Fantasy Football: Adjusting to new Information — Defenses

We must adjust to new information every day and not let our perceived notions and biases dictate our plays/investments. This occurs in many everyday facets of life like stocks, the house market, and gas prices. These are investments that may have different values at different times. Our fantasy football plays and DFS plays are very similar, and should be viewed as investments. While they may not be to the volume of our portfolios, or they may, we want to make the best decisions based on the market, which is ever-changing like the football landscape.

Every year the Fantasy Football cosmos is arranged exactly where it was left. Detroit is a top 5 defense. Target the Dallas Cowboys in your running back match ups. Well, it is week 3, and it is time to begin to adjust some of those misconceptions that have changed drastically over the course of the off-season through player and coach turnover.

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If we are too slow to adjust to new information, we will lose unnecessarily, or at least not perform at our optimum level. I don’t want to waste any time and operate off of what information we have, instead of preconceived notions, or last season’s statistics. I am going to identify defenses in Fantasy, most applicable for DFS, that have been performing vastly different than their common perception leftover from the prior year and provide a play to use this to your advantage this week. Lets delve in.

Avoid Detroit’s Defense

Au contraire mon frere. Detroit’s pass defense is BAD. They have given up the 9th most pass yards per game so far at 269.5. They also have given up the 4th most rush yards in that span at 147 per game. Rotogrinders has them listed as the number 1 matchup for WRs through 2 weeks. They gave up a monster 15 catch 166 yard effort to Keenan Allen. This is a secondary that must be targeted weekly going forward.

Emmanuel Sanders
He operates in the slot on a large percentage of his routes which is exactly where Allen made his hay. He has led the league in targets with 12 and 14. He is Peyton Manning‘s go to man on 3rd down, and it seems Emmanuel has Manning’s trust, with their rapport being evident. In the 2015 season he has 16 receptions, 152 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Look for him to build on his solid start. The 24.3 team total, high for this week at 8th, bodes well for the offensive production.

Target Running Backs Facing the Dallas Cowboy defense

Last year the Dallas run defense was a consistent target for DFSers and traditional fantasy football players alike. Those days are over. The Dallas Cowboys are ranked as the worst running back match up through two weeks on Rotogrinders and have given up a league low 53 yards per game. That’s anemic. For now, we need to adjust our view of the Dallas run defense and stop targeting them in fantasy.

With Jimmy Smith Back the Baltimore Secondary is Strong

The Baltimore Ravens secondary is not even acceptable, even with Jimmy Smith in the lineup. Last season, we targeted Baltimore heavily in the pass game, and they are the 7th best matchup for wide receivers, according to Rotogrinders . It was commonly thought that with Jimmy Smith the secondary would be more than decent, but that is not the case. Baltimore has been burned for 10-150 by Steve Smith last week and 8-65 in week 1 by Emmanuel Sanders. They have given up 250 yards per game through the air, and that’s facing a horribly played Denver Bronco game and the Oakland Raiders. They may end up as one of the worst secondaries in the league by end of year statistically.
A.J. Green
He has scored a touchdown in each of his last 3 games vs the team, as pointed out by Rich Hribar. He began producing last week with a line of 3-45-1, and he has yet to really blow up. I think this is the game it happens to the tune of 100 yards 2 touchdowns. He has received 2 red zone targets in each of the first 2 games.

The St. Louis Rams are a Bad Running Back Match Up

The St. Louis Rams have allowed a ton of rush yards. Feared to be the best front in the NFL coming into the season, and while they have seemed to generate pressure on the QB at times, have allowed an average of 153 rush yards per game at 3rd worst in the league. They allowed 124 rushing yards by Seattle week 1 and 182 yards to Redskins’ running backs week 2. Change your mindset on this defense and target running backs facing this defensive misconception.

Le’Veon Bell 
Bell makes an excellent play. If you still aren’t ready to accept these changes, suppose the Rams defense does perform well on the line. You shouldn’t be worried with Bell due to his volume of involvement in the passing game. He will also be returning from suspension, ready to rock and roll, sure to unleash his angst and anger on the Rams. The team total, high for this week at 24.3, 7th highest this week, bodes well for his fantasy outlook. I also recommended Bell in my   DFS: NFL Contest Winning Plays Week 3 column.

Avoid Players Facing New England’s Stifling Defense in fantasy

This is a wide thought notion that seems to carry from season to season. Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are gone. The top corner is Malcom Butler, super bowl winning interception super star, who is talented but several levels below the aforementioned 2014 starters. That is a ton of turnover, which completely changes the secondary. Thus far the Patriots have allowed the 11th most pass yards through 2 games at 259.5 and the 4th most rush yards at 147 per game. Put fantasy players in your line ups  facing New England confidently.

T.J. Yeldon
A Jaguars fantasy option will always be a risky one, but Yeldon has been getting the work with a whopping 28 touches last week, which include work in the pass game with 3 receptions, and 15 touches in week 1. The Jaguars clearly are comfortable with T.J. handling the reins all game and steering the horses to fantasy goodness. He has averaged a 3.3 yard per carry rate, but he has faced the top 7 rushing defense of the Carolina Panthers and the offense was just plain bad week one for Jacksonville. He receives passing game work, so if the Jaguars are in comeback mode, he will still have plenty of opportunity.

Allen Robinson
Robinson shook off a slow start and exploded for 6-155-2 week 2 vs top Dolphin’s corner Brent Grimes. Hes 6-foot-3 and Malcom Butler, who will most likely shadow Robinson is 6-foot-0. Butler has been roasted for 6-60-1 by Sammy Watkins last week and 9-133-1 by Antonio Brown the week before. Jacksonville is all but guaranteed to be in comeback mode for the majority of this game, leading to voluminous targets for Robinson.

Featured Image Credit: By SteelCityHobbies (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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