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DFS Three And Out 2022 week 8
It's Week 8 and I see running backs. Some really good running backs. In fact, I see some really good running backs with fantastic matchups. Also, I see one who doesn't fit that criteria. It's the FS Tournament Three and Out. Let's go!
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans ($8,400 on DraftKings; $10,000 on FanDuel)
Track record and matchup. Both of these things are on Henry's side this weekend. ... As Profootballtalk.com notes, the last three times Henry has faced the Texans, his numbers have been other-worldly: In the last game of 2019, Henry carried 32 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans, and in two meetings in 2020, Henry had 22 carries for 212 yards and two touchdowns at home, and 34 carries for 250 yards and two touchdowns on the road. In 2021 Henry missed both of the Titans' games against the Texans with an injury, but now he's poised to face the Texans again on Sunday, and if he can continue his recent ways, he'll do something unprecedented in NFL history. No player in NFL history has ever had two rushing touchdowns in four consecutive games against a single opponent, and no player in NFL history has ever had 150 rushing yards in four consecutive games against a single opponent. Henry could do both of those things on Sunday. Meanwhile, as ESPN's Al Zeidenfeld put it, "The Texans remain a team that we absolutely want to stream opposing running backs against." Could Houston's defense be better this time around? No. The 2020 version of the Texans allowed 5.20 yards per carry while the current version is allowing 5.23 yards per carry. While you won't be alone in playing Henry -- and there's obviously an argument to be made for differentiating, Henry's ceiling is undeniably high here.
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($6,100 on DraftKings; $6,300 FanDuel)
In December of 2020, Pollard ran for two touchdowns (one of them a 40-yard run) in a win over the San Francisco 49ers with Ezekiel Elliott sidelined by a calf issue. This week, Elliott is expected to be sidelined by a knee sprain. If that's indeed the case, Pollard merits your attention in an extremely favorable matchup. Pollard, who has 375 yards and two touchdowns on 67 carries this season, has never had more than 14 carries in a game in his career. Still, as Cockroft suggests, the Cowboys should lean heavily upon Pollard as Dak Prescott works himself back to 100 percent against a Bears defense is weaker against the run than the pass. In fact, Chicago is 29th in rushing yards per game, 18th in Expected Points Added per rush and 27th in explosive run rate. Overall, the Bears have yielded the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. But make no mistake; you're not just hoping for success against a generous defense. Pollard is plenty capable. As FantasyPros' Derek Brown put it, "Pollard is lightning in a bottle" ranking second in yards after contact per attempt, 11th in breakaway rate, 23rd in PFF's elusive rating and 11th in yards per route run.
Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins ($5,900 on DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel)
With 15-plus touches in four straight games, Mostert has locked up the lead role in Miami's backfield (Chase Edmonds hasn't had double-digit carries since the season opener). As the team's official website noted this week, while we haven't seen any 50-yard scampers yet, Mostert is consistently exploiting creases. He's ripped off eight runs of 10-plus yards over the last three games, including three last Sunday night. He also added three more missed tackles forced -- he has 10 total the last three weeks -- giving him a solid 3.50 average yards after initial contact during this hot streak. This week, he gets a plus matchup against the Lions, a defense that ESPN.com's Tristan Cockroft notes has allowed seven different running backs score 12.5-plus PPR fantasy points, the most in the league. Detroit also has the fourth-worst red zone defense in the league and are allowing a league-high 6.4 yards per play. They've also given up 10 rushing touchdowns to backs this season, tied for the most in the league. Don't be surprised if we get that 50-yard scamper we've been waiting for in this one.
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets ($5,900 on DraftKings; $6,600 FanDuel)
I'm not gonna lie. My initial view of this one -- given the price and circumstances -- was positive. Breece Hall suffered a season-ending injury and while the team traded for Jacksonville's James Robinson this week, it seems like Carter might get at least one week as the lead back against a Patriots defense that allowed David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert to total 27 PPR fantasy points on 28 touches on Monday Night Football. Is Carter a target of opportunity here? Well. ... Head coach Robert Saleh did say the Jets will take it slow with Robinson. But coordinator Mike LaFleur said on Thursday the Jets would use "the hot hand" when asked about New York's running back rotation. "Whoever's got the hot hand, you gotta roll with," he said. I still think Carter will get the bulk of the workload in this one, but it's worth noting Herbert (with 15 points) is the only individual running back to exceed 14.5 points against the Patriots, who, per Cockroft, allow the fewest fantasy points per rushing attempt in the league. Put it all together, and I'm not so keen on whatever opportunity this is for Carter.