DFS START EM / SIT EM WEEK 8: PROOF OF CONCEPT
By: Matt Bishop
@Bishphat on Twitter
You’ve done your homework. You’ve researched defensive tendencies towards QB, RB, WR and TE and fantasy points allowed. You’ve scouted WR / CB matchups to see who might have a slight edge this week. You’ve skimmed fantasy points allowed through the last few weeks and have come up with some sneaky cheap DFS plays this week only to find out that everyone has narrowed in on the same matchups. DFS is tough and only getting tougher with the increasing popularity, but when you have a gut feeling, it doesn’t hurt to stick to it. After all, if you want to get Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon or Adam Thielen in your lineup this week, you have to sacrifice and go cheap elsewhere. Please see some of my sneaky cheap plays this week in my Start/Sit Column. The following is one of my most used DFS lineups for the Main Slate this week. Enjoy.
ANDREW LUCK, QB INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ Oakland Raiders
Mumblings of Andrew Luck’s bum shoulder have been put to rest as the Colts are throwing an average of 44.4 times per game, which is the most in the league. Luck is also averaging 35.3 fantasy points per game the last 4 weeks, throwing 62 times in Week 4 and 59 times in Week 5. TY Hilton continues to get healthy and Chester Rogers is averaging 9.0 targets per game in his last 4 games, which is 13th in the NFL in that span. Luck is only $200 more this week than Andy Dalton, who will be a very popular QB this week, but its hard to trust him after laying an egg last week against the Chiefs in Arrowhead to the tune of 10 fantasy points. Luck is the 3rd most expensive QB on DraftKings this week, but I don’t mind paying up for him. The Oakland Raiders defense is allowing 18.8 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs (11th in NFL) and 28.1 Fantasy points per game to opposing Wide Receivers (7th in NFL). They are also ranked 32nd against opposing Tight Ends, so Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle are also in play this week. In the last 3 weeks, the Raiders DST has allowed 24 Fantasy Points to Baker Mayfield, 29 Fantasy Points to Phillip Rivers, and 29 Fantasy Points to Russell Wilson. Luck should continue his strong play.
KAREEM HUNT, RB KANSAS CITY CHIEFS vs. Denver Broncos
Kareem Hunt is averaging 27.5 fantasy points per game in his last 4 games, which is 3rd in the NFL among RBs in that span. He is also been targeted 17 times (4.3 targets per game) in this 4 game stretch, while only being targeted 19 total times on the season (2.7 targets per game). Andy Reid is making an effort to get Hunt more involved in the passing game and his production has drastically improved. The Denver Broncos are allowing 23.2 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing RBs, which his 8th in the NFL. In 3 of the last 4 weeks, the Broncos DST has allowed 26.5 fantasy points to Kareem Hunt, 35.5 fantasy points to Isaiah Crowell and 43.0 fantasy points to Todd Gurley. Kareem Hunt should be in line for a massive day.
JOE MIXON, RB CINCINNATI BENGALS vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Mixon is going to be a very popular, chalky play this week for good reason. The Bucs are allowing 21.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (13th in NFL) and 356 total receiving yards (10th). Mixon hasn’t really been able to get it going this season, averaging 13.8 fantasy points per game in his last 4 games. Mixon is averaging 20.0 touches per game this season and has only been targeted 24 times (4.8 targets per game). Even though he missed 2 games with a knee issue, there aren’t really numbers that we expected from a potential breakout coming into the season. Mixon is averaging 22.0 routes run per game, which is Top 15 in the league among RBs. However, he is averaging 25.3 routes run per game in his last 3 games, which is 7th among all RBs. He will continue to be a focal point of this offense and should be in for a large work load in Week 8.
DOUG BALDWIN , WR SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ Detroit Lions
Doug Baldwin may never be 100% healthy this season, but he saw 75% of the snaps last week and has been targeted 7.5 times in his last 2 games (not counting his 1 target effort at the Rams Week 5). The Lions Defense is pretty solid against opposing WRs, allowing 21.8 fantasy points per game, which is 10th best in the league. But the sum is greater than the parts:
- 30th against #1 WR
- 31st against slot receivers (Tyler Lockett)
TYLER LOCKETT is currently running 60% of his snaps from the slot and is playing 89% of the offensive snaps this season. Baldwin and Lockett are both in play and both should feast this week.
TYLER BOYD, WR CINCINNATI BENGALS vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Defense for the win. The Bucs defense ranks 23rd against #1 WR and 21st against slot receivers. They also rank 30th against TE and 30th against pass catching running backs. AJ Green is 7th in the league in targets with 69 and Tyler Boyd is 18th in targets with 51. The entire Bengals offense is in play this week.
TY HILTON, WR INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ Oakland Raiders
TY Hilton returned to action for the first time since week 4 and had 4 receptions on 4 targets for 25 yards and TDs in Week 7 against Buffalo. Prior to his injury, Hilton was targeted 35 times in 4 games (8.7 targets per game) and was averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game in that stretch. Hilton is the solidified #1 receiver in Indy. The Oakland Raiders are averaging 28.1 fantasy points to opposing Wide Receivers, which is 7th most in the NFL. Look for Hilton to see a heavy target share this week as they ease him back in the rotation from injury.
RICKY SEALS-JONES, TE ARIZONA CARDINALS vs. San Francisco 49ers
I have used RSJ in almost every lineup I have built this season and may die on this hill by myself. He is a cheap Tight End in a struggling offense. But RSJ has been targeted 33 times this season, or 4.7 times per game, which is tied for 10th in the NFL with Kyle Rudolph. He has also run 180 receiving routes this season (25.7 routes per game), which is 13th among Tight Ends. But the fantasy production is not there. On the season, he has been targeted 33 times for 17 receptions with a 52% catch rate. With only 1 drop on the season, I don’t think you can put this all on him. The Cardinals are being led by a rookie QB and an offense that hasn’t clicked. The San Francisco 49ers are allowing 8.7 Fantasy Points per Game to opposing Tight Ends (8th in NFL) and 4 total TDs, which is tied for 2nd in the league. This may be the week he gets going. But probably not because the Cardinals are terrible.
PHILLIP LINDSAY, RB DENVER BRONCOS @ Kansas City Chiefs
You have probably been hearing all week how great of a play Phillip Lindsay is this week. But why is he a good play:
2018 Kansas City Chiefs Defense against Running Backs:
- Allowing 25.7 Fantasy Points per Game (3rd in NFL)
- 64 Targets Against (6th in NFL)
- 49 Receptions Allowed (2nd in NFL)
- 511 receiving yards (2nd).
- Ranked 27th overall against pass catching Running Backs
Lindsay is averaging 10.2 routes run per game this season (46th among RB) but is averaging 12.5 routes run per game in his last 2 games. Small sample size, but improvement none the less. Freeman is already ruled out for week 8 and Devontae Booker (29% snaps) should not factor in. Lindsay could be in for a big day.
CAROLINA PANTHERS DST vs. Baltimore Ravens
I am not so much confident in the Carolina Panthers Defense than I am in Joe Flacco being a terrible QB and not being able to throw the ball against a tough defense. The Carolina Panthers Defense is averaging 17.9 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, which is 14th in the NFL. They are averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, which is Top 10 in the NFL. The Ravens have struggled to get the ground game going this season, with Alex Collins averaging 3.5 yards per carry, which is 49th in the NFL among RBs. They are also averaging 24.4 fantasy points to opposing Wide Receivers, which is 15th in the league. The Ravens have struggled to get it going offensively and I think this should continue this week.