Dollars Per Opportunity: Rishard Matthews Smash Week
Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
I recommended a lot of players last week so rather than list them all here let’s just say we had a pants-off party thanks to Adrian Peterson. I crushed value at QB, RB, and TE, but whiffed 100 percent at WR. Here are the results.
Again, I’m scoring my picks whether they hit value on either site which is ~2.5x on DraftKings and ~2x on FanDuel.
DraftKings: 9-7 (40-31 overall)
FanDuel: 7-7 (27-29 overall)
You can check out the season primer for a brief description of what to expect. I’ll be updating the Google Doc (see link below) every Friday for the article and then again late Saturday to adjust for any injury news. Be sure to check it out before you finalize your lineups.
Now, let’s get to the Week 6 plays!
C.J. Beathard | 32.9 Opp Score | $4,900 DK; $6,300 FD
My top value on the board across both sites is C.J. Beathard given he’s 1) priced outside the top 25 and 2) gets a matchup against a #notgood Cowboys defense. The 49ers come into this Sunday as +6 home underdogs, which is always a good bump for the quarterback, and Beathard comes in with the 13th-highest opportunity score of the week. If you’re looking for a pivot off of the popular Brett Hundley in GPPs, Beathard is a good option.
Kirk Cousins | 35.4 Opp Score | $6,500 DK; $7,500 FD
If you’re playing on a slate with primetime games, Kirk Cousins is your guy. Not only is he inexpensive (his salary is ranked ninth on DK and 11th on FD), but he comes in with the fifth-ranked opportunity score against an Eagles defense that has struggled mightily against the pass. He plays on Monday night, so he’s not on any main slates but is a great option for smaller slate GPPs and cash games alike.
LeSean McCoy | 34.2 DK Score; 30.2 FD Score | $7,400 DK; $7,900 FD
It’s rare that a running back priced so highly shows up near the top of the value board, but LeSean McCoy is in a great spot. First, the Bills have been ravaged by injuries on the offensive end — Charles Clay and Jordan Matthews are out, which leaves them with Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, and, well, that’s about it. It’s likely that McCoy sees the most targets against a Bucs defense that ranks 22nd in DVOA vs. RBs in the passing game (6.5 targets per game).
Mark Ingram | 28.7 DK Score; 25.2 FD Score | $6,700 DK; $7,100 FD
Why not go back to the Mark Ingram well? The Saints showed how well they can run the ball last week, and their offensive line has quietly been one of the best run-blocking units this season.1 The Saints also come into the game as road favorites since Aaron Rodgers won’t be suiting up. Expect a favorable game script and for Ingram to get plenty of opportunities — his opportunity score ranks top 10 on both sites. Alvin Kamara ($5,600 DK; $6,100 FD) is also a nice pivot play in GPPs.
Melvin Gordon | 30.3 DK Score; 27.0 FD Score | $7,000 DK; $7,700 FD
We just saw the Giants run through the Broncos defense with little resistance, so obviously Melvin Gordon should be able to do the same, right? Don’t bother looking at the Vegas line for this game because it will just leave you with a feeling of eternal sadness that the Chargers have no true home and will never be favored again.2 Just know that Gordon is as game script proof as they come — his receiving line over the last two weeks is a ridiculous 20-15-125-3.
Marlon Mack | 12.7 DK Score; 11.5 FD Score | $4,100 DK; $5,300 FD
If you don’t mind living a little dangerously you could turn to Marlon Mack for some salary relief. Robert Turbin is out for an extended period, which clears up the Colts backfield a bit. Frank Gore isn’t going anywhere, but we could see Mack get more involved. As Ben Gretch pointed out in this week’s Stealing Signals (AFC), Gore played a season-low 40 percent of snaps last week vs. the Titans. Mack has flashed big-play potential this season and is a nice GPP option.
Robert Woods | 13.4 DK Score; 11.0 FD Score | $4,000 DK; $5,500 FD
You’ve heard the popular term “funnel defense” thrown around and the Cardinals are exactly that. Not only are they much better vs. the run than the pass, but they also have an elite shadow corner who funnels passes away from him. It’s like a funnel within a funnel, or “funnelception” if you will. I’m assuming as of now that Patrick Peterson will shadow Sammy Watkins, which would give Robert Woods a great matchup in a game that could easily be a shoot out.
Rishard Matthews| 12.8 Opp Score | $5,500 FD
Not only is Rishard Matthews the Titans’ top wide receiver, but he also draws the top matchup on the team as Eric Decker, who inexplicably is only $400 less than Matthews, should see plenty of Jason McCourty this week. Matthews should absolutely smash in this spot, and his price (WR46 on FanDuel) is likely a major oversight.
Keenan Allen | 19.2 DK Score; 15.8 FD Score | $6,300 DK; $7,000 FD
It’s always scary playing a WR against the “no fly zone” defense, but given that Keenan Allen is a stud and his price is adjusted due to the matchup, I owed it to myself to try and find an angle to play him. Well, here’s your angle: Allen plays 52 percent of snaps out of the slot, which is the most favorable matchup you can have vs. the Broncos. Also, the Broncos surprisingly only rank 18th in the league in pass DVOA and have specifically struggled vs. slot receivers and tight ends. He’s projected for a top-10 opportunity score on both sites so I have no problem playing him with likely suppressed ownership in GPPs.
Ben Watson | 11.6 DK Score; 9.4 FD Score | $3,000 DK; $4,900 FD
Ben Watson has seen six or more targets in 50 percent of his games this season and should see some volume funneled his way. Mike Wallace is potentially out and Jeremy Maclin will get the #RhodesClosed treatment. The Ravens have the lowest implied team total on the board at 17 points, which means Watson should see very low ownership in GPPs.
Watson missed Thursday’s practice. Be sure to monitor his health.
Evan Engram | 14.5 DK Score; 11.7 FD Score | $4,500 DK; $5,500 FD
Evan Engram isn’t a secret in the NFL anymore, and his usage has been off the charts. Using Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards data, Engram saw 61 percent share of the Giants’ air yards and 37 percent of the team’s targets which lead to a whopping WOPR of 0.98. The Giants are obviously going to continue to feed him targets all season so if you’re looking to pay up, Engram is easily your safest choice.