We’ve hit Week 6 and the season is already rolling along. Now that we have some data at our fingertips, we’ll dive into a handful of the available research tools at RotoGrinders to uncover some of the top options for Sunday’s main slate.
A few of the tools I’ll dive into are for DFS premium members, so you’ll get a sneak preview of our top content. I’ll also take a look at some of my favorite free content that I use weekly while building my own lineups. Let’s get into it…
Targets & Touches
The Targets & Touches page is something I use every week during football season – it’s one of the best indicators of opportunity, which we like for fantasy purposes. You can find target data for RBs, WRs and TEs in addition to snap data and percentage of workload information. One of my favorite features is that you can view this information alongside salaries for each site, which makes it a little easier to spot value.
Julio Jones ($8,500 on FanDuel, $7,900 on DraftKings) – Just about everyone knows that Jones has yet to find the end-zone this season, but some positive regression is surely coming his way soon with the flurry of looks headed his way on a weekly basis. He’s coming off his slowest performance of the year in what was otherwise a fantasy-friendly game in Pittsburgh, but still ranks fifth in targets (55) and percentage of workload (strictly targets, 29.9%) among all players on the main slate. Tampa’s secondary should give him far fewer issues than Joe Haden and the Steelers did a week ago, so this is absolutely a boom spot for Jones. Neither one of these defenses has shown much life this season, elevating the shootout potential and setting up for game-stack viability in GPPs. I’d prioritize Jones over Mike Evans in this matchup, but I’ll also have several lineups that feature both WR1s in a game I think will go over its massive total.
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Eric Ebron ($6,500 on FanDuel, $5,400 on DraftKings) – Ebron’s price is rightfully creeping up after a blow-up against the Patriots in Week 5. He’s seen target counts of 11, 10 and 15 in the three games that Doyle has missed, and with both he and T.Y. Hilton looking very doubtful as of this writing, there is little reason to expect anyone besides Ebron to lead the team in targets against the Jets. However, Ebron clearly picked up some ailments as a result of heavy usage against New England, as he’s missed practice time Wednesday and Thursday as a result of shin, quad, ankle and knee injuries. That sounds like a lot to overcome, but we’ll know a lot more once his Friday practice participation is known. If he can’t go, that would set Erik Swoope up to run as the top TE in a quick-hitting, vertically-challenged offense, so he’d likely be in for a similar workload to what we expect for Ebron. With Swoope at or near minimum salary across most DFS outlets, he’d be a wise investment as a TE punt if Ebron sits. Among TEs on the main slate, Ebron leads the way in targets and sits just one red-zone target behind the leader in that category.
T.J. Yeldon ($7,100 on FanDuel, $6,400 on DraftKings) – Leonard Fournette is set to miss at least one more game and Corey Grant is now on IR, so Yeldon should see his market share in the offense spike, at least until newly-acquired Jamaal Charles is able to get up to speed. The team cut Brandon Wilds this week, and he was the only other healthy back to have any involvement within the Jags offense this season. While the rushing attack tends to take a back seat with Fournette on the shelf, Yeldon is still very much involved in the aerial attack and scored the team’s lone receiving TD last week. He’s already picked up four red-zone targets on the year and is third among RBs on the main slate in targets through five weeks. It’s tough to expect a whole lot of offense in this game and it’s not one I’m making a huge point to target, but Yeldon is one of my favorite backs on the board this week, especially on full-point PPR sites like DraftKings. Yeldon played 93% of the offensive snaps against the Chiefs and should push for a similar allotment here.
Wide Receiver/Cornerback Chart
We’ll pivot over to the Wide Receiver/Cornerback Chart, which helps to highlight some of the better matchups for receivers each week. It’s an extreme rarity that one corner follows a particular receiver for all of his snaps, so this chart shows which matchup each receiver is likely to be in for the largest number of his snaps. Snap data available on the chart gives you a better idea of how often each matchup is likely to occur.
John Brown ($6,300 on FanDuel, $5,500 on DraftKings) – I’m not sure exactly why the league chose BAL/TEN as a prime-time afternoon game, but here we are. Arguably the most exciting player on either side, Brown will primarily match up with Malcolm Butler, who matches his size but cannot match his speed – he’s got the fourth-lowest CB speed rating on the chart. Butler has also allowed four TDs already on the season, just one fewer than the league-leader at the position, so it’s clear opposing defenses are aware of his flaws. Brown has had target counts of 10-9-7-14 over the past four weeks and has drawn five red-zone targets. Michael Crabtree is the more prototypical red-zone threat, but Brown’s shiftiness is certainly an asset in close. I still don’t mind Crabtree as a tournament option this weekend, as he does lead the team in targets by a slim margin (46 to Brown’s 44) and also has drawn five red-zone looks. I’d temper expectations for the offenses here as a whole, so don’t go overboard with this game.
