Monday Night Football – Giants v. Falcons (Draftkings) – October 22nd, 2018
***This article focuses on daily fantasy contests run on Draftkings one game Showdown football slates but much of what is said can be applied to the one game football slates featured on Fanduel as well. We consider tournament tactics, statistics, Draftkings pricing, and attempt to tackle this highly variable daily fantasy format so we can gain an edge on the field at-large.***
Ah yes, moving ahead to the bright lights of Monday Night Football. My Sunday was personally full of ups and downs. Jermaine Kearse and Taylor Gabriel are both forever dead to me and any lineup with Snead turned out not to be a good lineup indeed. However, the proposed captain of the Sunday Night Football article Kareem Hunt was an absolute monster hurtling over people and dragging 4-5 men at a time as the Kansas City Chiefs made short work of the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Atlanta Falcons do not have quite the explosive offense of the Chiefs and their record setting quarterback, they are certainly still one of the leagues’ most potent and face a Giants team staring down a hole, dependent on a rookie for both offense and leadership while the quarterback looks even worse than his brother did during his final season in the NFL. This is another game that has the potential to get ugly in a hurry. Right now the 2-4 Falcons are 4 point projected home favorites over the lowly 1-5 Giants with a total over under of 53. I expect this to be a get right spot for the Dirty Birds as their offense proves too much for the Giants to keep up with and they seize the win before heading off on their bye week.
Because everything on a one game slate is highly dependent on whose hands the touchdowns end up in let’s explore exactly how these teams have scored to date.
Ways the Falcons can/most likely will score
1. Matt Ryan rushing touchdown (2 on the season on 3 attempts)
– Matt Ryan passing touchdown (14 on the season), 1,956 passing yards, 2 interceptions.
Primary Receiving Targets (Falcons)
Julio Jones (69 total targets, 44 receptions, 0 receiving touchdowns, 708 receiving yards, 1 rushing attempt for 11 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 3 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 0% (0/3 total in the red zone, comprised of 0-1 inside the 5 yard line, 0-2 between the 11-20)
Calvin Ridley (29 total targets, 22 receptions, 6 receiving touchdowns, 349 receiving yards, 3 rushing attempts for 13 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 0 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 0% (0/0 total in the red zone, comprised of 0-0 inside the 5 yard line, 0-0 between the 11-20)
Mohamed Sanu (33 total targets, 22 receptions, 1 receiving touchdown, 303 receiving yards, 1 rushing attempts for -4 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 2 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 100% (2/2 total in the red zone, comprised of 1-1 inside the 5 yard line, 1-1 between the 11-20)
Austin Hooper (37 total targets, 30 receptions, 2 receiving touchdowns, 273 receiving yards, 0 rushing attempts for 0 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 6 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 66% (4/6 total in the red zone, comprised of 0-1 inside the 5 yard line, 3-3 between the 6-10 yard lines, 1-2 between the 11-20)
2. Tevin Coleman rushing touchdown (1 on the season), 71 carries for 260 rushing yards, 16 targets, 13 receptions, 105 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, 4 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 75%, (3-4 total in the red zone, 1-1 inside the 5, 1-1 between the 6-10 yard lines, 1-2 between the 11-20)
– Ito Smith rushing touchdown (3 on the season), 32 carries for 102 rushing yards, 11 targets, 10 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns, 0 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 0%, (0-0 total in the red zone)
3. Giorgio Tavecchio kicks (0-0 on the season consisting of 0-0 on Field Goals 29 yards and under, 0-0 on Field Goals 39 and under, 0-0 on Field Goals between 40-49 yards, 0-0 on Field Goals 50 yards+, and 0-0 on extra points) – Making his season debut filling in for an injured Matt Bryant. Had a long leg last year kicking for the Raiders hitting 76% of his attempts and as does his counterpart gets a bump in the dome.
4. Falcons defensive points (10 sacks, 6 interceptions, 1 fumble recoveries, 0 touchdowns, 0 safeties, 1 blocked kick)
Ways the Giants can/most likely will score
1. Eli Manning rushing touchdown (1 on the season on 1 attempt)
– Eli Manning passing touchdown (6 touchdowns on season), 1,662 passing yards, 4 interceptions.
