Onto the next battle. Since we're still early in the season, here's a bullet point list of what you'll find in 'Value Plays' article each Friday ...
- Each position features three players that I believe are strong value selections for the upcoming weekend, plus the reasoning behind the choice.
- The price tag indicated in parentheses is what you will find over at DraftKings.com.
- Following a quick write-up of why each particular player is a solid value, I'll offer a suggestion on where you should then take your money savings. This works to provide a run-down of the more highly-priced guys that I do like for the upcoming weekend.
- At each position I will also list the highest-priced player in that spot, alongside a 1-10 score which references how confident I would be in that player earning back their cost (10 being a guarantee).
Of course, when you're dealing with a salary cap structure, a good portion of the players I recommend do not correlate to top-notch starting options in season-long play. About half the time, a DFS recommendation is not a thumbs' up for that same player in your season-long set-up (i.e., Blake Bortles).
Before I jump into the Week 3 DFS value plays, here's a look at the Week 2 Report Card ...
- For the second consecutive week, all 3 of my QB offerings (Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco) came through, with each netting over 23.5 points
- Gio Bernard was a clear-cut hit, Danny Woodhead came through yet again, but Chris Johnson to take advantage of his extra work with Arizona.
- As strong as I have been with my quarterback selections in the first two weeks of the season, I've been the polar opposite out wide. Tyler Lockett, Brandon Coleman, and Cole Beasley were all measly in Week 2
- Jordan Reed provided top-6 work at tight end, but both Vernon Davis and, especially, Zach Ertz, fell outside the top-12 at the postion
- New Orleans ended up middle-of-the pack among DEFs, while both the NY Giants and Baltimore disappointed
Overall Week 2 Grade - C
Marcus Mariota ($6,100) vs. IND - The Colts defense has proven suspect in each of the first two weeks. Below-average options like Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick both turned in average showings. Mariota was not quite as successful in his second go-around, but he still managed nearly 19 fantasy points in a game where the Titans managed just 14 points. Because of his work outside the pocket, Mariota has performed like a top-6 signal-caller, thus far, and with this price, you should be tempted.
If you save here, spend here - Golden Tate ($5,700) vs. DEN
Derek Carr ($5,300) @ CLE - For the first time in over a decade, the Raiders had their quarterback sling the ball for more than 350 yards in a game. The last 'legend' to do it? Well, Kerry Collins (in '04), of course! Carr made use of both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, leading them over 100 yards receiving, apiece. This does mark a road trip for Carr, but I feel that Oakland is ready to commit to an offensive attack that has no qualms about throwing the football upwards of 40 times every Sunday. In fact, after two weeks, the Silver and Black have thrown the football 3rd-most-often in the entire league. Carr may fall into a couple of picks, but he could have just as many scoring tosses, plus 300 yards.
If you save here, spend here - Rob Gronkowski ($7,400) vs. JAC
Blake Bortles ($5,100) @ NE - Bortles was humming against Miami last week before hitting the 'pause' button in the 2nd half of last week's victory. His accuracy continues to come-and-go and that makes for some droughts in the passing game. This particular play is a highly risky because Bortles and his Jag teammates head to Foxboro as big 'dogs according to the wise guys. Of course, if those expectations are met, we've also got Bortles in store for 35 or so dropbacks, plus some 4th quarter garbage help. As we have seen in each of the first two games, the Patriots are OK, but nowhere near-great with their defensive personnel. Where Bortles most helps is that he allows you to rack up some monster players at the other positions on your DFS squad.
If you save here, spend here - Antonio Brown ($8,900) @ STL
Top of the Chart - Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) vs. KC - 8.8
Danny Woodhead ($4,400) @ MIN - After two weeks of this, you didn't expect me to stop now, did you?! Woodhead is still coming in at such a low price, that's it tough to say 'no.' The only reasonable argument is that most everyone will be in on the Charger PPR-machine. The Chargers have no reason to move on from their game plan of the previous two weeks - namely, use Woodhead in the passing game. You can expect another 6-7 targets this weekend and with a minimum of just five catches, 40 yards in the receiving game, and 40 yards in the rushing game, you'll see a major return on a point-per-dollar basis.
