NFL Prime Time Games – Week 6
Greetings Gamers! We will have some semblance of normalcy this week are there are just four games cresting over 50+ projected point totals, of course Atlanta vs Tampa Bay is sitting at 57.5 and Sunday Night Football featuring Kansas City at New England has a robust 59.5 total.
Also, do not lose sight of the fact that Oakland is hosting Seattle in Wembley Stadium, with our first London game on the year. Dang, that is a long flight for those players.
In the meantime let’s take a gander at last week’s prime time action.
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Week 5 Summary
Last week nearly lived up to the hype across the board as the Prime Time slate had three of the top five projected scoring games and for the most part they delivered.
NE 38 vs IND 24 no surprises here with just over 700 yards of passing and plenty of fantasy goodness. Tom Brady was terrific topping the 500 passing touchdown plateau and we got to see Josh Gordon in some game time action.
James White continued his PPR-ways and most surprising was Sony Michel who nearly topped 100 rushing yards for the second time this season. The Colts were running thin heading into this game, but Andrew Luck still managed to have a good game and the “value” his receivers provided made for an interesting single game strategy.
HOU 19 vs DAL 16 was a yawner on Sunday night and even overtime did not do much to buoy the fantasy goodness. Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson each had a hand in their respective teams’ lone score and it was the kickers that were the difference makers nailing a combined 7 of 8 field goals.
NO 43 vs WAS 19 turned into a fun game, as long as you didn’t roll with Alvin Kamara as the return of Mark Ingram and the Saints upcoming bye week in conjunction with a dominating performance kept his numbers suppressed to a season low 39 yards and three receptions. Drew Brees leapfrogged Peyton Manning to become the overall leader for career passing yards.
On the single game slate it was the discounted New Orleans players that carried the day with Tre’Quan Smith 3/111/2 and Cameron Meredith filling in nicely for the injured Ted Ginn Jr. Speaking of injuries, Adrian Peterson dislocated his shoulder in his return to the Big Easy and Chris Thompson was dinged up as well, which helped Kapri Bibbs and Alex Smith both get short yardage touchdowns. Outside of that, Washington and in particular Smith looked completely overmatched and it is going to be a long season for the Fightin’ Dan Snyders.
Thursday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants +3.0 / 44.0
The defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles are now without Jay Ajayi who was lost for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and we know that Darren Sproles (hamstring) will still be out and Corey Clement (quad) dressed last week, but did not play. This means that former West Virginia stalwart, Wendell Smallwood will be playing a prominent role on Thursday in Gotham City.
Philadelphia Eagles 23.5 implied team total
Quarterback – Carson Wentz has been solid each of the last two weeks with 310+ yards and a pair of touchdowns in back-to-back games against the Vikings and at Tennessee, though it sadly resulting in twin losses. The Giants have allowed just one opposing signal-caller to surpass 300 yards and that was Deshaun Watson back in Week 3 when he tallied 385 aerial yards and two touchdowns. Wentz checks in as a QB12-15 on the full slate and really does not need to be considered outside of the prime time slate.
Running Back – Wendell Smallwood as mentioned in the summary section, we should see a heavy dose of Smallwood even if Corey Clement is relatively healthy. According to early week coach speak, both are expected to “split touches” at this time. I am comfortable using either on the prime time slate, as long as there are no discouraging words about the health of Clement. Both backs are reasonable runners and receivers.
Wide Receiver – Alshon Jeffery will likely see Janoris Jenkins, however, it is reasonable to think he will approach the 8-9 targets he has seen in each of his two healthy games this season. Nelson Agholor could be a little overlooked (again, as I have said many times in this article series, nobody is truly “sneaky” on the single game slates).
The remaining Philly receivers have combined for 20 targets over the first five weeks, so I suppose that is where a sneaky option could reside – Kamar Aiken, Jordan Matthews, DeAndre Carter and Shelton Gibson are just not that intriguing to me.
Tight End – Zach Ertz has been amazing this season with double digit targets in every game for a league leading 58 targets at this position and he is fourth overall. Shockingly the New York Giants have allowed the third fewest fantasy point in the league to opposing tight ends, but come on – all you have to do is follow along with DFS Twitter to know that defense doesn’t matter. Kidding! At this point, we need to consider Ertz as more than “just a tight end” and he has elevated into the Gronk, Kelce and/or New Orleans version of Jimmy Graham.
Defense/Special Teams – Last week’s single sack of Eli Manning by the Carolina Panthers was the fewest allowed since Jacksonville took him down twice in Week 1. On the year the Giants have allowed 16 sacks, 5 fumbles, 3 INTs and two return touchdowns. The Eagles are most definitely in play on the prime time slate and I will be SHOCKED if they have less than two sacks.
New York Giants 20.5 implied team total
Quarterback – Eli Manning is now 37 year-old and has 15 seasons in the league, the in-game hits and sacks are harder for him to shake off these days. While the front seven of the Eagles is a very good group, we only have two quarterbacks to choose from on the single game slate, so we know that Manning is going to be a viable option.
The youngest Manning brother is fairly priced as the fourth most expensive option on the main sites and on the season through five games is averaging a solid 71.6 Comp%, 276.2 yards, 1.2 touchdowns and 0.6 interceptions. Philadelphia checks in with a middle of the pack pass defense DVOA at #15 and with their high-end running defense DVOA #6, Manning should see volume and opportunity to compile passing yards at the very least.
