DFS Ice and Fire: Week 3

September 26, 2020

Comeback time for DeSean Jackson, staying away from Josh Allen.

Week 2 was certainly one to forget. A myriad of injuries put quite the damper on the second week of football, making DFS more volatile than ever. My Week 2 ballot included some good calls like Braxton Berrios, Mo Alie-Cox and Diontae Johnson, with only a few total misses in fading Patrick Mahomes and pushing Philip Rivers into the bargain bin territory. Let’s keep the good momentum going into an exciting Week 3 slate.

Fire em’ up!

QB:

Ryan Tannehill @ MIN ($5,900)

Minnesota makes Tannehill a clear stand-out as a value and a top option all in one. Efficiency has been the name of the game for Tannehill since he took over as the primary signal caller. He has multiple touchdowns in each week to date and faces a Minnesota secondary that is completely deprived of talent. Starters Cameron Dantzler and Mike Hughes are both out, weakening an already depleted team. A Top-12 finish should be expected, and a Top-6 finish is not out of the question given how well Tennessee can move the ball in the red zone.

RB:

Jonathan Taylor vs. NYJ ($7,000)

It is indeed Taylor vs. NYJ because that’s exactly how the Colts will approach this game. The passing game lacks consistency — the running game does not. The transition to workhorse status was made in Week 2 as Taylor received 28 touches. It should be the same way against the Jets who are demoralized already and won’t hold up well to the strength of the offensive line or Taylor himself. The 2020 second-round pick will punish them in Week 3 to the tune of a top five finish.

WR:

DeSean Jackson vs. CIN ($5,200)

If it’s ever going to happen, it’ll happen this week. The Cincinnati secondary is in a sorry state and with no other wide receivers, Carson Wentz will need to look Jackson’s way. This could certainly be another game where Philadelphia runs the ball and utilizes the tight ends. But with Jackson’s ceiling and volume, it’s impossible not to take a shot on him in a must-win game for the Eagles.

TE:

Hayden Hurst vs. CHI ($4,700)

It’s not just the juicy matchup against the fifth-worst tight end defense in the league; it’s the hamstring injury to Julio Jones. It’s the Week 2 showing. It’s the years and years of tight end production courtesy of Matt Ryan. Week two’s performance was no mirage, and Hurst will put to rest the remaining doubters in Week 2. This is a must-win game for the Falcons who cannot drop another game to fall to 0-3. Hurst will be featured in this game as the Falcons expose the Bears’ biggest weakness thus far — the tight end.

File:Josh Allen (30419600128) (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Allen has been a star through the first two weeks of the season but will be tested against a Rams defense that has allowed just one passing touchdown in 2020.

Colder than ice

QB:

Josh Allen vs. LAR ($6,900)

Allen looks like he has taken the leap, but this will be put to the test against the Rams who have allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks in the first couple weeks. It’s certainly a small sample size but at the bare minimum, this will be more challenging than the Jets or Dolphins. Allen is projected to be played in 3.7 percent of leagues, not too scary a number, but that still puts Allen as the fifth-most played quarterback this week at the third-highest price. Allen faces his toughest matchup yet — consider this a warning for Stefon Diggs as well who will have his hands busy with Jalen Ramsey.

RB:

Mike Davis @ LAC ($5,100)

Davis’ ability as a receiving back and his volume are assured. But the matchup against the Chargers, combined with a lack of overall team talent and a significant price tag, scares me away from the bell cow in Carolina. The Chargers, led by Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Linval Joseph have allowed the third-least points to the running back through two weeks and it’s a trend I expect to continue this season. The Chargers have also shown a willingness to slow the game down and run out the clock, which hurts all players on the opposing team. There also is the very real world that Curtis Samuel takes some important receptions away from Davis or even some designed rushes. Take the under, and while you’re at it, take Davis out of your lineup.

WR:

Amari Cooper @ Seattle

Cooper’s struggles on the road, historically, are well documented. He had 3.5 times more receiving yards at home than he did outside of Dallas in 2019, and while he had a great game on the road in Week 1, it’s only a matter of time before his disappearing act happens again. Cooper also has one of the highest projected ownerships for Week 3 at over 23%. Take a shot on a different Cowboys option.

TE:

Chris Herndon @ IND ($3,400)

I actually don’t mind this play. As the resident Herndon truther, the volume is coming, and the talent is (probably) there. With Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder out, why not take the cheap, high upside shot?

Well, it just has not happened. This is a tough matchup against a defense that has allowed the least amount of points to the tight end this year. Yet Herndon has an ownership of 4.7 percent, the sixth-highest at the position. With so many tight ends available to take a shot on, don’t waste the pick on Herndon who has yet to give us a glimpse of his 2018 form.

Bargain Bin/Deep Tournament Plays:

QB:

Jared Goff @ BUF ($5,600)

The matchup is actually better than it appears at first glance. Buffalo is a bottom 12 unit against the quarterback in fantasy, but they are the eighth best unit against the running back. The backfield is a bit banged up in Los Angeles and I expect tough sledding in Buffalo. Goff will be forced to air it out and his weapons allow him to do that. Goff won’t be highly owned but can and will return top-end production without breaking the bank.

RB:

Jeff Wilson Jr. @ NYG ($4,000)

A scary play for sure, but nobody is playing Wilson and people should. The 49ers and Kyle Shanahan use a multi-back rotation — there is no clear starter. With Tevin Coleman (knee) and Raheem Mostert (knee) sidelined, Wilson should see around 30 percent of snaps at least in a beautiful matchup against the Giants. It may not sound like enough but on a team that will run the ball more than anyone else, it’s enough. Injuries to George Kittle (knee), Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and Deebo Samuel (foot) should force Shanahan to lean on the run game once more. The Giants were gashed by Benny Snell in Week 1 and David Montgomery in Week 2; there’s no reason to expect that to change in Week 3 or anytime soon.

WR:

Michael Pittman Jr. vs. NYJ ($4,000)

Pittman was drafted to become the No. 1 receiver in time, with T.Y. Hilton stretching the field in his contract year. Don’t look now, but the transition may have already been made.

The 2020 second-round pick led the wide receiver group in snaps last week with a resounding 92 percent, up 39 percent from Week 1. Consequently, Hilton fell from an 80 percent snap count in Week 1 to a 58 percent snap count in Week 2. Pittman is a good player who I loved out of USC. Facing the Jets is not a scary matchup and Rivers loves his big-bodied wide receivers. A multi-touchdown game is not out of the picture for Pittman who should get every opportunity to continue his four-reception momentum from Week 2.

TE:

Drew Sample @ PHI ($3,500)

Sample is surprisingly a forgotten name in DFS circles as he does not project to be a highly owned player. But Joe Burrow has targeted C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample a combined 21 times in two games. With Uzomah out for the season, Sample saw plenty of work in last week’s loss to the Bengals. Burrow will continue to hyper-target Sample and Philadelphia has failed to cover the tight end in recent weeks, ranking 30th against the position. The linebackers have just played poorly. It won’t get better for them as Sample continues his ascent as a volume machine for an incredibly cheap price of $3,500.