4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 3
We have a lot of pieces on numberFire geared toward helping you figure out which players you should roster in your DFS contests on FanDuel, but an important aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play.
Narrowing down your list of potential plays by avoiding those who are destined to underwhelm can go a long way toward helping you create winning lineups.
Zigging when the masses are zagging is part of giving yourself an edge in DFS, so you'll sometimes be able to make a case for using a player in this piece in an effort to be contrarian -- especially if said player is really good. Inevitably, some of the players I feature in this article will blow up and pop for a big game, but that just comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm just going to tell you to avoid playing dudes like Jared Goff. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.
Here are four players I'm avoiding this week.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $7,700
We need upside at quarterback this week. Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are all on the main slate, and our model projects each of them to surpass 23 FanDuel points. With the rushing upside those guys offer, it wouldn't be surprising to see a couple of them go off for 30-plus points.
If you are looking to get your quarterback from outside that group of five, Kirk Cousins may catch your eye. He has a great matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in a game with a slate-leading 55.5-point total. But he'll need an outlier performance to match the upside of the above five.
Cousins put up 25.26 FanDuel points last week, but it took 3 passing touchdowns and 35 rushing yards for him to get there. That game was only the second time since the start of 2018 that Cousins had at least 35 rushing yards in an outing. Last season, Cousins posted more than 27 FanDuel points just once, and he did it only twice in 2018. That's a total of three times in 33 games, and he'll likely need to flirt with 30 FanDuel points Sunday to be worth rostering with so many elite fantasy signal-callers on the slate.
We project Cousins for 19.7 FanDuel points and rate him as the worst point-per-dollar play among the 10 signal-callers with a salary of at least $7,400. In his range, Daniel Jones ($7,400), Matthew Stafford ($7,600) and Justin Herbert ($7,500) make for more enticing options -- or you could just roster one of the aforementioned five huge-upside quarterbacks.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
It's scary to put a talent like Alvin Kamara in this piece, but I won't be using him this week.
Kamara is playing in a New Orleans Saints-New England Patriots game that I'll be staying away from. Its 42.5-point total is the slate's second-lowest, and there are just so many great fantasy environments available to us as we have four games on this slate with a total of more than 50.0 points.
The Pats have been playing well defensively through two weeks. Our schedule-adjusted metrics have New England as the 3rd-best D overall, and they are permitting the 10th-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (16.4). While they've benefitted from nice matchups with the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, we just saw this Saints attack crater in Week 2, so it's not like New Orleans is a huge step up from those offenses.
You can make a case for using Kamara whenever you think he won't be popular -- and he won't be a go-to running back for the masses this week -- but I can't stomach him in this matchup.
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Normally I'll play big-time volume at running back regardless of the situation. Najee Harris is becoming an exception to that.
The usage is excellent, for sure. Harris has played 100% and 95% of the Pittsburgh Steelers' snaps in their first two games. He's handled all but two running-back carries for Pittsburgh and has eight targets in the passing game. Dude has been a true workhorse.
The problem is that Pittsburgh's offense has been dreadful. The Steelers' offensive line ranks third-worst in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders, and now Ben Roethlisberger -- who hasn't looked good at all -- is banged up. That's kept Harris from doing much with his volume. He's rushing for a horrifying 3.2 yards per carry and salvaged his day last week with a 25-yard touchdown catch.
On top of all that, Harris has seen a $1,400 salary increase for this week and is taking on a Cincinnati Bengals offense that has been OK versus the run, surrendering the 13th-fewest (17.1) FanDuel points per game to the position despite facing Dalvin Cook and David Montgomery. The Bengals have the league's best run D through two weeks, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics.
While you can make a straightforward case for taking Harris' stellar volume at what is still a decent salary, I'm not going here until the offense shows some life or the matchup is elite.
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
FanDuel Salary: $7,100
Mike Evans is coming off a two-tud day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be sans Antonio Brown, and the total in the Bucs' game is 54.5 points. All that is very good for Evans, but I'm not that into him this week.
Jalen Ramsey has played all over the place so far this season, so he may not shadow Evans a ton on Sunday. However, I do think he'll see Evans a good amount, and Ramsey is doing what he does so far this year, giving up the lowest (by a lot) passer rating allowed when targeted among all corners.
Admittedly, if AB is out, that does boost Evans' outlook, and the Bucs are implied for slightly more than four touchdowns. As things stand, though, we have Evans projected as the worst point-per-dollar play among the 17 highest-salaried wideouts on the slate, forecasting him for 11.1 FanDuel points.