Week 3 DraftDay Picks September 20, 2014  |  Justin Edwards


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In a game that is sometimes no more than a bunch of educated guesses, one thing that is almost impossible to determine is “which football player is going to get injured next?” In the blink of an eye one star player could go down and really shoot your team in the toe (AJ Green)…or shoulder (DeSean Jackson)…or ankle (Jamaal Charles)…or your other ankle (RGIII)…you get the point. There were a ton of important players that got injured in Week 2, but the upside to setting a DFS lineup is the fact that you get to start anew just two days later!

 

Forget your year-long league that just got rear ended by any number of these injuries and lay out a new lineup from scratch. Hey, you could make a little ‘scratch’ in the meantime if you do it right. I’m here to help you out.

 

We’re looking at three tiers of players:

 

Arrogant Bastard: Some of the best around and a price tag to match.

Budweiser: Solid choice with a solid price.

Natural Light: The cheapest you can find while still obtaining value.

 

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

Arrogant Bastard – Matt Stafford ($15,950)

Simply enough, the Packers defense has allowed 60 points through the first two weeks against offenses that are far from explosive. They’ll be coming into Detroit to play against the best WR in the league and two pass catching RBs that can absolutely exploit the underneath. Saying the Lions could outscore the Packers’ first two opponents (Seahawks, Panthers) would be a bit of an understatement. If this turns into a high scoring affair, and Stafford can avoid costly turnovers, he will turn in a very nice day.

 

Budweiser – Cam Newton ($12,700)

There were times in last week’s game where it looked like his ankle might be making him a little gimpy, but that didn’t stop him from getting a little piece of fantasy real estate with his feet. He also went 22/34 with 281 yards and a TD even though his WRs were feeling a little “dropsie.”  Cam sits right in the middle of the second tier of QBs this week according to price, yet faces a Pittsburgh D that just doesn’t look strong at all. He will pick up his points by spreading the ball out and leaning on Greg Olsen when he needs to. I see a solid Sunday in his future.

 

Natural Light – Brian Hoyer ($9,950)

I would only use Hoyer this week – or possibly ever — if I really, really needed to cut some cap space. The Austin Davis/Shaun Hill position would be a cheaper option, but we still don’t know which one of them will start, and we probably won’t until Sunday morning. I’m not a fan of any of the super low cost options this week, but Hoyer has certainly been efficient by not throwing any INTs (although his ceiling is lower than you’d like on your fantasy team). This is just a week you’re going to have to pay up and get yourself some real, starting-caliber guys.

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

Arrogant Bastard – Matt Forte ($14,100)

If you started Forte in Week 2 against the 49ers (why would you do that?), you probably weren’t all too happy with the results. He got himself 5 catches, but only gained 21 yards on the ground. Chicago goes back out onto the field this week against a good, but not great, defense in New York. The Jets don’t have nearly the offensive weapons that San Francisco had, so the odds of the Bears going down by 3 scores at any point in this game aren’t high. Matt will be used early and often on the ground and through the air. That elusive possible first TD of the year, and a good handful of receptions, will make him worth the hefty price tag.

 

Budweiser – Joique Bell ($9,800)

The Lions offense had a pretty forgettable showing against a very good defense in Carolina last week, but Bell actually salvaged a decent game out of it (even with Matt Stafford targeting him 11 times). Bell out-snapped Reggie Bush 42-29 while beating him out in carries and targets. Detroit will face a Packers defense that is plain ol’ weaksauce against the rush and Joique will have some opportunities to punch it in at the goal line.

 

Natural Light – Ahmad Bradshaw ($5,950)

Bradshaw is somehow even cheaper this week after he scored 26 FP for those of us who gambled on him. At this price I’m going to gamble on him again (if you can even call it that). For the second week in a row, Ahmad saw more offensive snaps than Trent Richardson (46-31) and he gets to face off against a defense that has allowed 145 and 191 rushing yards to open the season. For this low of a salary he might be in literally every single one of my lineups.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

Arrogant Bastard – Jordy Nelson ($13,250)

That’s alotta scrilla for a WR, but I want to ride this gravy train. Jordy is leading the NFL with 30 targets, which happens to be 2x that of some team’s WR1. It’s also double the targets of fellow Packers pass catcher Randall Cobb. Detroit’s defense allowed a far less potent passing attack to move the ball on them in Week 2, allowing nearly 300 yards through the air by a team filled with castoff receivers. If that doesn’t make you feel safe then take into account the last 10 games Jordy has played with a healthy Rodgers. He has averaged nearly 22 fantasy points a game, and in only 3 of those 10 did he finish without at least 1 TD or 100 yards. That’s a very high floor, and I’ll keep plugging him in until I can’t afford him.

 

Budweiser – Cordarrelle Patterson ($10,700)

If anyone is going to go off against New Orleans IN New Orleans, it’s going to be this guy. Patterson had a mediocre 4 catches for 56 yards last week with NO rushes after gaining 102 yards on the ground in Week 1. Cordarrelle will not go carry-less two weeks in a row without Adrian Peterson in the lineup. After this offenses’ horrible showing, they’re sure to try some trickery to force the ball into CP’s hands.