If you save here, spend here - Randall Cobb ($7,300) vs. KC
LaGarrette Blount ($4,000) vs. JAC - You're thinking, 'But, wait! Dion Lewis is now the guy in New England and Blount was a total waste in his return to the lineup last week.' Well, you're correct on both counts, but what you're overlooking is the Patriot Way. It's a Way that says no running back is a given and last week means nothing heading into this week. The Patriots will have to make use of their burly bruiser at some point this season and the game with the Jags should give them some 2nd-half opportunities to run the clock. Knowing what we know about Bill Belichick, I have no reservations plopping a guy into my lineup who can score a TD and get 10 carries for four-grand. Then, I can go crazy with big bucks on a QB.
If you save here, spend here - Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) vs. KC
Ryan Mathews ($3,300) @ NYJ - As of this writing, DeMarco Murray (hammy) is a question mark heading into the weekend. Even if he manages the start or warrants some work, Mathews should see more chances. With such ugly results in six of eight quarters this year, I expect Head Coach, Chip Kelly, to try new things, different things. Mathews has received much a shot, thus far, and gone nothing more than a single, solitary carry last week. A rudderless offense with their lead back at less than 100%? I have to think Mathews is in play for 8-10 touches. Don't worry about Darren Sproles either as he is totally miscast as anything beyond gadget player. If Murracy can't answer the bell on Sunday, Mathews becomes a proof-positive steal at this price point.
If you save here, spend here - Le'Veon Bell ($7,500)
Top of the Chart - Adrian Peterson ($7,500) vs. SD - 8.4 and Le'Veon Bell ($7,500) @ STL - 7.9
Donte Moncrief ($4,800) @ TEN - Moncrief appears ready for a big role in the scuffling Indy offense. He's healthier than T.Y. Hilton. He's a more dangerous receiver than Andre Johnson. And, he's more experienced and knows the playbook better than Phillip Dorsett. The Colts have a good shot at curing their ailments this weekend with the tilt in Nashville. It's a team they're very familiar with and it's a team that was beaten over-the-top and through the air by Cleveland and Travis Benjamin in Week 2. Moncrief still might be the top target for Andrew Luck with a still-limping Hilton. There's a good chance that this is going to be your final chance to snag him under 5K this season.
If you save here, spend here - the double-up with Andrew Luck ($7,900) @ TEN
Tavon Austin ($3,700) vs. PIT - Here's the gut play of the week. Austin is always a hit-or-miss proposition and at this point in his career, the misses are outpacing the hits by about a 3-to-1 ratio. But, what he has here is a defensive opponent that sports a load of inexperience. They can be fooled by the reverses, the end-around's, the receiver picks, etc. Austin is involved in two or three of those kind of plays every week ... they just rarely seem to work for the Rams! Beyond that, the Rams might have to juggle some two-point conversion draw-up's in their game plan in order to keep pace with the two-point-heavy look of Pittsburgh. This is as prime an opportunity as Austin can get, plus in the DraftKings set-up, Austin gets personal credit for any punt or kickoff that he takes back to the house.
If you save here, spend here - Julian Edelman ($7,000) vs. JAC
Marvin Jones ($3,600) @ BAL - I'm fairly surprised at the price tag on Jones for this week. The Ravens were scorched by a rookie (Amari Cooper), a so-so vet (Michael Crabtree), and a mistake-prone QB (Derek Carr), last week. Now, they're up against a Pro Bowler (A.J. Green), a decent QB (Andy Dalton), and ... Jones! Jones had a big TD catch in Week 2 (and, now has 11 in his past 18 games) and doubled-up the snap count of his WR competition, Mohammed Sanu. Again, Baltimore had major issues in the secondary last week and the Bengals figure to target that area at least 30 times. Jones is in play for a TD more than five receptions.
