Week 3 DFS Value Picks: UPDATED September 25, 2016  |  Ian Goldsmith


Chalk Value Plays

Miami Dolphins DST vs Cleveland

Well, the price-makers oat Yahoo! got out ahead of the game on this one. They have Miami tied for the highest priced DST on the board. I don’t blame them…the matchup is incredible, especially with the unfortunate news that Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday. While the rookie heals up, the Browns will be left with a receiving corps led by Terrelle Pryor with a rookie QB at the helm, who many believe is not even close to being ready to play a professional game. We’ll see…people have surprised before, especially when opposing teams have little tape. Still, count me in on the bandwagon streaming Miami this week. Only $3,000 on DK.

Ryan Tannehill  vs Cleveland

Yeah, I’m probably the 500th person to spout words this week in regards to Tannehill’s fake point potential. The matchup is platinum, he is blessed with excellent receivers (Hey, look…DeVante is relevant!), and should have zero problems hitting value given his low pricing, especially at DraftKings where he is priced at a paltry $6,200. One note of caution: The Dolphins could dominate so extensively, that Tannehill could be pulled in the late 3rd to early 4th quarters. Even so, if he finishes with less than 250 yards and 2 scores, I would honestly be shocked. That line alone gets you 3X value on DK, and I expect a hell of a lot more.

Charles Sims vs Los Angeles

The matchup isn’t great, but it’s not the worst in the world either. We can look back to just Week 1 and see that Carlos Hyde put up a healthy 93 total yards and 2 TDs against this defense. Sims has added value in that he is regularly use heavily in the passing game, and should be on the field for at least 80% of Tampa’s snaps this week. Newly signed Jacquizz Rodgers has basically said that he’ll only get into the game if Sims is tired. At a minimum, we should expect 50-70 total yards and 4-5 receptions, both of which could be well under what he actually produces. Out of all the new RBs, stepping in this week for injured teammates, I expect Sims to have the highest ownership.


OK, so now we’ve seen the cream of the chalk crop. Tasty, everlasting, chalk crop. Who else is out there that is worth using, but is not being talked about as much?


Other Value Plays

Jacob Tamme @ New Orleans

Tamme has quietly been one of the most consistent and highest scoring TEs in fantasy through the first two weeks. Matt Ryan, given the luxury of a fully healthy team, has been able to distribute the ball to anybody he wants (he is the #1 or #2 QB thus far, depending on the website you are playing on), and has been using Tamme frequently for short-to-mid distance passes. Tamme, who has 8 targets in each of his first two weeks, is faced with a golden matchup against New Orleans, which Ryan should easily be able to exploit. At only 6.6% of your salary cap on DraftKings and 6% on Yahoo!, he is worth a strong look for your cash and tournament teams this week. With others paying up for the Delanie and Jordan, his ownership levels could work well in your favor also.

Tajae Sharpe vs Oakland

Well, he didn’t hit last week like he did in week 1. That’s OK, that just means his ownership levels will likely be lower than they could have been as he faces the worst DST against QBs and WRs in the fantasy realm. Oakland is giving up over 400 yards through the air per game, which is, simply, ridiculous. The ghost of Charles Woodson is sitting somewhere crying. Mariota and Co. should have a field day. I’m high on Tajae, Walker and—especially—DeMarco Murray. Sitting at less than 10% of your cap across the board, he is still an excellent value and should have a bounce-back week.

Mike Wallace @ Jacksonville

If any of you are playing on Yahoo!, then fire up your Wallaces. He is $14. $14!!!! That’s 7% of salary. Still one of the better deep threats in the league (and playing with a QB that is one of the better deep ball tossers in the league), he is facing a Jacksonville team that just gave up two 40+ yard TDs to the San Diego Chargers in Week 2. His limited targets take him out of cash game consideration on most sites, although, in this case, you might want to fire him up in every type of lineup possible. $14!!

Dexter McCluster @ Indianapolis

Ok, this could be a bit of a reach. With all of the injuries to big name players last week, a bevy of value options have opened up…and they usually don’t include the name McCluster. Lost amongst the waves of Dwayne Washington, Charles Sims, and Jerick McKinnon, McCluster is taking over Danny Woodhead’s role in San Diego. There are few expectations for him from a fantasy standpoint, but I say you should at least consider a player like McCluster who is minimum salary everywhere and who should be seeing at least 4-5 targets per game out of the backfield. The Chargers’ OC knows him well from their days together in Tennessee, so McCluster should be familiar enough with his system to step right in and have some relevancy on PPR sites. This is, obviously, a very risky option. Should you choose to go with a player with such low expectations, consider using them only in tournaments on full PPR sites when you are entering multiple teams. UPDATE: This was already a risky pick, but I’ve seen beat writers in San Diego say that they think he won’t take over much workload. I’d avoid him for this week, and see how the Chargers use him over the next couple of weeks.

