The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 3 FIRST LOOK September 20, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the FIRST LOOK at the GPP plays for NFL Week 3. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.

When people overreact to things that happen in the first few weeks of the season, I often find myself saying “it’s only 2 weeks, don’t freak out yet” quite a bit. To save the hassle, here are my “it’s only 2 weeks, don’t freak out yet” players: Todd Gurley, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Allen Robinson, Russell Wilson, and Odell Beckham.

On the flip side of that there are some players that got out to a fast start that I think we need to say “hold your horses, it’s only two weeks”, those guys include: Will Fuller, Mike Wallace, Spencer Ware, and Danny Amendola.

Finally, there are some guys that have either started out hot or cold but I think 2 weeks is enough to say that what we are seeing may be legit. Those guys include Eric Decker, Sammy Watkins, the Chargers offense (Rivers, Gordon, Benjamin), Stefon Diggs, Mark Ingram, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Victor Cruz, DeMarco Murray, and Kelvin Benjamin.

While this type of an exercise may seem out of place in a DFS article, and more suited for a season long one, it can actually be quite helpful if you do this yourself with guys you believe in and guys you don’t. It can help you find player on the cheap as well as players you should be fading. It should also help you target low-owned studs that are ready to break out (paging Allen Robinson, paging Mr. Allen Robinson). I’ll do this from time to time so you can get a little read on where my head is at as I make my selections each week.

You’re going to find that I will usually have a lot of players listed in my FIRST LOOK article, but that will get scaled down for the WEEKEND UPDATE. It’s really hard to know who the public is going to flock to, who the experts are going to tout, and who will be a value this early in the week. Once I get a better read on things I’m able to tighten things up and get a better idea of who belongs in what category for the weekend.

Because of the large number of players on these lists, please understand when I don’t write a blurb about each and every one of them. If you want to know more about a player that I glossed over, or why they are placed into the list I have them in, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17). I respond to everyone who writes to me so you can feel confident that your question will get answered. Enjoy the read for now and make sure to come back this weekend to see who we should be locking into our GPP lineups.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Cam Newton (CAR) vs MIN Carson Palmer (ARI) @ BUF Matthew Stafford (DET) @ GB
Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs DET Sam Bradford (MIN) @ CAR Joe Flacco (BAL) @ JAX
Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs OAK Blake Bortles (JAX) vs BAL Derek Carr (OAK) @ TEN
Andrew Luck (IND) vs SD Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs CLE Russell Wilson (SEA) vs SF
Philip Rivers (SD) @ IND Eli Manning (NYG) vs WSH Jameis Winston (TB) LA
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) @ PHI Matt Ryan (ATL) @ NO Alex Smith (KC) vs NYJ
Dak Prescott (DAL) vs CHI
Drew Brees (NO) vs ATL


– It’s so easy to just click Cam Newton’s name and move on, but this week I’m not sure that’s the safest play. MIN looks outstanding, and it would be a huge hit to your team if Cam were to be a dud this week. On the other hand, it’s possible I’ve got him in the wrong list and he’ll actually be under-owned. If that’s the case then his upside is worth taking a shot on. I just don’t want to have a 30% owned QB in a terrible matchup; I’ll gladly take an elite talent at 5% in the same matchup (especially in a larger field GPP). I’ll get a better read on this after the Thursday ownership percentages come out. If you’re playing that slate, I’d pass on Newton right now. I’m actually not a fan of any QB that will have a high ownership. I just don’t see the point in using one of them in a GPP when you know there will be low owned guys that go off. Of this group of public plays that one’s I’m most likely to use are Marcus Mariota and Philip Rivers.

– The Expert Play list is where I usually find my favorite QB plays. That’s no different this week. I think touts are going to talk up Bortles, Tannehill, and Ryan all week long (so much so on Tannehill that he could very well move to the Public list by Friday’s update). I love all 3 plays and there’s a good chance they all make the “my guys” list on Friday. If I had to rank them it’d be Bortles, Ryan, and Tannehill. The Ravens just got thrown on by Josh McCown, so I fully expect Bortles to go full throttle this week. He might be my top GPP play of the week. Matt Ryan has been surprisingly awesome this year; perhaps it’s the reliable TE’s and 2nd WR. Whatever it is, I expect a shootout on Monday night. Tannehill gets the Browns. I like anyone against the Browns.

– It’s so hard to find HuLo plays these days because the public is very well informed. Anyone who is expected to have a good game will have a high ownership. This is really about taking chances on guys where you can find one weakness they can attack. For me those guys are Stafford (did you see what Bradford did against GB?), Flacco (anyone can throw on JAX), and Winston (he might be one of those guys that just plays really well at home). I’m not in love with any of them, but if I was going to rank them it’d be Flacco, Winston, Stafford.



