Daily Fantasy Football: Sannes' Situations to Monitor in Week 15

Cam Akers' new roles makes him a priority and one of several great mid-range options on Week 15's main DFS slate. Which other situations are altering the way we view various players?

Allow me, if you will, to rewind the clock one month. It was November 18th, a few days after Week 10 wrapped up. And a bunch of running backs were in prickly situations.

Jonathan Taylor had just played a season-low 24% of the snaps. David Montgomery was recovering from a concussion and was averaging just 3.6 rushing yards per attempt. Doug Pederson was on the verge of announcing the Philadelphia Eagles would shift to a running-back-by-committee approach with the offense struggling under Carson Wentz. And Cam Akers was still riding the pine, hoping to play more than one-third of the snaps for the first time in his career.

Things are just a wee bit different now.

Suddenly, all of those players have new life. They all topped 20 FanDuel points in Week 14 thanks to massive shifts in their workloads. And none of them carry a salary higher than $7,400 on the main slate.

Giddy up.

We don't normally get high-usage backs with mid-range salaries in DFS. This week is different, though, and it comes at a beautiful time. We want to spend up for the workloads of Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook without totally passing on guys like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Utilizing slots on these reduced-salary featured backs can help us in that journey.

We just have to decide which one we like most.

That's where we're going to start things off today. We're going to check out each of the mid-range backs, see what they've done since moving into their new roles, and decide who stands out most for DFS. Then, we'll sort through how to fill out the rest of our lineups by digging into other situations impacting Week 15.

The Mid-Range Running Backs

For the purposes of this discussion, we're going to define the mid-range as the guys with salaries between $7,500 and $6,500 on FanDuel. It's an arbitrary range, cherry-picked to include my favorite options, but we don't have to play by the rules in these digital streets. It also means we're skipping over Alvin Kamara, but we'll circle back to him later.

The factors we'll want to consider here are workload and game environment. For the workload section, we'll be looking primarily at each player's "adjusted opportunities" and "red-zone share." Adjusted opportunities is just carries plus two-times the player's target total as targets are worth twice as much as carries on a half-PPR site. Red-zone share is the percentage of the team's carries or targets the player has gotten in their most relevant sample.

The most relevant sample aspect does involve a bit of guesswork, and it will force us to dabble in small samples with the guys in this range. For example, the most relevant sample for Miles Sanders is the one game he has played with Jalen Hurts. It's risky, but it's necessary if we want to avoid leaning on bad data.

The two keys to focus on with game environment are the spread and each team's implied total. Even at running back, we want to seek out high-scoring, tight games so that the back has plenty of touchdown opportunities and can get those ever-valuable targets late in games. You can have a lofty floor when your team is heavily favored, but a good chunk of true ceiling games come from the back-and-forth affairs.

Here's how things shape up for the mid-range backs once we determine what each person's most relevant sample looks like.

Running Back Adj. Opp. Yards RZ Share Spead Imp. Total
Jonathan Taylor 24.3 138.0 20.6% -7.5 29
David Montgomery 24.9 99.5 39.2% +3.5 22
James Robinson 26.0 104.7 31.3% +12.5 17.5
Ezekiel Elliott 23.0 72.5 27.6% +3 21.25
Miles Sanders 24.0 136.0 57.1% +6.5 21.5
Cam Akers 29.0 144.0 56.0% -17.5 30.5
D'Andre Swift 20.0 79.8 21.4% +10.5 20.5
Kenyan Drake 21.0 82.7 37.4% -6.5 28

We're not gonna get a good ol'-fashioned shootout from the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets. That's a bummer for Akers. But everything else about his profile is absolutely drool-worthy.

If we were to assume Akers' workload the past two games were what we should expect going forward, he'd have the second-best adjusted opportunity number on the entire slate. Only Cook beats him out at 30.9. Hot damn.

And Akers has been highly effective in that volume. He topped the 20-point barrier last week without even finding the end zone. He also alleviated the big concern with his profile entering that one as he notched three targets, nearly equaling his total for the season prior to that point.

Akers has shoved Malcolm Brown out of the picture and is now getting the high-leverage looks in addition to his new-found early-down role. With how well Akers has played, the Rams have no reason to put this Ferrari back in the garage. Akers is up there with Cook and Henry as arguably the best running back play on the slate.

The battle for second is a bit tighter. You could realistically consider all of Taylor, Montgomery, and Sanders for that slot. It does seem, though, as if Taylor holds a slight edge.

