- The Jaguars defense is terrible against the run and has a date with Le'Veon Bell on Sunday. Dak Prescott threw three touchdowns in both of his games against the Packers last year. Those facts, and three more, will help you win your DFS contests this week.
We’re four weeks into the season and trends have begun emerging. Here are five key facts you need to know about some of the league’s premier players before you set your DFS lineups for Week 5.
1. The Jaguars are second in yards per pass allowed (5.7), but last in yards per rush allowed (5.7)
The Jaguars’ run-funneling defense is translating to fantasy, where the team is ranked first in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks, but 30th in to running backs. In today’s NFL, being built to stop the pass is smart. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, they face Le’Veon Bell this week. Bell doesn’t have to make the “feed me” gesture that’s so common around the league now—he gets fed regardless. Since shaking off the rust in Week 1, Bell is averaging 30.3 touches per game over his last three games. Coming off a 35-carry, 144-yard, 2-touchdown demolition of the Ravens in Baltimore last week, Bell should be in for another busy day and is every bit worth his expensive salary on FanDuel ($9,500) and DraftKings ($9,500).
2. The Seahawks defense allows 5.0 yards per carry, tied for second most in the NFL.
Seattle’s talent on paper hasn’t translated to the field when it comes to defending the run this season; newcomer Sheldon Richardson has struggled against the run, as has Frank Clark, who will have to play even more snaps now that Cliff Avril has gone down with a neck injury. The Seahawks are ranked just 21st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs—though it’s not like matchup matters much for Todd Gurley anymore. A preseason pick of mine to finish as a top-three running back, Gurley currently leads all players in fantasy points, in large part due to new coach Sean McVay increasing Gurley’s usage in the passing game. Gurley is averaging career-highs in per-game targets (6.3), receptions (5.0), receiving yards (58.5), and receiving touchdowns (0.75), which means he can produce in fantasy even if the Rams fall behind in a given game.
3. Dak Prescott has thrown three touchdowns in both of his career meetings with the Packers.
He’s 2-for-2 versus the Packers and 4-for-19 versus everyone else. Because Aaron Rodgers is on the other sideline, the Cowboys know they have to be more aggressive than usual against the Packers, and it’s translated directly to the box score for Prescott. In two career games versus Dom Capers’s defense, Dak has gone 42-of-65 (64.6%) for 549 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. As a home favorite in the game with the highest over/under of the week (52), Prescott is usable in cash games; he has the highest probability among quarterbacks of hitting value on FanDuel, and is second to only Rodgers on DraftKings.
4. Jordy Nelson has scored at least one touchdown in 14 of his last 20 games.
Nelson has become the league’s premier touchdown scorer at the wide receiver position, and that should continue this week. Only three teams have allowed more touchdowns to wide receivers than Dallas this season (five). Nelson and Rodgers have perfected the art of the “gimme” touchdown, converting 13 of 19 passes inside the 10-yard line into touchdowns since the start of 2016, including 4-for-4 this season.
Like what you've seen from our partners at 4for4 Football? Click here for a free 7-day trial with the best fantasy football site on the web.
5. DeAndre Hopkins’s catch rate with Deshaun Watson is 68.2%, up from 51.7% last season with Brock Osweiler and Co.
4for4.com’s handy Player Targets App tells us that Hopkins is being targeted 12.3 times per game, most in the NFL. That’s up from 9.4 last season, but more importantly, Watson’s competence has allowed Hopkins to resume being an efficient receiver in both real life and fantasy. Speaking of target volume, Hopkins projects to run the majority of his routes this week on Chiefs cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who is a target magnet for opposing passers opposite stationary standout cornerback Marcus Peters. Mitchell has drawn 38 targets this season, second-most in the league. A target monster who is not overly reliant on touchdowns to score fantasy points, Hopkins is arguably this week’s top floor/ceiling combination at the wide receiver position, especially with Antonio Brown playing in a game where Pittsburgh’s is likely to make the running game a priority.