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DFS Week 3 Plays and Fades

This morning we have some Daily Fantasy Sports advice from FFLibrarian writer Mike. Read on and succeed in Week 3!

My recommendations last week were a mixed bag. Fading Drew Brees and Keenan Allen, and playing Eric Decker were spot on, while recommending Sam Bradford and Lamar Miller were the biggest misses. It wasn’t a great week for me personally, as I turned a very small profit in cash games, while coming up in the red overall in tournaments.

Here are a few links to aid you in constructing your lineups this week:

I’m going to get a little bit more specific in the plays and fades this week. I will indicate either “cash game,” or “tournament,” for each play or fade. Cash lineups will be either optimum or value plays, while tournament plays/fades are riskier and are partially determined by expected ownership levels so you can differentiate your lineup in tournaments with thousands of other entries.

QB Plays
Cash- Nick Foles vs. Steelers ($6,500 FD, $5,200 DK)
Yes, Nick Foles. Here’s the thing, I’m looking to spend up on premium options at one RB spot, one WR spot, and TE (Gronk), if possible. Also the Seahawks defense is going to be a must-own this week, and they are the highest priced defense. I’d rather accomplish that by going cheap at QB where at least you know you’ll get some sort of production, rather than taking a flyer on a dirt cheap RB or WR. Not only is Foles near the bottom of the QB pool price-wise, he has a reasonable chance at putting up numbers similar to Week 1, which were 297 passing yards and a TD. The Rams will need to score to keep up with the lethal offense of the Steelers, and the Steelers defense is nothing to be afraid of.
Tournament- Andrew Luck vs Titans ($9,000 FD, $7,900 DK)
In tournaments, I’m much more willing to take a chance on a low budget WR or RB, and spend up at QB and the huge upside of Luck. Luck’s struggles the first two weeks have been well documented, but keep in mind he’s faced two of the top defenses in the league. I’m assuming his ownership will be fairly low in tournaments this week based on his high price and his early-season struggles, and you want to have him in your lineup in his breakout week, which certainly could be this week at home against Tennessee. 

QB Fades
Cash- Sam Bradford vs. Jets ($7,200 FD, $6,300 DK)
My cash game favorite for the first two weeks is now a fade, such is the roller coaster ride of the NFL. I do see the Eagles turning things around in a major way at some point in the near future, I just don’t have the confidence that it’s going to happen this week on the road against a Jets defense that just put the clamps on Andrew Luck. Bradford is still affordably priced, so he actually makes for a decent tournament option since most will understandably be staying away, and it’s within the realm of possibility that the Eagles get things figured out this week.
Tournament- Matt Ryan vs. Cowboys ($8,300 FD, $7,100 DK)
I don’t see any particular QB that is going to have a huge ownership this week to fade. Ryan is always a reasonable option at QB, but rarely puts up the massive numbers that you need to win a tournament. The Cowboys have held Eli Manning and Sam Bradford in check, and have done an effective job at milking the clock and limiting the time of possession of their opponents. I don’t see much upside for Ryan this week.

RB Plays
Cash- Marshawn Lynch vs. Bears ($8,700 FD, $7,400 DK)
There are precious few reliable RB options these days, and Lynch looks like a very safe play this week. Seattle is a big favorite, at home versus a shaky defense, so Lynch should get on track this week with plenty of carries and TD opportunities. Le’Veon Bell is back this week, and I wouldn’t have any issues playing him either, particularly on DK or any other sites which have a full point per reception.
Tournament- Melvin Gordon vs. Vikings ($6.700 FD, $5,000 DK)
This one is more of a gut feeling than anything. Gordon has come down in price, as he really hasn’t provided much for DFS purposes thus far. In fact, he hasn’t even been the top-scoring RB on his own team, as Danny Woodhead has gotten a good deal of the backfield work. Last week however, the Chargers fed Gordon the ball early, and he ended up with a reasonable 88 yards on only 16 carries. I’m not sure what to make of the Vikings run defense. They were gashed by Carlos Hyde and the 49ers in Week 1, but bottled up the Lions in Week 2. What you’re hoping from Gordon is that he can get into the end zone this week. I’m willing to gamble that the Chargers make a concerted effort to get him the ball early again, and he gets one this week, and with his speed a long TD is always in play.

