With the film and data continuing to mount, the reliability of my process is exponentially rising. A coaching staff is only able to shade their base gameplans underneath a small sample size before the floodgates open. The coverage scheme rotation has already been fully revealed. We may still see slight alterations, but nothing that will alter the process. Individual coverage liabilities will be the final hurdle to fall. Once we are able to isolate issues related to health from the results directly accompanying poor play, we will have reached an ultimate state of matchup preparedness. Performance anomalies will always be present in an NFL stacked with the premier talent in the world. And injuries to key defenders are a constant concern. That said, it’s down the path of the process where we will minimize risk toward maximum profits.
*9-13 (41%) — 1-4 in Week 3
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Green Bay Packers (-3.0) at Cincinnati Bengals
Tennessee Titans (-4.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings (-7.0) vs. Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers (-3.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Las Vegas Raiders (-5.0) vs. Chicago Bears
New York Giants (-7.0) at Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills (+2.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
*6-7 (46%) — 1-3 in Week 3
New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons (Under 46.0)
Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Over 48.0)
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (Under 50.5)
Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders (Under 44.0)
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (Over 46.0)
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Over 52.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (Over 49.5)
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (Over 45.5)
*8-3 (73%) — 3-2 in Week 3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-435) vs. Miami Dolphins
Green Bay Packers (-160) at Cincinnati Bengals
Tennessee Titans (-200) at Jacksonville Jaguars
New England Patriots (-410) at Houston Texans
Las Vegas Raiders (-235) vs. Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys (-310) vs. New York Giants
Arizona Cardinals (-235) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens (-280) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Matchups to Target
Zack Moss, BUF ($5.5K DK | $6.3K FD) vs. Anthony Hitchens, KC
It’s no surprise to see Vegas favoring Kansas City at home by 2.5 points. Nobody expected to see the Chiefs enter Week 5 at 2-2. A victory over Buffalo here would result in 3-2 records for these playoff-hopeful teams. But far too many factors are standing in the way of KC in this game. Patrick Mahomes II is the top QB in the game. That said, even an offense led by Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill can’t overcome the deficiencies of an entire defense. Kansas City’s defense is surrendering the second-most FPG to entire opposing offenses (112.3). That number includes the second-most to QBs (26.0), fifth-most to RBs (29.5), 12th-most to WRs (39.9), and fourth-most to TEs (17.0).
The singular weakness of the entire Bills’ franchise is a struggling O-line that has permitted the sixth-most QB pressures this season. But the O-line is actually pretty good at establishing run blocking lanes. Zack Moss will need an injury to Devin Singletary before he’ll see the type of workload that would provide him the opportunity to go nuclear. But his pricing doesn’t require that type of output. Even though he’s sharing backfield touches with Singletary and Josh Allen, Moss is the unquestioned goal-line back for one of the three most explosive offenses in the NFL. He’s being provided with the second-most attempts/game inside the five among all RBs (2.33). Kansas City is yielding 7.75 red zone touches to opposing RBs (the most) and 2.0 rushing TDs/game (the most).
Stefon Diggs, BUF ($7.5K DK | $8.1K FD) vs. Mike Hughes, KC
My preseason estimates pointed toward Stefon Diggs blowing up this season. However, after four weeks, he’s yet to cover his floor value in a single week. It boggles the mind how he’s only managed to be on the receiving end of one of Allen’s nine TD passes. That’s all about to change this week. The Chiefs are providing the ninth-most FPG to receivers aligned on the perimeter (19.1). Diggs can count on working against Mike Hughes on well over a third of his reps. Hughes is permitting 1.72 YPCS (ranking 71st out of 84 qualified outside CBs), 0.47 FP/CS (80th), and a 115.2 passer rating (64th).
KC utilizes the seventh-highest rate of Cover 2 with the 15th-highest rate of Cover 1. Emmanuel Sanders will be the main beneficiary of the Cover 2 looks, but Diggs is going to eat when the Chiefs field that Cover 1. Over the last three seasons, Diggs has generated 0.68 FPs/route (FP/Rt) against Cover 1 that ranks fifth-best out of 107 qualified WRs. He ranks third with 3.35 YPRR and fourth by commanding a 31% target rate against the single-high scheme. On 25% of routes vs. Cover 1 over the last three seasons, Diggs has accounted for 34% of receptions, 40% of his yardage, and 41% of his TD total.
