Hello all and welcome to my NFL GPP breakdown for Week 6 of the NFL season. For those of you who were here last year, we had a ton of success with this article throughout the year and saw a plethora of screenshots throughout the season of MAJOR wins from in cooperating this article into your weekly research and lineup construction. For those of you who are new, welcome, my name is Bob Viafora and I am one of the lead DFS analysts at DFS Karma. I’ve been with DFS Karma for 2+ years now and looking forward to what our team (and you – the reader) is able to accomplish this season. As a staple of your weekly reading/research, please reach out to me on twitter @DF_Advantage (throw me that follow if you don’t already) each week and let me know how your rosters did as well as sharing any #screenshots you may have. Football is back! Let’s GO!
High Tier: Cam Newton ($6100 – DK / $8400 – FD) – Cam Newton is one of those quarterbacks that carry such a high-ceiling they can become an “optimal” play in cash and an amazing GPP play towards the high-end spectrum of QB prices. This is a week where I am extremely high on Newton in a spot where he will be, in my opinion, a high percentage chance of being on the “perfect” lineup. I believe the Panthers/Redskins game as a whole is going extremely over-looked and is one that I am diving deep into after seeing some of the DFS Karma models ranking pieces from this game with a high score. The total is currently at 44.5, so while it is not one that we need to be worried about, the general population that hawks on what Vegas tells us will be off this game for the most part. Cam Newton has been improving on his accuracy as a QB year after year to the point where it is league average for most throws and above average at some depths. The major upside Cam brings to the table is what he can do with his legs. Already twice this season, Cam has added double-digit rushing attempts to his stat line. While we did not see the pass volume we would like to in the games the Panther’s have won/been leading, in their only loss this season, Cam went for 45 pass attempts. Against the Giants last week in what was a very close game, Cam threw 35 times. The Panthers are projected to lose this week which is going to lead to that 35-40 pass attempt sweet spot we want from Newton. 35-40 pass attempts + ~10 rushes? Sign me up.
Also, a key point to make about the vulnerability of the Redskins defense and new dynamic to the Panthers offense: DJ Moore continues to get worked more into this offense which will be crucial this week against the Redskins who are susceptible to the deep ball.
With Moore’s deep-threat presence involved in this game, in addition to the return of Greg Olsen, I’m very confident Cam is going to have a huge day.
High Tier 2: Jared Goff ($6000 – DK / $8200 – FD) – Jared Goff. My hero. I have quite the man crush on Goff for a few reasons. My call on him and the Rams Week 1 of last season breaking out as a star in this league has been one of my proudest of my career in DFS/Sports Analytics. After everyone was down on Goff after his rookie season and dug deep and found key additions/metrics that were pointing to a Rams breakout. The production has carried over into year 3 and let’s get into why I’m all over paying up for Goff at sub-5% projected ownership on Draftkings this week.
This year the Rams are 2nd in adjusted sack rate allowed. One of the biggest things I touched on in my article from Week 1 of last season is how good Goff is when he isn’t pressured. This trend has continued 1.33 years later as Goff has a 126.6 passer rating when not pressured. Throughout the entire 2018 season Goff has only been pressured 27 times. For reference, I’m 99% sure that Eli was pressured 45 times on Thursday night against the Eagles. Only the Bears defense has been more efficient in pass-blocking, but the Rams are right up there at 92.3 (per PFF). With the Broncos pass-rush just 13th in adjusted sack rate we aren’t really worried about Goff being pressured in this spot and should be able to play his game.
