Week 3 Primetime Showdown and Week 4 Thursday Night Showdown Winning Lineup Information
Monday Night: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
I suspect the Pittsburgh side of this game will be quite popular, as they are the more popular team and not many will want to build with a lot of Bengals. As we saw last Monday Night with Chicago and Washington, going 3 and 3 may be a little lower owned of a build than usual
- Pittsburgh is pretty easy to figure out as far as snaps go. James Conner (10,600) saw 68% of the snaps last week, while Jaylen Samuels (4,800) only saw 26% of the snaps, but no touches. Cincinnati is 28th in DVOA vs the Run and 31st against pass-catching RBs. Conner is a pretty elite play in this game, and can be considered as captain. In MME builds, I don't even hate playing both RBs and locking in all of the production.
- Like RB, Pittsburgh's WR distribution is pretty easy to figure out. JuJu Smith-Schuster (10,400) was on the field for all the snaps while James Washington (6,200) saw 92% of the snaps and Diontae Johnson (6,600) saw 79% of the snaps. I do find it curious that Washington is cheaper than Johnson and that is due to Johnson scoring last week. I certainly think all thre are viable in this game. I'm ranking them Smith-Schuster, Washington, Johnson in order I think I would play them. Johnson will be lower owned so I could go there if I think my lineup is too chalky.
- For the other Steelers, I do have interest in Mason Rudolph (9,600), Steelers Defense (4,600), and Chris Boswell (3,600). The Steelers Defense is a thinner play than most defenses, and would be a play for sacks/turnovers against a weaker Bengals offensive line.
- I think this is an interesting spot for the Bengals, as the Steelers are 29th against the pass and have some awful DVOA numbers against pass catchers (30th against WR1, Other WR, and 29th against TE).
- Tyler Boyd (9,200) and John Ross (8,400) look to be in great spots. Boyd has seen double-digit targets in every game this season while Ross only saw 6 targets last week. Fitting in both would be a contrarian build with Boyd being the safer play, and Ross being the high upside play. However, you may not want to forget about Auden Tate (4,800) who did see one less snap than Tyler Boyd last week (90 and 89 percent) and had 10 targets. Tate may be a little risky as we don't have a great history on him but makes for a nice mid-tier play.
- Joe MIxon (8,800) was finally able to produce last week but is still limited do to both an earlier injury and a bad offensive line. The price is good for his talent, but it's hard to pay up when he's in a 50/50 snap share with Gio Bernard (3,800). Mixon is the higher upside as Bernard hasn't done much. But, I don't mind taking Bernard for salary savings and hoping that he will produce more for being on the field for 30+ snaps a game.
- Even the TEs have options for the Bengals. Tyler Eifert (5,200) has seen 5 targets in each of the first two games of the season before only seeing one last week. But, he's sharing snaps with C.J. Uzomah (1,400) who has only seen one target the last two weeks. Pittsburgh does struggle against the TE position, so I don't mind either one. I think I do prefer Eifert as he is seeing more consistent targets right now, but don't mind Uzomah as a last person in a lineup filler.
- Andy Dalton (9,800) is fine as he is averaging 22 points in the three games this season. The matchup is really solid and he should be lower owned than Mason Rudolph.
Bengals I will Consider: Boyd, Dalton, Tate, Bernard, Mixon, Uzomah (if I need a punt)
Steelers I will Consider: Smith-Schuster, Conner, Washington, Rudolph, Steelers, Boswell
Sunday Night: Dallas at New Orleans
- This feels like a game where we want to fit as many stars into our lineups, as both teams have a pretty defined distribution system with come complimentary pieces on each side.
- Neither Amari Cooper (10,200) or Michael Thomas (9,200) did much in this game a year ago. Thomas only saw 7 targets last week, going 5/54/1. Dallas has average DVOA ratings against the 3 WR types. Cooper on the other hand, has scored a TD in every game so far this season, and New Orelans ranks bottom 10 in DVOA against all receiver types. I prefer Cooper for 1,000 more right now. However, it was interesting to note that Cooper's Week 2 Touchdown was his first road Touchdown since 2017, and first as a Cowboy.
- The Dallas WR who had the most snaps last week was Devin Smith (5,200), seeing 92% of the team's snaps, while Randall Cobb (7,000) saw 74%, which is right around his season average. Smith did out-target Cobb 5 to 4, so it looks like they may be complimentary pieces. I prefer Smith for a higher usage and bigger discount.
- I want to do a little blind player comparison: Player A has seen 4 targets in each game so far this season, and either has a TD or 50 yards receiving in each game. Player B has only seen 7 targets, one of which was a touchdown. Pretty easy which one to play right. However, let me throw in two other things here: Both players have seen the same number of snaps, and Player A is 4,200 more than Player B. Who do you choose? Player A feels much more safer and is. However, Player B is significantly cheaper and maybe could see a little more positive regression as he's on the field for a similar number of snaps. Time for the reveal. Player A is Jason Witten (5,200) and Player B is Blake Jarwin (1,000). I can't say I really love either one against a team who has done a decent job of defending the TE (though Dissly did score on them last week). I do have interest in Jarwin if it allows me to jam in 2-3 of the big named players.
- Ezekiel Elliott (11,600) still hasn't put up that massive game yet. He is seeing 66% of the team's snaps, and I expect this to continue to increase as the season goes along. He's a bet on talent if you use him, but the fact the Saints are a good run defense, and that Elliott still isn't on the field fully yet, I think he ends up being a pass for me.
- In the first game post-Drew Brees, we saw Alvin Kamara (11,800) stay steady with about 16 carries (around his average) but catching 9 of his 10 targets. Dallas did a good job of limiting Saquon Barkley in Week One, so that is a concern. Kamara's usage combined with little production from Latavius Murray (3,200, and on the wrong side of an 88/21 snap share last week) has me focusing on Kamara if I can fit him in.
- As far as the other Saints receiving options, it's hard to get real excited. Jared Cook (4,400) has not lived up to the offseason expectations yet, and that was before Brees went down. Ted Ginn (4,200) is seeing the second most snaps at WR/TE on the team, but a 2/15 line last week isn't inspiring. TreQuan Smith is out, but I don't think I want to take a chance on anyone else in the receiving department. I think Cook and Ginn can be mixed into builds, with a personal preference on which one you want to take, if either one.
- Of course, if the Saints are involved in showdown, it means we need to look at Taysom Hill (2,600). He only played in 7% of the snaps last week, but does provide a little value. I'm always intrigued by him in this situation, but don't think I can pull the trigger.
- If looking at K/DST, I think Will Lutz (3,600) is my favorite play. He started with two games in double digits before last week's 3 point outing. Dallas is good enough to keep the Saints from the end zone and give Lutz a few opporutnities. The Cowboys Defense (4,000) just doesn't generate enough sacks/turnovers for me to be interested in them.
- Finally, I will have exposure to Dak Prescott (11,200) as he continues to produce big games thanks to his passing and running ability. He is probably the favorite to lead this game in fantasy points, and is just someone I'm not wanting to fade. With Teddy Bridgewater (9,000), he did put up 16.5 points in a tough environment in Seattle last week. This should be much friendlier and could be a lower owned play than he should be.
Cowboys I will Consider: Prescott, Cooper, Smith/Cobb, Jarwin (if I need to punt)
Saints I will Consider: Kamara, Thomas, Bridgewater, Ginn, Lutz