DFS Roundtable: The NFL Offensive Divide

The DFS team discusses the high-end and low-end NFL offenses for DFS value

The NFL offenses seem to fit into buckets of the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in terms of design, talent, and weekly upside.

Pick a hot offense from the opening weeks you think will cool off in the coming few games and a cold offense which will pick it up.

James Brimacombe: The Hot offense that I think has potential to slow down would be the Saints as I think their defense will start to turn things around and with Mark Ingram II on the verge of returning they will look to a more balanced attack and get back to more of the 2007 version that was dominant in the running game and relying on their defense. The fact that Drew Brees ran for two scores last week is not something you will see with Ingram back and the number of targets that Michael Thomas is seeing cannot be the new normal as they will need to slow the game down with their running attack.

The Cold offense that you have to look at is the Giants as they have so much talent and have had a few tough defensive matchups to start the season. It looks like the turnaround should start this week against the Saints in what could be one of the biggest shootout games of the season.

Justin Howe: As James pointed out, the Saints will soon be balancing and leveling their offense, at least to some degree. With no ability to grind the ball or kill clock, they're relying on short passes as an extension of their running game, but that will end once Mark Ingram II is back in the lineup. Not to mention, I hate the supporting cast in their pass game. Ted Ginn Jr looks serviceable, but neither Cameron Meredith nor Tre'Quan Smith has made a move to diversify this group. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are the passing game right now. And if you're expecting Thomas to keep catching 95% of his targets - not a misprint, he's caught 38 of 40 thus far - then I have real estate to sell you.

Of course, the truly toothless offenses thus far like Dallas and Arizona have nowhere to go but up. They essentially can't help but improve going forward. Still, neither looks likely to get where we need them to be. Even in weak matchups, I don't think either is worth a look. Rather, I'm holding out hope for the Titans, who are better than this on paper. As the offensive line gets back to health, the running game will add more of the dimension needed to create a balanced attack. Not to mention, their offensive roles are nice and streamlined. Corey Davis is the clear No. 1 option; as the season wears on, he'll be looking at more games of 8+ targets than many guys in his DFS price range. With Delanie Walker out of the picture, Davis can put his stamp on this passing game. And even if the offense doesn't escape its funk, he'll at least have the volume outlook of a talented No. 1.

Phil Alexander:

Hot
All three Dallas games have finished with less than 38 total points this season, which doesn't bode well for the Lions chances of staying hot in Week 4. No team has allowed more yards on the ground this season than Detroit, while the one thing the Cowboys can do well on offense is run the ball with Ezekiel Elliott in an effort to slow down the game and control time of possession. Fade your Lions.

Cold
New Orleans has struggled badly in pass coverage to open the season, particularly downfield. If the trend continues, the Giants receivers are in a potential blow-up spot this week. Odell Beckham is the obvious play, but if the Saints choose to defend him like they did Julio Jones last week, Sterling Shepard stands to benefit -- especially with Evan Engram's injury opening up additional targets in the middle of the field.

Dan Hindery: I expect the Lions offense to cool off considerably. Detroit has faced a soft defensive schedule. Against the only solid defense to date (the Jets), Stafford threw four interceptions. The schedule gets extremely difficult moving forward. With the Bears defense now featuring Khalil Mack, the Packers much-improved secondary, and the elite Vikings defense, the NFC North is loaded. Over their next six games, the Lions face each of these divisional opponents, with two of the matchups coming on the road. They also travel to Dallas this week in what should be a slow-paced game against an underrated Cowboys defense.

The New York Giants are the poorly performing offense with a great chance at turning things around. After a couple brutal performances against talented defenses (Jaguars and Cowboys), the Giants rebounded last week at Houston. The schedule turns extremely favorable starting this week. It feels like every game involving an NFC South team has turned into a shootout the last few weeks and the Giants play three of their next four against the division. Potential shootouts against New Orleans (Week 4), Carolina (Week 5), and Atlanta (Week 7) should help this loaded Giants passing offense get back on track. With Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram, Eli Manning may have the most talented group of pass catchers in the NFL and performances like his one against Houston last week (297 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 132.3 passer rating) could become the norm.

Will Grant: I agree with Phil that the Elliott looks like a great play this week. Dallas is struggling when it comes to their passing game, averaging just 145 yards per game through the air. But they have stayed strong running the ball Elliot is still averaging 5.7 yards per carry and that matches up well against a Detroit defense that has gone to sleep for stretches this season and is coming off a big upset of the Patriots on Sunday night.

On the flip side, the Lions are facing a tough Dallas defense on the road this week. Although the Cowboys will be without Sean Lee due to his hamstring injury, they still have a pretty solid pass rush and should give the Detroit passing game fits this week. The Lions finally posted a 100-yard rusher last week against the Patriots, but I expect that this will return to historical trends and they’ll struggle to reach that 100-yard mark.


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