You all know about The Ambush, my weekly NFL article that breaks down the NFL DFS main slate of games on Sunday’s, but now you are getting a daily dose of the Ambush as I feel it’s necessary and I wanted to give a quick look ahead with a slight look back on Week 5 and a quick preview into a pretty cool slate of games based on the scheduling for Week 6.
Having done DFS articles and analysis/advice over the years I have come to learn that the most important thing is not to give you the ‘Winners’ but to avoid giving you ‘Losers’. It’s one thing to claim a victory if you mention the highest scoring player at a position on a slate (especially at low ownership to make yourself look even smarter), but when you do it listing 8 players at the position where you may only be able to select one (like Defense, or Quarterback) then we have to factor in that the reader could have taken your advice on the other ones and lost out with those. Certainly everyone is pushing for that big 100x screenshot payday and they wont mind if 30 lineups failed to cash at $20 an entry so long as that one lineup brought back $100k. But the reality of that is rare and when we preach contest selection the way we do then there’s no benefit to listing that many players in an article. You really are just batting 1 for 8 in that scenario and I’ll take batting 1 for 3 every day of the week over that, because it means I’m heavier on that ONE. So the way I really measure myself is a combination of how many MISSES did I have and how good were my hits.
The AMBUSH section of my article are building blocks for your lineup. It’s usually 5 plays or themes for the week to focus around and build up to if you are doing 5 lineups. You can do ALL of them usually in one lineup or at worst 2-3 lineups if you want. But the idea is they should be picks that help you as a CORE play to help you win.
Week 5 AMBUSH Plays
Hyde and Go Zeke: Carlos Hyde did his part with 60 yards rushing and a touchdown, which at his $4300 price tag on DraftKings is basically what I was expecting. Zeke on the other hand was a major disappointment as he was my lock of the week and failed to even sniff what Christian McCaffrey did. One take away was the lack of passing game touches again for Zeke as Dak continues to refuse to check down to him. It’s worth monitoring. I give this pick a big fat F because in the end, it didn’t do diddly poo for you.
Personal Grade: F
PPR MACHINES: Michael Thomas and Adam Thielen were guys that I focused on my main DK lineup because I anticipated heavy PPR usage for them this week and they were studs all around. Cant Guard Mike went off on Tampa for 11 catches, 182 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Pairing him with Teddy Bridgewater was one of my better calls of the season thus far and really drew the unfortunate luck of coming on the week that chalk Will Fuller decided to go full “Hey I’m chalk so now I’ll go off” with three touchdowns. Adam Thielen fit the squeaky wheel narrative hauling in 7 catches for 130 yards and 2 TD against the Giants. Basically if you locked in these two WR you were golden at WR even without Will Fuller.
Personal Grade: A
TA$TE THE FREE SQUARES: I said to go with Golden Tate on FD and Auden Tate on DK because they were about as min priced as you can get and should see good volume. Golden Tate didn’t do anything while Auden Tate caught a late touchdown. Both were chalky and both to me fit well but in hindsight you can see both sides where sometimes playing value chalk is fine and others it’s not (Golden).
Personal Grade: C
FADE THAT TYLER EIFERT GUY: Much like the chalk value guys with the Tate’s we had a decision to make with a chalky value Tyler Eifert simply because everyone was picking on Arizona w/ TE. I avoided Eifert for two parts. First because I do not feel he is a heavy play in this offense and his ceiling was limited, plus I really liked Auden Tate as a better value player on the same team in a game that really shouldn’t be as popular as it was. Second though was because there were other value TE options who I felt had the same upside and namely Jared Cook against a terrible Tampa team versus TE right now who had his first TD of the season.
Personal Grade: A
I only went with FOUR AMBUSH plays this past week. Looking back upon it, they should include either a QB-WR combination, a DEFENSE or a lineup construction play as well. I can see where ultimiately the total AMBUSH plays were a little too bland. In that regard I knock the overall “juice” of the AMBUSH and give the “OTHER” rating for my article a D. Be more entertaining Renner!
Week 5 Highlights
I am going to reference fantasy points mostly based upon FanDuel with a couple of exceptions as we go through this.
Below are the Quarterbacks I recommended and where they ranked for fantasy points on the slate. DeShaun Watson led everyone with 41 fantasy points and in the same game Matt Ryan went for 32.9 fantasy points (FD) while Teddy snuck in as the third best QB on the slate at 28.26. All total there were 8 Quarterbacks this past week that scored 20 or more fantasy points.
The AMBUSH PLAYS
- Watson – 1st
- Wentz – 14th
- Bridgewater – 3rd
- Rudolph – NA … I am giving this an NA because the kid took a vicious hit and was knocked out of the game in a VERY scary moment.
Aaron Jones came out of nowhere to score four touchdowns on Dallas and most people who wound up with him did so because they pivoted off Zeke Elliott once they realized they were dead. That is a total luck move that you can certainly do in the future if you are dead but don’t expect it to always work like that.
The AMBUSH Rankings
- Ezekiel Elliott – 16.1 fpts
- Joe Mixon – 11.4 fpts
- David Johnson – 17.1 fpts
- Christian McCaffrey – 44.7 fpts
- Carlos Hyde – 12 fpts (Was a DK play based on price)
Hey look, not a million running backs.
Will Fuller, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas … That’s it, that’s the list of the guys you needed this weekend.
