You came here to see my targets for Sunday’s three-game slate. So, I will tell you what they are.
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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns, $7,900 — Playing Mahomes on a two-game slate, who would have thunk it!? I’m not going to go terribly in-depth on why you should play Mahomes but believe me, everyone is going to have the same idea so expect massive ownership. The matchup is a great one against a putrid Browns secondary that just allowed Ben Roethlisberger throw for 501 yards and four touchdowns last week. Granted, a huge hole for the Steelers lead for that but it’s eye opening. The Browns do offer a good pass rush to try and combat Mahomes but even under pressure, he still boasts a 65% adjusted completion percentage and 7.0 YPA with eight of his 38 touchdowns.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,500 — This Buccaneers secondary is simply falling apart. I mean, they just allowed 212 receiving yards to the Washington Football Team’s receivers against the backup’s backup (?) quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, Brees is not going to be dropping and heaving it 40+ yards but since his return, he’s averaging 252 passing yards while completing no less than 68.8% and an average of 8.0 yards per attempt. This is a matchup where I think he can finish right in that 18-21 DKFP range, which would be exactly what we need at this salary. At this salary, it’s hard to ignore what else you can do with the rest of your lineup.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs, $6,500 — Chubb does come with some risk, as the Browns are +10 underdogs, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook. The Browns will run the ball even if they’re down but obviously we’d like a situation where this is close. Chubb has been on a tear since returning in Week 10 and ended the regular season averaging 4.06 yards per attempt after contact, which was the best in the league. The biggest weakness on the Chiefs is their run defense so at least on paper, this matchup is huge for Chubb. Chubb has also overtaken the majority of the red zone carries over Kareem Hunt ($4,800). Since Week 10, Chubb carried the ball 26 times in the red zone while Hunt did 16 times, eight of which came in one game (Week 11).
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints $4,900 – I admit, I’m worried about this chalk play. Fournette is announced as the starter while Ronald Jones ($5,100) is listed as questionable. If he’s out, Fournette would take on the workhorse role against the Saints. While the value on Fournette is great and hard to ignore, the matchup is simply not good. The Saints are arguably the best run defense left in the league and have been all year long. They completely shutdown David Montgomery and the Bears last week, holding them, to 31 yard son 13 carries (2.3 YPC). The value is here for the taking but with how popular he’ll be, I would advise being cautious.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $6,600 — In his long awaited return, Thomas accounted for seven targets in which he made five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. In coverage, Thomas should draw CB Carlton Davis, which is a matchup I want to capitalize on. Davis has targeted against 103 times, allowing a 61.2% catch-rate for an average of 14 YPR and has been scored on five times. In his return to action last week, he allowed six receptions on 10 targets for an average of 15.3 YPR and 92 total yards. Specifically, both Cam Sims and Terry McLaurin averaged 17 YPR on five receptions against him in coverage. Now he has to deal with Thomas? Best of luck.
Other Options – Tyreek Hill ($7,900)
Byron Pringle, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns, $3,200 – It’s either Pringle or Mecole Hardman ($3,900) to take the spot for Sammy Watkins, who has been ruled out in this game. From a snap count perspective, Pringle’s jump dramatically when Watkins has been out. When that happens, Pringle is playing on an average of 53.6% of the snaps compared to the 7.4%. He’s someone who could potentially give you an ol’ goose egg but the ownership is trending toward Hardman, so you’ll have the advantage in that realm. Like Fournette, this is not a play I feel confident in to load up in my lineups but he’s certainly worth a look if you believe he’ll benefit more over Hardman.
Other Options – Mecole Hardman ($3,900)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs, $7,700 – Kelce may end up being tough to pay up for but I think you need to make a point to do so. The Browns have not had much success against the tight end position, allowing an average of 15.3 DKFP, 57 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns scored. Kelce has seen double-digit targets in seven of his last eight games, a span he’s averaging 26.2 DKFP in. I truly feel as if Kelce will have his way in this game and if I’m valuing paying up for one particular player from the Chiefs, he’s the guy. Amongst all the receivers on the Chiefs, Kelce lead the team in red zone targets at 26%, beating out Hill at 21.2%.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs $3,700 – If you can’t pay up for Kelce, I have no qualms with using Hooper. He’s quickly become a focal point of this offense in the second-half of the season and has no less than 13.7 DKFP in four straight games. The Chiefs are beatable in the middle of the field and could end up drawing the majority of the targets with how good this Chiefs secondary is. The Chiefs have seen teams tight ends in total go over 100 receiving yards four times this season, most recently the Dolphins at 9/110/2 in Week 14. While Hooper ended the regular season with a 12% red zone target share, he tied for second on the team with six after the Week 9 bye.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3,100 – Getting pressure on Brady is the key to stopping him and we’ve seen the Saints do that already this season. Brady was only under pressure on 24% of his dropbacks this season but when he was, he had a 59% adjusted completion percentage, 5.6 YPA and five of his 12 interceptions. In two games, the Saints had him under pressure on 42% of his dropbacks and sacking him six times. Of these four teams, the Saints have the best pass rush with the Browns in second.
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