One of the most important aspects of building a successful daily fantasy lineup is by following the touchdowns. That's common sense. Unfortunately, projecting touchdowns is one of the more difficult things we can do as statisticians. Sure, there are the normal metrics like individual player red zone targets and general coaching schemes and philosophies, but to really get an edge, you need to take a deeper look. One way we do that at MyFantasyFix is by taking into account opposing defense metrics. Below is a view of the defenses that have given up the most red zone targets this year with the individual positions split out.
As you can see, using this data can help you hone in on the best plays from each team that you want to target. Obviously, you want to target players from teams with high point totals, but sometimes it's hard to decide if it's better to roster a receiver or a running back. When in doubt, chase the opportunities and the results will follow.
-Keep in mind this table only shows red zone targets and doesn't take into account rushing attempts, which is why running backs appear to see lower opportunities. This is intentional because generally we don't want to take a quarterback with a running back in a tournament unless the running back has a decent shot at catching a touchdown pass.
-Pittsburgh is in a really good spot this week, projected to score 26 points and facing a Cowboys defense that has allowed the 2nd most red zone targets per game. However, when you see the splits in terms of targets allowed, the Cowboys have allowed less than a target per game to running backs around the red zone, which ranks among the lowest in the league. On the flipside, they have allowed the 2nd most targets to wide receivers. Add in the fact that Dallas is also missing cornerbacks Barry Church and Morris Claiborne and we're looking at a situation where it could be a nice week for the Steelers passing attack.
-The matchup against Chicago seems to line up really well for Mike Evans this week. Chicago has allowed the most red zone targets to opposing wide receivers this year and Evans is leading Tampa Bay with 29% red zone target rate. He also has an excellent 50% red zone version rate.
-In case you needed another reason to buy into the Jay Ajayi hype train, the Chargers defense has allowed the most red zone targets to opposing running backs this year. Unfortunately, It's widely known that pass catching is Ajayi's main weakness, but he has managed to catch 11 of his 14 passes this season and he saw 4 normal targets last week.
-The Philly / Atlanta game seems really interesting. The Falcons are giving up the most red zone targets per game and this game total projects to be one of the highest of the day. Both sides are giving up more than 3 red zone targets to opposing wide receivers per game, but the Falcons are also giving up a healthy share to tight ends. For that reason, Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews are both really nice values this week, as reflected in our cost per projected point (CPPP) calculations in our cheatsheets.