DFS Three And Out 2020 week 9
Three DFS players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($4,900 on DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld put it, "There is a debate to be had on exactly how many carries Jackson will get this week, but I'm willing to take the risk (at this price). ..." That's a reasonable approach. Also reasonable to expect Jackson to get ample opportunities. As FantasyPros' Mike Tagliere suggested, with Jackson healthy throughout the week, we saw this split return to the way it should be, as Jackson led the running backs with 41 snaps and 22 opportunities, while Joshua Kelley played just 21 snaps and had eight opportunities. In fact, Troymaine Pope out-snapped and out-touched Kelley in a game that was close throughout. Jackson is the clear starter here while Pope and Kelley battle for backup reps (and Pope is in the concussion protocol). Even if Kelley gets some run, Jackson's passing game usage has been very solid in the absence of Austin Ekeler. And, as Zeidenfeld pointed out, the Raiders have been very friendly to opposing running backs, allowing 9.1 targets per game to the position, third-most in the league, and the second-most points per opportunity. Beyond that, running backs are scoring on 5.9 percent of carries against the Raiders.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins ($4,100 on DraftKings; $5,100 on FanDuel)
Tua Tagovailoa's first start for the Dolphins didn't set the world on fire. The Dolphins kept things conservative on offense early, dialed things back even further once they went up 28-7 on the Rams and wound up 28-17 winners in Tagovailoa's debut. Tagovailoa went 12-of-23 for 93 yards, a touchdown and a lost fumble on a sack. Neither impressive nor receiver-friendly. But as ESPN's Mike Clay notes, Miami is unlikely to be nursing big leads most of the time, so there will be more passing volume in this offense. Perhaps starting this weekend while facing a high-powered Arizona offense led by the explosive, dynamic Kyler Murray. While DeVante Parker, who caught Tua's lone TD pass last week, has struggled in general this season, he'll see a lot of Patrick Peterson. So, if you're looking for the cheaper option -- and I always am, Williams will see a fair amount of Dre Kirkpatrick, who has really struggled opposite Peterson and has had a big hand in Arizona's allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to wideouts over the past month (fourth most to the perimeter where Williams works). For what it's worth, John Brown ($4,600 on DraftKings; $5,500 on FanDuel), going up against that generous Seahawks pass defense would have been my choice this week if his knee wasn't an issue again (Brown was held out of Wednesday's practice before working fully Thursday; let your own risk tolerance levels guide you.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos ($4,600 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft wrote, "It's hardly a recent trend that the Falcons have struggled to contain opposing tight ends. ..." That is true. It's a season-long trend. In fact, the Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to the position than any other team in the NFL. That includes an average of a touchdown per game to opposing tight ends. As Cockroft nots, the Falcons have been responsible for allowing Robert Tonyan (33 PPR points in Week 4), Jimmy Graham (24, Week 3) and Dalton Schultz (21, Week 2) to post season bests against them. In fact, Tagliere notes that every starting tight end not named Ian Thomas has produced at least 55 yards and/or a touchdown against the Falcons, including Tonyan, Graham, Schultz, Greg Olsen and Irv Smith. "That's hardly an elite collection of tight ends," Tagliere added. Worried about Albert Okwuegbunam? Tagliere points out that after a strong two-week run (while Fant missed Week 6 with an ankle injury and was working his way back up to speed Week 7), Fant played well ahead of him last week, running 33 routes and drawing nine targets (yes, Albert O's lone target went for a touchdown, but he only ran 12 routes all game). In the end, I'm with Cockroft, who summed up: "With a matchup like this, (Fant) has a legitimate chance to exceed his season-best 19 points of Week 1." By the way, Drew Lock ($5,200 on DraftKings; $7,200 on FanDuel) is in a pretty good position here, too. Feel free to stack.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens ($6,900 on DraftKings; $8,100 on FanDuel)
I know this will come as no surprise to season-long players who invested in Jackson, but he's not as good this year as he was in 2019. As Profootballtalk.com's Michael David Smith notes, Jackson's stats are down across the board, both passing and running. Jackson averaged 7.8 yards per pass in 2019. He averages 7.1 yards per pass in 2020. Jackson completed 66.1 percent of his passes in 2019. He's completing 60.5 percent of his passes in 2020. Jackson threw for an NFL-best 36 touchdown passes and threw for touchdowns on 9 percent of his passes last season. This season he has thrown just 12 touchdown passes and is throwing touchdowns on 6.3 percent of his passes. Jackson averaged 80.4 rushing yards per game, 6.9 yards per carry and a first down on 40 percent of his rushes last season. Jackson is averaging 58.7 rushing yards per game 6.2 yards per carry and a first down on 27 percent of his rushes this season. ... There's more, but you get the idea. Also, the Colts have a pretty good defense. They blitz on 11.3 percent of drop-backs, per Pro-Football-Reference, last in the league. They nonetheless rank eighth in pass defense and allow just 5.9 yards per attempt. The Baltimore Sun notes that Darius Leonard ranks among the best pass covering linebackers in football and cornerback Xavier Rhodes has made three of the past four Pro Bowls. Defensive end DeForest Buckner (13 quarterback hits) is the Colts' most effective pass rusher, though defensive end Denico Autry leads the team with four sacks. As Cockroft noted, the Colts haven't faced a lot in the way of mobile quarterbacks this season, certainly none of Jackson's caliber, and the two they did face -- Gardner Minshew (20 points, Week 1) and Joe Burrow (16, Week 6) -- had respectable performances. "Still," Cockroft added, "Jackson has struggled to find his rhythm throwing the football this season, and this doesn't seem like the right matchup with which to find it."