Thursday night’s result is definitive proof that losing streaks can end at any time. After almost two years of futility, the Cleveland Browns broke through to the win column. Now, it is a rare occasion when the Browns are a source of inspiration, but keep them in mind if you are struggling in DFS. Every week offers new hope, and aside from the money, that is the best thing about DFS. Injuries and poor draft choices can sink your standard league team in a matter of weeks, but a little bit of research and some luck is all you need to hit that cash line.
Moving on to this weeks’ slate, there are lots of good values out there, and injuries are really coming into play in a big way this week. Be sure to check on your lineups and leave some wiggle room in your salary for player swaps based on official status changes. One last reminder for anyone new, these guys will typically be mid to lower end options meant to supplement lineups with higher priced studs. I wouldn’t recommend putting all these guys together in a single lineup, but they can help fill in the edges of one. All pricing below is for DraftKings contests. With that, let’s look ahead to week three.
DraftKings DFS Targets: Week Three
Drew Brees @ATL, $6,400
This is probably about as high priced a guy you’ll see in this series, but it’s too enticing to pass up. It’s been a strange season so far for Brees and the Saints. They became the latest victims of Fitzmagic in their opener, but Brees still managed a fantastic 34.6 point day. Next, he faced a very good Cleveland defense and almost was upset at home. Through three weeks CLE is 12th in passing yards per game, have the 9th best sack %, and held the Steelers and Saints to 21 points each. Despite all that, Brees has taken an $800 salary hit, and we stand to benefit.
Next up is the first Saints/Falcons game of the season, this one in Atlanta. The timing is great, as Atlanta is still reeling from the losses of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, and just lost Takkarist McKinley for Sunday’s game as well. That’s two Pro Bowlers and their best pass rushing DL. The Saints will not want to let a division game like this slip through their fingers, and I expect them to be aggressive. Michael Thomas will continue to shine as the Saints continue to move him around their alignment, with 37/38/25 splits lining up at left/right/and slot receiver. This flexibility will allow them to pick and chose their matchups, especially with Alvin Kamara needing to be accounted for.
Losing Jones and Neal especially hurt Atlanta in RB pass coverage and Kamara is the best back to take advantage. He’s second on the team in yards, targets, receptions, and receiving TDs. Atlanta does not have the personnel to stop Kamara through the air.
At this price, you’re paying a mid-tier price for a player with an 81.3 completion percentage and a 26.1 point per game average in DraftKings. He’s third in QBR, QB DVOA, and hasn’t thrown a pick. These are upper tier numbers, plain and simple. He also has averaged 20.1 points per game in domes, excluding his numbers from the first two weeks of this year. Set him into your lineup in any format and enjoy the production.
Latavius Murray vs. BUF, $5800
Murray’s stock is rising fast with the news of Dalvin Cook being ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. The price is a bit high for a backup running back, but this is still a very safe, cash game play. In the 12 games he played without Cook, Murray averaged 67 yards rushing on 16.8 carries. But, in games when he beat his average number of carries he averaged 80 yards. Buffalo will most likely not hold Murray to less than 20 touches due to his lack of competition. The current depth chart behind him has two rookies and a fullback who is most likely to eat into Murray’s production.
Speaking of the Bills, Buffalo has given up 38.0 points per game to RBs including 6 TDs already. Murray will look to add to that total. Buffalo just got shredded by Melvin Gordon in week two, and will now have a rookie QB starting against one of the best defenses in the league. Minnesota has only allowed two offensive TDs this season and will give Josh Allen fits. With no sustained offense, expect the Vikings to grind out yards with ease. Murray has as high a floor as anyone this week, making him an excellent cash game option.
Dion Lewis @JAX, $4500
The matchup against the Jaguars is definitely scary at first, but things aren’t as dire as they seem. Injuries play a big role in Lewis’ inclusion here, as Jacksonville has Jalen Ramsey and DJ Hayden listed as questionable. This obviously hurts the Jags’ pass defense and favors Lewis and his involvement in the passing game. Corey Davis will likely draw AJ Bouye, but missing two of their top 3 guys hurts any defense.
This season Jacksonville has already given up 111 yards receiving (avg. of 9.25 yards/reception) and 180 yards rushing (4.5 yards/carry). Lewis has only averaged 3 catches per game so far, but his skill set sets him up for much more. Just going off his average touches this year and JAX defensive averages, Lewis would hit 67 yards on the ground. Three catches would yield another 27 yards through the air. Those numbers put him at 12.4 points, close to his actual season average of 13.7. He wouldn’t need much more to hit value, and this game should see him getting a lot of volume.
He is already second on the team in targets (9) and should see plenty more this week. I expect his line to look closer to what he did in the week one loss to Miami (22.0 points) versus what he did last week against Houston (5.3).
Tyler Boyd @CAR, $3700
If you’re looking a cheap WR option this week, consider Boyd. Priced very low for a starting WR on a team traveling to a tough matchup. Carolina’s pass defense looks tough on paper, but that’s mostly due to the awful showing Dallas put up in week one. Last week’s game against Atlanta offers a better look at who the Panthers defense is. The Falcons had success through the air, with Matt Ryan passing for 272 yards and two TDs. Those are numbers Cincinnati can easily match.
While AJ Green has been the main attraction, Boyd’s production so far cannot be ignored. He has a 20% target share so far and is second on the team in targets and receiving yards to Green. He’s averaged 13.3 points per game so far and a catch rate similar to Green’s on three fewer targets (64.7% for Green vs. 64.3% for Boyd). He also has a better-weighted opportunity ratio, or WOPR, (0.55) than JuJu Smith-Schuster and Emmanuel Sanders and is tied with Keenan Allen and Kenny Golladay. And, no, you will not find any of them priced this cheap.
The Bengals will also be without their dynamic RB, Joe Mixon. Gio Bernard will step in, but his career has shown he’s best utilized as part of a rotation, not as a feature back. Any struggles on the ground will lead to a pass-heavy game script. While this would be bad for the Bengals, the passing game will benefit.
With most of his usage coming from the slot, Boyd is set to face off with Captain Munnerlyn. Cap has surrendered a passer rating of over 100 on the season, so this is a matchup that favors Boyd. There’s also a chance that starting CB Donte Jackson misses the game. If he’s out two very inexperienced players could see extended action, Rashaan Gaulden and Corn Elder.
Boyd has separated himself from the other pass-catching options in an offense averaging 34.0 points. Enjoy using him now before the inevitable price increase that comes with the numbers he’s putting up.
George Kittle @KC, $4500
I try to never repeat a player week to week, but this matchup is just too good to ignore. This game has the highest over/under, 55 or even higher on some sites. As high as that is, it still might be low as combined, these two teams average 63 points a game. Everything about this game screams shootout, as they also combine to give up 58. Kansas City has been particularly bad against TEs so far, allowing 21.6 points per game in DraftKings.
Despite a bad week against the Detroit Lions, Kittle still has tremendous upside. He leads the 49ers in targets, receptions, and yards. He’s fifth in air yards and fourth in WOPR. By most measures, he’s an elite TE, and now faces one of the most generous defenses possible. His poor showing last week will actually help this week, as many will be scared off of using him again. Do not fall into that trap. Get Kittle in your lineups and sit back and enjoy the fireworks in Arrowhead on Sunday.