Greetings and welcome to Week 16! What follows is a weekly strategy guide covering the main slate of FanDuel guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). It will be available every Friday from now until the Super Bowl.
Thoughts on Chalk
Even though creating roster uniqueness has long been the default strategy for GPPs, there’s a reason why certain players hold the confidence of the public. Remember that fading a player simply because he’s popular checks in as one of the worst processes. You wouldn’t build a lineup full of chalk; nor should you ignore a great situation in the name of contrarianism. With that said, this section will be dedicated to finding reasons why you might consider fading the players listed below. Keep in mind that all of these players are expected to have big games, so outright fades are never recommended, and be sure to check out Steve Buzzard’s percent rostered projections.
QB: Dak Prescott - $7,300
Could it be that the Buccaneers’ have finally sorted out their defense? Since Week 10, they’ve allowed only 15.8 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks. Granted, those games featured Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Nick Mullens, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Lamar Jackson—a list that hardly presents much competition. Prescott is better than some of those players but by how much? Enough to justify his projected roster percentage? Enough to win tournaments? Enough to float both Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper while still returning the 22 points he needs to hit tournament value?
He enters Week 16 with only 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions and ranks 24th in passing attempts per game. His passing yards rank 17th, and he’s developed a reputation for fumbles. The only reason his floor exists is because of rushing yards and touchdowns, ranking seventh and second respectively among passers. Only Deshaun Watson has been sacked more than Prescott, and the loss of right guard Zack certainly doesn’t help. We don’t know if Martin will return to the lineup against the Bucs, but we do know that the playoffs are on the line (it’s not a must-win in practice, but in theory, any game that could hand you the division crown is a must-win). We also know that the best way for the Cowboys to secure that win is through their all-star running back. A healthy dose of Elliott, even more than usual, seems likely. If you roster Prescott, and by extension Cooper (who projects to be one of the highest owned wide receivers) you’re effectively saying that Jason Garrett and Co. intend to put the game into the hands of their quarterback, which wouldn’t register as what the experts refer to as “good process”.
Still, the matchup and the price are right. The Bucs have been a consistent source of fantasy points for both quarterbacks and wide receivers. So, it makes sense to stack Prescott with Cooper and hope Jameis Winston can find some success against the Cowboys’ vaunted defense and push this game into a shootout (we should acknowledge that Winston profiles as a sneaky GPP option while everyone else is on Prescott. Because if Prescott turns in a big day, logic suggests it’s because this game turned into a barnburner, and the Bucs’ offense is capable of blowing up the scoreboard regardless of opponent). The more likely scenario involves a lot of good defense and Elliott handling a lot of touches. Some of those touches will include receptions, which could turn into touchdowns and vault Prescott into a GPP-winning stat line. That’s a risky bet, but as always, risky bets are generally encouraged in large-field tournaments; we just prefer them to include low ownership projections to boot. All things being equal, it’s not difficult finding better options at quarterback this week and still have enough salary left over to draft a few high-priced studs at other positions. And if you do decide to roster Prescott, consider stacking him with Elliott instead of Cooper.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott - $8,800
As mentioned above, the Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a home win against the Buccaneers on Sunday. That was also true last week when they traveled to Indianapolis and failed to put a single point on the board. It was one of their worst overall performances of the season. Elliott again proved that he is immune to game scripts since he’s basically the team’s WR2. Had he pushed his way into the end zone from the three-yard line on a 4th-and-1 early in the second quarter, he would have finished as a top-10 running back instead of RB19 per FanDuel scoring.
This week ushers in a much friendlier matchup. The Bucs’ defense has provided RB1-numbers all season and head to Dallas having allowed the most total touchdowns to the position and a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. They’ve also yielded the 10th highest catch rate and 13th most receiving yards to backs, which is obviously a bonus for Elliott, whose 89 targets lead the team and rank fifth among running backs. Hopefully, Martin can make his return after missing last week, but even if he doesn’t, Elliott is an absolute smash-spot and has RB1, tournament-swinging upside. Feel free to build your rosters around him even if he draws a ton of exposure from the crowds.
