I’m coming into Week 3 feeling pretty good about myself after going 2-1 in my locks last week. Tom Brady was just as pissed off and surgical as I expected, totaling 30.8 points, a good five points more than my success line. J.J. Nelson also had a HUGE game as a steal, scoring a whooping 20.5 points (well over the 10 I had as a success line). Dez Bryant played better than I expected so I’ll take that loss.
Season record: 2-1
For those who didn’t read last week’s picks and have no idea what you’re about to get into, here’s a quick hitter. Here are four guys who I’m buying, selling and who I think will be steals based on their price and their matchups this week on FanDuel. Now, because it’s always fun to has some form of winning and losing, for one player in each group I give a success line, which is the minimum—or maximum for the “sell” guy—number of points they need to score for me to be happy about my choice. These will be the three guys I feel most confident in heading into the weekend.
With all that said, here are names to keep in mind, for good and bad, when you start to create your FanDuel lineups.
QB Derek Carr vs Washington ($8,400): This pick is all about matchup. Sure Carr has been off to a nice start this season but the real glory here is that he’s facing a Washington defense ranked 28th against the pass. So far both Carson Wentz and Jared Goff have been able to have success against this defense. And they’re both no where neeeeear Carr. He’s going to be just slinging the ball all over the field, playing catch with whichever of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper is his wide receiver of choice this week (I was going to have them in the BUY but I have no idea which one to pick so, up to you!).
RB Kareem Hunt vs Chargers ($8,300): Don’t ask me how Hunt isn’t the most expensive running back but he’s not. Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell still cost more than Hunt despite the fact that he’s averaging 33.8 points through two games. And things likely won’t get harder for Hunt as he’s set to face a Chargers’ defense ranked 26th vs the run. Again, remind me how Hunt isn’t worth like 9k at this point?
RB Christian McCaffrey vs Saints ($6,800): I was going to put Ty Montgomery here since he’s be off to a fantastic start this season and is going up against a struggly Bengals team at home but I figured most of you will be starting him in your lineups. So instead, let me persuade you to start McCaffrey as well. The rookie has yet to breakout on to the fantasy stage like some of his fellow rookie backs BUT he’s going up against a Saints defense which I can no longer describe because I’ve run out of bad words to use as adjectives. But it’s bad. Something in my gut tells me this will be a McCaffrey coming out party, especially as it’ll be the Panthers first real game without Greg Olsen.
TE Zach Ertz vs Giants ($6,500): It might be weird to not have a WR buy this week but it mainly because no matchup spoke to me more than the matchup of Ertz vs the Giants. It’s become a football tradition that the Giants can’t cover tight ends and last week certainly lived up to the billing as they gave up 12 points to Eric Ebron. Ertz has been the guy in Philly and Wentz will certainly be targeting him all game and he’s going to eat. He’s going to eat so much so that........
I’M LOCKING HIM IN!
Success line: 15 points
QB Aaron Rodgers vs Bengals ($9,300): This is happening. Rodgers’ price has a lot to do with why I’m selling him. He’s the second most expensive player in FanDuel this week and I’m just not sure the money is worth it. Yes he’s Rodgers and yes he’s at home, but it’s starting to become a yearly tradition for the Packers’ offense to flail around for the first five weeks, until Rodgers comes up with some motto—this year’s will be “Be cool”, leading to a bajillion memes of Rodgers wearing sunglasses—to get the offense back on track and galvanize the team just enough to scrape their way into the playoffs, ultimately to lose in heartbreaking fashion. It’s happening people. The Packers offense isn’t quite there yet and Rodgers is going to continue to not be the fantasy stud we all love until Week 4 or 5.
RB LeSean McCoy vs Broncos ($8,100): McCoy was held in check last week in Carolina, recording only 7.3 fantasy points. His prospects don’t get much better as he’s facing a Denver defense that just handed Ezekiel Elliott his worst game as a pro. With Buffalo lacking in the “Sweet Brady I’m terrified of these receivers” department, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos come out stacking the box and challenging Tyrod Taylor and his receivers to bet one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL.
RB Leonard Fournette vs Ravens ($7,400): I don’t know how the Ravens do it, but year in and year out they always seem to have just the nastiest, toughest defense that teams just don’t want to play. And there is no way this defense is going to be worried about Blake Bortles magically picking them apart for 500 yards and 10 touchdowns so naturally, this means they’re going to key into Fournette and the ground game. This is the kind of game that Fournette was built for—a bruising battle to the death—but I’m not certain he’s going to come away from it with terrific numbers.
WR DeAndre Hopkins vs Patriots ($7,500): Hopkins is clearly Deshaun Watson’s go-to guy and you can bet that the Patriots will plan on doing everything in their power to remove him from the game. And they’ve done it before. In Hopkins’ regular season career vs the Patriots (3 games) he only has nine catches, under 200 receiving yards, hasn’t caught a touchdown and has a 47.4 catch percentage. Those aren’t great numbers for the ninth most expensive receiver on FanDuel. Sine I trust my Patriots to lock Hopkins up, I’ll go and do the exact same thing here.
Success line: 9 points
QB Jay Cutler vs Jets ($7,400): Smokin’ Jay Cutler will never die and he faces a porous Jets defense. Gunslingers gonna sling.
RB Orleans Darkwa vs Eagles ($4,900): The talk all week has been about getting Darkwa the ball more and it makes sense to do it against a defensive line that’s going to murder Eli Manning if they don’t need to worry about the run game.
WR Rashard Higgins vs Colts ($5,100): Higgins is coming off a 13.4 fantasy point performance and is facing the Colts defense, the only defense I’m willing to say is worse than the Saints. So bad is the Colts defense in my mind that I’m locking in Higgins as the steal of the week.
Success line: 11 points
WR Kenny Stills vs Jets ($5,100): Hate to keep picking on the Jets (I really don’t) but Stills is a great option as a cheap guy. He put up big numbers in his first game last week and could see similar production in Week 3.