If you save here, spend here - Jamaal Charles ($7,400) @ GB
Top of the Chart - Julio Jones ($9,000) @ NYG - 9.1
Crockett Gillmour ($3,300) vs. CIN - All of the summer love for Maxx Williams has gone the way of the dodo. Now, fantasy owners are clamoring for the latest tight end threat for Baltimore. Gillmour was all over the place a week ago with two TD catches included in his five total catches that went for 88 yards. Baltimore still has a vacuum in the receiving game, and for the time being, he's moved into a comfortable spot where six-to-seven targets should come his way each week. Tight end's will continue to be a week-to-week proposition which makes this tiny investment an easy pay-off.
If you save here, spend here - Marshawn Lynch ($7,400) vs. CHI
Eric Ebron ($3,300) vs. DEN - Ebron has a similar argument as Gillmour. He's locked-in as the tight end receiving option in Detroit and depending on how the opposition chooses to defend the likes of Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, he can be good for an uptick in targets. Just look at last week when he notched 10 targets in the loss at Minnesota. That gives him a total 15 looks in the first two weeks of the year and that kind of volume makes his price tag very tempting. Beyond that, if you're Denver, who would you rather give up catches to ... Megatron or Ebron? My gut tells me that the Broncos give some space for Ebron to make some plays.
If you save here, spend here - Carson Palmer ($6,600) vs. SF
Coby Fleener ($3,000) @ TEN - Dwayne Allen can never stay healthy. That includes this week where it appears that the Colts' pass-catching option could miss Sunday's game in Nashville. If he does, Fleener earns a look-see by default. He's not a great option (consider that the two I listed above run for the same cost, but work out as much better choices) overall, but he's in an offense that will likely be making an effort to send a statement through the air this weekend. Maybe a few end up in his hands.
If you save here, spend here - Tom Brady ($7,700) vs. JAC
Top of the Chart - Rob Gronkowski ($7,400) @ BUF - 9.4
Miami ($2,900) vs. BUF - Even after two solid efforts, I'm not convinced that Tyrod Taylor is a quarterback to fear. In fact, I think he runs into some major issues this week with his first road tilt of 2015 in Miami. The Dolphins feature plenty of talent along the defensive line and should do a capable job of getting into the backfield, causing Taylor to make quick decisions under pressure. If you can get him to make passing decisions on the run, I think you have him in a good spot. And, I think that's exactly what we see. A couple picks figure to be available.
If you save here, spend here - Tyler Eifert ($4,800) @ BAL
Detroit ($2,700) vs. DEN - Detroit should be rockin' for the Sunday night home opener. This is not a very good matchup from a talent perspective. Denver has it on offense and Detroit is only so-so defensively. Still, I've been at this too long to discount the effect that a home defense can get when the bright lights of primetime TV come to town. Plus, Peyton Manning still has some questions to answer even after last week's solid 2nd half against Kansas City. The dip in zip gives the Lions opportunities. Here's hoping that Gary Kubiak continues to bullishly insist that the Broncos' offense can succeed with Manning taking snaps under center. That would help Detroit plenty!
If you save here, spend here - Adrian Peterson ($7,500) vs. SD
Tampa Bay ($2,500) @ HOU - Somehow, someway, Tampa went to New Orleans and clamped down on Drew Brees and company. Doing it again in for a second consecutive weekend in front of a second consecutive hostile crowd is asking a lot. Tampa has a weakness in the middle of the field, but Houston doesn't have a tight end to take advantage of it. Arian Foster is highly unlikely to play again. DeAndre Hopkins is questionable with a concussion. And, Ryan Mallet, struggled throughout his first start in Week 2. It's not a great bet to go with the Bucs, but, ah, it is a value bet.
If you save here, spend here - Demaryius Thomas ($8,000) @ DET
Top of the Chart - Seattle ($3,400) vs. CHI - 9.5
You can hear Kyle, Monday-Thursday from 8-10 ET and Friday's from 10-midnight ET, on 'The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive', on Sirius 210, XM 87.