Each week, we’ll dive into Fanduel’s main slate to highlight some of the juiciest matchups and situations to exploit. Whether it’s finding the low(er)-owned gems in a popular upcoming shootout or identifying an overlooked clash that DFSers can use to gain leverage over a tournament field, our aim is to provide you the individual plays and overall strategy to consider as you chase profitability in your DFS portfolio. Let’s jump in.
Eagles at Saints (56.5, -8)
In one of the premier matchups of the week, the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles travel to the Big Easy looking to build some momentum down the home stretch. On paper, this matchup presents the makings of a fun, up-and-down, pass-heavy contest as both teams have mostly stonewalled opposing ground games this season. Newly acquired Golden Tate ($6,600) only played 18 of 62 snaps in his first game with his new team, but he’s expected to take on a larger role this week in what Vegas predicts to be a high-scoring affair. Matchups from a year ago should be taken with a grain of salt, but for those who do place stock into such things may recall Tate finished with seven catches for 96 yards and a score in a 2017 matchup against the Saints. The more attractive — and expensive — option in this matchup is Zach Ertz ($7,600), who’s coming off a monster 14-145-2 line and 33.5 FanDuel points. He may end up being the most popular tight ends on the main slate, but this is an instance where going with the herd is the right move while you look elsewhere to create differentiation.
Buccaneers at Giants (53.5, -1.5)
The Bucs continue to surrender gobs of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, so we’re going to continue picking on them. The Giants have a particularly pass-heavy approach on offense, not a surprise considering the type of pass-catching talent they have on the perimeter, not to mention the backfield. Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,500) isn’t one to slide under the radar obviously, but it’s still worth noting that he’s seen fewer than 10 targets on a single occasion this season. Over his last three games he’s received 33 targets, catching 20 of them for 352 yards and three touchdowns. He’s going to be popular, but the volume is there and the matchup is juicy. Those looking to get a little cute can look at Evan Engram ($5,800). He’s only scored double-digit FD points in two contests, but he should be running on all cylinders physically after missing time with a knee sprain. More importantly, the Bucs’ sieve pass defense has been particularly yielding to the tight end position, allowing a league-high 77.1 yards per game to the position. He presents an affordable and potentially profitable option at flex or a Zach Ertz alternative if you’re looking to fade the popular pick at the position. Finally, while Sterling Shepard ($6,300) is strictly a boom or bust option for tournaments, he’s an interesting one to consider if you’re of the belief that Tampa Bay will do everything necessary to slow down Beckham Jr. He’s seen eight targets in two of the last three games.
Raiders at Cardinals (41, -5.5)
The Cardinals haven’t been favored in a contest this season since Week 1 against the Washington Redskins, but that says everything you need to know about the state of the Raiders. It hasn’t been all smiles for those who have invested in David Johnson ($7,900), but he’s coming off a great game in which he delivered a vintage performance (98 rushing yards, 85 receiving yards, seven receptions, two touchdowns, 33.8 FD points) in a loss to the Chiefs. Sure, he may not be delivering up to the lofty expectations thrust upon him this season, but it’s worth noting that he’s only scored fewer than 10 FD points on two occasions. DFSers need more than a solid performance from a player at Johnson’s price point, but given the way the Raiders have let teams plow over them without much resistance, he figures to be very busy this Sunday. There are a number of high-profile running backs
There are a number of attractive choices at the running back position this week, but three in particular head into matchups against teams that funnel opposition’s yardage through the ground. Melvin Gordon ($8,700) vs. Broncos, Christian McCaffrey ($8,600) vs. Lions and James Conner ($8,200) vs. Jaguars are each in a spot that could put smiles on DFSers faces. Naturally, it will take concessions elsewhere, but all three can be jammed into a lineup if you’re comfortable with the value plays available to you at other positions.