Running Back – Saquon Barkley has been outstanding this season with five combined touchdowns and he is #9 for total yards from scrimmage at 116.4 per game (71/308/3 at 4.33 ypc and 39 targets for 31/27/2). This will be a tough matchup for the rookie against the team allowing the third fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but it is going to be very hard to keep Barkley off of our single entry rosters.
Wide Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr. is definitely a game breaker, but he is hampered by his quarterback’s inability to get the ball downfield and with the Eagles’ pass rush, it will be hard for him to gain much separation – let alone get behind the defense. ODB is third in the league with 59 targets and despite having 100+ yards in 3 of his 5 games and 7+ receptions in 4 – he is a candidate for a “fade” if you have a strong constitution.
Sterling Shepard is third on the team with 36 targets, behind both Beckham and Barkley and he is just two-thirds the price of that duo if you are looking for a pivot with reasonable upside. The remaining receivers have combined for just 17 targets, so there is not much to find there.
Tight End – Evan Engram will be out again with his sore right knee and Rhett Ellison is also questionable with a sore foot. If both are out, then that make Beckham an incredibly risky “fade” and boosts the fortunes for both Shepard and Barkely.
Scott Simonson, a former Assumption Greyhound (heck yeah, I definitely had to look that up and then still had no idea where the college was locate – Worcester, MA for those interested) has seen one target each of the last two games and has three career targets in 14 games. That said, he is $300 on DraftKings and would be in play as the key to loading up your roster elsewhere. I am less than enthused about his $5,000 price tag on FanDuel.
Defense/Special Teams – through five games, the Eagles have allowed 17 sacks, 2 INTs and a whopping 7 fumbles. Unfortunately the wheels come off the wagon when we see that the Giants have managed just 6 sacks and 3 interceptions on the season.
Summary – This will be an intriguing game after having our last several with much more dynamic offenses. Here it becomes key to get all the touchdowns. Yes, that is a very generic statement – much like saying defense doesn’t matter. It is more nuanced and what I am hoping to convey is that when you have a game that may only end up with 4-5 combined touchdowns, there are not too many ways to “make up” fantasy ground and more importantly, it does mean that the kickers become very viable options.
One other extreme option, particularly on DraftKings is to look for a heavily discounted player such as Jawill Davis, Cody Latimer or DeAndre Carter who may see action returning kicks or as a 4th/5th receiver and then hope to nail your other roster spots.
Single Game Ranking (taking into account projected production, pricing and popularity)
- Zack Ertz (looking for some Captain/MVP differentiation, well here we are with a tight end leading the rankings)
- Carson Wentz (while we may see some rain on Thursday night in New York, there will barely be more than a breeze, so we can give strong consideration to employing Wentz on the majority of our rosters in order to “get ahead” of the field)
- Saquon Barkley (we have yet to see him have a “bad” game and the five touchdowns have buoyed his fantasy totals – still in a game that projects to have only a handful of scores, it is going to be hard to leave him off our rosters)
- Sterling Shepard (for the price discount compared to Beckham and Barkley I have moved him up the list, this is not for the faint of heart, but it is a way to get a modicum of differentiation)
- Eli Manning (we are hoping the yards pile up and that he has a hand in one of only a couple touchdowns)
- Odell Beckham (while he “deserves” to be higher, we are going to have to pick and choose our spots – this is where I am planting my flag, to be “under” the field on Beckham – please note: with Smallwood and Clement it is not going to be overly difficult to make Beckham a centerpiece of your lineups and I would not try very hard to talk you out of it – I also would not have an issue playing Beckham on Draftkings and then leaving $2,000 of your salary cap on the table to assure differentiation)
- Alshon Jeffery (yes, he is likely to be dealing with Janoris Jenkins but he is still the co-top option of the Philly offense)
- Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement (are both similarly projected and priced, my recommendation would be to play the least popular one which likely will be Clement on FanDuel and Smallwood on DraftKings where their prices are inverted)
- Aldrick Rosas (the second year player has been perfect on the season with 11/11 field goals and 7/7 extra points)
- Jake Elliott (has made at least two field goals each of the last three weeks and he is the road kicker in his second season with the Eagles)
- Philadelphia D/ST (sacks and turnovers should keep them in line with the place kickers, it will take a return touchdown to nudge them up the results list)
- Nelson Agholor (despite his heavy target volume, even considering the absence of Alshon Jeffery for the first couple of weeks the 43 targets for 29/212/1 and lowly 7.3 yards per catch are just not exciting – usually when I make these disparaging remarks, the player goes on to have a notable game – I will take my chances that doesn’t happen and we see something in the 4-5 catch range with 40ish yards and a 20% chance of a touchdown – which is not many points on FanDuel and on DraftKings when we look at his price, I would rather move up the list to Shepard or drop down to one of the Eagles running backs)
- Giants D/ST (while Philadelphia has allowed 17 sacks which is #7 in the league, New York is dead last with only 6 sacks from their defense)
- Rhett Ellison (the sore foot does have me worried, but we are really touchdown hunting with this selection, so if he is a go for the Giants, we should assume he is healthy enough for red zone looks at the very minimum)
- Grab Bag Time (we almost need an in-game injury for these players to make an impact, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Matthews, Jawill Davis, Scott Simonson, Cody Latimer, Wayne Gallman and DeAndre Carter would be my “preferred” order among this pu pu platter)
As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.
Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac