With Julio Jones and Myles Gaskin being ruled out I made the following pivots on Sunday…
Making a few pivots with the news that Julio Jones and Myles Gaskin are out.
In: Deebo-Jonathan Taylor-Irv Smith
— window seat on the spaceship (@Carey1313) December 13, 2020
Last week’s lineup was one of ups and downs. Kirk Cousins got the 30-plus pass attempts were looking for but the Bucs harassed him much of the day and he ended up with just 225 passing yards and one passing TD. The 41 rushing yards he compiled while running for his life didn’t make enough of a difference with the lack of TDs or 300-yard bonus (18.10 points).
Irv Smith was a TE streamer’s dream with a 4-63-1 line (16.30 points) but we got the TD-less game we feared from Adam Thielen (3-39-0 for 6.90 points).
The RBs handled business. Jonathan Taylor went off for 150 rushing yards and 2 TD (33.50 ponts) and while Ronald Jones didn’t have a ceiling game, he put a respectable 80 rushing yards and a TD (15.40 points).
Speaking of handling business, A.J. Brown went for 112 receiving yards and a TD (27.20 points) but sadly that’s about where this lineup lost it’s grip.
I played Deebo Samuel as leverage on the more popular Brandon Aiyuk. Samuel left the game early on with a hamstring injury with just nine rushing yards to his name. Aiyuk ended up with 16 targets. HATE TO SEE IT.
DJ Chark and the Giants defense rounded out the disappointment, combining for 4.60 points.
The lineup ended up totaling 122.90 points. We caught a couple bad breaks but there are still opportunities ahead. On to Week 15.
QB Deshaun Watson @ Indianapolis
The Texans had a pretty rough showing in Chicago last week with a depleted cast of weapons. My hope here is that prisoners of the moment forget how good Watson has been. He leads all NFL passers in net yards gained per pass attempt and hasn’t had fewer than six rushing attempts in a game since Week 6.
The Colts have a good defense, but a couple factors make for an interesting game environment for Watson.
One is health, as Brandin Cooks and David Johnson are slated to return this week. Another is Jonathan Taylor’s emergence and his matchup versus the lowly Texans run defense, making the potential of a negative game script likely.
Watson in Superman mode is one of the most electric things you’ll see on Sundays…and also one of the more fantasy friendly.
DraftKings salary: 6,800
RB Jonathan Taylor vs. Houston
Speaking of that Texans run defense….No team in the league has allowed more rushing yards and more DK points per game than Houston. It’s a perfect matchup for a surging Taylor who seems to have finally carved out a feature role in this Colts backfield. Another 150 yards and 2 TD is squarely in play here.
I’m not sure just how much the large jump in salary for Taylor will influence his popularity this week but I’d have to imagine it will result in at least a small downtick. That’s something we’ll look to take advantage of as his price is still more than fair for his opportunity
DraftKings salary: 7,200
RB Jeff Wilson Jr. @ Dallas
This one is contingent on Raheem Mostert being out this week. Notorious for his commitment phobia at RB, Kyle Shanahan recently talked about settling down. With a healthy Tevin Coleman and Jerrick Mckinnon in the fold he voiced a desire to narrow the backfield focus to Mostert and Wilson Jr. Last week the tandem combined for 25 carries and seven targets and are getting ready to face a Cowboys team who just got rocked not two weeks ago for 294 rushing yards by the Ravens.
If Mostert is unable to go, Wilson Jr. makes for an outstanding play. The last time he got a chance to be the featured back he put together a 17-112-3 line in Week 7 at New England. And while he’s been used as more of a goal line back, Wilson has 8 targets in the last 2 games.
Be on the look out for a pivot if Mostert suits up but if he doesn’t I’ll be playing a ton of Wilson Jr. this week.
DraftKings salary: 5,100
WR Brandon Aiyuk @Dallas
I’m a man that learns from my mistakes. Even with the price bump, Aiyuk is one of the better plays of the week, regardless of position. With Deebo Samuel slated to miss time and George Kittle’s Week 15 status up in the air at best…double-digit targets feel like a virtual certainty. So, much like we did when Keenan Allen was in the 6,000 range…we follow the volume at it’s disproportion price until the price changes.
In addition to that the matchup is a gorgeous one as the Cowboys have given up more TD’s to the receiver position than any other team in the NFL.
Just and auto play this week.
DraftKings salary: 6,300
WR Chad Hansen @ Indianapolis
My theme for Deshaun Watson this week is chaos. He’ll be pressured, playing from behind and extending plays with his legs so who stands to be the best fit amongst his receiver group? Brandin Cooks is the most practical choice and while he’s an explosive player he hasn’t been used as much as a deep shot receiver. Keke Coutee has 275 receiving yards in three career games versus Indy and also makes logical sense as an underneath target.
For price purposes and role I’m going to pivot to Hansen here. Hansen has plugged into the Will Fuller role as an outside receiver and when these 2 teams met in Week 13 he led the team with 111 air yards. My hope here is that Watson and Hansen hook up on a deep shot but even if they don’t, Hansen’s 21 percent target share sense moving into the lineup should give him enough value to pay off his price.
DraftKings salary: 4,200
WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. Philadelphia
This play is pretty straightforward. Darius Slay is in concussion protocol. His bookend at corner Avonte Maddox is also expected to miss time with a knee injury. Starting safety Rodney Mcleod was just lost for the season with a torn acl as well…and Hopkins is well, DeAndre Hopkins. I could ramble off stats or analysis but is that really necessary?
DraftKings salary: 7,900
TE Mark Andrews vs. Jacksonville
I’ve wanted to be a pay all the way up on occasion but mostly pay down kinda guy at TE. Maybe sync up my TE play with my QB. I’m going away from all of that this week…and while that feels uncomfortable, I like the upside of Andrews this week.
Only the Jets have given up more TDs to the TE position than the Jags have this year. With Marquise Brown on the Covid list, Andrews stands to have a couple more targets funneled his way this week. The Ravens don’t throw a lot but with Andrews’ seam bursting ability, he’s one of the only TE’s who has multiple-TD potential on a weekly basis. He could certainly turn 8 targets on Sunday into just that.
DraftKings salary: 5,500
Flex Emmanuel Sanders vs. Kansas City
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get a piece of this marquee matchup and I think I found my way. The Saints are a methodical pace down team but that is certainly going to be tested versus the high-flying Chiefs. As good as the Saints defense has been, especially as of late…I can’t see anyone containing this Mahomes led offense right now.
I’m banking on the Chiefs speeding this Saints team up forcing more plays and pass attempts, making Emmanuel Sanders a sneaky access point to this game.
Since Taysom Hill took over at QB, Tre’Quan Smith has been relegated to a non-factor..as has the TE’s for the most part. Alvin Kamara had a 10-target game last week but had 6 total in the 3 games prior to that. I suspect that had more to do with the Eagles #1 ranked adjusted sack rate than some revelation by the coaching staff.
Michael Thomas has been the only player in this passing game to get bankable volume in the passing game but quietly Sanders has 11 targets in the last 2 games. I know that doesn’t sound like much but if Taysom is forced into more dropbacks and the Chiefs 20th ranked adjusted sack rate doesn’t translate to more checkdowns…that 5.5 per game number could easily get to 8 or more.
Sanders isn’t being touted as a cheaper WR play this week and I think that’s a mistake.
DraftKings salary: 4,200
Defense Falcons Def vs. Tampa Bay
I alluded to the Bucs’ identity and consistency issues on offense last week when discussing the Ronald Jones play. They won the game, but it didn’t quiet the concerns as Brady looked wildly off on multiple throws and Bucs offensive coordinator was caught on the sidelines saying that play action didn’t work for this team.
They’ve managed to score enough points to stay on schedule but this is an offense that feels off and with the an improved Falcons defense under Raheem Morris I’m gonna take my shot here at this near minimum price point.
DraftKings salary: 2,300