DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 3
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay particular attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into 15-20 carries in a feature role and crush his value.
Also, be sure to use numberFire's premium tools at your disposal! In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied team totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's check out the top plays on this week's DraftKings main slate.
Derek Carr ($6,800): The Oakland Raiders are tied for the highest implied total of the week (28.75) and are part of the game -- at Washington -- with the highest over/under (54.5) by 4.0 points. Therefore, much like Tom Brady last week, why not roster the guy who's most likely to be involved in all those touchdowns? Last year, Washington was 24th against the pass by our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, and so far they're 26th in 2017. Best of all, Derek Carr is still reasonably priced below $7,000, making him cheaper than what we had to pay last week to get Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, or Aaron Rodgers.
Kirk Cousins ($6,100): Alternatively, if you want to save a little dough, you can just switch over to the guy on the other sideline in Kirk Cousins. No, Cousins hasn't done much so far this season, but the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams aren't slouches on defense, and he's coming home to a robust 25.75 implied total. Plus, the Raiders defense just coughed up 2 touchdowns and 16.74 DraftKings points to weaponless Josh McCown. Cousins could also go low-owned in tournaments, where the masses may opt to pay up or go with the similarly priced Matthew Stafford ($6,200) instead.
Andy Dalton ($5,100): I know, that's a scary name to look at, but we're reaching some bargain-bin pricing here -- this is the Eli Manning and Jacoby Brissett price tier after all. Andy Dalton hasn't looked anything like the sleeper we were hoping for in season-long leagues, but also remember that he was never expected to do all that well against the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans anyway. The Green Bay Packers are a far easier opponent, one that was 23rd against the pass by our metrics last year. With new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor on board, we might finally see the Cincinnati Bengals get their first touchdown, and Dalton will merely have to be competent to pay off his value in tournaments.
Amari Cooper ($7,100): One of the tougher calls you may have to make is deciding between Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree ($7,400). Both are clearly strong plays as the two main receiving weapons for Carr, but Cooper gets the slight nod in cash games, as he's less likely to see standout corner Josh Norman as often in coverage. Norman hasn't shadowed a top receiver this season, and according to ESPN's Mike Clay, he stays on the left side 95% of the time. While both Cooper and Crabtree will move around, that happens to be the side Cooper lines up on less often. It doesn't hurt that Cooper will save you $300, as well.
DeAndre Hopkins ($6,200): Fantasy football is all about volume, so sometimes it can be very straightforward. DeAndre Hopkins owns a ridiculous 48.3% share of the Houston Texans' team targets. He leads the NFL with 29 targets, which is 4 more than the next-highest player (Dez Bryant), and keep in mind that it could be even higher considering he spent one disastrous half with Tom Savage in Week 1 before Deshaun Watson took over at quarterback. The Texans are 13.5-point underdogs to the New England Patriots, meaning they'll likely be throwing often. Hopkins is pretty much guaranteed double-digit targets, giving him a phenomenal cash-game floor.
Davante Adams ($5,600): This one is contingent on the health of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. As of now, it looks like Nelson is trending towards playing, while Cobb is looking less likely. Should one or both be out, it opens up more targets for Adams, who saw 10 when Nelson was forced out in Week 2. Getting that kind of volume from Aaron Rodgers at under $6,000? Sounds pretty good to me.
Devin Funchess ($4,200): Similar to the above situation, now that Greg Olsen is on injured reserve for the Carolina Panthers, there are some targets up for grabs. Devin Funchess looks like he might be the main beneficiary, getting 7 targets in Week 2, and even out-snapping Kelvin Benjamin. Oh, and the Panthers are facing the New Orleans Saints, who have already allowed 793 passing yards. Any cheap exposure to this one is decidedly a good thing. Rashard Higgins ($4,000) is another cheap option who appears to be the new surprise number-one receiver for the Cleveland Browns with Corey Coleman out.
Le'Veon Bell ($8,800): Priced at $9,800 the first two weeks, we're now getting a $1,000 discount on Le'Veon Bell. Yes, he hasn't done much yet, but in Week 2 he was on the field for 92% of the snaps and received 31 touches. It's the same old Bell, and that big fantasy score is coming soon. Why not this week against the Chicago Bears? Take advantage of the sale price while you can.
Jay Ajayi ($7,700): Jay Ajayi was the only running back on the field more often than Bell last week, netting 94% of the snaps, and he also hit the 30-touch mark. The woeful Jets have already allowed 370 rushing yards in two games, and you know the game script will almost certainly be tipped in Ajayi's favor. Another 30-touch day isn't out of the question.
Ty Montgomery ($6,900): Our man Ty Montgomery did wonders last week as the chalk, and there's no reason to think he won't be heavily involved again, particularly with Nelson and Cobb banged up. TyMont has played 88% of the snaps so far, and despite some talk of Green Bay curtailing his workload, there isn't really anyone behind him to steal carries. At less than $7,000, he still remains too cheap at his current usage.
C.J. Anderson ($5,800): Similar to the others, it's just a matter of volume. C.J. Anderson is your surprise NFL leader in touches with 49 through two weeks. That is massive usage in general, let alone for a guy under $6,000. Even on the road against the Buffalo Bills, the Denver Broncos should keep the positive game scripts going for Anderson. If all that isn't enticing enough, he also already has 13 red zone looks on the year, too.
Jack Doyle ($3,600): It looks like Brissett found his new favorite receiver in Week 2, peppering Jake Doyle with 8 targets. The Browns weren't very good against tight ends last year, and this season they've already given up big DraftKings scores to Jesse James (22.1) and Ben Watson (17.1). Sounds like we're going to see a whole lot more of the new Brissett-Doyle connection in Week 3.
Jared Cook ($3,100): Jared Cook will get you cheap access to an Oakland offense that should be humming on Sunday night. He has 11 targets through two games, and Washington has already allowed 208 yards to tight ends in 2017. Cook has been a fantasy disappointment throughout his career, but he doesn't need to do much to hit at this salary, and the Raiders should have plenty of touchdowns to share.
New England Patriots D/ST ($3,800): At this price, the Patriots are more of a tournament play, but the Texans have the lowest implied total on the board (15.25) and are likely to be throwing all day in catch-up mode. New England has hardly showed anything as a defense, but this is the perfect recipe for sacks and turnovers against a rookie quarterback facing a Bill Belichick defense in only his second career NFL start.
Philadelphia D/ST ($3,000): Did you watch that Monday Night game? Yeah, cue the sad Eli Manning face. Well, the struggling New York Giants' offense gets to hit the road against the Eagles, a team that already has eight sacks through two games. Philly should have no problem repeating the carnage the Detroit Lions just brought. At this price, they're a shoo-in for cash games.