NFL DFS Week 3: Hot Sizzle Taeks
I'M BAAAAAAAACK!!! Not even Hurricane Irma can keep the warmth of ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven taeks away from the DFS world! Missing the first 2 weeks of the NFL season was very sub-optimal, but thankfully Ben kept the seat nice and comfy during my absence. Pancakes? Sign me up buddy! From what I've been told, the 1st two weeks of the season were quite....strange to say the very least. Probably because I wasn't available so they had to muck it up a little bit since the higher ups had no players to curse due to my missing write-ups. I'm no Andercust, but the MMA main event curse has continued to live on. The 2ToN CURSE also doesn't have a ring to it like the ANDERCURSE!!!! so there's that. Still, I'm sure many of you needed to whet your appetite through my obscene insults and ramblings about how awful a certain player is, possibly a food joke or ten sprinkled in there. Man, I still want some pancakes. Thanks a lot Ben, YOU JERK! Here's a quick recap of the past 2 weeks in the NFL – The Saints defense blows, Brady sucks then doesn't suck, Eli stills falls down for no reason, Zeke needs to go shirtless, and Bell needs to listen to some Puff the Magic Dragon. Also, Glennon has a 20 foot long neck. Let us begin. NFL DFS Week 3 Hot Sizzle Taeks. Right. Now!
NFL DFS Week 3 Quarterbacks
Top Play – The most expensive QBs this week all have some tough match-ups, with Brady facing a Texans defense that's generally been able to keep his production down, Brees against the currently second-ranked defense, and Matt Ryan against a surprisingly competitive Lions team that's found the juice for their running game. So, it comes down to Rodgers versus Cam Newton for the top play of the week. There are still some injury concerns with Rodgers' receiving corps and his OL, so I guess by default I pick Cam Newton? I mean, he's gonna be facing the worst pass defense in the NFL that's given up the most explosive plays thus far (passes of 15+ yards and runs of 10+ yards). Quite the tasty match-up for HAM CAM NEWTON, who's been more like SPAM CAM NEWTON these past few weeks. It's an ideal situation for the Panthers offense to start clicking and get into a rhythm, as the best cure for offensive woes is playing against a high school team on defense. Actually, that might be too much of an insult to high school teams across the nation. Yes, the Saints defense really is that bad, as evidenced by Brady's 300-yard performance AT HALF! HALFTIME GUYS! Three. Hundred. Yards. It also helps that Newton's price is quite palatable on both DK/FD, and the projections certainly love Newton as a top 3 QB in both points and value. Just put him in!
Value Play – There's definitely some goodies for the 6k and under QBs this week, with Cousins facing against a still mediocre Oakland secondary, Stafford against the Falcons team that's been unable to stop the run while almost losing yet another large lead, and Wentz purely based on the Eagles' apparent shift towards passing it 100 times a game. But there's a QB that's practically free that may elude some people's feeble minds. His name is none other than Mike Glennon! Nah, I'll never roster that schmo. It's actually DeShone Kizer, the future of the Browns organization. He'll be facing a decimated Colts defense that just gave up a 300-yard outing to Carson Palmer. Mind you, that's Palmer without John Brown, David Johnson, and a seemingly dormant Larry Fitzgerald. Not good! That was after the Colts gave up 309 yards to Jared Goff! GROSS! Kizer's now thrown the ball at least 30x in his 1st two games, adding 43 rushing yards in total which helps boost his floor. There are reports that Kizer was dealing with migraines while battling against the currently top-ranked Ravens defense, so that may explain his atrocious performance. Still, let's not forget his very solid performance against the Steelers with 222 yards passing and 2 combined touchdowns. Those numbers are very feasible for Kizer against the Colts, especially if Vontae Davis is out once again. It's a numbers game, and everything adds up to Kizer hitting value at his bargain basement price. The emergence of Rashard Higgins has also lessened the blow from losing Corey Coleman to a broken hand. Start with confidence! Unless he pulls a Gus Frerrote and slams his head into a wall, then well....I guess you could say Kizer went AWOL in that case.
