In and Out? It's a two-game slate, people. Especially if you're playing DFS tournaments, nobody is -- or should be -- off-limits.
So this week, it's a kindler, gentler In and Out. In fact, In and Meh might be a more apt description.
I know; it seems a little wishy-washy.
No worries. When this column returns for the 2024 regular season, it will be with great vigor as I resume being uncompromisingly, even irritatingly, strident in my selections.
But for now, here are four players, one per position (or a composite of one), that I'm slightly more or slightly less interested in than the field. How do we determine the field? The Footballguys positional Rankings and Projections will, of course, be our guide.
As always, there will be no chalk eaten here. I am throwing out the highest-ranked player at each position this week, meaning you will not see Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, Amon-Ra St. Brown, or Travis Kelce among my selections. I encourage you, however, to take their respective projections to heart and play them if at all possible. But the idea here is to stray from the beaten path.
So let's do this.
In on Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions
Is this my way of saying I should have rolled out Baker Mayfield against that generous Lions secondary last weekend instead of Jared Goff? Maybe it is, and... maybe it is. Purdy is coming off a lackluster showing against the Packers in a driving rainstorm. As the Associated Press noted, Purdy was frequently off-target early in the game as he struggled with the wet conditions. The second-year man said he focused too much on big plays instead of taking the easy stuff. The second-year signal caller was just 17 for 32 passing on the first eight drives of the game and had two passes nearly intercepted. The good news? He finished the game with an impressive fourth-quarter scoring drive. The better news? Sunday's matchup. As FantasyPros framed it: "Detriot's pass defense keeps on bleeding yards to QBs." The Athletic's Dave Lombardi chimed in by kindly suggesting that Detroit's outside cornerbacks, Cameron Sutton and Kindle Vildor, "haven't had great seasons." Not great? Really? Footballguy Devin Knotts, in this week's DFS Passing Matchups article put that in perspective: Detroit has allowed 300 or more passing yards in five straight games and is averaging 374 yards per game as Mayfield, Matt Stafford, Dak Prescott, and Nick Mullens have dominated them. Meanwhile, Purdy has at least 252 passing yards in every game he has played at home this season.
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In on Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
As FantasyPros put it, "Gibbs has been unstoppable" while averaging 12.5 touches and 91 total yards in the postseason, with scores in both games. Last weekend, in a very tough matchup against the Buccaneers, Gibbs ran amock, gaining 74 yards on just nine carries, including a long of 31 yards. He also caught all four of his targets for 40 yards. Knotts reminded us in this week's DFS Rushing Matchups, San Francisco's run defense struggled last week as Aaron Jones ran for 108 yards on 18 carries (with what NBC Sport's Denny Carter characterized as an "obscene" 5.2 yards after contact per rush). That hasn't been the norm all season, but they have become increasingly susceptible to giving up big plays. In fact, FantasyPros' Derek Brown notes that since Week 13, the Niners have allowed the seventh-highest explosive run rate, the sixth-highest missed tackles per attempt, and the ninth-highest yards after contact per attempt. Gibbs ranks second, 10th, and 15th in those categories. Yes, David Montgomery (and possibly even Craig Reynolds) can be flies in the workload ointment, but Montgomery's presence all season didn't keep Gibbs from finishing the regular season as RB8 in points per game -- and the momentum has been building as he delivered RB6 production between Weeks 14 and 17 when it mattered most to fantasy managers.
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