Through this article, I will be highlighting a small player pool that is composed of players that rank high in my proprietary model. There are several factors this model takes into consideration such as: DVP (Defense Vs Position), OL/DL matchup, WR/CB matchup, game pace, Vegas totals, target share, value score, air yard opportunities and a few secret sauce metrics I can’t discuss further. As we move forward I will do my best to point out some of the higher ranked players for the OWS community to take into consideration as part of their own research. When it comes to game selection, I would encourage this player pool to be used in single entry, 3-Max smaller field tournaments.
If you want a QB with a high ceiling on your roster this week, this is your guy (no Josh Allen and no Patrick Mahomes on this slate). The model points for a ceiling game for Murray against a SF team that is hemorrhaging points to the QB position, allowing three top ten finishes in the last four games. The matchup could start slow but it could quickly turn into a back and forth track meet, especially with Trey Lance on the other side. Another metric assisting Murray in this matchup is the Niners weak run defense, which is Murray’s strength, and the model likes that. I think a sneaky way to play Murray in this matchup is to pair him with DeAndre Hopkins, which does sound obvious, but Hopkins is projecting for extremely low ownership in this potential shoot-out. As the week goes by, ownership in this game is remaining low, and I am extremely bullish on this game environment.
Consideration: Daniel Jones, Trevor Lawrence
The Cowboys own the highest implied total on the main slate, and Zeke has reclaimed this backfield and the high value touches around the end zone. We are all pretty used to seeing the Cowboys airing the ball out over the last couple of years but as of late they have tilted towards relying on the ground game. Reading this week’s Edge writeup you will see that the Cowboys carry a “57% neutral-rush rate over the last three weeks ranking them first in the NFL.” So let’s run some high-level observations: home favorite, run-first team, improving defense, favorable OL/DL matchup, goal line duties, leverage against his wide receiver teammates = Give me all the Zeke I can get this week.
Fournette was surprisingly ranking pretty high on the model a couple of weeks ago but we were too early. He now makes a return to MMM as a solidified lead back vs a run funnel Miami defense. Fournette played over 80% of the Buc’s snaps in Week 4 and accounted for 138 scrimmage yards. His price is too cheap for this type of usage and matchup. Unfortunately, he does project for very high ownership, but at this price, he is too hard to pass when it comes to single and 3 max entries. I expect to be overweight and will keep an eye on Giovanni Bernard’s injury report as his absence would further boost Fournette’s opportunities.
Consideration: Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones
This seems like a pristine matchup for the Vikings, and Jefferson in particular as their offensive centerpiece since Dalvin Cook will either not play or be limited. The depleted Lions defense is allowing close to ten yards per pass attempt and they have the league’s second worst first down conversion rate. Jefferson leads the Vikings in YPA and first down conversions. The stars are aligning. The Lions offense is talented enough to make this a competitive game which should force the Vikings to stay aggressive in a get-well spot, after a disastrous game vs the tough Browns defense.
I started looking at ownership projections on Wednesday and was surprised to see that Deebo was not projecting to be as highly owned as I thought. What am I missing? Is he too close to the “elite players?” Is he too expensive? He is priced as WR7 on this slate (which does not include Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and DK Metcalf) but ranks third in fantasy points per game, and he now has a great matchup in a desirable game environment. I think what he lacks is sex appeal, he is not a sexy play, but he is a damn good play. Here is a half-game of football stat line: 4 receptions / 107 yards / 2 TDs, is that not sexy? Was that a one-off? Well, Deebo leads the league in yards per reception, yards after the catch, total receiving yards, and now has an improvement at QB with Trey Lance.
Henry + one or two Jaguars receivers are as clean a stack as you can get this weekend. The Jaguars target distribution went from somewhat of a guessing game to a much more consolidated distribution. The Titans D has been extremely vulnerable to the pass game and I expect that to carry over this week. The best individual matchup lies on Shenault’s side as the Titans are allowing the most points to slot receivers in the entire NFL, as well as second most to the WR position as a whole. I think the field will lean towards Laviska due to the price tag and last week’s eruption performance but I personally like Jones for his route tree, aDOT, and red zone usage.
Consideration: Davante Adams, Kenny Golladay, Darnell Mooney
Note: Kittle is currently listed as doubtful
Kittle sits at the top of the model at the TE position mostly due to the amount of missed opportunities he has been piling up, accounting for 20 targets in the last two weeks which is elite usage for an elite player that now finds himself in an elite matchup as a coiled spring ready to explode. This play is similar to the Kyler’s and Deebo’s, underowned in a great spot with a beatable matchup.
I am going to want exposure to the Cowboys vs Giants game and I think this is a great way to do so, as Shultz has cemented himself as the Cowboys #1 tight end, out-targeting Blake Jarwin 23-13 this season along with three touchdowns, most of which have come the last two weeks. Arrows are pointing up for Shultz who now faces the Giants, ranked 24th in DVOA against the pass, and weaker inside than outside.
Consideration: Mike Gesicki
Kyler Murray / Deandre Hopkins / Deebo Samuel
Derrick Henry / Marvin Jones and or Laviska Shenault