Jarvis Landry ($6,900 on FanDuel, $6,600 on DraftKings) – Baker Mayfield has not returned anything resembling tournament-winning upside in his first two starts, but he definitely showed some promise against a typically stout Baltimore pass defense a week ago. It’s clear that Jarvis Landry is the top target in this offense even with David Njoku becoming more involved week-by-week, and the slot is a place where the Chargers are attackable thanks to Desmond King’s presence. Landry has drawn double-digit targets in four of five games with his lone single-digit outing still standing at a respectable seven looks, while he is tied for fifth among WRs on the main slate in red-zone targets. I prefer Landry on full-point PPR sites, but that $6,900 tag on FanDuel is appealing.
Doug Baldwin ($6,200 on FanDuel, $5,300 on DraftKings) – Can I really keep buying into this? Baldwin has sandwiched a seven-target outing between two games where he saw just one target apiece, and it’s not like Seattle’s passing offense is going to have volume on their side for fantasy production on a regular basis. The Raiders pass defense is very susceptible, but they also aren’t all that imposing of a run defense, so unless they get behind early I’d expect that they’ll try to establish Chris Carson yet again. Despite all of this, I’m still willing to buy into Baldwin as a GPP target against a putrid secondary. If he’s out there playing a typical allotment of snaps, he’ll break out of his early-season funk before long.
Value Town has been a regular part of the Primer dating back a few years, but this will be its first inclusion in 2018. I won’t be recommending the Todd Gurley’s of the world here, but instead will try to find a handful of viable value plays at each position to make the rest of the roster building process a little easier. I won’t go into detail for each player, but they are ranked in order of preference for GPPs/tournaments at each position.
- Jameis Winston ($7,400 on FanDuel, $5,800 on DraftKings) – The shootout potential is very real, and the Bucs simply don’t have enough of a ground game to steal much TD equity.
- Andy Dalton ($7,500 on FanDuel, $6,300 on DraftKings) – Dalton is appropriately priced on DraftKings, but his $7,500 tag on FanDuel is a bargain against a Steelers Defense that had been getting shredded prior to slowing Matt Ryan to a degree in Week 5.
- Baker Mayfield ($7,100 on FanDuel, $5,500 on DraftKings)
- Chris Carson ($6,400 on FanDuel, $4,400 on DraftKings) – It’s annoying that Mike Davis has stepped back onto the radar, but Carson is still leading this backfield and I’d expect him to steal a little more of the rushing workload away from Davis a week removed from his hip injury.
- Tevin Coleman ($6,300 on FanDuel, $5,400 on DraftKings) – As of this writing it’s unclear if Devonta Freeman is going to play – if he does not, Tevin Coleman is the top value play at the RB spot on both sites. Even if he does suit up, I’d expect him to be limited some, although Ito Smith is still a thorn in both backs side. I’d absolutely prefer Coleman to Chris Carson if Freeman is inactive.
- Dalvin Cook ($6,300 on FanDuel) – Cook is a stronger value on FanDuel, but it’s still GPP-only given the injury concerns.
- Tyler Boyd ($6,300 on FanDuel) – Yet another laughably low FanDuel price. He’s the top value play at WR over there.
- Keke Coutee and Chester Rogers ($4,600 and $4,500 on DraftKings) – Here are a couple of the top WR value plays on DraftKings below the $5K mark. Coutee has looked excellent operating as the Texans 3rd WR and has been used in some exotic ways. The Texans are clearly trying to get the ball in his hands more often. Rogers would benefit if Eric Ebron is forced to join Jack Doyle and TY Hilton on the inactive list, but regardless he’s drawn double-digit targets the past two weeks and actually has the best draw among the Colts pass-catchers.
- John Brown ($6,300 on FanDuel) - Right behind Boyd as a top value option on FanDuel.
- Cameron Brate ($4,500 on FanDuel, $3,700 on DraftKings) – Brate’s value depends primarily on the status of OJ Howard. If Howard plays, Brate isn’t on the radar, but he’s become a top value play in Howard’s absence. Track this one as the weekend rolls along. Howard has practiced on a limited basis the past two days, but it’s still unclear if he’ll be able to suit up Sunday.
- David Njoku ($5,500 on FanDuel, $3,800 on DraftKings) – He’s starting to come alive with Mayfield finding his footing.
- C.J. Uzomah ($5,100 on FanDuel, $3,000 on DraftKings) – Uzomah played nearly all of the Bengals’ offensive snaps last week and Tyler Kroft ended up leaving with an injury, so he’s a nice bounce-back candidate after a slow Week 5 with Tyler Eifert on the shelf.