Week 3 DFS Cheat Sheet: UPDATED
September 16, 2014 | Chet
Welcome to Week 3 of The Fake Football DFS Cheat Sheet!
With the help of our resident DFS Guru Rich Hribar, Ian Goldsmith and myself, we have put together a comprehensive NFL DFS Cheat Sheet with matchup stats, analysis, picks, sample lineups and lineup configuration advice. We have picks for FanDuel, Draftkings, Fantasy Elite and Draftday, and with their differing settings, the picks, stats and analysis will help you on even more sites than just those four. And with a week between games we will update our picks and analysis as the week progresses. You will receive your Cheat Sheet on Wednesday, in time for the Thursday night games and then we will update the sheet on Sunday Mornings to make sure you don’t miss any breaking news.
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UPDATE: It looks unlikely that Jamaal Charles will play.
Cheat Sheet (by Rich Hribar)
Sample FanDuel Lineups(by Rich Hribar)
FanDuel Lineup Configurations
I put together two cash lineups for those who want to go cheaper at quarterback and for those who like the security of a steady presence in their cash lineups. I’m going to have a hard time not using Stacy and Davis this weekend even though I’d like to get my hands on Murray. Stacy will likely be little used in a superb matchup because of the recency bias from those who used the Titans offense a week ago, but this sets itself up as a high volume rushing game for him. Andy Reid always uses his back as the main piece in his offense, so I’m comfortable with Davis seeing a lot of volume whether it be through the air or on the ground. Receiver is a little tougher this week since the pricing is relatively properly tiered, but it’s a great time to pay up for Calvin Johnson. Outside of him, I’m looking for reliable options who are the lead cogs in their passing game that have some regression in store for them. It’s also a great week to pay up for Jimmy Graham if you want to pass on Megatron this weekend, but I’m comfortable with many of the mid range tight ends this weekend.
I’m squarely looking at that Detroit matchup and the advantages they have in all capacities against the Packers at home. I’m taking my upside swing on Torrey being fed the ball finally in a squeaky wheel situation as well as Cook versus the Cowboys who have been hampered at the linebacker and safety spots to start the season. Rounding it out with Murray and Allen there’s the proper blend of upside and floors I’m looking for from a tournament lineup.
Once again, there’s little to really love about the Thursday game unless Martin is declared inactive. Then by all means, roll Rainey out in a few lineups since running backs aren’t generally effected by the Thursday Night bugaboos. Julio Jones would be the only Atlanta player I would even consider and if I’m considering that, I’m just going to wait and play Calvin Johnson.
UPDATE: If Martin is officially out Rainey is a great play. Here is an updated cash game lineup —
With Doug Martin expected to be held out tonight, Bobby Rainey becomes a must play in all Thursday games this weekend, preferably in your cash ones. He’s the 42nd ranked running back in terms of price this week, which he’s sure to hit against this Falcons defense that has been victimized by opposing backs dating back to last season. Rainey’s low salary allows you fit both Bree and Calvin Johnson on your team as well as plugging in the hot Gates at tight end. Based on cost, I’ll be going with Edelman and his roster smoothing prowess along with Mike Wallace, who looks great being moved around under Bill Lazor to round out my receiving unit. If you want to downgrade Stacy to Knile Davis or Joique Bell to upgrade elsewhere I won’t fault you, but with Brees and Calvin doing my heavy lifting, I like the safety Stacy brings in a game Vegas expects to be close to go along with the upside of a big game.
The biggest possible change that transpired over the end of the week was the positive outlook that Jamaal Charles will be active today. Even though he may dress, the capacity in which he’ll play is still a question mark. If active at all, that’s enough to make using Knile Davis far too combustible in cash game lineups. He very well could make for a good tournament play if Charles plays and he still sees the bulk of the work or Charles aggravates the injury again. If Charles is indeed inactive, I’ll be green lighting a quartet of Brees, Davis, Stacy and Megatron like used in the second cash game lineup currently available.
Preparing not to have him, we’ll have to move some parts around since there’s not a lot around Davis’ price tier to allow for a simple swap other than Joique Bell ($6.8K). For Sunday start cash lineups, I’m going to center around DeMarco Murray and Calvin Johnson. As much as I want to use Brees today (he is the Thursday lineups already active), the player props for Kirk Cousins are very encouraging (255 yards and 1.5 touchdowns) for him meeting expected value at his salary. The rest of the lineup is business as usual with players mentioned above and will be the main Sunday cash lineup in play today. For the early only games, a simple swap of Pierre Garcon for Mike Wallace keeps that lineup intact.
