A do-it-all back in a drool-inducing matchup is my top stud option in DraftKings GPP NFL contests this week. He’s joined by a field-stretching value option at wideout. The touted plays are rounded out by a three-man stack that commands a small percentage of salary cap space in a plus matchup.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO): $7,900 vs. Panthers
Kamara appears likely to be rejoined by superstar teammate Michael Thomas, but he remains a high-ceiling option even if he loses a bit of his receiving work. Speaking of his receiving work, this week offers him a great opportunity to showcase his elite receiving skills. He’s averaging 7.6 receptions and 79.0 receiving yards per game this season, and the Panthers have coughed up the most receptions (47) and third-most receiving yards (327) to running backs in 2020, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
In addition to what they’re giving up through the air, they’ve also yielded 4.85 yards per carry to backs, and Kamara is no slouch as a runner. He averages 56.2 rushing yards per game at 4.6 yards per carry. Football Outsiders ranks the Panthers just 26th in Rush Defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). The Saints are 7.5-point favorites this week, according to the BettingPros consensus line. If things go according to the spread, it should be a favorable game script for running for the Saints. That said, Latavius Murray could steal some of the work from Kamara in salting the game away. Regardless, Kamara has a sky-high ceiling and a bit of a value at under $8,000.
Favorite Value Play
Mike Williams (WR – LAC): $4,700 vs. Jaguars
Prior to the Chargers’ Week 6 bye, Williams treated Monday Night Football viewers to a show with a 5-109-2 line on eight targets in Week 5. The 6-foot-4 wideout looked unstoppable and was on the same page with his strong-armed rookie quarterback. Speaking to the chemistry and Justin Herbert’s willingness to throw him contested balls, Williams provided some eye-catching quotes in Gilbert Manzano’s piece for The Orange County Register.
He’s a massive target who’s used as a field-stretcher, and this matchup sets up perfectly for him. Among receivers targeted at least 10 times this year, Williams’ average depth of target of 18.2 yards downfield is the sixth-deepest mark, per Sports Info Solutions. It takes time for receivers to get downfield, and since the Jaguars tied for last with only five sacks (and rank in the middle of the pack in pressure percentage, per Pro-Football-Reference), Williams should have plenty of opportunities to get open deep. It helps that Herbert’s mobility allows him to keep plays alive. Further, the Jaguars are tied for the fourth-highest average explosive pass rate allowed at 10%, according to Sharp Football Stats.
Kyle Allen (QB – WAS): $5,200 vs. Cowboys
Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS): $5,800 vs. Cowboys
Logan Thomas (TE – WAS): $3,500 vs. Cowboys
The Cowboys have been a tire fire defensively this season. Football Outsiders ranks them 28th in overall defense DVOA, 21st in pass defense DVOA, and 29th in rush defense DVOA. Antonio Gibson ($5,000) isn’t included in this stack, but, for full disclosure, I’ll be using him in some three-man stacks with Allen and McLaurin and pitching Thomas. Having said that, my favorite combo from the Football Team is Allen/McLaurin/Thomas.
Getting back to the Cowboys’ struggles, they were most recently drilled by the Cardinals on Monday night, and they’ll need to regroup in a short week. Making the situation even more intriguing is the displeasure with the coaching staff voiced by some players on the team.
Washington’s offense hasn’t been anything to write home about, and a 19-point effort last week is hardly a blow-up week, but Allen performed markedly better in his second start of the year. The beauty of the mediocre scoring output last week is that it should limit the players rostering Allen and others this week.
McLaurin is the likely the exception to the low rostership percentage, though. At under $6,000, and as the unquestioned No. 1 receiver facing a bad defense, I suspect he’ll be at least somewhat popular, if not chalky, in GPPs. Speaking to his alpha status in Washington’s passing attack, his 12 targets last week doubled the next-closest total of six posted by J.D. McKissic. He turned his dozen targets into seven receptions for 74 yards, and he’ll look to build on those marks in a cushy matchup this week.
Thomas didn’t practice Wednesday, so his health will need to be monitored. However, as long as he plays, he’s a nifty punt option whose scoring correlates with Allen’s. The Cowboys have given up a handful of fantasy-friendly lines to tight ends this year, and Thomas is coming off of a rock-solid 3-42-1 line on four targets last week. It was only his first time eclipsing 40 receiving yards this year, and it snapped back-to-back single-digit yardage outputs, so there’s certainly a low floor in play with Thomas.
Having said that, his playing time and usage tease upside beyond his decent line from last week. As you can see on the FantasyPros snap counts landing page, he’s played 87% of snaps this year. Being on the field is a good start, but Thomas’ noteworthy usage goes beyond being out on the field. He’s credited with playing in the slot 61.7% of the time and has a 95.4% route participation mark this year, according to Player Profiler.
All three members of this stack benefit from Washington’s up-tempo offense. They are playing at the fourth-fastest situation neutral pace, per Football Outsiders. The Cowboys have played at the fastest situation-neutral pace this year, so there’s a chance for this game to be played at a scintillating pace. That said, it remains to be seen how fast the Cowboys will play with backup Andy Dalton starting in place of injured Dak Prescott. Regardless, there’s plenty of room for them to slow down and still play at an above-average pace. If they do continue to play at the game’s fastest pace or near the top of the heap, that would be a cherry on top for this stack.
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