Welcome to Week 3 of the NFL! If you had a profitable week last week, congrats! If you didn’t, throw that one away and look to the future. Week 2 was a blood bath with an incredible number of injuries. The good news about DFS is that you aren’t stuck with those injured players like I am in my season-long league! Let’s take a look at some of the interesting players of Week 3. Note: Trying something new this week. This post will be fluid and I will be adding more sections up until kickoff on Sunday. Check back often!
It’s All About The Benjamins, Baby!
Week 2 was the Week of the Benjamins. Let’s start with Travis Benjamin who hauled in all six of his targets for 115 yards and two TDs. Benjamin is usually known as a deep threat but worked underneath last week, catching four of his six passes under ten yards. That’s a good sign for Benjamin’s PPR upside and he’s been a big beneficiary of an injury-riddled Chargers offense. I don’t partciularly buy his chances for season-long success, but he has another good matchup with Indy on Sunday.
My favorite Benjamin is Kelvin Benjamin who missed all of last season with injury. Through two games this season, he’s hauled in three TDs and is dominating the wide receiver targets for the Panthers. His 21 targets this season account for 28.7% of Cam Newton‘s looks and it jumps to 37.5% market share when you look at only the Carolina wide receivers. Minnesota has a stout front four who could make it difficult for Newton to stand in the pocket, but with as much volume as Kelvin is seeing, he should continue to find success throughout the season.
It’s only been two weeks into the season, but we are already starting to see trends on which teams struggle against certain positions. You can use the Points Allowed By Position Chart to see this very easily.
The matchup that jumps off the board is wide receivers versus the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have been killed by opposing wideouts in two games, surrendering an average of 80.8 DraftKings points per game. That’s a full 19 DraftKings points more per game than the next worst team (New England). Oakland will travel to Tennessee this week which has me eyeing Tajae Sharp as a solid option. Sharp leads the Titans in targets seeing 11 looks in week 1 and 7 looks in week 2. Sharp is a talented rookie who is not afraid to go over the middle. Pairing him with Marcus Mariota will likely be a popular combination.
The Denver defense all together is just insanely good. That’s not something I need to tell you as you saw the defense carry the Broncos to a Super Bowl win last season, but when you see the numbers on paper it’s a little eye-popping. They’ve allowed the 12th fewest DraftKings points to opposing QBs (which includes Cam Newton) and the fewest to opposing WRs. Combine that with Vegas putting this game at a 41 over/under (second smallest on the slate) and it looks like it’s going to be a tough day through the air for Andy Dalton and company. Dalton has thrown for exactly 366 yards in each of the first two games. That’s more 300+ yard games than he had in his previous eight games going back to last season. Dalton’s range of outcomes is very wide for this matchup and they all skew towards the lower end of the spectrum.
Week 2 Studs
Can You Diggs It?!?! Stefon Diggs introduced himself to a National audience on Sunday night when he halued in nine catches (on 11 targets) for 182 yards and a TD. Diggs has been touted as a highly talented young receiver and he flashed every bit of that last week. He looks to be building an excellent rapport with QB Sam Bradford and has eclipsed 100 yards in both games this season. I am very optimistic for his season long production, but I am tempering my expectations for this week. The Vikings have to travel to Carolina and take on the stout Panthers defense who are allowing the 6th fewest DraftKings points to opposing WRs through two weeks. Also, with his big game being in the spotlight of Sunday Night Football last week, expect his ownership to be inflated. I am willing to wait a week and buy back in when they play the Giants in Week 4 at home.
Matt Ryan will be popular and for good reason. Ryan tossed three TDs and racked up 396 yards through the air. Through two weeks, Ryan has 730 passing yards which is the second most in the league. Even more impressive, his 72.6% completion rate is also second in the league and his 10 yards per attempt is the best around. Now, we could argue that some regression will happen for Ryan (and I agree), but there’s no reason to believe it’s going to happen this week. Ryan will travel to New Orleans to face the Saints on Monday Night. Vegas has posted a massive 53.5 point total on this game which by all accounts should be a shootout. Over the last three seasons, Ryan has thrown at least 292 yards in every game versus New Orleans (6 meetings), and has racked up 8 TDs to only one INT over his last four meetings.