Sample DraftDay Lineups (by Chet Gresham)
DraftDay Lineup Configurations
Cash Lineup 1
Cutler and Stafford are pretty safe plays and their price reflects that. Bell faces a fairly weak rush defense and sees targets while Sproles is just too cheap to ignore. He’s not going to put up these huge numbers each week, but you don’t really need him to at his discounted price. Donald Brown fills in for Mathews and will find it hard not to hit value. Larry Donnell continues to see plenty of targets and is making good catches too. I don’t see his workload decreasing. I love playing good receivers who were just shut down the week before, so Colston is here and is back in the dome and Garcon should also get back on track against the Eagles. I’ll be picking on Cassel in New Orleans for the D.
Cash Lineup 2
I’m paying even more for QBs in this one with Brees back at home where he is mostly unstoppable. Stacy gets a great matchup and should see plenty of work while Cooks is built for the dome as you could see in Atlanta. He’s somewhat risky, but his ability after the catch is too great not to like at his reasonable price. Edelman isn’t going to score many touchdowns and his price is a little steep, but he is so safe as Brady’s security blanket. Ahmad Bradshaw’s price remains insanely low and he gets a good matchup, so I will most likely have him everywhere. And the Cots get to face Chad Henne and the offensive line that just gave up 10 sackes to Washington.
Tourney Lineup 1
Cousins should get plenty of opportunities to throw the ball in this one as the Eagles will be able to move it on Washington’s defense and Wilson also will have more opportunities for offense as the Broncos bring their top offense into Seattle. For the tourney I’m going to give Reggie Bush a call and hope he busts off some long screen passes and you know Calvin Johnson and his partner Golden Tate. I wanted to go with the whole Lions stack, but Stafford was a bit too much. Ertz is a great play in tourney’s this weekend as his big play ability is evident each game and his playing time continues to increase.
With Doug Martin most likely out I’d be remiss not to add a couple lineups with him. He makes for a great play against the Falcons, who have been getting roasted by the run.
I still feel good about my first lineups, so I’m mostly sticking with them. I do feel like some players got a bit of a bump during the week and I’m going to create one more lineup with some of those additions. I really want to get Aaron Rodgers in a lineup because the Lions secondary is hurting and not good and their rush D is stout. I think the Lions will be able to score through the air and ground, but the Packers will need to do much of their work through the air. In tourney plays I’m happy to add the 4k Davante Adams to the mix, but I’m trying to go a little safer with this one. Brees and Rodgers should give us a nice points floor. Bradshaw is my old standby this week because he’s just too cheap and should see enough work to give value. Ridley is risky, but all signs point to him leading the way again. The Raiders are horrible against the run and the Patriots should have a halftime lead in this one. Trusting a Belichick back is risky, but his price and the way this game looks to go are perfect. Mike Wallace and Golden Tate are nice medium priced receivers with pretty high floors. Niles Paul should continue to see targets, especially if DJax sits this one out and I think Bush and Cooks gets enough receptions to put us where we want to be.
Sample Draftkings Lineups (by Ian Goldsmith)
Draftkings Lineup Configurations
I hope that you guys were able to cash in on my updated DK lineup last week. It scored 197.24 points, which was good for the top 0.5% of lineups. Let’s continue that success over to this week. There are a bunch of matchups to exploit!
