Nation, here is a quick analysis of the NFL Primetime short slates (Monday and Thursday night games). Short slates are often tough to differentiate in GPPs, but if your trying to do it your going to have to think outside the box. For cash games, keep in mind if you miss on a player you’re likely going to have a tough time making that up. The margin of error for cash games on these slates can be minimal.
Primetime Slate Quick Look
DET @ NYG – 3 – 42 O/U
Matthew Stafford had a monster week one against the Cardinals but that was at home in the dome. He will now face an improved Giants defense who was able to keep Zeke Elliot out of the end-zone in week one despite giving up 100 rushing yards on 24 carries (in Dallas). The Giants only allowed one TD in the entire game and were really a victim of their own offense’s lack of production giving Dallas several offensive opportunities.
WR Golden Tate is leading the team in targets as you’d expect with RB Theo Riddick and newcomer WR Kenny Golladay both tied with seven targets each for second. TE Eric Ebron only got three targets but one was in the Red Zone. Speaking of which, the red zone targets were pretty spread out with four those same four players each getting one.
RB Ameer Abdullah played on 50.7% of all offensive snaps clearly leading the team but 50% for a non dominant running back isn’t exactly ideal. He did lead the team in Red Zone rushing attempts with three, though RB Dwayne Washington actually had two himself and is a vulture threat. Still he will get a bulk of the carries. Theo Riddick of course is always a better play in PPR formats due to his involvement in the passing game.
If Odell Beckham plays I’d expect the Giants offense to be a little more productive and of course stay on the field a little longer. This could limit Stafford’s opportunity a bit and we saw against the Cardinal last week, the Lions needed time to get going. Still on a two game slate, Stafford is a guy we know will throw the ball a lot, especially against a solid run defense.
QB Eli Manning didn’t look good at all in week one, and on top of that Denver’s Trevor Semien tore up the Dallas secondary on Sunday which isn’t very promising for ole Eli who stunk it up against that same Dallas defense. Yes, he was missing his best receiver in WR Odell Beckham but he hasn’t shown much even with him going back to last year. The Giants still don’t really have a running game and the Lions D held their own against David Johnson and company last week. I’d expect the Giants to throw the ball a lot and Eli and Stafford are the two QBs with longer rest.
If Beckham is out WR Brandon Marshall will once again be the number one and second year WR Sterling Shepard the number two. Marshall may be better off as the number two option at this point in his career so Odell playing could actually help his cause. Marshall only recieved five targets as the number one without Odell in week one.
RB Shane Vereen actually led the team in targets with 11, nine of which were completed though the ADOT is very low for Vereen due to his routes being ran out of the backfield. Vereen also led all the running backs in snaps playing in 55% of them (offensive). RB Paul Perkins did get two red zone rushing attempts but the running game for the G-Men seems bleek as expected, and as usual.
The Giants pass the ball a lot and spread it around so if Odell is out you can look at WR Roger Lewis and TE Evan Engram as both guys tied (Lewis) or beat (Engram) Brandon Marshall in targets last week. Shepard was a clear benefactor of the Odell absence getting eight targets (2nd highest) as the number two.
LAM @ SF +2.5 – 40 O/U
QB Jared Goff has shown a little improvement this year so far which is promising but he will be playing with very little rest and will be on the road. The positive here is the travel isn’t too bad considering the game will be in San Fransisco. While Goff seems to be improving I think the plan is still to run the plays around RB Todd Gurley who had a solid game in week two. The 49ers yielded two touchdowns to Cam Newton in week one but they did a decent job of containing him for most of the game.
Through two games we’ve seen Gurley lead the team in targets with WR Cooper Kupp right behind him. WR Robert Woods and WR Sammy Watkins are behind with Woods higher than Watkins. I would expect Watkins productively and involvement to be higher each week as he had less time to learn a new offense, for now Kupp has looked impressive. The question is how effect can Goff be on the road and playing with short rest.
QB Brian Hoyer, the journey man, has had a rough go so far failing to produce touchdowns in both games. Hoyer doesn’t have many big time options there and the team is pretty run heavy with Carlos Hyde in the backfield. The Rams defense had a decent amount of hype coming into the season however they just allow 27 points to the Washington offense. They held Cousins in check but gave up a big play to RB Christian Thompson who had two touchdowns.
Expect RB Carlos Hyde to get a big workload here again but don’t rule out Hoyer in GPPs. I expect him to have at least a few touchdowns this season and he’s 0-2 so far, bring on the positive regression.
WR Pierre Garcon is the current target leader after two games with the very fast, WR Marquise Goodwin close behind. TE George Kittle actually has seven himself.
The defenses here could be worth a look as we have two unproven quarterbacks playing on short rest.