Marcus Mariota vs Oaklans

See Sharpe, Tajae. See Raiders, Oakland. Mariota did OK last week, though nothing more than middle of the road from a fantasy perspective. I thought he’d have a break out week, which didn’t really materialize (though he did lead his team to victory…like that matters in the fantasy world in which we all reside). Well, if he doesn’t break out this week, then we have some problems in Tennessee, as the Raiders have been pathetic so far against opposing QBs. Note: If Delanie Walker doesn’t play, Mariota becomes a bit less appealing. UPDATE: Walker is out, so Mariota gets slightly downgraded for me. Still, at his price and given this matchup, I still like the value potential.

Jay Ajayi vs Cleveland

I think I just vomited a little bit in my mouth for listing Ajayi. Still, I am so heavily favoring a Miami blowout here, that I see Ajayi having plenty of opportunity to hit value, even if he has to share some of the workload with Kenyan Drake. He quietly has 4 catches for 31 yards last week, which bodes well for his value on full PPR sites.
UPDATE: Apparently Kenyan Drake is going to get the start. Ajayi could hit value, but he’s now way too risky. I’d avoid him. Drake is pretty close to minimum salary everywhere and could be worth a look, but is still risky himself.

Hunter Henry @ Indianapolis

The rookie TE will get his shot to start, as it is pretty evident at this point that Antonio Gates will be sitting. Indy is middle of the pack so far in defending TEs, although they have only faced the likes of Eric Ebron and Virgil Green. I expect San Diego to use Gordon heavily, but Henry should see ample opportunities to hit value given his minimum salary across the board.

Christine Michael vs San Francisco

C-Mike is back, baby! With Rawls doubtful for Sunday’s match against the Niners, Michael will get all the run he can handle. He should get 20+ touches, and has an excellent shot at a TD this week against a team that just made Fozzy Whittaker relevant in fantasy. Like Mike Wallace, he is only $14 on Yahoo! this week. Roll him out with confidence!!


Shane Vereen vs Washington

Rashad Jennings is out, which means that Vereen will be getting the start against a very beatable Washington defensive line. Orleans Darkwa will get some carries sprinkled in as well–and potentially the goal line work–so Vereen is still a safer bet on PPR sites.

Anthony Fasano vs Oakland

With Delanie Walker out, Fasano will be getting the start at TE. He’s minimum salary across the industry and is worth a look given Mariota’s penchant for looking at his TE.

Good luck in Week 2, everybody!!!


OK, enough jibber-jabber. Below you’ll see four tables with my picks for the week. If you have any questions at all, hit me up in the comments or, preferably, on Twitter @ianrgold. I respond more quickly there.


Value Pick Tables

Picks are provided for DraftKings, FanDuel, FantasyDraft and Yahoo!. There are two picks for each position, and one DST. Yes, I’ll even throw in kickers for FanDuel (well, ONE kicker). Why? Because I want to lose brain cells. The prices for each pick are loosely capped at 50% above the minimum value for that position. So, for instance,  I’ll try to limit prices for running backs on DraftKings to $4,500. For QB’s, I’m limiting picks a bit further to 40% (if I didn’t, then this week I’d have my pick of 19 QBs!). Of course, there may be some weeks that few usable players fall under these thresholds, in which case I’ll up the limit a bit. These are arbitrary numbers of course. Everyone has their own idea of what a value pick is.

In the tables below, you’ll see a few columns. The basics are Player, Team, Opponent, Type of Game (Cash, GPP, or both), and Salary. In addition to these, you’ll see the following columns:

% of Total $: This is simply the percentage of your salary cap that a particular player takes.

Cash Points: This is a loose estimate of how many points a player needs to hit a value multiple for cash games. This varies from site to site. On DraftKings, for instance, you will generally want your team to score at lease 3 FP per $1,000 in salary (on Yahoo!, it’s FP/$1, not per $1,000). We’d call this a 3X multiple.

GPP Points: This is a loose estimate of how many points a player needs to hit a multiple in GPP games. On DraftKings, for instance, I generally aim for a multiple of 4.

Of course, it is always better to aim for more than these multiples. You don’t always need 4X value in order to cash on DraftKings, but you usually need more than that if you want to win one of the huge tournaments. Yes, there are some weeks where you can win tournaments with under 200 FP, but those weeks are few and far between. If everything goes right, players can score 300 fantasy points – a multiple of 6! So, aim for more. The economist in me always screams “more is better” (Also, doesn’t The Economist in Me sound like a terrible title for a porno? “Hey baby, want to come back to my place and see my demand curve?”). Good luck this week!!!

UPDATE: Jay Ajayi has been replaced in the tables below with Shane Vereen!!