HOT TAEK – OH IT BURNS!!! I pick Bortles. Also Glennon, Yeah, let's throw in Hackenburg in there while we're at it. I know he's not even starting but who cares? HE'S THE HACK BABY! Actually, I'm going to go with the Red Rocket, Dandy Andy Dalton! He's been infuriatingly inaccurate to start the season, and maybe that'll continue against a Packers secondary that's given up the most fantasy points to QBs. Maybe Dalton will finally get demoted and the Bengals sign Tim Tebow just to sell some jerseys. Who knows? What I do know is Dalton was actually a very good quarterback the last two years despite some injuries and being a redhead in general. Sometimes these guys just need a couple weeks to get into a natural rhythm and start feeling comfortable enough to actually throw it to their receivers' hands instead of the ground. Plus, he's got A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, John Ross, and Joe Mixon at his disposal. The cornerbacks that the Packers have trotted out there have been abysmal outside of Kevin King, with PFF grades near the bottom of the barrel for every single one of them. There are a few things going for Dandy Andy and his fantasy prospects, most notably the fact that the Packers will continue to be near the top in passing attempts and low run percentage. That's more time and plays for Dalton to throw
interceptions touchdowns throughout the game, and if the Bengals do fall behind as is expected by Vegas, that's just even more passing attempts for Dalton to fail succeed at. Couple more numbers for ya – The Packers have currently the 3rd fewest run rate through two weeks, while the Bengals' run defense has been the 3rd best despite facing the most rushing attempts (Thanks, PFF, you guys are sharp!). What more do you want? Oh yeah, he's free on both sites. FREE AT LAST!!!
NFL DFS Week 3 Running Backs
Top Play – Usually when you can get Le'Veon Bell for under 9k and in a decent match-up, he's the must play RB of the week. Well, things change. Bell can certainly turn back into the monstrosity he was last season with a billion catches and a trillion stop and goes for 50 touchdowns, but we'll go ahead and pivot off him with good ol' Jay Ajayi. No, this isn't a homer pick (even though it is) as the Jets run defense has been horrendous to start the season. Ranked 1st last year, the run defense has suddenly eroded into the Grand Canyon, spurting out gigantic running lanes to anyone who totes the rock. Three Raiders running backs were able to score a touchdown against the Jets last week, including Cordarelle Patterson who isn't even a true RB! The Jets currently give up the 4th most fantasy points to the RB position, and they'll be facing a Miami team that gave Ajayi 30 touches for 126 total yards against the Chargers while giving his backups a combined ONE touch all game. It's very obvious the Dolphins want to repeat the same gameplan from last year that got them into the playoffs – a run 1st, clock control gameplan with short dump-offs to Landry and some deep shots to Stills/Parker. The Cuttlefish (as Ben calls him) took many 3 step drops and simply was a game manager instead of the usual LEMME GO DEEP BRO THE CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL Sir Cutty self. That's great news for Ajayi, as he'll have the ball all to himself for the majority of the game if that shoddy Jets run defense continues to show up. The Chargers hadn't given up a 100+ yard rusher in 17 straight games until Ajayi reminded them what a real running back looked like. The Jets are also really bad, while the Dolphins are kind of good. 30 touches! Holy cannoli!
Value Play – Most of the eyes will be looking at Tarik Cohen for their value RB play of the week, and while that's perfectly fine considering his workload and target share, it's probably the week to pivot away from Cohen. This week seems difficult to get a hold on values if you ignore the 7k tier, as a couple names only really pop out outside of Cohen. C.J. Anderson went nuts last week against an admittedly terrible Cowboys defense, and could very well do the same against Buffalo. Then there's the Devonta Freeman conundrum. Freeman is vastly under-priced on DK at a mere 6700 for a top echelon RB in a potentially high-paced game, while he's more in line priced to his ability at 8200 over on FD. Then, of course, you have the classic 3k-ish Sproles and his magical PPR skills staring at you on both sites against a Giants team that just let the Lions run all over them. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, but on DK you really should glance at Freeman at his tantalizing price while ignoring the fact that the Lions are giving up the 10th fewest points to RBs and rank 4th in run defense DVOA. Remember, they did just play against the Giants who possess zero running backs worth mentioning all the while Eli Manning was trying his best Magikarp impression, floundering about on the field trying to escape free rushers. Then against the Cardinals, that one really good RB named David Johnson hurt his wrist and didn't even get to play the entire game. Yeah, numbers lie and so does my wife. Pfft, as if I'd ever get married. That's a great spot to take Freeman below RBs like Melvin Gordon, Ty Montgomery coming off a smashfest, and LeSean McCoy. It's a different story on FD, but I'd still check out C.J. Anderson for his TD upside.
