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DFS: TD variance is unavoidable, unlike overreacting to weekly stat lines

September 22, 2018

Touchdown variance can be a painful part of fantasy football, as anyone who rostered Tevin Coleman in Week 2 only to watch Matt Ryan vulture two rushing TDs can attest to.

Certain scenarios — Ryan hadn’t rushed for a touchdown since 2012 — can not be predicted. But there are trends you can uncover when looking at the bigger picture.

Drew Brees, for instance, finished with only 23 passing TDs last season despite no notable dip in his play after throwing at least 32 in each of the nine prior seasons. Unsurprisingly, positive regression is working in Brees’ favor, and definitely in favor of Michael Thomas, to start 2018.

These trends are important to pick up on.

Patrick Mahomes is unlikely to continue racking up scores at an 18.8 percent clip, and eventually Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a 4.2 TD percentage since taking over in San Francisco, should see things normalize.

The bottom line is to not get too caught up in weekly stat lines, and Week 3 provides the perfect example with Mahomes and Garoppolo squaring off.

With the 49ers-Chiefs game holding the highest total on the week, DFS players are going to need to make a choice: jump on the Mahomes’ hype train or bank on Garoppolo’s positive regression hitting against a bad defense?

Now, let’s dive into some DFS targets in Week 3.

Philip Rivers ($5,800 DraftKings/$7,400 FanDuel): A matchup with the Rams isn’t particularly inviting, but things line up for Rivers to have a productive day. The game should be high scoring, and given how the Chargers are using their running backs in the passing game, there should be plenty of opportunities for Rivers to rack up yards through the air.

Tevin Coleman ($6,400 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel): Coleman was close to having a massive Week 2 against the Panthers. He was tripped on potential TD runs twice, and Matt Ryan vultured two scores inside the 10-yard line. Don’t jump off the Coleman train too quickly. There should be plenty of opportunities to score against the Saints.

Matt Breida ($5,400 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel): It’s a bit concerning that Breida could split work with Alfred Morris in any given week. With that being said, Breida is the more talented back, and he will be on the field when the 49ers are trailing, which should be the case against the Chiefs.

Davante Adams ($7,600 DraftKings/$8,100 FanDuel): The Packers’ No. 1 receiver has TDs in back-to-back weeks to start the season and now has 24 in his past 32 regular-season games. We talked earlier about variance and trends. This one falls in the latter category. Aaron Rodgers will be targeting Adams often against a weak Washington secondary.

Will Fuller ($5,900 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel): You never know how long Fuller is going to stay healthy, so don’t miss this chance. Fuller and QB Deshaun Watson have shown a good rapport when on the field together. Now, they get a Giants defense that just allowed Tavon Austin to find the end zone for the first time in two years.

George Kittle ($4,500 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel): Kittle busted as the chalk in Week 2. Combine that with a price increase on both websites, and the second-year TE should get underowned. A matchup with the Chiefs wretched defense is a prime spot for Kittle to bounce back.

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