Daily Fantasy Football: Sannes' Situations to Monitor in Week 13
In what has been a rarity throughout 2020, Week 13 shapes up like one where fantasy points could be hard to come by.
We've been flying high with gobs of totals in the 50s each and every week, and it has led to massive outputs across the board. If you wanted your lineup to cash, you needed that sucker to run pure.
This week is more dicey. Only three totals are above 50 on the main slate. Three of the teams involved are some of the run-heaviest offenses on the planet, and another just lost its best non-quarterback to suspension. You can poke some sort of hole in each contest.
But our two star pupils of the slate are also in that grouping. Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry check in at $10,500 and $10,000, respectively, on FanDuel, and their teams have the highest implied totals on the slate. On an offering where you need points, you know they can get you there.
That leads us to the first question: which of the two do we prioritize? You can fit both in the same lineup, but with how thin it leaves you elsewhere, it's not something you can do across the board if multi-entering. At some point, we've gotta figure out who should sit atop our list.
The second question is what the heck we do after we get our stud back locked in. And if you're looking for certainty at positions like quarterback and tight end, you've come to the wrong slate, my friend.
That's the lens through which we'll frame our discussions for today. How do we rank the stud backs, and which players actually have juice at the other positions? Let's start with the first question and then go from there.
Derrick v. Dalvin
We're going to go through the process of picking a preferred target between these two, but just know that it's not a fun endeavor. Both are rockstar-level plays, especially on a slate that sets up like this one. And as mentioned, you can find ways to jam in both. But let's play this out and see who emerges.
There are two main elements that will influence this ranking: workload and game environment. We need volume out of our running backs, but we also want that volume to come in games with the potential to shoot out. In last year's perfect lineups, a healthy chunk of the running backs came from high-scoring, tight games. We should seek out the same when trying to break a tie between two lethal backs.
The table below compares the two components for each guy. Here's their workload in their most relevant sample this year. For Henry, that's the full season. For Cook, it's the full games he has played. "Adj. Opp." is adjusted opportunities, which is carries plus two-times the player's target total as a target is worth twice as much as a carry for a running back on FanDuel. "RZ share" is the percentage of the team's red-zone carries or targets the player has gotten in that time.
|Running Back||Carries||Targets||Adj. Opp.||Yards||RZ Share||Spread||Imp. Total|
Cook leads Henry in the three money categories -- adjusted opportunities, yards, and red-zone share -- and his team has a higher implied total. That should force us to put him higher on our list. But the game environment discussion favors Henry, and that matters a lot.
Since the start of last year, 76 running backs have made the perfect FanDuel lineup for the main slate. Only five of them (6.6%) came from teams that were favored by 10 or more points. That's even though 11.3% of teams in that span were favored by double digits. Being heavily favored is actually a negative for a back's ceiling as it keeps them from getting oh-so-valuable targets late in games.
The spread for the Tennessee Titans versus Cleveland Browns has widened 1.5 points since it opened, so it's not as if the environment there is necessarily ideal, either. But if you're picking one opponent to keep the game tight for four quarters, you're better putting your money on the Browns than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As a result, if you've got just one lineup, Henry likely should hold the edge. The workload and implied total are close enough to Cook's, and Henry's the one more likely to be involved in a back-and-forth duel. That likely means our exposure levels to Henry should be higher than to Cook.
With that being said, there's a heavy case for Cook being the better play once you consider strategy. He's coming off a dud in a week where Henry torched souls, and Cook's offensive coordinator said that Cook is beat up right now. The odds are high that Henry is far more popular in tournaments than Cook.
And it's not as if you have to ignore the Titans if you don't go with Henry. Ryan Tannehill gets to face the league's 29th-ranked pass defense and has been highly efficient once again this year. You can pair Tannehill with either A.J. Brown or Corey Davis, plug in Cook at running back, and give yourself a slightly different build than those who roll with Henry.
