DFS Three And Out 2020 week 11
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Who doesn't love mid-priced running backs with great matchups? And who doesn't want to avoid the guy with the lousy matchup?
Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers ($6,800 on DraftKings; $7,400 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft noted, Davis' struggles during his past four games filling in for Christian McCaffrey, averaging 9.3 PPR fantasy points in Weeks 6-8 and Week 10 combined, coupled with McCaffrey's 37.1-point Week 9 in his single-game return to the lineup, have rendered Davis a bit of a fantasy afterthought. But Cockroft contends that Davis' matchups over that less-than-impressive four-game run were brutal: The Bears (Week 6), Saints (Week 7), Falcons (Week 8) and Buccaneers (Week 10) rank best, sixth-best, fifth-best and fourth-best, respectively, against running backs during the past five weeks. That won't be the case this weekend. In fact, the Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs on the season and per Berry, over the past four weeks, has given up a whopping 43.2 points per game to the position -- in part thanks to having given up more rushing (13) and receiving (5) touchdowns to running backs than any team in the league.
Salvon Ahmed, RB, Miami Dolphins ($4,800 on DraftKings; $5,600 on FanDuel)
In a season of ever-shifting backfield, ESPN.com's Cameron Wolfe wrote this week, "It's hard to find a wilder fantasy merry-go-round" than the one in Miami. "And Ahmed is the back now at center stage." Wolfe went on to advise readers that Ahmed impressed coaches and teammates with his sudden burst and effective running Sunday against the Chargers, when had 21 carries for 85 yards with a TD (he added one catch for five yards. Yes, Matt Breida should return this week. But as FantasyPros' Mike Tagliere notes, even when healthy, Breida hasn't totaled more than 10 touches in a game with the Dolphins and the consensus among local observers points to Ahmed continuing as the primary back here. This week, that's a good thing. As ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld reminded readers, Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker combined for 37 carries, 193 yards and four TDs last week against the Broncos. ESPN's Matthew Berry added to that by noting the Broncos defense is giving up the second-most rushing yards per game to running backs over the past four weeks and is tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns allowed in that same stretch. That being the case, it's worth noting that Ahmed logged the most red-zone touches on the team in Week 10 and there's no path to block him from a massive snap and touch count again in Week 11.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots ($5,700 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
I desperately want to play Detroit's D'Andre Swift ($6,400 on DraftKings; $6,900 on FanDuel) here, but there's a problem. Swift was suddenly and unexpectedly placed in the concussion protocol on Thursday. I'm still playing him if he's cleared in time, but that's no guarantee (in fact, it's probably a reach). He played the vast majority the of snaps for Detroit last Sunday and came up with big play after big play, including a 15-yard touchdown reception where he used his route running and power to force his way into the end zone. He's clearly taken over as the Lions' No. 1 back in terms of total yards from scrimmage. So again, if Swift is cleared -- IF (it's a big if) he's cleared, Carolina is a generous opponent that gives up a league-high 6.6 RB catches per game and the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs. But I'm assuming the injury issue is going to force me to pivot. And for that I turn to Harris. While his limited skill set makes him a threat to be scripted out of some games, New England is a 2.5-point road favorite and Houston's defense is yielding a league-high 167.4 rushing yards per game this season. The fact that Harris is gaining yardage on nearly 89 percent of carries during the past month (putting him in Dalvin Cook territory) makes him a solid play in this one given the favorable matchup.
Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($5,900 on DraftKings; $6,700 on FanDuel)
Look. It hasn't been a horrible season for Gurley. After he was cut by the Rams, the veteran halfback quickly signed with the Falcons, giving him the chance to prove he can still be a featured back. Now Gurley is on pace for his fourth 1,000-yard season (1,038 yards). He's also on pace to set a career high with 283 carries. But, as Berry pointed out, Gurley's fantasy value relies on rushing scores and he's heading into a matchup with the Saints that will be daunting in all aspects. The New Orleans defense has allowed just 691 rushing yards this season, fewest in the NFL, just 38 rushing first downs, fewest in the NFL, and are tied for best in the NFL with an average of 3.3 yards per carry allowed and a total of just five rushing touchdowns allowed. In fact, they've allowed just three running back rushing touchdowns all season, tied for the fewest in the league. The Saints also give up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to backs on the season and over the past four weeks are giving up just 43 rushing yards per game.