DFS Three And Out 2019 week 19
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo will make his first-career postseason start on Saturday (he appeared in a 2014 playoff game with the Patriots, but played just two snaps) as the Niners take on a Vikings defense that turned in a masterful performance last Sunday against the Saints, holding New Orleans to just 324 yards. That included plenty of pressure by Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter on Drew Brees, as each player had 1.5 sacks. So it's safe to say the 49ers will continue to lean heavily on their trio running backs. But even in a run-heavy offense, Garoppolo has been solid, completing 329 of 476 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,978 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this season. His passer rating of 102.0 was a career high and ranked eighth in the NFL. As far as the receiving corps, Minnesota's focus will surely be on All-Pro tight end George Kittle, but San Francisco's aerial attack also features Samuel. The rookie has proven to be an explosive component with 57 catches for 802 yards and three scores. As NFL.com's Michael Fabiano noted this week, during the regular season, Minnesota's defense allowed 14 touchdown catches and the second-most fantasy points to perimeter receivers; they've also allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the whole. In addition, there were two occasions where they allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw three-plus touchdowns and both were on the road. They've been better of late, but Garoppolo has seven games with multiple touchdown passes including three games with four touchdown passes. So in addition to being fine playing Garoppolo ($7,800 on FanDuel; $5600 on DraftKings) in a lineup or two -- did I mention those three four-TD games? -- given the pricing, I have plenty of Samuel ($6,100 on FanDuel; $5,200 on DraftKings), who has averaged a hair over five targets per game during the regular season and had 17 catches for 279 yards and a score over the final five games of the season.
Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
As The Sporting News pointed out this week, Williams returned from a rib injury in Week 16 and clearly cemented himself as Kansas City's lead back, playing at least 60 percent of the offensive snaps in three of his last four full games and averaging 21.1 per game across those four contests. Over the final two weeks of the season, Williams totaled 35 touches (28 carries, seven receptions), 246 total yards, and three TDs, which was similar to his two-game playoff totals last year (45 touches, 250 total yards, four TDs). This week, he faces a Texans defense that, as Fabiano pointed out, allowed an average of 6.4 catches, a combined 17 total touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs during the regular season. In fact, as FantasyPros' Mike Tagliere pointed out, eight different runners have topped 75 yards over the last 8 weeks. "Most opposing lines have been able to control the trenches," Tagliere explained, "limiting the playmaking impact of the linebackers and setting up its runners for strong, efficient games." Adding to that, the Chiefs are heavy favorites and playing with a lead could translate to a run-heavy game flow. Also, I don't mind the price ($6,900 on FanDuel; $6,000 on DraftKings).
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
While Travis Kelce ($7,500 on FanDuel; $6,400 on DraftKings) and Kittle ($7,400 on FanDuel; $6,200 on DraftKings) have higher floors (and not surprisingly, prices), The Sporting News correctly contends that Andrews has just as high of a ceiling at a slightly more reasonable price ($6,800 on FanDuel; $5,600 on DraftKings). Despite a nagging ankle injury, Andrews scored seven TDs over his final seven games, twice posting multiple scores. Tagliere notes that despite not even reaching the 100-target mark, Andrews finished as the No. 5 tight end in PPR formats. The Titans really struggled with tight ends this year, as they allowed 12-of-16 tight ends to finish as top-15 options against them, including five top-five performances. Adding to that, Fabiano pointed out the Titans allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends during the regular season, not to mention the seventh-most receiving yards and the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Also, he gives players looking to get a high-end piece of Lamar Jackson ($9,400 on FanDuel; $8,400 on DraftKings) in their lineups without paying the premium to roll out the QB himself.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Look, it's a small slate. Everybody is fair game. And that includes Henry, who in case you haven't been following along at home, is very good. Even in very tough matchups. For example, Henry was responsible for 204 of the team's 272 yards from scrimmage (including 182 yards rushing) in New England while carrying the ball 32 times and catching one pass. That means the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner accounted for 75 percent of the Titans' offense against one of the league's toughest defenses. In the Super Bowl era, only two other players had a bigger share of a team's total yards in a playoff game: Eric Dickerson with 77.2 percent for the Rams against Dallas on Jan. 4, 1986, and Larry Brown with 76 percent for Washington against San Francisco on Dec. 26, 1971. He also had the second-most yards on the road in the playoffs since 1950. Only Freeman McNeil ran for more with 202 yards for the Jets at Cincinnati on Jan. 9, 1983. Henry also topped his own postseason franchise mark of 191 yards from scrimmage set in 2018 at Kansas City. Henry also ran the ball 32 times in Week 17 giving him 393 yards on 64 carries in back-to-back weeks. Henry has topped 100 rushing yards in six of his last seven games and HC Mike Vrabel is not inclined to start doing things any differently when the team gets back on the field in Baltimore. The Ravens, meanwhile, have the NFL's No. 5-ranked run defense, allowing just 93.4 yards per game. Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce clog up the middle, but there were times when Baltimore was gashed on the edges. Henry did much of his damage against the Patriots on outside runs. So now that I've built the case for playing the hell out of Henry, what's my concern here? Well, in a word: Price. Henry ($9,600 on FanDuel; $8,200 on DraftKings) isn't just the most expensive back on either of the main contest slates, he's the most expensive player period, regardless of position. That being the case, I see cheaper options like Williams, Aaron Jones ($8,200 on FanDuel; $7,400 on DraftKings) and Raheem Mostert ($6,400 on FanDuel; $5,800 on DraftKings) as strong plays with the potential to deliver more bang for the buck. So again, I'll have some shares of Henry this week, but I think it's worth noting, as Tagliere pointed out, the Ravens opponents have averaged a league-low 57.6 plays per game, and that's led to a league-low 22.3 touches per game for running backs as a team. If the Titans can't keep the Ravens offense off the field, we could be looking at limited opportunities for Henry.