Onto Week 3 Ladies & Bros!
Once again from a DFS standpoint, we've got another clunker for a Thursday night game as the San Francisco 49ers host the LA Rams. At just a 40 O/U this NFC West showdown is one of the lowest totals of the weekend and combining that with the point spread you can derive that the 49ers are expected to put up 18.5 points. That's what you get when Brian Hoyer is your starting QB and outside of Carlos Hyde and Pierre Garcon your options are slim. Speaking of Hyde however, I don't mind his price on DK ($5,200) and Fanduel ($6,600). Through the first two games the Rams have surrendered the third most amount of Yards per game on the ground at 152.
On the Rams side of the ball, nobody really stands out here with the exception of Todd Gurley but his price tag is not as appealing especially when you'll be trying to fit studs like Lev Bell and Julio Jones in your lineup. If you want to roll him out in a tournament that's cool especially since he's been involved in the passing game.
Here are the three games we want to be targeting this weekend:
Oakland Raiders (-3) @ Washington Redskins
The Sunday night contest in Landover Maryland has the highest O/U total on the slate at 54.5 as both of these defenses are nothing special. Oakland is tied with New England for the hightest projected points this week at 28.75, so let's start with the Silver and Black offense.
According to PFF the Raiders offensive line has been the third best in the league in terms of run blocking through two weeks, and while Marshawn Lynch hasn't been able to break any major runs or put up gaudy numbers he's got a nice price of $6,000 on DK and $6,700 on Fanduel. Another tidbit from PFF: Lynch has only been tackled on first contact on half of his carries, which is the best rate for backs in 2017 and tied for the best for backs after two weeks in the last five seasons. Maybe that year off has his body feeling nice and refreshed just like A-Rod in 2016 for the Yankees.
Personally I'll be building my cash lineups starting with Derek Carr at QB. He's the 5th highest priced QB on both Fanduel and DraftKings on the Sunday-Monday slate. He was the 4th highest graded QB in Week 2 (albeit against a terrible Jets team) and is taking on a Redskins team that has allowed 13.5 yards per reception, which is tied for the fourth worst through the first two weeks. Now which of these WRs should you be pairing him with? I think Josh Norman is going to see more of Michael Crabtree than Amari Cooper, and I think Crabtree will be pretty highly owned. I certainly won't fault you for rolling out Crabtree (3 TDs last week vs Jets), but Cooper is $300 less on DK and the same price on Fanduel and I think will be less owned. Let's roll Cooper this week in cash and tournaments!
The Redskins aren't good against the TE (have surrendred a league high 208 receiving yards to TEs) so I like Jared Cook as a value play this week as well as long as he plays as he's dealing with a shoulder injury.
On the Redskins side of the ball, Terrelle Pryor said that he's going to have a dominant season and it starts this week against Oakland, and I believe him. Former Redskin now Raider David Amerson will probably be covering him and he's giving up a 133 passer rating. I love combining Kirk Cousins and Pryor in cash games.
Jordan Reed is a great player and one of Kirk's favorite targets but he's dealing with multiple injuries and his the third highest priced TE on both sites. I'd rather get value at that position. Jamison Crowder has twelve targets through the first two games so if you need some salary relief (4900 on DK, 5700 on Fanduel) I'm not opposed to playing in cash/GPPs, although it was discouraging that he played only 53.5% of Week 2 snaps.
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots -13.5
The reason I'm only underlining the Patriots is because they are projected to score 28.75 points, and with the O/U at just 44 points that means Vegas thinks Houston will score just 15.25 this week, the lowest total of any team. So let's focus on the defending Super Bowl Champs here.
The Texans secondary is not the same secondary that featured A.J. Bouye who left for Jacksonville in the offseason. The numbers through the first two games are favorable, but that's because Jacksonville ran all over them and Cincinnati struggled to do anything all game offensively. Danny Amendola practiced today so I think Chris Hogan's fantasy value takes a hit. I think with Brandin Cooks slow start this is the time to plug him into your Cash and GPP lineups because I believe he'll have lower ownership and we know Brady will chuck the ball. The Texans are strong against the TEs allowing only four receptions to start the year, and with Gronk as the highest priced TE by far I'm fading in cash games.
I think the RBs are site specific. On DK where it's PPR, I prefer saving $300 and going with James White (11 catches over the first two games) and I believe he'll be lesser owned since Gillislee has four TDs the first two weeks. On Fanduel, I'm good with paying up for Gillislee a bit at $6800, but James White comes with some nice value at $5600.
I will say this about the Texans offense: DeAndre Hopkins has 29!!! Targets through the first two games, and you have to figure Houston will be playing from behind so Deshaun Watson will have to throw. He is someone you can throw in for value if you want to fit in studs. Wouldn't touch either Lamar Miller or D'Onta Foreman.
Atlanta Falcons -3 @ Detroit Lions
The emphasis here will be on the Atlanta Falcons side of the ball as they are the favorite in a game where the total is the second highest this weekend at 50.5, but we can still consider some Lions as well. Let's start with the defending NFC Champs...
I don't need to tell you how good Julio Jones is. But with 0 touchdowns to start the season on just nine catches and with a matchup against Lions top CB Darius Slay, is he worth the highest price tag on DraftKings among all eligible players, and the third highest on Fanduel? Meh. I'd prefer to roll him out in tournaments and build cash lineups through RBs.
You know who has two more catches this year? Mohamed Sanu. Obviously he benefits from defenses paying more attention to Julio, but he's gathered praise from HC Dan Quinn who called ihm "a very difficult matchup inside" (http://bit.ly/2w9C9mm) and he's less than half of what it would cost you to pay for Julio. I'm good with putting Sanu in your cash lineups. Taylor Gabriel is a boom or bust GPP option.
If you're choosing RBs, Devonta Freeman is someone you can build your lineups around, especially on DraftKings where he is the 7th priced RB this week. Freeman has three TDs to start the year and got 19 carries last week compared to Tevin Coleman's 6 so he's clearly the workhorse. Detroit's run defense isn't too shabby but Freeman is one of the top RBs in the league and the Falcons will undoubtedly use the run to set up the pass so Freeman will be involved. Don't' forget he's also utilized in the passing game as well, catching all four of his targets so far. Coleman is a nice player and Quinn loves him but he's probably strictly a GPP play only.
Detroit has allowed ten catches to the TE the first two games, so I'm totally cool with playing Austin Hooper in both cash and GPPs on both sites to help you with some salary relief.
On the Lions side of the ball, I really like rolling out Ameer Abdullah this week in both cash and GPPs. I think he'll have low ownership, and the Falcons have given up 5.4 yards per carry through the first two games, which is tied for the 2nd worst in the league with the JETS! Obviously game script will dictate his workload but he's received 15 and 17 carries respectively over the past two games. He's the same price as Jonathan Stewart on DraftKings at $4700 and is someone I will be building a bunch of lineups around. He's actually $100 less than Stewart on Fanduel at $6100 so he's viable on both sites.
The Falcons secondary is pretty tough so I'm ok with avoiding Lions WRs, but Golden Tate did grab 10 catches in Week 1 and after just hauling in four in Week 2 I'd imagine he'll be low owned. I prefer Tate in tournaments.
Feel Free to Fire up Eric Ebron in Week 3! The Falcons are tied for third in allowing the most receptions to the TE through two games (13), and with tight pricing on both sites we could find value as he's just $3300 on DraftKings and $5200 on Fanduel.
While both Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford are viable options in both cash and tournaments, they are probably not the QBs I'll be targeting in my lineups as I'll try to find more value with guys like Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz.