DFS Three And Out 2018 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.

Hey! I know! How about a tight end-only edition?

I'm In:

Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts ($5,700 on DraftKings; $6,400 on FanDuel)

As ESPN's Matthew Berry pointed out in his Week 14 "Love/Hate", Andrew Luck ranks top three in red-zone completions, red-zone attempts and red-zone touchdowns this season. Ebron, meanwhile, ranks third among tight ends in red-zone targets (16) and is tied for the lead in the NFL (all positions) in end-zone targets this season (16, with Odell Beckham). Berry further noted that Ebron is on pace for 21 end-zone targets this season (which would edge out Greg Olsen's 20 in 2009). And what is Ebron doing with those red-zone looks? His 11 TD receptions are tied for second in the league, one behind Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown. If Ebron scores another, he'll set a new Colts single-season record for TD catches. He currently shares that mark with Dallas Clark. Meanwhile, the Texans have been one of the weaker teams at keeping opposing tight ends in check in recent weeks. According to ESPN's Tristan Cockroft, their 21.2 points per game afforded to the position during the past five weeks is the most in the league, and the team has allowed touchdowns to Jeff Heuerman (Week 9), Jordan Reed (Week 11) and Jonnu Smith (Week 12) during that time span. Over the course of the season, the Texans give up the second-most fantasy points per game to the tight end position. ... Of course, as I write this Thursday night, Ebron has yet to practice this week due to illness and a lingering back issue -- one he played through last week. So standard disclaimer here: Only if available.

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders ($5,200 on DraftKings; $6,300 on FanDuel)

After a mid-season rough patch for Cook, he has exploded back onto the scene with a seven-catch, 100-yard outing against the Chiefs. Even better, Cook has caught a touchdown in each of the last three games making him a reliable fantasy play even if he doesn’t get the yardage necessary. On Sunday, Cook will face a defense that has been very inconsistent against the position. Cook definitely has the ability to take advantage of Pittsburgh safety Terrell Edmunds, a rookie who is just getting his feet wet in his first NFL season. Edmunds, who has been exposed in coverage at times this season, has a tough assignment ahead of him.

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins ($4,600 on DraftKings; $6,400 on FanDuel)

As the Sports Xchange notes, the Giants have allowed opposing tight ends to score in two of their last four games since the bye. Overall, the Giants have allowed opposing tight ends to convert on 56 of 77 pass targets (73 percent) for 642 yards and three touchdowns. This week, with S Landon Collins, who has primarily drawn responsibility for the tight end in coverage, out, it remains to be seen how they will try to keep Reed, who in six career games against the Giants has caught 33 of 47 pass targets (70 percent) for 341 yards and a touchdown, from having a big day. Here's hoping Reed becomes Mark Sanchez's best friend.

I'm Out

The Two Highest-Price Guys Available This Week

In the midst of a third-straight 1,000-yard season, Travis Kelce ($6,700 on DraftKings; $8,000 on FanDuel) comes off the biggest game of his career with 168 yards on 12 catches against Oakland last week. As the Sports Xchange suggested, the Ravens have few weaknesses defensively, but they have had trouble matching up with tight ends and they haven't faced anyone as tough as Kelce. But the Raiders paid too much attention to Tyreek Hill last week, and Kelce beat them badly. Kelce can serve as either the focal point of the offense or a distraction inside creating more one-on-one opportunities for Hill on the outside. I'm guessing the Ravens will be ready to their best against both, but that's especially true of Kelce coming off a huge outing. ... In addition, Zach Ertz ($6,400 on DraftKings; $7,400 on FanDuel) caught 14 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, fueling Philadelphia's offense in their 27-20 loss to the Cowboys in November. But the star tight end would have had an even bigger game if not for rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who had 13 tackles and a pass deflection against the Eagles. Vander Esch's ability to limit Ertz will play a huge part in Dallas's defensive success and it has me backing off Ertz given the high-end price tag.

Okay... So I realize not everybody will build enough lineups to use all my tight ends. So here's a player or two (or four) at each of the other skill positions that I'm also "In" on:

At QB Bills signal caller Josh Allen ($5,500 on DraftKings; $7,400 on FanDuel) is going to be my huckleberry going up against the Jets. The logic isn't hard to figure out. His rushing ability adds value. High-end value. In fact, Allen is the first rookie quarterback to run for 90 yards or more in back-to-back games since Billy Kilmer did it with Washington in 1961. Allen leads NFL quarterbacks in averaging 48.6 rushing yards this season. Only three quarterbacks since 2001 -- Michael Vick, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III -- have averaged more rushing yards per game in a season. Drilling down a bit further, ESPN.com's Mike Rodak notes that Allen is averaging 7.13 rushes per game, the second-highest rate by any quarterback this season behind Cam Newton (7.58). The only quarterbacks who have averaged more carries per game than Allen in a single season since 2001 have been Newton, Tim Tebow, Vick, Griffin, Josh Freeman, Tyrod Taylor and Wilson. And as NFL.com's Adam Rank pointed out, Allen has had more rushing yards in the past two weeks than Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. Rodak went on to suggest that defenses might adjust as Allen proves himself as one of the league's most capable running quarterbacks, but his noted arm strength could make that difficult.

At running back two names jump out: With Melvin Gordon still likely a week away from returning, the Chargers are eager to see what rookie Justin Jackson ($3,800 on DraftKings; $4,500 on FanDuel) can do. He was good in his debut last week, supplying a bit more of a burst than the muscular Austin Ekeler. The Bengals can't stop the run no matter the ball-carrier and the Chargers will look to take advantage of the NFL's worst run defense. ... While I like Jackson, Ekeler could be busy as well. That's why Jeff Wilson ($3,800 on DraftKings; $5,600 on FanDuel), who had 134 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches for the 49ers against the Seahawks last week, is in the mix as well. As ESPN's Mike Clay noted earlier this week, while this has a similar feel to Gus Edwards taking over in Baltimore two weeks ago, Wilson actually has a role in the passing game, which makes him even more intriguing. Also, 49ers running backs have accrued 1,433 rushing yards this season, which is third most in the NFL.

At wide receiver, Tampa Bay's Adam Humphries ($4,900 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel) has five touchdowns over his last five games and the last time the Bucs and Saints threw down (back in Week 1), 88 points were scored. So yeah, Humphries, teammate Chris Godwin ($4,900 on DraftKings; $5,600 on FanDuel) and New Orleans' receivers Tre'Quan Smith ($4,500 on DraftKings; $5,700 on FanDuel) and Keith Kirkwood ($3,500 on DraftKings; $5,200 on FanDuel) all work for me.