If you play in daily fantasy leagues regularly you’ll know there are those weeks that simply don’t go your way. Unfortunately, this past Sunday was one of those times for me. The Saints and Giants game was a bust with neither team performing very well offensively. San Diego and Jacksonville was a one sided blow out. We saw Isaiah Crowell rush for 133 yards. You know, just your casual day in the NFL. Well this is a new week, and there are once again some exploitable games that I’m taking a hard look at in daily fantasy football.
Side Note: The values and scoring we use are from Draft Kings. I prefer them for two reasons. They utilize PPR scoring and have an additional flex spot on the roster with no kickers. Everyone hates kickers.
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans
Value – $5,900
Mariota has been relatively quiet over the first couple of weeks, and you’d never know that he’s thrown for over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns to start the season. This is a completely revamped Tennessee offense with a desire to run the football. However, the Oakland Raiders will be traveling to Nashville on Sunday, so we could see the Titans trailing in this one early. If that happens Mariota may be forced to take to the air to keep Tennessee in the game. Vegas as the projected point total set at 47 points, so it’s conceivable that both teams could perform well. Oakland has given up 69 points over the first couple weeks of the season to two pass heavy offenses, so there’s definitely some opportunity for Mariota to have a big day this weekend.
Phillip Rivers – San Diego Chargers
Value – $6,700
There’s not a lot to dislike about Rivers going into week 3, and I’m targeting any quarterbacks that are playing the Colts for the foreseeable future. Much like the Saints last year, Indianapolis has been getting torn apart through the air. Even first year starter Trevor Siemian was able throw for 266 yards against them last week, and the Broncos are a run first offense. There was some concern heading into week two regarding who would take over for Keenan Allen after his knee injury, and it appears the Travis Benjamin is up to the task. Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates will be on hand as well. Rivers is the 12th highest valued quarterback on Draft Kings this week, so his value further adds to his appeal.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $7,400
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Matty Ice come with a higher price tag than Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, and Ben Roethlisberger, but that’s exactly what we’re looking at this week. Ryan is riding a hot streak coming into his matchup against New Orleans on Monday as he has thrown for 730 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season. Similar to the situation with the Colts, I’m going to be looking at any quarterback playing the Saints until they show some sort of life on defense. If you’re planning on rolling out Ryan this will be the time to do it. After the Saints he faces three of the NFL’s top defenses in the Panthers, Broncos, and Seahawks over the next three weeks. Since we’re looking at a slightly more pricey option here you can stack Ryan with Jacob Tamme for only $3,200 more. This helps create a little more value, and Tamme has had a solid first two weeks as well.
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $7,600
Luck’s value has dropped considerably from the $8,300 price tag he carried to start the season. This is mostly due to under usage and a poor performance against Denver this past Sunday. I’m taking advantage of the price drop and selecting Luck in a couple lineups this week. Indianapolis will take on San Diego in what is the highest projected scoring game this week at 52 points. Both teams have defenses that will give up points, and both teams have very good quarterbacks. This one has all the makings of a shootout, and I’m expecting Luck to bounce back in a big way against the Chargers.
Hail Mary Play:
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $5,700
I’ve been tinkering with Prescott for a couple weeks now, but he’s started the season facing off against two rival teams that have limited his production to this point. I think this could be the week we truly see what Prescott can do for fantasy purposes. The Cowboys will play a Bears defense that just have up 29 points to an Eagles offense helmed by Carson Wentz. In looking at the Eagles and Cowboys you could argue that Dallas has better talent for their rookie QB to work with. Prescott also seemed to get on the same page with Dez Bryant last week, so don’t be surprised if each of them have big games this week.
LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots
Blount has been an absolute workhorse for the Patriots to begin the season, and he has fared well in that role. Through the first two games he’s averaging just under 100 yards and a touchdown. Things will likely change a bit once Tom Brady returns from his suspension, but we still have two more weeks before that happens. Furthermore, backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday and will not play on Thursday night. Since they will start rookie QB Jacoby Brissett, I would expect them to lean on Blount heavily against a fairly strong Texans defense.
Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns
Value – $4,700
It’s always an uneasy feeling when we start talking about Browns players in fantasy football. They’re simply a lousy football team when you compare them to their competition. Cleveland has a few bright spots on offense, however, and there’s bound to be weeks where a few of them should perform well enough to help you out. Crowell is averaging 113 yards and a touchdown through two games this season, and Hue Jackson recently went as far as saying the running back will be their featured ball carrier. There was some speculation in the offseason that Duke Johnson Jr could be the running back to own in Cleveland, but he has been largely ineffective to this point. Crowell faces a Miami defense that is giving up almost 130 yards on the ground per game this season. With the Browns likely being forced to start their 3rd quarterback in three straight weeks you have to assume they’ll want to run the ball as much as possible.
Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers
Value – $5,800
If you’re a Chargers fan my heart goes out to you. Just one week after losing star wide out Keenan Allen for the season, disaster struck again when Danny Woodhead was diagnosed with the same injury as Allen. Thankfully, the Chargers already had a hefty lead at that point against the Jaguars, so Gordon got plenty of touches and reached 100 rushing for the first time in his career. San Diego went out and signed Dexter McCluster on Wednesday, so he may eat into Gordon’s workload. However, he’ll likely need a few games to get up to speed, so I don’t consider him an immediate threat to Gordon’s production. The Chargers are facing a banged up Colts defense that is giving up a ton of points this season, and I expect Gordon to make an impact this week.
Matt Forte – New York Jets
Value – $7,000
Everything you’ll want to know about why I love Forte can be found in my Hot or Cold article this week. The Jets seem determined to give the 30 year old running back all he can handle. In two weeks he already has accumulated 24% of the total carries he saw with the Bears last season. To this point in the season, Forte is the second highest scoring running back in standard leagues and gets a larger bump in PPR leagues due to his pass catching ability out of the backfield. He is obviously a workhorse on a Jets team that has talent at other positions on the field. Forte faces a Chiefs defense that has surrendered some points this season, so I’m riding out this wave until he breaks down.
Hail Mary Play:
Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $3,800
The amount of injuries we’ve seen through the first two weeks of the season is daunting, especially if you’re the Minnesota Vikings. Just a few weeks after losing Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota suffered another devastating injury when Adrian Peterson exited Sunday’s game with a torn meniscus and will likely have played his last down in Minnesota this season. Someone has to run the ball in this offense, and I think it’ll be McKinnon. He played well when given the chance during Peterson’s suspension and is the type of running back you want leading your team. He’ll likely concede some touches to Matt Asiata but should be the one to lead the rushing attack while Peterson heals up. Unfortunately, McKinnon is a pure value this week as he has a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers. I’m hoping for some decent yardage here and possibly a touchdown. He’s certainly worth a flier if you’re feeling ballsy and want to few up some cash at other positions.
Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Value – $6,600
Jarvis Landry has been PPR machine since entering the league a couple seasons ago, and he is off to a fast start in 2016. Although he doesn’t score many touchdowns, he is clearly the favorite target of Ryan Tannehill. He is seeing over 10 targets per game so far this season, so he is being looked at early and often. The Dolphins host the Browns on Sunday, and I’m thinking this might be a closer game than it should be due to Arian Foster getting injured this past week. While Ajayi and Drake will be in line to see some touches, I have to think that Miami will want to move the ball through the air. Landry typically operates out of the slot, so Joe Hayden shouldn’t bother him too much this week. He’s also fairly inexpensive, so you’ll be able to conserve some cash for other positions.
Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints
Value – $6,500
Snead could easily be a weekly mention in this article until his price tag reflects his production. Big Willie is currently the third highest scoring receiver in standard leagues through the first two week, yet he is only a few hundred dollars more than names like Sanu, Floyd, and Shepherd. I realize we’re dealing with a small sample size, but Snead seems to be the real deal. He offers up the same production as Brandin Cooks in this offense but comes at a huge discount. The Monday night matchup between the Falcons and Saints is the highest projected point total this week. I’m playing Snead in just about every lineup I put together.
