DFS Three And Out 2021 week 19
As we head into the playoffs, the limited slates can be an issue. But just like in the regular season, those of us looking to pay up for the top options -- or multiple top options -- will need some value plays to help us get there. I have at least three of those for the Super Wildcard Weekend. And one (or two) I'm willing to pass on under the circumstances.
Zay Jones, WR, Las Vegas Raiders ($4,200 DraftKings; $5,300 on FanDuel)
Don't look now, but Jones has worked his way into a legitimate role in the Raiders' offense. As numberFire.com's Josh Shepardson notes, the 26-year-old receiver caught five or more passes in six of his last seven games, reaching at least 50 yards in four of those seven. Shepardson went on to notes that from Week 12 through the end of the regular season, Jones was tied for first on the Raiders in routes (238), and second in targets (53), receptions (38), and receiving yards (369). Additionally, his role didn't evaporate in Week 18 with the return of Darren Waller. Instead, Jones tied for the team lead in routes (37) and targets (five). Adding to the intrigue, Pro Football Focus stats show Jones had an average depth of target (aDot) of 10.8 yards downfield, which might play well against the Bengals. According to Sharp Football Stats, since Week 10, the Bengals allow the third-highest average explosive pass rate (10 percent). In addition, as ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld contends that, assuming that the Raiders play from behind -- a fair assumption, being that they're underdog by almost a touchdown -- we could potentially have even more Derek Carr passing attempts, elevating both Jones' floor and his ceiling.
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($4,400 DraftKings; $6,000 on FanDuel)
As Fansided.com's Lauren Barash suggested, San Francisco's struggling secondary is not well-equipped to handle a Cowboys' offense with multiple tough-to-contain wide receiver weapons. Dallas has Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb at the top of the depth chart and both are fine plays. But Associated Press sports writer Schulyer Dixon believes Wilson could be an X factor in the playoffs with Michael Gallup sidelined by a knee injury. While it was mostly against backups, Wilson had a career-high 119 yards receiving with two touchdowns against the Eagles. His 23.8-yard average per catch was eye-opening considering how much teams have tried to take away downfield opportunities for Prescott and the Cowboys. But it hasn't been a one-game spike. In the two games since Gallup went down, Wilson has 11 catches and 12 targets on 44 routes run, producing three touchdowns. As Zeidenfeld points out, the Cowboys are the fourth-most pass-heavy red zone offense in the NFL. San Francisco has allowed the most yards per deep-pass attempt among playoff teams (and fourth-most overall). Zeidenfeld added that last week against Philadelphia, four of Wilson's six targets were deep downfield looks.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,500 DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel)
According to Zeidenfeld, Goedert appears to be the best TE value on the week for both floor and ceiling possibilities. In his last four games, Goedert has totaled 26 targets on 87 routes for a higher target share (29.9 percent) than Jaylen Waddle, DK Metcalf, George Kittle, and Brandin Cooks, just to name a few. That's a good starting point, but it goes beyond that. As SI.com's Evan Winter notes, Goedert has been on a tear ever since the Eagles traded Zach Ertz after Week 6. Goedert is Philly's leading receiver with 614 receiving yards over the last 10 games. Per Sports Info Solutions, his mark of 61.4 yards per game is fifth-best among tight ends during this span. He also has the second-highest yards per route run (2.9) among the same criteria for qualifying tight ends. Meanwhile, when it comes to defending tight ends, Tampa Bay's defense finished 2021 around mid-pack in most of the essential categories, but those numbers are a bit misleading when you look at the tight ends the Bucs played against from Weeks 1-12 and then from Weeks 13-18. Winter went on to note that Tampa Bay hasn't seen a tight end like Goedert in a while. He can catch, block, run after the catch. He lines up on the line, in the slot, at the point in bunch formations -- he can do it all. Goedert may not have the same consistency as some of the elite tight ends in the league, but he does have similar upside. And as Jordan Sparks of The Sporting News points out, this is DFS, we aren't concerned with a "safe" floor; we'd rather have high ceilings -- especially when they come at a reasonable price.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,900 DraftKings; $7,300 on FanDuel)
First of all, nobody should be buying into Fournette, who suffered a hamstring strain in Week 15 that's sidelined him since, until they see he's officially activated from injured reserve. That said, he's been designated to return, is practicing without any reported issues and all indications are he'll be back. You don't believe me? How about his coach? "Leonard looks great," Bruce Arians said on Tuesday. "He's been working good. He should be back. ..." Okay. Let's say he is. Getting Fournette back would be huge for the Buccaneers -- and possibly his investors, considering he had the most scrimmage yards (448) of anyone in the playoffs last season. And there's a lot to like here, right? Fournette played in the first 14 games and led the team with 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 carries. A much-improved pass catcher, Fournette also logged 69 receptions for 454 yards and two more scores. As Zeidenfeld lays it out, "Fournette's price tag is way too cheap compared to his workload, his past game usage, and his ample opportunities inside the five." I don't disagree with any of that. But we've seen more than a few players slow-rolled out of the chute upon return from extended absences and this is a relatively high price to pay if Fournette doesn't jump right back in with the same workload he had before the injury. By the way, I feel the same about Miles Sanders, who returns from a two-week absence with a fractured hand, to face a tougher matchup than Fournette -- and with more bodies to cut into his workload. Still, Sanders ($5,100 DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel) is the cheaper option, so I'm going with the higher-priced Fournette as my out here. But to be clear, they both worry me a bit while others have equal appeal at reasonable prices.