DFS: NFL Week 6 Price Comparisons
*This will be a weekly blog where we compare similarly priced players and we look at which one is better for GPP use. I will look at a Draftkings and a Fanduel match-up at QB, RB, WR and TE.
Quarterback: Sam Bradford ($6,000) vs Joe Flacco ($5,900)
-Both quarterbacks have positive match-ups and both have shown the ability to put up solid fantasy points this year so why is Sam Bradford the preferred choice here? Well there are a couple of reasons. Bradford has the more favorable match-up being at home versus a poor Giants secondary who just lost their best corner. Vegas expects between 49-50 points in this game with the Eagles as the favorite, so there figures to be more scoring opportunities for the Eagles offense. Bradford also has all of his top weapons healthy, which is a big plus.
Flacco is intriguing and I’ll probably look to have a little exposure to him since he has cracked 24 points on DK three times this season and faces an extremely weak secondary in the 49ers. The concern here is that the Ravens are traveling across country and if the 49ers struggle as they have for most of the season, the game script could get away from Flacco. Now there is a chance that Flacco gets his top WR, TE and pass catching RB back for this game, but there is also a chance that at least 1 or 2 of them aren’t healthy enough to go. Despite the weakness of the 49ers secondary if some of those weapons aren’t available it will make things tougher on Flacco to have a big day.
I wouldn’t completely fade Flacco in large tournaments, but Bradford is the preferred choice here and worth the extra $100.
Running Back: Charcandrick West ($4,000) vs Javorius Allen ($4,300)
-West and Allen are both in a position to take over for starting running backs this week, but Allen is my favorite option. West is considered the favorite to replace Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, and I definitely want to have some exposure to him, but three things really concern me with him this week. First his ownership percentage figures to be off the charts this week, as everyone is talking about him. Now if West puts up 25-30 DK points it really doesn’t matter what his ownership is, but if he only puts up 10-15 (like say Karlos Williams a couple weeks ago), he might still hit value, but isn’t that great for you given the high ownership. The second thing I worry about for West is his usage. While he may be the “lead back” now in Kansas City, like it or not Knile Davis figures to cut into his touches some. I don’t think you can just expect all of Charles’ touches fall to West. Davis also could see more work around the goalline, limiting West’s scoring potential. Finally, the Vikings defense worries me in this game. Their rush defense doesn’t have the best numbers, but some of that is due to week 1 versus Carlos Hyde and a broken play that went for 70 yards vs Denver. I think this run defense is better than people think and coming off a bye at home they have an advantage here.
Allen’s case is a bit more interesting, because there is still a chance that Justin Forsett plays this week, despite him not practicing. If Forsett plays it may hurt Allen’s value some, but I don’t think it comes crashing down. The Ravens will likely limit Forsetts usage and touches and with Lorenzo Talliferro on IR, Allen could have a big role in this game regardless. Allen is likely to assume goalline duties, and I think that even with Forsett active he’s likely to end up with more carries. If this game goes according to script, the Ravens should be up late and they are more likely to use Allen to run out the clock than a banged up Forsett. While Allen’s ownership may jump some if Forsett is out, he’ll likely still be well behind West in terms of ownership %. In a big GPP you have to differ your line-up somehow and this could be a nice pivot.
If Forsett is out, Allen is definitely the better play. It evens up some if Forsett plays, but I still like Allen given the lower ownership.
Wide Receiver: Jarvis Landry ($6,200) vs Jordan Matthews ($6,200)
-This is probably the toughest match-up for me that I’m writing up as I like both players, but I’m going to lean to Matthews as the better option. Matthews has been disappointing with his production of late and has had too many drops, but he’s still the number one wide receiver for the Eagles in a game where they figure to score a lot of points. The Giants are better versus the run than the pass and they just lost their best corner. Matthews still has been getting a number of targets, and I think that they could go up this game if the script goes according to plan.
