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DFS Three And Out 2022 week 17
It's Week 17, and I see some players with hot hands who are still flying a little further under the radar than they should be. There are three I'm focused on (with a few bonus picks included because, well, because it's a target-rich environment) this week and also one who appears to be cooling off after a hot start. It's the DFS Tournament Three and Out works. Let's roll!
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams ($6,100 on DraftKings; $6,300 on FanDuel)
Through the first 12 weeks of the season, Akers had a total of 274 rushing yards and just one rushing touchdown to go along with 18 total receiving yards. It's gotten better. A lot better. Over the last four weeks, Akers has become a dominant force at his position. He had three rushing touchdowns last Sunday against the Denver Broncos, giving him an NFL-leading six rushing touchdowns in December. Akers had just three rushing touchdowns in his first 23 career games combined. Along with his three rushing touchdowns Sunday, Akers ran for 118 yards on 23 carries and had two catches for 29 yards. He is the first Rams running back with 100 rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns in a game since Todd Gurley did it in Week 13 of the 2018 season. It was also the second 100-yard rushing game of his career. Over the last four outings, Akers has 60, 42, 65 and 118 rushing yards in those games to go along with those six rushing touchdowns and back-to-back games with at least 29 receiving yards. As FantasyPros Derek Brown notes, Akers should be able to build on last week's success in Week 17. Since Week 11, the Chargers have been 16th in rushing success rate and 24th in rushing yards per game. Better still, as has been the case with all these hot-hand players, the price hasn't caught up with the production. The same can be said of Kansas City's Jerick McKinnon ($6,000 on DraftKings; $6,800 on FanDuel), who has matched Akers' six-touchdown output over the last four games, and Green Bay's A.J. Dillon ($5,800 on DraftKings; $7,200 on FanDuel), who has five touchdowns in his past four games.
Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,400 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)
As ESPN's Field Yates understated: "Engram has been an especially busy guy over his past four games. ..." It's true. In fact, Engram has been busy and super-productive over that span. In Week 16, he delivered 7 catches on 8 targets for 113 yards (18 fantasy points FP, TE5); Week 15: 8 catches on 10 targets for 62 yards (14 fantasy points, TE6); Week 14: 11 catches on 15 targets for 162 yards and 2 TDs (39 fantasy points, TE1); and Week 13: 5 catches on 7 targets for 30 yards and 1 TD (14 FP, TE4). More than 43 percent of Engram's targets -- an average of 10 per week -- for the season have come during this four-game stretch. ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld notes that Engram has averaged 22.9 DraftKings points per game over that span. For comparison, Zeidenfeld points out the gold standard at the position is clearly Travis Kelce ($8,100 on DraftKings; $8,300 on FanDuel), who has averaged 20.9 DraftKings points per game for the season. Meanwhile, Brown notes that Houston is 20th in catch rate, 22nd in yards per reception and 21st in receiving yards per game allowed to tight ends. In the first matchup against the Texans this season, Engram was extremely productive with six catches on 10 targets for 69 yards. Note, there are six tight ends that will cost you more than Engram on DraftKings and seven on FanDuel.
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, New York Giants ($4,500 on DraftKings; $6,200 on FanDuel)
Hodgins, a little-known third-year player, was claimed off waivers from Buffalo on November 2. In seven games with New York, he has 29 catches for 309 yards and three touchdowns, which ties for the team lead. He's averaged seven targets per game. Last week against Minnesota, Hodgins secured a career-high eight of 11 targets for 89 yards (an 11.1 average) and a touchdown. Five of his eight receptions in the game resulted in a first down and he had a career-long 29-yard catch in the second quarter. Since Week 13, he has been 34th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade, 54th in yards per route run, and the WR16 in fantasy points per game with a 21.1 percent target share. Over that four-game span, Hodgins has seen 100 percent of the team's end-zone targets and he's caught all three of his touchdowns in that window. I slightly prefer Hodgins to Jahan Dotson ($4,600 on DraftKings; $6,100 on FanDuel), due primarily to the change of QBs in Washington this week. That said, Dotson has scored a touchdown in each of his past three games. In fact, among all wide receivers with at least 50 targets this season, Dotson leads the NFL in TD catches per target at 14 percent. That puts him ahead of Christian Watson (12.7 percent), Gabe Davis (8.4 percent), A.J. Brown (7.9 percent) and Davante Adams and Jaylen Waddle (7.5 percent). Dotson's seven touchdown catches match Tyreek Hill, DeVonta Smith, Christian Kirk and Amari Cooper -- except Dotson has done it in 10 games. Again, the price is right for both players and neither team's matchup this week seems especially daunting with the Giants going up against the Colts and Washington facing the Browns.
Geno Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks ($5,900 on DraftKings; $7,100 on FanDuel)
Smith was certainly (and rightly) viewed as a hot-hand play most of the season, but Smith's performance has slipped in recent weeks, his completion percentage a more down-to-earth 64.2 percent during the past three games. The veteran quarterback has managed just one touchdown pass in each of his past two starts, and the Week 17 matchup versus the Jets doesn't point to a bounce-back game. As ESPN's Matt Bowen points out, that New York defense allows just 195.5 passing yards a game. And we see it in fantasy scoring too. As ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockroft points out, since their Week 10 bye, the Jets have surrendered 14 fantasy points per game to the position, tied for seventh-fewest in the league, and during that time they have held Kirk Cousins to 13 points (Week 13); Josh Allen to 22 points, 10 of which he scored with his legs (Week 14); and Jared Goff 16 points (Week 15). So yeah, "revenge-game" narrative notwithstanding, I'll dial back here (even if Tyler Lockett and his surgically-repaired finger make it back for this one).