7 Daily Fantasy Football Tournament Plays for Week 3
After a Week 2 where we saw the most fantasy-relevant injuries in a single week in recent memory, the daily fantasy landscape has really been shaken up. While there are a lot of backups stepping into starting roles whose values look good in cash games (Donald Brown, for example) I feel that their ownership percentage will be too high to make them solid tournament plays.
Let's take a look at some tournament options for Week 3.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks - Wilson enters his Week 3 matchup with Denver as the eighth-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy on the year. Despite this ranking and the fact that Denver has given up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks, Wilson is priced as only the 15th most expensive quarterback on DraftKings.
He's been very successful throwing the ball this year, and currently ranks ninth in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, while he also adds another dimension as a runner and is currently third among quarterbacks in Rushing NEP. In a game that should be high scoring with Vegas projecting Seattle to score the fourth-most points in the league this week, Wilson should continue his success, and for his current price tag, that success comes at a great value.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - Matt Forte’s success is no secret, and his price tag reflects that (he is the fourth-most expensive running back this week), but I am more than happy to pay a premium for him. With DraftKings point-per-reception scoring, Forte has a fairly high floor (he leads all running backs in targets with 17), while he also offers a ton of upside, being the Bears most-used red zone weapon (Forte has had the ball in his hands on 28% of the Bears red zone snaps so far). The matchup isn't pretty against a Jets team that can stop the run, but that's also what makes him a nice contrarian tournament play.
Joique bell, Detroit Lions - Bell has seen an increased workload so far this year, and has been given more opportunities both on the ground and through the air than Reggie Bush - Joique has 25 carries and has been targeted 12 times in the pass game, compared to Bush’s 15 carries and 9 targets. Playing against a Packers defense that has been awful against the run, the Lions running backs should thrive. Green Bay has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to backs so far, and not team has been worse at stopping the run according to our metrics.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills - Watkins has absolutely eaten up the targets in Buffalo this year. He’s accounted for 31% of the total team looks, and that number jumps to 40% in the red zone, where he is tied for seventh in the league in targets. The Chargers' pass defense has been lackluster so far this year, ranking 20th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.
As an side, I think a stack of EJ Manuel and Watkins is very intriguing this week. Manuel loves to get the ball to Watkins, and with a favorable matchup, that could easily result in a couple of scores.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cadinals - While Fitzgerald had a poor showing in Week 1, catching only a single pass on four targets, his Week 2 performance inspired a lot more confidence, recording six receptions on 10 targets. He was also targeted three times in the red zone last week, a promising number for his touchdown total. Up against a San Francisco defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers through two weeks, and with a dirt cheap price tag that puts him 42nd among wide receivers on DraftKings, Fitzgerald offers good value for tournaments. And if he can continue to get the lion's share of the red zone targets for the Cardinals, he offers good upside as well.
Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams - Just like with my Delanie Walker pick last week, this is almost as much about playing any tight end against the Cowboys defense as it is about Jared Cook. Dallas gave up 44 yards and 2 touchdowns to Vernon Davis in Week 1, and 142 with a touchdown to Delanie Walker last week. Cook is currently second on his team in targets, and in a game that should be high scoring with two bad defenses, he will have a lot of opportunities to try to continue the trend of tight end success against Dallas.
New England Patriots Defense - The Patriots defense is the most expensive defense on DraftKings this week, but even with the lofty price tag, they're a solid value play. Vegas odds-makers have the Raiders projected to score 16.5 points this week, the fewest in the league. The Patriots defense leads the league with 5 interceptions, and is tied for fourth in both sacks and forced fumbles, with seven and three respectively. With tons of takeaways and being poised to hold the Raiders to so few points the Patriots defense should be able to put up huge numbers this week.