Basically, it depends on how you want to play things here. If you want just volume, go with Cook. If you want to play some game theory, Cook has an edge there. But if you want the guy who best blends game environment with volume, then Henry sits atop the throne.
The plus with both of these guys is that we have logical game-stacking partners, so you can fully lean into building around these games.
In his full games this season, Chubb is averaging 120.5 yards from scrimmage. That ranks fourth on the slate among backs in their most relevant sample behind Cook, Henry, and the most under-salaried player on the slate, Austin Ekeler.
There has also been some upward movement for Chubb of late. He had a season-high three targets last week, and his snap rate topped 60% for just the second time. With how well he's playing, it would be foolish for the Browns not to give him more work. Because of their propensities for long runs, both Chubb and Henry work in lineups together, but you can also use Chubb as your bring-back when you use Tannehill at quarterback.
Landry has been getting healthy shares for a while; we just hadn't noticed because the Browns had been in so many weather games. With weather not a factor last week, Landry went for 143 yards, nearly doubling his previous high for the season. In three games since Austin Hooper's return, Landry has 28.1% of the overall targets along with 30.0% of the deep targets (at least 16 yards downfield) and 30.0% in the red zone. He's more of the salary-saving option here at $6,000 whereas Chubb is $8,700.
With Cook, the bring-back option is up in the air until we know the statuses of DJ Chark and Chris Conley. But we can at least find something positive here with how well Mike Glennon played last week.
Not only did Glennon keep the Jaguars close in Week 12 (a positive if you want to use Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, or Justin Jefferson), but he was slinging that sucker down the field. His average depth of target (aDOT) was 10.1 yards, and he threw deep 25.7% of the time. That would bode well for Chark if he's able to suit up. If not, then we could consider Collin Johnson, who is just $5,000 and hauled in two of Glennon's long balls, taking one to the house.
The easier route, though, is just using James Robinson, who also benefits from Glennon's commanding a competent offense. Robinson is averaging 26.2 adjusted opportunities and 106.4 yards from scrimmage for the season, helping give him a lofty floor. He gets enough work in the passing game where you can use him in game stacks with Cook, as well.
Potential Value at TE
If you want to get up to Cook and Henry, you'll need to find value somewhere else. It looks like we could get that at tight end on their own respective teams.
The first two days this week, both Irv Smith Jr. and Jonnu Smith have sat out of practice. In the two games without Irv Smith this year, Kyle Rudolph has 17.6% of the team's targets, though Thielen was absent for one of those, as well. Rudolph had a red-zone target in both and played more than 75% of the snaps. He's less dependent on the Jaguars keeping pace, so if Smith sits, Rudolph becomes an option at $5,000.
Anthony Firkser would be the benefactor if Jonnu Smith were to sit. Firkser actually has 12.4% of the Titans' targets for the full season even with Smith being healthy. It's worth noting that Firkser also missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, though his absence was not injury-related. Firkser is just $4,600, and in such a tasty game environment, we'd feel good targeting him at $4,600 if we get the chance.
Devontae Booker as a Value
As if the Las Vegas Raiders' vomit fest last week wasn't bad enough, it may have cost them two of their better players.
RB Josh Jacobs (ankle), WR Nelson Agholor (ankle) and S Johnathan Abram (knee) did not participate in practice for the second day in a row. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 3, 2020
If Josh Jacobs is able to play, we can likely avoid him. His workload has taken a hit in weeks he has been on the injury report this season, and he's clearly not at full health. We would be able to load up on Devontae Booker, though.
The ideal situation for using a lower-salaried back is A) when we know they'll be the next man up and B) when that role will include work in the passing game. We can state both of those with confidence for Booker.
Even when Jacobs was fully healthy, Booker would rotate in for full series as a relief option. In the negative script last week, Booker got four targets, and his main role back in his Denver Broncos days was as a pass-catcher. The high-leverage touches should go his way, and he should play plenty.
