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.
Steelers at Saints (-6, 53)
If you’re in the mood to spend up at quarterback, look no further than Ben Roethlisberger ($8,700), the top-priced option at the position. Not only do the Steelers gain 76.8 percent of their yardage through the air, but the Saints also surrender 76.8 percent of their yardage through the air, setting up a promising funnel effect for Big Ben and the Steelers. Aside from a worse TD-to-INT ratio, Roethlisberger’s home/road splits have not been as pronounced as we’ve seen in recent seasons. Don’t expect your lineup(s) to be particularly unique if you take this route at QB, but there is immense upside as the Vegas odds suggest a high-scoring affair in which the Steelers are playing catch up. Teams have had success throwing to primary and secondary receivers, so if your desire is to stack this matchup, both Antonio Brown ($8.700) and Juju Smith-Schuster ($8,000) are viable options.
Vikings (-6, 42.5) at Lions
We saw the Vikings impersonate a road grader as Dalvin Cook ($7,100) gashed the Dolphins defense between the tackles en route to 28.8 FanDuel points. The Lions, statistically, have fared better against the run than the ‘Phins, particularly since trading for Damon Harrison, but interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski’s first game calling plays suggests the Vikings want to run, run and run some more. The sample size may be small, but with only two games left in the season, there’s no time to see what constitutes a trend and what is simply a matchup anomaly.
Texans at Eagles (-2, 46)
If bargain shopping under center is your jam, say “hello” to Nick Foles ($6,000), who will run the show again for Philadelphia. While the numbers have not been pretty in his three starts, Foles has averaged 37.7 pass attempts, so it’s not as if the Eagles are keeping a tight leash on him. Philly has leaned heavily on the pass this season, gaining 72.1 percent of their yardage through the air. Meanwhile, Houston’s ability to stonewall opposing rushing attacks has led to opponents earning 74.5 percent of their yardage against them via the pass. No. 1 receivers and tight ends have been particularly troublesome to defend for the Texans pass defense, making Zach Ertz ($7,400) and Alshon Jeffery ($6,300) intriguing stack options.
Jaguars at Dolphins (-4, 38.5)
The Dolphins’ backfield warrants monitoring leading up to lineup lock on Sunday as both Kallen Ballage ($5,500) and Kenyan Drake ($5,800) figure to take aim at a Jaguars defense that forces teams to advance against them in a methodical, ground-based fashion, which is fine for a Miami squad that features a run-heavy offense. Ballage handled the bulk of the rushing load in Week 15, but with Drake practicing in full as of Thursday, the carry split becomes murky. But as they say, with risk comes reward. Both backs figure to be on the lower-owned side in tournaments, so if you pick the right one, you may be able to create some separation in tournaments while saving money to spend up elsewhere.