DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 2

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:

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

So I'm going to assume Big Ben's elbow isn't going to be an issue this weekend. I don't normally roll with questionable players in this column, so this should tell you just how much I want to play Roethlisberger. Why? Well. ... The price ($6,900 on DraftKings; $7,600 on FanDuel) is high, but not without reason. As Al Zeidenfeld noted in an article published by ESPN.com, Roethlisberger is the top scoring quarterback in home games since 2014 with 23.3 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, ESPN's Matthew Berry notes that since the start of last season, there have been five instances of a quarterback scoring at least 25 points against the Chiefs and all of those games came with Kansas City on the road. Also, in case you missed it, the Chiefs defense allowed Philip Rivers and the Chargers to rack up 418 yards through the air in Week 1. Want more? Okay. ... The over/under in this game is 53 -- the highest of any game this week and Pittsburgh's implied total is 29 points. So yes. There's plenty of ammo to roll with Roethlisberger in tournaments. And if he's a sudden scratch on Sunday morning? Go ahead and pivot to the other side of the ball, where Patrick Mahomes ($6,100 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel) is going up against a Pittsburgh defense that Zeidenfeld notes ranked in the bottom 10 in terms of deep completions allowed, deep passing yards and deep TD/INT rate. And did I mention that over/under?

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

Sanders is coming off a regular-season opener against the Seahawks in which he had 10 catches, the most for a Bronco in Week 1 since Shannon Sharpe in 1995. Given the fast start, Sanders looks primed for a renaissance season after struggling with injuries last year. As the Sports Xchange notes, the good timing Sanders displayed with quarterback Case Keenum during practice and the preseason translated to the regular-season opener, in which he finished with 135 yards and a 43-yard touchdown. That scoring grab is of interest going up against an Oakland defense that allowed a league-high 11 deep touchdown passes last year. Sanders' price is reasonable enough ($6,200 on DraftKings; $6,800 on FanDuel). Looking for a stack? The Broncos passing attack benefits going up against a Khalil Mack-less Oakland defense. Go ahead and roll Sanders out with Keenum ($5,800 on DraftKings; $6,700 on FanDuel) and pay up at other spots.

Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers

As Berry pointed out, "In nine games without Greg Olsen last season, Funchess had a 24 percent target share. In 2017, 26 of the Panthers' 40 red zone targets to WRs or TEs went to Kelvin Benjamin, Olsen and Funchess. Only one of them will play Sunday against the Falcons. ..." Yep. I'm clever enough to handle the whole process of elimination thing here. I'm also aware that Funchess is going up against a Falcons defense that lost two key defenders in last week's loss to the Eagles. Also worth noting, Funchess had 13 catches and scored once in the two meetings with Atlanta last year. He also has three TD catches in last four NFC South road games. And the price ($4,700 on DraftKings; $6,000 on FanDuel) should allow him to easily reach value and gives him ample opportunity to surpass it.

I'm Out

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden is still a little chaffed about Cooper's vanishing act in the regular-season opener against the Rams. As NBCSports.com's Scott Bair put it, "Cooper’s considered a dominant No. 1 receiver. Those guys shouldn’t disappear against anybody." But Bair went on to note that forcing throws to specific targets -- even if it's Cooper -- leads to trouble quarterback Derek Carr wants zero part of; he generally throws to the open guy. Nonetheless, Gruden insists that must change. “Coop can vertical," the coach said. "There’s no question he can get vertical.” True. But there is some question as to whether Carr and the Raiders can get him involved. Against the Rams, Cooper didn’t have many catches or opportunities. He was targeted three times with little production (while TE Jared Cook and RB Jalen Richard combined for 18 catches) -- despite creating 3.61 yards of separation per throw (eight-best in the league, according to NextGen Stats). But the light usage/low targeting is nothing new. In fact, it happened five times last year, when Cooper had less than 10 yards receiving. That included a trip to Denver, where he had one catch for nine yards. Historically, he has struggled producing in the Mile High City. In fact, Cooper has six career catches for 48 yards -- and 32 of them came on a touchdown pass from Connor Cook in the 2016 finale in a game that wasn’t close. Look, I'm not anti-Cooper, anti-Carr, anti-Gruden or anti-anything -- except anti-paying top dollar ($6,600 on DraftKings; $6,900 on FanDuel) for a guy who has fallen short of high-end production more often than not since the start of last season.