Booker's not a free square this week with his salary jacked up to $6,000. But when it's in a largely efficient offense against a leaky New York Jets defense, you can freely put Booker in your top four at running back after accounting for salary if Jacobs sits.
As for Agholor, his sitting would -- weirdly! -- be a downgrade for the whole offense. Derek Carr has averaged 0.72 Passing NEP per attempt when targeting Agholor compared to 0.34 when throwing to anybody else. Not having Agholor would likely make the offense less efficient, and nobody truly benefits from that.
You could argue for an additional couple targets for Darren Waller or Hunter Renfrow, but neither is particularly explosive from a yardage perspective. Henry Ruggs is, though, so every marginal look is pretty big for him.
Ruggs has gotten more than four targets twice this year. He has passed 50 receiving yards both times. That may not seem like much, but he actually has as many games with more than 50 yards this year as Waller on 57 fewer targets.
Ruggs currently has 29.7% of the team's deep targets since returning from injury, averaging 1.6 per game in that span. That gives him upside. If he gets an extra bunny target or two with Agholor sitting, he could easily rack up the yardage necessary to pay off. You'd want to not go overboard with Ruggs, but you can certainly justify exposure at $5,400 if Agholor can't go.
In the lineups where you use Booker or Ruggs, you can get some mini-stack action via Denzel Mims or Breshad Perriman. We're up to a three-game sample on the Jets with all three receivers healthy, and those two have been getting the kind of volume you need on a bad team.
|Past 3 Games||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Yes, the offense fell on its face last week. But that was against the Miami Dolphins' third-ranked pass defense; the Raiders are 24th. Sam Darnold won't set any records here, but he should be able to move the ball well enough to make Mims and Perriman viable whether in game stacks or as standalone plays.
Austin Ekeler's Delectable Role
We spent the whole intro slobbering over Cook and Henry. But the best running back on the slate after you consider salary is actually Austin Ekeler.
Ekeler returned last week from a long layoff and had a massive role. He got 14 carries and 16 targets, which amounts to 46 adjusted opportunities. For context, Henry is at 28.0 for the full season. That is a bonkers number.
And Ekeler did a lot with it, too, racking up 18.4 FanDuel points without even hitting paydirt. In the three full games he has played with Justin Herbert, Ekeler has at least 16.8 FanDuel points in each, and he has averaged 34.7 adjusted opportunities per game. You're getting all of that for just $7,000.
The workload is what gives Ekeler a nasty floor, and it's why we should load up on him this week. The ceiling is likely better than it seems.
In this three-game sample, Ekeler has just 23.7% of the team's red-zone opportunities. Joshua Kelley had a short touchdown last week, as well. This is something we should expect to continue again in the final five games.
But things were better this past week, even with the Kelley touchdown. Ekeler had 35.7% of the team's red-zone opportunities, including two carries and two targets inside the 10. He came a couple inches short of scoring before Kelley punched it in. So, yes, Ekeler may miss out on the bunnies, but it's not as if he'll never score.
We want to make sure we get healthy servings of Cook and Henry, and Booker deserves our love if Jacobs can't go. But Ekeler is only $1,000 higher-salaried than Booker and has arguably the third-best workload of the slate. Ekeler's the guy we want in our player pool more than anybody else on Sunday.
It's also not a bad idea to stack Ekeler with Herbert at times. The double-dip with all the targets is appealing, but Herbert's also just one of the few quarterbacks on the slate capable of putting up 30 FanDuel points. The New England Patriots rank just 17th against the pass this year, so they're not a team we need to avoid anymore.
The reason to pair Ekeler with Herbert over one of the other pass-catchers is that Ekeler really does eat into everyone else's volume. They've had two games this year with both Ekeler and Mike Williams healthy while Herbert has started, and Williams' volume in those games has been minuscule.
|With Ekeler and Williams||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Even with Ekeler getting 16 targets last week, both Allen and Henry managed to get at least 10 apiece. Henry has gone for 67 and 83 receiving yards in his two games with Herbert, Ekeler, and Williams on 18 total targets. He's over-salaried at $6,000, but so is literally every tight end on the slate. So although we may want Ekeler to be our primary stack with Herbert, Allen and Henry are also fully viable plays if you want to take advantage of New England's middling defense.
