DFS Three And Out 2019 week 10
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
So I've done a "quarterback-only" edition in Week 6 and a "reasonably-priced WR-palooza" edition in Week 8. Here we are in Week 10, so how about another theme? This week: It's a "For ALL The Money Edition" of the Three And Out!
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Last week, the Ravens took on the 8-0 Patriots and there was considerable consternation among both season-long and DFS investors when it came to Jackson. Turns out our fears weren't all that well-founded. Well, they might have been well-founded, but they went for naught. As ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley put it, "Before a national television audience, the Ravens stomped the undefeated and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 37-20 on the strength of Jackson's elusiveness, a punishing running game and an opportunistic defense." Jackson ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. He finished with 224 yards of total offense, throwing for 163 yards and rushing for 61. The Ravens scored four offensive touchdowns against a New England defense that had allowed four offensive touchdowns in its first eight games. Baltimore scored 37 points against a team that hadn't allowed more than 14 in a game this season. Meanwhile, the 0-8 Bengals won't be mistaken for the Patriots. ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld pointed out that running backs are priced up this week, so paying up for QBs in cash games is difficult. But that's less so in tournament play. "Jackson has been a monster this season and is the quarterback equivalent to Christian McCaffrey in this sense," Zeidenfeld added. "You're getting both a good quarterback and a good running back but only taking up a single roster slot. Since Week 5, he leads the Ravens in carries per game (15.8, Mark Ingram: 14.8) and lit up the Bengals in Week 6 for 33.64 DraftKings points." Jackson has more rushing yards (637) by himself than the entire Bengals' roster does this season (476). And that rushing ability also plays into one of the Bengals' greatest weaknesses. Jackson racked up 152 yards and a touchdown on the ground against them in Week 6, while Kyler Murray ran for 93 yards and a touchdown in Week 5. Beyond that, as FantasyPro's Mike Tagliere pointed out, both Gardner Minshew and Josh Allen also totaled more than 45 yards on the ground. I won't have any problem finding some bargain-basement players that will give me the flexibility to roll out Jackson ($8,600 on FanDuel; $7,300 on DraftKings), the most expensive QB on the Sunday slate, in multiple lineups this weekend.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
I get it, Barkley hasn't been all that so far this season. Tagliere points out the second-year back has yet to finish as a top-three running back in any game, and we're now past the halfway point of the season. Tagliere added, "On 87 carries, he has just three that have gone for 15-plus yards, or one every 29.0 carries. That mark was once every 13.1 carries in 2018." Still, as NFL.com's Michael Florio contends, his volume is as safe as it gets. Against the Cowboys this past week, he the only Giants back with a carry and he tied for a team high eight targets and six receptions and led the Giants with 67 receiving yards. And that volume will make a difference against the Jets this weekend. Per Tagliere, five running backs have totaled more than 15 touches against the Jets, and every one of them finished in the top-10 at the position, including Rex Burkhead. In Barkley's case, his role in the passing attack will be key. Even though he's played just six games this year, he ranks top-10 in routes run among running backs. The Jets, meanwhile, have allowed the fourth-most catches to opposing running backs this season on a per-game basis. Also, as Zeidenfeld pointed out, Barkley leads the Giants with 23 red-zone opportunities this season (18 carries, five targets), while the Jets bring into this game the fourth-worst red-zone defense in the league, allowing a touchdown on 65.4 percent of red-zone trips. Sorry Jets. Barkley ($8,600 on FanDuel; $8,800 on DraftKings) is due.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
You could make a strong argument for playing Thomas every single week. You can make a slightly stronger one this week. As ESPN's Mike Clay notes, Atlanta has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including the fifth most to the perimeter and 12th most to the slot. The Falcons have been especially bad at right corner, which is where Isaiah Oliver aligns 85 percent of the time. The second-year cornerback has surrendered 0.56 fantasy points per coverage snap and Atlanta is allowing the third-most fantasy points to that spot. That is where Thomas has aligned on 44 percent of his routes this season. Beyond that, Zeidenfeld points out the Falcons have second-worst red zone defense in the NFL, allowing a touchdown on 68.8 percent of red-zone trips. As much as a wideout can be, Thomas is a volume play. Per Zeidenfeld, Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater have targeted him 34.3 percent of the time when they're not pressured (versus 22.5 percent when pressured) and Atlanta creates the least pressure of any team in the league. Also, Thomas has had his way with Atlanta throughout his career, having caught 45 of 59 targets for 577 yards and three touchdowns in six games. Volume and production. Well worth the price of admission -- even if he's the highest-priced receiver ($8,700 on FanDuel; $8,300 on DraftKings) on both major sites for the Sunday slate.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
As ESPN's Field Yates pointed out, contrary to early-season forecasts, the Steelers defense is good. As a matter of fact, the Steelers are giving up only 18 points per game since Week 3, seventh best in the NFL, are fifth in the NFL in sacks, third in the NFL in interceptions and playing with extreme confidence. ESPN.com's Tristan Cockcroft chimed in by noting that since surrendering 24-plus points to Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to begin the season, the Steelers haven't afforded more than 15.3 fantasy points -- that a relief effort by Brian Hoyer just this past week -- with the group averaging 11.4 points with horrible 9-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Meanwhile, a list of all quarterbacks with at least three passing touchdowns in a game this season goes 29 deep, but does not include Goff. Yates added that Goff isn't great on the road. He's averaging just 14.7 fantasy points per away game since the start of 2018, compared to 22.0 points per game at home. He has completed just 57.4 percent of his passes in his past four games and will be without Brandin Cooks, suggesting this is a limited-ceiling game for Goff. Cockcroft did point out the wild card in this matchup is slot receiver Cooper Kupp, who as a result of the Steelers' tendency to stick their weakest cover corner (Mike Hilton) on the slot gains the most favorable individual matchup on the Rams' side, but every other factor seems stacked against Goff and the Rams' passing game. So I ain't paying the freight ($8,100 on FanDuel; $6,200 on DraftKings) on this one.