Advice

DK Buffet Week 15: Key Stats and Matchups for the Main Slate

When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes, either positive or negative reason. It informs us of how we should be attacking each slate.

Arizona Cardinals

Implied Total: 17.75

Spread: +8.5 @ Atlanta

After a couple of weeks where David Johnson’s ($7,100) passing usage evaporated a bit, he came back with a vengeance in Week 14. He led the team with 10 targets in their loss to the Lions. Johnson has only had more than five targets in three games this season, so the jump was significant. He hasn’t had fewer than 20 opportunities since Week 7 in Denver. This week, the Cardinals travel to Atlanta on Sunday to face a defense that gives up the third most points to running backs.

dj

Atlanta Falcons

Implied Total: 26.25

Spread: -8.5 vs. Arizona

Matt Ryan ($6,100) is the fifth most expensive QB this week. He will most likely be the lowest owned in this range, but has performed well in this type of spot so far this season. When the Falcons are at home and favored by a field goal or more, Ryan has been useful in fantasy. He’s averaged over 32 points in those contests, largely thanks to the fact that he’s throwing 2.5 touchdowns in those games compared to 1.9 in other game environments. Ryan’s actually more efficient in these games too, averaging more points on fewer attempts.

matt

Baltimore Ravens

Implied Total: 27.25

Spread: -8 vs. Tampa Bay

Since Week 11, Lamar Jackson ($5,900) has averaged just under 17 rushes for 84 yards. Over the past couple of weeks, though, the rush attempts have come down a bit. He peaked in his first game, with 26 attempts, but has only had 15-plus in one contest over the past three weeks. There’s obviously an argument to be made for his floor, but he’s only hit 20 points in one start. If passing touchdowns start coming like last week then he’s viable. And there’s no better matchup than Tampa Bay to get a couple of passing touchdowns.

lamar

 

Buffalo Bills

Implied Total: 20.5

Spread: -2.5 vs. Detroit

Speaking of running QBs, Josh Allen ($5,800) is averaging over 110 yards on the ground over the past three weeks. Buffalo has been throwing a bit lately too, with over 30 pass attempts in each of the past two games. The issue is, and always has been, with Allen’s accuracy, or lack thereof. If he can complete a few more passes that go the distance to deep-threat Robert Foster ($4,300) or Zay Jones ($4,200), we could be looking at a solid day.

allen

Chicago Bears

Implied Total: 25.5

Spread: -6 vs. Green Bay

The price for Tarik Cohen ($6,300) puts him in an interesting range this week. He’s seen double-digit opportunities in each of the past five weeks. In the past two weeks, he’s seen four opportunities in the red zone. His usage in the pass game gives him a flat production profile which typically leads to a decent floor. Cohen has found the end zone six times this season, but just once in the past four weeks. If he breaks off a big play or two and finds the end zone, $6,300 will seem like a bargain. He’s averaged 18.4 PPR points since his emergence in Week 4.

cohen

Cincinnati Bengals

Implied Total: 24.25

Spread: -2.5 vs. Oakland

Oakland is in the bottom third of the league when it comes to defending the run. Joe Mixon ($6,100) is averaging five targets per week to go along with his 17 carries per game over the past three weeks. He’s turned those opportunities into an average of 20 PPR points per game in that stretch and hit the bonus last week with his 100-plus-yard rushing day.

mixon

Dallas Cowboys

Implied Total: 22

Spread: +3 @ Indianapolis

The biggest knock on Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000) in the past has been his lack of usage in the passing game. That no longer seems to be an issue, though, as he’s seen eight targets per game over the past half dozen games. His rushing attempts haven’t gone anywhere either, adding 22 rushes per game to his workload in that same span. Fading Elliott this week seems like a minus-EV proposition this weekend.

zeke

Detroit Lions

Implied Total: 18

Spread: +2.5 @ Buffalo

The production of Kenny Golladay ($5,400) has fallen off a cliff over the past three weeks. The peak came four weeks ago with a 25-point day against the Panthers. Since then he’s scored fewer and fewer points in each game. Granted, they haven’t been the easiest matchups, but if he sees much of Tre’davious White he could be in for more of the same this week. It’s a stay-away situation for me in all formats.

kennyGreen Bay Packers

Implied Total: 19.5

Spread: +6 @ Chicago

Despite the matchup, Aaron Jones ($6,600) is in play for GPPs this week. Since Week 8, he’s averaging nearly 18 opportunities per game. During that stretch, he’s only had one game under 15 PPR Points. Jones has access to a ceiling, with three 20-plus games in the past five weeks.

jones

Indianapolis Colts

Implied Total: 25

Spread: -3 vs. Dallas

The Colts, for better or worse, are actively trying to establish the run. Marlon Mack ($4,500) is far too cheap for his usage. Since Week 7, Mack is averaging 17 opportunities per game. Over that stretch, he’s had 16 red-zone opportunities. Dallas has looked much improved on defense, but that floor of touches at his price is worth a shot in GPPs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Implied Total: 21.75

Spread: -7.5 vs. Washington

I had intentions of writing that Leonard Fournette ($7,500) made sense this week because he was a home favorite. But, that hasn’t necessarily been the case over the course of his young career. In the five such games in his career, he’s averaged just 14 PPR points. Maybe it’s just a fluke, though, and he’s performed well in favorite spots overall? Nope. In 11 games as a favorite, he’s averaged just 15 PPR points. Not all favorite spots are created equal though. What about times when the Jags have been favored by 5 or more points? Same result. He’s barely average 10 PPR points in those games over his career.

