WATCH: PLAYER TO WATCH — ELIJAH MCGUIRE
Here’s a data-driven breakdown featuring five key stats, courtesy of FantasyLabs contributor Bryan Mears.
FantasyLabs is a daily fantasy tool and real-time analytics platform that enables players to test theories, create and backtest models, and construct customized lineups. In this piece, I leverage the same tools used by co-founders Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings (CSURAM88) for each slate.
+3.1 Opponent Plus/Minus — Deshaun Watson
Opponent Plus/Minus measures the number of points above or below salary-based expectations that a defense has allowed to a certain position. Watson has the third-highest mark among all Week 6 QBs against the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 3.1 DraftKings points above expectations this season. Watson has been one of the most impressive rookie QBs in NFL history, and he has 10 touchdowns in the last two games. The Browns are strong against the run, ranking third in DVOA, but they’re quite poor against the pass, ranking 31st. That means the Houston Texans should attack this defense through the air, and Watson has been nearly unstoppable in that regard since he’s had his full complement of weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Watson could be one of the most popular QBs on the slate, but it’s for good reason.
+6.98 Projected Plus/Minus — Mark Ingram
Our proprietary Plus/Minus metric measures actual versus expected fantasy production based on the historical performances of previous players at comparable salaries. Three cheap running backs in the $4,000 salary range — Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara and Jerick McKinnon — lead the position in Projected Plus/Minus, all with marks of at least +4.50. That said, Ingram stands above them all at +6.98, and he also leads all RBs with 10 DraftKings Pro Trends. Ingram should see a couple more touches than usual after the Saints traded away Adrian Peterson, but he likely would have been a strong play regardless: He has exceeded salary-based expectations in each of his first four games, and he’s a 4.5-point favorite at home in the Superdome. He has averaged 16.47 DraftKings points and a +3.75 Plus/Minus in 16 games as a home favorite since 2014.
6 Pro Trends — Julio Jones
At FantasyLabs, we have what are called “Pro Trends” — angles we’ve identified that historically yield value. Jones is tied for the most Pro Trends among WRs this week with six, and he could go overlooked by fantasy players this week, given his struggles this season. He has yet to exceed salary-based expectations in 2017, and he had to leave the Week 4 game against the Bills early because of a hip flexor injury. He’s had a bye week to get healthy and now will face a Miami Dolphins team that is one of the strongest pass-flowing funnels this season. They’re very strong against the run, ranking second on the season, but awful against the pass, sitting 29th in DVOA. That could encourage the Atlanta Falcons to attack through the air, and Jones has averaged more than 100 yards per game over his last 24 home games.
0.27 Fantasy Points Per Snap — Cameron Brate
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end is second to only Travis Kelce this season in terms of fantasy points per snap (0.27), and he’s $2,200 cheaper than the Kansas City Chiefs’ stud tight end. Brate has exceeded salary-based expectations in each of his last three games, and he has shown to be a large part of the offense, finishing with a 5-68-1 line on nine targets last week against the New England Patriots. This week, he’ll face an Arizona Cardinals team that historically has been strong against the pass — and TEs specifically because of the presence of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu — but that hasn’t been the case this season. Arizona ranks 24th against the pass and a middling 15th specifically against TEs. That said, given the Cardinals’ historic reputation, the talented Brate could go overlooked in DraftKings tournaments.
45.4 Percent Pass Success Rate — Houston Texans
Pass success rate is defined as the percentage of passes that have decreased a defense’s win probability. The Texans own the third-lowest mark in the slate at 45.4 percent, and they will face a Browns offense that ranks 30th this season. Houston will be without pass rushers J.J. Watt (tibial plateau fracture) and Whitney Mercilus (torn pectoral) for the season but might not feel the loss in Week 6, especially against Cleveland’s Kevin Hogan, who owns a 6.7 percent interception rate over the past year — easily the worst mark among all starting QBs. Even without two defensive studs, the Texans still are 10-point home favorites against a Browns offense that has allowed defenses to score 2.3 DraftKings points over salary-based expectations this season.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is bcm9795) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.