The Suspensions of Will Fuller and Bradley Roby
If this were most teams, they could use this as an excuse to just tank. But the Texans don't even have their first-round pick this year. So Deshaun Watson gets to play out the string in a meaningless season without his best toy. Good times!
This is obviously a downgrade for Watson. We just have to decide if it's a big enough downgrade for us to jump ship in what would otherwise be a fun game.
Unfortunately, we do have a sample on Watson without Fuller. There were six games last year in which Watson played and Fuller was either out or held under a 30% snap rate. In those six games, Watson's efficiency hit the pooper. "Passing NEP/P" is short for Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. NEP is the expected points model we use at numberFire, and Passing NEP includes deductions for expected points lost on events such as sacks, incompletions, and interceptions. The league-average mark is 0.14.
|Watson in 2019||Passing NEP/P||aDOT|
This doesn't mean you should cross Watson off your list. He's insanely talented and has overcome bad circumstances in the past. But this clearly takes him out of the top tier at quarterback for the week, and it might be better to avoid him until he gives us reason to change our tune.
Cooks does get a boost at $6,500 due to the increased volume. He was at 22.3% of the overall targets and 24.6% of the deep targets playing alongside Fuller. Those will both likely go up now. However, the decreased efficiency mitigates some of those gains. We should bump Cooks up. Just be sure you don't get too crazy, especially against a talented defense.
As for Coutee and Mitchell, there are multiple paths to failure. The offense could fall flat, it could revolve mostly around Cooks, the additional looks could go to Jordan Akins, or Isaiah Coulter could get some run. These guys were inactive most of the season for a reason, and it's hard to tell what the upside would be -- especially for Coutee -- even if they do carve out five to six targets per game. Although there's additional volume to be had, this isn't a fun situation to attack.
Basically, losing Fuller just kinda sucks all around outside of Cooks, and it does make Akins more viable at $5,200 as a low-salaried tight end. Roby being out is less grim.
Individual wide receiver-versus-cornerback matchups are often overstated. However, to put things as simply as possible, losing a good player on a bad defense is bad. A bad defense getting worse is good for the opposing team. Therefore, there isn't an individual player who benefits from Roby's suspension; the Colts' entire offense benefits.
That puts Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. on the map. Taylor missed last week's game due to COVID-19 contact tracing, but the week prior, he tied a season-high with 30 adjusted opportunities. If he were to get that number again here, he'd have an easy path to a big game at $6,400. However, with how the Colts use their backs, that's far from a lock, and it relegates Taylor to being a lower-exposure tournament option.
Pittman's in a similar realm. His overall target share in three games with T.Y. Hilton back is a disappointing 17.9%. However, he has shown upside with eight targets in two of those, and he topped 100 yards in Week 10. That's not enough to make him a priority, but we can filter him in when we wind up in the mid-$5,000s at receiver.
Monitoring Kyler Murray's Shoulder
If you've got some good juju to send into the ether, direct it all at Kyler Murray's right shoulder. We need that cannon at full health this week.
With few games we want to stack on the slate, games with high pace are extra attractive. This one features the teams ranked first and seventh in situation-neutral pace, according to Football Outsiders. If it had happened two weeks ago, we'd be jazzed to stack it even with the Los Angeles Rams playing great defense.
This is a bit different. Murray hurt his shoulder against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11 and didn't look fully right last week. It puts this game in flux and has kept the total middling at 48.5.
But there is some positivity here. Murray was able to get in a full practice Thursday, something he didn't do until Friday last week. It's not much, but it does matter.
That should be enough to get us to consider Murray as a quarterback in tournaments. He could flop, but that's true of all quarterbacks on the slate. None of them have his immense upside when he's fully on, and the bad matchup doesn't matter as much for him with how much of his production comes from his rushing. You don't want to go too crazy, but Murray's on the map for tourneys now.