The sample on Taylor is his past three games as that's the time in which his snap rate has gone back above 45%. In that time, he has at least 114 yards from scrimmage in each game, topping out at 165 last week. You're getting that in a decently competitive matchup with the Houston Texans, and the Texans rank 25th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to opposing running backs. It's about as peachy of a spot as you can get.

The reason we should favor Akers over Taylor despite the fact that Taylor has the preferred matchup and game environment is their red-zone work. Akers has 56.0% of the Rams' red-zone opportunities the past two games; Taylor's at just 20.6% over his past three. Nyheim Hines and Jacoby Brissett are still stealing work there, and Taylor isn't going to house one from 60 yards out every week. It's not enough to push Taylor below the two spot, but it does solidify the advantage for Akers.

Red-zone usage is one reason you could pitch Montgomery as a pivot in the two hole if Taylor's popularity gets out of hand.

Montgomery has no issues getting high-leverage touches. Among those whose most relevant sample is more than two games, Montgomery is second on the slate in red-zone share, trailing just Cook. He also has a slight edge on Taylor in adjusted opportunities thanks to his role in the passing game, and he's projected to be in a tighter contest.

That doesn't mean we should rank Montgomery ahead of Taylor straight up. It's moreso to say that Montgomery is worthy of being a fringe core play, and we can fully justify pivoting to him if there is a massive popularity gap thanks to Taylor's preferable matchup.

Sanders' yardage total in the table looks enticing, and it is. He has been efficient all year long, and that efficiency figures to increase with a rushing threat at quarterback. But there are more concerns with him than with the others.

Primarily, it's hard to know how successful the offense will be now that opponents have a week of tape on Hurts. They looked good there, but 71.3% of Sanders' rushing yardage came on a single play. The offensive line is still a mess, and the pass-catchers ain't great. The odds that the offense struggles this week are pretty high.

That doesn't mean we need to ignore Sanders entirely. You can certainly get there if you want to stack that game or if you're bullish on the new-look offense. But we've got really good alternatives here, and that allows us to make Sanders much less of a priority in an offense that has struggled almost all year.

The sample for Kenyan Drake in the table is his full games this year. That's assuming that Chase Edmonds plays. But Edmonds is yet to practice this week, at least giving us a shot to get Drake as the featured back. If Edmonds sits, Drake jumps into the Taylor and Montgomery tier in this range, leap-frogging Sanders on the other side. Drake is at least an option, though, for differentiation due to his red-zone role even if Edmonds does suit up.

Injuries Elsewhere

You're not going to find any rockstar-level plays below those guys on the salary pole for this week. There are at least some other options to consider below $6,500, so let's touch on them here.

The one not dependent on Friday's injury reports is J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins is $5,900 and has had a pretty solid role recently. The Baltimore Ravens effectively took Mark Ingram out of the equation in Week 14, allowing Dobbins to play at least 60% of the snaps for the third time this year. He's also tied to a massive team total as the Ravens are 12.5-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The snap rate plus the efficiency are why we should consider Dobbins. He's fully in play at $5,900 and -- at least right now -- grades out the best among players in this range. His profile isn't perfect, though.

Namely, Dobbins misses out on high-leverage touches. He doesn't get a ton of work in the passing game (mostly because the Ravens just don't pass, which will likely be the case again this weekend), and he loses goal line work to both Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards. We want goal-line touches and targets, and Dobbins doesn't get either. It puts a lid on his ceiling.

There's still a world where Dobbins scores twice and gets enough yardage to pay off; he's good enough to make that happen. But it keeps him from being a priority, and it means we have incentive to find the salary necessary to get back into the mid-range when possible.

The other situations where we could get some value at running back are via the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Tampa side isn't all that exciting. Leonard Fournette is in line to occupy the Ronald Jones role with Jones on the COVID-19 list. However, Fournette was inactive last week, which means he's unlikely to wind up being a true featured back. Add in a matchup with an Atlanta Falcons defense that encourages you to throw against them, and Fournette grades out as being a risky play at $5,500.

We could feel better about Jeff Wilson if he were the 49ers' lead back, but that might not wind up happening. Raheem Mostert returned to a limited practice on Thursday, meaning there's a good chance he plays this week. If he does, the backfield is too spread out to trust, even against the Dallas Cowboys.