RB Fades
Cash- Devonte Freeman vs. Cowboys ($6,500 FD, $4,600 DK)
Freeman may actually be a popular play in both cash games and tournaments this week since it appears Tevin Coleman will be out, and Freeman should have the backfield to himself. Normally, an injury replacement like this can create great value, but since Freeman has already had a fair amount of playing time this season, his price isn’t attractive enough for him to be a must-play, especially on FD. For the same reasons I mentioned in the Matt Ryan paragraph, and the fact that Freeman is an average talent, I’m going to stay away from him this week. I’d rather go with Gordon, James Starks (if Lacy is out),  or Joseph Randle at a similar price point. Starks, by the way, is minimum priced on DK, and a must-play there if Lacy is out.
Tournament- Marshawn Lynch vs. Bears ($8,700 FD, $7,400 DK)
Yes, I realize I just recommended him three paragraphs ago, but hear me out. Lynch is a great play this week, which means his ownership level will be very high in tournaments. This means other high priced RB’s like Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, and Adrian Peterson should have a far lower ownership percentage. You can always play Lynch and differentiate your lineup at other spots, but at the same time there is a very reasonable chance that Lynch has a good but not great game, and  is outscored by one or more of these other top-tier RBs, and that’s the type of advantage that can put you atop the leaderboard of a large-field tournament.

WR Plays
Cash- Brandon Marshall vs Eagles ($7,400 FD, $6,200 DK)
Marshall will be the first player I pencil into cash game lineups. Although the Jets don’t have a prolific pass offense, Marshall has 13 catches through two weeks, and a TD in each game. Add to that the fact that Eric Decker is likely out this week, and the Jets square off against the pitiful Eagles pass defense, and Marshall is a must-play.
Tournament- Demaryius Thomas vs. Lions ($8,400 FD, $8,000 DK)
The Broncos offense this season hasn’t been the high-octane attack we’re used to. We did some glimpses of it late in the game last week though, and the Broncos look a whole lot better when Peyton Manning is playing up-tempo and allowed to make pre-snap reads. Even with the offense not looking up to par, Thomas has 15 catches and just under 200 yards through two games. He has no TD’s however, which combined with Denver’s struggles means he’ll be off most people’s radar this week. On the turf this week against the Lions, we could see a breakout game from Thomas. If Gary Kubiak hands the reigns back to Manning, or if circumstances warrant a fast-paced passing game, a 150-yard, 2 TD game from Thomas is very realistic. Most people will be on Antonio Brown and Julio Jones this week, and Thomas offers similar upside at a reduced cost.

WR Fades
Cash- Calvin Johnson vs. Broncos ($8,200 FD, $7.900 DK)
Megatron rebounded nicely from a quiet Week 1, with 10 catches and a TD. Against a stout Broncos defense and with the health of Matthew Stafford in question this week, he’s not a safe enough play for me.  I’d rather play Randall Cobb at the same price point, or pay up for Antonio Brown.
Tournament-Larry Fitzgerald vs. 49ers ($6,700 FD, $5,800 DK)
Fitzgerald exploded for 3 TDs last week, and was the player you almost had to have to win a tournament. While I think he’s a fine cash game play this week, I think a lot of people will be chasing last week’s points and a solid outing is much more likely than another spectacular outing for Fitz.

TE plays
Cash- Rob Gronkowski vs. Jaguars ($8,400 FD, $7,400 DK)
It’s a challenge to fit Gronk into lineups at this price tag, but it’s worth it. He’s far and away the most consistent option at TE, and also offers the most upside. The Patriots offense is a juggernaut right now, and Gronk is the main cog.
Tournament- Vernon Davis vs. Cardinals ($5,400 FD, $3,200 DK)
If you’re not going with Gronk, there are several low-priced options to take a look at. I’ll go with Davis, as Arizona has historically had trouble defending the TE position. I see the 49ers falling behind and having to throw in the second half, so we’re hoping for some garbage time points from Davis.

TE Fades
Cash- Jimmy Graham vs. Bears ($6,300 FD, $5,800 DK)
I believe at some point the Seahawks are going to find a way to get the ball to Graham, and he’s not a terrible tournament gamble, but from what we’ve seen so far, he’s no more reliable than any of the tight ends that are priced far lower, so he’s not safe enough for cash game play.
Tournament- Crockett Gilmore vs. Bengals ($5,400 FD, $3,300 DK)
2 TD’s last week should make Gilmore a fairly popular play at a nice price point. Week-to-week though, he’s no more likely to have a big game than other TE’s at a similar price, so I’d rather take a chance on Vernon Davis, Ladarius Green, or Charles Clay to have that random big game this week.

That’s it for this week, best of luck! Find me on Twitter or leave feedback in the comments section if you have any questions or comments. 


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