Murray being healthier is also a good thing for Kenyan Drake. Drake has seemingly benefitted from Murray's willingness to check down recently, getting nine targets the past two weeks after entering that stretch with 11 for the full season. So the target total may go down here. But increased efficiency is huge for Drake.
In the full games he has played this year, Drake has 35.6% of the team's red-zone opportunities. That ranks seventh among viable running backs on the main slate in their most relevant samples. In three games since returning from injury, Drake's up to a 45.9% red-zone share. If this game does shoot out, Drake is likely to be involved, making him a game-stacking option at $6,600.
The other situation to monitor here is whether Larry Fitzgerald is cleared to play. As of Friday, Fitzgerald is still on the COVID-19 list. If he doesn't get cleared to play, it'd give us the green light on Andy Isabella.
With Fitzgerald sidelined last week, Isabella played a career-high 56.2% of the snaps and finished with six targets. That's not necessarily huge, but with deep volume and a $4,800 salary, Isabella doesn't need to get much to pay off. If Fitzgerald plays, we clearly shift our focus to just DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, favoring Kirk with his salary down to $5,800. But if Fitzgerald sits again, Isabella is at least a defensible punt.
There's also plenty to like on the Rams' side. Specifically, it's going to be hard to lay off Cooper Kupp at $6,600.
Yeah, we got a bad Jared Goff game last week. Those happen. But the week before, Goff shredded a really solid Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense. This week will be just the second time in the past eight games the Rams have faced a pass defense outside the top 12 by numberFire's metrics. We should expect them to perk back up here.
That puts Goff in play, especially with the lack of high-upside options elsewhere, but it's especially good for the pass-catchers. We're up to a nine-game sample now since Josh Reynolds' role expanded, and Kupp's volume in that time has been superb.
|Week 3 On||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Getting that type of volume for $6,600 in a high-pace game is too good to pass up. Kupp is one of the best receiver plays on the slate.
That's not to say you should avoid Reynolds and Robert Woods. Reynolds is just $5,500, meaning he's low-salaried exposure to a good game. As for Woods, once you add in his rush attempts, he actually has as many red-zone opportunities as Kupp in the stretch above. It's well within the realm of possibilities for Woods to outscore Kupp, so if Kupp shapes up to be outlandishly popular, then paying up for Woods to be contrarian has a lot of value.
The Packers at Full Health
Aaron Rodgers has been great all year long, trailing only Patrick Mahomes in Passing NEP per drop back. That's despite having stretches of time without Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Aaron Jones due to injury.
Now, though, they're all healthy. And it changes the way we view this team across the board.
The first thing is that it makes expectations for Rodgers astronomical. He has had just four games with all three players in the lineup. His Passing NEP per drop back is 0.44, which is 0.03 better than Mahomes' league-leading mark overall. That's enough to make Rodgers DFS-viable even in a game where the opposing offense might not be able to do a ton.
That's the good. The bad is that with so many mouths to feed, somebody's going to get hung out to dry.
Our most relevant sample here is likely the past two. In the first two games, Robert Tonyan hadn't fully broken out yet as he didn't get a single target in Week 1. Tonyan has had a relevant role the past two games with Lazard back, though.
|Past 2 Games||Overall Targets||Deep Targets||RZ Targets|
Clearly, Adams is fine even with more pieces in the fold. Tonyan is, too, though, especially on a slate with no upside at tight end. He's similar to Hunter Henry where he's over-salaried at $5,900 but in play despite that.
Lazard hasn't gotten the high-leverage targets in these two games, but that doesn't mean he can't get them. Lazard had four deep targets in three games before his injury, and he cashed in on his lone red-zone target last week. Pair that with Rodgers, and Lazard certainly works at $5,600.
The question is what you do with Jones. He has clearly taken a hit recently, falling short of double-digit FanDuel points for the first time all season last week. He's also far from a value at $8,400.
