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Five Fantasy Football Stats To Consider Ahead Of Week 4
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 Pro Trends — Deshaun Watson
At FantasyLabs, we have what are called “Pro Trends” — angles we’ve identified that historically yield value. Watson leads all main-slate QBs with six Pro Trends, one of which is averaging at least 30 rushing yards per game. The Texans’ rookie QB has 108 rushing yards on just 13 attempts over his last two games, and QBs with at least 30 yards per game historically have averaged 3.17 DraftKings points over salary-based expectations.
Watson has a nice matchup this week against a Titans squad that ranks 23rd in defensive DVOA this season and finished 24th last year. Further, Tennessee was 27th against the pass in 2016, and Watson impressed as a passer in Week 3, hitting the 300-yard bonus while throwing for two touchdowns against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Because of his diverse skill set, Watson owns the second-highest floor projection within our NFL Models despite costing just $5,100.
+2.91 Projected Plus/Minus — Bilal Powell
Our proprietary Plus/Minus metric measures actual versus expected fantasy production based on the historical performances of previous players at comparable salaries. Powell’s projected mark of +2.91 leads all RBs in the main slate, which is perhaps a bit surprising considering he plays for a Jets team that is a three-point home underdog to the Jaguars. The Jets are implied for just 17.5 points — the lowest mark in the slate — and the Jags have been elite defensively this season, ranking fifth in total DVOA.
Now the good: Powell costs just $4,600, and he should get most of the RB work with Matt Forte sitting out with turf toe. In two games over the last two years with Forte out, Powell has increased his average rush attempts from 7.2 to 18.5, and his average rushing yards from 35.5 to 91.0. He has averaged 16.05 DraftKings points without Forte, and his ability to operate both in the running and passing game gives him a high floor no matter the game flow. Powell also has a high ceiling: He finished with 37.9 fantasy points in a game against the 49ers at the end of last year, after Forte left early with a knee injury. Since Forte played a couple snaps in that game, the above trend of 16.05 fantasy points for Powell minus Forte doesn’t include that game.
+4.9 Opponent Plus/Minus — Odell Beckham Jr.
Opponent Plus/Minus measures the number of points above or below expectations a defense has allowed to a certain position. Beckham looked to be his old self again in Week 3, catching nine of his 13 targets for 79 yards and two TDs, and this week, he’ll face a Buccaneers team that has allowed opposing WRs to score 4.9 DraftKings points over salary-based expectations. The Bucs rank 29th in pass DVOA and specifically 26th versus opposing WR1s.
Beckham can perform against any matchup, especially if the Giants continue to funnel production to him: He had 27.7 percent of New York’s targets in Week 3 and 36.0 percent of its passing yards. OBJ owns the second-highest projected ceiling among all WRs this week.
26.1 Percent Receiving Yards Market Share — Zach Ertz
Ertz’s salary has gone way up to $6,300 after starting the season at $3,500 versus the Redskins, but the price hike certainly is warranted. Ertz leads all tight ends this season with a 26.1 percent market share of receiving yards, and he owns a team-high 24.6 percent of the Eagles’ targets. He’s averaging 9.3 targets, which is almost unheard of for a tight end, and he also has been very efficient, averaging 8.4 yards per target and catching 75.0 percent of the balls thrown his way.
Ertz could go overlooked this week, given the price increase — he’s now just $300 less than Rob Gronkowski — but he owns just as much upside as anyone, especially against a Chargers defense that ranks 31st against TEs this season.
3.3 Projected Sacks — Jacksonville Defense
We’re projecting sacks within our NFL Models this season, and the Jaguars’ defense ranks second in Week 4 with 3.3 projected sacks. After accumulating 10 of them and forcing three fumbles in Week 1 against the Texans, the Jags struggled in Week 2, allowing 37 points to the Titans and taking down Marcus Mariota only once. Jacksonville returned to its dominant ways in Week 3, however, sacking Joe Flacco twice, forcing one fumble and getting two interceptions in routing the Ravens. This week, the Jags will go up against a Jets squad implied for just 17.5 points at home, so their defense should be a popular one in Week 4 DraftKings tournaments.
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.