How is everyone doing this week? It is great to be back here and giving you some DraftKings advice for week #3. This season offered me yet another reminder as to why I love DraftKings so much. I entered a very large season long fantasy league this year and felt great about my team after the draft, only to have my #1 overall pick David Johnson lost to injured reserve and my 2nd round pick Jordan Howard struggle with injury concerns of his own. I started the season 0-2, but thankfully I have DraftKings (and a couple of other season long leagues) to fall back on. Let’s see what we came up with for week 3.
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Derek Carr @ Redskins ($6,800) – I like this price for Carr against a middling Redskins defense. Carr has thrown multiple touchdown in both games to start this season, which follows his trend from last year where he had multiple TD passes thrown in 4 of his final 6 games. Washington has started the season 20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric against the pass. Even more indicative of their struggles, they rank 29th in the NFL in pass yards per attempt allowed at 8.7. I like Carr to light it up this week.
Bang for Your Buck
Matthew Stafford vs. Falcons ($6,200) – Before the season, I was a guest on the NFL preview episode of the Skip and Josh Podcast and the hosts were perplexed as to why Matthew Stafford is the highest paid player in the NFL. Stafford has shown us why to start the season as he is tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns thrown with 6 in the young campaign. The Lions will have to score a bunch to keep up with this Falcons team. I think that Stafford’s good season continues.
Andy Dalton @ Packers ($5,100) – I have been telling anyone who will listen that Dalton is in for a big week this week. While everyone has been harping on the fact that the Bengals have not scored an offensive touchdown in their first two games, no one has really mentioned that Dalton and the Bengals have faced 2 of the 5 best defenses in the league so far this year in the dominant Ravens and the almost as formidable Texans. This week, Dalton faces his first average to middling defense in the Packers and I think he will remind us that he has Pro Bowl talent. I am loving Dalton at this price and he will likely make or break my week this week.
Le’Veon Bell @ Bears ($8,800) – Bell did not play at all in the preseason and has been shaking off some rust early on in the season. I will be taking advantage of this $1,000 discount in price for the unquestioned best back in the league that is still healthy. While Bell has not hit 100 total yards in his first two games, he only failed to reach that mark once in the entire 2016 season. Bell’s struggles will end soon. I am not jumping off this bandwagon.
Jay Ajayi @ Jets ($7,700) – This one is a definite no-brainer as the Jets have been absolutely abysmal against the run thus far this year. The J-E-T-S rank dead L-A-S-T in rush yards allowed per game at 185 and near the bottom in yards per attempt allowed at 5.4. Ajayi is the clear workhorse for Miami as he had 28 carries last week which resulted in a 120+ yard game. I am liking Ajayi for 25+ carries this week which could get him close to 200 yards. He is a must play in cash games this week.
Bang for your Buck
CJ Anderson @ Bills ($5,800) – The Bills have shown off a pretty good run defense thus far this year, but at this price, I am still going to roll with Anderson. The Broncos’ bell-cow back has had 20+ carries in both games this year and has added 3 targets both weeks as well. Denver will look to keep its running game going and I am expecting another 22-25 carries for Anderson, and he should hit 85+ yards with a good chance at a score. At this price, that would easily make value.
Mike Gillislee ($5,700) – While everyone rightfully always talks about unpredictable usage among New England running backs, Gillislee has quietly amassed 15+ touches in both games thus far this season. Even more encouraging is that the Patriots’ explosive offense has given Gillislee nearly every goalline carry, and he has responded in turn with 4 rushing touchdowns in 2 games. Last year during the regular season, LeGarrette Blount, playing the Gillislee role in New England, had 24 carries for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Texans in an easy victory. When the Patriots abandoned the run in their playoff rematch against Houston, the game was much closer. I expect the Patriots to learn from that error and ride the Gillislee train this week. I think you should get on board.
Jordan Howard vs. Steelers ($4,900) – How the mighty have fallen. While the world hops on the Tarik Cohen bandwagon, everyone has forgotten about Howard who had 75+ rushing yards in each of his last 9 games to end a wildly successful 2016 season. While Cohen has been impressive for the Bears, he is a Darren Sproles type little scat back and has yet to have double-digit carries this season. I think that the Bears will want to run the ball a ton to keep this game close with the Steelers and I expect Howard (who is off the injury report) to have 15-20 carries. This could be a big redemption game.
Jaquizz Rodgers @ Vikings ($4,600) – The Vikings have a nice run defense, but for this price, all that I am looking for is heavy usage, and we can count on that from the man they call Quizz. Rodgers had 19+ carries last week, which should come as no surprise because he had 19+ carries every week when Doug Martin was out in the 2016 season. Martin will once again be missing this week due to suspension, so Rodgers should be good for around 20 touches and he has a pretty good chance of totaling 100 yards and getting a touchdown as well.