WR: T.Y. Hilton - $7,700
Hilton apparently doesn’t require full weeks of practice to perform, as evidenced by his eight-catch, 85-yard effort last week. He’s locked in as one of Andrew Luck’s top options and is always a threat to haul in deep scores from anywhere on the field. Since Week 11, he has more receiving yards than all players and has drawn 52 targets—fourth-most in the league. With a soft Giants’ defense coming to town, he should make good on his salary and provides a high enough floor to not tank rosters if he fails to reach the end zone. But even though his chances of “booming” are worth chasing, the game flow could easily filter to Marlon Mack and ultimately cap Hilton’s tournament upside as a result. Even eight catches for 120 yards would feel disappointing if all the touchdowns go to running backs and tight ends—a stark reality with this offense. Just like last week, we might do well managing our shares and coming in under the crowd.
TE: Eric Ebron - $6,100
Another week, another situation where Ebron projects to be one of the most popular players of the slate. His price fits the profile as a building piece, and his matchup looks promising against a defense that’s allowed the 13th most yards to tight ends. The Giants don’t have the manpower to eliminate all of Luck’s weapons, so even though both Hilton and Mack could return big games, Ebron is the best bet among them to provide multiple scores. This slate offers few obvious options for tight ends, so it makes sense to load up on the guy who, up until last week, has been his quarterback’s favorite option. But game theory urges us to come in under the crowd whenever a tight end ends up near the top of exposure percentages, especially if said tight end isn’t named Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, or Zach Ertz. Definitely get some shares, but don’t force Ebron into your builds.
Core players need no explanation: they are the meat and potatoes of lineups. Developing a list and building around them is DFS Strategy 101.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger - $8,700
Roethlisberger held this same spot in this space last week and failed to deliver. In fact, the Steelers/Patriots tilt was one of the most disappointing results in Week 15 from a DFS perspective. Things may have turned out a lot better had the Patriots found a way to slow down Jaylen Samuels (19 carries, 142 yards, 7.4 YPC). Unfortunately, their defense focused on Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster and effectively suppressed the Steelers’ passing game.
That could be the case in New Orleans as well. The Saints have allowed only 221 passing yards per game since Week 10 and the seventh-fewest FanDuel points. They’ve also logged 14 takeaways, eight of which were interceptions, and only 12.3 offensive points per contest. But context, as always, is our best friend:
Needless to say, their competition hasn’t been very strong in the given sample. Newton and the Panthers’ offense has disappeared. Winston and Ryan both managed decent games and the combination of Driskel and Dalton was good enough for over 20 points. But in general, most of the Saints’ opponents over their last six games, except Ryan, hardly inspire fear for a defense. And none of them bring a Steelers’ level of offense to the table. This is a must-win for Pittsburgh, and they’ll likely struggle to generate rushing production against the Saints, where their biggest strength is on defense. On the other side of the ball, Drew Brees and Co. have a chance to lock up home-field advantage for the playoffs with a win. So we should expect both teams to be aggressive in this one and return a bundle of fantasy points as a result. Roethlisberger deserves top considerations for all formats on Sunday (and be sure to log a few Brees/Michael Thomas stacks as well).
QB: Deshaun Watson - $8,000
Only six quarterbacks in NFL history have been sacked 60 times in a season. Watson currently sits at 52 sacks after absorbing six last week. It’s an issue that holds more credence for real life football than DFS, but it’s obviously a major concern. Thankfully, the Eagles are on deck and own the league’s fifth-lowest sack rate. And sacks haven’t prevented him from returning usable fantasy numbers anyway. Since Week 8, only three quarterbacks have scored more FanDuel points per game, only four have more rushing yards, and no passer has a higher completion rate. He most recently turned 28 pass attempts into nearly 300 yards and two scores, finishing as Week 15’s QB2. Now he gets an Eagles’ team that has been ripped to shreds by passers all season and suddenly showed signs of life on offense thanks to Nick Foles. Philadelphia salvaged its season last week with a shocking upset of the Rams, and now has a chance at squeezing into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Texans would clinch the AFC South with a win on Sunday, so we can expect a lot of aggression out of these teams in a likely high-scoring affair.
Of course, if DeAndre Hopkins misses this game, we should pump the breaks and look elsewhere. He twisted an ankle and briefly limped off, only to return a short time later. Barring a setback, he should suit up in what profiles as an explosive situation. Keke Coutee seems less likely to play, but if he returns, Watson, in addition to his rushing upside, will have a full complement of weapons against a defense that tends to funnel offenses towards the pass (they’ve allowed the eighth-fewest rushing yards and fifth-most receiving yards to running backs, further cementing Watson’s ceiling).