There are a few decent fantasy matchups Thursday. Atlanta has so far been torched by running backs in the early season to the tune of 37.4 FP/Game. Unfortunately, Doug Martin will probably be back. Any chance to exploit Bobby Rainey for $5800 is gone. Avoid TB RBs for now. If Martin does not play, jump at Rainey. Thursday’s best play is Julio Jones. While Tampa Bay only allows 18.5 FP to wide receivers, they have been torched by #1s. Both Brian Quick and Kelvin Benjamin have had big games. Julio Jones is miles ahead of those two and has started the year on fire. Ryan is looking his way often. He should again Thursday. At $7500, he is underpriced and provides a solid floor. Cutler is my #3 QB of the week, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. The Jets have not proven themselves capable of stopping opposing passers yet, including Derek Carr. Knile Davis either ran or was targeted on 31 of the 67 times he was on the field. That is a clear signal that Andy Reid will be using him often (why the hell he didn’t do that in Week 1 with Charles is a mystery to me). His high usage in the passing game solidifies his floor. He is a safe play here, barring any strange play calling from his coach. You’ll be hard-pressed to get me not to start Ahmad Bradshaw at $4800. He has 5 reception in each of the first two weeks, which is huge on DraftKings with 1 PPR. The Colts will likely go up early against Jacksonville and will be utilizing Bradshaw and TRich often to finish the game. He has little downside at this price. Edelman is a mainstay in my cash lineups. He is Brady’s favorite target, which means he is my favorite cash play every week. His price went DOWN this week. Why? I don’t know, but take advantage. Steve Smith’s price also went down this week. I’m a bit confused and wish I could see DraftKings’ algorithms. He is without a doubt Flacco’s most consistent receiving option. Keep an eye out for matchups this week, however. If Joe Haden gets matched up against him, then be a bit wary because Smith is not the large body receiving type that can make Haden mess up in coverage. Donnell’s price is too low to ignore. The Giants’ offensive line is still mediocre, giving Eli less time to get the ball out of the pocket. You think that will change against JJ Watt and company? I didn’t think so. Eli will need to get the ball out quickly to Donnell in the flat if he wants to survive. Sproles…What can I say about the man? He and Chip Kelly are a match made in heaven. He is being utilized everywhere on the field. Because he played on Monday night, his price didn’t rise to the level it should have. At $5200, he is a steal. The Patriots are favored by 14 at home against Oakland. Oakland has lost 15 in a row in the Eastern time zone. Nuff said.
It’s time to stack, stack, stack! And who better to stack against than the NY Jets? They are brilliant at stopping the run. Passing? Not so much. Cutler, Marshall and Jeffery make up my mini Chicacgo stack this week. If you followed my updated advice last week and started AROD, Nelson and Cobb, then you know the kind of numbers elite QBs and receivers can put up on this Jets defense. Bradshaw makes an appearance once again. Also starring at RB are new starters Donald Brown and Khiry Robinson. Both will get the bulk of touches for their teams. They offer little downside and only need to take one to the house to really pay off. Cobb has another great matchup in Detroit. He doesn’t quite offer the safety that Nelson does, but I’m expecting a big game nonetheless. The Packers/Lions game should be heavily owned. Charles Clay is going against Kansas City, the 5th worst defense against TEs. Kansas City’s defense has been decimated with injuries, including the loss of top linebacker Derrick Johnson. Tannehill would be smart to exploit this weakness. The Texans’ defense offers the biggest upside of the week, in my opinion. To say the Giants are turnover prone is an understatement. The team has not picked up the new offense yet and the O-Line is still a liability. Watt should wreak havoc.
A lot of familiar faces here. One of the new ones is Russell Wilson. Wilson’s opponent, Denver, is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to QBs while allowing 312.5 yards per game. Now, Wilson is not going to throw for those types of numbers, but he will not make mistakes. I project him to score just under 20 FP. While this isn’t mind-blowing, it isn’t going to kill your team either. For only $6800, taking Wilson allows you to bulk up at other positions. The dual Bengal RBs may seem a bit risky, but Cincinnati’s RB wonder twins ran or were targeted on 50 of 71 snaps. Let me say that again: 50 of 71 snaps. Tennessee’s RB defense looks better than it is because of a Week 1 outlier against Kansas City, where Andy Reid decided not to show up and call plays for Charles. I expect that their defense is more like the team that was just steamrolled by DeMarco Murray and co for 220 yards and a TD. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but Bernard and Hill’s prices have not jumped to where they should be. If you are still wary of Hill, then sub him out for Khiry Robinson or Donald Brown, who are similarly priced and will be #1RBs for their teams this week.
With the now likely chance that Doug Martin sits in tonight’s game, Bobby Rainey becomes an excellent play. Atlanta’s run defense has been absolutely terrible, giving up 37.4 fantasy points per game to running backs through the first two weeks. In his only game against the Falcons last year, Rainey destroyed Atlanta to the tune of 163 rushing yards and three touchdowns. If he can give you even half that production tonight, he is worth his price at $5800. McCown is a sneaky play here. His ownership will be low and he has a chance to do some damage against an Atlanta team that is giving up nearly 300 yards passing to opposing QBs. Pairing him with Vincent Jackson could be a huge boon, as VJax has averaged 112 yards and 0.75 TD on 7 receptions against Atlanta in his time with the Bucs. Roddy White will play, but may not be too impactful coming off injury, which should leave Jullio Jones once again with a chance for another big game.