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
David Johnson (ARI) @ BUF Chris Ivory (JAX) vs BAL Christine Michael (SEA) vs SF
Jerick McKinnon (MIN) @ CAR Isaiah Crowell (CLE) @ MIA Todd Gurley (LA) @ TB
C.J. Anderson (DEN) @ CIN DeMarco Murray (TEN) vs OAK Charles Sims (TB) vs LA
Melvin Gordon (SD) @ IND Spencer Ware (KC) vs NYJ Frank Gore (IND) vs SD
Matt Forte (NYJ) @ KC Mark Ingram (NO) vs ATL Ryan Mathews (PHI) vs PIT
DeAngelo Williams (PIT) @ PHI Tevin Coleman (ATL) @ NO Jeremy Langford (CHI) @ DAL
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) vs CHI Theo Riddick (DET) @ GB Devonta Freeman (ATL) @ NO


– I don’t care about the ownership percentage at RB. This position is so thin that I just want to do what I have to do to get points. For me, that means David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, C.J. Anderson, and Melvin Gordon are far and away my top 4 RB this week. All will be heavily owned (Gordon’s ownership could reach as high as eleventy billion percent)…but I’m not fading. At the very least I’ll have one of those guys to give me a floor and then take a chance with my RB2 or Flex. I’m not a believer in Matt Forte this week. He’s talented, but his workload and terrible matchup scare me. Let the season-long guys grab McKinnon, he is not a play on a DFS squad at Carolina this weekend.

– DeMarco Murray catches passes now. That’s very interesting. I love how TEN is using him, and they have a great matchup this weekend. I’m not sure people realize just how good he’s been this year. I think we have one or two more weeks where we can get him at a reasonable ownership percentage. Chris Ivory should be back this weekend, and I think JAX is going to try to get him going quickly against BAL. TJ Yeldon is just not suited to be an every down back and he’s surely not a goal line guy. Ivory could pay off immediately. Isaiah Crowell and Theo Riddick should also see a nice workload this weekend and I will be using both as inexpensive upside plays. I saw what Blount did to Miami last weekend, and the only way CLE will stand a chance is if they feed their bell cow RB. Riddick should get a lot of work if Abdullah is out, and he should be.

– This is not the week to take a chance on Gurley, but if you do you’ll be the only one to benefit if he does pop off. Just know that this is far from a likely occurrence. I still believe in Devonta Freeman. He’s been getting a nice workload, and the Tevin Coleman takeover talk is insane. Freeman is a fine Flex play this week at New Orleans.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) @ BUF Michael Floyd (ARI) @ BUF Jordy Nelson (GB) vs DET
Stefon Diggs (MIN) @ CAR Marvin Jones (DET) @ GB Victor Cruz (NYG) vs WSH
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) vs MIN Allen Robinson (JAX) vs BAL Josh Doctson (WSH) @ NYG
Odell Beckham Jr (NYG) vs WSH Mike Wallace (BAL) @ JAX Michael Crabtree (OAK) @ TEN
Tajae Sharpe (TEN) vs OAK DeVante Parker (MIA) vs CLE Paul Richardson (SEA) vs SF
Travis Benjamin (SD) @ IND Sterling Shepard (NYG) vs WSH Mike Evans (TB) vs LA
Eric Decker (NYJ) @ KC Philip Dorsett (IND) vs SD Sammie Coates (PIT) @ PHI
Antonio Brown (PIT) @ PHI Jeremy Maclin (KC) vs NYJ Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs DAL
Jordan Matthews (PHO) vs PIT Quincy Enunwa (NYJ) @ KC Mohamed Sanu (ATL) @ NO
Dez Bryant (DAL) @ CHI Brandin Cooks (NO) vs ATL
Willie Snead (NO) vs ATL
Julio Jones (ATL) @ NO
Amari Cooper (OAK) @ TEN


– Stefon Diggs just won Al Zeidenfeld $1,000,000. Everyone knows this. Stefon Diggs is only $5.1k on DK. Stefon Diggs will be even higher owned than Melvin Gordon at eleventy billion and one percent this week. Unlike with Gordon, I’m in full fade mode here (in GPP, I’m all in on him in cash games). The matchup isn’t good at CAR, and I’d rather look elsewhere for upside. As for some of the other popular WR, I’m fine with Larry Fitzgerald, Travis Benjamin, Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown. I’m still sticking my head in the ground and refusing to budge on Eric Decker as a bad GPP play. To me, he’s cash game only because of limited upside. Yes, we know he’s getting 80 yards or a TD but he’s not going to get that 150-2 type of upside I like in a GPP.  Yes, I also know I’m totally wrong for never using him in a GPP. I’m stubborn.

