DFS Three And Out 2021 week 9
Hey! What do you say we throw some money around this week? That's right! I'm spending up this week. Here are three higher-priced plays I'll be investing in for tournament (GPP) play from this game this week. ... And one I'm not.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills ($8,200 on DraftKings; $9,000 on FanDuel)
In case you missed it, Allen is scoring at an impressive rate to this point in his career. His 112 combined TDs passing and rushing (not including one receiving) ties Johnny Unitas and Deshaun Watson for third-most by a quarterback through his first 50 games. Only Mahomes (135) and Dan Marino (118) had more over the same span. His play so far this season reflects that level of production. He's completed 65.4% of his passes for 1,972 yards, with 17 touchdown passes and three interceptions. He's also tied for the team lead with three rushing touchdowns. If you're looking for a prime example of his rushing equity, look no further than last week when Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combining for 47 yards on 15 carries against a Dolphins defense that struggles to stop opposing running backs. Even with that favorable matchup for Singletary and Moss, the ground game was spearheaded by Allen, who finished with 55 yards rushing and a touchdown to handily outgain the two halfbacks combined. As Pat Fitzmaurice of FantasyPros noted, Allen's last three weekly fantasy finishes -- QB4, QB1 and QB1 -- also reflect that as does his 32 fantasy points-per-game average over the last five games. This week, he goes up against a Jacksonville pass defense that ranks last in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric and last in opponent passer rating. As Fitzmaurice points out, the Jaguars have allowed foes to complete 74.0% of their passes and average 8.9 yards per pass attempt. Better still, as ESPN.com's Al Zeidenfeld notes, Buffalo has an implied team total of 31.5 points, which is the highest on the slate by almost two full points. Zeidenfeld added that Jacksonville allows the third-most red zone drives per game and the third-highest completion percentage on deep passes. There's so much to like here -- even at the exorbitant cost.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($7,000 on DraftKings; $8,200 on FanDuel)
Just like they do in season-long fantasy, opportunities matter. As Jamie Calandro noted in this weeks' Best DraftKings Cash Plays, "Over the last five games, Elliott has logged touch counts of 20, 24, 23, 20, and 20," numbers that tend to yield solid totals. But what about Tony Pollard? As Zeidenfeld pointed out, against the Vikings last Sunday, Elliott saw a 52-17 snap edge over Pollard. Better still, over the last two games Zeke has drawn 15 pass targets. So we can check the opportunity box. While we're at it, go ahead and check the matchup box. One of the perennial league-leaders in terms of inside-the-5 carries, Elliott goes up against a struggling Denver defense that Calandro notes is "absolutely decimated on all fronts." Bradley Chubb, Bryce Callahan, AJ Johnson and Josey Jewell are all out with injury while Von Miller was traded away to the Rams. The Broncos' run defense ranks 26th in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric and, as Fitzmaurice pointed out, made Browns third-stringer D'Ernest Johnson look like a star two weeks ago. As Calandro summed up: "It's possible that Dallas' team total of 29.5 is too low here and Zeke promises to be a huge factor." I'm counting on that in my tournament lineups as well while enjoying a slight discount on DraftKings this week. Thanks DraftKings!
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens ($6,000 on DraftKings; $7,700 on FanDuel)
As FanDuel's Larry Rupp pointed out this week, the Ravens are passing the ball at a much higher rate this season than in the past. In fact, Baltimore is averaging the ninth-most passing yards per game in the NFL (268.1 yards per game). Brown is cashing in on that. He's drawn 29 targets over his last three games and turned them into 18 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns. As Fitzmaurice acknowledged, Brown has had some problems with drops this season, but that doesn't bother me. The upside is huge here. As Zeidenfeld wrote, "What many don't realize is that Brown is currently tied for the league-lead (9) in end-zone targets. He's no longer a player who is 'boom or bust' as evidenced by the fact he's had five-plus targets in every game this year -- and seven-plus in half of the Ravens' first eight contests." A reliable workload combined with is explosive play-making ability means Brown suddenly offers a more stable floor, along with what Zeidenfeld calls "slate-breaking upside" due to the weekly possibility of multiple touchdowns. Going up against a Vikings' defense that's allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, and, as SI.com's Michael Fabiano reminded his readers, allowed both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb to go over 100 yards against them last week with Cooper Rush under center. With all due respect to Rush, he's no Lamar Jackson.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,000 on DraftKings; $7,800 on FanDuel)
Let me start by acknowledging this one could blow up in my face, but Kelce has scored just once in the past six games (he has no touchdowns in the last three games) and twice failed to gain more than 30 yards in a game. It's been five weeks since he hit posted 100 receiving yards. He dropped a few passes last week against the Giants and wasn't a factor in the win with only four catches for 27 yards. I don't think this is totally Kelce related. Fitzmaurice points out the veteran tight end is averaging 9.0 targets this season, which is basically in line with his target averages since he began his streak of five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2016. But Patrick Mahomes and the offense in general have been off. As ArrowheadPride.com's Tom Childs put it, "There's no question Mahomes is coming off the worst two-game stretch of his career. And four-game stretch. And half-season. ..." It's a fair point. Childs went on to note all the turnovers -- primarily 10 interceptions -- have distracted from Kansas City averaging 5.0 yards per play or fewer in three of the last four games. For reference: The Jets and Lions average 5.0 yards per play. Adding to the woes, Zeidenfeld notes that after having led the Chiefs for the past two seasons, Kelce has not logged a single end-zone target in 2021. That could change. It probably will change. I don't need to pay up to see it change. There are plenty of other fish in the tight end sea.