RB: Saquon Barkley - $9,000
It’ll be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to Barkley’s “human” game last week and a solid Colts’ defense that shut out a much better offense in the Cowboys. Given his price and situation, it’s logical to think the crowd stays away while targeting cheaper options. That sets us up with a great “bet on talent and opportunity” situation with a slight edge in ownership. The Colts, as mentioned in this space last week, field an underrated defense capable of shutting down flaky offenses such as the Giants. Their biggest weakness, however, happens to be defending pass-catching running backs. Before Elliott clocked them with seven catches for 41 yards, T.J. Yeldon managed seven for 49 yards in Week 13, Kenyan Drake logged five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Week 12, and Yeldon and Leonard Fournette combined for 10 catches, for 107 yards and a score in Week 10. All told, the Colts have permitted the sixth-most receiving yards to running backs on the season.
You apply that to how the Giants use Barkley, and you have an obvious floor that could easily explode into a tournament-winning ceiling. He ranks 21st in targets among all players on the season, and third among running backs. Only Elliott and Todd Gurley have logged more total yards, and only four players own a higher market share of red zone opportunities. This is not a great matchup for the Giants, and there’s a case for rostering the Colts’ defense, but Barkley has overcome much tougher matchups and may go overlooked among the masses. You could even roster both him and the Colts’ defense in the same lineup even though that’s generally a negative correlation situation. Doing so sets up a super unique roster with a floor high enough to overcome said negative correlation.
RB: Nick Chubb - $7,900
Since Week 8 only Ezekiel Elliott has earned a higher market share of carries, and only five other players have logged more touches than Chubb. His ceiling failed to come through last week against the Broncos, but he parlayed 20 carries into his third 100-yard game of the season, most of which came on this play:
Looks like the #Browns go with some mid-zone/ICE here. Great work from Nick Chubb to spring it between whatever Robinson's block attempt was and cousin Bradley. Big run and the Browns needed it. #BrownsFilmBDN pic.twitter.com/EIsT58LmEa— BrownsFilmBreakdown (@BrownsFilmBDN) December 17, 2018
On tap is a mouthwatering matchup against the Bengals, a defense that’s allowed the third-most FanDuel points per touch, the second-most touchdowns, and the second-most yards per game to running backs. His price has crept into territory usually reserved for elite backs. And he doesn’t have a full monopoly on the backfield thanks to Duke Johnson Jr’s weekly 40% snap share as the receiving back. But Chubb could easily pay off his salary with a pair of touchdowns—an upside the Bengals provide to most RB1s. Neither of these teams have anything to play for, but the Browns, assuming rational coaching, would be wise to keep their foot on the gas and continue to evaluate their assumed franchise quarterback. Likewise, Chubb is in no danger of losing playing time as a matter of precaution. Pencil him in for another 100-yard performance and a decent chance of finding the end zone for the 11th time this season.
RB: Marlon Mack - $7,000
Entering Week 15, the Cowboys boasted the best run defense in the NFL—one that held every running back below 100 rushing yards except Chris Carson back in Week 3. Mack carved this impressive unit up with 139 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. Up next is a home date with a Giants’ squad that is still likely out of breath after chasing around Derrick Henry all week. He smashed them with 170 yards and two scores on 33 carries. His performance vibes with the Giants season-long numbers. They’ve been routinely gashed by running backs, having allowed the eighth-most rushing yards and the sixth-most total touchdowns.
This is a great spot for Mack, even though he doesn’t have total control of the backfield. Nyheim Hines has carved out the pass-catching role and will continue to see a decent snap count (around 40%). But Mack is the traditional back that the Giants have struggled against all season and he should continue his reign as the main runner and goal-line option. The Colts are healthy 9.5-favorites and won’t have any trouble cruising to a victory at home against a bad defense and a mediocre offense, providing Mack with a positive game script and multi-touchdown upside.
RB: Elijah McGuire - $5,700
Cashing lineups in GPPs this year generally requires paying up for the top running backs who offer the perfect combination of volume and talent. McGuire doesn’t necessarily promise either, but he did look good against a tough Texans defense last week while handling 75% of snaps. He now has back-to-back weeks of at least 20 touches and four targets. If he gets a similar share of snaps and volume this week, he should return a decent box score, even against a Packers’ defense that has been tough on backs this season. They’ve allowed only 20.8 FanDuel points per game, which ranks 21st. That number has been suppressed by the fact that they’ve permitted only 13 touchdowns, which is right about league average. But Football Outsiders ranks them 25th against the run per their DVOA metric, and 28th in adjusted line yards, suggesting this matchup might actually be better than past fantasy numbers imply.