If Mostert sits, Wilson is just a smidge below Dobbins. The pro is that we know he'll get the goal-line work. The con is that this offense has really struggled under Nick Mullens. So if Mostert can't go, we'd have a couple of viable plays in Dobbins and Wilson, but the preferred range is easily the salary tier above this one.

Brees Back, Baby

From a traditional game-stacking perspective, the Kansas City Chiefs' matchup with the New Orleans Saints has graded out best all week long. We just had to deal with the lingering concern that a run-centric offense led by Taysom Hill would muck it up.

Fear no more, friends. Drew Brees is back.

Kudos to Hill for what he did while Brees is out. But it's party time, everybody.

In the four games with Hill as starter, Saints games averaged just 37.8 points per game, and they maxed out at 45. A rush-heavy offense drains the clock and kills game stacks. But the Saints' early-down first-half pass rate under Brees (55.5%) is 10 percentage points higher than it was under Hill (45.0%). This is a radically different game.

That's great for both sides. For the Chiefs, it means we can liberally slobber over Patrick Mahomes as arguably the top quarterback on the slate, and we can go nuts with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce whether we're stacking this game or not. You can't pass up the Chiefs in a potentially close game regardless of the matchup, so load up on them.

Brees' return also provides a huge boost to both Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.

For Kamara, the bump is obvious. In games with Brees, Kamara averaged 29.3 adjusted opportunities per game and 126.0 yards from scrimmage. With Hill, those decreased to 20.5 and 72.0, respectively.

It's worth noting that most of that sample with Brees came while Thomas was sidelined. That likely puts a dent in Kamara's target projection, so we shouldn't bump him fully up to what he was earlier in the year. But this is an obvious spot to get in on Kamara while the salary is low, and he's going to be a priority play at $7,800.

As for Thomas, we saw him come to life with Hill, gobbling up 33.3% of the targets and notching at least 84 receiving yards in three of four games. But even he benefits from Brees.

Not only are the Saints more pass-happy under Brees, but they're more efficient, too. Brees has averaged 0.26 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back for the season. NEP is numberFire's expected-points metric that includes deductions for expected points lost on negative plays such as sacks, incompletions, and interceptions. The league-average mark is 0.14, and Hill was at 0.09. This is a big upgrade there, which is a boon for everyone.

We haven't seen Thomas get the massive shares from Brees in 2020. But those games came while he was dealing with an injury. Thomas missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, so he may not be at full health, but that didn't stop him from having a respectable game in Week 14. As long as he's able to log a full practice on Friday, we can get all tingly about Thomas at $7,000. (UPDATE: Thomas has since been ruled out. Below are the team's target shares without Thomas and with Emmanuel Sanders from Weeks 2 through 5. They make Sanders a high-quality value option at $5,500.)

Weeks 2 to 5Overall TargetsDeep TargetsRZ Targets
Alvin Kamara25.7%16.7%30.0%
Emmanuel Sanders21.5%38.9%20.0%
Tre'Quan Smith13.9%11.1%20.0%

Getting Brees back in the saddle benefits everyone. It keeps the game close, which is good for the Chiefs, and he boosts the Saints' efficiency, bumping up Kamara and Thomas in a big way. This is the game to build around on the main slate, and if you have just one lineup, you should likely start it by getting the costly-yet-juicy pieces tied to it.

Buying the Bucs' Passing Game

Another week and another disappointment for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' passing game. Tom Brady failed to top 200 passing yards last week, marking the fourth time in five games with Antonio Brown that he failed to score more than 24 FanDuel points. This offense isn't exactly a DFS wonderland right now.

But for a couple of reasons, we should be right back on them again this week.

The first is that the game with the Minnesota Vikings was super fluky. The Bucs ran just 49 offensive plays, and nobody's going to blow up when that happens. We can write that one off.

Second, you could argue this is the best situation the Bucs have been in since Brown joined the fold. It's their first dome game in that stretch, and they get it against the league's 23rd-ranked pass defense. This will be just the second time Brady and Brown have faced a bottom-half pass defense; in the first one, Brady went for 31.84 FanDuel points against the Carolina Panthers.

This game does get dinged with Julio Jones trending toward another absence after missing practice Thursday. It lowers the odds this thing turns into a full-blown shootout. But there's still enough here where we can likely put it in our top three for stacking.

