DFS Tournament Three And Out Week 1

By Bob Harris
Bob Harris

DFS Tournament Three And Out Week 1

All right. It's Week 2 and we’re still trying to separate what’s real in the NFL from the fool’s gold that often emerges in Week 1. We’ll try to separate the wheat from the chaff in the mid-tier receiver world in today’s edition of the Three and Out with a trio I’ll be rolling out as parts of my tournament lineups this week. And one who I’m not.

I'm In:

Michael Pittman, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($6,300 on DraftKings; $7,200 on FanDuel)
As ESPN's Liz Loza noted, Anthony Richardson (who was an "In" in this article last weekend), managed a top-15 completion percentage (65 percent) in his debut. More importantly, he recorded the 10th-most pass attempts (37) for the week, which Loza correctly assesses is an obvious sign the Colts are willing to let him air it out when necessary. "And," Loza added, "we all know it's going to be necessary. ..." That being the case, it's worth noting that Pittman was the alpha in this passing attack in Week 1. In fact, as FantasyPros' Derek Brown notes, Pittman was 16th in first-read share among wide receivers. He commanded a 28.2 percent target share and a 29.3 percent air yard share with 2.31 yards per route run. Pittman will run about 78 percent of his routes against Derek Stingley (67.3 percent catch rate and 84.9 passer rating allowed in 2022) and Steven Nelson (60 percent catch rate and 78.3 passer rating allowed in 2022). While I like Pittman, there's another receiver in this game I like in the same price range: Houston's Nico Collins ($4,800 on DraftKings; $6,200 on FanDuel). As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft pointed out, Collins played 72 percent of the offensive snaps and saw a team-high 11 targets, resulting in a best-among-Texans-wide receivers 14.0 PPR fantasy points. Now he'll face a Colts defense that struggled to contain Calvin Ridley, Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars' passing game in the opener, allowing two touchdowns to Jacksonville wideouts. I'm not stacking this game (with just a 39-point over/under). But selecting one of these players as a likely low-owned option with upside seems reasonable.

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($5,700 on DraftKings; $6,700 on FanDuel)
Yes. I realize Keenan Allen is coming off a dominant Week 1 performance. In fact, as NBC Sports' Matthew Berry pointed out, since Week 11 of last season, Allen is second to only Justin Jefferson in receptions? So his team-high 29 percent target share in Week 1 makes sense. It's also why he Allen ($7,100 on DraftKings; $7,800 on FanDuel) is a far pricier option than his teammate Williams. And you all know I'm a sucker for cheap options. Or at least relatively cheap options. But it's not just the price. It's also about the matchup. The Titans, who allowed the second-most DFS points to the position so far this season after allowing the most points to the position in 2022, also allowed the most fantasy PPG to receivers last season. More importantly, they've allowed by far the most yards (1,234 -- one of just two teams above 1,000) and touchdowns (11) to receivers on deep passes. And as NFL Network's Michael F. Florio put it, "Williams can win downfield with the best of them." Granted, Williams finished with just four catches for 45 yards on five targets against the Dolphins. But, but he also spent some time in the locker room after taking a big hit early in the game. So I'm with Florio when he contends: "This is a get-right spot for [Williams]." The 45.5 over/under adds to the appeal.

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,400 on DraftKings; $7,000 on FanDuel)
As SI.com's Jennifer Piacenti framed it: "Yes, I know he put up a donut last weekend, but do we really expect Joe Burrow and gang to remain that dreadful?" I don't. ... Piacenti went on to point out that Higgins is the cheaper of the two top receivers in Cincinnati -- well behind Ja'Marr Chase ($7,900 on DraftKings; $8,400 on FanDuel), but his 140 air yards last weekend ranked fourth in the NFL at the position. Brown notes that even with the shutout, Higgins drew a 25 percent target share and 59.3 percent air yard share. Piacenti further notes this week's opponent, the Ravens, allowed the fifth-most receiving yards last week to rookie C.J. Stroud and the Texans receivers. So thinking Burrow course corrects here -- and that he realizes last Sunday's shutout was Higgins first since the finale of his rookie year in 2020 when he got hurt in the first series -- seems likely, especially in a game with a 46.5 over/under.

I'm Out:

Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets ($7,600 on DraftKings; $7,400 on FanDuel)
Don't ever think I fear going after low-hanging fruit. ... Berry notes that Wilson has averaged just 9.2 PPG in his 10 career games with Zach Wilson as the starter (including Monday night). With Zach under center, Garrett has averaged 3.9 receptions, 48.1 receiving yards and has just one touchdown in 10 games. But the kicker here is just as obvious: They go up against a Dallas defense that opened the season by allowing just five catches and 41 receiving yards to wide receivers. As ESPN's Mike Clay notes, Wilson (who lines up 84 percent on the perimeter) will face off with Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore on the regular. That's especially the case with Aaron Rodgers out for the season. The truth is, both defenses are really good, as the 38.5 over/under suggests. Breece Hall and Tony Pollard might be the preferred plays here.