DraftKings – $50K, 1 PPR

PlayerTeamOpponentPositionTypePrice% of Total $50/50 PtsGPP Pts
Ryan TannehillMIACLEQBCASH/GPP$6,200 12.40%18.624.8
Marcus MariotaTENOAKQBCASH/GPP$5,900 11.80%17.723.6
Theo RiddickDETGBRBCASH/GPP$4,900 9.80%14.719.6
Shane VereenNYGWASRBGPP$3,7007.40%11.114.8
DeVante ParkerMIACLEWRCASH/GPP$4,900 9.80%14.719.6
Phillip DorsettINDSDWRGPP$4,400 8.80%13.217.6
Dennis PittaBALJAXTECASH/GPP$3,400 6.80%10.213.6
Jacob TammeATLNOTECASH$3,200 6.40%9.612.8
MiamiMIACLEDSTCASH/GPP$3,000 6.00%912


FanDuel – $60K, 0.5 PPR

PlayerTeamOpponentPositionTypePrice% of Total $50/50 PtsGPP Pts
Ryan TannehillMIACLEQBCASH/GPP$7,400 12.33%14.8018.50
Brian HoyerCHIDALQBGPP (Risky!)$6,000 10.00%12.0015.00
Charles SimsTBLARBCASH/GPP$6,300 10.50%12.6015.75
Shane VereenNYGWASRBGPP$5,200 8.67%10.4013.00
Mike WallaceBALJAXWRGPP$6,500 10.83%13.0016.25
Phillip DorsettINDSDWRCASH/GPP$6,000 10.00%12.0015.00
Jacob TammeATLNOTECASH$5,500 9.17%11.0013.75
Dennis PittaBALJAXTECASH/GPP$5,000 8.33%10.0012.50
Nick FolkNYJKCKCASH/GPP$4,500 7.50%9.0011.25
Miami DolphinsMIACLEDSTCASH/GPP$4,600 7.67%9.2011.50


FantasyDraft – $100K, 1 PPR

PlayerTeamOPPPositionTypePrice% of Total $Cash FPGPP FP
Ryan TannehillMIACLEQBCASH/GPP$11,700 11.70%17.5520.48
Marcus MariotaTENOAKQBCASH/GPP$11,000 11.00%16.5019.25
Tevin ColemanATLNORBCASH/GPP$8,800 8.80%13.2015.40
Shane VereenNYGWASRBGPP$7,3007.30%10.9512.78
Phillip DorsettINDSDWRCASH/GPP$8,700 8.70%13.0515.23
Cole BeasleyDALCHIWRCASH$6,300 6.30%9.4511.03
Dennis PittaBALJAXTECASH/GPP$6,600 6.60%9.9011.55
Jacob TammeATLNOTECASH$6,300 6.30%9.4511.03
MIAMIACLEDSTCASH/GPP$6,000 6.00%9.0010.50


Yahoo! – $200, 0.5 PPR

PlayerTeamOpponentPositionTYPEPrice% of Total $50/50 PtsGPP Pts
Dak PrescottDALCHIQBCASH/GPP$2512.50%15.6318.75
Brian HoyerCHIDALQBGPP$2011.00%12.5015.00
Charles SimsTBLARBGPP$189.00%11.2513.50
Christine MichaelSEASFRBCASH/GPP$147.50%8.7510.50
Phillip DorsettINDSDWRCASH/GPP$157.50%9.3811.25
Mike WallaceBALJAXWRGPP$145.00%8.7510.50
Jacob TammeATLNOTECASH$126.00%7.509.00
Hunter HenrySDINDTEGPP$105.50%6.257.50
Tampa BayTBLADSTGPP$146.00%8.7510.50


Quick Week 2 Recap

Well, it was not a great week. It’s as simple as that. As the week before, I wrote about a player that went off, but didn’t include him in my tables. In Week 1, that was Theo Riddick. In Week 2, it was Travis Benjamin. I hope some of you used Benjamin at his $4,400 salary on DraftKings and reaped the benefits!

Top 3 Picks of Week 2

  1. Dennis Pitta – How nice is it to see Pitta relevant again? What a game…9/102!! With all of the injuries Baltimore has had at TE, Pitta’s resurgence is fantastic to see.
  2. Tyrell Williams – He only had three catches, but one of them went for a 40+ yard TD. Boom.
  3. Jesse James – He came through with the TD everyone was hoping for in Week 1. Pitt has a legit replacement for Heath Miller, even if Ladarius doesn’t come back.

Worst 3 Picks of Week 2

  1. Jacksonville DST – Wow, what a terrible game. Rivers picked them apart, and Gordon punched holes in what was left.
  2. Justin Forsett – The Browns got up to a 20-0 lead somehow, which rendered Forsett pretty damn useless.
  3. Tajae Sharpe – The rookie was held in check, as Mariota focused on Walker and Murray.

Week 2 Results


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