It does help, too, that we can feel pretty comfortable in putting Mike Evans at the top of the heap among the Bucs' receivers. We've got five games of sample now on the Bucs with Brown, and Evans is bathing in high-leverage looks. Here, a "deep" target is at least 16 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Past 5 Games Overall Targets Deep Targets RZ Targets
Mike Evans 21.6% 34.3% 45.8%
Chris Godwin 18.4% 20.0% 4.2%
Antonio Brown 18.4% 14.3% 4.2%
Rob Gronkowski 13.0% 20.0% 20.8%

Not only is Evans effectively the team's goal-line back, but he's getting downfield looks, too, averaging 2.4 per game with Brown in town. Evans' salary is just $7,100, making him an option even when you're not stacking this game.

Jones being out is a bummer for the Falcons, but it does make the run-back option for Brady/Evans stacks easy. You just plug in Calvin Ridley and log out.

Ridley when Jones is healthy gets by on efficiency. The team operates at a high level, allowing him to pay off even without gobs of targets. But when Jones is out or limited, Ridley turns into a target monster.

With Jones Out/Limited Overall Targets Deep Targets RZ Targets
Calvin Ridley 27.2% 52.2% 24.1%
Russell Gage 16.4% 15.2% 20.7%
Hayden Hurst 13.2% 8.7% 17.2%

In that six-game stretch, Ridley has gotten at least 110 receiving yards three times, and he had 90 in another. You need upside at $8,400 to be worthwhile, but with all those downfield looks, it's clear that Ridley has that.

You can certainly use guys like Chris Godwin, Brown, Rob Gronkowski, or Russell Gage here if you want. They are all at least getting some volume, and if this game blows up, they could contribute to the scoring. But if you're building just one lineup here, it seems wisest to just accept the money targets and stack Evans and Ridley with Brady at quarterback.

Running Quarterbacks in Arizona

In fantasy, we want quarterbacks who run. It gives them a floor with quick access to a ceiling.

The quarterbacks in this game combined for 31 rush attempts last week. Hello, bliss.

We've talked plenty about Hurts' 18 rushes in his first start. But Kyler Murray also racked up 13 of his own in a win over the New York Giants. He had just 15 total in the three games leading into that one. So while Hurts is getting all the talk, it's Murray who got the biggest upgrade last week.

Before his injury, when Murray was averaging 9.7 rush attempts per game, his salary was up near $9,000. It's just $8,000 here. He might not be as skilled of a passer as he was then, but even with that being the case, he now has to be one of the top quarterbacks on the Week 15 slate.

As for Hurts, the floor is there because of the rushing. The ceiling is more of a question, though, and it depends on his skills as a passer.

We can see examples of this by looking at the aforementioned Taysom Hill. Hill has given himself a floor by rushing, allowing him to score at least 18.52 FanDuel points in each of his starts. But because the passing hasn't been all that spectacular, he hasn't had more than 24.22. You at least need some contributions as a passer if you're going to pump out a 30-point game, which needs to be in your range of outcomes regardless of salary.

It's not outrageous to think Hurts could get there. But we also have to remember that this offensive line is one of the worst in football right now, and the pass-catchers are still likely to struggle. Hurts exceeded expectations in his first start, making him a legit option at $6,900. He just isn't a must-have player at that salary due to questions around his ability to generate a ceiling.

That hurts the Eagles' pass-catchers' outlooks for DFS, too. Nobody had more than six targets in Hurts' first start, and Hurts threw deep just twice. It's hard to see any of them putting up a huge day. As a result, if you do go with Hurts, you should likely either run him by himself or stack him with Sanders.

Murray's in play by himself, as well. But you can always stack him with DeAndre Hopkins, and Christian Kirk's $5,300 salary is enough to at least make him a consideration despite a poor role recently. You can also give the aforementioned Drake a sniff thanks to his 45.3% red-zone share since returning from injury. The key takeaway here is that the Cardinals' side is the one that stands out most even with the Eagles finally showing life last week.

Buzzkill Injuries in Nashville

If we had Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay healthy, this matchup between the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans would be among the best on the board. But it's still 2020, so reality isn't as sweet...

Not having Stafford and Golladay effectively kills the Lions' offense despite facing a very beatable Titans defense. It also lowers the ceiling for everybody on the Titans' side, including Henry.

As mentioned earlier, we want tight, back-and-forth games to give our guys volume for the entire game. Henry's highest-scoring game this year was one that went to overtime, and opponents scored at least 25 points in 3 of his 4 games with at least 26 FanDuel points. We want them to lean on him deep in the fourth quarter rather than letting him rest.

