This column will focus less on the sabermetrics of the football games and more about tangible “football” things you can see with your own two eyes. Coaching for nearly a decade at the high school level has given me perspective other DFS writers may overlook in the interest of statistics. Stats are useful but should not be relied upon. Games are played and coached by humans and not computers. This and following article will give you a look at the game that can sometimes be unquantifiable.
QBs to Target:
This slate only offers us 8 QBs to choose from. Though a small slate, there is tons of value for guys that you may otherwise overlook based on the matchup. Here’s who to go with:
MATT RYAN: Ryan faces a Seattle defense that is traveling across the country on a short week. Matt Ryan at home has been a huge target for DFS players throughout his career even if the matchup dictates otherwise. The Seahawks have the name value going for them but have been extremely mediocre down the stretch since losing Earl Thomas. They have gone .500 without Thomas. They have benefitted from an easy schedule since the injury having only played one team with a winning record since the injury. Expect a lot of short passes to either backs or whomever is at the slot WR this week. This is where the Seahawks can be hurt the most. The only reason to be off him would be his past playoff performance. Different coaches this time around should help. Ryan at home, vs a banged up Seattle team traveling on a short week makes him my top QB.
AARON RODGERS: Shouldn’t need to convince anyone of this. Anyone with eyes knows he is playing lights out right now. The Packers frustrate me more than any other team because of their lack of offensive diversity but Rodgers is McCarthy proof it looks like. Dallas strikes me as similar to the Giants team Rodgers just beat. “Young” defense still looking to prove itself that may keep hold down GB for a quarter before Rodgers starts shredding them. Not having Jordy will hurt and you always have to worry about McCarthy doing something but Rodgers should be good to go vs a relatively inexperienced defense.
Pivots: ALEX SMITH, DAK (TOURNEYS)
AVOID AT ALL COSTS: BEN ROETHLISBERGER: Ben stats got super inflated last week with AB taking two short, easily defendable passes, for long scores. Anyone who watched knows Miami did not show up/had a terrible plan for attacking the Pittsburgh offense. Ben benefitted from very poor secondary play and poor schemes last week. KC will be stingier and better coached at home coming off a bye week in freezing conditions.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- GB offensive line play: contrary to what the stats might say for the Giants D last week, Rodgers was very comfortable vs that highly touted DL save for less than a handful of plays. NYG was credited for 5 sacks. 2 came from the secondary on well designed plays where they came free. NYG also only hit Rodgers 5 times, all coming on those sacks. Expect even better play from the GB OL vs a much less talented Dallas front 7.
- Patriots D coordinator Matt Patricia has shown a tendency to be aggressive against non mobile QBs this year. Osweiler should be under fire the entire game. Houston has struggled mightily on the OL this year and the New England athletic front should give them tons of issues in a game where they will be pass protecting for the majority of the game.