WATCH: LEVERAGING INJURIES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
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.
6.4 Percent Touchdown Rate – Aaron Rodgers
With Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees all on byes, and Tom Brady, Jameis Winston and Deshaun Watson not in the main slate, it is not a pretty week for the quarterback position. That could make Aaron Rodgers, who is the slate’s highest-priced QB by $1,000, especially popular. He’s easily the best QB, as evidenced by his 6.4 percent touchdown rate over the past year, as well as his elite Adjusted Yards Per Attempt (AY/A) mark of 7.24. He gets a Dallas Cowboys team that has been generous to opposing quarterbacks this year, allowing them to score 1.1 DraftKings points over salary-based expectations. This game has the highest total on the main slate at 52 points, and Rodgers is in an intriguing spot as a small 2.5-point underdog. In games with a three-point spread or less on the road, Rodgers has averaged 25.42 DraftKings points and exceeded expectations by 5.35 points.
7 Pro Trends – Ezekiel Elliott
At FantasyLabs, we have what are called “Pro Trends” – angles we’ve identified that historically yield value. Elliott leads all players among all positions in the main slate with seven Pro Trends, and his Cowboys are currently implied for a slate-high 27.25 points against the Green Bay Packers. He’s coming off an excellent outing in Week 4, finishing with 29.9 DraftKings points against the Rams with a 21-85-1 rushing line and 4-54-1 receiving line. That kind of work brings immense safety: He owns 88.37 percent of the Cowboys’ rushes this season. This week he’s a 2.5-point home favorite against a Packers squad that ranks 19th against the run this season. Similarly priced home RBs with a projected total of 50 or more points have historically averaged 21.91 DraftKings points and exceeded expectations by 4.00 points.
+3.2 Opponent Plus/Minus – DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry
Opponent Plus/Minus measures the number of points above or below salary-based expectations a defense has allowed to a certain position. The Miami Dolphins have been awful offensively to start the season, ranking 28th in passing offense and 29th in rushing offense. Most of that can be blamed on QB Jay Cutler, who has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns (two) and racked up a miserable 164 yards last week against a poor Saints defense. Still, this team has talented skill position players, and the wide receivers especially have an elite matchup against a Titans squad that has allowed the position to score 3.2 points above expectations. Parker has yet to explode for a huge week, but it could be coming, especially given his heavy workload. He has gotten between eight and 10 targets each game to start the year, and he easily leads the team in air yards, receiving a whopping 65.0 percent market share in Week 4.
+1.47 Projected Plus/Minus – Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Our proprietary Plus/Minus metric measures actual versus expected fantasy production based on the historical performances of previous players at comparable salaries. ASJ has a top-three Projected Plus/Minus mark among main slate TEs, and he’s in a perfect spot against a Cleveland team that is perhaps historically bad against TEs. They have allowed the position to score 3.3 points over salary-based expectations this year, and rarely-used Cincinnati TE Tyler Kroft put up 24.80 fantasy points thanks to a 6-68-2 line against them in Week 4. ASJ is a 6’6” and 260-pound beast who was a former second-round draft pick in 2014 out of Washington. He’s becoming an important part of the Jets offense – they even cut other TE Will Tye this week – and has 10 targets over the past two weeks. At just $3,500 against the Browns, he’s certainly in play in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
2.37 Percent Takeaway Rate – Baltimore Defense
The Ravens own a 2.37 percent takeaway rate and 3.96 percent interception rate over the past year; both are the top marks among main slate defenses. They currently rank second in defensive DVOA and specifically second against the pass. They will try to regain their elite form this week after allowing a combined 70 points over the past two weeks; they got only one sack in that time frame. That could certainly change this week, as they take on the Raiders and backup QB EJ Manuel, who owns a 9.1 percent sack rate. He could certainly be protected behind a brilliant Raiders offensive line, but if he tries to do too much with his legs, the Ravens can make him pay. The Raiders are currently implied for just 20.75 points, and the total has dropped from 40 to a shockingly-low 39 points.
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.