More concerning than the matchup is Trenton Cannon’s presence. He offers the Jets the speedy dynamic that McGuire lacks, and could absorb double-digit touches again (seven carries, three catches last week). But he’s unlikely to suddenly become the RB1, especially considering his small stature. With Isaiah Crowell on the shelf for the remainder of the season, and with Sam Darnold playing some of his best football since regaining starter duties, McGuire profiles as a solid tournament play who won’t be removed by game scripts regardless of what the scoreboard says. Believe it or not, as of Wednesday, the Jets and Packers is a pick‘em game according to Vegas, with some sportsbooks favoring the Jets by a point, which at least suggests we could be in for a competitive and potentially high-scoring game. Should Aaron Rodgers turn in a vintage performance against the Jets’ vulnerable defense, McGuire will benefit even more so as a receiver, securing his floor and raising his ceiling.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins - $8,900
Squad got me like Paul in the finals pic.twitter.com/uD5RTYlf2Z— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) December 18, 2018
There aren’t many words to spill here other than “make sure he doesn’t suffer a setback in practice before committing.” Hopkins will be one of the most popular plays on the slate and he’s worthy of his exposure. The Eagles have allowed the most yards and the second-most FanDuel points to wide receivers. Conversely, Hopkins has logged the fourth-most yards, and third-most FanDuel points among wide receivers. Don’t go into Sunday without multiple Watson/Hopkins stacks.
WR: Davante Adams - $8,500 (if Rodgers plays)
One of the only bright spots of the Packers entire season, Adams enters Week 16 as fantasy’s highest-scoring wide receiver. He took on a tough defense last week and parlayed 13 targets into eight catches for 119 yards. He failed to score a touchdown but should have plenty of opportunities against the Jets, who have allowed the most FanDuel points per game to receivers this year. They were most recently embarrassed by Hopkins’ box score of 10 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns—marking the 10th time a receiver has surpassed 100 yards against this secondary. The only thing that might prevent him from taking advantage of this matchup is Rodgers getting shut down for the season. As of Wednesday, head coach Joe Philbin is mum on the subject. In the event Rodgers sits, all bets are off on this offense. In that case, pivoting to the Jets’ defense ($3,200) makes sense against DeShone Kizer, who threw 22 interceptions and took 38 sacks as a member of the Browns last year.
WR: Adam Thielen - $7,600
With only 12 catches for 117 yards and one touchdown over his last three games, it feels like an eternity since Thielen was once the most dominant receiver of the 2018 NFL season. The Vikings quickly looked to establish the run last week and did so effectively against the Dolphins, which translated into him drawing only two targets—easily his lowest total of the year. Perhaps that’s the new way for the Vikings, who still have an outside chance of making the playoffs.
But a Lions’ run defense that has improved with the addition of Damon Harrison will give the Vikings’ rushing attack a hard time in Detroit. The Lions were beat up by Todd Gurley in Week 13, but have otherwise yielded poor results for opposing rushers down the stretch and should naturally funnel a pass-heavy situation for Minnesota, which obviously bodes well for Thielen. And even if they still go run-heavy, he should have no trouble making good on whatever volume he gets thanks to a dream matchup against a secondary that’s allowed the second-most yards to slot receivers. Note, however, that he managed only 22 yards and one score against this unit in Week 9. But he did see seven targets and should be in line for a decent amount of volume in a must-win game.
Isaiah McKenzie - $5,600
Slot Machine McKenzie was carted off the field after a non-contact injury last week and, as it usually goes with carts, most of us thought his day was over, if not his season. But he jogged back onto the field a little later and told reporters after the game that he slightly twisted his ankle and the injury wasn’t serious. Assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks this week, he gets a superb matchup against a secondary that has been wasted by slot receivers nearly every week. Only three teams have allowed more yards to the slot, and only one has allowed more touchdowns.