Sunday Night/Monday Night Tournament
As you know by now, my hatred of two game slates knows no bounds. There is so little variation. This week is especially problematic because of the matchups. Pittsburgh and Carolina has all the makings of a smash-mouth, defense oriented game, even though the O/U is a respectable 42. I’m steering far away from Pittsburgh players, because I think the Carolina defense is otherworldly and will find a way to stop threat after threat. My one exception for this week is Heath Miller. Now, I really don’t want him on this team. He simply fit the price point when filling in my FLEX spot. If DeAngelo Williams is active on Sunday night, then use him instead at $3500. You could insert Jonathan Stewart into this space if DAW sits, but I think Roethlisberger will need to find his big tight end if he wants to stay on his feet. You have to go with the Cutler/Marshall/Jeffery combo here. It provides the biggest upside by far. A contrarian play would be to use Geno Smith and Eric Decker at home, especially with Charles Tillman out for the year. Still, I like the Chicago trio this week. The Bears are vulnerable to the run, so I went with Ivory and CJ2K in this lineup. Greg Olsen is clearly the top TE option here, although Trestman might try and get Bennett involved if Forte can’t get it going early against the Jets’ strong rushing D.
Fantasy Elite Draft Rankings
NFL 9/21 — With A,J. Green listed as probable and his rock bottom price he would be my #1 pick. He’s risky, but for 5k I’d take him every time. That will help you manage your money much easier and give you a shot at getting Rodgers, Brees, or Stafford. I have Cousins ahead of everyone besides Rodgers due to his cheap price, but if you want to grab two of the top 3 guys I think you can work them in. Morris, Ertz, Tate, Colston, Robinson are all great values and if you have the ultra cheap Green you should be able to make a good lineup. I do have McKinnon in there because the talk is that this game could go hot hand for the Minnesota RBs and I like McKinnon to be the hot hand, but also because I think the Saints get up big in this one and they might turn to McKinnon just to give him a shot and see how he does. He’s risky, but if you get into a salary cap bind he’s a good life line.
A very simple, but good start to DFS research is to look at the over/unders and odds. Obviously you want your players in games where Vegas believes the game will be high scoring and on winning teams, while your defenses should come from games they believe will be low scoring.
If the Matchup Machine isn’t sortable for you, here are the same stats in Excel that are sortable: Week 3 Matchup Machine Stats
Sortable Matchup Machine Quarterbacks
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Quarterback for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Running Backs
Here you will find the matchup stats for each running back for the week.
|DEP||Running Backs||Opp||DK||DD||FD||FanPts||Att||Yds||YPC||RuTD||Rec||Target||Yds||RecTD||Tot Yds||RZ Tch||RZ Tar||GL||FO||PFF||FP/$DK||FP/$DD||FP/$FD|
Sortable Matchup Machine Wide Receivers
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Wide Receiver for the week.
|DEP||Wide Receivers||Opp||DK||DD||FD||FanPt||Rec||Target||Com%||Yds||TD||RZ Tch||RZ Tar||GL||FO||PFF||FP/$DK||FP/$DD||FP/$FD|
Sortable Matchup Machine Tight Ends
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Tight End for the week.
|DEP||Tight Ends||Opp||DK||DD||FD||FanPt||Rec||Target||Com%||Yds||TD||RZ Tch||RZ Tar||GL||FO||FP/$DK||FP/$DD||FP/$FD|
Sortable Matchup Machine Defenses
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Defense for the week.
|Defense||Opp||DK||DD||FD||FanPts||Sack||Int||Fum Rec||Pts Allow||FP/%DK||FP/$DD||FP/$FD|
|New England Patriots||IND||$3,200||$8,650||$4,900||7||1.8||1||0.9||27.9||2.188||0.809||1.429|
|Green Bay Packers||@SEA||$2,900||$8,400||$4,700||5.3||2.6||0.4||0.4||23.8||1.828||0.631||1.128|
Sortable Matchup Machine Kickers
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Kicker for the week.