As sometimes happens in fantasy football, I swung and missed on almost all of my Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) lineup picks last week. It was bound to happen at some point, and thanks to the shortcomings of Cam Newton and several others, it did in Week 3. But thankfully that’s now in the past and we can look forward to a new week to start over and get back on track.
I will be focusing more on the cash game strategy, and by default may be intending these posts for the more novice DFS players. I am not a high-stakes tout, nor will I pretend to be and I am not intending for someone to read these posts and enter high entry tournaments expecting a big win.
What I will be doing each week is listing some top plays for the week at each position as well as a few value plays to help you start building your DFS lineup(s) for the upcoming week. More often than not I will not focus on the Thursday night games, although this week’s offering is one filled with fantasy goodness. I will be entering some lineups for those slates as well, but be forewarned this post will not include the Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco matchup this week.
So, now that my synopsis is out of the way let’s get into my Week 3 DFS Picks shall we? If this is one of your first times playing DFS feel free to check out my "10 Tips to Win at DFS."
As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.
Week 4 Core Plays
These will be my top plays of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Tom Brady, New England vs. Carolina ($9,500 FanDuel/$8,000 DraftKings)
For those playing the Thursday-Monday slate Aaron Rodgers is my top target at $600 less on DraftKings. For main slate however I am looking for safe plays after last week’s quarterback blunder. For GPP I really like Dak Prescott at home against the Rams.
But back to Brady... although Carolina has been tougher on the defensive side this season, the Patriots will probably use their passing game to try and jump on the Panthers early at home. The weapons Brady has in his backfield only help his passing production and big-play ability. He’s a safe bet for this week, but his cost is up there, so we will need to find some solid values as well.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams ($8,500 FanDuel/$8,200 DraftKings)
The Rams may be one of the worst run-stopping defenses in the league and Elliott will be ready to carry the ball as often as needed this week. He got 22 on Monday night against Arizona, and it’s fair to say that will be the range again this week. He also found the end zone for the first time so look for that trend to continue. Yardage bonuses are likely this weekend against the Rams.
WR: A.J. Green, Cincinnati at Cleveland ($8,000 FanDuel/$8,600 DraftKings)
Cleveland has been getting scorched by No. 1 wide receivers this season. Green did what was expected against Green Bay last Sunday and was the only player in my Week 3 Core Plays who hit. This week I feel more of the same is coming. Last week we saw T.Y. Hilton break out against the Browns, in Week 2 it was Jeremy Maclin finding the end zone, and Week 1 Antonio Brown scorched Cleveland for 30 DraftKings points. Green will be just fine this week.
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. San Francisco ($6,700 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings)
Fitzgerald helped swing plenty of DFS slates and seasonal leagues with his Monday night performance – 15 targets for 13 catches, 149 yards and a TD. Although he may not accrue 15 targets again this week he should still be a focal point of this offense and remains a big and reliable red-zone target for Carson Palmer. The 49ers’ defense isn’t horrific, but Vegas has the over/under at 44.5 and the Cardinals winning. Without a dominant running game to rely on anymore Fitz will be peppered with targets going forward.
TE: Evan Engram, New York Giants at Tampa Bay ($5,200 FanDuel /$3,000 DraftKings)
Engram is big and fast and has been targeted regularly by Eli Manning and the Giants early on. He has at least four receptions in each of his first three games, and one touchdown so far. The Buccaneers happen to rank as one of the worst defenses against the pass, and Engram plays more like a wide receiver than a tight end. I like him for a touchdown and 50-plus yards this week. Plus he is dirt cheap, which allows us to squeeze in most of those big hitters mentioned above.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Dak Prescott, Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams ($7,600 FanDuel/$6,200 DraftKings)
Prescott’s numbers weren’t amazing on Monday night, but they were good from a fantasy standpoint since he had three total touchdowns despite finishing with just 189 passing yards. He is somewhat risky since Ezekiel Elliott is likely going to run amok against the Rams, but Prescott will still be throwing, and as we saw last week he doesn’t need to throw very much to meet his value.
RB: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota vs Detroit ($7,500 FanDuel/$6,500 DraftKings)
Cook is second in the league in volume and has done plenty fantasy-wise. Week 2 was his worst game in terms of his statistics, but it was still good for almost 9 DraftKings points. Last week we saw him touch the ball 27 times, put up 169 total yards and score the first touchdown of his young NFL career. This week it’s the Lions and their 22nd-ranked run defense. His price went up, but he should still meet value this week and is cheaper than he should be, at least for another week.
WR: Marqise Lee, Jacksonville at New York Jets ($6,200 FanDuel/$4,500 DraftKings)
Lee had seven targets and nearly doubled teammate Allen Hurns’ in this category. He has yet to find the end zone, but that should be coming soon enough. The Jags’ trouncing of the Ravens in London essentially cut him out of the game plan for the second half, but there is no doubt he will be the target hog in Jacksonville without Allen Robinson, and there is no time like the present for him to score his first touchdown of the year too. This is a fair price with solid upside, and a relatively safe floor in yardage and targets. Sign me up once again.
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.