DFS Tournament 6-Pack: Week 3

21 Sep 2018 - 5:15pm | Roto Coach | Updated: 21 Sep 2018 - 5:19pm | Likes: 11
DFS Tournament 6-Pack: Week 3

Listed here each week are a “6-pack” of picks, with two high dollar, two mid-level, and two low dollar players to consider for your DFS tournament lineups. Each week I alternate between DraftKings and FanDuel for picks and pricing in order to make sure I’m covering GPP plays for folks playing on both of those sites. Here in Week 3 we’re going to use DraftKings pricing, as we look to unearth some interesting GPP options. The goal is to find players that can return enough value to be tournament viable, while also thinking through where some of the pivots to the more chalky plays will be that week so we get a little differentiation in our lineups. Now that you know the deal, let’s take a look at this week’s picks.

High Dollar

Brandin Cooks-WR-Los Angeles Rams-$7000: While there was some skepticism about how Cooks would fit into the Rams offense when they traded for him this offseason and then gave him a lucrative new contract, through the first two weeks of the season it’s been pretty clear that this isn’t another Sammy Watkins situation. Sean McVay and company have made a concerted effort to get the ball in his hands, as his 12 catches for 246 yards, easily lead this team. On Sunday he’ll square off against a Chargers secondary that has largely been a disappointment thus far, although the preseason injury to Jason Verrett certainly didn’t help the cause, and this team was coasting in the second half with a big lead at Buffalo last week. Still, Cooks profiles as a player that can win against this secondary, as the Chargers have shown a hesitancy to shadow smaller elite speed guys (a category Cooks belongs in) with top cover corner Casey Hayward, who has always enjoyed more success against bigger prototypical NFL wideouts. For example, he’s never shadowed the Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill, who, just as a reminder, torched this secondary in Week 1 to the tune of 8 catches for 169 yards and 2 scores. While that’s asking a lot, Cooks has looked fantastic so far and is showing great chemistry with Jared Goff. It looks like the Chargers best pass rusher, Joey Bosa, won’t be back for some time, and the presence of Todd Gurley and Rams the running game is likely to warrant significant help from the safeties in run support. I’d be surprised if Cooks doesn’t come up with at least a couple big splash plays in this one. Other potential pivots: A.J. Green-WR-Cincinnati Bengals-$7500

Jordan Howard-RB-Chicago Bears-$6500: We talked about this game on the podcast this week, as I mentioned that one of my favorite stacks was Jordan Howard and the Bears defense against Arizona. While Chicago struggled to get anything going in the running game against the Seahawks on Monday night, between the Bears defense and Allen Robinson, it didn’t really matter. Seattle still boasts a solid front capable of slowing down the rushing attack so I’m not that concerned with Howard’s 14 for 35 yards rushing line. But in looking at the way Matt Nagy and this team are deploying Howard so far, I think you have to be downright giddy about his 8 catches on 9 targets. In his first two seasons Howard caught 29 and 23 balls respectively, meaning he’s currently on pace to better his career high before the month of October is out. Nagy also mentioned earlier this week that the team probably needed to get Howard more fourth quarter carries, something they didn’t do a great job of against the Seahawks. But never fear, the Bears should be playing with a lead on Sunday and Howard should be in an ideal spot to be the fourth quarter hammer against a Cardinals squad that managed a lone touchdown against the Redskins in a Week 1 loss and then got shutout by the Rams last week. To say the Arizona offense has looked inept would be an understatement. And at the same time, opposing running backs have absolutely destroyed this team on both the ground and through the air. Through two weeks running backs have totaled 256 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 65 carries, and 164 receiving yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. This spot couldn’t get any better for Howard and the popularity of guys like Kamara and Gurley at the upper end and the bevy of cheaper options taking over starting roles in Minnesota, Philly, and Cincinnati this week should help to keep his ownership in check. Other potential pivots: Kareem Hunt-Rb-Kansas City Chief-$6000

Middle Tier

Philip Rivers-QB-Los Angeles Chargers-$5800: Rivers made it onto the radar here last week due to his premier matchup with the Bills and some big touchdown upside. This week it’s all about the passing volume and what I believe will be some extremely low ownership in a game with some offensive upside. The Rams are touchdown favorites and have one of, if not the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL. And the additions of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters in the secondary give them a pair of shutdown corners that have played at an elite level so far this year. That said, the Chargers trio of Keenan Allen, and Mike and Tyrell Williams, is pretty darn good in its own right. Then factor in the potential return of deep threat Travis Benjamin and the receiving chops of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, and Rivers has no shortage of weapons to work with. Heading into the weekend Vegas projects the Chargers to score 21 points, and it’s hard to envision those being manufactured by anything but the passing game. Outside of Ekeler and Gordon, who I really like this week, pinpointing where the production comes from at wide receiver is pretty tough so just pivoting to Rivers and hoping you catch all of it does make some sense. Additionally, one thing we know about Rivers is that even if this team is down, he’s going to keep chucking until there’s nothing but zeros on the clock. In fact, in the ten regular season games in his career where he’s passed for 400 yards or more, he’s been on the losing end in six of them. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this wound up being the seventh. Other potential pivots: Andy Dalton-QB-Cincinnati Bengals-$5700 and Jared Goff-QB-Los Angeles Rams-$5900

