WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Big chance for Maxx Williams coming Thursday night
Maxx Williams was taken in the second round of May’s draft while Crockett Gillmore went in the third. But the draft pedigree was pushed to the side once the pads went on in camp as Gillmore outplayed Williams and won the starting job. Gillmore saw 10 targets through the first two weeks and added three more in 31 snaps Sunday before going down with a calf injury.
So Maxx gets an opportunity Thursday night in an island game to show why he was a second-round pick. A big and versatile athlete, he piled up seven targets on just 38 snaps against the Bengals. In a plus matchup against a one of the game’s weakest pass defenses in Pittsburgh, Williams is certainly worth long consideration at the stone minimum price of $2500. I’d safely project five targets.
2. Andre Ellington to return as complementary player
We need to be very careful about drawing conclusions off Bruce Arians statements. He’s a bit of a sensationalist, especially when it comes to touch projections. But he went on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday night and said he expects Chris Johnson to remain a 15-20 touch per game player even with Ellington (knee) set to return against the Rams Sunday. Over the last two weeks, Johnson has averaged 21.5 touches per game and the Cardinals have smashed both the Bears and the 49ers. But against real NFL defenses like the one the Rams have, CJ?K is going to struggle. With Ellington coming back and Johnson’s salary up to $4500 (from $3800 two weeks ago), I’m not going to have any of either.
3. Devonta Freeman moving on up
The depth charts released by the teams each week mean very little – usually nothing. But the Falcons raised eyebrows Tuesday when they moved Devonta over Tevin Coleman (questionable, ribs) and announced it through their own media channels. In other words, it wasn’t a beat writer overreacting to a change – it was the actual team. This could mean one of two things: Either the Falcons don’t expect Coleman to play in Sunday’s home game against the Texans, or Freeman did enough Sunday to take the starting job. We’ll find out more when the team resumes practicing Wednesday, but I don’t think using Freeman in cash at $5200 is a bad play if Coleman is ruled out. Devonta excels in the pass game and the Falcons are very willing to use him at the goal-line. Even if he regressed toward his actual talent level, that’s a lot of opportunity.
4. Thomas Rawls ahead of Fred Jackson
The Fred Jackson truthers couldn’t believe the Bills cut him. When it happened, fans of teams all over the country begged their team to sign him. What they forgot is that F-Jax is a 34-year-old running back who couldn’t beat out the likes of Boobie Dixon and Karlos Williams. That declining skill set became even more apparent in Week 3 as UDFA Thomas Rawls ran well ahead of Jackson, out-touching him 16-4. Beat writers expect that kind of split to continue anytime Marshawn Lynch (hamstring, questionable) sits out. Rawls sits at min-price $3000 this week.