The Patriots held the Steelers’ passing attack in check last week, so perhaps they’ve turned the corner. And given the ineptitude of the Bills’ overall offense, it’s certainly fair to question McKenzie’s GPP viability. But Buffalo should embrace the spoiler role and do their best to hand the Patriots their second loss in a row, reducing their odds of earning a first-round bye for the playoffs. To make that happen, Buffalo needs a dynamic game plan that features the dual-threat skill set of McKenzie, who has drawn seven targets in each of their last two games. He’ll blow up this week if he sees that same amount of volume again, especially if Robert Foster draws coverage from Stephon Gilmore, and his price makes paying up for guys like Hopkins and Adams (if Rodgers plays) possible.
TE: Evan Engram - $5,700
For all of the Colts’ strengths on defense, taking care of athletic tight ends is not one of them. They’ve allowed the most receiving yards to the position and the highest catch rate of all teams. Last week, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz combined for seven catches and 68 yards, the Texans’ tight ends combined for 11 catches and 151 yards the week before last, and in Week 11, four Titans’ tight ends combined for 12 catches and 123 yards. Those efforts all include multiple players, so perhaps it’ll be easier for them to key on Engram, especially if Odell Beckham Jr misses another game, but Engram has the skill set to take advantage of matchups like these. He’s finally earned the role he deserves and now has at least 66 yards in each of his three last games, and 17 targets over the last two with Beckham sidelined. Those are numbers worth chasing for any of your lineups that don’t include Barkley.
TE: David Njoku - $5,300
In a matchup too good to go wrong, Njoku has everything working in his favor this week. He gets the Bengals defense, which has provided the second-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends, the fourth-highest catch rate, nine touchdowns (tied for the most with two other teams), and the third-most receptions. Unfortunately, he hasn’t produced despite an offense that’s been good when facing soft defenses. With only 504 yards and three touchdowns on the season, he’s difficult to trust even in a situation that favors players of his skill set. But his salary makes a lot of things possible and doesn’t ask much of his shrinking ceiling. His best game of the season happened to come against this same Bengals’ defense back in Week 12 when he caught all five of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown (all in the first half). Those numbers are safe to chase in a rematch at Cleveland.
Los Angeles Rams - $4,900
If you can afford them, the Rams are worth every penny and make sense as the chalk defense. They’re on the road, but they’ll take on an offense that is a bottom-feeder in nearly every stat category that gauges offensive quality. They made the Falcons’ push-around defense look like the 2017 Jaguars last week by turning the ball over three times and permitting six sacks. Conversely, you can bet that the Rams are eager to right the ship after a stunning home-upset against the Eagles pushed them further away from securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. As 14-point favorites, it’s worth reserving salary for the Rams’ defense.
Atlanta Falcons - $3,400
The Falcons made an appearance in this space last week with a note that you’d need them to luck into a defensive score and a few sacks—two things they’ve not provided all season. They logged seven sacks, three turnovers, scored a touchdown and finished as the week’s highest-scoring defense. Now they get a busted Panthers unit that has shut down Newton for the season and will throw out Taylor Heinicke as his replacement—a quarterback that went undrafted and has attempted five passes in the NFL. To be fair to Heinicke, he was an excellent college player in the FCS and won the Walter Payton Award after throwing for over 5,000 yards and scoring 55 total touchdowns (11 rushing) in 2012. So, he’s not totally incapable of taking advantage of the Falcons’ soft secondary. But it’s worth wondering if the Panthers’ will also limit playing time of important starters like D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey, effectively limiting Heinicke’s ceiling. He makes for an interesting contrarian option for $6,000, but the Falcons’ defense is the obvious play.
Indianapolis Colts - $4,500
After shutting out the Cowboys and logging three sacks in the process, the Colts received a significant bump in salary ahead of their home tilt against the Giants. That alone should push us away since, while they’re a good defense, they’re not an elite unit known for generating bundles of fantasy points. But Eli Manning is always a good bet for interceptions, and if Beckham misses this game, the Giants will struggle again (the Cowboys weren’t the only NFC East team to get shutout last week). They’ve allowed the fourth-most sacks of all teams, while the Colts’ defense has generated the 12th-most. Don’t overthink this one. Stack Mack with his defense if Beckham is out:
Over the last two years, the #Giants have averaged 21.6 points per game with Odell Beckham Jr in the lineup versus 14.8 points without OBJ.— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) December 19, 2018
It’s borderline unprecedented for a skill-position player to have a near 7-point impact over a sizable sample size (14 missed games).
