With Sunday here, let’s talk money. The following are five DFS plays that you will need exposure to if you want to make money. Combat the chalk, embrace the chalk, let’s get it:
Cam Newton (QB, CAR) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cam has had a rocky season, posting two games where he has thrown at least 1 interception and zero touchdowns, but this match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should inspire fear in the hearts of approximately nobody.
The Bucs rank dead last in Football Outsiders’ passing defense DVOA and are dealing with a few injuries in the secondary. Starting cornerbacks Brent Grimes (shoulder) and Robert McClain (concussion) will not play and depth safety Josh Robinson (concussion) will not play as well. Grimes and McClain allow the least yards per coverage snap among the Bucs’ corners with 1.28 and 1.15 respectively.
The injuries will likely push CB Vernon Hargreaves III to the outside after having a bounce back performance in the nickel role. Hargreaves has been rinsed outside this year, giving up a team high 404 yards while allowing 1.8 yards per coverage snap. Depth cornerbacks Javien Elliot and Ryan Smith will be pushed into larger roles, which is a scary proposition as they’ve hemorrhaged a combined 4.08 yards per coverage snap. Edge rusher Noah Spence was added to IR this week, further exacerbating the Bucs issues against the pass.
In summation, this play has more to do with the Bucs abhorrent pass defense than it has to do with Cam, who is looking to bounce back from a poor 3 INT performance against the Bears this past week. This may work in your favor as his ownership will be at lower levels.
Carson Wentz (QB, PHI) vs San Francisco 49ers
Last week Wentz flogged the Washington Redskins’ with a 17/25, 268-yard, 4 TD, 1 INT performance while adding 8 rushing attempts for 63 yards.
According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers defense rank as the 29th passing defense DVOA and gave up QB1 and QB2 performances in the last two weeks to Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott respectively. They’ve also given up the 7th most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks and a league high 3 rushing touchdowns. Wentz is 2nd in the league in QB rushing yards, only 6 yards behind Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, and has broken 3 runs of 20+ yards.
Wentz-Ertz Red Zone TD Reel pic.twitter.com/5CFffwQOep
— Michael Kist (@MichaelJKist) October 20, 2017
PFF ranks WR Nelson Agholor as the top “Matchup Advantage” against nickel corner K’Waun Williams, who is unlikely to play with a quad injury. Match-up proof Zach Ertz should face a lot of SAF Jaquiski Tartt. There is revenge game potential for former 49ers WR Torrey Smith and a favorable match-up for WR Alshon Jeffery against two of the worst graded cornerbacks in the league (Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson).
Keep up with the weather forecast on Sunday morning as you’re finalizing your line-ups, as there is concern of heavy rain in Philadelphia around game-time. While it may take a monsoon to hold back the league’s leading touchdown slinger, the weather could dampen the box score and result in an even more favorable game script for RB LeGarrette Blount.
If the weather holds, go all-in and stack Wentz with Ertz, Agholor, or Jeffery with confidence. If the weather takes an ugly turn, consider the aforementioned Cam Newton @ TB play or take a look at firing up Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins.
LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF) vs Oakland Raiders
McCoy busted loose last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with season highs in snaps (57), rushing attempts (23) and touchdowns (2) while adding 122 all-purpose yards and 5 catches. With this coming after the bye, it could point to the plan being McCoy serving as a volume monster from here on out.
LeSean McCoy is a top 5 back, let's start w/that. His desire to create at all times gets him into trouble, but he also does this a lot.. pic.twitter.com/rbFrhvQ2Cq
— Michael Kist (@MichaelJKist) August 17, 2017
The Raiders allow the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs and as a home favorite, there should be very little reason for the dual-threat McCoy’s volume to drop off suddenly. The Raiders own an average-at-best run defense, something the Bills will try to exploit early and often.
Le’Veon Bell (RB, PIT) @ Detroit Lions
Don’t mistake the road woes of the Steelers’ with the road success of Bell. 21 of his 30 career touchdowns come on the road and in the last two road games he’s shredded defenses for a combined 67-323-3 stat line. Bell has shown that the offense should run through him, not aging QB Ben Roethlisberger, by carrying the ball over 25 times in all their 4 wins (excluding the week 1 opener vs. Cleveland).
Don’t be fooled by the Lions only allowing 3.7 yards per carry. With run stuffer Haloti Nagata placed on IR with an elbow injury two weeks ago, the Lions were summarily obliterated by the New Orleans Saints’ 193 rushing yards last week.
Bell is in prime position to have another 35+ touch day and is worth the smash-to-chalk ratio.
A.J. Green (WR, CIN) vs Indianapolis Colts
Even with a heavy run scheme, the Jaguars QB Blake Bortles lit up the Indianapolis Colts defense for 330 yards and a touchdown on a mere 18 completions. The Colts rank 30th in Football Outsiders passing defense DVOA and are missing star rookie SAF Malik Hooker for the year. Enter Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
Green averages 9.5 targets, 5.8 catches, 91 yards and .5 touchdowns per game in 2016. He enters the game, according to Pro Football Focus, with the 8th most advantageous match-up in Week 8 at +40% vs. IND CB Rashaan Melvin.
Green should be able to have his way with Melvin and is worth a stack with conservatively priced QB Andy Dalton. If you need a cheaper option due to doubling up on some juicy RB plays, consider SEA WR Doug Baldwin against HOU CB Kareem Jackson, a +60% advantage for Baldwin per PFF.