Nyheim Hines did us quite dirty last week, dropping a touchdown pass that was in his hands in the end zone, which allowed his coaches to feel more comfortable using Marlon Mack.
Meanwhile, Tarik Cohen put in a good shift against the Dolphins (and will feature again this week), Jarvis Landry and Stefon Diggs had the opportunities but not the production and Gerald Everett ended up not starting as Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks were both cleared.
Now it’s time for our Week 7 fringe plays.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Likely because he was not a topic of discussion in the preseason, Wentz has been forgotten by tournament players.
He showed an elite ceiling last season and is one of the few quarterbacks with elite passing upside as well as rushing ability. Wentz is averaging 14.5 rushing yards per game, which doesn’t sound like much, but it adds about a point of floor to his projection each week and gives him a solid ceiling. He also has the Eagles’ best red-zone weapon back and fully healthy (Alshon Jeffery), and there’s the added bonus of a jumbled backfield adding a few pass attempts to Wentz’s median projection.
Wentz has the highest rating in our Tournament Model and is projected at only 5% to 8% ownership. He has six Pro Trends going for him as well and he should be a core tournament play on DraftKings this week.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
Cohen rewarded our faith last week with 24.1 DraftKings points and finds himself in an even better spot this week.
Per Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, Cohen’s snap share and touch share have gone up over the past two weeks while Jordan Howard’s have trended down dramatically. As home underdogs, we can reasonably project the Bears to tick up in pace and pass attempts, both of which suit Cohen more than they do Howard.
There is another added advantage in that Cohen is likely the Bears’ fastest player — although Taylor Gabriel might have something to say about that — and fast players have given the Patriots nightmares this season: Hines, Tyreek Hill, Dede Westbrook and Kenny Golladay all had explosive days against New England.
Players such as Cohen have more of a spot in today’s NFL than ever before as the rules shift away from allowing defenses to manhandle smaller, shiftier players. As long as Cohen is being used in his role for the Bears, he has an elite ceiling in DFS.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
What you just saw is not guaranteed to happen again.
Kamara had a bad game against Washington before New Orleans’ bye, while Mark Ingram had a very good one. It is true that Ingram will siphon off goal-line work and carries in between the 20s, so we need to shave off some of our ceiling projects for Kamara.
However, between Weeks 7 and 15 of the 2017 season, Kamara averaged more than a touchdown and 22 PPR points per game. He can still make magic work with limited touches, and considering Drew Brees’ historical struggles playing outdoors, I actually think Kamara is in line for more than his median projected workload across the industry.
Kamara going from being a must-play to a fringe guaranteed prize pool play is a certain overreaction by the DFS playing public.
Keelan Cole/Donte Moncrief, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
For once, Westbrook is being handed the difficult matchup for the Jaguars offense.
Blake Bortles has stunk it up two weeks in a row and now plays a downright #bad Texans team that does have a good slot corner to line up against Westbrook. I am not off Westbrook, but I think that Cole and Moncrief are more interesting as they play more volatile roles. Their median projections are always likely to be wrong — either they will totally bomb and not break 10 PPR points, or the game will come to them in a way that makes them viable for fantasy.
All three Jags wide receivers are top-10 in our leverage score, which combines a ceiling projection with ownership projections. But Moncrief makes the most sense for tournaments — a sentence I never thought that I would type. Moncrief leads the Jags in Air-Yards, and the injury to Austin Seferian-Jenkins makes Moncrief a more likely red-zone target.
These plays are not for the faint of heart, but they do make mathematical sense in large-field tournaments.
Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
Anderson does not need 10 targets to #GetThere. He doesn’t even need a good cornerback matchup to be considered in play in a given week.
There are certain guys who, by the nature of their game, are in play every week for large-field tournaments. Anderson is one of those guys.
His three touchdowns this season have gone for 76, 41 and 35 yards. The public will be on his teammate Jermaine Kearse, which creates a pretty unique leverage spot. If you buy the conceit that trying to account for matchups is a fool’s errand and that we should project only offenses, I think that the Jets are likely to trail the Vikings in this game, meaning more pass attempts. More pass attempts with no Quincy Enunwa should mean an extra deep shot or two for Anderson. If Anderson sees five targets with his 14.9 average depth of targets, then again, we should assume a decent chance of some chunk plays.
If you buy these “if, then” statements, then Anderson makes sense as a sprinkle play on your tournament teams.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You have spent the past two weeks hearing about how Howard was dinged up and how Cameron Brate is Jameis Winston’s preferred tight end. Howard then out-targeted Brate 4-to-1 — while wearing a bulky knee brace — and scored one of Winston’s passing touchdowns.
I am a huge fanboy of offensive coordinator Todd Monken and want pieces of the Buccaneers’ offense. The DeSean Jackson/Chris Godwin snap splits make it hard to target one of them as a core play, and Mike Evans will be covered by Denzel Ward for most of the time, which should funnel some usage to the tight end position.
The other tight end in this game, David Njoku, is going to be stone-cold chalk, and Howard is a decent leverage play, particularly in game stacks. Playing Howard over Njoku in your Cleveland/Tampa game stacks is a great way to be contrarian.
Pictured above: Tarik Cohen
Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports