NFL DFS Contrarian Corner: Week 15 (Video)
Jen Piacenti brings you some contrarian plays to consider while building your NFL DFS lineups this week.
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Cooper Kupp (knee) won't play in the Divisional Round against the Packers.
Kupp was bound for regression in 2020 after converting 6-of-10 targets inside the 10-yard line into touchdowns the year prior, but he still encouragingly finished second on the team in targets (124) behind Robert Woods (129) in back-to-back years. He showed no signs of slowing down after being used as a part-time player to close the 2019 season, yet again accruing 90-plus catches in only his second year removed from a torn ACL. Although his yards per target (7.9) dipped to a career-low mark from Jared Goff this year, Kupp will again be ranked alongside Woods as a low-end WR2 given his guaranteed role with the Rams for the 2021 season.
Added 9:15 pm (EST)
Robert Woods caught 8-of-10 targets for 48 yards in Los Angeles' Divisional Round loss to the Packers.
Woods again led the Rams in targets (129) and air yards (1,169) in 2020, matching a career-high in touchdown receptions (6) while rushing for 150-plus yards for the second time in the last three years. He’s quietly accrued at least 129 targets in every season since 2018, suiting up for 47 of a possible 48 regular season games in that span. Although Woods has consistently averaged a 23% target share from Jared Goff the past three years, it’s possible the former sees a slight uptick in volume for the 2021 season since Josh Reynolds is likely to land elsewhere in free agency. Woods will inevitably be tied to the hip with Cooper Kupp in offseason rankings, but it’s Woods who remains the more valuable option between the two in a vacuum moving forward.
Added 9:05 pm (EST)
Cam Akers rushed 18 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' Divisional Round loss to Green Bay.
Akers actually opened the year as Los Angeles' starter but suffered a drastic rib injury in Week 2 and failed to get up to speed behind Darrell Henderson until December, rushing for 201 yards and zero touchdowns through his first eight career games. That all changed following Akers' 61-yard run for an otherwise flaccid offense in Week 12, forcing coach Sean McVay to hand over the reins and allow the rookie to run for 141/645/4, 20.1 carries per game, and 5.2 yards per touch across his last seven performances. With Malcolm Brown unlikely to be brought back in free agency, Akers will arguably open the summer as a top-seven running back and second-round selection for 2021 fantasy drafts.
Added 8:48 pm (EST)
A.J. Dillon rushed six times for 27 yards in the Packers' Divisional Round win against the Rams.
Dillon was surprisingly involved for 6-of-33 backfield touches after handling just one carry in Green Bay's must-win Week 17 game against the Bears. He also suffered a potential injury in the final quarter, coming up limp after fumbling the ball (which Aaron Rodgers promptly recovered) before Rodgers iced the game with a 58-yard touchdown to Allen Lazard. Given that near-catastrophic event, Dillon could potentially remain glued to the bench in the Conference Championship round.
Added 8:41 pm (EST)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught 4-of-8 targets for 33 yards in Green Bay's Divisional Round win against the Rams.
MVS saw as many targets as Allen Lazard (4/96/1) but failed to break loose for his usual opportunity over the top. His lone downfield target along the sideline was actually blown out of bounds by the wind coming from the player's tunnel. At the end of the day, Valdes-Scantling's most impactful play was a four-yard gain in the fourth quarter to keep the team's final possession alive for Aaron Rodgers to find Lazard for a 58-yard touchdown just two plays later. Given their similar volume, MVS will still be a viable pivot off Lazard for any two-game DFS slates in the Conference Championship round.
Added 8:35 pm (EST)
Robert Tonyan caught all four of his targets for 60 yards in Green Bay's Divisional Round win against the Rams.
It was a quiet outing for Tonyan, who had scored a touchdown in 6-of-7 games prior. Three of his four targets occurred in the first half, though his most impactful one resulted in a 33-yard gain to move the Packers into field goal position with just 0:14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Having proven his chops as both a downfield and red zone threat this year, Tonyan will be a tremendous contrarian option for any Conference Championship fantasy contests.
Added 8:25 pm (EST)
Jamaal Williams rushed 12 times for 65 yards in Green Bay's Divisional Round win over the Rams.
Green Bay's offensive blueprint was made abundantly clear from the first possession, leaning on multi-back sets to attack Los Angeles' front-seven. Aaron Jones (14/99/1) still led the team with 14 carries, but Williams matched his teammate in touches inside the 10-yard line with four each. Having handled 12 of the team's 33 backfield touches in a competitive game, Williams will (surprisingly) be a viable option for any two-game DFS slates in the Conference Championship round.
Added 8:17 pm (EST)
Allen Lazard caught 4-of-8 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's Divisional Round win over the Rams.
Leading 25-18 with less than three minutes remaining in the final quarter, Lazard got loose for a 58-yard touchdown (and perfect throw from Aaron Rodgers) to seal Green Bay's invite to the Conference Championship. With two full weeks of rest under his belt, Lazard's eight targets were unsurprisingly his most since initially suffering a core injury in Week 3. The Packers were in dire need of someone, anyone to step up behind Davante Adams (9/66/1) and Lazard clearly answered the call at just the right time. Consider him the Packers' No. 2 receiver against whichever team escapes between the Buccaneers and Saints.
Added 8:06 pm (EST)