HOT TAEK – This will definitely uncork your pants off due to the humidity in the air, but I choose DERRICK HENRY for my sizzling RB play of the week. He'll be facing the vaunted Seattle defense that's usually a no-go for all players involved, but screw all of that! The Seahawks are still a top-notch pass coverage unit, but their run defense has been very leaky to start the season, They let Carlos Hyde run wild on them for 124 yards last week, and even the run-averse Packers gave TyMont 19 carries in Week 1! The lack of any consistent offense and possibly one of the worst OL in recent memory has allowed Seattle's opponents to get way too many plays than they'd like. The 49ers had 79 offensive snaps! WHOA DERE! The Titans have started to commit to giving Henry the majority of their carries, and Henry has paid back their trust in him with a solid 14/92/1 stat line against the very tough JAX front seven. There's also a chance DeMarco Murray won't suit up, and even if Murray does he'll likely be limited. It's all trending up for Henry and his ownership should be low due to the stigma of facing against the Seattle defense. Burn 'em all!
NFL DFS Week 3 Wide Receiver Plays
Top Play – This is the week I think WRs are going to explode left and right, so it's difficult to just simply pick the top play. You got Antonio Brown versus the Bears squaring off against Kyle Fuller (42.7 grade) and a hobbled Prince Amukamara (or even Marcus Cooper who was one of the worst graded CBs last year). Seems like an easy 100-yard day with Roethlisberger's insistence that Brown continue to inhale targets every single week. Then there's Julio against the Lions and Slay's likely shadow coverage, limiting his upside and making him cost-prohibitive. A.J. Green bounce-back game against the Packers? Very possible. Keenan Allen against the dumpster fire at slot CB for Chiefs? Delicious match-up, but he likely will be CHALK so what do we do instead? Let's look at the SNF match-up between the Redskins and the Raiders. Remember that offseason piece on the most improved defenses? The Skins were 3rd on that list, and while their defense has definitely gotten better in some areas, one thing continues to stand out for the worse – Bashaud Breeland. He had a deplorable season last year, which may have been due to injuries. Thus far into the season, that bad play has continued as he's now graded out at a paltry 52 while giving up a long bomb to Nelson Agholor in Week 1. Yes, it was a great play by Wentz but that wasn't the only time Breeland got dotted up. The Redskins have been very stout against the run but still rank at the bottom 20 for pass defense. That likely means the Raiders will have to air out to beat the Redskins under the bright lights, and that's great news for Amari Cooper who currently has a 30% market share of the team's targets. That would be tied for 4th highest in the NFL among wide receivers! It also helps that he's significantly cheaper than some of the top tier options like Green and Mike Evans. The biggest worry with Cooper is his utter lack of RZ work, as that darned Crabtree takes every single pass away from him. That's OK since we're not really going to depend on a Cooper fade to feed our lineups anyway. There's HUGE big-play potential here with Cooper against Breeland who lines up over Cooper's usual LWR spot (53% of routes run) 88% of the time. It's a risk you gotta take to pivot away from the Keenan chalk and hope Brown/Julio/Green don't explode. No risk, no biscuit!
Value Play – It would be really easy to just plop Kelvin Benjamin here with a Newton/Benjamin stack in mind, but when have I ever made it easy? I'll be going Deandre Hopkins in this spot purely from a numbers standpoint. Hopkins leads the NFL in targets and market share percentage while facing a 32nd overall DVOA ranked Pats defense that just gave up back to back 300+ yard games. Yes, the Texans' passing offense is dreadful right now, but the Patriots' defense might just be what Watson needs to get the bounce back in his step. Hopkins may not see heavy shadow coverage from Malcolm Butler either, as thus far through two weeks the Patriots have elected to keep their boundary cornerbacks just right where they want them. Butler has been on the RCB role for 90% of his snaps, while Gilmore has been on the other side for 84% of his snaps. That could mean the Texans can scheme Hopkins to face against Gilmore more often than Butler, which would be a plus match-up for Nuk. The Patriots seem intent on really relying on the bend-but-don't-break defense and we all know Nuk loves him some 3 yard drags and 5 yard slants. The volume is going to be there and the lack of any consistent pass rush from the Patriots should mitigate any Texans OL problems, thus giving Watson cleaner pockets and more time to spam Hopkins at our pleasures. Or just go Jarvis Landry and take your 15 catches for 50 yards. Whatever floats your boat.
