DFS Three And Out 2022 week 18

By Bob Harris
Bob Harris


It's Week 18, and things get a little tricky as playoff implications limit the pool of reliable players a bit. Still, I managed to find three players I'm keen on -- including a couple at the high-end of the salary scale and one bargain-priced asset -- and one coming off a breakout performance that I'm not very excited about. It's the DFS Tournament Three and Out kids. Let's get some!



I'm In

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($8,900 on DraftKings; $9,400 on FanDuel)

The Los Angeles Chargers will go into their regular-season finale against the Denver Broncos with the intent to clinch the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs. "Our approach is definitely going to be to try to win this ball game and play as well as we can play heading into the playoffs," head coach Brandon Staley said Monday. "I think that there's certainly an advantage to being the 5-seed, from where I stand. ..." With that out of the way, let's talk about Ekeler, who has seven straight games with either a rushing touchdown or 60-plus receiving yards. As ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld notes, Ekeler has also seen 24 red-zone touches over the last month. Matt Lutovsky of The Sporting News points out Denver has really struggled against running backs lately, allowing nine RB touchdowns in its past four games. Four of those were through the air to Jerick McKinnon. Ekeler's role and abilities suggest similar success is in his range of outcomes.



CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($8,200 on DraftKings; $8,200 on FanDuel)

The Cowboys need a win with both the Eagles and 49ers losing to earn the NFC's top seed. All three teams play in the Sunday late-afternoon window. So there might be some scoreboard watching at some point, but it's fair to expect all involved to come out firing. ... That being the case, it's worth noting Zeidenfeld believes that even with Dak Prescott's ongoing turnover issues, Dallas should not be afraid to throw the ball against Washington, which has the sixth-lowest interception rate in the league. Beyond that, Lamb, with 100 yards receiving in five of his last eight games, is red hot. Per FantasyPros' Derek Brown, Lamb ranks seventh in target share, sixth in target per route run rate and 11th in air-yard share among wide receivers. He is also seventh in deep targets and 17th in red-zone targets. In addition, Lamb has seen 19 slot catches over the last three weeks and the Commanders rank bottom 10 against the slot in terms of yards per attempt, yards per completion and yards after the catch. As Zeidenfeld summed up: "It goes without saying that a big day could be in store here."




Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints ($4,200 on DraftKings; $5,800 on FanDuel)

It's flier time! And Shaheed, who had a career-high six catches for 79 yards last week, is a fine one. Consider this: With one week to go in his rookie season, Shaheed has caught 25 passes (on 30 targets) for 454 yards -- an average of 18.2 yards per catch. According to New Orleans Times-Picayune staffer Luke Johnson, Shaheed is now the only player in the last 30 NFL seasons (and perhaps more: Pro Football Reference's database only tracks targets back to 1992) who has averaged better than 18 yards per catch while also catching at least 80 percent of his targets with a minimum of 30 targets. He has been targeted deep downfield seven times this season and he's caught six of them. Worried about the overall workload? Don't be. As Brown noted, since Week 13, Shaheed has had a 22.6 percent target share (leads the team), a 28.7 percent air yard share and an 84.8 percent route run rate. Meanwhile, as ESPN's Mike Clay points out, Carolina has suddenly allowed the third-most fantasy points to WRs this season (most over the last four weeks), as well as the fourth-most to the perimeter. Jaycee Horn has joined Donte Jackson on IR, so the increasingly depleted secondary adds to the intrigue. Remember, Tom Brady and wide receiver Mike Evans made the replacements pay dearly last week as they combined for touchdowns of 63, 57 and 30 yards as well as 150 of Brady's season-high 432 passing yards.





I'm Out

Deshaun Watson, QB, Cleveland Browns ($5,600 on DraftKings; $6,800 on FanDuel)

As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review framed it: "Watson signed with the Browns back in March amid fanfare blended with controversy and curiosity. He didn't really arrive until the second half Sunday. ..." It's true. Finally looking like the elite quarterback Cleveland mortgaged its future for, Watson threw three touchdown passes -- two to Amari Cooper -- after halftime in a 24-10 win over the Commanders. It was a fantastic performance. I'm sure it gives Browns fans and dynasty managers invested in Watson a great deal of hope. That said, I'm not going to chase those points this weekend. First of all, Watson's high-end production (and 23 fantasy points) came on a narrow band of opportunity as he completed just 9-of-18 passing for 169 yards (he ran for another 31). As CBSSports.com's Jamey Eisenberg notes, it was Watson's first game with more than 18 Fantasy points in his five appearances this season. Could he go off again this week? Sure. But as Eisenberg further noted, this matchup is daunting since the Steelers have allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 10 (Joe Burrow scored 32 in Week 11). As ClutchPoint.com's Guilherme Hiray Leal put it, "With Pro Bowler outside linebacker T.J. Watt and free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Watson should have a hard time finding the best receiving option on Sunday."