DFS 3 and OUT 2017 WEEK 14

By Bob Harris
Bob Harris
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.

I'm In:

Stephen Anderson, TE, Houston Texans

While I might prefer that Will Fuller (ribs) and Braxton Miller (concussion) weren't making progress in their effort to play this weekend, that's not going to scare me off Anderson. The price is just too darned good. And it's not like the Texans don't still have holes in their receiving corps. After all, starting tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz joined fellow tight end Ryan Griffin on injured reserve this week (with slot receiver Bruce Ellington joining them there as well), so Anderson is at the top of the tight-end pecking order for Houston. With Fuller out and Fiedorowicz, Miller and Ellington all leaving last week's game early, Anderson pulled in five of 12 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, this week's opponent, the 49ers, had allowed a tight end receiving touchdown in five straight games until last Sunday, when a struggling Chicago offense failed to get the job done in that regard. So while DeAndre Hopkins will be very busy, I suspect Anderson will be, too. And the price? It's right. Anderson ($3200 on DraftKings; $4500 on FanDuel) will cost you less than a litany of players (20 of them on DraftKings and 38 on FanDuel), many of whom don't have his matchup or upside. Need some flexibility to pay up at other spots? Anderson will help.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Turns out Jimmy Garoppolo can play a little quarterback. I realize it's just one full game, but the newcomer clearly offers and an upgraded for the 49ers, who haven't gotten the kind of play they hoped for out of Brian Hoyer or C.J. Beathard. So the game plan heading into Sunday's showdown with the Texans? Unleash Garoppolo. ... Houston has given up the fifth-most points in the league, which gives this game some under-the-radar fantasy potential. Better still, the Texans are far weaker against the pass than against the run, so why not come out winging it and trust that, in a shootout, Garoppolo will outgun Tom Savage? The Texans rank tied for third in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed with 23, with two ex-49ers Alex Smith and Blaine Gabbert each enjoying a three-TD game against them. Houston has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The Texans have allowed five different wideouts to score two touchdowns this season. That makes Goodwin a nice play this week. If you watched their win over the Bears, you likely saw Garoppolo locked in on Goodwin, who was targeted eight times. He caught all eight for 99 yards. As ESPN.com's Ken Daube noted this week, the biggest improvement for Goodwin has come recently on throws of 10 yards or less. From Week 3 through Week 11, Goodwin caught just three of 20 targets that traveled within that range. Over the last two games, Goodwin has caught all six such targets. Having Goodwin be a capable short yardage receiver will only serve to open "and go" routes on which he can utilize his world class speed after faking an underneath route. Trent Taylor is also an option -- even cheaper than Goodwin ($5100 on DraftKings; $5700 on FanDuel). Taylor ($3300 on DraftKings; $4500 on FanDuel) caught six passes on six targets for 92 yards against the Bears.

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

As ESPN's Field Yates reminded readers this week, when the Raiders hosted the Chiefs in Week 7 of the season, Carr shredded the Kansas City secondary for 414 passing yards and three scores. Yates went on to suggest, "It's far-fetched to presume identical production this Sunday, but it's a matchup that remains unimposing." Actually, I wonder how far-fetched it really is. Remember, since a 5-0 start, the Chiefs have allowed 256.1 passing yards per game, the third most in the NFL during that stretch. And this week, they've suspended their best pass defender -- maybe their only pass defender, Marcus Peters, for this week's game. Meanwhile, Carr has completed 40 of 60 passes in his last two games for 540 yards and three touchdowns, even with limited or no help from wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper because of suspension or injury. He is spreading the ball to different receivers and has been the focal point of the offense for the last four games of the season. This week, Crabtree returns from suspension and even if Cooper (ankle/concussion) is unable to play, we saw enough from Cordarrelle Patterson and Seth Roberts in Week 13 to believe this passing offense can stay efficient. While he's a little pricey ($6400 on DraftKings; $7700 on FanDuel), the matchup still makes it appealing to me. Need to go cheaper? Did I mention Garoppolo ($5500 on DraftKings; $7000 on FanDuel) has a nice matchup?

I'm Out

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As ESPN.com's Scott Kacsmar noted this week, the return of Jameis Winston did no favors for Evans in Week 13. He had 33 yards for his second-least productive game of the season. Not that it's been all that impressive to date. Yahoo's Brad Evans pointed out that Mike Evans has been WR51 in per game scoring since Week 8. Despite drawing 8.8 targets per game during that stretch, Evans has just 19 catches for 276 yards and no touchdowns. He still doesn't have a 100-yard receiving game this season and the Tampa Bay offense has rarely exceeded 20 points. Among the issues, Evans has only four red-zone targets in his past five games. Beyond that, Evans is struggling to get separation from defenders (just 1.7 yards of separation per target according to NFL NextGen Stats). In addition, dropped passes (with nine to his credit so far this season) have resulted in a 52.0 catch percentage. This weekend, Evans faces Detroit cornerback Darius Slay, who has shadowed in nine of 12 games this season, including showdowns with Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Stefon Diggs (twice), Kelvin Benjamin, Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson and Ricardo Louis. According to ESPN's Mike Clay, even with that (mostly) brutal slate, Slay has allowed 0.28 fantasy points per route, which is below the 0.31 league average. Historically speaking, Evans has a lone 1-yard catch on 10 career targets against Slay. In general, the Lions rank fourth against top wideouts. So given his current price ($6900 on DraftKings; $7300 on FanDuel), I'll be looking elsewhere for my receiving points this weekend.