DK Building Blocks wk14
by Chris Emrick
We were pretty close to making it happen last week. Just a few tweaks to lineup construction and we might have been there. The process that we followed seemed to be insightful and helped shine a light on different players than the public may have been looking into. Let’s again look at the top 4 owned players to see if we want to be different and how we can do so.
Derrick Henry ($8,700)- 27%
It’s December, so you know that means it’s time for folks to fire up Derrick Henry. You pair that with the match-up he gets this week against the Jags and you have the recipe for some chalk! This is a pretty great spot for Derrick, but in GPP’s you need 3-4-x your return on this salary and that means 26 points, minimum. With his limited role in the passing game for the Titans, we would unquestionably need Henry to find his way into the end zone to make it there. He’s been able to do so 3 times this year, and Jacksonville has allowed 26 points to the position 5 times. Most recently their last two games against the Browns and Vikings. This is to say, he’s a fine cash/gpp play even at this price.
However, should he fail, and be unable to score this many points. We’d either have a situation where the Titans have failed to score points or someone else on the team is scoring. With an implied total of 30, I’m betting it be the latter. This leads me to something that we’ve harped on almost all year. If Henry isn’t producing let us look to the passing game. There we find Ryan Tannehill ($6,700 / 7%) who aside from a 3 game stretch in the middle of the season has exceeded his fantasy expectations every game. He currently looks like he’ll be the 5th highest owned QB, but still under 10% and is a fantastic leverage play off of Henry. You can pair him with either of their WR’s Corey Davis ($5,700 / 10%) who is still too cheap and is due for positive TD regression. Or AJ Brown ($7,300 / 7%) who also has the ability to have take over games. The Jags have indeed been bad against the run, but guess what? They’ve been equally bad against the pass. Quite possibly even worse. The enticing thing about the Titans pass game is that almost all the targets go to these two guys. Jonnu Smith ($3,900 / 2%) could find his way into a stack as a forgotten part of this passing attack, but if it’s me I’m leaning in the direction of Davis.
J.D McKissic ($4,900) – 23%
Before I even looked at the projections this week I knew this guy was going to be on here. With good reason, Alex Smith simply doesn’t have the arm strength that he once did. Even when he was in his prime he was never a guy that could stretch the field. Just look at the game against the Steelers, there were SO MANY deep passes that simply feel short. It’s not his game, and as such these short passes and screens are where he does his damage. McKissic has been his favorite target all year. Having three times eclipsed 10+ targets and with Antonio Gibson out, there’s really no one to take those snaps from him in the passing game. Here’s the thing despite having those massive target numbers and a role in rushing the football we’ve only seen McKissic find the end zone one time. Now at this salary, it isn’t required that he do so, but he’s also failed to find a 100-yard bonus in either rushing or receiving.
I don’t think you need a leverage play off of McKissic. I’m more than okay just avoiding this offense. The Football team might be making a playoff push but it isn’t a team that puts up points for your fantasy team. If you did want to find a spot to try and leverage Peyton Barber ($4,400 / 4%) might be your play. I’d venture to guess that he gets most of the early-down rushing work or at least some type of split. The biggest decision you need to make when rostering either of these guys is simply how you think this game is going to play out. The case for McKissic looks a lot better if you think they’ll fall behind and have to pass the ball a good deal. On the other hand, if you believe that they’ll be ahead you might see more work for Barber. I’m probably just avoiding either of these guys and playing Logan Thomas ($3,300 / 14%) because I have every other week. Terry McLaurin ($6,700 / 4%) has been used criminally in this offense in recent weeks and this ownership percentage is reflective of that. I don’t have any issue looking his way in large GPP’s as despite getting back several pieces in their secondary the 49ers aren’t as good as their perceived to be.
Davante Adams ($9,300) – 21%
The man has been having an absolute banger of a season. I only wish this had occurred last year as I had him on almost every one of my fantasy teams. Those of course were the ones that didn’t make the playoffs. I’m sure most can relate this year as pretty much every pick in the top 5 or 6 has disappointed in some way. The matchup against the Lions is fantastic, there isn’t much to pick on here. The price is significant and like Henry, we’re looking for a big number from Adams. Likely needing almost 28+ points. The thing is he’s done it or come within a few points 6 times this year. So the ceiling is reachable and achievable.
The last time the Packers and the Lions played this year was one of those games in which Adam’s did not get to that mark. In fact, he didn’t even come close. Tallying only 6 fantasy points and was one of only two games this season he didn’t find the end zone. That of course is because Aaron Jones ($7,600 / 9%) ran for 168 yards and added another 68 in the air and found himself in the end zone three times. If this Detroit newly opened up offense can keep up with Green Bay I like the odds of Adams having a stand-out game. I like pairing him with Rodgers, but in the event you want to go the other way, Jones is your guy.
Austin Ekeler ($7,000) – 20%
This was one that I was looking forward to writing up. I’ve seen enough chatter about Ekeler this week that I was expecting him to find his way onto this list and there are a few things that stand out to me. There is a belief that the Falcons give up a bunch of receptions to running backs. This is something that is a bit of a holdover from years past. The reason for this was the scheme that they ran and personnel that they had, did just that. Let the backs catch the ball, give up limited yards, and make the tackle. It doesn’t help that they had to play CMC and AK two times apiece each year either. The truth of the matter is that this year they’re 11th in the league in receptions allowed to running backs at 5.2 per game. This number is also a bit off because in week 4 they played Green Bay who had no WR’s healthy for that game and instead relied on their backs to catch the ball. They tallied 13 catches that game. After that game, they had another game in which they gave up tons of points to the position against the Panthers. Since then they’ve held 4 teams under 10 points and only allowed more than 20 twice. 21.4 and 21 to the Saints both times.
On the other hand, this pass defense has allowed the 4th most receptions per game of any defense, the second-most yards, and strangely the second-most rushing yards to wide receivers. Okay, the last stat might be a bit of noise, the others are not. I’m looking at Keenan Allen ($7,700 / 8%) to be a big-time leverage spot here for the Chargers. The team is looking to bounce back after that dismal performance against the Patriots and Allen has disappointed on back to back weeks. Mike Williams ($4,700 / 2%) is the other piece with a real ceiling that you can roster while stacking it with Justin Herbert ($6,800 / 8%)
Favorite Game Stacks:
Green Bay @ Detroit (+9) – O/U 54.5
Minnesota @ Tampa Bay (-7) O/U 53
Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+7.5) O/U 52.5
Yes, I’m aware those are the top three Vegas totals. It just be like that sometimes.
Russel Wilson ($7,900)
Taysom Hill ($6,600)
Patrick Mahomes ($8,100)
Jonathan Taylor ($5,800)
Giovani Bernard ($5,000)
David Montgomery ($6,500)
Michael Gallup ($3,800)
DJ Chark ($5,300)
Adam Thielen ($7,000) or Justin Jefferson ($7,400)- Or Both!
Travis Kelce ($7,400)
Dalton Schultz ($3,500)
Evan Engram ($4,300)