DFS Three And Out 2020 week 17
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings ($6,300 on DraftKings; $7,700 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft suggested, there might not be a more automatic matchup right now than quarterbacks going up against the Lions' defense. During the past three weeks combined, the Lions have allowed a combined 113 fantasy points to Aaron Rodgers (Week 14), Ryan Tannehill (Week 15) and Tom Brady and Blaine Gabbert (Week 16). Yes, Rodgers, Brady and Tannehill are all solid QB1s. But Cockroft notes each of these quarterbacks performed at least 7 points better than their seasonal averages in those games. But Cousins is on a roll himself, scoring well over 20 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games. That eight-game run began with a 23 point effort against these very same Lions, who according to ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld, allow the highest touchdown percentage per pass attempt in the league at 6.8 percent. With Dalvin Cook out this week, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are more than capable of helping Cousins, who has three-plus touchdown passes in four of his last six game, and the offense remain productive in this matchup.
Ty Johnson, RB, New York Jets ($4,300 on DraftKings; $5,000 on FanDuel)
Hello there target of opportunity at a great price! Injuries have opened another door for Johnson, who will lead the Jets rushing attack with Frank Gore (lung contusion) and La'Mical Perine (reserve/COVID-19 list) out against the Patriots. Josh Adams will be his backup. ... In 10 games this year, Johnson has 43 rushes for 209 yards and a touchdown. He's also hauled in 18 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Generally speaking not impressive totals. But, half of all that came in one game, in Week 13 against the Raiders. Gore left that game early due to a concussion and Johnson proceeded to run for 104 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Johnson also looked good catching passes out of the backfield in New York's Week 15 win over the Rams, totaling six grabs for 39 yards and a score. Again, this is more a target of opportunity than matchup. The Patriots run defense wasn't gashed by the Bills like they had been in recent weeks, but they're still Football Outsiders' lowest-ranked run defense in the league while allowing the 27th-most rushing yards. However, in Week 9 against the Jets, they allowed their second-best total of the season, a mere 65 rushing yards. But the Patriots could be shorthanded with key run stoppers Lawrence Guy and Ja'Whaun Bentley missing the game against the Bills and possibly unable to go against the Jets as well. Those two injuries are just the start of New England's problems as multiple players were banged up against Buffalo, including linebacker Terez Hall and run-stopping edge player Tashaun Bower could factor into this. Oh, and the price too.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Las Vegas Raiders ($5,400 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
As Profootballtalk.com noted this week, a former first-round pick, Agholor became notorious for his drops in five seasons with the Eagles. But he's turned that around in a career season with Las Vegas. Agholor is averaging 17.9 yards per reception in 2020 -- 6.7 more than his average from five seasons with Philadelphia. He's registered a career-high 839 yards receiving and tied a career high with eight touchdowns. Over his past six games, Agholor has piled up 29 total catches and three separate 20-plus point fantasy games. ESPN's Kyle Soppe points out that only 12 receivers that have more fantasy points since Week 11. Not included in those 12 names are DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen and Cooper Kupp. But ESPN's Mike Clay notes it's been hit or miss as Agholor has three games with 88-plus yards and one touchdown during that span and also three games with 54 yards and zero scores. The good news is that Agholor was targeted at least six times in all six games (8.2 per game), which along with the touchdowns and a matchup against Denver's injury-plagued cornerbacks (the Raiders scored 37 points on the Broncos in their first meeting this season) make him appealing enough here. But if that doesn't sway you, the remarkably low price should. No fewer than 44 wideouts will cost you more on FanDuel than Agholor will; that number is 35 on DraftKings.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks ($7,300 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)
The Seahawks can finish no worse than No. 3 in the NFC but they are not taking their foot off the gas in Week 17. Head coach Pete Carroll gave no indication that the team would be resting Wilson or any of the other starters against the 49ers in the season finale. Carroll noted the Seahawks plan on "going all-out again this week." That being the case, I know what you're thinking: What about Wilson's four-touchdown, 31-fantasy point outing against the 49ers in Week 8? Well, how about regression? As Fansided.com notes, the stats show Wilson has regressed in the second half of the season. At the same time, the Seahawks defense has improved. More specifically, the Seahawks gave up an average of 29.1 points-per-game in the first half of the season. During that eight-game span, Wilson's low score was 25 fantasy points and he finished six of those games with over 30 fantasy points (including a season-best 37 points twice). A sudden turnaround on defense over the last seven games has seen that average points against Seattle's defense plummet to 13.1 points per contest. Over that same span, Wilson has scored 16, 22, 16, 20, 25, 14 and 22 points. He hasn't put together a 300-yard performance since Week 9. Meanwhile, as Cockcroft pointed out, the 49ers have played considerably better defense during the month of December, including limiting another mobile quarterback in Kyler Murray to 15 fantasy points on a whopping 50 pass attempts last week. According to Cockroft, that's in large part due to strong play by cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon, who could present matchups problems for wide receiver DK Metcalf and therefore make Wilson one of the more risk/reward quarterbacks of Week 17. Wilson isn't unplayable. But I'll invest elsewhere.