Week 5 NFL: VICTIV Value Plays, plus MEGATOOL 2.0
Look, I’m a nerd. Numbers are my friends. The Mathematica programming language might be considered my girlfriend (sorry real girlfriend). I sometimes creep around with R on the side. As a nerd, when I make decisions I make them in the nerdiest way possible: with facts and numbers. To facilitate the nerd decision making process I build nerdy tools to analyze said facts and numbers; which is where my newborn nerd-child The Megatool comes in.
The Megatool is an interactive dynamic stats analysis platform to help people make fantasy football decisions. It requires a nifty bit of technology put out by my former employer Wolfram Research called the CDF (Computable Document Format) player – free download available here. The tool itself is hosted on the victiv.com CDN, this weeks version can be downloaded here, and I’ll continue to publish (and improve it) throughout the NFL season. Instead of describing it, I’ll use the Rashad Jennings case to show how the Megatool helped me uncover him as a potential value plays in week 5.
Eli Manning ($8,900) – It’s tempting to say that Eli of 2011 is back the way he’s played so far this season. The west-cost offense is fitting him nicely and his supporting cast is coming into form. Interested in matchup strength? Checkout the Megatool’s rankings of next week’s matchups in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing QB’s – Atlanta allows the 8th most points to opposing fantasy QB’s.
Rashad Jennings ($7,000) – The only thing worse than Atlanta’s pass defense is their rush defense (see below). Jennings is a workhorse, and a solid pick here despite the elevated price, particularly given the matchup.
– Over the first 4 weeks Jennings averages the fourth most rushing attempts per game when he starts.
– Over the first 4 weeks, Jennings has put up 117% of the fantasy points put up by the average RB put up against the opponents he’s faced.
– All this productivity and Jennings has yet to reach his full potential as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. In 2013 he averaged 3.75 targets per game. In 2014 that number has dropped a full target per game to 2.75 – in this west-coast offense I expect Jennings to get more involved in the passing game as the season progresses.
Reggie Bush ($6,400) – Bush will be facing a stout Buffalo rush defense, but I like his value here as every other RB option in Detroit is beat up. I expect him to see an increase in touches, and potentially do damage catching passes out of the backfield – work that was previously being split with Joique Bell.
Brandin Cooks ($4,200) – Cooks is the second most targeted pass catcher in NO behind Graham. I think Brees is going to go off against this terrible TB defense who ranks 8th in the league defending QB’s having playing half their games against the likes of backups Austin Davis and Derek Anderson. Brees should have a field day, and Cooks should be the beneficiary.
Brian Quick ($3,600) – Quick is the number one option on the Rams. Going against the high-flying eagles – this salary is a nice spot for Quick and represents significant value.
Larry Donnell ($4,200) – Donnell has emerged as the new hot thing in TE. I’m buying in – see Eli and Jennings.
Chargers ($4,300) – The Jets are terrible. The chargers are not. Playing at home, I can see this game getting ugly. If Geno Smith is forced to play from behind, the Chargers DEF could put up big numbers.
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Good luck to all in your week 4 action. Follow me on Twitter @TheRotoquant for more picks, insights, content and updates every week.