DFS Three And Out 2021 week 8
Here we go. ... It's a low-priced dart-toss edition! And here you have three under-the-radar players I'm investing heavily in for tournament (GPP) play from this game this week. ... And one I'm not.
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets ($4,900 on DraftKings; $5,700 on FanDuel)
The Jets' ball is in Mike White's court this week. After his first NFL appearance, pass, completion and TD pass against the Patriots, White gets his first pro start for the injured Zach Wilson. That's noteworthy because last week Carter was White's best friend, catching all eight of his passes (on nine targets) from the backup QB for 67 yards. According to ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld, Carter ran more routes in Week 7 than any other week of the season. Running backs have averaged 9.6 targets per game against the Bengals this season, second-most in the league. To be fair, the Patriots weren't worried in the second half about checkdown and underneath completions, but the game reps for those plays will surely help the offense going forward. Carter added 37 rushing yards, enabling him to join Corey Davis as the Jets' only 100-scrimmage-yards players in a game this season.
Jamal Agnew, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,700 on DraftKings; $5,300 on FanDuel)
Yes, I'm diving deep here kids. ... Agnew, who transitioned from defensive back to receiver last season with the Lions before signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, caught a career-high five passes for 78 yards against Miami. With D.J. Chark Jr. injured, Laviska Shenault Jr. has been moved to Chark's spot at the 'X' receiver spot, Agnew has taken over in the slot. Over the last two games alone, Agnew has played 84 snaps (42 snaps per game) putting him on the field 61 percent of the time. He has never seen a role with as much volume on offense as the one he is faced with now, but he has also never played better. So there's all that. In addition, as Zeidenfeld suggested, with the Jaguars coming off a bye and Seattle on a short week, Trevor Lawrence and his offense are in a great spot to put up big numbers. And Agnew, with his 4.34 speed, will be part of it. A super-affordable part. But wait, there's more. ... Agnew, who leads the NFL with seven return touchdowns since 2017, is off to a record-breaking start to the 2021 season. He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September after becoming the first player in NFL history to have 100-plus-yard returns for touchdowns in consecutive games. After taking back a kick for a 102-yard touchdown in Week 2, Agnew tied the NFL record for the longest touchdown when he returned a missed 68-yard field goal attempt for a 109-yard score in Week 3. So yes, an added layer of goodness here. Risky goodness to be sure, but goodness nonetheless.
Tommy Sweeney, TE, Buffalo Bills ($2,900 on DraftKings; $4,300 on FanDuel)
Assuming Dawson Knox is indeed out with due to his surgically-repaired hand, Sweeney has a great matchup against a Dolphins defense that has struggled against tight ends. According to NFL.com, the Dolphins are giving up the ninth most points to tight ends over the past four weeks. As Zeidenfeld pointed out, Sweeney scored 10 times on 99 career catches during his college career, while averaging 12.9 yards per catch. According to Fansided.com's Brandon Croce, the biggest question is whether the Bills play Sweeney as much as Knox has been or if the Bills move to more four wide receiver sets until he returns from injury. Even if they do increase playing more four wide, Sweeney should see the field enough to at least be considered. ... By the way, I'm not against Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold ($2,800 on DraftKings; $4,900 on FanDuel), who has 13 targets over the last two games, in this spot either.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,000 on DraftKings; $5,900 on FanDuel)
Look, I'm dying to play Gainwell. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Facing a fantastic matchup with Miles Sanders all but officially ruled out due to an ankle injury he suffered last week, Gainwell doesn't seem all that risky on the surface, right? The Lions allow the third-most RB points per game (32). They also give up the second-most (tied) touchdowns to running backs. In addition to their other shortcoming, ESPN's Tristan Cockroft notes the Lions have been especially vulnerable to pass-catching backs. Per Cockroft, their 2.7 PPR fantasy points per target allowed to the position are by far the league's most. So what the hell is he doing here in the "Out" portion of this column? The truth is, Gainwell would be neither risky nor a dart toss -- he'd even be a must-play -- if it weren't for the presence of Boston Scott. After Sanders left late in the first quarter against the Raiders, Gainwell played on 35 snaps and ran 24 routes, catching 4 of 8 targets for 41 yards and a touchdown, while also running for 20 yards. Scott played on 23 snaps and ran 12 routes. Scott had more rushing attempts (7, compared to Gainwell's 5). As ESPN's Field Yates notes, Gainwell is the better receiver and already had a role this season, while Scott had largely been relegated to a depth-level spot within the Philadelphia offense. The team also likely activates Jordan Howard from the practice squad for this week's game against the Lions. While I believe Gainwell has the edge here, I don't know how clear-cut it is. So the contrarian stance it is: Gainwell is out for me.