DFS Three And Out 2016 week 4

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:

DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
This just in: Through three games, Murray looks like the Titans' best player. Off to a fast start is he? In his huge 2014 season in Dallas, Murray accounted for 2,261 yards. Right now he's on track for 2,010. In last Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Raiders, Murray turned 16 carries into 114 yards and a touchdown and caught all five of the passes thrown his way for 41 additional yards. That ended a stretch of 34 games for the franchise without a running back reaching 100 yards on the ground. In addition, he has five or more catches in three straight games and as ESPN.com's Matthew Berry astutely noted this week, Murray currently boasts catches than Jacksonville wideout Allen Robinson. Meanwhile, the Titans go up against a Houston defense -- minus J.J. Watt -- that's given up a rushing touchdown or 100 yards rushing in all three games this season. Murray isn't the cheapest back you'll find this week ($6,800 on DraftKings, $7,300 on FanDuel), but the cost isn't prohibitive considering this week's matchup and Murray's robust role. In addition, the Titans aren't sexy. They're easily overlooked by other players.

Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
Many tournament players will be chasing Terrelle Pryor's huge Week 3 output when they set lineups this week. Heck, I'll even have a few shares. But I'll be even more heavily invested in Crowell. Through three games, the Browns rank fourth in rushing offense (434 yards) and average yards per game (144.7) and Crowell is tied with the rookie Ezekiel Elliott as the league's second leading rusher with 274 yards? He trails only Atlanta's Devonta Freeman in yards per carry (6.1) and New England's LeGarrette Blount in yards per game (91.3). While he seems like more of reasonably-priced ($4,400 on DraftKings, $6,600 on FanDuel)cash-game play, I'll remind you there's some explosiveness here. Crowell's 85-yard touchdown against the Ravens in Week 2 remains the longest run of the season. The Browns, who said they wanted to be a run-oriented offense, will have a chance to again apply that approach against a Washington run defense that ranks 24th in the league. And don't overlook the possibility that the Redskins, just like other DFS players, will be focused on slowing Pryor's roll.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
What do fantasy owners look for in running backs? Volume. Why not do the same with quarterbacks? Cousins leads the NFL in passing yards after three games (989) and is on pace to shatter his own franchise record for most passing yards in a season (4,166). He has more attempts than all but two QBs (not including Andy Dalton and Ryan Tannehill, who played Thursday night) due in part to the Redskins being among the pass-happiest team in the NFL (thanks Matt Jones!). But it also has to do with Cousins' array of weaponry. DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed have all seen 24 passes Cousins so far. Pierre Garcon has been targeted 20 times. Crowder and Reed have 16 catches each, Jackson 14 and Garcon 13. Last week, Cousins completed three passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield Sunday, including a 44-yard touchdown to Jackson. Entering that game, the Giants hadn't allowed any completions on such passes this season, and they hadn't allowed that many in a game since the 52-49 game against the Saints last season. Meanwhile, Cousins is a reasonably-priced ($6,500 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel) alternative to players who will likely be more highly-owned (I'm talking about you Philip Rivers, going up against the Saints). In addition, if you wanted to stack Cousins with Jackson ($6,500 on DraftKings, $6,900 on FanDuel) or the even-cheaper Crowder ($6,500 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel), I'm with you. After the Giants game, Jackson has 29 career touchdowns of 40 or more yards, the most among active players and the 10th most in NFL history. Jackson has five catches of 20-plus yards this season, tied for fourth in the NFL. This week, they'll be going up against a Cleveland defense that, as ESPN.com pointed out, has allowed multiple passing scores and at least 275 passing yards in each game this season. Adding to the fun, their top CB, Joe Haden, is questionable this week with a sore ankle.

I'm Out

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
There are no shortage of reasons to get Ryan into your lineup. Even with Julio Jones limited to one catch against the Saints, Ryan hit 20-of-30 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in a game where he also extended plays with his feet. As ESPN.com notes, Ryan enters Week 4 tied with New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo for the league’s top passer rating at 119.0. Ryan’s seven touchdowns and one interception is the type of ratio the Falcons were looking for coming off last year’s turnover-filled season. And heading into this weekend, Ryan's price ($7,000 on DraftKings, $7,900 on FanDuel) isn't outrageous. So much like last week, when I passed on Aaron Rodgers (who, yes, totally went off as I suggested he might), Ryan is playing well enough to get in your lineup. I suspect others will. I won't. Too many affordable options with ample upside (like Cousins; like Joe Flacco; like Trevor Siemian even). And those other options won't be playing Carolina, who rank third in total defense, giving up 273.3 yards per game. They rank 15th in points allowed per game (23.3). So it will be strength against strength on Sunday against the Falcons. That's not what I'm after in a tournament play.