Matt Breida-RB-San Francisco 49ers-$5400: After the big Week 2 performance in which Breida carried 11 times for 138 yards on the ground, it would be easy to dismiss this as point chasing. But for this week, my interest in Breida isn’t predicated on the rushing attempts, it’s all about his receiving upside in a game that everyone expects to shoot out. In each of their first two games the Chiefs and Pat Mahomes have jumped out to big early leads and then kept their foot on the gas in what looks like it is going to be a prolific offense this season. In turn, as teams have tried to keep pace with Kansas City’s high powered offense, opposing running backs have been more heavily involved in the passing game. In Week 1 Philip Rivers targeted Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekler a combined 18 times, resulting in 14 catches for 189 yards and a score. Last week Big Ben went 7 of 7 for 72 receiving yards when throwing to his backs. More importantly, in the Chargers and Steelers we’re talking about two teams with some of the most talented and explosive wide receiver units in football, while the 49ers would probably be hard pressed to make an argument for inclusion in the top half. Yes, Alfred Morris caught both of his targets out of the backfield last week, but given his career receiving numbers that’s probably not sustainable. And his less than 3.4 yards per carry on 26 totes so far this season is hardly a reason for San Francisco to keep him on the field. In short, I think there’s a strong argument to be made that he could just get phased out of this game by the pace. At his price tag Breida offers a slight discount off guys like Latavius Murray and Gio Bernard, who promise to be wildly popular this week. Other potential pivots: Lamar Miller-RB-Houston Texans-$5000, Latavius Murray-RB-Minnesota Vikings-$5800, and Gio Bernard-RB-Cincinnati Bengals-$5900      

Low Dollar

Austin Ekeler-RB-Los Angeles Chargers-$4400: With plenty of mid-range and high end running back options in excellent spots this week, I’m inclined to think most paying down in Eekeler’s range just opt for Corey Clement at $100 less. But I think overlooking Ekeler in this spot could be a huge mistake. So far on the young season Ekeler is average 18.2 DraftKing points on an average of a dozen touches per week. But the encouraging part is that he’s had two solid weeks with completely opposite game scripts. Last week he posted 77 yards on 11 carries and caught 3 targets for 21 yards as the Chargers blew out Buffalo at home. In Week 1 he caught 5 balls for 87 yards and a touchdown and added 39 yards on the ground on 5 carries, and that was with Los Angeles playing from behind all day. While this week’s opponent, the Rams, boast a dominant defensive line and very good secondary, they also possess arguably the weakest linebacking corps in the NFC, and possibly the league, especially without safety turned lineback Mark Barron, and he’s hardly a stud. For the Chargers to have success, they’re going to have to attack the middle of the field in the short and intermediate passing game and try to get to outside the pass rush. I expect the Rams front to give Melvin Gordon all kinds of problems in the running game, but both he and Ekeler will need to be heavily involved through the air for the Chargers to stay in this football game. And should the Chargers get down big late in this one, it’s probably Ekeler that draws the fourth quarter work in a role not dissimilar to what we saw out of Jalen Richard against the Rams in Week 1. In either scenario, his floor just feels very safe. Other potential pivots: Corey Clement-RB-Philadelphia Eagles-$4300 and Phillip Lindsey-RB-Denver Broncos-$4600   

Calvin Ridley-WR-Atlanta Falcons-$3700: Rookie first round pick Calvin Ridley only saw two passes against the Eagles in Atlanta’s opening night loss on the road at Philadelphia. And after the Falcons fell flat in that game despite a Herculean effort from Julio Jones, it was clear that Ridley needed to become a bigger part of the game plan. Priced at $4000 to open the season, the Week 1 bagel dropped Ridley’s price to $3700. Against the Panthers last week he finished second on the team in targets to Julio Jones (9) with 5, catching 4 balls for 64 yards, including an 11 yard touchdown. Yet his price did not move and he remains at $3700 in a game with a Vegas projected total of 53.5 points, and where the Falcons are favored by 3 points at home, giving them an implied team total north of 28 points. For now Mohamed Sanu is locked in as the slot receiver (85%+ of his routes) and Ridley is running as the other outside receiver across from Jones. Julio will certainly draw the attention of 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore, and it should be an absolute battle all afternoon. On the other side Ridley will face off against Ken Crawley, who unsurprisingly had a good 2017 season, as Lattimore’s presence allowed him more time on opponents’ secondary options after spending his rookie season as the Saints “best” coverage corner. That said, Crawley has been getting absolutely destroyed by opposing wide receivers this season. In Week 1 Ryan Fitzpatrick threw at him 8 times, completing 7 passes for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. And things didn’t get much better last week. The way Travis Taylor had played so far this season he should have been fine, but with the game on the line that was Ken Crawley that let Antonio Callaway get behind him for the long touchdown with less than two minutes left, and almost cost New Orleans the game. Expect the Falcons to target him all day. Other potential pivots: Tyler Boyd-WR-Cincinnati Bengals-$3700, D.J. Moore-WR-Carolina Panthers-$3800, and Mike Williams-WR-Los Angeles Chargers-$3900    

Good luck this week!

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