Primary Receiving Targets (Giants)
Odell Beckham, Jr. (69 total targets, 45 receptions, 1 receiving touchdown, 506 receiving yards, 3 rushing attempts for 9 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 6 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 16% (1-6 total in the red zone, comprised of 0-3 inside the 5 yard line, 1-3 between the 11-20)
Sterling Shepard (43 total targets, 31 receptions, 2 receiving touchdowns, 341 receiving yards, 0 rushing attempt for 0 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 9 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 56% (5/9 total in the red zone, comprised of 2-3 inside the 5 yard line, 1-1 between the 11-20, 2-5 between the 11-20)
Evan Engram (13 total targets, 10 receptions, 1 receiving touchdown, 104 receiving yards, 0 rushing attempt for 0 yards and no rushing touchdowns, 1 red zone target, red zone catch rate 100% (1/1 total in the red zone, 1-1 between the 11-20) **Missed Several Games**
2. Saquon Barkley rushing touchdown (4 on the season), 84 carries for 438 rushing yards, 51 targets, 40 receptions, 373 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, 0 red zone targets, red zone catch rate 0%, (0-0 total in the red zone, 0-0 between the 6 and 10 yard lines)
3. Aldrick Rosas kicks (13-14 on the season consisting of 3-3 Field Goals 29 yards and under, 6-6 consisting of field goals of 39 yards and under, 3-3 on field goals between 40-49 yards, 1-2 on Field Goals 50 Yards+, and 8-8 on extra points)
4. Giants defensive points (7 sacks, 4 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 0 touchdown, 0 safeties, 0 blocked kicks)
Here is a look at the Draftkings pricing for all players we want to consider with ratings on a basis of 1-5 stars:
$12,000 Saquon Barkley- *****
$11,200 Matt Ryan- **** 1/2
$10,600 Julio Jones- ****
$7,400 Tevin Coleman- *** 1/2
$7,000 Calvin Ridley- ****
$6,200 Mohamed Sanu – ****
$5,800 Austin Hooper – ****
$4,400 Ito Smith – ****
$3,200 Giorgio Tavecchio – ****
$2,800 Falcons Defense – *
I might go a little heavier than usual on this slate despite generally being pretty conservative with bankroll on these Showdown slates. The most straightforward strategy is to just avoid the Giants entirely outside of Saquon Barkley who is pretty much a must play. I remember on the Thursday Night Slate with the Eagles a couple weeks back seeing OBJ’s ownership hovering as high as 80-90% in cash and Shephard about 70% owned. Now their ownership may not get that high with all of the Falcons options as opposed to the Eagles, but if you throw in Evan Engram ownership, Eli ownership “please be North of 20-25%”, Rosas, and anyone taking a lottery ticket out on Russell Shepard, Latimer (even being on IR), or anyone else, we will be able to gain a considerable edge doing something that is seemingly incredibly simple. The Giants abysmal numbers outside of Barkley tell the whole story. I can’t imagine what type of season he would be having in a better offense as he has had next to no red zone work from a receiving standpoint and sits astonishingly in the middle of the pack as far as red zone rushing attempts.
That being said as simple as it is people usually get sold on this narrative as the day goes on that because the Giants will be down in this game that they will be throwing a lot and some Giants exposure is necessary or even the key to winning a tournament. However, we’ve seen slates time and time again where the quarterback struggles and his receivers become virtually useless. Let others fall for this Giants madness. Barkley is arguably the best receiver on this team and the Falcons notoriously struggle against pass catching backs. Seeing how they were lit up by John Conner a few weeks back, I can’t imagine them containing a talent like Barkley. As Eli cannot make basic throws anywhere, this is clearly the means of attack and while the Falcons while certainly try to gameplan for him there is only so much they can do.
Meanwhile, by eliminating all of the other Giants from the player pool, we can focus on the many different combinations of 5 Falcons and Barkley. I have made a few lines and my favorite captain choices are Barkley (remember he will likely be the most popular choice for captain as well so worth a pivot for tournaments), Matt Ryan, and Hooper/Ito Smith/Tavecchio as price plays. If you ask me tomorrow if I like your lineup, if it has any 5 Falcons and Barkley, I’m a fan.
The issue with the Falcons is the production is spread out all over the place so it will be important to get the right 5. I don’t think there’s much right and wrong here but it really is a total crapshoot who will score (except maybe poor Julio who has yet to do so although we know he can always go off in a hurry). If you desire safety in a particular contest such as a 50/50, Matt Ryan is clearly a hedge on the variance of which receivers score and will likely be the Falcon I include the most. Beyond that though I’d try to make a few combinations. Austin Hooper, Tavecchio and “Judge Ito” Smith are our punts we can mix in as necessary to be able to afford Barkley and the Falcons of our choosing.
Best of luck!
*** Rich Masana is a real money daily fantasy player who plays on Draftkings under the moniker “JetsFan303” and on Fanduel under the moniker “JetsFan3032”. Rich is ranked in the top 5% of all players according to Rotogrinders.com. Rich does not guarantee the accuracy of all advice and reserves the rights to use different players on occasion as necessary to fit roster builds (although he does not very often). ***