Landry also figures to be in a solid match-up and heavily involved in the Dolphins offense. He’s also likely to “break out” sooner rather than later which is why I don’t mind having some moderate exposure to him. The Dolphins have a lower expected score which could limit Landry’s scoring chances for his first receiving TD of the year. The other more pressing concern here is will the Dolphins offense finally figure it out? They have a new coach and are coming off a bye so there is some hope for a turn around, but if not we could see them continue to under-perform. If the whole offense under-performs it will impact Landry’s opportunities.
With these two at the same price point I would probably say break-up your exposure of them 60/40 in the line-ups where you can fit one of them in (I wouldn’t have them in every line-up).
Tight End: Greg Olsen ($5,500) vs Jimmy Graham ($5,400)
-On paper I think most will look to stay away from this game completely due to the potential match-ups, but I think it’s worth having at least moderate exposure to Olsen and maybe a few fliers with Graham. While Graham has been disappointing with the exception of his game versus the Bears a couple weeks ago, he may be worth taking a couple cheap fliers on this week. His ownership is likely to be basically at the bottom as I’d be surprised if it cracks 3% in most big tournaments. Given his price and inconsistency (or more of the offenses inconsistency) it’s easy to see why most will fade him, or have very limited exposure, but there could be an opportunity here. The Panthers are thought to be a unit that can shutdown TE’s and for the most part that is true, but they’ve also benefited by not facing any quality TE’s yet (and the QB’s they’ve faced are pretty weak as well). With Josh Norman likely shutting down Doug Baldwin, Graham could become the primary target in this contest, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see between 20-25 DK points this week. Given the ownership levels that could be huge.
While Graham is intriguing, Olsen has all the makings of being a very good play. The Seahawks have a perception of being a shutdown unit, especially versus tight ends, but that hasn’t been the case this season. For as bad as they have been versus TE’s this season it likely would be even worse if Jay Cutler was the QB for the Bears and Eric Ebron didn’t leave the game early for the Lions. Olsen should be Cam Newton‘s primary option this game and he’s got a decent chance of 20+ DK points this week. Despite being one of the better TE’s in the league his ownership figures to be lower based on the perception of a tough match-up, and the fact that so many people will be on Gronkowski and Gates.
Neither TE is a number one play for me, but when I’m looking to be contrarian both are intriguing options given their low ownership potential, with Olsen being definitely the safer choice.
Quarterback: Brian Hoyer ($6,700) vs Teddy Bridgewater ($6,600)
-This is one of the more interesting battles when looking for a cheap quarterback for a big GPP. I think both have a solid case, but Hoyer makes the most sense of the two. Bridgewater is definitely the better overall quarterback, and he’s at home, coming off a bye facing a really bad Chiefs secondary, but the concern here is game script. The Vikings have made no secret that they are a run first team, and despite the promise that Bridgewater has in being their franchise QB the passing offense is clearly secondary. Bridgewater will have some good fantasy days and there is a chance based on the match-up that this is one of them, but there can’t be much confidence here. If the Vikings are up early they figure to keep the pressure on by running the football with Adrian Peterson. This might be the type of game where Bridgewater plays really well but he ends up with under 250 yards and only 1 TD.
Hoyer on the the other hand I think has a better chance of being in a position to throw for 300 yards and 2 or more TDs, which would return some nice value. While the over/under in this game isn’t particularly high (43.5 points), it’s considered a pick-em game, and that means it’s a bit more likely the Texans will need to be throwing late in this game. Hoyer has shown some ability to move the ball and with one of the best receivers in the league in DeAndre Hopkins, expect the Texans to stay with the passing game even if they do have a slight lead in the fourth quarter. Hoyer also offers the chance to stack with Hopkins, where as there isn’t any great receiving option to stack with Bridgewater.
As much as I love Bridgewater’s match-up, Hoyer is the better pick here if you want a cheap QB to save some money on in a large field GPP.
