WEDNESDAY DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Tevin Coleman listed ahead of Devonta Freeman
Devonta Freeman (hamstring) says he’s going to play in Monday’s opener against the Eagles. But rookie Tevin Coleman has been named the starter for the game anyway. We shouldn’t be surprised, as any questions about Coleman’s “fit” in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme should have been mitigated by Shanahan taking him in the third round. If Coleman is good enough for talent-maximizing Shanny, he’s good enough for me.
I definitely think Coleman will be underowned early in the season and is underpriced at $4800 in Week 1. The problem is a difficult Week 1 matchup against a quietly effective Eagles front seven. It’s so clear that the way to beat Philly is to through the air, especially for a Falcons offensive line that has proven inept at creating run lanes. Coleman is just a GPP shot in the hopes he busts one of his trademark long runs. But in plus spots, I’ll be looking to get more of Tevin.
2. Alshon Jeffery reportedly “progressing well”
This is an injury I’m watching as closely as any all week. The Bears have been super secretive about the status of their No. 1 wideout, who has been dealing with a calf issue for nearly a month now. It’s worth noting that Jeffery did not practice Monday, while Eddie Royal (hip) and Marquess Wilson (hamstring) did. Here’s Tuesday’s tweet from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
“Bears WR Alshon Jeffery is progressing well from his calf injury. The hope is he’ll play Sunday vs. GB and he’s making strides to get there.”
Obviously, there’s not a ton to go on there. But the reason this injury is so important is because of how it will affect market share in the Bears’ receiving corps against an exploitable Packers secondary. Jeffery averaged 9.06 targets last year, 23.8 percent of the Bears’ total – and that was with Brandon Marshall active for 13 games. Marshall is in New York now. If Jeffery ends up sitting, Eddie Royal and Martellus Bennett will be elite options – especially from a projected point-per-dollar perspective.
3. Rashad Jennings quietly on top of depth chart
The Giants released their depth chart and Rashad Jennings was on top at the running back position. I don’t read a lot into these depth charts (which may be written by an intern), but I do think Jennings has gotten lost in all the Shane Vereen hype and some recent Andre Williams puff pieces. Let’s not forget that in Jennings’ first eight outings as a Giant last year, OC Ben McAdoo saddled him up and rode him for 19.2 carries and 3.2 catches per game. Let’s also not forget that Williams isn’t very good at football, failing to break tackles on his way to 3.32 YPC last year. Jennings, the far more versatile runner, will stay involved even as the Giants ramp up pace against the Cowboys. At $5100, he makes for a nice pivot off a highly owned cheaper RB like Doug Martin ($4500).
4. Manny Sanders will be the Broncos’ punt returner
I probably have problems, because I only had one thought when I read the Broncos will use Emmanuel Sanders as their primary punt returner this year: WR with D/ST stack! For those not familiar with DraftKings scoring (you really should be if you’re playing…did you know there are yardage bonuses?), offensive position players get six points for a punt return TD – as well as a kickoff return TD and fumble recovery TD. So if Sanders take a punt to the house, he’d get six points and we’d also get six points if we rostered the Broncos D. Double dip!
This may seem like overthinking things. But when we’re talking about these huge-field tournaments, it’s necessary to go outside the box. I also think the Broncos D/ST is a sneakily strong play even on their own. We’re talking about a really talented unit that will be at home facing a team starting Kamar Aiken, Crockett Gillmore and Justin Forsett.