Mike Wallace – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $5,000
I’ll give you one guess as to who the 6th highest scoring receiver is in standards leagues so far this season. Give up?…surprise! It’s Mike Wallace. As odd as this is to type out, Wallace is one of the top targets in a Ravens offense that has had to pass the ball to stay in games so far this season. Furthermore, he’s being targeted in the red zone which is something we’re not used to seeing. Wallace has always been a boom or bust deep threat, but his early performances have proved otherwise. He was targeted six times in the comeback win over the Browns and only accrued 41 yards. The surprising thing is one third on those targets were for touchdowns in the red zone. Baltimore faces a talented Jacksonville offense this week that still seems to be having issues on defense. At only $5,000, Mike Wallace is worth inserting into your lineup.
Sterling Shepherd – New York Giants
Value – $5,500
The rookie from Oklahoma is off to a fast start in his first season in the league. He’s an exceptional route runner and drew comparisons to teammate Odell Beckham before being selected by the Giants in the draft. He’s already a PPR asset and has caught 11 out of 12 targets on the season for 160 yards and a touchdown. The main reason I’m targeting Shepherd this week is the matchup the Giants have against the Redskins. We all know what happened when Josh Norman and OBJ squared off last year, and there certainly hasn’t been any improvement to that relationship in the offseason. I anticipate Norman will match up against the star receiver early and often on Sunday, which could open things up for Shepherd to have a big day. At only $5,500 he’s a value play with a lot of upside this week.
Hail Mary Play:
Phillip Dorsett – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $4,400
Dorsett is purely a value play this week after Donte Moncreif has been ruled out after suffering a shoulder injury last week against Denver. The Colts play a Chargers defense that has a tendency to give up a lot of yards, and I’m expecting Andrew Luck to bounce back in a big way after facing a tenacious Broncos defense last Sunday. The matchup between San Diego and Indianapolis boasts the second highest projected point total on this week, so if I can get a piece of the action at a discount I don’t mind rolling the dice. Dorsett has been targeted 11 times through two weeks and is 62 yards a game. If Moncrief is held out he could very well produce at a high level this week.
Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Value – $5,000
Walker continues to be one of Marcus Mariota’s favorite targets. He caught all 6 of his targets on Sunday for 83 yards and a touchdown in the win over Detroit. Delanie Walker is currently the 4th highest scoring tight end in standard scoring and has another advantageous matchup this week against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders defense has given up 69 points over two weeks to opposing offenses, so I’m expecting Mariota and Walker to both have big games this Sunday.
Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $3,200
Tamme was featured in this article last week and paid off if you in steered him into your lineups. He was targeted 8 times and caught 5 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. He’s clearly earned the trust of Matt Ryan and is worth rolling out again this week. The Falcons will face a weak Saints defense, and this game is a shootout waiting to happen. This will likely be the last time you’ll want to take a chance on Tamme for a few weeks. Over the next three games Atlanta will face some of the league’s’ best defenses in the Panthers, Broncos, and Seahawks. Jump on him before shelving him for the foreseeable future.
Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens
Value – $3,400
Dennis Pitta was once a useful fantasy tight end before he was absolutely plagued by injuries. Until this season he hasn’t played a single snap in the NFL since 2014. He’s finally been reunited with Joe Flacco, and the duo seem to have picked up right where they left off. Pitta finished the day on Sunday with 9 catches on 12 targets for 120 yards. Granted, the Ravens were in full comeback mode after falling behind 20-0 early in the game. Still, you have to like the attention he saw from his quarterback. I’m looking for Pitta to have another solid day against an overhyped Jacksonville defense that for destroyed by the Chargers last weekend. At $3,400 he is a great value play as well.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $4,700
The tight end position has mostly been a crap shoot so far this season, because there really hasn’t been that one player that’s had a breakout game to this point. I’m looking at Kelce this week as a guy that could potentially have a big day on Sunday. He was targeted 7 times against the Texans, so clearly Alex Smith is trying to get him involved. The Jets were just gashed through the air last week against the Bills, so there’s some potential here for Kelce to put up a decent stat line. He should be fairly underutilized as well, so he’s a sneaky pick that could pay off this week.
