#Trendspotting: Week 10 - A Smash Spot

Examining player and team trends to identify valuable DFS options and start/sits in season-long leagues

Graphics Tutorial

I've gotten feedback that my graphics aren't as self-explanatory and intuitive as I think they are, so I provided a guide at the beginning of a past version of this article.

Reader's Guide

  • Green text is a good matchup for that team's offensive players.
  • Red text is a bad matchup.
  • When a player's name is green, it means that he exceeded 2.75x value on his DraftKings salary that week.
  • If a name is red, it means that player was under 2x his value.
  • All reference to fantasy points assumes DraftKings scoring rules unless otherwise specified.
  • All stats reference the full 2017 season unless otherwise specified.
  • All fantasy points rankings in the matchup graphics are on a per-game basis to account for bye weeks.

This week, we'll discuss the following topics:

Follow the Targets

Yes, we're taking a brief hiatus from Targets Lead to Touchdowns this week. Between regression working out and injuries occurring, there weren't any players that fit my criteria who I felt good about recommending. But have no fear, I'm replacing that section with something even better and more actionable.

The table below looks at the bottom eight (8) pass defenses in terms of yards allowed per game and shows how those defenses allow targets, yards, and touchdowns. The teams are listed from most yards per game to least. For example, Tampa Bay allows the third-most total passing yards per game. They allow 62.9% of their targets to wide receivers, they're 29th in the NFL in yards per game yielded to wide receivers (i.e. they allow the third-most), and they've surrendered nine touchdowns to wideouts.

Another example is the New York Giants. They allow the fourth-most passing yards per game, with the majority of the damage being done by tight ends. They allow the third-most yards per game to tight ends, and opposing tight ends are targeted 22.3% of the time against them.

  Team RB Tgt% Yds/Gm Rank TD WR Tgt% Yds/Gm Rank TD TE Tgt% Yds/Gm Rank TD
New England Patriots 21.6% 31 3 58.6% 32 8 19.9% 17 5
Indianapolis Colts 17.6% 30 2 62.9% 30 7 19.5% 18 4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22.9% 23 2 62.5% 29 9 14.5% 4 3
New York Giants 17.2% 15 2 60.6% 24 7 22.3% 29 8
Kansas City Chiefs 16.5% 1 0 64.9% 31 15 18.7% 26 1
Detroit Lions 23.6% 22 1 61.6% 22 7 14.9% 24 2
Buffalo Bills 21.2% 20 1 59.6% 20 4 19.2% 28 2
Philadelphia Eagles 21.8% 18 4 58.0% 25 6 20.2% 21 4


  • Expect Ben Roethlisberger to get back on track this week, despite the road matchup. Indianapolis is weak against running backs and wide receivers in the passing game, and we know Pittsburgh's targets are primarily going to Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, Roethlisberger's best weapons.
  • The N.Y. Giants are so poor vs. tight ends, and George Kittle isn't playing for San Francisco this week. Garrett Celek is the only tight end remaining with ability/experience. Considering the Giants have allowed more than one touchdown per game to tight ends, Celek makes for a solid GPP play in DFS or a desperation steamer in traditional leagues.

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Funnel Watch

A "funnel" defense is one with a stout run defense but a suspect (or worse) pass defense. These units "funnel" production to the exterior and deep parts of the field (places where passing games focus) and away from the short middle (where the running game typically occurs). The following criteria are used to determine funnel defenses.


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