DFS 3 and OUT 2017 WEEK 8

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:

A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
You have to pay up for somebody, right? After he was relegated to "The Out" section of this column last week, I have three words when it comes to Green this week: "Take. My. Money. ..." Green has hauled in 35 passes for 545 yards and three TDs this season. He has been a major thorn in the side of the Indianapolis defense in recent seasons. Green is a big-play threat and quarterback Andy Dalton does a good job of putting him in position to make things happen. Indianapolis' injury-riddled pass defense is allowing 300.7 yards per game. In addition, as ESPN's Field Yates notes, the Colts are now without top rookie Malik Hooker, an ascending member of their secondary -- and they were already allowing an NFL-high five deep completions (throws that travel 15 or more yards in the air) per game and struggling to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks (they have just 1.86 sacks per game, the sixth fewest in the league). And ESPN's Mike Clay notes the Colts have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this year. That includes the third-most to players lined up on the perimeter, which is where Green has aligned on 89 percent of his routes this season. Meanwhile, the receivers priced higher than Green this week, Antonio Brown (on both DraftKings and Fanduel) and Julio Jones (on FanDuel) both have issues. In Brown's case, it's Lions shutdown corner Darius Slay, who is likely to shadow Pittsburgh's top wideout. I'm not saying he will shut Brown down, but Slay has played well this season against some of the NFL's top receivers (Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Michael Thomas), with the lone exception being Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin. Meanwhile, Jones has been hit or miss. So Green ($8600 on DraftKings, $8500 on FanDuel) is the man in my shopping cart when I checkout this week.

Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets
If I'm paying up for Green, I need some value plays in my lineup. And I need at least one that won't be highly-owned and in a favorable matchup. There's ample reason for folks to avoid Forte, despite his 12-touch (seven carries and five receptions), 82-yard outing last Sunday. The problem for Forte is obvious: The Jets have three running backs that bring a unique dimension to their offense. But as Fansided.com's Luis Tirado Jr. noted this week, even with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire making their case to earn more playing time, Forte continues to lead the pack when it comes to reps. But Tirado went on to note that offensive coordinator John Morton tends to favor giving Forte more snaps than Powell and McGuire since as of late, he’s been proving he can make plays when the offense needs it. Meanwhile, as Yates pointed out, on three separate occasions this season, the Falcons have allowed a receiving touchdown to an opposing running back, as Tarik Cohen, Ty Montgomery and James White have all scored in the passing game versus Atlanta. Forte ($4200 on DraftKings, $5400 on FanDuel) has amassed 13 targets over the past two games, catching all 13 of those passes. He has 29 total touches over the past two weeks, playing 50 percent or more of the snaps on both occasions. Overall, the Falcons defense has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. ... Okay. I hear those wheels turning. I know what you're thinking. The whole Forte, Powell, McGuire timeshare thing makes you nervous. You want something a little more certain in terms of role, yet still at a reasonable price. If so, Bengals rookie Joe Mixon has averaged 4.5 yards per carry (with a touchdown) over the last two weeks and he'll be going up against a Colts defense that's the second most-generous to opposing fantasy running backs. Although he came up short in his last favorable matchup, Mixon's opportunity and price ($4700 on DraftKings, $5900 on FanDuel) are right.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
What's that? You want a touchdown dart toss? If so, Goodwin is my bullseye this week. In case you haven't been following along at home, Goodwin has seen 24 targets over his last three games, as his role in the downfield passing attack has grown over the course of the season. As SBNation.com's David Fucillo noted, while Pierre Garcon has been the go-to guy, one could argue Goodwin "has moved into at least flier territory." Fucillo conceded that Goodwin's drops are maddening, and he remains inconsistent, but he has surpassed 60 yards receiving in three of his past five games, including 80 yards last week against Dallas, and 116 yards two weeks prior against Indianapolis. This week, he'll go up against a Philadelphia team allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. If Eagles' cornerback Ronald Darby returns as expected this week, Clay expects Darby to slide back in at left corner, which will kick the extremely-generous Jalen Mills over to the right side. That would set up Goodwin to run over half his routes against the struggling second-year corner. If Darby remains out, both Goodwin and Pierre Garcon will be positioned nicely against Mills and Rasul Douglas. As Clay pointed out, the Eagles have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, including the most to players lined up on the perimeter. Players lined up against Mills have been targeted an NFL-high 74 times and have scored 113 fantasy points (second-most). Yes. I realize neither Goodwin nor Garcon have a TD catch yet this season. But in Goodwin's case, it's not for lack of opportunities. Per ESPN, only six players have exceeded his six end zone targets. And at his current price ($3900 on DraftKings, $4900 on FanDuel), Goodwin is dart I'm tossing (with a caveat: Watch the injury report; a tender back has been an issue in practice this week).

I'm Out

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Make no mistake. I'm starting Watson in season-long leagues all day long. Regardless of the matchup. Even against the Seahawks, Watson is my guy. He's in my lineups until he forces me to take him out. Why? Because the Texans are averaging 34 points a game with the rookie at the helm. He's accounted for 17 total touchdowns (with two coming on the ground) while paving the way for DeAndre Hopkins to re-establish himself as one of the NFL's most potent fantasy wideouts. Hell, Watson has even made Will Fuller fantasy relevant. Better still, I got Watson for nothing. You probably did, too. But that's not the case in DFS. At least not anymore. In fact, Watson ($6400 on DraftKings, $8000 on FanDuel) will cost you more on FanDuel than Carson Wentz ($7900) does. Yes. More than the guy who just had his second four-touchdown game in three weeks during Monday night's win over the Redskins. Wentz's 17 touchdown passes lead the league (with 11 of them coming over the last three games) and he'll take on a struggling 49ers defense (that has to travel across county to take him on). Of course, Watson ranks first in the NFL in touchdown percentage (8.6), is tied for second in touchdown passes (15) and sixth in passer rating (101.1). But the four teams he did his most extensive damage against -- New England, Tennessee, Kansas City and Cleveland -- had pass defenses that ranked 32nd, 18th, 28th and 15th, respectively. On Sunday, Watson takes on a Seattle defense that ranks first in points allowed (94), third in net yards per pass attempt (5.0), fifth in passing yards surrendered (1,145), and eighth in yards per play (4.9) -- and he'll be doing it in Seattle. All in all, there are better QBs to pay up for this week.