Week 3 Daily Fantasy Football: Picking the Optimal Lineup
We picked two teams in daily fantasy football last week, only to be horrified by the results. Truth be told, I’m still not upset with the teams I picked. The results, of course, were insane.
For one team, we saw Drew Brees spare at home against the Buccaneers, Chris Ivory and Carlos Hyde both had 10 or less fantasy points, the same was the case for Brandin Cooks, Jordan Cameron got hurt and the Baltimore Ravens gave up 37 points to the freaking Raiders.
That was team one. Logic did not see all of that coming, but we did nail Antonio Brown and Eric Decker, so there’s that. Team two nailed Joe Flacco, Odell Beckham Jr., Richard Rodgers and Adrian Peterson as strong plays. It all went to hell from there, of course, as Jeremy Hill and Marshawn Lynch, seemingly the safest part of this team, combined for 12 fantasy points. Brandon Coleman and Cole Beasley were cheap tries that did not surpass their value.
It was a bad week, basically. As they say, on to the next one. We’ll build one “safe” and balanced team, and they aim high in team two with some values/risks:
Team 1 – Smart and Balanced
QB: Russell Wilson ($7k) – Wilson is averaging nearly 20 fantasy points per game and he hasn’t even had a blow up performance yet. He returns home for his home opener this week against a bad Bears defense. This might be that blow up game we’ve been waiting for.
RB: Latavius Murray ($5.8k) – The Browns can’t stop the run and Murray has 15+ fantasy points in both games this year. Plus he’s well priced. Hard to dislike anything about him in week three.
RB: Dion Lewis ($4.2k) – I could do Lewis or Danny Woodhead here, but I’ll take the cheaper Lewis with a better matchup at home. His PPR value is what puts him over the top and this price is just insane.
WR: Julian Edelman ($7k) – I’m sorry, but is there a safer, more reliable wide receiver not named Julio or Antonio? I think not. Sure, those guys are more explosive, but Edelman is about $1.8k cheaper and averages just 8 fppg less. I’ll take it.
WR: Brandon Marshall ($6.2k) – Marshall has killed it through the first two weeks, as he’s averaging a ridiculous 22 fantasy points per game. He’s done it against Joe Haden and Vontae Davis, too. Yeah. Naturally, I love him at home against the Eagles this week.
WR: Allen Robinson ($5.2k) – Robinson showed last week what he’s capable of (155 yds, 2 TD) so I like his chances against a beatable Pats defense in a game Jax will probably have to throw a ton.
TE: Travis Kelce ($5k) – Kelce’s only “bad” game so far was still almost 10 fantasy points. I think he bounces back and gets a score on MNF this week. Plus he’s a solid value at $2.4k cheaper than Gronk.
Flex: C.J. Anderson ($6.2k) – I understand if you’re not with me on this one, but hear me out. For one, if this is the Anderson that was a machine to end 2014, this is beyond a bargain. This is a potential RB1 in an offense that wants to run…going up against a defense that just got DESTROYED by Adrian Peterson. Anderson has also had over a full week to heal up from his various ailments. He has to know he needs a big game or he’s toast, too. I’m going for it.
DEF: Seattle Seahawks ($3.4) – Why get cute with it? Seattle makes their home debut vs Jimmy Clausen and has stud safety Kam Chancellor back. It’s going to be a massacre.
Team 2 – All of the Upside
QB: Tom Brady ($7.7k) – DK really doesn’t give much up to the quarterback position. Carson Palmer threw 4 TDs last week and still only got like 22 fantasy points. However, if you can go “all Brady” like last week and combine serious yardage (466 yards) with 3-4 scores, you can make out just fine (32 pts last week). I think Brady does something like that or better again this week, and that might be worth paying up for.
RB: Ryan Mathews ($3.4k) – I’m not saying I’m a believer in Mathews. Like, at all. But DeMarco Murray is shaping up as a sit call this week (hamstring) and if he’s out, Mathews is going to be locked into a huge role. Even if he doesn’t crush it with yardage, he’ll be a threat for a score and some receptions. The value is too great at this price.
RB: Danny Woodhead ($4.4k) – I used Dion Lewis in the first team so I’ll use Danny here and refrain from using them together (although if you want to get crazy, you probably could). Woodhead is another PPR fiend who also gets some carries and is especially a force inside the red-zone. I like him to get some solid action in the passing game again this week.
WR: Emmanuel Sanders ($7.6k) – I want to get Demaryius Thomas if I can, but Sanders has been a ball dominator so far and also has two scores under his belt. In other words, I’m totally fine with Sanders and won’t force the issue. Sanders is once again a major threat against the Lions this week, as Detroit was burned for 404 yards through the air in week one and wasn’t very good last week, either.
WR: Randall Cobb ($7.3k) – Cobb is looking like he’s at full strength and just got done destroying the Seahawks to the tune of 116 yards on 8 catches. He faces a Kansas City pass defense that through two weeks is the absolutely worst against the wide receiver position. Given his status, ability and Aaron Rodgers’ dominance at Lambeau, he’s a tremendous value heading into week three.
WR: T.Y. Hilton ($6.7k) – Hilton hasn’t blown up yet this year thanks to some brutal matchups, yet he’s still averaging a decent 12 fantasy points per game. He’s going to go nuts in week three against the Titans, and here he is under $7k and filed in as my WR3.
TE: Rob Gronkowski ($7.4k) – Gronk is expensive, but so far he’s proven he’s not only worth it, but also matchup proof. He should wreck at home against the Jaguars.
Flex: Coby Fleener ($3k) – On these high upside teams, it’s probably best to get a minimum play you feel good about. Fleener might fit the bill, as Dwayne Allen is looking shaky for week three and Indy gets a great matchup with the Titans. The Colts also publicly admitted they need to get the tight ends more involved, so…
DEF: Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2.5k) – If you want the big dudes, you have to take chances. Hence “upside”. The Bucs aren’t even that much of a reach, though. They stifled the Saints last week and their awful week one had more to do with their offense than anything else. This week they get a pretty desperate Texans squad, but one quarterbacked by Ryan Mallett that also can’t run the ball. Hey, it’s worth a shot.
If I don’t pay for QB (which I normally suggest avoiding), I probably can upgrade to get a Julio Jones or Antonio Brown. Those guys will be owned everywhere, though, so it may pay to just get three very good WRs and pay up for a QB this week. Of course, these are just two routes to consider. Good luck with finalizing your daily fantasy football roster this week!
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