DFS Three And Out 2021 week 16
Christmas is upon us and in the holiday spirit, I have three DFS Tournament gifts. And one lump of coal.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs ($5,800 on DraftKings; $6,500 on FanDuel)
Okay. ... I'm starting to feel like this is getting too obvious. But it's obvious for a reason: Picking on the Steelers is a winning strategy. More specifically, picking on the Steelers' run defense -- the one giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs -- makes perfect sense. On the season Pittsburgh is giving up 30 points per game to the position. Better still, they've been getting progressively worse. Over the last six games, they've given up an average of 36 points per game; over the last four weeks, that number has gone up to 40 points per game. So, even with a split backfield, there's room for all involved to produce. As ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft pointed out, the Titans, a team that like the Chiefs, utilizes a backfield committee to some degree, saw D'Onta Foreman (featured in this space last week) score 15 PPR fantasy points, Dontrell Hilliard score 9 points and Jeremy McNichols score 8 points against this defense. Edwards-Helaire is sharing with Darrell Williams, but William has five or fewer carries in each of the last four games. Meanwhile, Edwards-Helaire, who ran for a pair of touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 14, came up short last in a positive matchup last week. That might be enough to get folks to back off on him a bit. Given the possibility Kansas City will be without a pair of top playmakers (Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are both on reserve/COVID), the matchup and personnel issues could open the door to more prime opportunities in this one -- and the price is definitely right.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens ($7,000 on DraftKings; $8,000 on FanDuel)
As ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld wrote this week, "It's tough for either a wide receiver or a running back to 'break a slate' due to the spread between the highest-scoring and the fifth-highest scoring option at their respective positions. It's not as hard for a tight end to provide massive leverage in tournaments, as so few have the ability to score 25-plus points in a single game." That's even more true this week than most as George Kittle played Thursday night and, as mentioned above, with Kelce's status for Sunday up in the air. Beyond that, Craig Williams of The Sporting News pointed out that not only have the Bengals been friendly against tight ends, but Andrews has also 21 targets, three touchdowns with multiple end-zone targets in three of his last four games, and a pair of 30-plus DraftKings-point performances over the past two weeks. Better still, Andrews has proven to be quarterback proof in that it doesn't matter whether Lamar Jackson (ankle) or Tyler Huntley is under center.
Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,900 on DraftKings; $7,000 on FanDuel)
He's back. At least it appears he's back and if he is, I want some. As Williams acknowledged, Brown will have some rust to knock off after his long layoff, but he's likely to serve as Tom Brady's top target (alongside Rob Gronkowski) with Chris Godwin (knee) and Leonard Fournette (hamstring) certainly out -- and Mike Evans (hamstring) at less than full speed if he plays at all. As for the possible rust, remember Brown's first game with Brady as a Patriot back in September of 2019? During a 43-0 victory for New England, Brady threw early and often his new wideout. Brown played 25-of-64 snaps and corralled 4-of-8 catches for 56 yards and one touchdown. Brown led the team in targets, catches and yards. It's safe to say the connection between the two has grown over time. So even coming off an absence, I'm all in here. As FantasyPros pointed out, before Brown's ankle injury, he was the WR7 in fantasy points per game, averaging 16 per game. Even with Godwin and Evans both in the mix, Brown was averaging 8.4 targets per game. Combine those opportunities with a determined Brady coming off his first shutout in 15 years, and I see upside here.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills ($7,600 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)
As ESPN's Mike Clay noted, a week after being slowed by former Patriots' No. 1 corner Stephon Gilmore, Diggs will face off with current Patriots' No. 1 corner J.C. Jackson for the second time in three games. When these teams met in Week 13, Jackson shadowed Diggs on 24 of his 31 routes, including 22-of-27 on the perimeter and two of four in the slot. Granted, the windy conditions made life tough on Buffalo's pass game, but Diggs was limited to a four-catch, 51-yard receiving line on seven targets. New England has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, including the fewest over the past eight and four weeks. Against, Gilmore and the Panthers, Diggs has just four catches for 35 yards, but he was able to save his fantasy day by finding the end zone. Lately, as FantasyPros suggested, Diggs has needed that touchdown to be able to vault him up the fantasy rankings. He'll need more than that to justify his price in tournament play.