DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 6

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:

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($5,900 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)

The Cardinals will keep trying to get their running game untracked, but they haven't been able to do it yet and there's no reason to think it will magically get resolved against a defense like Minnesota. That said, the Vikings can be susceptible at the linebacker position if the Cardinals can get the right matchups. The problem is, they haven't been able to get Johnson in the right situations where he can exploit slower or smaller defenders. Sunday might be their chance. Vikings LB Eric Kendricks will likely draw a lot of the responsibility for covering Johnson, whether it's stopping the run or following Johnson out of the backfield. Johnson had a slow start to the season, but Arizona has gotten him going the past two weeks with more usage. He had 20 total touches last week for 71 yards and two touchdowns. The previous week he had a season-high 22 carries and added 41 yards receiving. Minnesota has given up 18 catches for 275 yards to running backs this season. In addition, as ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld, twice this season, a running back has gotten 20-plus touches against Minnesota. Those backs averaged 141 total yards.

John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens ($5,500 on DraftKings; $6,300 on FanDuel)

My love for Brown knows no bounds. And with good reason. He's pretty amazing. He's talented. And fast. Very fast. Faster, in fact, than most everybody else on the field at any given time. So why aren't we all in love with him? The answer is simple. He hasn’t able to stay on the field in recent seasons. Remember: Brown set career highs with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns for Arizona in 2015. But his production drastically dropped the past two seasons, during which he has combined for 60 receptions for 816 yards and five touchdowns, largely due to health issues. But his arrival in Baltimore has been notable for the lack of problems associated to the sickle cell trait he carries and a cyst in his back that was an issue throughout 2017. Finally healthy, multiple observers told me in August that Brown was "dominant" in training camp. Teammates confirmed that. And his performance reflects that. Brown is the speedster in the Ravens' passing attack, and is averaging better than 20 yards per catch this season. According to the Sports Xchange, Titans CB Adoree' Jackson would seem to be the perfect cornerback to play against Brown, given that Jackson has speed, and can line up both outside and in the slot if the Titans elect to go man-to-man on the Ravens' receivers. Nonetheless, volume is a factor. Joe Flacco is ranked second in the NFL with 227 passing attempts behind Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (245) and Brown has 41 targets over the past four games. He's also tied for second on the team in red-zone targets (with three). Those red-zone targets are helpful, but with Brown's speed, they're not really necessary; he's capable of scoring from anywhere on the field at any time.

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($3,700 on DraftKings; $4,500 on FanDuel)

I mean, everybody and their brother are going to be in on Jameis Winston this week. Heck, I'll probably be one of them. ... But there's another play here. And it's Brate. And yes, this is totally a tournament "dart toss." Aside from the fact the price is right, there's more to it. As ESPN's Matthew Berry wrote, "If O.J. Howard doesn't play this week, I like Brate to be a top-10 guy, especially considering his past connection with Winston." I'm not really worried about the Howard side of this equation (the second-year man is working on a limited basis coming off a sprained MCL; at best, he'll be playing at something less than full speed). I'm more interested in the "past connection" part. In fact, over the last two seasons, only two tight ends have caught more touchdown passes than Brate: Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph. As Pewter Report's Trevor Sikkema points out, "scoring touchdowns is important -- like, really important" No doubt. Especially in this case. And there are reasons behind it. Per Zeidenfeld, Winston threw the ball to his tight ends 22.7 percent of the time last season, a rate that increased to 31.7 percent when the Buccaneers got into the red zone. In addition as ESPN's Jim McCormick pointed out, the Bucs lead the NFL so far in air yards per target by a wide margin, setting up Brate with serious upside as a threat down the seam and in the red zone.

I'm Out

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans ($7,700 on DraftKings; $9,000 on FanDuel)

Look. I love Hopkins. Seriously. ... But I'm such a cheapskate that I'm looking for reasons to spend down here. In this case, it's not that hard (as long as I erase the memory of that amazing 49-yard catch-and-run Hopkins delivered in overtime against the Cowboys last Sunday night). Okay. Yes it is. ... But one reason might be the coverage. Hopkins always draws the opposing team's best matchups and the work the wide receiver has put in this season has been something to watch. On pace for over 1,900 yards, Hopkins will have a new challenge in Tre'Davious White, who is the Bills top cover player. As ESPN's Mike Clay noted this week, White has shown well despite tough shadow assignments against Keenan Allen (eight targets, six receptions, 67 yards, zero touchdowns in that game) Stefon Diggs (10-4-17-0), Davante Adams (13-8-81-0) and Corey Davis (6-4-49-0). Despite those matchups, receivers lined up against him have been targeted on only 16 percent of their routes and are producing a terrible 0.16 fantasy points per route. Clay added: "Hopkins should be downgraded, and look for Will Fuller (vs. Phillip Gaines) and Keke Coutee (vs. Taron Johnson) to pick up the slack." Beyond that, the Texans currently rank 31st in the NFL in conversion rate in the red zone. So unless it's the deep balls, they haven't fared that well in terms of scoring. So there. I think I've almost talked myself into leaving Hopkins out of all my lineups. Okay. ... Except maybe one. But I'll have more Fuller ($6,800 on DraftKings; $7,300 on FanDuel).