HOT TAEK – I'm scared to say this but my WR HOT TAEK OF THE WEEK is....T.Y. Hilton! THAT'S RIGHT! The receiving yards leader last year has been non-existent this year thanks to poor, poor, POOR QB play from Tolzien/Brissett. But that's okay, as the Colts will be facing the Browns and their wonderful brown jerseys. As I mentioned before, Kizer should do well against a tepid Colts defense, which in theory should force the Colts to have to play keep-up all game long. That's a good-ish game script for Hilton to maybe crack the 100 yard barrier for the first time this season. Obviously, QB play is going to be an essential part of that actually happening, but facing one of the worst slot cornerbacks in the NFL certainly should help. As of right now, the Browns' slot cornerback is Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who some may remember as easy pickings last year. Well, he still is and he's now their primary slot CB, which bodes well for Hilton and his current 39% of routes run in the slot. Last year, Hilton made his monies feasting against terrible slot cornerbacks and swimming his way into yummy touchdowns on long bombs. It's an unappealing play, but sometimes you gotta eat your broccoli or Mom won't give you your popsicles. Like I said, I think it's a week where WRs will explode, so I gotta pick somebody who's more likely to implode than explode. Explosions!
NFL DFS Week 3 Tight End Plays
Top Play – This was actually one of the easier picks for this week. It's Zach Ertz and honestly, you shouldn't even think twice about it. He's facing against a Giants defense that's now given up a TD to a TE on back to back games. Jason Witten sliced 'em up for a cute 7/59/1 on 9 targets statline, while Eric Ebron had an all right personality at 5/42/1 on 5 targets. Ertz will be that hot model you thought wouldn't be into you but actually is, and he's not even ridiculously priced! Ertz now has seen the 2nd most targets among TEs (21) and is in a very, very pass-happy offense with Wentz having thrown it an absurd 85 times already! The Giants were really bad against TEs last season (26th DVOA vs TE) and that trend should continue all season long. It's a slam dunk play in my opinion, and it appears the DailyRoto projections agree with me as Ertz is the top value while just barely missing out as the top projected scorer.
Value Play – You know my rule. If I'm going to pick a value guy at TE, I'm just going for targets. It's a position that you should either pay up for or punt it completely with volume in mind. With that said, I'm going with Zach Miller since he's basically one of the only guys Glennon will even look at. Cohen, Miller, and Wright make up roughly close to 60% of Glennon the Neck's targets. Only Cohen sees more than Miller and that trend probably won't change. Thing is, while the Steelers have been a good defense they've been vulnerable to tight ends this season. They let a dude named Seth DeValve get a respectable 4/42 statline, then allowed the same thing to Kyle Rudolph while getting Odell Beckham'd in the process. A 4/40 something statline is pretty much what you'd like to get out of your punt play at TE, and Miller should see even more targets than the aforementioned tight ends. What I love about the Bears is no matter what the score is or how dysfunctional the team is, they're committed to continuing to be dysfunctional at all times even if they're trailing by 40 points. Garbage time is going to be a real thing with the Bears all season, and I'll be going along with the ride. Choo choo!
HOT TAEK – Guess who's returning from suspension this week? No, it's not me. I really was in a hurricane! It's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and he's on the Jets roster if you didn't know. You probably didn't. He gets the Miami Dolphins and their banged up/suspended/just flat out bad LB corps that gave up a combined statline of 9/91/1 to Henry/Gates in Week 2. Yes, Gates went 2/11/1 while Hunter Henry did most of the heavy lifting, but who's keeping tabs these days? What am I, an anonymous troll on twitter yelling at accomplished players about how much they stink in 25 dollar double-ups? Get outta here! ASJ may turn into a dud, but trust me when I say this – the Miami linebackers simply do not know how to cover anybody. It's been an ongoing problem, and the draft pick of Raekwon McMillian and the addition of Timmons gave me a glimpse of hope that it just might finally change. Then I was reminded again that the AFC East do not get to enjoy happiness since that's part of the deal Bill Belichick signed with the devil. McMillian tore his ACL and Timmons disappeared....literally. Mike Hull and Chase Allen will be chasing ASJ all over the field, and if McCown can stop helicoptering into concussions, he should be able to give ASJ plenty of targets. What ASJ does with them is a mystery, but it's one I'm willing to solve. Of course, he's probably going to be inactive anyway, and I mostly just wanted to yell about how lame the Dolphins linebackers are.
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