Daily Fantasy Mailbag  

 

Steve Johnson is one of the best DFS value receivers

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Welcome to the Week 8 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, shoot it to me on twitter (@MattHarmon_BYB), and it may just find its way into the mailbag.

Steve Johnson has a great matchup with the Ravens, and is near the punt play range. He played 81 percent of the team's snaps, and saw eight targets in his first game back from a hamstring injury. The Chargers are the highest volume passing offense in the NFL, where ancillary players can have weekly value -- Johnson chief among them. I was a big fan of his after charting in his Reception Perception sample and wrote him up as one of my top-10 sleepers for this week.

Michael Floyd continues to be a strong play, as his FanDuel value hasn't adjusted despite catching a touchdown in back to back games. He's one of the team's top targets inside the 10-yard line.

Other receivers in the next tier, such as Donte Moncrief and Eric Decker are consistent touchdown scorers whose value just hasn't adjusted since the season began. On FanDuel, you're looking for those touchdown threats at the second and third wide receiver spot. Those two are in weekly consideration.

I think you are right on track. Dalton has been locked in as a reliable fantasy starter, and is No. 2 in points per game. The Steelers have a leaky secondary, and this game has shootout potential with Ben Roethlisberger set to return from an injury absence. For whatever reason, Green has long been a more productive player on the road than at home. Dating back to 2012, Green posts an average of 7.1 catches for 105.9 yards per game on the road compared to just 4.8 for 66.4 at home.

I'm officially starting to fade James Jones, who has caught a TD on 20.7 percent of his 29 targets. The next highest player with 20-plus targets is Rishard Matthews (11.4 percent of 35). I know that's James Jones' game, but everything about it screams unsustainable. Making a living off the big play, Jones averages 14.6 yards per target, but only gets 4.8 targets per game. While he's always been a solid touchdown scorer, his career touchdown percentage is 7.6 percent, a far cry from his 2015 rate. If the touchdowns regress to the mean, his fantasy value is nearly cooked at such a low target rate. All that to say, I will not be playing Jones against the NFL's best secondary. Martavis Bryant is a far better option.

There's being a smart contrarian, and then there's being a contrarian for no reason. There's no good reason to play Eddie Lacy in DFS until we see him look like the player many hoped they'd get when burning a top-five redraft league pick on him. Lacy hasn't taken advantage of positive matchups or favorable game scripts at any point since Week 1. So we won't trot him out in a road game against the NFL's best defense. While he can rebound, that's not an expedition to take with him in your DFS lineups.

Delanie Walker is almost always a good value play at tight end, but neither is on my radar this week. I'll either be pivoting up to Travis Kelce or Tyler Eifert in Olsen's range, or shifting all the way down to punt plays like Benjamin Watson or Larry Donnell.

None of those guys are on the radar for me this week, or at all until we get some more clarity on how the situation breaks out. During Arian Foster's three game absence to start the season, a different member of the trio led the team in snaps; Jonathan Grimes in Week 1, Chris Polk in Week 2, and Alfred Blue in Week 3. That's not at all a predictable situation, and far too big of a risk for DFS. We'll have to hope that one of the passing game capable backs, Polk and Grimes, emerges from this situation.

The only way I'll play Steve Smith is with a Joe Flacco stack. I like Diggs this week at a still bargain value, against a defense that bleeds passing touchdowns. Chicago has an 11.1 percent touchdown rate per target against wide receivers, by far the worst in the NFL.

Davante Adams is another player I'll be avoiding until more clarity arrives. I wasn't a big fan of his coming into this season, and the addition of James Jones just muddies his target projection. Much like last year, Adams can have big games, but they'll be difficult to predict and entirely matchup based. Against the NFL's best secondary, this isn't one of those weeks.

Come on, Waldman. Toddy Gurley is still a relative value given his immense workload in comparison to other running backs in his range. He gets touches at the same rate the highest rated running backs like Le'Veon Bell or Adrian Peterson do. However, he still finds himself in a tier below. This week, he gets a great matchup against a 49ers team that allows 22.17 fantasy points to running backs, and 4.94 yards per touch. Of course, he's a good value.

However, my hair wins out here. Based not only on the bargain cost it takes to acquire the products I use, but the relative value of those expenses to how incredible the outcome is, my hair is a total steal. Yet, in the name of fairness, I'll let you all judge that for yourselves.


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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