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The Gainsayer – Week 3 Contrarian Picks for DraftKings GPP’s

By Craig Bengel

@CraigBengel on Twitter

gainsayer. Noun. (plural gainsayers) One who contradicts or denies what is alleged; an opposer.

It’s all about the matchup…

Watching Todd Gurley run rough trodden over the 49ers for three touchdowns in the first half of Thursday night football reiterates this core theme of fantasy football. This week he’ll most certainly be in top five running backs according to Draft Kings scoring, due to the soft defensive matchup and the ridiculous volume he enjoys as the lead back in a run-first offense. As usual, we are going to continue to focus on low ownership, the best matchups, volume of workload, and a positive game flow as we choose our picks in Sunday’s main slate.

Let’s make Week 3 a week to remember!

Week 3 Contrarian Selections for DraftKings

(Complete Sunday slate)

Disclaimer:  The players below should not necessarily be the centerpieces of your roster construction when scripting lineups.  They should be used to compliment the core players you’ve selected for this week’s slate and as fill-ins when you find yourself gravitating to common chalky plays.

Quarterback

Tyrod Taylor $4900

This year it feels like there’s a shortage of quarterbacks who compliment their game with their running ability. One that we can still count on for a handful of runs each game is Tyrod Taylor.  The Denver Broncos top 5 defense heads to Buffalo this week and should force Taylor into more improvised runs as he tries to rally his team from behind in the second half.  He also quietly ranks as the 7th ranked quarterback according to PFF (82.7 grade), despite the fact that there were calls for his benching after a lackluster performance last week.  Denver has been gratuitous in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks thus far, and I feel this is a perfect bounce-back spot for Taylor.

Philip Rivers $6400

Rivers (83.1 grade) comes into week three as the 6th ranked quarterback according to PFF, which is pretty much in line with previous year’s performance rankings. This week he faces off with the underwhelming Chiefs defense in what projects to be the third highest scoring game of the main slate.  The Chiefs are favored slightly but this could be a shootout with Rivers leading the Chargers in late game drives.  Defensively, the Chiefs have regressed and feature 6 of 11 players performing poorly according to PFF.  Most DFS player will still assume this defense is as stout as previous years, but so far this is clearly not the case. The 2017 addition of a healthy Keenan Allen should only boost Rivers weekly ceiling as well.

Running Back

James White $5400

After two weeks of the NFL season, it appears the extra targets from the Julian Edelman injury may be filtering, in large part, to New England running back James White.  His 8 targets last week prove the Patriots are willing, and have a variety of ways to use him in their potent offense. This week’s matchup should benefit him with quick looks out of the backfield to keep pressure off of Tom Brady from this talented Texans defensive front. His price on Draft Kings is up $1400 from last week and should prove to be a viable pivot from CJ Anderson at considerably lower ownership.

Dalvin Cook $5900

Dalvin Cook makes his first Gainsayer appearance due to the injury of Sam Bradford and the implications that has on this Sunday’s game plan against the Tampa Bay Bucs. I don’t expect Case Keenum to be able to take advantage of this talented receiving core, and in turn I believe the Vikings coaching staff will force the issue with the ground game.  Cook is the 5th ranked running back according to PFF and should see over 20 touches with multiple TD upside. The Buccaneers defense is currently performing average, but the sheer volume in this matchup is enough to chase a big day from Cook.

Note: If Bradford plays, downgrade Cook’s outlook significantly.

Wide Receiver

Alshon Jeffrey $5900

If you’ve been watching the Eagles first two games then you might agree that there’s a lot to like with this offense from a fantasy perspective.  Last week’s 22 fantasy point performance, including 13 targets and 7 receptions, should become a regular occurrence for Alshon Jeffrey in good matchups.  The Eagles face the Giants in week three, and the Philadelphia 3 WR sets could pose a matchup problem in the opposing secondary.  Poorly performing cornerback Eli Apple (45.3 grade) and below average Janoris Jenkins (63.2 grade) will be significantly overmatched by Alshon Jeffrey (75.8 grade) on Sunday. The Giants do carry the stigma of a good defense, but I still currently see problems with this secondary. Another stat line similar to last week can be expected for Jeffrey in this division rivalry.

AJ Green $7800

With two very below average games under his belt, AJ Green could go overlooked by the masses this week against the Green Bay packers.  He currently grades at 79.6, but this year’s poor quarterback play has kept him from reaching his ceiling which is in the low 90’s (89, 90 PFF grades in the previous 2 seasons).  The Green Bay secondary is performing at a league low level, and the matchup with CB House (43.4 grade) and Rollins (37.9 grade) presents a prime spot for a breakout performance for AJ Green.  He’s averaging a solid 9 targets per game, and that should continue to be the trend moving forward. When Cincinnati finally does score a touchdown, there’s a good bet it will be via AJ Green… and it may be this week.

Tight End

Jack Doyle $3600

Andrew Luck is not practicing this week, which means we have at least another week with Jacoby Brissett under center for the Indianapolis Colts. At first glance one might assume this would hurt the performance value of a tight end like Jack Doyle, but let’s dig a little deeper…

Even with the absence of Luck, Doyle (85.8 grade) has performed as the 3rd ranked tight end according to PFF and only trails Gronkowski, Kelce, and Ertz in receiving snaps this season. This is likely a direct result of Brissetts inexperience and inability to push the ball downfield to these other typical Colts receiving threats. To me, he’s arguably the team’s second best receiving option until Luck returns in week 5 at the earliest. The matchup with the Browns this week is also excellent, featuring a linebacker unit that is currently the league’s worst according to PFF metrics.

Team Defense

Carolina Panthers $2600

There looks to be a lot of viable plays on defense this week and a few of them will be heavily owned.  I want to stay away from heavy ownership so I chose a defense that is facing off with a typically overrated offensive unit. The struggles in New Orleans are real in 2017, the quarterbacking hasn’t been great and this offensive line is performing poorly.  All five Saints offensive linemen are grading below average this year according to PFF, while the Carolina defense boasts 9 of 11 defenders grading at average or better.  This sets up nicely for Carolina to create pressure and force turnovers.  I’ll feel good about buying several shares of the Panthers in week three.

Good luck Week 3!

Don’t forget to check out the Week 3 RotoQL NFL optimizer if you haven’t already.  Reach me on twitter @CraigBengel if you have any comments or feedback about “The Gainsayer”.

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