Final notes on Buffalo
This spot for Josh Allen ($8.1K/$8.8K) is the only exception from Week 5 where I will roster a QB priced north of $7.9K. The Bills will have their way with the KC defense. The same cannot be said for the Chiefs. I struggle recommending Devin Singletary ($4.7K/$5.7K) with full heart. Just know that the metrics indicate he could conceivably provide a floor play. Just not enough of those Cover 4 snaps to fully commit to Cole Beasley ($4.7K/$5.6K). That doesn’t mean he won’t do well against one of the worst defenses through four weeks. As mentioned, Emmanuel Sanders ($4.9K/$6.2K) is going to pig out on Kansas City’s Cover 2. During the previous three seasons, he ranks 10th-best among 55 qualified WRs with 0.43 FP/Rt, seventh with 2.32 YPRR, and third with 15.23 yards/target (YPT). If Dawson Knox ($4.3K/$6.0K) is going to insist on catching a TD each week, fading him is no longer an option. He’s definitely far from reliable using the coverage scheme history, but the Chiefs are providing the fourth-most TDs/game to TEs (1.25).
Final notes on Kansas City
I truly love watching Patrick Mahomes II ($8.2K/$8.7K), Tyreek Hill ($8.9K/$8.5K), and Travis Kelce ($7.6K/$8.2K) work. My gut tells me Kelce is going to put up the numbers this week. And I’m forced to use my guy since all three are so good at whatever they face. However, the Buffalo defense has not shown a single glimpse of a weakness this season. I’ll slip Kelce into a couple GPPs, but, as of now, I do not have plans for Hill exposure. The Bills were vulnerable to the run last season. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5.7K/$6.6K) will soon find that is no longer the case. It sure would be nice to see Josh Gordon ($3.0K/$5.0K) revive his career in style. But we already know Mecole Hardman ($4.0K/$5.3K) and Demarcus Robinson ($3.5K/$4.8K) are going to stand in his way from reaching relevant-territory.
Matchups to Target
Marquise Brown, BAL ($5.8K DK | $6.8K FD) vs. Rock Ya-Sin, IND
It’s time to entirely clear the Week 3 performance from Marquise Brown from your mind. He was excellent last week and he’s heading into what could be the closest to optimal of spots he’ll face all season. The Colts feature top-eight percentages of Cover 2 and Cover 3. Over the last three seasons, Hollywood ranks first-overall with 0.56 FP/Rt, 2.94 YPRR, and with 20.58 YPT against Cover 2. Against Cover 3, Brown has generated 0.45 FP/Rt, which ranks 18th. Indianapolis has licensed the eighth-most FPG to receivers stationed on the outside (19.4). We will see Brown and Rock Ya-Sin square off on nearly half of his routes. Ya-Sin is allowing 0.78 YPCS (16th-best), 0.22 FP/CS (25th), and a 138.1 TPR (75th).
Final notes on Indianapolis
The Ravens have closed off QB production over the last two weeks, limiting the position to the second-fewest FPG (9.2). That’s not a promising trend for Carson Wentz’s ($5.0K/$6.6K) upside. Jonathan Taylor ($6.3K/$6.9K) hit, as expected, last week. I have zero faith in seeing a repeat this week. Baltimore is permitting the 13th-most receiving production to RBs, so Nyheim Hines ($4.2K/$5.3K) is set up as a worthy GPP flex punt. The Ravens have been excellent against wideouts all season. Michael Pittman Jr. ($5.2K/$5.8K) and Zach Pascal ($4.3K/$5.4K) will need to contend for what amounts to scraps. Perhaps Wentz will inform the appropriate people in the front office that Mo Alie-Cox ($2.9K/$5.0K) would provide the offense with a sorely missing element of attack.
Final notes on Baltimore
He’s not exactly priced north of $7.9K on DK, but Lamar Jackson ($7.6K/$8.2K) is still priced too high for my liking. Do not even approach the Latavius Murray ($5.4K/$5.7K), Le’Veon Bell ($4.6K/$4.8K), and Devonta Freeman ($4.0K/$4.7K) situation. Remember when word was spread that Sammy Watkins ($4.6K/$5.5K) was the most trusted WR in Baltimore? That did not age well. Rashod Bateman ($3.0K/$4.7K) might make his debut this week. When he manages to get up to speed, count on seeing plenty of reasons for the Ravens selecting him in the first round. James Proche ($3.0K/$5.0K) seems to have carved out a role. He better do something fast before Bateman pushes him entirely out of the way. Mark Andrews ($5.4K/$6.4K) is another serious consideration. We just have a much longer list of inline options this week.