, they have a really juicy passing matchup against the Giants. We project the Eagles to have the highest team passing percentage Week 6, which means more PPR to go around. Jordan Matthews seems like a great target, as Matthews is the best receiver on the team and plays the most out of the slot.
- I don’t like LeGarrette Blount this week. The Patriots rushed for a bazillion yards and touchdowns against the Colts last season, which is why a lot of people are on Blount this week. But the NFL changes quickly, and the Colts have a completely different defensive line this season, one that has been better against the run than in 2014. Also, you have to imagine after two huge poundings by the Patriots running game that Chuck Pagano is telling his coaching staff to, at the very least, not let that happen again. I don’t think the Patriots have as big of a commitment to the run game as they’ve had the previous years. Last season Jonas Gray got nearly all the snaps at RB while Blount got over 60% during a playoff win. Last week against Dallas, New England was having a lot of success running the ball, but Blount only got 17/60 snaps. He is sharing time with Dion Lewis this year, who I obviously love with the amount of playing time he’s getting and his skill in the passing game.
- Kansas City has given up the most fantasy points to WRs this year by a mile. But why? From looking at ProFootballFocus, the reasons seem pretty clear: They are a strong run defense, and their best players in pass coverage are their safeties and linebackers. In other words, pass coverage is their weak link, specifically their corners, who opponents have been attacking relentlessly. One team that looks similar: the Oakland Raiders. They have not been bad against WRs this season fantasy wise, but have got insanely lucky in the TD department compared to red zone targets for WRs: 23 targets resulting in only 2 TD. My guess is by the end of the season, Oakland will be in the top 5 of in fantasy points allowed to WRs.
- Kansas City’s weakness is not the Vikings strength, which is why I think the Vikings do poorly on offense this week. WRs Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson are banged up this week, and neither of them are very good anyways.
- Is it crazy to like Lamar Miller this week? He goes against a very bad Tennessee run defense, was 4th in snaps for RBs last time he played at 80%, and the Dolphins new coaching want to commit more to running the ball. Miller had some great games last season, I think he starts producing this week.
- Everyone is all over Antonio Gates, but I think this is a textbook case of overvaluing a player when they have a great game against a really bad defense. He caught 9 passes for 92 yards and 2 TDs last week against the Steelers, who are the worst TE defense in the league. Their opponent this week, Green Bay, is above average. Gates had 12 TDs last season, the most TDs that he’s had since 2004, but in 2013 he only had 4. As Gates gets older, we should expect his performance to regress, and we shouldn’t use 2014 as a benchmark of TD expectations. He’s certainly not a bad play, but I like Rob Gronkowski a lot more this week.
- Kamar Aiken is one of my favorite value plays this week. Baltimore is 4th in estimated pass percentage and pass point share this week, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much of anyone to catch the ball besides Aiken, as Steve Smith believes he will not play this week. It’s hard to imagine a world where Aiken does not do well this week. The Ravens also have a banged up Justin Forsett at RB, which may force them to pass more.
- Le’Veon Bell was unsurprisingly first in snaps last week at 91%, but the guy in 2nd? Carlos Hyde at 90%. Hyde is getting a huge workload and with Reggie Bush sidelined this week, another heavy workload is guaranteed. The 49ers really like to run the ball, and despite facing a good Ravens run defense, I really like Hyde. He’s a very talented running back on a run first team with a huge workload. The 49ers are only two point underdogs, so if they do actually get a lead we should see 30+ carries from Hyde.
- I probably put more value in to ProFootballFocus data than a lot of other DFS pros. Football statistics tend do a poor job describing what actually happened on the field. PFF grades each individual play for each player, which seems to me to do a much better job than normal statistics of evaluating player performance. If you’re like me and like PFF data a lot, here are some guys who have been exceptionally good at the skill positions this season who haven’t been doing that well statistically: T.Y. Hilton, Michael Crabtree, and my sleeper Carlos Hyde.
View all posts by Daniel Steinberg