TUESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Antonio Gates has smashing 2015 debut
I underestimated the impact Antonio Gates would have as he came off a four-game PEDs suspension. I thought that he’s 35 years old now, (presumably) off steroids and has Ladarius Green on his heels. Gates proved me wrong in a big way Monday night, leading the Chargers in catches (9), yards (92), TDs (2) and targets (11) despite only playing 56.6 percent of the snaps. I’m no scout, but I thought he looked far lighter and quicker than he has in recent years. Clearly Philip Rivers’ favorite target – especially in the red zone – Gates is now in play every week even though he won’t be seeing anywhere near 100 percent of the snaps. He’s $4600 at Green Bay Sunday.
2. Julio Jones says he’ll be fine for Thursday
Julio (hamstring, toe) ended up playing on 73-of-80 snaps against the Redskins in Week 5, laboring his way to a 5-67-0 receiving line on 10 targets. He says he came out of the game fine and had no doubt he’ll play Thursday against the Saints. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday night that the Falcons are “uncertain” if their all-world wideout will be able to suit up. Either way, I won’t be on him despite the dreamy matchup. Paying $9200 for a guy who clearly isn’t near 100 percent and could suffer in-game aggravation is just not my cup of tea.
3. Patriots gameplan is a key to Week 6
When the Patriots have faced the Colts in the recent past, they’ve smashed them in the mouth with the run game. The statement has been simple – you’re soft up front and can’t stop us. Patriots “big back” RB lines the last three times they’ve faced Indy: LeGarrette Blount 30-148-3, Jonas Gray 37-201-4 and Blount 25-166-4. The combined score of those games was 130-49.
Of course, the story is a bit different now as Dion Lewis is playing at a borderline All-Pro level and we have the “Angry Tom Brady” narrative as he goes against the team that started the Deflategate saga. This Colts defense is also different now as they have three new starters along the defensive line (Kendall Langford, David Parry, Henry Anderson) and some new faces at the linebacker spot as well. Through five weeks, run defense has actually been a strength as they rank 12th in YPC against at 3.83. It should be noted that they haven’t exactly faced elite running teams yet (BUF, NYJ, TEN, JAX, HOU). The bottom line is that I’m scared to use Lewis at an elevated price of $5800 because this could be a “Blount game.” I’m also scared to use Blount at $4400 because Lewis has played so well and it could be a “Brady game.”
4. Patrick Peterson reemerges as a shutdown corner
Cardinals $83M corner Patrick Peterson wasn’t merely a guy who didn’t live up to his reputation/contract last season. He was a guy that got picked on weekly. Peterson has turned his game around this year, often shadowing opposing No. 1 wideouts and dominating them. Per PFF, Peterson has allowed a catch rate of just 44.4 percent while giving up a total of 133 yards in five games. On his hit list includes Brandin Cooks and Calvin Johnson so far. Peterson will see a lot of Antonio Brown in Week 6, making Brown an easy fade at $8300 with Michael Vick looking so inept on short throws.