The Afternoon Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s afternoon NFL slate. This week there are five games in the 4:05 PM ET afternoon-only slate.
Derek Carr: $7,200 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
It’s difficult to ignore Carr with Oakland’s glaring 28.25 implied team total — the highest on the afternoon slate. The Jets struggled to defend the pass last season, ranking 31st in Football Outsiders’ Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) passing metric. They allowed 30 passing touchdowns and 6.8 net yards per attempt (NY/A) to quarterbacks last year; both were bottom-10 marks in the league. Historically, Carr has averaged 22.06 DraftKings points per game with a +3.96 Plus/Minus as a home favorite (per our Trends tool.) It will be interesting to see the way ownership pans out in this slate, as Carr and the Seahawks are implied for at least 28 points, and Philip Rivers is also in a favorable spot.
Philip Rivers: $5,800 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
Rivers is currently the top-rated quarterback in the Adam Levitan Model for the afternoon slate. The Dolphins allowed an abundance of passing touchdowns to quarterbacks last season, as they tied with the Jets allowing 30 over the course of last season. Per Rich Hribar, the Dolphins allowed three or more passing touchdowns in seven games last year, which was the second-most behind the Browns. Rivers leads all quarterbacks with a +2.09 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
Melvin Gordon: $7,000 DraftKings, $7,600 FanDuel
Gordon is in a fantastic spot on Sunday, as the Chargers are 3.5-point home favorites against the Dolphins, and the Chargers lean on Gordon heavily most weeks. Last week he saw 44 percent of their offensive looks (carries plus targets). Historically, Gordon has fared well as a home favorite with a +3.89 Plus/Minus and a 60 percent Consistency Rating on FanDuel. You can even stack Gordon with Rivers if you wish since pairing a running back with his quarterback has a positive 0.33 correlation, per our new NFL Correlations page.
C.J. Anderson: $4,700 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
Anderson is a better price-sensitive play on DraftKings, where he has a 98 percent Bargain Rating, compared to his three percent Bargain Rating on FanDuel. He has dominated snaps in the Broncos’ backfield, playing 70 percent of them compared to Jamaal Charles‘ 30 percent. He out-carried Charles 20 to 10 and slightly out-carried him inside the five-yard line three to two. Anderson is priced as the eighth-most expensive running back, but he currently has a projected ceiling of 24.3 points — the fourth-highest on the slate.
Terrelle Pryor: $6,000 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel
Pryor had double-digit ownership on both sites but ended up with just 12.6 DraftKings points in Week 1. Despite the mediocre performance, things are still looking up: He led his team with a 28 percent target share, including 45 percent of their air yards. Now he is set to take on a Rams defense that ranked 20th in pass DVOA last year and allowed the eighth-highest average Plus/Minus on DraftKings to opposing wide receivers. As three-point underdogs, game flow could be in Pryor’s favor for their Sunday tilt against the Rams.
Cooper Kupp: $4,100 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
Kupp played the second-most snaps among Rams wide receivers, along with leading the receivers with six targets. He also secured Goff’s only red zone target for a touchdown. While Kupp played 60 percent of the snaps last week, that number could increase in a close game; the Rams are three-point favorites. Kupp comes in as a nice salary-saving option, and the Redskins just surrendered a 6-86-1 receiving line to Nelson Agholor last week.
To see specific matchups, visit our NFL Matchups Dashboard.
Jimmy Graham: $4,900 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
Since becoming a member of the Seahawks, Graham has fared much better at home than on the road:
Graham has averaged 4.03 more FanDuel points at home along with a 60 percent Consistency Rating and 26 percent Upside Rating. He has similar ownership on the road as he does at home, but it appears the time to target Graham is when they play in Seattle. Graham has the highest ceiling projection on FanDuel (20.4 points), which is 3.4 points higher than runner-up Jordan Reed.
Jared Cook: $3,300 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
While Cook’s 30 pass routes ran last week (PFF) may look underwhelming (15th among tight ends), Carr dropped back to pass 38 times, meaning Cook ran a pass route on 78 percent of Carr’s dropbacks. His 1.87 yards per route run (YPRR) ranked fifth among tight ends who played at least 50 percent of the snaps. Cook had five targets, which trailed Amari Cooper (13) and Michael Crabtree (7), but he led them in receiver air conversion rate (RACR), which is an efficiency metric that measures catch rate and yards after catch into one number. It’s a supreme matchup for Cook, as the Jets have allowed tight ends to average 1.6 FanDuel points above salary-based expectations in the last year.
Be sure to visit our suite of Tools to research all of the slates for yourself.
Good luck this week!
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