DFS Tournament Three And Out Week 9

By Bob Harris
Bob Harris

DFS Tournament Three And Out Week 8

By Bob Harris

Week 9 is upon us and I seem some fortuitous matchups that I want to attack this weekend. Some are pricey, one is not. Some are obvious, others less so. It seems like a nice mix to throw into lineups at the midpoint of the season. Three players (including some stackable pieces to go with a couple of them) I'm eager to roll out. And one I'm not. It's the DFS Tournament Three and Out. Let's make some money!


I'm In:

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys ($6,100 on DraftKings; $8,200 on FanDuel)
Since becoming the Cowboys' starter in 2016, Prescott has an 8-3 record against the Eagles. He has 19 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. Meanwhile, Dak is coming off his best game of the season, throwing for 304 yards and four touchdowns against the Rams. Those four passing touchdowns matched his total from the prior four games combined. I know, chasing touchdowns isn't necessarily a path to certain success. And while I'm certainly looking for all the touchdowns I can get, this is more about the momentum and the matchup. As NFL Network's Michael F. Florio notes, Prescott has topped 24 fantasy points in each of his last two games, finishing as the QB1 and QB3, respectively. But it goes beyond that. FantasyPros' Derek Brown pointed out that over his last four games, Prescott is second in passing grade, third in yards per attempt and sixth in fantasy points per dropback. Prescott has been locked in with the ninth-highest highly accurate throw rate. So he's been rolling for over a month. This week, he faces a an Eagles defense that has allowed the sixth-most passing yards and are tied for third-most passing touchdowns surrendered. Florio notes they've allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game this season. Looking to stack? Entering last week, Prescott had completed 81 percent of his passes to CeeDee Lamb ($7,600 on DraftKings; $8,800 on FanDuel), the second best of any QB-WR duo with at least 30 attempts. Against the Rams, Lamb had 12 catches, 158 yards and 2 TDs for his second straight 100-yard game and his fifth game with 10 or more catches.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders ($7,100 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)
There's a lot going on in Vegas this week. A coaching change. A general manager change. A quarterback change. ... Could the time be ripe for an unexpected breakout by one of the season's more disappointing players? As Florio acknowledged, Jacobs has failed to live up to last season's production and the lofty expectations that were placed on him in the preseason, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been a useful fantasy option. Jacobs is coming off a strong game where he scored more than 16 fantasy points for the third time in his last five contests. He has scored at least 16 and as many as 27 fantasy points in games where he scores a touchdown. Florio believes this could be one of those upside games, as he faces a Giants defense that's allowed the fifth-most rushing yards, third-most rushing touchdowns and ninth-most fantasy PPG to running backs. Brown agrees, noting the Giants have been a run funnel all season, and losing Leonard Williams this week won't change that. New York has given up the fifth-highest explosive run rate and the 13th-highest yards after contact per attempt while also having the third-lowest stuff rate. Plus, the change from Jimmy Garoppolo to Aidan O'Connell can only help. In his lone start earlier this season, O'Connell targeted Jacobs 11 times. I'm admittedly hoping to catch a little lighting in a bottle here, hoping all the tumult in Vegas, a high-energy new coach, in Antonio Pierce, and a depleted opponent heading in the wrong direction lead to a true breakout game.

Demario Douglas, WR, New England Patriots ($3,300 on DraftKings; $5,400 on FanDuel)
As FantasyLabs' Zach Thompson put it, "The Patriots continue to scuffle on offense," but Douglas is finding his place and should stay busy as injuries continue to mount. NBC Sports' Kyle Dvorchak notes that Douglas had a 76 percent route rate with JuJu Smith-Schuster inactive two weeks ago and upped that to 84 percent with Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker suffering injuries in Week 8. Bourne is done for the year with a torn ACL and Parker is likely to miss a week with a concussion. Whatever the case, Douglas appears to be in line to be the team's top receiver for the remainder of the season. This week, that might be worth something. Washington has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season, allowing an average of 197 receiving yards per game to the position, along with 13 wide receiver touchdowns in eight games. Better still, Brown notes that since Week 6, Washington has allowed the fourth-highest PPR points per target and the third-most receiving yards to slot receivers. Thompson went on to suggest the sixth-round pick from Liberty brings plenty of big-play potential and he exceeded salary-based expectations in each of those contests since his cost has been so low. It's still low and this looks like a great spot for the youngster, nicknamed Pop, to find the end zone for the first time this year. ... And yes, given the matchup, rolling him out with Mac Jones ($5,000 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel) should offer a stacking opportunity the field won't be all in on. Remember, Jones has crushed it in other great matchups. He put up 28-plus DK points on Philadelphia in Week 1 and 20 two weeks ago against Buffalo. Washington's defense has surrendered the second-most DK points to QBs on the season and just lost Montez Sweat and Chase Young.


I'm Out:

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($7,500 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel)
If this feels like low-hanging fruit, it kind of is. ... Pollard, in his first season as the lead back after the offseason release of two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, had a decent game against the Rams with 12 carries for 53 yards. But his per-carry average is at 3.9 yards after being above 5 each of the previous two seasons. Beyond that, as Late-Round Fantasy's JJ Zachariason points out, Pollard has failed to score 10 PPR points in three of his last four games. But it goes back further than that. As Brown put it, "The special sauce he had last year is gone. It has expired. ..." Indeed, Dallas Morning News staffer Michael Gehlken told me last week that the number of runs in which Pollard hits 19 mph has diminished greatly this season. In fact, a 60-yard reception against the Chargers in which he hit 20 mph, marked the second time he exceeded 19 mph on a play this year. On the other, he clocked 19.08 during a 31-yard run in a Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Pollard has topped 19 mph twice on 121 touches, a rate of 1.7 percent. He was at 4.7 percent at this same juncture last season and finished 2022 with a 4.3 percent clip, reaching 19 mph or faster on 10 of 232 touches. Pollard logged a 3.8 percent rate in the first four seasons of his NFL career. Whether this is due to the heavier workload or new play caller Mike McCarthy using him differently, it's clearly an issue. The end result, as Brown notes, is that Pollard ranks 33rd in explosive run rate and 47th in yards after contact per attempt among 65 qualifying backs. "I didn't have 2023 Pollard running like 2022 Ezekiel Elliott on my bingo card," Brown added. Going up against an Eagles run defense that has the fourth-best stuff rate and the sixth-lowest yards after contact per attempt allowed doesn't seem like the week to expect a huge course correction.