Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Trending Downward, Patriots’ Dion Lewis Taking Over as Lead RB
"Don't Be a Turkey"
Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys
Prescott has scored fewer Fantasy points over his last four games than superstars like Jacoby Brissett, Jay Cutler and C.J. Beathard scored in three, and in Cutler’s case, he missed part of one of those games due to injury. You could theoretically reason that the dominant presence of Ezekiel Elliot in the Cowboys’ offense could limit Prescott's opportunities to produce but it didn't in 2016. This season, his first game without Elliot in Week 11 was his worst performance of the year, suggesting that this could the beginning of a downward trend rather than an upswing. He currently ranks ninth in QB scoring for the 2017 season, but his poor recent performance indicates that he needs to be benched. If Prescott continues to struggle, you may be best served cutting him and adding an upside position player with a good matchup during the Fantasy playoffs.
Kareem Hunt, RB Kansas City Chiefs
[caption id="attachment_261068" align="alignright" width="499"] You may be better off cutting Dak Prescott and adding an upside player for your playoff weeks. Credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth[/caption]
Over the last four weeks (three games) Hunt is tied for 39th in running back scoring, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3. He has rushed for only 156 yards in those three games, and he’s been targeted 10 times for 50 receiving yards. While he had over 100 total yards from scrimmage in each of his first seven games, he hasn't reached that mark in his last three. Season-long owners are about to benefit from friendly matchups against the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers, while DFS sites are using this week’s matchup to raise the price of a big name, underperforming player. Start him in season-long leagues, but avoid the poor value and high risk in DFS.
"Tasty Low-Calorie Fixins"
Matt Ryan, QB Atlanta Falcons
Ryan isn't piling up passing yards like he did in 2016, but he’s ranked third in quarterback scoring over the last month, and he threw two touchdowns in each of those four games. He faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice (18 points per game allowed to the quarterback position), the New Orleans Saints (15.6 PPG allowed) and the Minnesota Vikings (13.7 PPG allowed) in his next four games and is priced as the eighth-most expensive quarterback this week on FantasyDraft.com.
Demaryius Thomas, WR Denver Broncos
The Broncos’ quarterback situation might be the worst in football and it is due to change once again this week with the announcement that Paxton Lynch will get the start. However, Thomas has managed to turn adversity into Fantasy production. He ranked fourth in wide receiver scoring over his last four games with Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler throwing the ball and in the last three, he has scored 21, 15 and 17 points respectively. This week he is priced cheaper than Mohammed Sanu and Nelson Agholor against a Raiders defense that allows 32 points per game to wide receivers, has allowed nine receiving touchdowns this season and 30 points or more in four of their last six games.
Seattle Seahawks Defense
This week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons was a good snapshot of how the Seahawks defense might perform going forward without Richard Sherman and Cam Chancellor because of the Falcons’ above-average talent in both the running and passing game. It should be said that the Seahawks were playing at home, and the Falcons have not played up to expectations this season; they have been nowhere near as good as they were in 2016. That being said, the Seahawks held the Falcons to under 200 yards passing and under 100 yards rushing. Owners shouldn't see the Seahawks on the schedule and run for cover based on one game, but it doesn't look like the injuries have made them a cakewalk either.
Alfred Morris, RB Dallas Cowboys
With Ezekiel Elliott suspended while the Cowboys’ offensive line is still considered one of the league’s elite, the Fantasy theory is that Alfred Morris could become an RB2 gem going forward. Elliott averaged 23.9 carries per game, scored seven touchdowns in eight games, and rushed 26 times or more in four straight games before the suspension. In Week 11, Morris rushed for 91 yards, confirming that a toddler in a Tonka truck could gain yards behind the Dallas offensive line, but with only 17 rushing attempts and no touchdown. With Prescott playing poorly there is hope for Fantasy owners that Morris’ workload could increase going forward. That being said, the Cowboys had a 12-9 lead at halftime and they decided not to go "run-heavy" with Morris and the lead.
Kenny Stills, WR Miami Dolphins
Week 11 was another big week for Stills and most of it was after his rabbit’s foot (Matt Moore) took over for a concussed Jay Cutler. Stills is only relevant when Matt Moore is under center. FantasyDraft.com has him priced much too high ($10,100), but in yearly leagues, I would chase the Still's dragon if Moore gets the start, and look elsewhere if he doesn't. This kind of trend is so rare and strange that I can't help but mention it when I can find a relevant time to do it.
Keenan Allen, RB Los Angeles Chargers
In the pre-season draft package, I argued against the industry consensus that Keenan Allen would have a comeback campaign and was a draft day value. Aside from two games in which he had nine and 12 receptions respectively, and three games of 100 receiving yards or more, I have been right. He faced the Buffalo Bills in a Week 11 laugher that has bloated Allen's otherwise mediocre Fantasy season. In season-long leagues, he is a must-start for Week 12 against an extremely "wide receiver friendly" Cowboys defense, and he has some friendly matchups during the Fantasy playoff weeks, however, in DFS I am looking for a lot more consistency for my roster dollars.
Davante Adams, WR Green Bay Packers
Adams ranks thirteenth in receiving yards (269) and seventeenth in targets (28) over the last four weeks (in only three games), while only being able to find the money zone once. Brett Hundley is killing Jordy Nelson’s owners while he has been able to enhance Adams value. He has some tough matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns (yes, the Browns), Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers in the run-up to your Fantasy championship. He might not be a great season-long league option and he is priced a tad bit high at the moment on FantasyDraft.com ($10,300), but he could be a good value and contrarian play in DFS tournaments if that price tag drops.
Latavius Murray, RB Minnesota Vikings
Murray isn't a sexy play in yearly or DFS, but he shouldn't be expensive in DFS. He has scored double-digit Fantasy points in three of his last four games, and he has had 15 touches or more in five straight games. I am not going to try and portray him as the sizzle part of your "Thanksgiving feast," but if you're a vegan or just enjoy vegetables, Murray may be to your liking.
Dion Lewis, RB New England Patriots
Lewis has scored 17 and 18 Fantasy points with a touchdown in each of his last two games. More importantly, Lewis has looked "pre-ACL tear" explosive and is the clear number one running back in a crowded overall Patriots offense. He has had double-digit touches in five straight games and against the Oakland Raiders, he also had four receptions in the passing game. Lewis is a flex play and is becoming an affordable DFS option as well. The Patriots don't make it easy to be bullish on anyone, but Lewis looks really good, and the trends suggest that he’s taken over the majority of the workload.
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