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Welcome to Week 3 of the NFL! The “Cheat Sheet” is a feature that will be released every Friday throughout the season. It will be a fluid article (so check back often!) that will encompass everything you need to set your lineups for the NFL. We will go game by game, discussing the most relevant players on each team.
If you are interested in reading last week’s Cheat Sheet, here it is for Week 2.
DraftKings strategy and pricing is front of mind, but these can also help you set your season long lineups. I love action, so we will go in order of Vegas point totals, highest to lowest! Let’s do it!
Green Bay (-6.5) vs. Kansas City o/u 49
Let’s get this out of the way, Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) is the greatest QB in the league and he’s STILL underrated. That’s how much I love this guy. He made it look easy dicing up the SEA defense last week for 249 yards, 2 TDs and 22.26 DK points. This could have very easily been a four TD game for Rodgers. They had one James Jones TD overturned and another trip inside the five yard line that ended in a FG. He can put up 300 yards and 4 TDs on anyone and he is insanely good at home. His 8 home games last season were all inside his top 10 best fantasy games. The Chiefs are going to have their hands full with Rodgers.
The injury status of Eddie Lacy could open up some interesting scenarios. If he doesn’t play or is limited, James Starks ($3,000) would have immediate value. Starks shredded Seattle for 95 yards on 20 carries after Lacy left the game in Week 2. The 6.5 point spread might indicate that the Packers get out to a lead and run the ball. The problem here is that this is the Monday Night game and we might not know Lacy’s status until game-time. Keep your ears open and pay attention, because Starks would become one of the best values of the week.
This James Jones ($4,800) situation continues to get more intriguing week by week. Jones is by no means a PPR monster with only 5 catches in the first two games, but he has monopolized all the redzone targets for the Packers. Any receiver that is going to do that, immediately becomes interesting. Jones has 7 RZ targets already this season which is second in the league. The Chiefs have been stingy on the ground but horrid through the air, surrendering BY FAR the most DK points per game to opposing WRs.
Speaking of the Chiefs giving up more DK points to WRs than any team, I am buying as much of Randall Cobb ($7,300) as I can get. Cobb had a standard Cobb game in Week 2, catching 8 balls for 116 yards despite the “terrible” matchup with the Seahawks. You have to believe Cobb is getting healthier every week and is ready to explode. He will continue to be Aaron Rodgers favorite target.
Green Bay hasn’t been great at stopping RBs so far and Jamaal Charles ($7,400) could cause them fits. Despite the two fumbles from Charles last week, he still scored 23.7 DK points after scorching the Broncos for 125 yards. His pass catching ability leads me to believe we may see a similar outing that Matt Forte laid on the Packers in Week 1 (30.6 points).
Pittsburgh (-1.5) @ St. Louis o/u 47.5
Ben Roethlisberger ($7,200) is an absolute gun-slinger. This guy just chucks it down field over and over again. His aDOT (average depth of target) is the deepest in football making him one of my favorite GPP plays. If a couple of his receivers get loose, he always has big play upside. I am cautiously optimistic this week since St Louis can get pressure on the QB which might make it a long day for Big Ben. Additionally, the return of LeVeon Bell might hurt Ben’s value a touch.
Speaking of LeVeon Bell ($7500)…Welcome Back! Bell is thrusted directly into the best matchup in league so far as the Rams have surrendered the most points to opposing RBs. I think Bell is high risk/ high reward. In season long formats, you are thrilled to roll him out. In DFS, I am a little hesitant. I am interested to see what type of shape he is in and if Deangelo Williams steals a touch or two from him. I will have limited exposure to Bell.
Yes, guys like Julio Jones and Antonio Brown are always in play. They are studs. If you’re making me choose between the two, it’s probably Antonio Brown ($8,900) who’s getting the nod. Jones will have to take on the Cowboys defense that, through two games, has shut down top WRs in ODB and Jordan Matthews. I am sure Julio will be fine, but his upside is capped just a bit. Antonio Brown is in a much better matchup with STL and the Steelers have the added dimension of the two point conversion. They appear more willing than most teams to go for two, which could boost Brown’s value even higher.
