Welcome into the final edition of the DFS Matchup Metrics column of the season with data provided by The Quant Edge! I want to say a quick thank you to Mike Rigz and Gridiron Experts for providing me a platform to write this all season along and the great crew at The Quant Edge for allowing me to access the data to try and help you win some money! I hope we’ve been on the right side of variance more often than not and we’ll try for one more week to get the job done!
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I’m going with the wily old veteran as my first choice for a couple of reasons. First, the Chiefs need to win on the other side to secure the number one seed in the AFC for this playoff season. That’s huge for them that the road to the Super Bowl has to come through Arrowhead and they’ve been reeling a little bit lately. It will be important for them to get right, but that means the Raiders offense is going to have to put up points in what should be a negative game script. In the first matchup, Nelson went for 19.7 DK points and has been hot the past month. He’s vying for a spot on next year’s team and should be able to get onto Orlando Scandrick a fair amount in this game.
Over the past month, Nelson has seen at least six receptions for 48 yards and hasn’t missed double-digit DK points. That has all come without a single touchdown, and that could easily change this week given the matchup. The Chiefs have allowed 30 touchdown passes, fourth most in football. Nelson is a substantial salary saver with a solid floor given his recent play.
Check out more CB/WR matchups at The Quant Edge.
We’ve seen a little bit of a flash from Bourne in certain games this season, though nothing ever major enough to put him on the map. That could change this upcoming Sunday in part because the 49ers flat out don’t have many receivers left to put on the field. Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon, and Dante Pettis are all out of commission, and those three accounted for 43 percent of the San Francisco targets this season. That leaves tight end, George Kittle and Bourne, as the last men standing. It’s a little tough to guess where Bourne will line up for the majority of his routes, but one corner stands out as a good matchup.
Peters has struggled in his first year as a Ram and Bourne could take advantage of it at some point. It would be surprising if the 49ers weren’t behind on the scoreboard through a significant portion of this game because the Rams are shooting for the number two seed in the NFC and a bye week. There’s no better time than now to find out what Bourne has going into next season.
Hogan got some buzz last week after Josh Gordon was no longer with the team as a dirt cheap receiver, but I really wasn’t that interested. The Patriots prey on the weakness of the defense, and for Buffalo, that was the run defense. The pass defense is stout, but that isn’t really the case for the Jets. They’ve been pummeled by wide receivers all season long and now will be without Morris Claiborne, one of their starting cornerbacks.
It does need to be noted that the sample size is minimal but there is a very real uptick in pass yards per attempt when he’s been off the field this year. I also tend to think the Patriots want to get Tom Brady going to a little more of an extent than he has been for the back half of the season. In his last eight games, he only has nine touchdown passes. That’s kind of crazy to think about with Brady and to get back to the Super Bowl; odds are Brady will need to do more than that. With Gordon gone and Rob Gronkowski a shell of himself, someone has to step up, and Hogan should get that chance this week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this game needing a win and have a banged up Antonio Brown. One way they might try to attack the secondary of the Bengals is with McDonald, as the Pittsburgh tight end always seems to have success against the Bengals. It’s been a thing for years and seeing as how the Bengals are down a couple of important defensive players; I think that continues this week. They will be without Dre Kirkpatrick, and that’s going to create issues for an already weak defense.
The pass rate success comes up even though the passing percentage has taken a huge hit. That just speaks to how efficient passing games have been against the Bengals when Kirkpatrick has been off the field. On top of all of that, Cincinnati has already given up the most touchdown passes to tight ends in football. They can’t stop them on a good day and the first time these teams met, McDonald went for 13.8 DK points without a touchdown. He’s definitely more dangerous than Tyler Eifert unless your name is Keith Butler. McDonald is an excellent play if not spending up for Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz.
Check out more CB/WR matchups at The Quant Edge.
Thanks for reading and Good Luck Sunday!