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FANTASY FOOTBALL/DFS

Targeted Opportunities – Week 10

Getting force-fed, learning to fly, stepping up, and an early prospect starts to pan out, in this edition of Targeted Opportunities.

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Fantasy Football - Pat Freiermuth

All roster figures as per NFL.com fantasy leagues.

Van Jefferson, WR LA (18.6% rostered) – Over the last three games, Jefferson has been averaging nearly seven targets a game, which is a nice jump from the 4.5 targets a game he averaged over his first six games of the season; unfortunately, his catch rate decreased from 59% to 50% over those spans. Watching him play, though, it’s obvious that the Rams are trying to establish Jefferson as the “big play” guy– he’s certainly not in line to siphon targets away from Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, but it feels as if Matthew Stafford is desperately trying to get him the ball in critical situations more than usual. I’m not sure how Jefferson’s season plays out, but if you’re willing to take a risk on a WR3 in a high-powered offense, Jefferson is available in over 80%

Elijah Moore, WR NYJ (11.9% rostered) – The injury to Zach Wilson has exposed something the Jets might not have wanted people to see: a more effective offense without their prized rookie under center. Both Mike White and John Johnson, essentially playing 1.5 games each during Wilson’s absence, have posted better QBR and YPA than Wilson. It seems that the backup QBs have a better understanding of the offensive system (short, quick passing) than Wilson (who was always looking for the big play). One of the beneficiaries of the improved QB play has been rookie wideout Elijah Moore. In his last two contests, Moore has caught 13 of 14 targets, 151 yards and two TDs. Not eye-popping numbers. but consider he had just 79 yards and zero TDs in his first five games. Moore is definitely someone to keep your eye on, as it looks like he might be building to a breakout game very soon– especially if Wilson remains out for another week or two.

Donovan People-Jones, WR CLE (2.2% rostered) – Peoples-Jones is a guy I picked last week off the wire in a few of my leagues– the release of Odell Beckham Jr. this week by the Browns only elevates DPJ in my view. DPJ is the Browns’ big play threat: for the season, his stat line stands at 15 receptions on 18 targets (83% catch rate) for 314 yards (20.9 ypc) and three TDs. Most of that production has come in the last three games he’s played: 11 of 14, 257 yards and three TDs. DPJ is the classic deep threat: a low volume of targets, high yards per catch, and TDs in bunches. He’s available in 98% of leagues so go out and grab him, because it won’t take long for the Browns to realize DPJ is everything they thought OBJ would be– and start targeting him a few more times each game.

Pat Freiermuth, TE PIT (13.9% rostered) – Sometime around Week 4, my friend Larry and I were talking on the phone while watching the Red Zone coverage; he asked me if I had any players for him to stash on his dynasty team roster. One of the players I immediately mentioned was Pat Freiermuth– “he’s their new Heath Miller“. I knew that he’d have a muted rookie season, as most rookie TE tend to have, of course. But the recent injury to Eric Ebron and Ben Roethlisberger’s inability to get the ball downfield have combined to give Freiermuth a chance to shine now, and he’s taken full advantage. After just 13 targets in his first five games, Freiermuth has drawn 20 targets in his three games, hauling in 16/145/3; that’s a PPR average of 16 points a game over that span. Hopefully the Steelers will realize that Freiermuth is the better option at TE when Ebron is ready to return and continue to get him his 6-7 targets a game.

Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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