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Mining Matchups: DFS Nuggets Using Silva’s Column

Some of the most common feedback we get at ETR is how to put the content we offer into practice for DFS. To help with this, our staff has pulled out interesting nuggets from Evan Silva’s Matchups Column and will combine them with DFS-specific insights and analysis. All salaries referred to in this column are on DraftKings. All projected ownership numbers can be found here.



  1.     Top-15 in the NFL in Air Yards (399) but not even top 50 in actual receiving yards (183), WILL FULLER hasn’t been able to buy a break. A would-be 75-yard touchdown overthrown by Watson in last week’s defeat glanced slightly off Fuller’s fingertips. Although Fuller’s to-date fantasy results are frustrating, a breakout game is almost certainly nigh based on his immense opportunity.

DFS Angle: Fuller’s $4500 tag, median projection and slate-breaking ceiling will have him in cash game consideration this week. His ownership the past three weeks in the Milly Maker has been 7.8%, 10.7%, and 8%. We have him projected at [13-16%] this week. Given the field seems to be smart enough to continue to play Fuller even though his box score results have been underwhelming, he’s not a screaming GPP play, but is not a strong full fade candidate either. We’d recommend being sure to go at least somewhat contrarian elsewhere if you’re stacking Watson and Fuller in large-field GPPs. 



  1.     Popping as Week 5’s No. 1 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model, ZACH ERTZ is due for positive-TD regression after a scoreless opening month despite leading all tight ends in red-zone targets (6). Jets DC Gregg Williams’ scheme is typically vulnerable to tight ends because his “angel” safety aligns in punt-return formation, creating gaps in the middle of the field, and ILB C.J. Mosley (groin) doesn’t look ready to return.

DFS Angle: There could be an argument that Ertz has been underowned relative to his potential of being the highest scoring TE on the slate, checking in at 16.7% even as a top cash-game option the last time he was on the main slate. But given Carson Wentz is projecting as one of the top few QB plays on the slate, we wouldn’t expect him to go totally overlooked. The “bring backs” here are rough with Luke Falk starting, but Robby Anderson ($4500) and Jamison Crowder ($4300) are cheap and will have minimal ownership.



  1.     Even after going catch-less in Weeks 2-3, JIMMY GRAHAM warrants serious TE1 discussion against the Cowboys. Graham logged season highs in snaps (71%), targets (9), routes run (60), and receiving (6/61/1) in Green Bay’s Week 4 loss to Philadelphia and inherits a larger red-zone role minus Adams.

DFS Angle: It remains to be seen how the Packers offense will operate with Davante Adams out. Aaron Rodgers, while not a great price per dollar play, should go underowned in tournaments, making Packers stacks a potentially appealing large-field GPP option. We have his receiving options as mediocre at best from a value perspective, but attractive from an ownership perspective when looking to be contrarian. Jimmy Graham’s Milly Maker ownership in Weeks 2 and 3 was 2.5% and .3%, respectively, though he figures to be higher owned coming off a big game last Thursday.



  1.     Even as DAVID MONTGOMERY’s rushing efficiency continues to underwhelm (3.45 YPC), his ascending usage foreshadows an imminent spiked week with 16-plus touches in three straight games and a career-high 24 in last week’s win over the Vikings.

DFS Angle: This is a difficult one to assess as there are plenty of competing factors here. The Bears operate an offense that is unpredictable week to week, with inconsistent usage and opponent-dependent game plans. However, Montgomery is clearly ascending, and is priced at a reasonable $5,200. He doesn’t figure to be a truly contrarian option given he’s a fringe cash-game play for many, but he’s worth incorporating into your lineups to some extent. If looking to go ultra-contrarian by including other pieces of this game, Javon Wims ($3,500, 2-4% projected own) and Josh Jacobs ($4,500, 1% projected own) figure to see significant snaps at next to no ownership. We aren’t sure what kind of upside Chase Daniel ($4,800, 1% projected ownership) has unless the Raiders are able to put up some points, but he will be another low-owned option with a solid price to median projection ratio.



  1. Per Sports Info Solutions, MATT RYAN leads the league in completed Air Yards (579), while Houston has permitted an NFL-high 33 completions of ten-plus Air Yards.4
  2. CALVIN RIDLEY has seen just one red-zone target and none inside the ten. He is likely to remain a boom-bust WR2/3 play all year in such a deep pass-catcher corps, but this is a far better matchup for Ridley than he saw in each of the last two weeks.

DFS Angle: Julio Jones (10.5%, 10.6%) and Calvin Ridley (8.3%, 3.8%) have seen low ownership relative to their upside the past few weeks. We’re projecting higher ownership this week, as this is one of the more appealing games on the slate fantasy-wise. If looking for a contrarian piece of the game, Carlos Hyde projects at extremely low ownership (2-3%) relative to his median projection.


  1. KYLER MURRAY’s Week 5 outlook is improved by Cincinnati’s allowance of the NFL’s tenth-most quarterback rushing yards and inability to generate pressure with the league’s second-fewest sacks (5) and seventh-fewest QB hits (18)

DFS Angle: While Murray’s price has been steadily rising over the past three weeks ($5,400, $5,800, $6,000), his ownership (1.2%, 7.0%, 2.3%) has been reasonable relative to what we believe his upside to be. Combinations of KeeSean Johnson ($3,500), Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000) and David Johnson ($7,500), are all reasonable from a price and ownership perspective. On the Bengals side, Auden Tate ($3,500) figures to be one of the most owned plays on the slate, so including some other more contrarian pieces if game-stacking in big-field GPP is our preferred route. Tyler Boyd ($6,500) is an example of paying up to be a bit contrarian off of Tate.



  1. Critical to JAMEIS WINSTON’s L.A. explosion was his squeaky-clean pocket; he took just two sacks and four hits on 43 dropbacks after averaging 3.3 sacks and 8.3 hits per game in Weeks 1-3. Saints DC Dennis Allen‘s unit won’t be nearly as giving with the NFL’s fourth-highest pressure rate (41%) and seventh-highest QB Hit Rate (18.5%).

DFS Angle: Godwin and Evans have seen ownership all over the board this year, with last week both incredibly clocking in at .7% and 2.8%, respectively. Their ownership projections this week are back up to levels more consistent with their chances of being among the top scoring players on the slate, at 9-12% and 13-16%, respectively. Given higher ownership and the expected increased pressure-rate, we don’t think there is value in being overweight these options in tournaments.