Football of all kinds was a nightmare last week, both real and daily fantasy football. There were so many unexpected and downright inexplicable performances last week that I wouldn’t know where to begin to talk about them if that was my job. There was also some normalization throughout the league: the Raiders defense being terrible, Washington looking competent on offense, KC’s defense not getting gashed on every play, Cutler being bad, and the list goes on. Thankfully, though, that nightmare is over. Here’s looking forward to better outcomes in week 4.
Brady has been on fire the last two weeks, so it’s hard to look away from him. And while Carolina’s D looked impressive through two weeks, they were exposed vs New Orleans last week. The Patriots field one of the league’s best offenses every year for the past ten years, so the last two weeks should not be taken as an anomaly. Brady won’t throw four touchdowns every game, but he has the potential to every week, and against the discombobulated Panthers, the chances seem good.
Jared Goff $5600 DK/$7200 FD
The Cowboys played well down the stretch versus the Cardinals, but I think that has more to do with the Cardinals being lost without David Johnson than anything else. Sean Lee hasn’t practiced all week, and he is that defense’s engine, and he isn’t the only injured player: they still have a pretty banged up secondary. Watkins practiced in full on Friday so he should play on Sunday—although from what I understand, he is not completely out of the concussion protocol—which could lead to another monster game from Goff (that is REALLY weird to say).
Eli Manning $5700 DK/$7000 FD
Eli should move closer to his typical fantasy value with Beckham back in the lineup, which means you want to consider him against favorable matchups and look far, far away when he has tough matchups. If you’re not feeling good about Goff (and I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t), I think Eli is looking at a favorable matchup this week.
I’m confident that we chalk up throw out Tampa’s week 2 performance against the Bears to an emotionally charged performance against a subpar opponent. At their best, I think the Bucs are a decent team that will spoil a playoff berth for some hopefuls, with little chance of obtaining a playoff berth of their own. This week, injuries to their defense should bode well for the Giants passing attack.
Todd Gurley $7800 DK/$8000 FD
Gurley looks like the dominant player everyone expected him to be two years ago. Even if Goff had performed better last season, the Rams lacked downfield threats to take pressure off of Gurley last season. On top of being able to threaten teams deep, the Rams have turned Gurley into a reasonable option out of the backfield, which boosts his fantasy football value tremendously, especially on DraftKings. I think his floor is 10-12 points per game, and his ceiling is much higher in this week’s face off against a depleted Dallas defense..
Leonard Fournette $6700 DK/$7700 FD
Jacksonville probably won’t annihilate the Jets the way they did the Jaguars, but they should win this game pretty comfortably. While Jacksonville dreams of their first playoff berth since 2007, Cutler plays like a guy who would have been perfectly content never playing football again (I didn’t actually see the Jets vs Dolphins, but I understand that Cutler played like a guy who was only playing for a paycheck last week).
The point is, Jets are facing a hungry team this week, a team that fields one of the most talented defenses in the league. I think the Jags will get out to an early lead, and that should mean that they’ll lean on Fournette throughout the second half. There’s not an international crowd to entertain this week, so I think the Jags will have more rational late game play calling.
C.J. Anderson $5600 DK/$6900 FD
A lot of things that happened last week are downright inexplicable, but the Raiders defensive woes were likely premonitory.
There’s some concern with how much Charles is eating into Anderson’s carries, but I think we’ll see Denver trying to pound the ball and run the clock against a dangerous Oakland offense (last week’s ineffectiveness won’t continue for them), which means that both backs should see plenty of carries this week.
Odell Beckham Jr $8900 DK/$9100 FD
Beckham’s return to form was a breath of fresh air to fantasy football players everywhere. He’s a top pick every week, even more so when the opposing team’s best CB is hurt. Even at his best, Beckham would probably have a good game, and Grimes is questionable for Sunday’s tilt, so a 20+ point game is almost guaranteed.
DeAndre Hopkins $6400 DK/$7300 FD
I think DeAndre Hopkins is a must play for as long as he hangs around this price point. No WR has more targets than Hopkins through three games, and few possess equal capabilities. As long as the QB is willing to put it up for him to grab, he’ll come down with it more often than not, regardless of the coverage he faces. This won’t translate to many real-world wins, or even touchdowns, but it will mean a lot of fantasy football points all year long (barring injury).
Larry Fitzgerald $6100 DK/$6700 FD
Fitz is coming off an incredible fantasy football performance last week, and has the second most favorable matchup according to PFF (only Jarvis Landry’s is more favorable, and I don’t trust Cutler to get him the ball as much as I trust Palmer to feed Fitzgerald). Given the matchup and the overall ineptitude of the rest of their roster, Fitzgerald seems like a great play this week.
Pierre Garcon $5500 DK/$6600 FD
Garcon is the clear number one in an offense that should get better as the season progresses. Hoyer’s inconsistency will hinder them from being a great offense, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see occasionally great offensive performances. Given Arizona’s defensive struggles, Garcon feels like a good play. He won’t put up 25 again, but I think he’s good for 10-15 this week.
Gronk and Ertz are great plays just about every week, but bringing them up in a fantasy football article is akin to reminding everyone that the sky is most often blue. But the required versatility of the Tight End position makes this a volatile position in fantasy football terms, where all we care about are points, so as consistent as Gronk and Ertz are, they’re more likely to lay an egg than Antonio Brown or Julio Jones; thus, I’m looking for value at TE even more than I do at other positions.
Delanie Walker $4900 DK/$6500 FD
Walker is the cheapest option of the top-flight tight ends this week. I’m not sure he actually belongs in the same conversation as Gronkowski, Kelce, and Ertz, but he’s right below them anyway. Houston isn’t the easiest matchup for tight ends, but they’re not the hardest, either, and for the money, I think this is a great pick.
Charles Clay $3700 DK/$5300 FD
Even without the touchdown, Clay had a good game against Denver. I think Buffalo will play from behind for most of the game this week, like most teams do against Atlanta, which means they’ll have to throw the ball. Clay will benefit from the lack of productive targets for Tyrod Taylor. I think Clay is good for around 15 points again this week, and I don’t think you’ll find better value than that.
Jesse James $3000 DK/$5100 FD
James has done little since week 1 to warrant consideration, but given the way Mercedes Lewis wrecked Baltimore last week, I think he’s worth a look. He’ll certainly save you a ton of cash, especially at DraftKings.
Antonio Gates $2900 DK/$4700 FD
Gates has a rather favorable matchup against the Eagles this week (according to ProFootballFocus, it’s the fourth best matchup). I thought the Chargers would play well last week and was dead wrong, but the offense is too talented to have lackluster performances all year. Gates always has potential to put some big points on the fantasy football scoreboard, even at his advanced age, so if you’re weary of tight ends this week, you might want to take a flyer on Gates.
I don’t feel confident in many defensive matchups this week. I’m not even confident in this matchup, but the Lions have been excellent at taking the ball away and turning it into points: they’ve done it in all three games this year. I don’t think Keenum will repeat his performance from last week, which should mean a good game for the Lions defense. The Lions leave something to be desired for their fans, I’m sure, but they’re making a lot of fantasy football players very happy so far, and I expect that trend to continue this week.
Ben’s struggles on the road continued last week vs the Bears. The Ravens were embarrassed last week, and are probably looking to erase that game from their memory. I’ll gamble on an angry Ravens defense vs a shaky road Roethlisberger.
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