Hail Mary Play:
Trey Burton – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $2,500
DISCLAIMER: ONLY SELECT BURTON IF ERTZ ISN’T ACTIVE.
I thought that may be common sense, but I’ve had some flack recently on promoting players that are only useful if the regular starter at their position is in danger of missing a game. Now that we’ve covered that, Burton is a guy I’m absolutely fitting into at least one DFS lineup this week if Ertz can’t play. Burton reeled in 5 catches and a touchdown on 7 targets this past week. Brent Celek is listed above him on the depth chart, but he’s mostly utilized as an extra blocker. Burton showed great chemistry with Wentz, so I consider him a must start in DFS at the price tag.
Dallas Cowboys – Value $2,500
The Cowboys will face a struggling Bears team that will likely be without Jay Cutler due to a thumb injury. I typically don’t like paying a premium price tag for defenses, and Dallas should be able to keep Brian Hoyer in check if Cutler doesn’t play.
Miami Dolphins – Value $3,000
The Dolphins should be a popular pick as they play a depleted Browns offense in week 3. Corey Coleman broke his hand, Cleveland is on their third string quarterback, and the team looks to be in trouble. Full speed ahead here.
Who I’m Stacking:
Carson Palmer/Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals Total Value – $14,100
Arizona destroyed the Bucs last week as Palmer threw for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns before sitting almost all of the 4th quarter with the game sealed. Many were expecting a decline for Fitzgerald again this season, but the veteran receiver is as productive as ever. Arizona will play a Bills defense that was picked about by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets last week, so I’m looking for both Palmer and Fitzgerald to have big games this weekend.
Marcus Mariota/Tajae Sharpe – Tennessee Titans Total Value – $10,600
This is a complete value play this week with a lot of upside. The Titans are going to want to run the ball a lot this season the their two-headed monster in Murray and Henry, but Tennessee faces a high powered Oakland offense this week that has the ability to put up a lot of points. The other side of the coin here the Raiders have allowed 69 points in two games this season, so this game has some potential to be a higher scoring affair than what’s projected. If Oakland pulls ahead early I could see both Mariota and Sharpe having big days. Delanie Walker could also be used over Sharpe if you’re wanting to roll with the tight end.
Hail Mary Play:
Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys Total Value – $14,100
While Prescott has managed his first two games well, he hasn’t really reached the point where he’s opening eyes from a fantasy perspective. I think that could change against a Bears offense this week that will be without their starting quarterback and a defense that just got picked apart by fellow rookie Carson Wentz. The Dak-Attack seemed to get on the same page with his star receiver last week as Bryant led the Cowboys with 12 targets and 7 catches for 107 yards against the Redskins. Prescott shouldn’t be very highly owned, so you’ll get a bump if he has a big day. If you’re feeling lucky, Cole Beasley is an extremely inexpensive option as well. He’s a solid PPR scorer but lacks big play potential.
Steal of the Week:
Travis Benjamin – San Diego Chargers
Value – $5,200
All the reasons I like Phillip Rivers this week are why I’m high on Benjamin as well. The Chargers face arguably the worst passing defense in the Colts this weekend, and Benjamin as quickly emerged as the go to receiver in the Chargers passing game. The Colts are talented enough offensively to make this a high scoring game, so I’m targeting players on both teams if possible. There aren’t many number one wide receivers priced below $5,500, so Benjamin is almost a must start until his price tag catches up with his production.
I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it each week. I’m truly passionate about fantasy football and love any opportunity to share my opinions with you. As always, hit us up @No_HuddleFFB on Twitter for any questions you might have. Get rich this week!!!