The AMBUSH Rankings
Something I am critical on myself here is that I listed Nuk/Fuller and Julio/Sanu together. I have done that about 4 times this year listing two receivers from the same team saying I like them both and the one I don’t bold is the one that usually goes off for multiple touchdowns. So I do one of three things here….. I can clean this up and pick one to give you, list them both but in proper order or just keep doing this and let you fade the one in BOLD and play the other…. Your call.
- Adam Thielen – 28.5 fpts
- Mike Thomas – 35.7 fpts
- DeAndre Hopkins – 12.3 fpts
- Will Fuller – 46.7 fpts
- Julio Jones – 5.7 fpts
- Mo Sanu – 12.8 fpts
MID TIER — This did absolutely ZERO good this week…. If I am reading this article I am asking why the hell do I care about these guys when you said to play MT + AT + one of the Tate’s and call it a day? Honestly? MT+AT+Auden Tate was a perfect WR combination and you wouldn’t have needed Fuller but could have certainly used him in the FLEX. Hindsight obviously, but this tier feels pointless…
- Manny Sanders – 1.4 fpts
- Diontae Johnson – 5.2 fpts
- Alshon Jeffrey – 8.2 fpts
- Dede Westbrook – 11.7 fpts
- Auden Tate – 10.1 fpts
- Golden Tate – 2.8 fpts
- James Washington – 6.7 fpts
Normally I won’t list five tight ends, but I felt it was a diversify week as you pivoted off bad Eifert chalk. That worked. Not all five worked. However only five TE on the entire slate went above 10 fantasy points and two of them are listed below. Eifert for the record scored 2.4 fantasy points.
The AMBUSH Rankings
- Evan Engram – 7.7 fpts
- Austin Hooper – 10.6 fpts
- Jared Cook – 12.1 fpts
- Dawson Knox – 2.2 fpts
- Cameron Brate – 1.6 fpts
The complaining about defenses in fantasy is starting to gain some steam and it’s just as annoying as the people who complained about Catchers in Baseball and Kickers in Daily Fantasy. There’s nothing wrong with drafting defenses (or kickers or catchers), and heck I would be in favor of us drafting COACHES too where you get points based on how the team does as a whole compared to the spread and a penalty of -99 points for a TIE … but that’s a topic for another day. The problem with DST scoring in fantasy is the SCORING not the fact that we use them. Let’s reduce their touchdown points and change some of the other statistical categories for them — or just adjust the pricing overall. Leave the defenses, but ignore someone who touts 10 of them.
The highest scoring defense this past week was Philadelphia
The AMBUSH Rankings
- New England – 14 fpts
- New Orleans – 6 fpts
- Philadelphia – 35 fpts
Week 6 Quick Thoughts
There is a game in London again this Sunday, but it’s at 9:30 AM EST which means you can wake up and watch Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers take on Jameis Winston and the the Tampa Bay Bucs from Looonnnndon <insert London calling cliche music>. This also means we likely get a 2 game slate from TNF to the London game on the sites to play a little DFS with and yeah, more Showdown for you single game fans.
There are two games which will get a TON of buzz in DFS communities this week and they’re naturally the highest O/U games on the board as of now. Houston at Kansas City (OU 54.5) and Atlanta at Arizona (OU 52). First glance says that fading both is rough but I can tell you that I expect Atlanta to WIN — yes, I like Atlanta to WIN — and the Chiefs should win by 10+ points against Houston in a game where I don’t see Houston — a team who scored 50 last week — getting above 23 points or so. Atlanta’s defense will play well this week and then get absolutely blown out of the universe next week and then Danny Quinn finally gets the axe. In the other game Mahomes ankle will be fine, he will play and there is a MUST play for the Chiefs skill position players.
The games that I have a ton of interest in are Seattle-Cleveland and Dallas-NY Jets. Especially the Seahawks-Browns game off that horrific MNF showing by the Browns and the entire world is bashing Baker, OBJ and the Browns for good reason. Shocker, OBJ isn’t doing it for you right now? Shocker, the Browns don’t know how to win yet? All the pre-season hype around that team was done by uneducated folks in my mind who wanted to crown their ass as Denny Green said so perfectly years ago. This is a team with talent, but not a team that has the right mindset yet. Give them time. That changes this week though in what I expect to be a shootout. The other game Dallas vs the Jets is your sneaky sneaky late slate hammer this week and while I like OBJ to have his “feed me” game this week I also like the JETS to give the Cowboys another big scare in a spot where the whole world is gonna be saying Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys. Not so fast. This smells like an Adam Gase and LevBell look at me, this is our Super Bowl game.
My other quick hit thoughts on the games this week
- Giants vs Patriots – Blah, Blah, Blah. Josh Gordon
- Panthers vs Bucs – Hello Mike Evans! Hello Curtis Samuel! Bet the OVER!
- Bengals vs Ravens – I’m still not sold on the Ravens defense, but they should be a popular pick.
- Eagles vs Vikings – This is a lopsided game, and no, Kirk Cousins isn’t having a good game.
- Saints vs Jaguars – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
- Redskins vs Dolphins – Oh hey, you want some GIFs in the article next week? Well, here we gooo
- 49ers vs Rams – The football will be good in this one.
- Titans vs Broncos – The football will be bad in this one.
- SNF – Steelers vs Chargers – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
- MNF – Lions vs Packers – Oh, hello there.