DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 17
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($7,700 on FanDuel only)
Okay, so you know I tend to avoid players who aren't 100 percent healthy (at least for the purposes of this column). But I'm going to make an exception in this one case -- for a couple reasons. First of all, Hilton has been playing gimpy for the past month and has practiced on a limited basis once in the past three weeks. That said, he's still been the NFL's hottest wide receiver in the past seven games with 856 receiving yards on 48 receptions. In addition, the speedy wideout vowed to be ready come Sunday night. "This is Game 7," Hilton said, then added, "You know I ain't gonna miss that. ..." I don't think he'll miss it. Neither does his quarterback. Andrew Luck has been around Hilton enough in seven seasons to know that he respects the wide receiver's word. "I ask him how he is going to do and he says he is going to do fine," Luck said. "I say, 'OK, I know he is going to do fine then.' If T.Y. says it, then it must be true. ..." So yeah, there might be some risk involved here if Hilton draws a questionable designation and I wouldn't blame anybody for bailing on him if that's the case come Friday afternoon. With all that said, I'll go ahead and point out that Hilton owned Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson in the first meeting, as the Titans cornerback was not up to the task of controlling the Colts' best wideout. Of course, some of that had to do with the fact that Tennessee generated no pass rush. But as ESPN's Mike Clay noted, when these teams met in Week 11, Jackson shadowed Hilton on 20 of his 26 routes, including 18 of 19 on the perimeter. Hilton finished the game with nine catches, 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine targets. If you believe former NFL receiver Santana Moss had it right when he said, "Big time players make big time plays in big time games," then Hilton in Sunday night's tilt with the Titans -- with a ticket to the postseason tournament at stake for both team -- defines that quote. If Hilton is questionable, and that makes you queasy, or if you're looking for a comparable option on DraftKings, feel free to slide on over to Tyreek Hill, who is in the same price range ($8,400 on DraftKings; $7,800 on FanDuel) and has a fantastic matchup.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders ($4,900 on DraftKings; $5,200 on FanDuel)
Nelson and quarterback Derek Carr have been in great sync recently, connecting 29 times for 308 yards on 34 targets over the past four games. According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson has caught every catchable ball in that span, and hasn’t had a drop since Week 3. Reliability is a real asset in Jon Gruden’s offense, where receivers must be smart, adjust on the fly and catch most everything throw their way. Heading into Sunday's game, a repeat of what Oakland did against Denver is needed in Kansas City, on both sides of the ball. Although the Raiders were not spectacular, they definitely were efficient in their victory over the Broncos, with Carr completing 19 of 26 passes for 167 yards without a touchdown or an interception (for the 10th consecutive game), while Doug Martin rushed for 107 yards on 21 carries and a 24-yard touchdown. That allowed the Raiders to hold the ball for much of the last three quarters and they will have to do the same to keep the ball away from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the explosive Kansas City offense. But with Nelson working his way back into trusted target territory, the matchup against a Kansas City secondary that's given up the second-most points to wide receivers (44.4 points per game) over the last four weeks is pretty appealing. So is Nelson's price, which makes him slightly more appealing to me than Jared Cook is -- although the Chiefs have been almost as generous to opposing tight ends (allowing 20.7 points per game, the second-most points to that position over the last month) as they have to wideouts.
Robert Woods ($6,900 on DraftKings; $7,600 on FanDuel)
The Rams head into Sunday's game against the 49ers looking to maintain their grip on the second seed in the NFL playoffs and a first-round bye. In order to keep control of it, the Rams have to beat San Francisco or hope the Chicago Bears lose to the Minnesota Vikings. The Rams will leave nothing to chance and expect nothing but the best punch from the 49ers. All that being the case, it's worth noting that Woods (84) needs three receptions to tie Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk (87) for the 10th-most single-season receptions in franchise history. Bruce holds the franchise record with 119 receptions during the 1995 campaign. There's a reason for this. As Clay put it, Woods continues to be "peppered with targets: and that's unlikely to change this week with the Rams looking to solidify their bye week. In this one, he will see a lot of 49ers' K'Waun Williams, who has struggled with efficiency in coverage this season. Clay added, the 49ers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the slot on the season and during the past two months. Look back no further than the Week 7 meeting between these teams, when Woods caught 5 of 7 targets for 78 yards. According to Clay, Woods was covered by Williams on nine of his 25 routes and caught 2 of 2 targets for 53 yards on those plays. But Woods isn't only good at catching. Among all wide receivers throughout the league, Woods (156) ranks third in the league in rushing yards through Week 16. He has 18 rushing attempts for 156 yards and averages 8.7 yards per rushing attempt. He recorded a 56-yard rushing attempt in a Week 5 win over the Seahawks and a 4-yard rushing touchdown in a Week 16 win over the Cardinals. Bonus!
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,700 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel)
Jeffery finished last week's game with 82 receiving yards, including a season-long 52-yard reception in the third quarter. Jeffery is the first Eagle to record 50-plus-yard receptions in back-to-back games since Jeremy Maclin on Oct. 26, 2014 and Nov. 2, 2014, and it is the first time Jeffery has accomplished the feat in his career. So yeah, he's become a real thing again with Nick Foles under center. But this weekend, Jeffery goes up against Washington cornerback Josh Norman. According to Clay, Norman shadowed Jeffery on 34 of 39 routes, including all 34 perimeter routes, when these teams played in Week 13. Jeffery was targeted five times and was held to three catches for 31 yards. Clay concedes that Jeffery has been significantly better since that game (12th at wide receiver in fantasy points during his past three games), but he's very likely to draw the Norman shadow again this week. Norman has been strong in coverage this season despite some tough assignments against Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Corey Davis and Donte Moncrief (all since Week 8). Meanwhile, it's not like Foles doesn't have other options. Nelson Agholor led the Eagles with a season-high 116 yards against Houston, which marked the second-highest single-game total of his NFL career. Beyond that, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix was brought on in midseason to help the Redskins stabilize the safety position next to D.J. Swearinger, who was cut this week. Clinton-Dix has struggled to tackle in space and has been an adventure at times in coverage. He'll have to play well to slow Zach Ertz, who has 113 catches for 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns. Tight ends have long hurt the Redskins. This weekend should be no different.