Punt plays are something we must consider when building a lineup, usually in tournaments. Sure, in a perfect world, we could just jam in all the expensive players, call it a day and rake in the cash. But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? Punt plays are players that aren’t usually relied upon to bring us those big fantasy production games but have some potential and could surprise us. We’ll look at some options to consider for this two-game Conference Championship Round slate at both the quarterback and running back position.
Ryan Tannehill, QB Titans ($5,500)
On a two-game slate, it’s fairly obvious where the ownership is going to be, especially at the quarterback position. Looking at the four options, Tannehill is going to have the lowest ownership, despite being more expensive than Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,500). This is the third week in a row where we’ll run with the narrative that the Titans will be forced to play catch-up and rely on Tannehill more than Derrick Henry. However, to be honest, we have yet to really see this come to fruition in the playoffs. While the Chiefs secondary has been great, they have allowed an average of 18.6 DKFP and 249 passing yards to opposing QBs.
Tannehill isn’t shy to use his legs as a weapon, as evidenced by his rushing touchdown during the Divisional Round. Since taking over as a starter, Tannehill is averaging 17 rushing yards per game. The Chiefs, who really struggle on the ground, allow an average of 18 per game to quarterbacks while seeing them run in for five touchdowns, which is tied for the second-most in the league. His lack of pass attempts could once again be an issue but if you’re looking for low ownership, this is your guy.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB 49ers ($5,200)
While I wouldn’t exactly call Garoppolo a punt play, he certainly isn’t going to be one of the more popular plays on this slate. Unlike Tannehill, Garoppolo is making the pass attempts, he’s just not gaining a ton of yards. Over their last five games, he’s averaging 242 passing yards despite 27.4 pass attempts per game. He also has seven touchdowns thrown in that span, four of which came in the same game against the Saints. Facing a Packers team that is much weaker against the run then they are through the air, it’s not out of the question to think the 49ers could use someone like Tevin Coleman, who carried the ball a season-high 22 times last week, heavily once again. Garoppolo certainly brings upside, as we’ve seen his multiple touchdowns and 300 passing yard games, we just haven’t seen it on a consistent basis.
Matt Breida, RB 49ers ($3,400)
We’ll have to watch the status of Raheem Mostert ($4,300) as the week goes on. It came out after the game that he was dealing with a calf cramp, which limited him to play on 48% of their snaps, carrying the ball 12 times for 58 yards. While this likely won’t keep him out for this week, it’s worth watching as it could boost the opportunities for Breida. He wasn’t very productive on his eight carries, taking them for 17 yards but we do know he can catch. If this game remains close and Mostert is limited, Breida could see some targets, which would be immensely valuable at his $3,400 salary. This is a very tough range to find value so this is something to monitor. Against opposing running backs, the Packers have allowed an average of 105 rushing and 40 receiving yards per game. Certainly enticing numbers to target against if the opportunity arises.
Dion Lewis, RB Titans ($3,300)
Lewis didn’t receive a single touch in the Titans 28-12 win over the Ravens because quite frankly, they never needed him. The Titans never trailed in this game and let Derrick Henry ($8,700) do his thing. The Conference Championship could bring a different game script. The Titans are +7.5 underdogs in this game, which could mean they could use Lewis on some passing downplays. His target share is extremely volatile and he hasn’t seen more than five in a game but his salary makes him a consideration. This would be nothing more than a large tournament option, as Lewis is nowhere near a cash game consideration. Nonetheless, at this salary range, it’s very difficult to find another player that will even take the field aside from Lewis and Breida.
I am an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.