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DFS Three And Out 2021 week 5
It's a special QB-only edition! Here are three DFS QBs I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play this week. ... And one I'm not.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($7,000 on DraftKings; $8,100 on FanDuel)
Hurts has had two strong games -- against the Chiefs and Falcons -- to go with two down games against the Cowboys and 49ers. But even when he's been bad, he's been pretty good. In fact, as ESPN's Matthew Berry notes, "[Hurts] has scored more than 20 fantasy points in every start this season. Even when he has looked terrible, he has scored more than 20 points." And, Berry contends, he'll do it again this week against a Carolina defense allowing touchdown passes at the sixth-highest rate this season. I know what you're thinking: Carolina's defense has been surprisingly good this year. They certainly started out that way. But as ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld suggested, some of that early success could have been a mirage, though, based on their strength of schedule for the first three weeks. Whatever the case, the defense clearly faltered against the Cowboys. Beyond that, Zeidenfeld notes the Panthers have allowed a touchdown on every single drive in which their opponents have reached the red zone, compared to the NFL average of 62.1 percent. The Eagles are passing the ball way more than expected with Hurts at quarterback -- over 32 attempts per game. Combine that with his eight-plus rushing attempts per game and there is upside here. Huge upside and a great floor.
Kirk Cousins, QB, and Minnesota Vikings ($6,500 on DraftKings; $7,500 on FanDuel)
Last week was not great. In fact, it was pretty bad as Cousins tossed his first interception of the season and failed to throw multiple touchdowns for the first time this year. Safe to say this had something to do with a Cleveland defense that has been stifling. After two weeks of having a clean pocket and finding open receivers, Cousins dealt with immediate pressure from Myles Garrett and the Browns' pass rush. He was sacked twice and didn't have the time to survey the field he had in the previous two games. He should find the going easier this week. Per Zeidenfeld, the Lions are allowing 6.6 yards per play, which is the second-most in the league. They're yielding a league-high 10.6 yards per pass attempt. Cousins has thrown at least three touchdown passes in four of his past five games against the Lions -- including in both games against them last year. To recap: Cousins has thrown nine TD passes against one interception with a 68.8 percent completion rate and a passer rating of 105.6. He has high-end downfield weapons in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and a rushing attack that might not be at full speed with Dalvin Cook still dealing with an ankle issue.
Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($5,700 on DraftKings; $6,900 on FanDuel)
It appears Lance will get the start against the Cardinals with Jimmy Garoppolo unable to practice through Thursday due to the calf injury he suffered last Sunday. Lance completed 9-of-18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Garoppolo, who left just before halftime, for a passer rating of 117.1. Lance also rushed for 41 yards on seven carries and scored a two-point conversion. As USA Today suggested, he was inaccurate and indecisive with his throws at times, which led to maybe more scrambling than the 49ers might've liked. But a full week of preparation as the starter should help him settle against Arizona, and his athleticism and big arm should serve him well. Adding to that, Kyle Shanahan will have a full week to create a game plan to maximize Lance's mobility and strengths. The appeal here should be obvious: A play-making quarterback with some impressive downfield weapons in an anticipated shootout (with a 50.5 point over/under). Yes, both QBs in this game fit that bill. But one is the most expensive quarterback available on the slate, the other is not. I love Kyler Murray, but the price is right for Lance. One last point: The rookie scored 19 points in a half last week. And as Berry pointed out, 27.8 percent of his passes last week went for 15-plus yards (the league average is 19.8 percent).
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers ($6,800 on DraftKings; $7,700 on FanDuel)
I know. This kid is good. He's really good. Herbert has 10 300-yard passing games through his first 19 starts. He is tied with Patrick Mahomes and Dan Marino for most 300-yard games through two seasons. Herbert has thrown a league-leading 13 touchdown passes in October since last season. Over the last two weeks, Herbert has thrown for 503 yards and seven touchdowns to just zero interceptions. As FantasyPros notes, however, Herbert has taken advantage of some plus matchups. He doesn't get one of those this week going up against a Cleveland Browns defense that is currently third in Football Outsiders' Total DVOA. The Browns are allowing just 208.8 passing yards per game so far and only 1.5 passing touchdowns per contest. As noted above, Cousins had his least productive day of the season against them -- to which Justin Fields and the Bears would say "Hold our collective beer" after being held to just 47 yards of total offense two weeks ago in Cleveland. No, you're not sitting him in season-long fantasy. But I'm not paying up in DFS and I'm definitely not expecting the kind of upside I'm going to need in GPPs.