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DFS Three And Out 2018 Week 9
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Aaron Jones RB, Green Bay Packers ($4,400 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry as a rookie and has been even better this season. He enters Sunday's game with an NFL-best 6.2-yard average. In last week's loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Jones finally took over as Green Bay's No. 1 ball-carrier. He took advantage of his 12 carries to gain 86 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown. I'm going out on a limb and say Jones finally took over as Green Bay's No. 1 ball-carrier against the Rams. He can give the Packers needed balance so Patriots head coach Bill Belichick can't just tee off on quarterback Aaron Rodgers Sunday night. Oh yeah, and the departure Ty Montgomery means less dilution of workload, something that should further boost Jones -- or at least bolster his floor even with Jamaal Williams chipping in.
Courtland Sutton ($3,900 on DraftKings; $5,500 on FanDuel)
Opportunity knocks! Not just for the rookie receiver, but also for those of us looking to roll out cheap options with great upside in our GPP lineups. Yes, Sutton will be under a great deal of scrutiny as he takes his first step in filling the shoes of star wideout Demaryius Thomas, who was traded by Denver to the Texans earlier this week. But Sutton, a second-round pick in this year's draft is the reason Thomas is gone. The newcomer's big-play capability was a major factor in the Broncos' willingness to part ways with Thomas. Sutton has 17 catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns in eight games with one start. He is averaging 19.1 yards per reception and has shown an ability to get open downfield for big gainers. Now, the time has come for him to show he can be productive on a down-after-down basis. As ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld pointed out, Sutton had seen 13.6 percent of Denver's targets and 13.9 percent of their red zone targets with Thomas around. Combine the expected increase in workload with the matchup against the Texans, who come to town with the fifth-worst red zone defense, and you likely won't be alone in buying into Sutton. But the returns should still be delightful. As Zeidenfeld summed up, "This is as close to a must-play in DFS as you can have."
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2,600 on DraftKings; $4,400 on FanDuel)
As the Sports Xchange noted this week, the Panthers have been opportunistic in the secondary, particularly with safety Mike Adams, who made his 30th career interception last week. He leads all active NFL players with 46 career takeaways. Still, last week against Baltimore, seven of the Ravens' 26 receptions went to tight ends. After three consecutive games with a touchdown catch, Brate has only four total receptions (and none for touchdowns) in the past two games. In Brate's last 18 games, his 64-yard outing against the Panthers in October 2017 was his biggest yardage game. That came on four catches, though he was limited to 13 yards on three catches in the 2017 rematch. While I like Brate this week due to his super-low price, you could easily make the same argument for O.J Howard here. He is a tough matchup for any linebacker in the passing game. And the former Alabama star has thrived with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback this season. Two of his three TDs came with Fitzpatrick under center. Whichever you prefer -- I'm a cheapskate, but Howard isn't over-priced ($4,300 on DraftKings; $6,000 on FanDuel), there's hay to be made here. As ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockcroft pointed out, in the past three weeks, the Panthers have allowed 79.2 PPR fantasy points to opposing tight ends, 10 points more than any other team.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($4,800 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel)
The Falcons say they'll continue to be committed to the run. As the Sports Xchange notes, that has been the case the last two weeks, both wins. Even if the ground game doesn't produce copious yardage, head coach Dan Quinn says the club will keep running. The ground game remains an integral part of the strategy, even though it ranks No. 30 in the NFL. But running the ball will be challenging this week against a Washington defense that ranks second in the NFL against the run, allowing just 80.1 yards per game. Washington's defense stoned Carolina, Dallas and the New York Giants the past three games. All three teams can run the ball. None of them could against the Redskins' stout front, led by defensive linemen Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen plus inside linebackers Mason Foster and Zach Brown. As ESPN's Matthew Berry pointed out, nobody (including Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey) has run for more than 61 yards against Washington this season. So while Atlanta has gotten a modicum of success from Coleman, who averaged 3.5 yards per carry against the Bucs and 4.5 yards against the Giants in the last two games, Coleman hasn't run for more than 51 yards since his 107-yard outing in Week 2. Ito Smith's work in scoring situations adds to my concern here. So go ahead and pivot to Jones, or Cleveland's Nick Chubb ($4,500 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel) or Seattle's Chris Carson ($4,700 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel) -- all cheaper options this week -- and avoid another stoning by Washington's defense.