FanDuel Week 5: Are QBs Cutler, Cassel value plays?

If you tuned into WBLZ Media pre-game show on Sunday morning, you heard me declare that I had elevated my general dislike for Dolphins QB Jay Cutler to outright hate. That might be a bit extreme, but Cutler and the Dolphins had not scored a TD in two weeks and were wrapping up a shutout performance against the lowly Saints defense. The pitiful outing destroyed my Thu-Mon lineup. But when looking at FanDuel Week 5, there seems to be some sneaky opportunities via value plays. Sometimes in DFS it pays to go back to a player that bit you. Due to recency bias, he will have low ownership, and that could pay huge dividends if he performs well when everyone else shies away. Cutler is at least in position to be a prime example of that this week.

A first glance when looking at FanDuel Week 5, the Titans vs. Dolphins game looks like a fantasy black hole of absolute nothingness. QB Jay Cutler (MIA, $6,700 on FanDuel) and the rest of the Dolphins have scored six measly points in two games. The Titans may have Matt Cassel (TEN, $6,100) at QB who registered a negative 3.2 points on FanDuel when he came on in relief of Marcus Mariota (hamstring) on Sunday. Cassel was atrocious last year in two games where he completed 58% of his passes and averaged 5.5 yards per attempt.

A closer look at a few key defensive stats, however, reveal both Cutler and Cassel could wildly surprise.

If Cutler is going to get out of his slump, the Titans defense should be the cure. Tennessee is ranked second worst for fantasy points allowed per game to both QBs (23.94) and WRs (29.75), according to fantasy.nfl.com.

The Titans have allowed a fifth worst 274.2 YPG passing, and have a league worst 11 passing TDs. Inability to get pressure on the QB is likely the primary culprit. Tennessee’s defense has only seven sacks, ranked 29th. They are in the middle of the pack with three INTs, tied for 14th.

Dolphins HC Adam Gase defended Cutler after Sunday’s second straight poor outing. “I know where the ball is supposed to go. I know who is supposed to do what on every play. If we protect (Cutler) and give him a second to throw the ball, we’ll be all right,” Gase told the Miami Herald.

If Gase is correct in his assessment, then playing the Titans’ who struggle to get pressure on the QB should result in a more productive outing for Cutler and the Dolphins.

The same could be said for the opportunity that will be presented Cassel in playing the Dolphins defense. Miami has only four sacks (ranked 29th) and have recorded no interceptions. Despite playing one less game, that’s still pathetic.

Cassel will have a whole week to prepare, and will not start the game with a huge deficit and be forced to throw like the situation he faced last week. The opportunity to rack up some throwing yards should be there for Cassel. Miami’s defense is ranked just below the Titans with 272.3 passing YPG allowed. However, they have only given up four passing TDs.

If you looking for value at the QB position, then Cutler or Cassel are in a good situation to deliver.

Cutler appears the better choice between the two. He has had more time to develop chemistry with the starters, and the Titans defense is more prone to give up passing TDs.

The hesitation with Cutler is he had a similar good matchup last week against the Saints and failed to perform, but I don’t expect that to happen this time around as we enter FanDuel Week 5.

About 99% of DFS players avoided Panthers QB Cam Newton last week when he had a great matchup against the Patriots because he performed poorly against Saints the previous week. Against the Pats, Newton scored 34 FanDuel points with 316 passing yards and three TDS, plus additional 44 rushing yards and a TD with one INT.

It’s hard to imagine Cutler having that good of a day against the Titans, but he could perform well enough at extremely low ownership to put you contention of winning a GPP.
If you do play Cutler, consider stacking with WR Devante Parker (MIA, $6,100). Parker was targeted eight times last week, one more than WR Jarvis Landry (MIA, $6,600) who is $500 more expensive.

 

*Mandatory photo credit: Palm Beach Post

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