That's enough to push Jones out of play for cash games, and he's not a core tournament play. He can be a pivot for tournaments, though, with so many eyes on Henry, Cook, Chubb, and Ekeler.
If we look at the six games Jones has played with Adams and Jamaal Williams healthy, Jones has averaged 24.3 adjusted opportunities per game with 32.8% of the red-zone opportunities. Those numbers aren't great, but they're a lot juicier on an offense like this. He's also averaging more than 100 yards from scrimmage in those games, giving him a good floor.
As such, Jones serves as a quality tournament pivot. You shouldn't go overboard, but there's enough appeal here to get Jones on enough tournament lineups to benefit if he blows up.
Another Potential Julio Jones Absence
The Atlanta Falcons may have hung 43 points on the Raiders last week, but it wasn't because of their offense. Matt Ryan was under the league average at 0.05 Passing NEP per drop back. It looks like the struggles could continue this week.
Falcons' WR Julio Jones did not practice today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 3, 2020
That puts Julio Jones on the wrong side of questionable. They've lagged without him this year, and they're now facing the league's fifth-ranked pass defense for the second time in three games. That's going to mostly mush the Falcons' offense.
Jones' sitting would also be a bummer for Taysom Hill and Michael Thomas. You can make a case for the two in this spot given the Falcons' defensive struggles combined with Hill's rushing and Thomas' absurd market shares the past two weeks. It's just harder for them to blow up if the Falcons' offense is going to fall flat.
This is undoubtedly a better spot for the Saints than last week. As a result of that, you can at least consider Hill at $7,700, and it would make sense to stack him with Thomas at $7,200. Their appeal just isn't quite as high if the Falcons won't make them keep the foot on the gas for all four quarters. Bump them up if Jones is able to turn things around and play. Otherwise, they're merely in that "in consideration" tier at their respective positions.
A Plus Spot for the Bears
The Chicago Bears haven't been on a main slate in a while. The past three weeks, they've had two primetime games and a bye. They're back just in time for a plus matchup with the Detroit Lions in which we -- gasp! -- might actually want to use some of their players.
For the full season, the Lions rank 31st against the pass and 27th against the rush. That's while often having Danny Shelton and Jeff Okudah in the lineup. Shelton is on injured reserve, and Okudah has missed practice the past two days. It's a great welcome present for interim head coach Darrell Bevell.
Both guys have been getting massive volume this year. For Robinson, it's 25.1% of the targets for the full season, including 35.3% deep and 18.5% in the red zone. A good chunk of that red-zone usage came last week when Trubisky threw to him five times in his first game back as the starter. Robinson's salary has come down to $6,900, too. He's not as big of a priority as Kupp at $300 lower-salaried, but Robinson is still a borderline standout play.
Montgomery has already gotten plenty of buzz this week, so if you use him, you won't be alone. But that buzz is justified. In his full games without Tarik Cohen, Montgomery has 25.8 adjusted opportunities per game (fifth most in a relevant sample on the main slate) and 42.1% of the red-zone chances (third on the slate behind Cook and Henry). The volume has been there.
The problem previously was that it was a lot of empty volume. But last week, Montgomery busted off a big run as part of a 143-yard day, and the matchup this week is perfect. We should give the edge to Booker if he starts in place of Jacobs because the Raiders' offense is better and in a similarly good matchup. But Montgomery would be another value option to utilize when trying to get to Cook and Henry.
Depending on health, you might be able to justify some mini stacks here, too. The two potential targets would be T.J. Hockenson and D'Andre Swift. (UPDATE: Bevell said Friday that Swift would have a reduced role Sunday if he is ultimately cleared to play. This puts a cap on Swift's upside if he is able to go.)
Hockenson gets a bump up with Kenny Golladay trending toward another absence. In the past four games without Golladay, Hockenson has 18.0% of the total targets, including one deep look per game. His 89 yards last week were a new season-high, giving him yardage upside you don't get out of most tight ends. He's in the Henry and Tonyan tier as a palatable mid-range option.
