Daily Fantasy Mailbag  

 

Andy Dalton remains the best daily fantasy value QB

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Welcome to the Week 5 edition of the FanDuel DFS mail bag. Every week I'll take questions on Twitter pertaining to daily fantasy strategy and particular players on FanDuel. If you'd like to have your question featured, just shoot it to me on twitter (@MattHarmon_BYB), and it may just find its way into the mailbag.

Oddly enough, it's still Andy Dalton. Despite averaging the most fantasy points per game, Dalton is still the QB14 on FanDuel. I'm not sure what it will take for the site to adjust, but there's no reason Dalton should find himself listed behind Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill and Sam Bradford of all people. He could even take down some of the more highly-regarded passers. It'll be hard for me to avoid Brady this week, but when he's not my target, Dalton fits in as an obvious value relative to his performance. The Bills aren't even a prohibitive matchup to quarterbacks. Teams are forced to pass on them, creating a ton of passing volume, and they've allowed 10 passing touchdowns to quarterbacks so far.

Ownership percentage is almost always driven by name value and recent performance first and foremost. As such, Le'Veon Bell will always be in contention for the highest owned running back. He's the best running back in the NFL right now, and owns an unreal amount of volume in both the run and pass game. As such, he's tough to completely fade because he's the type of player who can single-handedly win you weeks. However, if you're trying to differentiate, I like pivotting to Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson among high-end running backs who are in better matchups and game scripts, but carry comparable levels of volume.

The Texans offense is strange, but oddly predictable. They lead the NFL in pass attempts, despite having by far the league's worst quarterback situation. With Arian Foster now "fully-healthy" in his words, that should take some pressure off the passing game, but they've largely done this to themselves. Because their passers are so poor, and the defense isn't playing at a transcendant level, it forces the team into pass-heavy game scripts. So, it's really a self-killing prophecy. However, we like offenses like this for DFS, because as long as they're healthy, DeAndre Hopkins and Arian Foster will get the vast majority of the touches, regardless of who the quarterback is. Hoyer might get, or force himself into, a throw-happy situation, but we don't mind that because the target projections are so secure with their two star players.

To be honest, I don't see a ton of irresistible value plays this week. Most of the guys I'm targeting are high-end, but that means bargains must be had. No one really stands out as a must get, but there are some punt plays I like. Mike Wallace facing a Chiefs secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to receivers is tempting. He's dealing with an injury, but if he plays, he can help you squeeze studs into your lineup, and offers a reasonable floor. Michael Floyd is a totally forgotten man in Arizona, but he's playing about 70 percent of the snaps in one of the league's best offense, and faces a generous Pittsburgh secondary. I'm feeling a Danny Woodhead week. Chargers at Packers should be a competitive game with plenty of scoring, which means Woodhead will get a big chunk of work in the passing game and in the red zone. There's a rookie running back bargain I love, but more on him in a little bit.

Both have a good bit of appeal this week, but I'll side with Landry this week. We always follow target and workload shares, and their correlations, as ways to predict fantasy scoring. Statistics facing some sort of regression to the mean are also important to track, as well. Jarvis Landry currently leads the NFL in red zone targets, despite already having his bye week, but has yet to score a touchdown. If the Dolphins are going to keep using him in this fashion, he'll eventually have to score a touchdown. Against a secondary that allows 1.25 fantasy points per target to wide receivers, perhaps this is that week.

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Buck Allen is the clear candidate here for me. Justin Forsett suffered an ankle injury in Week 5, and hasn't taken the practice field as of Thursday. With Lorenzo Taliaferro going on IR this week too, the rookie Allen is the primary backup in Baltimore. Allen is a big back who was extremely productive in his last two seasons at USC, scoring 27 total touchdowns over that span. He's also a capable pass catcher, recording a combined 63 receptions in 2013 and 2014. He's not especially powerful, but does have some wiggle in the open field. He can step in and fill the void at running back for one week. The volume should be there, so he'll be an extreme bargain in DFS if Forsett sits, which is looking all the more likely.

I mentioned Mike Wallace as a potential punt play at wide receiver, but he's been questionable all week. If he sit, pivot over to Stefon Diggs, who recorded six catches for 87 yards in his rookie debut. I wasn't a big fan of Diggs as a prospect, but he ran great routes against the Denver secondary in Week 4. He could make me look foolish soon, and no team has allowed more fantasy points to wide receiver than the Chiefs.

T.Y. Hilton was added to the Colts' injury report on Thursday, after going through a limited session with a groin issue. We need to see what Hilton does on Friday, but an addition to the injury report in the middle of the week doesn't bode well. If Hilton is out, Moncrief becomes a near must-play for me. He's still a value on FanDuel, most likely in light of his one-catch flop last week. However, the Colts should be chasing the Patriots defense all game, and New England does give up 71.8 yards per game to opponents' No. 1 receivers. Moncrief would be a strong bet to end up in scoring position with this game script if Hilton sits.

Buck Allen would be my top choice, as mentioned in the previous question. The 49ers defense ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to running backs per rush attempt. Denard is interesting if Yeldon sits, but he's dealt with injuries himself. You can't really pursue that. I'm not too keen on rolling out West for the big reveal of the Chiefs offense without Jamaal Charles. I'd like to see the utilization plan for one week first.

Crowder is an interesting value play at receiver, and whose general stock is trending up. He's been in on 75 percent of Washington's offensive snaps the last two games, and Kirk Cousins sent 20 targets his way. While that's a fine trend to follow, and we've already hit on needing some bargains this week, I'm not going down this road. Washington may well need to throw to catch up with an underrated Jets team, and Crowder won't see much of Revis in the slot (as you mentioned), but I'd just rather avoid this offense altogether in Week 6. Playing on the road against one of the best defenses in the NFL doesn't sound like a pleasant experience for a Cousins-led offense. I just don't think the ceiling will be there for Crowder this week, especially on a site that doesn't employ a full PPR format.

I understand wanting to tap into ancillary pieces of the Patriots offense in the big Deflategate revenge game, but I'd pass here. You're best bet to get a slice of this pie is to play the hits. Stack Brady and Gronk or Edelman, throw the running backs into some lineups, and find your values elsewhere.


Matt Harmon is an associate fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB.

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