Similar to sleepers, contrarian players are those the crowd has completely mispriced and undervalued. In some cases, it’s a player coming off an injury or facing a difficult matchup but still carries a heavy price tag. In other cases, it could be a player that has struggled recently and therefore deemed untrustworthy. In all cases, guard your exposure to players listed in this section but get them in at least a few lineups.
QB: Mitchell Trubisky - $7,900
After an awful performance against the Rams, Trubisky rebounded last week by completing over 71% of his passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll have a great opportunity to build on his sophomore résumé against a 49ers’ secondary that’s allowed the second-most touchdowns and has logged the fewest interceptions of all teams. The Bears have already clinched the NFC North, so it’s not a game that means much. But they could improve their seeding and still have a shot to secure a first-round bye. That’s enough motivation for head coach Matt Nagy draw up an explosive game plan and take advantage of the matchup in front of them.
Trubisky, of course, leads that charge and it’s worth noting that, despite turning in some duds, he enters Week 16 as the seventh highest scoring quarterback in FanDuel points per game. On the season, he has the fifth-most rushing yards and the 13th-most total touchdowns despite missing a few games (and playing awful in a few others). Against a cupcake secondary and with rushing-upside floating his floor, he makes for a solid GPP pivot away from other highly touted quarterbacks in his price range.
RB: Matt Breida - $6,000
Breida returned from a one-week absence and immediately dominated snap counts with a healthy 73% share, and handled 22 touches for 96 yards in the process. He has a seemingly brutal matchup this week but the Bears have shown some kinks in their armor lately. Jamaal Williams managed 17.7 FanDuel points thanks to a rushing score and four catches for 44 yards last week. They shutdown Gurley in that strange Week 14 game during which both offenses looked terrible, but in Week 13, LeGarrette Blount managed 22.8 FanDuel points thanks to a pair of touchdowns, and Kerryon Johnson managed 21.9 points on the back of 20 touches and two scores in Week 10. These stats are cherry-picked, of course. The Bears’ season-long numbers against running backs rank near the top in nearly every category. Still, Breida provides unquestioned talent so long as he’s healthy. We always need to pinpoint games that could provide underrated assets and potential shootouts. This one profiles as such and it can’t happen if Breida fails to produce. If you’re the type that runs multiple lineups, be sure to include the guy that was a chalk-play earlier this season and now provides a discount in both salary and ownership.
WR: Taylor Gabriel - $5,000
Doubling down on the above Trubisky take (and tripling down on the 49ers/Bears tilt), Gabriel is in a sneaky spot to make good on his bottom-shelf salary. Up until last week, he was a solid bet for seven or more targets and has the speed to turn any one of those targets into a big play. He’s now tied for the team lead in targets with 86 and ranks third in receiving yards. The 49ers, as mentioned, field a vulnerable secondary that’s allowed the most touchdowns and fourth-most FanDuel points per target, despite allowing the 13th-fewest receptions. With Richard Sherman likely to shadow Allen Robinson, it stands to reason that Trubisky will look underneath to find options that can quickly gain separation. Gabriel happens to rank 14th among wide receivers in average yards of separation per Next Gen Stats. You should also consider Tarik Cohen in this spot if you choose not to roster the low-floor of Gabriel. San Francisco has allowed the fourth-most receptions and eighth-most receiving yards to running backs. One of these players, along with Trubisky, could be the key to unlocking monster profits come Sunday.
TE: Blake Jarwin - $4,700
Jarwin manned 62% of snaps last week and has drawn 14 targets over the Cowboys last two games. He gets a great matchup against the Buccaneers, who have allowed the fifth-most yards and seventh-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends. That last stat would look a lot better if they could stop running backs from scoring (21 total touchdowns allowed to backs, most in the NFL). His situation looks especially good with over-the-middle man Cole Beasley banged up, which would naturally feed more looks his way should Beasley sit. Jarwin doesn’t own a monopoly on the Cowboys’ tight end position, but in their last five games, he has run 111 receiving routes (compared to Dalton Schultz’s 58), and 85 in his last three—13th most among tight ends. He’s the (nearly) site-minimum player of the week despite a nasty floor and an upside that’s manufactured by a dreamy matchup. If you need salary space and can stomach the risk, he’s a solid large-field tournament dart, especially for those determined to roster Prescott.