Low Tier: Alex Smith ($5400 – DK / $7400 – FD) – As I briefly touched upon in my Cam Newton analysis, I am extremely high on this Panthers vs. Redskins game while many are saying the opposite. Throughout the first 5 weeks of the season, it is fair to say that Alex Smith is just not getting the help he needs to from his receivers. This is something that will regress as the weeks go on but what really intrigues me about this receiving core is not the wide receivers but the RB and TE who I think will show extreme productivity in this game. Adrian Peterson is a new man this season who has seemed to reinvent himself as a new player in the ever-changing NFL landscape. As a receiver over his nine targets this year, Peterson is second ALL TIME in yards per route run at 3.89 through Week 5 of the NFL season (per PFF). If Peterson can see a slight spike of usage in the passing game (which I think will be a trend as the Redskins study their offense) he could be a huge part of Alex Smith’s productivity in this game. Secondly, I want to touch on Jordan Reed who is in a SMASH spot this week and is someone the DFS community has forgotten about. Although Jordan Reed has not shown major flashes this season, we know what he is capable of at the prime age of 28. With a ton of injuries on the Redskins side and some players bound to sit we’re going to see a spike in Reed’s usage, to begin with. The Panthers have ranked 27th in DVOA covering the tight-end and looking into it we can see why. Shaq Thompson, the Panther’s SAM (strongside linebacker), has been having an awful season which has continued from a downward trend beginning in 2016. If Reed can return to 2016/1016 form he is going to be an animal for the next two-thirds of the season. These are smash spots from a RECEIVING perspective for both Peterson and Reed. Give me the guy throwing them the ball at only $5,400 on Draftkings this week as a LOCK to hit value.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (FP/$): Alex Smith DK vs. Cam Newton FD
High: Ezekiel Elliot ($7,000 – DK / $8,100 – FD) – Feeeeed Zekeeee. Volume is king in NFL and although this is a tough matchup, (1) Defenses don’t matter, (2) Zeke is averaging 28 touches over the last two weeks. This is going to be a game completely dedicated to the run, with both teams unwilling to let their QBs loose. With Zeke’s increased usage in the passing game this year, that is bound to continue, we should expect 6-8 targets and at least 20 rushing attempts for Zeke in this spot. If you’re telling me Zeke is going to be 10% owned in a game he’ll see 30 touches with basically all the TD equity, you’d be out of your mind to fade him in GPPs. I understand this is a difficult matchup for Zeke but the upside and volume is there. The Cowboys line has not been as good as years past but is still top ten in the league in yards before contact at 2.17 this year. The Cowboys also love to run inside the 5, where they are top 7 in the league with 1.4 attempts per game (rise in Zeke TD equity). Zeke is a great play if you have the salary. I’m not sure I will in my single entry GPPs since I’m paying up at QB but I will be trying to squeeze him in.
Mid-Tier: Marshawn Lynch ($5,300 – DK / $6,500 – FD) – I know I may not be alone on this #NarrativeStreet play but I have to include it in my article as most analytics I’m observing project Beast Mode for under 5% ownership. The first thing I’m looking at in this matchup is the OL vs DL. Seattle has been #bad this year from a defensive line point and per PFF there is a 15% advantage for Oakland’s offensive line compared to Seattle. An incredible point on Lynch this season is that 83.1% of his yards so far have been AFTER contact and is 2nd in the entire league in missed tackles at 21. I assume others in the industry are lower on Marshawn because of Bobby Wagner and his #1 rated run defense. This will definitely be a fun matchup but I have to give the advantage in two equally skilled players to the offensive player. Lynch essentially sees 100% of the RZ carries for the Raiders (4th in NFL), while the Seahawks are in the bottom 20% of the league in rushing touchdowns allowed. This is a major spot for Marshawn in what Vegas implies will be a high-scoring affair.
Low Tier: Chris Carson ($4,400 – DK / $6,400 FD)- I can’t believe the price on Chris Carson on Draftkings. As I stated above in the Lynch breakdown, Vegas has this game up there with a 48.5 implied total. Carson comes in as almost an equally great play as Lynch where the game script is in his favor. The Raiders have been getting killed by the run all season as they rank 5th worst in rushing yards allowed per game. With Wilson’s ability to keep the ball on the outside, the Raiders linebackers should not be anywhere close to stacking the box allowing Carson to work. Carson ranks 3rd in the NFL in yards after contact per attempt and should see around 20-22 carries in this position. In Week 3 we saw Carson as the true workhouse, eclipsing that 30 rush attempt mark. But Mike Davis has cut into his carries a bit after Carson was forced to miss Week 4. I believe as Carson continues to get more comfortable and healthier in this offense the snap count will continue to lean back his way. At 4.4k Carson is close to a LOCK for value on Draftkings. I 100% prefer Lynch on Fanduel, where they are essentially priced the same.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Chris Carson (DK) vs Marshawn Lynch (FD)
High Tier: AJ Green ($8,000 – DK / $8,800 FD) – The first thing we need to be aware of is this matchup. Joe Haden will be opposite of AJ Green. For some reason, Haden has had his way with Green throughout his career, and while that may be a mental block for Green and something we should monitor, I am sticking to the analytical side of the football and why Green should dominate in this potential shootout. Even if Haden is able to contain Green on the outside, Green is playing 30.2% of his snaps from the slot which is the highest of his entire career. Although I don’t like to bake in individual WR/CB matchups too much into my research it is notable that Pro Football Focus has rated AJ Green a “High-Quality/Elite” receiver at 85.2 and Joe Haden an “Average/Below-Average” cornerback at 63.4. Take that with a grain of salt but it is notable.