 

Natural Light – Brian Quick ($8,800)

St Louis Rams WRs Austin Pettis (4), Chris Givens (5), Tavon Austin (4) or Kenny Britt (4) are just absolutely not getting looked at in this passing game. Brian Quick is easily beating out everyone on the team with 18 targets and 173 yards. A whole lot of people (including myself) thought the Dallas defense would be swiss cheese last week, but they pretty much nixed that idea by shutting down the Titans. I think that was closer to an aberration than some brand new machine-like defense, and I’m willing to risk a low $8,800 price tag for their opponent’s WR1.

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

Arrogant Bastard – Rob Gronkowski ($11,550)

Gronk gon’ Gronk. We know he might not be playing every offensive snap in the game (because the Patriots want to keep him as close to 100% for the whole season as possible), but we also know that he is who Tom Brady relies on in a lot of situations. The most important situation: Red Zone work. I can almost guarantee more yards for a guy like Graham but it’s a coin flip who will score you the all-important TD. Gronk is $3,000+ cheaper than Graham, so if you want an elite TE but want to save some cash, this is the way to go.

 

Budweiser – Niles Paul ($8,850)

Philadelphia is quite adept at giving up passing TDs so far this year, as their fast-paced games end up getting a lot of snaps for both teams involved. This is good news for the wide receiver and tight end weapons of any opposing team. Lucky for Niles Paul, it seems Jordan Reed won’t be able to go this Sunday, and DeSean Jackson looks to be out for a few weeks.* This puts Niles in the crosshairs of Kirk Cousins, who came in after RGIII went down and proceeded to target Paul 10 times (including once at the goalline for a touchdown). Certainly check the injury news Sunday morning to make sure Reed won’t be starting, but otherwise plug Paul in.

*just read that DeSean said “he would be playing this week”. We’ll see if that works out or not, but still, Niles is certainly worth playing.

 

Natural Light – Charles Clay ($7,650)

Clay is second on the Dolphins with 14 targets, actually leading the team in receptions and tying for the lead in targets last week with Mike Wallace. Sadly his 7 catches went for a mere 31 yards against a Buffalo team with a surprisingly stifling defense so far this year. On the other hand, the Chiefs’ defense hasn’t been what it was last year. They’ve given up big yards and a good amount of scores to opposing passing attacks this year. Miami is sure to get a couple of TDs through the air this week, and if they aren’t going to Wallace, the second best guess is Chucky Clay as Tannehill incorporates him more into this offense.

 

DEFENSES

 

Arrogant Bastard – Houston Texans ($6,850)

The plan here is to just follow the Giants around wherever they go and pick up the defenses they play. It doesn’t help Big Blue much that they’re facing the Texans defense that has caused 5 turnovers and allowed a measly 20 points this year. If you’ve got the money for a good defense, this is just a no-brainer.

 

Budweiser – Indianapolis Colts ($5,100)

The glaring reason to start this defense would be the 10 sacks the Jaguars gave up against Washington. You’ve gotta want to chase that dragon, even if you only get half of those 10. Jacksonville actually waived their Right Tackle after giving up 3 sacks in the sloppy performance. Outside of two fluky Game 1 first quarter TDs, this Jaguars offense has looked like…well, a Jaguars offense. As long as Blake Bortles is still on the sideline and Chad Henne is on the field, I’ll take my chances with Indy’s defense here.

 

Natural Light – New Orleans Saints ($4,750)

The Vikings offense looked pretty abysmal in the second week of the season with Matt Cassel and his 4 interceptions leading the way. I would put many, many defenses here just to take a flier against them, but we get a Saints team playing at home against them, so that makes it much juicier. New Orleans is at the very, very bottom of the bucket at keeping the opponents score down this year, but they have been on the road for the first two weeks of the season. In 2013, the Saints defense gave up 20 points at home only once while they gave up 20+ points on the road SIX times. That’s too many to just be a coincidence; they love playing in their own dome.

 

 

Here’s how I’m going to incorporate my mixed bag of good, decent, and cheap beer bottles into a winning 10-pack:

 

QB Matthew Stafford

QB Cam Newton

RB Matt Forte

RB Ahmad Bradshaw

WR Cordarrelle Patterson

WR Brian Quick

TE Charles Clay

FLEX Wes Welker

FLEX Greg Olsen

DEF  Indianapolis Colts

 

I’m snatching Welker for a cheap price based on the recent news that he will be available to play Sunday. If something changes in the meantime, I will switch that out, but he is at a bargain price right now on Draft Day. I’ll use this as my base lineup and switch out some guys here and there so all my lineups don’t end up in the gutter just because of one freak injury or bad showing.

Good luck fantasy nerds, hope you’re rolling in profit soon, and if not remember: “That’s the way she goes. Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t. She didn’t go. That’s the way she goes.”

 

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