After everything that has gone on in the industry over the past few days, Sunday can’t come soon enough. It is great to finally be talking about football again. The NFL schedule has 13 games in the Sunday/Monday slate with plenty of exploitable matchups.
As always, we will look at FanDuel for the top cash game targets and the top tournament plays at both the wide receiver and tight end positions.
Cash Game Targets:
Julio Jones: $9,200 (vs. Washington Redskins)
Snap Count Percentage: 73.8%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 17.7%
Through the first four weeks of the season, the Falcons have nine rushing touchdowns and six passing touchdowns. The NFL average is close to 2:1 in favor of passing touchdowns. It’s only a matter of time before the Falcons’ passing attack starts to find the end zone at a much higher rate. That could very well come this week against the Redskins, who boast a very tough run defense (ranked seventh according to FootballOutsiders). All signs point to a big week from Matt Ryan and the receiving corps, which could mean another monster outing from Julio Jones. Jones should see double-digit targets against a beatable Redskins’ secondary. He is projected to line up against Chris Culliver, who is ranked 85th of 104 graded cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus.
Julian Edelman: $7,700 (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Snap Count Percentage: 78.9%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 18.1%
Even though FanDuel is a half-point PPR site, Edelman is still a strong play any week that we can expect a pass-heavy gameplan from the Patriots. Edelman has been targeted on 18.1% of the Patriots’ snaps this season, which is actually a higher total target percentage than Julio Jones. Edelman may not be a deep-ball threat, but he should see 8-12 quality targets against a lackluster Cowboys’ pass defense. Edelman has only capitalized on one red-zone opportunity this season, but he is only one of a handful of receivers to have at least six targets inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. I have him ranked as a top-four receiver this week, which screams value given the fact that he is listed as the ninth-most expensive wide receiver on FanDuel. Edelman is about as safe of a cash game play as you are going to find at wide receiver this week.
Allen Robinson: $6,300 (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Snap Count Percentage: 92.1%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 14.0%
Allen Robinson has had some extremely tough matchups in the first four weeks of the season. He has had to face Josh Norman and Vontae Davis, who are two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He has also had to face Bill Belichick and the Patriots, who love to take away a team’s number one weapon offensively. These tough matchups have led to some lackluster performances, which has led to a discounted price point on FanDuel. One of my favorite strategies in DFS is to buy low on players, as long their decrease in salary hasn’t come from an injury or from a role change in the offense. Robinson is still the number one wideout in this offense and he is a great buy-low candidate this week against the Buccaneers, who have a very beatable secondary. The targets should continue to come Robinson’s way and he finally gets a matchup where those targets can turn into something special.
Odell Beckham Jr.: $9,000 (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Snap Count Percentage: 96.3%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 14.9%
I’ve heard a lot of smart people around the industry say that they are higher on Odell Beckham than they are on Julio Jones this week. While I project them to have a similar ceiling, I have Jones projected with a much higher floor. That doesn’t mean that Beckham shouldn’t be considered in tournaments, though. He will have a much lower ownership percentage than Jones, so if he has a big game, it will be much more valuable in terms of production gained relative to the field. Beckham draws a favorable matchup against the 49ers, who have been torched in both of their road games. He is projected to run routes against Kenneth Acker, who is ranked 94th of 104 cornerbacks this season (PFF).
Keenan Allen: $7,700 (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Snap Count Percentage: 98.2%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 15.5%
Keenan Allen is a receiver that has the upside of a Julio Jones or Antonio Brown, yet he is priced in the same range as T.Y. Hilton and Amari Cooper. Allen has been a boom or bust fantasy option over the last couple of years, and that inconsistency has shown in the first four games of this season. While that is always a concern in cash games, it makes him an extremely appealing tournament option. This week’s matchup against the Steelers is a favorable one, as Pittsburgh is graded as having the sixth-worst pass coverage (PFF) and the fourth-worst DVOA against WR1s (FO). It also doesn’t hurt that Eddie Royal and Malcolm Floyd are both very questionable this week.
Jordan Matthews: $6,800 (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Snap Count Percentage: 84.5%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 14.4%
This article is only focusing on wide receivers and tight ends, but Sam Bradford is one of my favorite quarterback plays this week, both in cash games and tournaments. He is coming off of his best game of the season and the Eagles have one of the highest team totals (27 points) on the NFL odds board this week. Given the fact that the Saints have a bottom five defense in basically every passing metric (DvP, PFF, FO), we can expect a nice outing from the Eagles’ passing offense. Jordan Matthews is still the number one receiving option in this offense and he is priced at a very affordable $6,800 this week on FanDuel.
Cash Game Targets:
Rob Gronkowski: $8,200 (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Snap Count Percentage: 86.0%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 12.0%
Every time the Patriots are on the schedule, Rob Gronkowski is going to be the number one tight end that week. He is about as matchup-proof of a player as there is in the NFL. With Tom Brady racking up fantasy points quicker than any other quarterback this season, we can continue to expect big outings from Gronk. He has scored in eight of his last nine games and he should be well rested after a bye in Week 4. He is really the only tight end that we can rely on in DFS, so if you can find a way to fit him in your lineup, you will have a big edge over the field at the position.
Owen Daniels: $4,900 (vs. Oakland Raiders)
Snap Count Percentage: 88.2%
Total Touch or Target Percentage: 7.6%
If you are looking to save some salary cap space at tight end, Owen Daniels looks to be a very nice option on FanDuel. He is priced under $5,000, which really allows you to spend up at the other positions. He draws a terrific matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than any other team in the NFL this season. We all know that Peyton Manning likes to exploit mismatches and if he can get Daniels going early, he will continue to pepper him with targets all game.