Julio Jones @ Lions ($9,300) – This looks like a game with heavy shootout potential and I like Jones to be the star that he is in a game of that nature. After a marginal week 1 game, Jones started to look like himself in week 2, amassing over 100 receiving yards. It will be more of the same against a pedestrian Lions secondary this week.
AJ Green @ Packers ($8,100) – You already know that I love Andy Dalton this week, which automatically means that I love his top receiver AJ Green as well. Green has had 8+ targets and 65+ yards in each of the first two games against extremely good competition. Against the Packers, Green will show his upside and I expect close to 150 yards receiving in this one. This will especially be the case with Tyler Eifert expected to miss this game.
Amari Cooper @ Redskins ($7,100) – I am anticipating that Josh Norman will be shadowing Michael Crabtree most of the way in this one which would give Cooper a great opportunity to emerge. He was hobbled a bit with a knee injury last week but is now off of the injury report for week 3. I expect Cooper to return to his week one form when he had 13 targets and found the end zone.
Bang for your Buck
Golden Tate vs. Falcons ($6,900) – I expect somewhat low ownership for Tate after he only had 4 catches (on 4 targets) last week. But that was a game that the Lions easily controlled and Tate was not needed to jumpstart the Lions’ passing attack. This week I expect the Lions to come out firing against the Falcons, and PPR dynamo Tate will surely be a beneficiary. Look for 12+ targets, 10+ catches and 100+ yards for the Lions’ star wideout.
DeAndre Hopkins @ Patriots ($6,200) – Much like a basketball center, a football wide receiver needs someone to feed him the ball in order to be valuable. When picking wide receivers in fantasy, the first thing I look for is whether the receiver is being fed the ball by his QB. Well, Hopkins certainly is not having a problem in that area as he has 13+ targets in both games this season. While his numbers don’t yet jump off the page, he has the privilege of facing the Patriots defense, which has been sieve-like against the pass thus far this season. The Pats rank 2nd to last in pass yards per game allowed and 3rd to last in yards per attempt allowed. That sounds like a recipe for a solid DeAndre Hopkins game.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Giants ($5,900) – Jeffery is one of the top 15 receivers in the NFL, and it was only a matter of time before he developed a good rapport with his new young quarterback in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz. It looked like that started to happen last week against the Chiefs as Jeffery had 13 targets, resulting in 7 catches 92 yards and a touchdown. The Giants rank 24th in DVOA against the pass thus far in this young season. I like for Jeffery to have a big game again.
TY Hilton vs. Browns ($5,200) – Hilton has not been great thus far this year, but he gets the opportunity to face a poor Browns team this week. And while Jacoby Brissett is no Andrew Luck, he is certainly not as bad as Scott Tolzien. The young QB has now been with the Colts for a few weeks and I have no doubt that he will start throwing the ball to Hilton a bit more. I think this could be a pretty good game
Devin Funchess vs. Saints ($4,200) – The Saints’ pass defense is absolutely dreadful, ranking last in passing yards allowed per game and passing yards per attempt allowed. Greg Olsen is out for the Panthers, meaning that Funchess will now have an opportunity to be a secondary pass catcher for the Panthers against this Saints team. He will surely take advantage and should easily hit value at this price.
Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins @ Colts ($4,000) – With Corey Coleman getting hurt in week 2, Higgins became the Browns’ #1 target in week 2. He responded to his 11 targets with 7 catches for 95 yards. And he also got a rush attempt in the game. The Colts’ defense is nothing to write home to mama about. Higgins should have some success again this week.
Travis Kelce @ Chargers ($6,000) – Kelce is my favorite value at the tight-end position at the moment. He is cheaper and less injury prone than Gronk and very close to as productive. The Chargers should provide a bit of a test, but I love Kelce, who has had 7+ targets in both weeks 1 and 2, at this price.
Bang for your Buck
Martellus Bennett vs. Bengals ($4,000) – Some have already soured on Bennett, but I love that Aaron Rodgers keeps throwing him the ball. Bennett led the Packers in targets with 11 in week 2. The Packers are banged-up and somewhat thin at receiver. If Rodgers keeps feeding Bennett the ball then good things will happen. I think that starts in week 3.
Zach Miller vs. Steelers ($3,000) – Miller is a pretty decent pass catcher, and the Bears don’t have too many of those these days. For this bargain basement price, you can get a guy who has had 6+ targets in both weeks 1 and 2, including 9 targets last week. Mike Glennon will continue to feed Miller the ball, especially in the red zone. You can’t go wrong at this price.
Dolphins @ Jets ($3,700) – Any defense against the Jets’ putrid offense will be a good play this season. This week it is the Dolphins who get to play this sad sack bunch.
Eagles vs. Giants ($3,000) – My favorite defense this week is the Eagles, who are a talented unit and get to play against another putrid offense out of New York in the Giants. I think that the Eagles will tee off on Eli Manning and company and you can get them for a fairly low price.
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