DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 5

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:

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

So I want a piece of the Falcons-Steelers game. Heck, I want multiple pieces. But it's safe to say I'm not alone. It's equally safe to say guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Calvin Ridley will be in many a lineup. So how about a guy whose production has fallen off since his 135-yard Week 1 showing? A guy who might have disappointed both season-long owners and DFS players over the three games since. A guy who's rushed for just 97 yards on 32 carries over that three-game span -- with 36 of those yards coming on two late-game rushes Week 3 in Tampa Bay? Yeah! That guy! Sunday might afford an opportunity for Conner to turn things around. As the Action Network noted, the Falcons are already without Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. Now defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (ankle), PFF's No. 18 interior defender this season, isn't expected to play on Sunday. Meanwhile, Conner's 6.0 targets per game ranks third on the team, and the Falcons have allowed a league-high 42 receptions per game to opposing backfields through four games. Conner has yet to see less than five targets in a game this season. Better still, his string of mediocre play has kept Conner's price ($7,500 on DraftKings; $7,800 on FanDuel) fairly reasonable, especially for a guy who as ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld pointed out this week, has had either 20 touches or a touchdown in 3-of-4 games this season and one going up against the league's most generous defense when it comes to opposing running backs.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Again, I want a piece of that Falcons-Steelers game. That being the case, how can you not like both QBs in a contest with an over/under of 58 points? Well, how about if you're a cheapskate, like me? And sadly, both Big Ben and Ryan are priced accordingly. You know who's not priced like that? Bortles isn't. ... I know, it doesn't have as gaudy an over/under as the Falcons-Steelers, but the Jaguars offense will be without Leonard Fournette for the third time in five games this year and that will put more emphasis on the passing game. It happened last Sunday when the Jaguars had seven more passing plays than running attempts once Fournette was out of the lineup. This week, it happens against the Chiefs. The same Chiefs who are coming off a short week. The Chiefs with a defense that's allowing 343 passing yards and two TDs per game to opposing quarterbacks (including 424 yards and three touchdowns to Philip Rivers and 452 yards and three touchdowns to Roethlisberger). As Zeidenfeld notes, that translates to 28.82 DraftKings points per game -- most in the league. In fact, as CBSSports.com pointed out, Bortles has been a strong NFL DFS pick multiple times this season, returning over 5x value on DraftKings twice already. So yeah. Bortles for me. The price ($5,500 on DraftKings; $7,000 on FanDuel) is right for a player who has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for an average of 341.5 yards in the last six games in which Jacksonville has scored 20-plus points (the Chiefs are giving up 28.75 points per game). Want to stack him? Feel free. Keelan Cole ($4,900 on DraftKings; $5,700 on FanDuel), Dede Westbrook ($4,700 on DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel), Donte Moncrief ($4,100 on DraftKings; $5,500 on FanDuel) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($2,900 on DraftKings; $4,600 on FanDuel) are all possibilities. But don't overlook T.J. Yeldon. Last week against the Jets with Fournette sidelined, Yeldon had 100 total yards and a pair of touchdowns (including a touchdown catch) on 21 touches. With the Chiefs giving up the second-most fantasy points to running backs, you could do worse. And one more time, the price for Yeldon ($5,600 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel) is right.

Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

As the Sports Xchange pointed out this week, Jones has had his way with the Packers since signing with the Lions in 2016. In four games against the Packers over the last two years, Jones has 469 yards and five touchdowns. He's gotten off to a bit of a slow start this year - his 15 catches rank fourth on the team, behind Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and running back Theo Riddick - but he's still the Lions' top deep threat and he's facing a Packers defense that's struggled on the deep throws. As ESPN's Matthew Berry pointed out, Jones, who has an advantage over every Packers cornerback, has eight targets at least 20 yards downfield, tied for the sixth most in the NFL. The Packers have allowed eight such completions this season, tied for the sixth most. Jones ($4,700 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel) leads the NFL with 10 end zone targets while all other Lions have a total of two.

I'm Out

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

I know, I know. ... Rodgers is 6-2 in games at Detroit's Ford Field, with one of those losses coming in 2010, when he suffered a concussion early in the game. He's thrown 17 touchdowns against three interceptions with a 108.8 passer rating. He's coming off a 22-0 win over the Bills in which the Packers gained 423 yards but managed only two touchdowns -- much to Rodgers' chagrin. Five drops and Rodgers' two turnovers were reasons for the quarterback's unhappiness, but so was how "the plan" utilized top receiver Davante Adams. Adams caught eight passes and Rodgers targeted him 14 times; Rodgers said Adams was winning so often that "the plan" should have put Adams in position for 20 targets. Normally, under similar circumstances, I'd be all over Rodgers. This time? Nah. Not so much. ... In addition to Adams turning up with a strained calf Wednesday (that sidelined him for Thursday's practice), the team's other starting receivers, Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, are also ailing. Cobb missed the Buffalo game with a hamstring injury and Allison dropped out of the game with a concussion. So Rodgers might find himself reliant on a less-than-full speed Adams, who will be going up against Lions shutdown corner Darius Slay (who led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed last season) and a trio of rookies in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, J'Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown. As ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky noted, if the three rookie receivers have to play extensively at Detroit, it will come less than two months after Rodgers ripped the group in training camp following a substandard practice. And by the way, Rodgers is still working his way back from a knee sprain. All that and Rodgers is still cheaper than just five QBs on DraftKings and three on FanDuel. Nah.