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DFS Tournament Three and Out Week 5
DFS Tournament Three And Out Week 5
By Bob Harris
It's Week 5 and all is well. Or at least not horrible after a 50-50 hit rate last week. I'll take it! This week, I'm going to focus on some mid-priced assets I find quite appealing and that bring some upside to the table. Also, one I find far less appealing. That what the DFS Tournament Three and Out is all about. Let's go!
Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets ($5,500 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel)
There's a lot going on in Sunday's matchup in Denver, most notably involving Broncos head coach Sean Payton and Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett, who coached the Broncos for part of last season. Over the summer, Payton publicly criticized the way Hackett coached his former team, which resulted in heated responses from a number of players, including QB Aaron Rodgers. Hackett will return to the Mile High city on Sunday for the first time since he was let go last December. Adding to the intrigue, Denver's defense is on pace to allow the most points to opposing offenses in NFL history and it's not a close race. First of all, I'm totally fine rolling out QB Zach Wilson ($4,900 on DraftKings; $6,700 on FanDuel) coming off what was almost certainly the best game of his career (245 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs). As NBC Sports' Kyle Dvorchak put it, "If an opponent existed that would allow Wilson to sustain his moment, they would be named the Broncos." That said, Hall is my target in this one after head coach Robert Saleh announced on Wednesday that the second-year running back is no longer on a pitch count. "He ran violently last week in practice and I felt like it carried over into the game," Saleh said of Hall. "You can tell he's starting to get his legs underneath him. Even though he's had production, he still hasn't reached what he's capable of and what he's shown in the past." As NFL.com notes, Hall looked spry out of the gate, busting an 83-yard run in Week 1 en route to a 10-carry, 127-yard rushing performance with a 20-yard catch in the Jets' only win. After being stymied in two blowouts (36 total yards on 17 touches), Hall popped another big run (43 yards) in Sunday night's loss to Kansas City. On Sunday, he'll not only return to the location he suffered his torn ACL in Week 7 last season, he does so against the best possible matchup. Through four games this season, the Broncos rank last in rushing defense, in the bottom three in explosive run rate, missed tackles allowed per attempt and yards after contact per attempt. Their defense has allowed four backs to score more than 20 fantasy points, including 51.3 points to De'Von Achane in Week 3. Last week, Bears RB Khalil Herbert, who had not run for more than 35 yards in a game this season, had 103 yards on 18 carries. As FantasyPros' Derek Brown put it: "Feed Breece season is here."
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams ($5,700 on DraftKings; $6,800 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockroft notes, the Eagles-Rams have the second-highest over/under on the slate this week, and it's easy to see why. Both offenses sit in the top-eight in points per game and Offensive EPA (Expected Points Added), while both defenses also register below-average metrics. Cockroft went on to note the Eagles' defense has made Mac Jones, Kirk Cousins and Sam Howell look like passing stars. In fact, Philadelphia has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in 2023. But NBC Sports' Denny Carter points to Stafford's striking touchdown underperformance through four weeks. His humble 1.8 percent touchdown rate is well below the 6.8 percent rate he posted in Sean McVay's offense in 2021. Carter went on to note the Rams are unapologetically pass heavy - they sport the NFL's third highest pass rate over expected - yet 67 percent of their scores have come via the rush. That's the highest rate in the NFL, and one Carter believes is screaming for regression -- in this case, positive touchdown regression. Again, Philly is not the same shutdown pass defense they were a year ago and the fact they've allowed the third-most passing touchdowns is encouraging. For the record, Cockroft acknowledges Stafford's wide range of outcomes: His statistical floor could be lower as he nurses a hip contusion, and the ceiling could go higher with Cooper Kupp (hamstring, IR) potentially back to deepen his cast of already-effective targets.
Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens ($5,600 on DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel)
As SI.com's Michael Fabiano notes, Flowers is coming off his worst game of the season, posting just eight points in a win over the Browns. He'll have a much easier time this week, though, as the rookie goes up against a struggling Steelers team. ESPN's Mike Clay notes that Pittsburgh has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points (eighth most over expected) to WRs this season, as well as the second most to the perimeter. Flowers (73 percent perimeter) will work primarily against Levi Wallace, Patrick Peterson and Joey Porter Jr, who have been rotating on the boundary this season. They've also given up six touchdown catches to opposing wideouts. This makes Flowers, who Carter notes has the tenth highest rate of first-read targets among all NFL receivers while his 91 percent route rate means he's out there on nearly every drop back, an appealing option this week.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos ($6,600 on DraftKings; $6,100 on FanDuel)
I almost feel like this is cheating since I've never really been in on Jeudy. It's nothing personal. He's had a hard time staying on the field so far in his career and I don't find him all that exciting when he is. This year, Jeudy has posted double-digit production in only one of three games and he's yet to find end zone, logging just one red zone target. This week, he draws a tough matchup against a Jets defense allowing an average of just 25.5 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, the third-lowest total in the league. So take that Jerry Jeudy! Also, I struggled with this one. Others I considered here included Cardinals wideout Marquise Brown ($5,000 on DraftKings; $6,400 on FanDuel), who has been solid enough the last three weeks, but who goes up against a Cincinnati defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown to a perimeter receiver this season and the great Tank Dell ($4,600 on DraftKings; $6,000 on FanDuel), who faces a Falcons secondary that's allowed just two touchdowns and the second-fewest fantasy points to perimeter receivers this season.