Running Back: Eddie Lacy ($7,300) vs Chris Ivory ($7,300)
-These are two mid-priced backs that I like, but Ivory is the clear favorite for me. There is a general concern that Ivory could struggle versus the Redskins run defense which was one of the best in the league before, Devonta Freeman tore through them last week. While it is still a good unit that typically won’t give up yards like it did a week ago, I do think this could be a match-up that favors Ivory. The Redskins have benefited from facing some weak offensive lines and marginal running backs (not including Freeman) this season, which has helped bolster their numbers. Ivory is a really good back and the Jets offensive line has played well so far this season. Though Ivory isn’t a true everydown back, he’s still a feature back as in three games he has over 60 carries. He’s also going to get all the goal line work, and always has a chance for a 2 TD game. The Jets at home are expected to be up late in the game and they are going to feature Ivory in that sort of situation. It wouldn’t even be surprising to see him with 25-30 carries in this game.
Lacy has a lot going for him as well as the Packers are expected to be up late and he could be in line for a heavy workload, particularly since the Chargers are actually pretty good versus the pass. Lacy is a good receiver out of the back-field as well so he could add some more points with catches and receiving yards. The hesitation here is will the Packers finally use him enough and can he breakout. Now injuries have played a role in it, but the Packers are 5-0 and have been in control of pretty much every game, but Lacy just hasn’t seen quality usage since week 1. That should definitely change, but will it be this week is the question.
I like playing both backs as I think both should get the usage necessary to have good-to-great games, but Ivory is a bit safer here and the preferred play.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson ($8,200) vs Randall Cobb ($8,100)
-At first glance I think most would say this is a no brainer and think Cobb is the preferred option here, but I think Johnson is the guy I’m going to be targeting more in GPPs this week. Cobb always has the chance for a big game, particularly at home where Aaron Rodgers typically puts up big numbers, but this is a tough match-up. The Chargers pass defense is pretty good, and the guy expected to cover Cobb, Jason Verrett is one of the young stud corners in the league. He’s not going to shut out Cobb, but it could just be a pretty average day for Cobb, which doesn’t make it worth paying up for him with that added risk. I’d use him some, but I’d hesitate to go overboard with him.
Johnson on the other hand could have everything aligning up for him. There is so much concern about the Lions passing game and Johnson’s production that his ownership is likely to be pretty low, making now the time to buy. Johnson’s numbers aren’t as bad as people believe them to be. He’s top ten in targets this year and his catches are high. His yards and TDs are down, but really that is to be expected given the schedule he’s faced. Johnson has faced off versus the Chargers (see above), Vikings, Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals. That is a brutal defensive schedule that has had Johnson face off versus some of the best corners and safeties in the league. This week against Chicago it’s a much favorable match-up and the Lions are expected to throw quite a bit. Johnson could be in line for a monster game, and will do so at lower ownership rates.
I will definitely have some Cobb in my line-ups, but I think Johnson is one of the best plays this week and he is the clear favorite here.
Tight End: Travis Kelce ($6,200) vs Tyler Eifert ($6,000)
-This is an intriguing match-up as there are solid cases for both players, but Eifert is the guy who I will have heavier usage of this week. While there is some concern about the Bills defense, they haven’t played up to the level you expect this season, and have really struggled to cover tight ends. Eifert has been a favorite target of Andy Dalton, and he’s a weapon inside the red zone. I don’t see the Bengals slowing down in this match-up and I think their offense will continue to put up the points. With the Bills having a strong run defense, I think that means that even if the Bengals are up early, they will need to continue to put the ball in the air which should favor Eifert as the chain mover.
Kelce is expected to take on a larger role with Jamaal Charles being out, but I think there are still questions about how consistent his production can be. Losing Charles also means that defenses will be more concerned with Kelce, which could make things tougher when facing good defenses, and I think that could be the case this week. The Vikings have a good young defense and the talent to really slow down this Chiefs offense. I expect them to really blanket Kelce and limit his touches forcing Alex Smith to utilize his receivers more or his untested backs. While Kelce definitely has the upside to have a big day, I don’t have a lot of confidence.
I’ll have Kelce in some line-ups, but Eifert to me is one of the best plays if you don’t want to use Gronkowski or Gates this week.