Swift's status depends on two injuries: his own and that of Akiem Hicks. Hicks returned to a limited practice Thursday, meaning he could suit up. But in his absence last week, the Packers' ground game shredded the Bears' defense. It would be an upgrade to Detroit on the whole if Hicks or Khalil Mack can't play.
As for Swift, he has cleared concussion protocol but missed yesterday's practice due to an illness. In the three games before his concussion, Swift averaged 89.7 yards from scrimmage and forced his way into an expanded role. You'll want to be cautious with Swift if he gets the green light as he's coming off a multi-game absence, but you could at least consider him at $6,800.
Downgrading the Seahawks
"Let Russ Cook" ain't dead. But it's on life support.
The first 10 games of the year, the Seattle Seahawks threw 64.0% of the time on early downs in the first half. That's a finger-lickin' good number.
But at the end of that stretch, Russell Wilson had hit a snag. He had thrown two picks in consecutive games, putting him up to seven in a four-game stretch. It gave Brian Schottenheimer an out to take away Wilson's lighter fluid, and whew, buddy, has he done so.
In the past two games, the team's early-down first-half pass rate is down to 51.7%, almost all the way on the other end of the spectrum. Wilson has played well, and the team has won both games, just giving further credence to continuing this new rush-heavy approach.
That's one part of the equation. The other part is that it's hard to see this game shooting out.
Daniel Jones has missed practice the past two days and seems likely to sit. That would put Colt McCoy in the driver's seat, and McCoy finished last week with -4.04 Passing NEP on 10 drop backs. This would take the New York Giants' pieces out of play, and it would make it tough to envision a spot where the Seahawks let it rip once again.
As a result, we should downgrade everybody in this passing game. That doesn't mean you need to avoid Wilson and DK Metcalf. They'll be efficient enough where they can certainly pay off, and Metcalf doesn't need 40 pass attempts to go nuclear. But it prevents either from being a priority and makes it justifiable to look elsewhere.
The one name worth keeping an eye on is Chris Carson. He split work with Carlos Hyde in his first game back, and if Hyde plays, it takes Carson off the board. However, Hyde missed practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. If we get Carson by himself here, then you can give him a look. But both together is too spread out to stomach, especially with Carson's salary still up at $8,000.
Myles Gaskin's Likely Return
Whether it's Tua Tagovailoa or Ryan Fitzpatrick starting this week, the Miami Dolphins are in a similar spot to the Seahawks: it's hard to expect their opponents to make the game shoot out. That downgrades DeVante Parker, even though his market shares without Preston Williams have been top-notch.
It wouldn't totally push us off the running game, though, and it looks like we should finally get Myles Gaskin back in the fold.
Gaskin has been practicing since the start of last week; he just couldn't get cleared in time for game action. Gaskin is practicing again this week and could be activated on Saturday. If he is, we can consider him at $5,500.
Our confidence in Gaskin goes up because of his practice regimen. Both Davante Adams and Christian McCaffrey had big games this year in their returns from multi-week absences, and the performances were predictable because they got multiple weeks of practice in before their return. Gaskin isn't on their level, but he does seem important to the team.
On the season, 46.0% of Gaskin's rush attempts have increased the team's expected points for the drive. That's up from 33.8% for all other backs on the team. Both Matt Breida and Patrick Laird lost fumbles last week, and Salvon Ahmed and DeAndre Washington are banged up.
We want to exploit situations like this. When McCaffrey and Ekeler were out, their replacements struggled in their stead. They came back to massive workloads as a result. We've got a similar spot with Gaskin, and he had solid usage pre-injury with 24.3 adjusted opportunities per game. The Dolphins are also in the playoff hunt, increasing the incentive to lean on their best back. You'll want to be sure not to go overboard in case they ease him back in, but tournament exposure is a must if multi-entering and Gaskin is good to go.