– Marvin Jones could do to GB what Stefon Diggs did last weekend. He’s been targeted a ton this year and is highly productive. He’s been a TD away from a huge game both weeks so far this year. I say he gets it this weekend. Allen Robinson is about to break out. Look at what Corey Coleman did to the Ravens. Allen Robinson is a lot better than Corey Coleman. I love the Jags’ offense this weekend. Mike Wallace has 3 TD his year on only 12 targets. As long as Flacco keeps looking for him in good matchup, I’ll keep using him. This week is one of those good matchups. DeVante Parker had a quietly solid game in Week 2. MIA is going to pop off big this weekend. Parker could have a monster against terrible Browns defense. Jason Verrett is one of the best CB that nobody talks about (he plays for SD). He held Allen Robinson in check in Week 2. He can do the same to TY Hilton. Indy is still going to throw. Donte Moncrief might be out this weekend. Hello, Philip Dorsett!

– I totally believe in Victor Cruz. He looks outstanding. It wouldn’t shock me to see him have another huge game this weekend against a bad Washington team. Josh Doctson only had one catch this weekend (for 57 yards), but he was targeted in the end zone two or three times. Jay Gruden wants to work him into the offense. It might not be this weekend but at some point he’s going to overtake Pierre Garcon and really start to see some productivity. I’d take a flier on him if I was using a bunch of different lineups. Jordy and Evans are studs that will most likely be underowned this weekend. They are worth taking a shot. If Tyler Lockett is out, I expect Paul Richardson to see some deep balls thrown his way. Look at what Ted Ginn just did on the deep ball against SF. I really like Richardson this weekend.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Delanie Walker (TEN) vs OAK Jordan Reed (WSH) @ NYG Gary Barnidge (CLE) @ MIA
Antonio Gates (SD) @ IND Clive Walford (OAK) @ TEN Jared Cook (GB) vs DET
Jesse James (PIT) @ PHI Jason Witten (DAL) @ CHI Austin Hooper (ATL) @ NO
Greg Olsen (CAR) vs MIN


– With Gronk playing on Thursday (if he plays), it’s pretty wide open at TE this weekend. I think the public is going to be heavily invested in Delanie Walker and Jesse James since both have played well this year and neither is going to kill your salary cap. I actually like both these guys and will probably use them a bunch. I know Greg Olsen is great but I’m not paying up for a TE in a bad matchup.

– I love me some Clive Walford. He was a monster in college and it’s finally translating to the NFL. As Derek Carr gains more trust in him it wouldn’t shock me if he developed into a top 10 TE. TEN can be beat down the seam and I expect Carr to look for him often.

– DET has been burned by TE two weeks in a row now. Week 1 could be explained by Rob Chudzinski’s offense being so TE-friendly, but that doesn’t explain Week 2. What explains Week 2 is that DET has poor coverage from their LB. Jared Cook’s role expanded a bit for GB last weekend, and this could be a breakout game for him. Speaking of breakouts, Austin Hooper had a pretty good outing in Week 2. I know a lot of that was aided by a long catch and run, but the fact that he could have a long catch and run is promising.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Arizona Cardinals @ BUF Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs LA New York Giants vs WSH
Denver Broncos @ CIN San Francisco 49ers @ SEA
Seattle Seahawks vs SF Kansas City Chiefs vs NYJ
Miami Dolphins vs CLE


– It’s almost too chalky to play the Dolphins defense this week against Cody Kessler and the Cleveland Browns. They are an inexpensive defense with one of the best matchups you’re going to see all season. Honestly, I’d rather have them in cash than a GPP because I don’t want to deal with that level of ownership on a team that isn’t elite. I’d rather spend up on a premium defense, even in a worse matchup.

– I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the LA offense is really bad. Tampa Bay stops the run as well as any team in the NFL. The only things the Rams could potentially do well is run. That won’t happen this week. This is a defense I’m going to pay very close attention to as the week goes on.

– Are we sure Seattle is a good offense at this point? Russell Wilson is hurting and it wouldn’t shock me if the 49ers took it to them this weekend. They are not a great defense, but every Chip Kelly team is capable of getting to the QB and making big plays on special teams. This isn’t a safe pick but it’s got potential in a GPP. I also like the Giants against a struggling Redskins team. New York held the Saints to 13 points in Week 2 and could have a similar result this weekend. They spent a ton of money on defense this off season, and it seems to be paying off. I’d strike now before other people realize.

Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets (of which I have a part in writing). You’ll find a ton of analysis, data, and sample lineups. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.

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