Week 2 Duds
I am starting to get a bit concerned about Todd Gurley. Remember the start he had to last season? This dude went insane, averaging 142 yards per game over his first four starts. In the ten games since then, he’s only eclipsed the 100 yard mark once and is averaging 63 rushing yards on 17 carries per game. What has saved his fantasy value has been his seven TDs in that stretch, but touchdowns are extremely volatile. I am tempering my expectations on Gurley for the season and again this week against Tampa Bay. The Bucs rush defense has allowed just 76.5 yards per game on this ground so far, which is the 8th fewest in the league. This is another game where Los Angeles’ projected point total is extremely low and they may have to abandon the run if they trail later in the league.
I’ll still buy on Allen Robinson, despite a very slow start to this season. He’s totaled just 12 standard fantasy points in two games for the Jags and hasn’t sniffed the endzone. The good news is that he is still the #1 target on a team that’s going to throw the ball a ton. The Jaguars are a tiny underdog against the Ravens who allowed 50.1 DraftKings points to opposing WRs last week. Robinson will likely be a target monster in this game with lower ownership than usual as he tries to kickstart his season.
You Double-Dipped The Chip
We’ve talked about the concept of the “double dip” before, which is stacking a skill position player who also returns punts/kicks with his defense. This allows you to capitalize on a return TD for both the player and the defense. This week, the Double Dip Du Jour is most certainly Jarvis Landry. Landry has been buried with targets this season, 23 in two games, which is the third most in the league. More impressive, he’s caught 78% of those targets, which is the highest conversion rate of anyone ranking in the top 30 in targets. He will take on the Browns who are just miserable in every facet. They are allowing the 7th most fantasy points to opposing WRs.
The Dolphins defense will be a chalky option as they are big favorites against the Browns who are starting their fourth different QB in their last four games. This time it will be Rookie Cody Kessley making his first career start. To add insult to injury, the most promising young weapon for the Browns (WE Corey Coleman) broke his hand in practice and will miss multiple weeks. I have no idea how the Browns will even move the ball on offense in this game.
The only concern with the double dip, is that the Dolphins would prefer to NOT have Landry return punts since he is so valuable to the team. With that being said, he has still received four punts in two games and should be involved on special teams.
Kelvin Benjamin will likely be popular after his two TD game last week, but for only $100 cheaper is Jordan Matthews. J-Matt has been, very clearly, the favorite target of rookie QB Carson Wentz. Matthews has seen 14 and 9 targets in the first two games, scoring 27.4 and 13.1 DraftKings points. Matthews had a terrible drop on a sure touchdown last week that would have made him one of the highest scoring WRs of the week. I’m willing to forgive and forget because he’s the #1 receiver in a great matchup with the Steelers. Only the Raiders have allowed more yards to opposing receivers than the Steelers
Against The Grain
I’m not ready to give up on Russell Wilson just yet. This is a guy who offers massive upside on any given week and coming into the season was poised for a career-year. Are we really giving up after two subpar weeks? The good news is that he’s launched 78 passes so far this season which is top 10 in the league. Admittedly, there hasn’t been much to be impressed by in 2016 from Wilson, so I’m banking on what he’s done in the past. He gets a fairly significant discount and will be at home against San Francisco.
I’m not sure what the ownership of Aaron Rodgers will be, but it feels like the industry is cooling on him. I can’t believe this stat, but Rodgers has failed to eclipse 300 passing yards in any of his last nine games. It’s a feat that he’s only accomplished three times since the start of last season. The good news is that Rodgers gets the ideal matchup of facing the Lions at home, which happens to be the last team Rodgers broke 300 against. Detroit has allowed the 8th most passing yards and second most TDs to opposing QBs this season.
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