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Josh Jacobs $7100 vs Chargers
If you know me then you know I’m not a big proponent of Josh Jacobs as a talent, but I do believe in playing him when the matchups allow it, and this week is one of those as Jacobs plays against a Chargers run defense, who rank eleventh worst in yards per carry allowed (4.1). Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is in concussion protocol, and the Raiders are maintaining that he has a chance to play this week, but no player has successfully passed through the protocol in less than a week so far. If Garoppolo misses, and Brian Hoyer is the Raiders quarterback, expect a busy day for Jacobs.
Usage Suggestions: Jacobs will be a cash game play for me if Jimmy G is healthy, otherwise he reverts to a tournament-only play and can be used as a bring-back to Chargers stacks.
Alvin Kamara $6100 vs Buccanneers
Not too long ago Alvin Kamara was a clear fade for me in the best ball streets, but now, with Kendre Miller uninspiring, Jamaal Williams on IR and Derek Carr set to miss some time, Kamara has a perfect setup to see top-tier usage, for now at least. The Bucs have allowed 5.0 yards per carry, which ranks fourth-worst, and a fresh Alvin Kamara should be able to take advantage of that. There will be a time for fading Kamara, but it isn’t yet.
Usage Suggestions: People might be in a wait-and-see mode on Kamara, which hopefully keeps his ownership low and serves up a tournament bargain for us. Given Mike Evans struggles against Marshon Lattimore over the years, if I’m running this play back, it’s with Chris Godwin, as the Saints have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing slot receivers.
Zack Moss $6000 vs L.A Rams
Anthony Richardson looks set to return for the Colts in Week 4, and with him, he’ll bring a slight risk of vulturing touchdowns away from Zack Moss, but it’s a risk we can embrace for DFS purposes. If anything, perhaps the Colts decide to perhaps not run Richardson quite so aggressively around the goalline and instead let Moss have some more touches there. Moss has handled 48 rush attempts through three games, the sixth most at the position and his 27.0 touches per game leads all skill position players. The Rams are giving up 4.6 yards per carry (8th worst) and with both teams leaning fast-paced this season, there should be plenty of touches for Moss again.
Usage Suggestions: Moss is an easier click in cash without Richardson, but we’ve seen enough to trust him in all formats. Stacking Moss with Richardson is a move most won’t take, so it’s viable for large tournaments.
Kyren Williams $6000 vs Colts
I’m not sure even myself as a Cam Akers doubter could have foreseen a situation like the one Kyren Williams, our RB6, finds himself in after three games. After Akers was banished in Week 2, Williams has seen 85% of the Rams running back touches, the fourth-highest rate among the position. Williams has 13 red zone rushing attempts through three games , which is more than any Rams player not named Cam Akers (28) managed in 2022, as the Rams ran only 55 rush attempts all season. The Rams like what they see in Williams and his volume is the kind of bankable volume we can lean into.
Usage Suggestions: Williams is perhaps my favorite running back for cash lineups this week, and playable in tournaments as long as you’re mindful of the approach. Williams can be correlated with Michael Pittman or even Anthony Richardson in tournaments.
Alexander Mattison $5800 vs Panthers
We might as well keep the Cam Akers hate rolling as we head to our next running back. The Vikings gave up less than nothing for all intents and purposes to add another running back to their roster, in the shape of Akers. This move felt as much as anything about how they felt about their backups, rather than an intense desire to have Akers in Minnesota. Akers will have opportunities to carve out a role, but Mattison is the clear lead back and again finds himself in a positive matchup against a Panthers defense that has allowed the seventh-highest yards per carry (4.6) and given up six rushing touchdowns to running backs in three games (second-most).
Usage Suggestions: Mattison feels stronger in cash formats than tournaments this week. With Justin Jefferson’s price so high I’d rather reserve playing him in tournaments and use Mattison solely for cash.
D’Andre Swift $5700 vs Commanders
I’m not the biggest Swifty in fantasy football, but when we see a player who is second in total rushing yards (308) in a positive matchup, being projected for less than 10% ownership, that certainly catches the attention span. Kenneth Gainwell has a defined role, playing in the two-minute offense and on certain series, but Swift is the man who can cause electric plays at any given moment. The Eagles Tush Push, or Brotherly Shove, reduces Swift’s ceiling somewhat, but Swift does have the fifth most red zone carries (10) and occasionally that variance is going to swing in his direction.
Usage Suggestions: This is a tournament-only play, simply because of a leverage opportunity on chalky (popular) running backs in a similar price range. I’m not sure I’m confident enough in the Commanders to run them back, but if I did, it would likely be with either Jahan Dotson ($4800) or Curtis Samuel ($3500) who are particularly cheap.
Joshua Kelley $5300 vs Raiders
It seems hard to work out why Joshua Kelley managed to score 15.1 PPR points in Week 1, while sharing snaps with Austin Ekeler, and since then has totaled 6.6 points in two games where he averaged 73% of the RB opportunities. What is a fact though, is that players are becoming wary of playing the Chargers back after two let downs on the trot. In Week 2 the Chargers played a pass funnel defense in the Titans and then in Week 3 the Chargers passing game was enjoying so much success there was little reason to stop. In Week 4, the Chargers potentially play a Raiders team missing Jimmy Garoppolo, which could result in a very tired defense playing more often than they’d like to, particularly when they give up 4.7 yards per carry on the ground (fifth-highest) and have surrendered the third most yardage to the position (365).
Usage Suggestions: If Jimmy G misses, this becomes a cash play, otherwise, let’s keep it in tournaments and correlate with either Jakobi Meyers or Davante Adams who have nice matchups.
Dameon Pierce $5100 vs Steelers
The Steelers much-vaunted defense is currently allowing 5.5 yards per carry (third-most) and has given up the second-most rushing yardage to the position (395). Dameon Pierce has been rancid so far this season, gaining just 2.5 yards per carry, but that should (hopefully) drastically improve with the return of more competent line play.
Usage Suggestions: Tournaments only. The correlation options aren’t great, but George Pickens catches the eye. Playing Pierce will likely give you leverage on the more popular Nico Collins and Tank Dell.
Khalil Herbert $4700 vs Broncos
Things haven’t been pretty for Khalil Herbert, for whom many of us hoped could be efficient as defenses tried to account for Justin Field’s abilities. Apparently, it’s actually quite easy to account for the entirety of the Bears offense very easily. But still, tournaments are won by pissing into the win occasionally, and this is a strap-up and piss-into-the-wind type of play. Roschon Johnson had more touches than Herbert in Week 3, but seven of Johnson’s ten touches came when the Bears were trailing by 28 or more points. Reading too much into that feels icky. The Broncos couldn’t tackle anyone in Week 3 and while the Bears are unlikely to repeat Miami’s performance, there are plenty of reasons to believe if they lean heavily into the run, they could experience some level of success, relative to the Bears usual levels that is.
Usage Suggestions: Tournaments only. Let’s not get loco. Correlate with Jerry Jeudy, and possibly even Russell Wilson.
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