This line actually jumped out at me. It’s the second highest total on the board and only a 1.5 point spread. That indicates Vegas thinks both team will score a ton of points. I am not particularly thrilled to roster any Rams RB, so I think Nick Foles ($5,200) might be a viable value option. It’s a tiny sample, but Foles looked much more comfortable at home in Week 1 than he did on the road versus the Redskins. The Steelers have provided little resistance to pass catchers, surrendering 623 yards and six TDs through the air in the first two weeks of the season.
That would also increase the value of Jared Cook ($2,800). Almost min-priced and he is by far the favorite target of Nick Foles. The big TE has seen 15 targets this season which leads the team. He’s averaging 11.6 DK points per game and if he gets to double digits again this week, he would pay for himself.
New England (-13.5) vs. Jacksonville o/u 47.5
I don’t think I need to spend too much time on the Patriots. Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Gronk are all top plays. The O/U is one of the highest of the day and NE is a massive favorite. You should be getting as much exposure to these guys as possible.
Dion Lewis ($4,200) is an interesting play. Rostering a New England RB is a scary thought because you never know how the touches will work themselves out. Lewis was heavily involved in the passing game last week with 6 grabs for 98 yards while tacking on another 40 yards on the ground. LeGarrette Blount only saw two carries. In fact, Blount only saw 7 offensive snaps while Lewis was on the field for 73. If that type of split were to continue, Lewis would be incredible valuable against Jacksonville.
If you’re not rostering Rob Gronkowski ($7,400) as much as possible, you’re doing it wrong. He’s simply too good to fade. He’s significantly better than any other TE and he’s matchup proof. Gronk is 5pts per game better than TE2 (Kelce) and 11.7 points per game better than TE5. That’s a massive difference at any position. Since Week 8 of last season, Gronk has caught 12 TDs in the regular season. That’s by far the most in the league and if you add in his 3 TD catches in the playoffs last season, the difference gets even larger. Tack on the 4 TDs he has this season already and…well, you get the point.
Unfortunately, Allen Robinson ($5,200) had a massive game last week, so he’s not going to fly under the radar, but I LOVE him this week. Robinson had a massive 155 yards on 6 catches and added two TDs. A-Rob already dominated the Jaguars targets, seeing 25% of the team’s looks. That number could increase significantly, as Rashad Greene has been placed on the IR. That means Greene’s 23.68% of targets are now up for grabs. With the Patriots as massive favorites, you’d think there would be plenty of opportunity to air it out for the Jaguars.
New York Jets (-2.5) vs. Philadelphia o/u 46
If you’re looking for value, Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,100) is your guy! He’s nearly minimum priced on DraftKings and has been more than serviceable in his first two weeks, scoring 14 and 17 DK points. He’s going to get what is presumably his best matchup yet with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have struggled to keep WRs in check and Brandon Marshall could have a field day against CB Byron Maxwell. With the breakneck speed that the Eagles like to play with, Fitzpatrick would presumably see more snaps in this game than he will all season.
Brandon Marshall ($6,200) is a very interesting option this week. Marshall and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick seem to have formed an outstanding rapport earning Marshall 18.2 and 26.1 DK points in the first two games. Marshall should see a big boost in targets if Eric Decker doesn’t play. The Cornerback matchup cannot be better assuming that he will square off with Byron Maxwell in this matchup. Maxwell has been dreadful and clearly has not blossomed in this PHI defensive scheme. Pro Football Focus has Maxwell graded as one of the worst CBs in the league right now. Add the additional boost of pace facing the Eagles, where the Jets might see some more offensive snaps and I am all over Marshall this week.
Now’s the time to buy on the Philadelphia Eagles. How many jaded owners will avoid them this week after laying an absolute egg in the Game of the Week? They are still capable of exploding at any moment.
The running back situation in Philadelphia is ugly and murky, not a great combination. With that being said, Demarco Murray is banged up and his status for Sunday is in question. If he doesn’t go, Darren Sproles ($3,800) and Ryan Mathews ($3,300) become much more playable. I prefer Sproles a bit more, since the Eagles offensive line has been horrid. Running through the line has proven to be very difficult. Sproles is used in all facets, including lining up as a WR. Sproles value comes from the full point PPR scoring that DraftKings offers, not running the ball. You’ll also receive the added benefit of him returning punts.
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