Saturday, October 31, 2015

Some quick goal line observations for Week 8's prospects

Touchdowns are the key to DFS success, particularly in GPPs. Every week or two, I like to look at recent goal line trends - who's getting the call near the end zone and who's not. We need our touchdowns to be real, of course, and not moral victories. But the near-misses can tell us a lot about usage trends and what we can expect going forward. Two situations stand out this week that suggest reliable touchdown opportunity for Week 8, resulting in two more guys I'm especially interested in.

Khiry Robinson's touchdown vulturing has been surprising. Mark Ingram has had a so-so 2015 thus far, but he's really been making hay at the goal line. Dating back to Week 3, Ingram has been given three carries from inside the 3-yard line - only five backs have seen more - and he's converted all three into touchdowns. (That's a nice turnaround for him; from 2013-14, Ingram scored on just 7 of 19 rushes from inside the 3.) Robinson's had some success of his own, scoring on three of his four short rushes, but Ingram is the well-paid incumbent here. Assuming he reclaims the short-yardage role for (mostly) himself, Ingram is as strong a weekly TD bet as just about anyone. My numbers consider him all but a sure bet to score against the Giants, who have been gashed by back-to-back running games that both found the end zone.

While we're discussing this, let's talk for a moment about Cam Newton. Go ahead and fret over his erratic passing and lack of downfield weaponry, but take a minute to note and appreciate his ground game. It's no coincidence that he's four of five games, considering how often he gets/takes the call inside the 5. That's enormous for our purposes; if we can comfortably project 0.5 to 1 rushing TDs for a quarterback, his value goes through the roof. A boost of 3-6 points to a QB's projection - plus another 3-5 for rushing yardage - can turn a disappointing 12-point passing expectation into a fully cashable 20+. Newton needs just 20.4 to return cash-game value.

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