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DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 18
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts ($6,400 on DraftKings; $8,000 on FanDuel)
As I went through the QB options this week, I really had an eye on Lamar Jackson ($5,800 on DraftKings; $8,200 on FanDuel), who has a high floor because of his rushing ability. He had 90 yards and two TDs on the ground last week against the Browns, and he actually had a career high in passing yards last time he played the Chargers (204 yards). And the pricing isn't horrible for Jackson -- especially on DraftKings (where I will have some shares). But I keep coming back to Luck, who has had considerable success against Houston. In fact, Luck torched the Texans for 464 yards and four touchdowns in Week 4. Then he burned Romeo Crennel's secondary for 399 yards and two more TDs in a Week 14 road win at NRG. That's 863 yards and six touchdowns, if you're keeping track. Now Luck gets his third shot against the Texans this season in the playoffs, after throwing for 285 yards and three TDs during a 33-17 win against the Titans. He also benefits from the presence of T.Y. Hilton, who suggested this week that NRG Stadium is like a "second home" to him. In fact, Hilton has 41 receptions for 932 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games played in Houston. In his most recent game in Houston (the above-mentioned Week 14 win) he had nine catches for 199 yards, including a 60-yard pass to get the Colts going in the second quarter. He has 41 receptions for 932 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games played in Houston. Deciding between the two QBs in this game, Luck averaged 34.5 Fantasy points in two games against the Texans this year, while Deshaun Watson ($6,700 on DraftKings; $8,400 on FanDuel) was at 27.0 points per game against the Colts in two outings. In addition, one of them has an offensive line. In fact, Luck has one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL. Beyond that Russell Wilson ($5,700 on DraftKings; $7,800 on FanDuel) scored 19 fantasy points against Dallas in Week 3 (although he played that game without Doug Baldwin, who is healthy now). And Dak Prescott ($5,500 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel) scored just 10 fantasy points at Seattle in that matchup (but that was before he had Amari Cooper on his side). I'm still expecting that game to go run-heavy, however. Nick Foles ($5,400 on DraftKings; $7,300 on FanDuel)? Seems like he's mastered the postseason, but he'll have to continue proving that on the road against the most imposing defense in the conference. And Mitchell Trubisky ($6,200 on DraftKings; $7,700 on FanDuel)? Great matchup, but he's been hit or miss. I'll go with the proven commodity with a track record of production vs. this week's opponent and in this week's venue here thank you.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($6,800 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)
I'm all about playing volume, so Ezekiel Elliott ($9,000 on DraftKings; $8,800 on FanDuel) is absolutely a worthwhile play this week. But I'm also bit of a cheapskate, so I'll take Zeke-level volume at a much more affordable price in the form of Carson. As The Sporting News notes, in his past four outings, Carson has at least 90 yards and a score on the ground. He has been remarkably consistent, and while Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny will take some carries from him, he still figures to get about 20 touches against the Cowboys. The Cowboys have been good against RBs this season, but they can be beaten and Carson will have the volume needed and should get a chance for a few goal-line carries. Yes, I also have a bit of a thing for Jordan Howard ($4,600 on DraftKings; $7,600 on FanDuel) this week as the price is also right and the Eagles have become increasingly generous against opposing running back. I will have some DraftKings shares here, but even though Howard has scored four times in the last three weeks, I'm concerned this will turn into a Tarik Cohen ($5,400 on DraftKings; $7,000 on FanDuel) week. I don't have those same concerns with Davis and Penny (or with Rod Smith in Dallas for that matter).
Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys ($3,300 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
So I already have a piece of Hilton in the form of Luck (although I'm not averse to rolling out Hilton as well). We're all playing DeAndre Hopkins if possible, too. So I'm going to need a cheap pivot beyond Carson at another spot. Mr. Jarwin. ... C'mon down! That's right; the NFC Offensive Player of the Week following last week's seven-catch, 119-yard three-TD outburst against the Giants is priced right. There's no doubt Zach Ertz ($6,400 on DraftKings; $7,600 on FanDuel) and Eric Ebron ($5,200 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel) belong at the top of the pricing heap at tight end, but there are players ahead of Jarwin who can't match his recent run. And I'm not just talking about that Week 17 outing. Jarwin has seen at least seven targets in three of his last four games and the Seahawks were middle of the road (ranked 19th) in fantasy points allowed to tight ends over the final month of the season. By the way, I could make an argument for Baltimore's Mark Andrews ($3,500 on DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel), who has at least nine PPR points in consecutive games including a 16-point outing at the Chargers in Week 16. But in the end, Jarwin gets the nod from me.
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers ($5,900 on DraftKings; $7,600 on FanDuel)
Rivers' worst fantasy game of the season was against Baltimore in Week 16 when he scored just three fantasy points, but it goes beyond that: He's been at 14 points or less in three of his past four games. But the last two games -- starting with that Baltimore game have been especially brutal. In case you missed it, the Chargers came up short at home against the Ravens, losing 22-10, their lowest scoring output this season. The Chargers recorded a season-low 198 total yards and Rivers was under siege most of the game, getting sacked four times. As ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams noted, Rivers threw an interception on the team's opening possession for a third straight game in their Week 17 tilt with the Broncos. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the last quarterback to do that was Josh Freeman in 2009. After throwing just six interceptions in his first 13 games, Rivers has six in his past three. Prior to the 37-year-old signal-caller finishing 14-of-24 for a season-low 176 passing yards against the Broncos (with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams and two interceptions), the 181 passing yards Rivers posted against the Ravens the week before were the fewest he had thrown for in a game since Oct. 13, 2016. So it might be my recency bias, but part of that bias is this: Baltimore's defense is pretty badass. Baltimore got three turnovers against the Chargers, then picked off Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield three times in the season finale. As previously mentioned, the Ravens brought the heat on Rivers – eight hits and four sacks – in their meeting three weeks ago. Per SportRadar, Baltimore rushed five or more defenders 41.5 percent of the time. It remains to be seen how often the Ravens will blitz this time, but they still definitely want Rivers to feel the heat. I suspect he will.