Daily Fantasy Football Quarterback Primer: Week 3
Welcome to the third edition of my weekly NFL DFS quarterback primer article. Each week I will be looking to find an edge at the quarterback position for daily fantasy football contests.
In this weekly column, you will find the best value quarterbacks for tournaments and head-to-head cash games. Additionally, I will highlight one or two quarterbacks to avoid in the upcoming week.
Last week, we missed on Ben Roethlisberger, with our play of the week going down with a first-half injury for the second consecutive week. Once again, anyone who read this column won big with Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen in cash. Let's hope we can avoid the injury bug in Week 3.
Without further ado, let's dig in.
Best Overall Play of the Week
Kyler Murray (FanDuel Price: $7,200) -- No team in the NFL has thrown the ball more than the Arizona Cardinals have this season. Kyler gets the Carolina Panthers at home this week with the fifth-highest over/under on the main slate. Murray has been able to turn his league-high passing attempts into decent yardage, topping 300 passing yards in each of his first two games. A big reason for this has been his 20 deep-ball attempts (passes that travel at least 16 yards), which is tied for the second-most in the league through two weeks. Deep-ball attempts can lead to huge weeks as a passer, as we just saw from Patrick Mahomes' 17 deep-ball attempts last week.
According to our models, which are adjusted for strength of opponent, the Cardinals have faced two passing defenses that are in the top half of the league. The Panthers have been decent against the pass in their first two weeks, allowing less than 250 yards in both contests. However, this game has a chance to turn into a shootout with two teams who play at a top-five pace in the league. The Panthers have thrown the ball the fifth-most in the league through two weeks and that trend could continue even without Cam Newton on the field.
We have not seen much from Murray as a runner so far this season, turning six rushing attempts into 17 yards. However, Murray's scrambling ability from his college days gives him a high rushing ceiling each week. Our projections have Murray with the 10th-most rushing attempts this week. In a game that will likely be played at a very fast pace, Murray is a great play in both tournaments and cash games in Week 3.
Jameis Winston ($7,300) -- Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the fourth-highest implied team total this week in a great home matchup against the New York Giants. Our rankings have the Giants with the second-worst passing defense in the league, trailing only the Miami Dolphins. With more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (two), it is safe to say Winston has been a let down in DFS through the first two weeks. However, there have been some signs of hope, too. Winston has thrown at least six deep passes in each of his first two games and is also seventh in total rushing attempts at the position. Our projections here at numberFire have Winston as the top point-per-dollar value play this week.
Daniel Jones ($6,000) -- On the other side of that game will be Daniel Jones in his first career NFL start. Jones, the heavily criticized sixth overall pick in last year's draft, completed 85% of his passes in the preseason while throwing zero interceptions on 34 passing attempts. Jones' price tag is hard to ignore for a player who could be in a potential shootout in Week 3. It will not take much from Jones to return value at this price while also allowing you to allocate more funds to other positions. The uncertainty of Jones makes him an easy fade in cash games, but his upside makes him usable in tournaments. Our models have Jones as the fourth-best value play this week.
Lamar Jackson ($8,500) -- Lamar Jackson has printed money for us through two weeks, and we are not going to shy away from him in Week 3. The ball should be in Jackson's hands a lot this week as the Ravens' offense will try to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes in a game with the highest over/under of the week (52.0). Jackson showed last week that he has the highest rushing ceiling in the league among passers, turning 16 rushing attempts into 120 yards. Jackson also continued to impress as a passer. His 0.65 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back trails only Dak Prescott through two weeks. Even with a slight increase in price, we should be playing Jackson in cash until we see him slow down.
Josh Allen ($7,500) -- Josh Allen's 17 total rushing attempts through two weeks trail only the aforementioned Jackson at the quarterback position. Unsurprisingly, our projections have Allen with the second-most rushing attempts in Week 3, trailing only -- you guessed it -- Jackson. That alone is enough to at least consider Allen in cash. Allen also has potential as a passer this week, going up against a Bengals secondary that has ranked as a bottom-10 pass defense in the league, according to our models. Our projections have Allen as the third-best value play of the week. If you want to fade Jackson at his top-two price tag, Allen offers similar upside for $1,000 less.
Quarterback to Avoid
Aaron Rodgers ($8,500) -- Avoiding a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers always has the potential to make you look bad. However, there is too much working against Rodgers this week to play him in cash or tournaments. First off, the Packers rank in the bottom half of the league in plays run per game and passing attempts per game, which has significantly capped Rodgers' upside through the first two weeks. Another thing working against the future Hall of Famer is his lack of success on deep balls so far this season. Rodgers ranks in the bottom half of the league in deep-ball completions with only five through two games. For reference, eight different quarterbacks have completed that many deep balls in a single week. At his current price, Rodgers needs to perform as a top-five quarterback to return value. I will be avoiding him at his top-five price tag until we see more out of him and this Packers offense.
Samuel Factor is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Samuel Factor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Samfact2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.