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Fantasy Football: Who to start in Week 3?

Pete Davidson
September 22, 2018 - 3:14 pm
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If you’ve been playing daily leagues on DraftKings for years, like me, you may have noticed that there’s been a change in their weekly pricing this season. No longer do we see backup runners becoming huge steals due to injury. It happens, but at a much lower frequency. This is because they have simply jacked up the prices of the contingency starters—both at quarterback and at running back. Latavius Murray and Gio Bernard are good examples this week. No big discount with either player. We saw it last week with Tevin Coleman, who was priced at 5,300 units while we waited on Devonta Freeman’s Week 2 status.

So, while I think both Murray ($5,800) and Bernard ($5,900) are solid options this week, they are not the chalk plays they would have been in prior years, because they offer minimal savings at these prices. What follows is a list of players who are either strong plays versus cost or who offer some upside at a very low price.

If you are looking for lineup help with your seasonal rosters, please feel free to consult my lineup rankings over at Rotobahn.com or to hit me up on Twitter @Rotobahn. I try to be available on Sunday mornings for all my WEEI people. If you get a question in by 11 a.m., I will usually get you an answer before noon.

If you enjoy this article and want more, check out my Week 3 DFS podcast over at Rotobahn. It’s a quick listen and I hit all of my main plays for the week. All Rotobahn content is free.

For the freshest insights on all the Week 3 action, tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour, this Sunday morning right here on 93.7. Jim Hackett and I will take your questions (via text) and get you ready for Sunday!

All player pricing for this article was sourced from DraftKings.

QUARTERBACK

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs. 49ers, $7,000

Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger were my top plays last week. Hopefully some of you got involved on that one, because it really hit. Big Ben is a road play this week, so I am staying away from him, but I am very much on Mahomes at home versus the 49ers, who are very beatable on the back end. My favorite stacking option is Sammy Watkins, because he’s so affordable, but stacking with Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce makes sense as well.

DeShaun Watson, Texans vs. Giants, $6,100

Watson’s been inconsistent so far, but he’s also been under a lot of heat in the pocket. That’s not likely to be the case this week versus the Giants. The days of Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul are long gone, folks. This year’s model is struggling to get pressure and it will cost them if those struggles continue into Week 3. And, they are going into this game without Olivier Vernon, their best pass rusher. Watson is appealing as a contrarian option—pivoting off of Mahomes to a cheaper player with similar scoring potential, who is easy to stack with at least one of his primary receivers. To me, because of cost, Will Fuller is a must-stack option. I’m also into stacking DeAndre Hopkins, but at 8,300 units, he’s tougher to fit under the salary cap.

RUNNING BACK

Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Chargers, $9,200

I am salivating. There’s so much to like here, save for the price tag. Still, I think you have a great chance of getting what you pay for with Gurley. He is getting an insane share of the Rams’ red zone offense and his odds of scoring multiple times are pretty good. In my view, he’s the best combination of floor and ceiling you will find in Week 3. I’m paying up for him in about half of my lineups.

Corey Clement, Eagles vs. Colts, $4,300

Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are out, and that makes Clement a potential week-winning option. Just be careful not to go overweight on him, because Philadelphia likes to rotate backs much like the Patriots do. You will probably see more of Wendell Smallwood than folks think and don’t be surprised if they give Josh Adams a few carries. Clement is definitely a player to use this weekend, but he’s not the Week 3 version of James Conner, who is gettting huge workloads with Le’Veon Bell out.

Alfred Morris, 49ers at Chiefs, $3,700

For the thrifty Week 3 shopper, I offer up the unhip and unsexy Alfred Morris. Everybody and their mother will be on Matt Breida this week. Heck, I will have some shares myself, but Morris received more carries than Breida last week, and he played more snaps as well. This is a two-man backfield and Morris has looked pretty good himself. He tacked on 80 total yards last week and he’s getting his share of goal line touches. Morris is a reasonable play in a game that should be high scoring. If you have a lineup construction that only needs a super cheap running back, Morris is a good play. Just don’t use him outside of those scenarios. He’s not a core piece for me this week, just a club in my bag that I may use if needed.

WIDE RECEIVER

Will Fuller, Texans vs. Giants, $5,900

He’s got a slight hamstring issue but it sure didn’t slow him down last week and I like this matchup for him. I want some Fuller in most of my lineups this week. He’s just got too much ceiling to pass up at 5,900 units. If Fuller does nothing, you can safely assume that I had a rough week.

Tyler Boyd, Bengals at Panthers, $3,700

Boyd has been a nice surprise this year. He’s healthy again, and he’s flashing the skills that made him a trendy PPR dynasty selection back in 2016. I think this is a good spot for him to amass some receptions under the zone looks he’ll see from the Panthers’ defense. Not a ton of touchdown upside, but he could have a surprise smash day if he can find a way to sneak into the zone. Well worth a look at this cost, in DraftKings’ full PPR scoring format.

Calvin Ridley, Falcons vs. Saints, $3,700

Ridley is my Boyd pivot play. I may try some lineups with one and then the other in big multi-entry tournaments. The price tag allows me to get extra star power into my lineup and I like what I’m getting at bargain basement rates from these two. Ridley’s floor is not safe for cash games, but his two score potential give me some cheap ceiling.

TIGHT END

Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. Colts, $6,800

If I am paying up at tight end, it will probably be for Ertz, who gets Carson Wentz back this week. With Alshon Jeffery still out, Ertz should command a big share of the targets. Additionally, with Jay Ajayi out, it’s unlikely that the Eagles go run-heavy.

Eric Ebron, Colts at Eagles, $3,400

Ebron will probably be the most heavily owned player at the position this week due to mis-pricing. He’s cheap because Jack Doyle has been getting most of the snaps at tight end, but with Doyle ruled out, Ebron should play most of the game—giving him a good chance to score for the third straight week. There’s also a good chance the the Colts will be trailing in this game and with Marlon Mack ruled out, they are not likely to be run-heavy at any point in the proceedings.

O.J. Howard, Bucs vs. Steelers, $3,300

Howard, who plays on Monday, is if off the main slate, but if you are playing in a large Sunday to Monday pool, he could be a tournament-winner. Sure, he could also post a 3 for 37 day, but that’s why you can get him at a low price. You don’t want to base your whole week around a guy like O.J., but he makes a nice cheap GPP dart throw because of his ceiling. Not many tight ends can score from anywhere on the field. This guy absolutely can, and Tampa Bay has opened up their scheme if you haven’t noticed.

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