Obviously, this doesn't push Henry out of the top spot at running back. He's got a massive floor, and that does matter. But it gives us a tiny bit extra incentive to consider Cook as a pivot in a more attractive game. More on that in a second.

As for the passing game here, they're the bigger losers with the Lions' injuries. Of Ryan Tannehill's four games with 26-plus FanDuel points, three came when the opponents put up at least 30. The Lions won't do that here. It doesn't mean you can use Tannehill, A.J. Brown, and Corey Davis in an elite matchup, but with other options in better games in the same salary tiers, they're not players you have to include in your player pool.

A Sneaky Fun Game in Minneapolis

You don't need to get too weird at running back if you're looking for a potential back-and-forth game. This one between the Vikings and Chicago Bears has pretty much the exact profile we should seek out.

The spread is tight at 3.5 points, giving us that fourth-quarter juice. The total rose to 47.5 on Thursday after opening at 46. Bettors think there will be points this game, and we should, too.

I mentioned earlier that you could use the game environment as a reason to pivot to Montgomery and away from Taylor. The same thought process applies with Cook and Henry. Again, it's not enough to put Cook above Henry straight up, but for a single-entry tournament lineup, there's plenty to like here.

It's also important to note that you can absolutely stack Cook and Montgomery together. Last year's perfect FanDuel lineups featured four-game stacks with a running back from each team, and the same happened in Week 5 this year. It helps that both Cook and Montgomery are capable of getting work in the passing game (meaning neither will be off the field if the other team is ahead) and that both get monstrous red-zone shares. If this game hits or exceeds the total, you know they will be involved.

If you don't want to stack the backs, you can clearly go at the pass-catchers, as well. Allen Robinson, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen all get the kind of volume you need out of a receiver in the $7,000 range, so they are in play. The tight ends here are both stand-out options if you need value.

For the Bears, that's Cole Kmet. Kmet has a 15.5% target share since the team's bye, and he has seven targets each of the past two weeks. That's really solid volume for a tight end at $5,100.

The one concern around Kmet could be yardage upside. That's not a concern that Irv Smith Jr. shares. He has 50-plus receiving yards in three games this season, a mark Kmet is yet to reach.

One of those games was last week when Smith had 63 yards and a touchdown. Smith played less than 40% of the snaps there, which would be a concern in a vacuum. However, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported before the game that Smith would be limited, and Smith on Wednesday got in his first full practice since Week 9. The training wheels should be off here, and Kyle Rudolph seems likely to sit after missing practice Thursday. Smith works as a pivot off of Kmet if you think Kmet will be too popular for your liking.

Believing in Deshaun Watson

Last week was a poop show for the Texans. They put up just seven points against the Bears and were sent home with their tails between their legs. With nothing left to play for, it could cause us to cross them off the rest of the way.

But this week is a much better situation, and we know what Deshaun Watson is capable of.

In that game, Watson had to play without Brandin Cooks, meaning he was without every single receiver who got a target back in Week 1. You can't expect any quarterback to thrive in that situation. It was also an outdoor game with 34-degree temperatures.

Now, the Texans get to move back indoors with Cooks likely rejoining the fray. Sure, it's a tough matchup, and these two teams did just square off two weeks ago. But we shouldn't bury them just yet.

That may not be enough to get you to buy into Watson. The Colts are clearly no pushover defense, and they did just see him. But Watson threw for 341 yards against them, and he didn't have Will Fuller in that one, either. As such, we should at least give Watson consideration here, and there does seem to be a path to upside.

Perhaps the easier sell is saying that we can get back in on the pass-catchers here. With Cooks likely back, we can expunge Week 14 from the record. That makes Week 13 our only relevant game, and in that one, Keke Coutee got great volume.

In Week 13 Overall Targets Deep Targets RZ Targets
Keke Coutee 9 4 1
Brandin Cooks 8 2 0
Chad Hansen 7 3 0

Coutee flopped last week despite a touchdown. But that was true of the entire offense, and they should perk back up here. As such, Coutee's one of the top value receivers on the slate at $5,900, and we should prioritize him over Chad Hansen.

Cooks carries risk because of his injuries. However, he would have been in play at $6,500 in this matchup even when Fuller was healthy. Now, if he is healthy, Cooks is the top guy here. If Cooks can get in a full practice on Friday, he grades out as being a high-quality way to deviate from Coutee if you can scrounge up the $600 in salary to get there.

