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DFS Three And Out 2022 Divisional Weekend week 20
It's the Divisional Playoffs. As the player pool gets increasingly shallow, it's harder to differentiate. So as the challenge gets greater, I start seeing players I might not have been so keen on in the regular season as top plays this weekend. I have three of those this week. I've also come up with the harder part: Finding somebody to dial back on -- which might be the bigger challenge than finding guys I like. Whatever the case, it's the DFS Tournament Three and Out. Let's roll!
Gabe Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills ($4,800 on DraftKings; $6,600 on FanDuel)
It's no secret that I've been lukewarm (at best) when it comes to the regular-season version of Davis. I wasn't drafting him at ADP last summer and I rarely recommended him as a solid week-in, week-out play in season-long competition. But Playoff Gabe? The guy with 20 catches for 440 yards and six touchdowns in six career post-season games? Okay, I'm a little more interested in that guy. ... As Associated Press sports writer John Wawrow noted, following a subpar regular season, Davis bolstered his reputation as a playoff performer with six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown in the team's Super-Wildcard Weekend win over Miami. In his previous playoff outing, Davis set an NFL postseason single-game record with four TDs receiving in last year's 42-36 overtime loss to Kansas City. NFL Network's Mike Giardi notes that only three QB-WR duos have had more playoff TD connections in a two-season span than Josh Allen and Davis: HOF Joe Montana-HOF Jerry Rice (11 TD 1988-1989); HOF Kurt Warner-Larry Fitzgerald (9 TD 2008-2009); and HOF Terry Bradshaw-HOF John Stallworth (7 TD 1978-1979). Ummm. ... That's good. It's worth noting, Davis began drawing a larger target share in the two games prior to the playoffs (24 percent and 32 percent) -- even if they only yielded one double-digit fantasy outing (13 points in Week 16). Still, as FantasyPros' Derek Brown notes, Davis equaled Stefon Diggs last week with a 24 percent target share against Miami. Over the course of the season, Davis is second on the team in target share (18.6 percent) and end-zone target share. He also has a 30.3 percent air yard share. He ranked 12th in deep targets in the regular season and has nine red-zone targets over his last six games. But FantasyLife.com's Dwain McFarland believes the more notable trend is the uptick in average depth of target over the last four games, with 16.9, 18.2, 18.2, and 21.0 yards. With Josh Allen nursing an elbow injury, he registered an ADOT below 16.0 in four of five games after Week 9 (the week Allen was injured). Allen is back on point and Playoff Gabe is back in business at very reasonable prices.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers ($5,900 on DraftKings; $7,100 on FanDuel)
I shied away from drafting Samuel in season-long leagues because I was skeptical of him repeating that dual-threat role that made him so productive in 2021 (he finished that season with 1,405 receiving yards, 365 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns from scrimmage). And sure enough, Samuel failed to duplicate those astronomical numbers thanks, as McFarland pointed out, to a crowded run-first attack and injuries. Nonetheless, Samuel's 28 fantasy points against the Seahawks were a reminder of his upside. Another reminder? Our eyes. It would be difficult to interpret his efforts on Super-Wildcard Weekend as anything short of impressive. Samuel dominated the receiving work with a 36 percent target share and added three rushing attempts for 32 yards. Yes, there's a lot of competition for opportunities in an offense that also features Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Elijah Mitchell. But as McFarland put it, "His knack for spike weeks is undeniable" and Brown contends Samuel is primed to build on last week's performance against Dallas on Saturday. Brown explained: "Last week Dallas operated in zone coverage on 65-71 percent of their snaps. Samuel has logged 71.1 percent of his target volume against zone while ranking tenth in PFF receiving grade and 12th in yards per route run against the coverage type (minimum 15 zone targets)." Also, did I mention that eyeball test?
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,700 on DraftKings; $7,200 on FanDuel)
Every time I speak with an Eagles beat writer, I ask the same question: Why don't the Eagles love Sanders as much as we do? Okay, I should rephrase that. We want to love Sanders, but the fact that coaches sometimes forget he's even on the roster makes it hard to trust him. Heck, Sanders knows this. He told us as much back in July when he said: "Don't pick me up in fantasy no more, I really don't care." Think back to the team's Week 15 game in Chicago. Sanders entered that matchup against the Bears with over 200 carries and 1,046 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Still, he went almost thirty minutes without a carry as Chicago dominated time of possession and Philadelphia focused on the deep passing game. Nonetheless, as Browns contends, Sanders has been an underrated source of upside this season. In Weeks 11-17, he averaged 16.3 touches and 80.2 total yards. And season-long totals are great. Sanders finished the regular season ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,269 rushing yards and complemented this with 11 TDs. This week, going against the Giants' run defense which ranked 27th at 144.2 yards per game, Philadelphia will need to run effectively to avoid the pass rush of Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and Kayvon Thibodeaux. That being the case, it's probably worth noting that Sanders has three games this season with 25 or more fantasy points and one of them was against this run defense back in Week 14, when he racked up 155 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 touches. ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld notes Sanders ran for 144 yards in that game -- with 110 of them coming before first contact. Just remember: In the 14 games he was held to fewer than 25 fantasy points this season, Sanders averaged 8.9 points per game.
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,500 on DraftKings; $8,000 on FanDuel)All right. ... It's a small slate this weekend. I don't think anybody is out of play. At the very least, all this week's quarterbacks seem to have a to have a ton of upside. Burrow is no different. I'll readily acknowledge he's been playing lights out in recent weeks. He has the talent and weapons to explode on any given Sunday. As Brown pointed out, Burrow heads into Sunday's game against the Bills ranking first in Pro Football Focus passing grade, seventh in big-time throw rate, eighth in adjusted completion rate and ninth in fantasy points per dropback (minimum 150 dropbacks). Zeidenfeld notes that against teams not named the Baltimore Ravens, Burrow has thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games and completed over 69 percent of his passes in three of those outings. All that said, Buffalo is a talented pass defense, ranking fourth in fantasy points per game allowed. But my concern -- limited though it is, is this: I've said all season long, offensive lines matter and Cincinnati is slated to have three reserves starting against the Bills, with right tackle left tackle Jonah Williams (left knee) and right guard Alex Cappa (left knee) still considered week-to-week with their respective injuries. Right tackle La'el Collins has been out since he tore the ACL in his left knee in a game on Christmas Eve. As ESPN.com's Brooke Pryor suggested, that means Buffalo's Greg Rousseau and Co. will likely be in the backfield disrupting Burrow and the Bengals' pass game. So yes, the upside remains. But Burrow carries the third-highest price among all QBs on DraftKings and the fourth on FanDuel. So while nobody is out of play -- including Burrow -- I'll likely be paying up or down for more mobile options this week.