4net

Miami Dolphins

Implied Total: 18.75

Spread: +7 @ Minnesota

They just pulled off a miracle win against the bully of their division and now have to travel up to Minnesota to play a desperate Vikings team. The only play that makes sense is Kenny Stills ($4,300). He’s been a completely different guy over the past three weeks with Ryan Tannehill under center. Stills is averaging twice as many PPR Points over that span compared to the rest of the season.

stills

Minnesota Vikings

Implied Total: 25.75

Spread: -7 vs. Miami

They’ve looked good from a fantasy point allowed perspective versus the QB, but over the past three games, Miami has given up an average of 26.3 points. Kirk Cousins ($6,200) was downright bad in his last outing, but he’s stackable with either of his stud WRs in GPPs this week.

New England Patriots

Implied Total: 27.25

Spread: -1.5 @ Pittsburgh

Tom Brady ($5,900) is under $6,000 this week. He has historically played well against Pittsburgh. Brady’s averaged 28 fantasy points against the Steelers in his 10 games against them compared to 22.7 points against other teams. Couple that with coming off a devastating loss in Miami, and you’re looking at a potential spike game for Brady.

brady

New York Giants

Implied Total: 23

Spread:-2.5 vs. Tennessee

There’s always a case for fading the most expensive player at a position strictly from a game theory perspective. But Saquon Barkley ($9,400) gives you a raw point total that few other players can match. Will he hit 4x and score nearly 38 points? Probably not, but you don’t need your expensive guys to hit that multiplier. We need raw points, and Barkley has had at least 20 PPR points in all but two games so far in his career. His flat production profile means that he isn’t too reliant on any one part of his game, providing him with a unique floor.

barkley

Oakland Raiders

Implied Total: 21.75

Spread: +2.5 @ Cincinnati

Jared Cook ($5,600)  is an intriguing option this week. He’s been boom-or-bust throughout his career but has found a target floor in Oakland. In five of the past six weeks, he’s seen at least five targets. The matchup with the Bengals shouldn’t scare you off of him. They’re in the bottom third of the league in defending TEs. Cook will go slightly under-owned given the firepower just above him at the position.

cook

Pittsburgh Steelers

Implied Total: 24.75

Spread: +1.5 vs. New England

You have to play the WR1 in Pittsburgh in this spot. JuJu Smith-Schuster ($8,000) is expensive but has earned the trust of Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) throughout the course of the season. Over the past six weeks, Smith-Schuster has seen at least 19% of the targets. During that span, he’s only played in one contest where he saw less than nine targets.

juju

San Francisco 49ers

Implied Total: 19.75

Spread: +4.5 vs. Seattle

George Kittle ($6,300) is coming off of a historic game and is the most expensive TE on the main slate. What’s truly incredible about his season is his YAC. Kittle has more yards after the catch than Golladay has total receiving yards. He is a top-ten TE in targets, red-zone targets, receiving yards, air yards, and WOPR.

kittle

Seattle Seahawks

Implied Total: 24.25

Spread: -4.5 @ San Francisco

Tyler Lockett ($6,200) has seen his WOPR rise recently. We know that Seattle is usually too busy establishing the run, but when they look to throw, Lockett’s the guy. What he lacks in target upside, he makes up for in efficiency. The 26-year-old receiver has caught nearly 80 percent of his targets so far this year.

lockett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Implied Total: 19.25

Spread: +8 @ Baltimore

This is the most difficult matchup possible for the Tampa Bay receiving corps. You’d have to imagine Chris Godwin ($4,900) couldn’t do worse from a production standpoint than last week, but this defense has limited more talented guys than Godwin. Adam Humphries ($5,100) is just a shade above $5,000 but the temptation to play them or Mike Evans ($6,700) just isn’t there this week. Except for an outlier game in Week 2 against Cincinnati, only one WR has scored 20 or more PPR points against Baltimore this year.

Tennessee Titans

Implied Total: 20.5

Spread: +2.5 @ New York Giants

The pace of the game is a legit concern this week, but if you’re looking for a cheap stack Marcus Mariota ($5,100) to Taywan Taylor ($3,800) makes a bit of sense. He’s seen 239 air yards over the past two weeks on 12 targets from Mariota. This isn’t the most enticing team this week, but there’s value in getting a QB-WR stack under $9,000.

Washington

Implied Total: 14.25

Spread: +7.5 @ Jacksonville

Washington is a complete and utter dumpster fire. I’m not even entertaining the players on that team right now. The fact that they are more than a touchdown underdog against Jacksonville (another dumpster that is currently ablaze) is all you need to know.

By Matt Jones | @twitter.com/mattjonestfr | Archive