In Ahead of the Curve, I will try and identify multiple NFL DFS trends that are pertinent for the upcoming week. These trends could be betting related, player- or team-specific, or game theory/ownership topics to help you gain an edge in your lineups.
NOTE: This article is cross-posted as a DFS feature on FantasyGuru.com and FantasyGuruElite.com.
Let’s get to it:
1. Ezekiel Elliott’s Increased Passing Game Usage
Last year, Ezekiel Elliott was routinely plucked from the field on passing downs in favor of Lance Dunbar. Now that Dunbar is off the roster, Zeke is dominating passing routes. In fact, per PFF, Elliott’s 31 pass routes in Week 1 vs. NYG were a career-high. Zeke averaged 19 routes/game as a rookie.
- Julio Jones - The only guy I am willing to come up and spend on this week is going to be Julio Jones. Dolan pointed him out in our WR/CB article. This confirmed everything I was already thinking. Green Bay’s secondary is a joke. They were one of the worst in the league last year and did not do enough to improve it. This game has a huge total at 54. Many expect a lot of passing on both sides of this one with two good quarterbacks in Ryan and Rodgers. Pro Football Focus has Julio with the biggest WR/CB advantage this week, and it is the first time I have ever seen that advantage number they used listed at 100%. It makes sense too. We saw a banged up Julio go for 9/180/2 and he’s as healthy now as he is going to be at any point further down the line this season. He is the only top end WR option I love this week.
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Each week on Tuesday, Ray Flowers will break down the quarterback position. There are a handful of signal callers that you always can feel confident in starting. We know the names. At the other end of the spectrum there are a handful of quarterbacks you should never be starting. We know that as well. It’s the twenty quarterbacks in the middle that really matter. Ray will review the entire position each week letting you know which quarterbacks should...
The kicker recommendations are back for 2017.
When I first started doing this in 2007, my research concluded that it is impossible to predict kicker fantasy scoring precisely, but it is possible to identify a number of kickers who will perform above or below average most of the time. My objective has been to identify correctly kickers who were going to score more than seven fantasy points (FP) two-thirds of the time. I just want my kicker to keep me competitive and not put me at a big disadvantage to my opponent.
First, last year’s numbers.
The scoring system I use: Extra Point = 1 FP; Field Goal under 40 yards = 3; FG 40-49 yds = 4; FG 50+ = 5; Missed EP = minus 1; Missed Field Goal under 40 yards = minus 1.
I took a different approach to this week’s RB Breakdown by taking a look at each team’s given situation for the coming week. It will give you some insight to all the running backs on the slate rather than just listing the ones that I like. Let me know in what ways you would like to see the RB Breakdown improved. I can add more stats to it as more information becomes available.
Texans @ Bengals
Lamar Miller was the main ball carrier for the Texans on Sunday with 19 total touches for 96 yards. Bill O’Brien claims he wants to get D’onta Foreman involved this week. I would expect that he will be the case based on the short week and the offensive struggles last week for Houston. The running game wasn’t the part of the team that struggled but Houston is looking for a spark. I would pass on this situation on a short week. The Bengals did get embarrassed in Week 1 and are going to have a rough season. The run defense ranked 21st in DVOA according to football outsiders.
Each week we will break down the matchups for the coming week, from the offensive and defensive side of the game. There will be traditional measures, as well as advanced metrics, included in the tables to help you to understand the matchups better. You will be able to plot your weekly strategy by understanding how each team is operating on the offensive and defensive side of the football.
Welcome to the Matchup Report.
Here’s how to read the tables.
OFFENSE: The lower the number, the better the outlook for the offense.
DEFENSE: The lower the number, the better the defense. A low number means a difficult matchup for the offense.
Colors Coding: GREEN is good for the offensive performer. RED is bad for the offensive performer. WHITE is average-ish scenario.
This column is an early-week look at what WRs are looking better or worse than usual against their secondary counterparts. Few NFL teams use true shadow coverage anymore, but if a team does, or is employing a different strategy this week in particular, we’ll note it here.
For the most part, we’re not going to mention the truly great players (it’s always a good idea to play Antonio Brown), unless the situation is so bad that a stud should be an obvious cash-game play.
We also finish up with some sneaky TE and RB plays in the passing game.
This column will be updated later in the week when more information is available.
In the weekly Stat Pack, I will go team-by-team and break down three key statistics that help explain the week that was. The attempt here isn’t to provide atypical game recaps, but instead to provide forward-looking context about the games that may not be obvious.
NOTE: This article is cross-posted as a feature on FantasyGuru.com as well as FantasyGuruElite.com.
Here is the Week 2 Stat Pack:
- Once David Johnson (wrist) went down to injury, Kerwynn Williams entered the game ahead of Andre Ellington. Williams handled three carries (one target) while Ellington didn’t see a single carry (four targets) without David Johnson.
- Carson Palmer’s 3.2 Adjusted Yards per Attempt was fourth-worst in the NFL in Week 1.