It's also worth keeping tabs on the backfield. Duke Johnson missed practice Thursday, meaning we could get David Johnson as the clear lead back. Johnson has struggled to generate upside this year, but he did hit a 95% snap rate twice with Duke out early on. David is $5,900, and if Duke can't go, he would likely grade out just a smidge better than Dobbins and Wilson.

In the spots where you do decide to roll out Watson, Coutee, Cooks, or Johnson, the easy bring-back options are Taylor and T.Y. Hilton.

Hilton's revival has been surprising, but it's backed up in his peripheral numbers. Over the past three games, Hilton is at 22.1% of the targets and 42.1% of the deep targets. That's enough to justify his salary at $6,800. We'll likely want to favor Taylor because Taylor's ceiling is hard to pass up, but we can believe in Hilton's recent output and turn to him if we wind up in that range.

The Dolphins' Revolving Skill Corps

Early this week, it seemed like the Miami Dolphins might not have any of DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki, or Myles Gaskin. Gaskin's definitely out due to COVID-19 protocols. But Grant and Parker practiced on Wednesday, and then we got a surprise on Thursday.

Well, all righty then.

This isn't a plea for you to use these guys. It's a low-total game, and the opposing New England Patriots can mush even the most fun games. But it does impact the potential value options here.

Specifically, Lynn Bowden Jr. could be an option depending on how things break. Bowden finished last week with nine targets, three of which were deep. He is $5,000, and that's great volume for that salary.

The ideal situation for Bowden is if two of the three players in flux were to play. That way, we could reasonably expect the Dolphins to move the ball, but Bowden wouldn't lose out on too much volume. If one of them plays, the volume projection goes up while the projected efficiency goes down, but he could still be an option. The situations that would squeeze him out of the fold would be if all three were to play or if none could go.

The other potential value is Adam Shaheen. Shaheen took up the Gesicki role last week, running 22 total routes with 13 in the slot and 1 out wide, according to Pro Football Focus. If Gesicki can't go, Shaheen would be in play (strictly for tournaments) at $4,800. If not, we can still get some value out of the position via guys like Kmet and Irv Smith.

The backfield here projects to be a mess. DeAndre Washington had a solid role last week, but both Matt Breida and Salvon Ahmed will likely be back. We're best off just avoiding this situation, meaning Friday's injury report will simply dictate whether we can trust Bowden and Shaheen.

Brandon Aiyuk: Target Hog

If Mostert plays, our desire to use anybody in this game goes way down. The big, shining exception is Brandon Aiyuk.

Deebo Samuel is likely to sit this week, and George Kittle seems a week away despite returning to practice this week. That means we could get Aiyuk without both, which would make him the focal point of the offense.

We've had basically two games this year where Aiyuk played without Samuel and Kittle. He got 16 and 14 targets in those two games. Yowza.

Even when you don't look at just those splits, Aiyuk has 75 or more receiving yards in five straight games. He has been productive in a bad offense, and that's worthwhile.

The only downside of Aiyuk is his $6,900 salary. That's a lot of moola to allocate to a game that's unlikely to shoot out, especially with Mike Evans just $200 above him. That matters for Aiyuk. However, there's enough working in his favor to make Aiyuk a high-quality option despite a poor game environment.

Dwayne Haskins vs. Alex Smith

As of now, we don't know who will start for Washington. Dwayne Haskins is getting the reps in practice, but the team seems to prefer Alex Smith if he can go.

Here's the thing: it doesn't matter all that much.

The public has a negative view of Haskins due to his poor time as a starter, but Smith -- from a passing perspective -- hasn't really been all that different. Here, "aDOT" is "average depth of target," or the average distance a pass travels beyond the line of scrimmage.

In 2020 Passing NEP/P aDOT
Alex Smith -0.07 5.4
Dwayne Haskins -0.08 6.4

The efficiency has been nearly dead even. And for DFS, we want long balls, and Haskins has been more willing to chuck it than Smith. It might actually be advantageous for Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas if Haskins gets the start.

McLaurin has been dealing with an ankle injury, and it had him listed as questionable in Weeks 12 and 13. He got in full practices twice last week and still struggled, but now he's an additional week removed from the injury. That's a plus for him.

In the four games Haskins started earlier in the year, McLaurin averaged 9.8 targets for 96.8 yards per game. He's in a plus spot against the Seattle Seahawks, and he's unlikely to carry any popularity. If Haskins gets the start, it might not be a bad idea to get some speculative shares of McLaurin, and you can mini-stack it by including DK Metcalf on the other side.