Check out AJ Green’s efficiency over the past four years by average depth of target. Green has been an above average receiver between 5 and 20 yards of depth which fits into his 13-yard aDOT perfectly. It also explains his extreme-efficiency as a red-zone threat in which he sees about 2-3 targets per game.
As is clear from Green’s route tree he does a ton of his damage over the middle of the field. Steeler’s free safety, Terrell Edmunds, rates as the 2nd worst player on the Steelers defense. Expect Green to be a major factor in this potential shootout. I will prefer playing Green on Fanduel this week for his TD equity.
Mid-Tier: Jarvis Landry ($6,600 DK / $6,900 FD) – I’m actually extremely surprised that Landry isn’t chalk this week on Draftkings. At only 6.6k he seems to me as a lock to hit value. Throughout the past three weeks, he has seen 15, 10, and 11 targets. He’s the true WR1 for the Browns with a legit QB at Baker Mayfield at the helm and is priced like a WR 2. Although the catch % hasn’t been there for Landry that will improve as he and Mayfield build chemistry. The point is.. the volume is there. It is the consensus that Landry is only a WR that can play out of the slot and take slants for 5-6 yards while occasionally breaking out a long after the catch run. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Per PFF, Landry’s most targeted route this season is the “Go-Route” (essentially a streak for you Madden people). On these go-route’s, Landry has posted a 111.7 passer rating compared to sub 82 passer ratings on his out and cross routes. This sets up perfectly for the type of aggressive play Mayfield has been implementing into the Browns offense with the willingness to take shots.
This sets up perfectly for how the Chargers have been getting torn apart this year (the deep ball). Make sure to LOCK Landry into your cash and GPP lineups. I think he’s in for a big day.
Low Tier: Courtland Sutton ($3,500 – DK / $4,800 – FD)- Back to Courtland Sutton after we missed his first TD of the season. That’s not a big deal considering he got hurt immediately after and was out the rest of the game. Game flow is going to be in Sutton’s favor here as the Rams will almost surely be leading for the majority of this game. Sutton is becoming the #2 WR on this team as he’s seeing more snaps than Demaryius Thomas. At only 3.5k at minimum ownership, you need to consider him in your main GPP lineups. Noticeably, Sutton has also been Keenum’s favorite 3rd-down target with 12 on the year which shows how much trust the Broncos have in the rookie.
Although this may not be the most volume based route tree it is noticeable to see 5 targets at least 10 yards downfield for a player priced 3.5k on Draftkings and 4.8k on Fanduel. Again, to mention what Sutton’s teammates call him… Megatron. Obviously, we don’t think Sutton will be as dominant as one of the best WRs of all time, to be compared to him by actual NFL players is something to take into account. If the Broncos have faith in Sutton, I don’t see why I can’t as a 20 point ceiling player in my DFS lineups.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Courtland Sutton
Jordan Reed ($5,200 DK / $6,200 FD) – With everyone paying down at TE this week it makes a lot of sense to pay up for Jordan Reed in a potential elite spot. As I discussed in my analysis of Alex Smith, I think Jordan Reed will see a bump in usage with at least some of these Redskins pass catchers sitting out with injuries. In addition to this usage bump, Reed is in for a feast against the 27th ranked defense against the tight end. As we know, recency bias is a huge factor in DFS sports and one of the few edges that will likely always exist. Last week Jordan Reed was essentially a non-factor and saw two targets. Before that he was seeing around 6.5 targets per game which is solid for a TE, but not what we expect from a top 3 tight-end talent in the league (people forget that). Reed is in his prime at 28 years old and fully healthy for the first time in a while. At such a shallow position, I was amazed to see Reed projected for under 5% ownership where in my opinion he carries the highest upside at the position. He’s my TE1 this week in all formats.
I will be giving out more of my low-owned GPP’s plays on Sunday morning where I will be hosting an Instagram live show you can find @DFS_Karma on Instagram around 11am. Make sure to stay tuned and thanks for reading! I better see ALLLL the screenshots Monday morning with all of you RAKING in the cash! LET’S GOOOOO! #MONEYTEAM
WRITTEN BY: @ DF_ADVANTAGE – Follow me on Twitter
*THIS ARTICLE IS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR GPP ENTRY CONTESTS ON DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL. MY GOAL WHEN SHARING MY THOUGHTS/INFORMATION WITH YOU ALL IS THAT THESE PLAYERS COME IN UNDER 10-15% OWNED IN GPP’S. TO FIND PLAYERS THIS LOW OWNED, WE ARE TAKING ON A “BUST RISK”. THIS IS THE TYPE OF RISK AS A GPP PLAYER YOU NEED TO TAKE DOWN A TOURNAMENT. *