TUESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Antonio Gates back up to last year’s snap rate
Gates was eased into his first game off suspension in Week 5, playing on just 56.6 percent of the snaps. He still went 9-92-2 on a team-high 11 targets. In Week 6, the Chargers took the shackles off. Gates played on 75.5 percent of the snaps against the Packers, which is right around his 2014 rate of 72.3 percent. Again Gates produced with 9-95-0 on a whopping 16 targets. Now he gets the dream spot for a tight end: Home against the Raiders. Gates remains just $5000 on DraftKings, $3100 less than Rob Gronkowski and slightly more than the Gary Barnidge/Travis Kelce/Jason Witten tier. Gates will be massively owned on Sunday – and for good reason.
2. Christine Michael soaking up first-team reps
The Cowboys went into their bye saying they were going to look at a bunch of personnel changes. They’ve replaced Brandon Weeden with Matt Cassel at quarterback and La’el Collins is in for Ronald Leary at left guard. But for our purposes, the most interesting move is Christine Michael surging to the top of the depth chart. Joseph Randle has been “meh” at best, averaging just 3.90 YPC with zero 100-yard games. So the Cowboys have promoted their fantasy cult hero in C-Mike, who got the majority of first-team reps at Monday’s first workout following the bye.
For those that aren’t aware of Michael, he’s a ridiculously explosive athlete and 2013 second-round pick that never got in front of Robert Turbin in Seattle, and was traded to Dallas just before Week 1. Given his skill set and Dallas’ offensive line, C-Mike is certainly in play right out of the gate despite a tough matchup at the Giants Sunday and the fact that he won’t play on pass downs. He costs the minimum $3000 this week and projects for 12-15 carries.
3. Stefon Diggs’ stock rising in Minnesota
When the Vikings took Diggs in the fifth round of this year’s draft, most thought he’d settle in as a return man only. That was before Charles Johnson’s faceplant. Diggs has likely “Wally Pipped” Johnson, as he’s gone 13-216-0 on 19 targets in the two games that Johnson has missed. In the Week 6 win over the Chiefs, Diggs played on 83.3 percent of the snaps. In the Week 4 game before the bye against Denver’s elite secondary, he impressively posted 6-87-0. Diggs’ price has moved up to $4200, but he’ll certainly be an option against Detroit Sunday if Johnson sits. And even if Johnson is active, look out for reports that Diggs will play ahead of him anyway.
4. Jordan Matthews duds yet again
It’s hard to get off Jordan Matthews because he has 56 targets in six games, a very solid 24.5 percent of his team’s target share. But something continues to be off with this Philadelphia passing game. Even though Sam Bradford put up big numbers in Weeks 4 and 5, it still hasn’t clicked. That showed up again on Monday night as Bradford never appeared comfortable, throwing three bad interceptions and short-hopping a couple throws to Matthews. JMatt is now averaging just 10.7 YPC on the year with a 67.9 percent catch rate. Players running routes that shallow need to be catching a higher rate of their balls to sustain value. For example, Keenan Allen is at 77.9 percent and Larry Fitzgerald is at 79.6. Given what we’ve seen through six weeks, there’s no reason to think the light is going to come on for Matthews.