DFS Three And Out 2020 week 1
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers ($7,300 on DraftKings; $8,000 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Mike Clay noted this week, Minnesota overhauled its cornerback room during the offseason, and part of the reason was because it couldn't slow down Adams. Aaron Rodgers' top option has been targeted at least eight times in each of his past five games against the Vikings, having posted receiving lines of 5-54-1, 5-69-1, 8-64-1, 13-116-0 and 7-106-0 in those outings. Yes, that's either 100-plus yards or a touchdown in five-straight games against Minnesota. Worth mentioning, Adams has averaged 11 targets a game over the last two seasons. So whether former first-round pick Mike Hughes is asked to shadow Adams, or it's a combination Hughes, Jeff Gladney and Holton Hill, expect them to struggle against Adams, who was nearly unstoppable after coming back from injury in 2019 and posted 160 yards and 138 yards, respectively, in two tough playoff matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks. ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld notes that five of the top six scoring pass-catchers against the Vikings last season came from their opponent's No. 1 option in the passing game. For what it's worth, the ownership percentages aren't unreasonable either (check our new DFS Ownership Percentages page for more on that).
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders ($6,800 on DraftKings; $8,200 on FanDuel)
As FantasyPros' Mike Tagliere put it, "The Panthers were the team you wanted to play running backs against in 2019. ..." This after they allowed a massive 5.32 yards per carry and allowed a touchdown every 14.0 carries. The resulting 31 rushing touchdowns were the most allowed in the NFL. ESPN's Matthew Berry agreed, noting the Panthers gave up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs and were league worst in both yards per carry against and yards after contract. Berry added: "Oh, and all that was with Luke Kuechly still in uniform. ..." The Panthers made an effort to fix their defense -- post Kuechly's retirement -- by drafting nothing but defensive players in April. I'm not sure that youth movement was meant to yield immediate dividends. This is a long-term fix and Jacobs, who (despite playing just 13 games and receiving the 13th-most carries) led the league in broken tackles last season. He did that while seeing at least seven defenders in the box for over 53 percent of his carries. Additional receiving threats added this offseason might make that a more difficult proposition for opposing defenses this year.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Los Angeles Chargers ($5,600 on DraftKings; $7,000 on FanDuel)
As The Sporting News notes, Taylor's flying under every radar this preseason, but he's the lowest-priced QB on the slate who's going to provide ample rushing, which gives him both a safe floor and some serious upside. They went on to remind us the Bengals were one of the worst teams against quarterbacks in 2019 (and that includes allowing the most rushing yards to the position thanks in part to facing Lamar Jackson twice). In fact, as Berry noted, Cincinnati's defense gave up the most yards per play, the most yards per completion and the sixth-most QB points allowed last year. As Fantasy Labs reminded readers, during his 2015-17 stint as the starter for the Bills, Taylor was No. 2 behind only Cam Newton with his 283 carries, 1,575 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing. With more receiving (and rushing) weapons around him than he ever had in Buffalo, Taylor should get off to a strong start -- and he'll do it at a very reasonable price.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals ($6,400 on DraftKings; $7,700 on FanDuel)
So I wanted to be kind of edgy here. Murray, a popular pick to make a huge second-year leap, dominated the Niners -- he scored 23 against them in Week 9 and 26 against them in Week 11 -- last season. And as good as the Niners are defensively, Fantasy Labs points out they are susceptible to running quarterbacks. Murray ranked No. 3 at the position with 5.8 carries and 1.2 red-zone carries per game. So this seems at least a little edgy. First of all, it's fair to wonder if Murray can reach that level of success a third time in a row. As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft points out, the 49ers boast one of the top defenses, in large part thanks to the league's best pass rush, which is a problem if you consider Murray's 39.8 passer rating when under duress last season was 30th best out of 32 qualified quarterbacks. So Murray probably has a reasonable floor thanks to his mobility. He also has DeAndre Hopkins on board to throw to. But as Cockroft added, the 49ers' cornerback situation improved in a big way last season with Richard Sherman's play. Our own Gary Davenport suggested in this week's The Shadow Knows it's not that hard to imagine Kliff Kingsbury looking to scheme Hopkins in early. But Davenport added Sherman's one touchdown pass allowed last year also wasn't the only reason that San Francisco was a bottom-10 matchup for fantasy receivers in 2019. Given all that, a reasonable floor isn't what I'm looking for in tournament play.