If you took my advice in Week 2, you’re probably enjoying a victory cigar right about now, as you kick your feet up on the coffee table and listen to some fine show tunes on your record player. I am not, because I am flustered for not hitting on all the predictions.
The Texans laid an egg, despite Blaine Gabbert’s best efforts to ruin the Titans chances. George Kittle was also a disappointment, though he nearly salvaged his day with a touchdown that was ultimately ruined by defensive pass interference. My quarterback selections had pretty good outings, minus Garoppolo, who was mediocre. Todd Gurley and James Conner were great, while McCoy exited early with a rib injury. Our receivers really hit as Hopkins went for 110 yards and a touchdown, while JuJu Smith-Schuster went for 13 receptions, 121 yards, and a touchdown. Smith-Schuster’s production was superb for the price. Even Kenny Golladay, who went for the low price of $4,800 on DraftKings, gave us 89 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the hazy tight end picture didn’t get much clearer. Zach Ertz, our top choice for Week 2, earned 94 yards on 11 receptions. Kittle was an unfortunate bust, and Jared Cook finished with the production levels one would expect at his bargain-level price. The Rams were so good on defense, the Cardinals didn’t even make it past the 50-yard line until the final few minutes of the game. The bad part about this is that the Cardinals also didn’t take any risks, at all, in the game. Instead of expanding the offensive play calls and attempting to win the game, the Cardinals took the stubborn, feeble route and played scared.
If you’ve been playing along with our picks to this point, congratulations on trusting someone you’ve probably never heard of. My goal this season is to navigate you in the minefield that is DFS and lead you to victory in whatever DFS game you may fancy.
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A look ahead to Week 3
Aaron Rodgers, as we mentioned last week, was likely to spend a lot of time in the shotgun. He did that over 80% of the snaps in Week 2. Even though I typically bypass players I mention in little tidbits here and there, it’s important to pay attention to it. I say this because even though you may not have started Rodgers or Williams, it might be helpful in swaying you one way or another when considering certain players.
It’s officially that time of the week again, so let’s saddle up for Week 3. Cheers to another solid week.
|Colin's Picks For Week 3|
|Pat Mahomes (DK-$7,000/FD-$8,900)||Alvin Kamara (DK-$9,500/FD-$8,700)||Tyreke Hill (DK-$8,500/FD-$8,200)||Travis Kelce (DK-$6,700/FD-$7,500)||Vikings D (DK-$4,300/FD-$4,900)|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick (DK-TBA/FD-$7,500)||Chris Thompson (DK-$6,300/FD-$6,500)||Desean Jackson (DK- TBA/FD-$6,800)||George Kittle (DK-$4,500/FD-$5,800)||Bears D (DK-$3,500/FD-$4,300)|
|Jimmy Garoppolo (DK-$6,500/FD-$7,400)||Jalen Richard (DK-$3,400/FD-$4,600)||Keelan Cole (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,400)||Eric Ebron (DK-$3,400/FD-$5,500)|
|Blake Bortles (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,700)|
Pat Mahomes (DK-$7,000/FD-$8,900)
Pat Mahomes has already set a few records. With ten touchdowns in his first three starts — counting one last season — Mahomes has ten touchdowns and zero interceptions. The second-best tally ever was Marcus Mariota with eight, so don’t get too excited just yet. There will be a regression. I just don’t expect it this week against a sub-par 49ers defense who was gouged by the one-dimensional Detroit Lions last week, at home.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (DK-TBA/FD-$7,500)
Fitzpatrick has been astonishingly good now in consecutive games against good defenses. Of course, in Week 3, there’s a good bit of relativity that comes with that statement. Needless to say, he’s been shockingly good. Desean Jackson and Fitzpatrick aren’t even on the board at DraftKings. That just goes to show the level of perplexity this offense is causing experts.
FanDuel isn’t as uncertain. He’s being priced accordingly there and there’s good reason for it. Fitz is facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, in what should most certainly be a must-win game for the Steelers. Expect plenty of points in this matchup between two teams with big offensive arsenals. Neither team has much of a defense, though the Bucs have a decent defensive front. Fitzpatrick will have a very soft secondary to face, who was just lit up for six passing touchdowns by the young gun, Pat Mahomes.
Jimmy Garoppolo (DK-$6,500/FD-$7,400)
I realize Jimmy didn’t crack the elite ranks last week, but I don’t care. Jimmy G has a beautiful matchup this week versus the Chiefs, who have now been destroyed by Rivers and Big Ben. Though Garoppolo isn’t in their class yet, he’s been efficient through the air and the likelihood the 49ers will be passing to keep up with the Chiefs is very strong in this game. In another track meet, I believe Jimmy G will have a plethora of options through the air. With Goodwin back and Kittle facing the 31st ranked team versus tight ends in 2018, Garoppolo looks like a good candidate to have a strong showing.
Blake Bortles (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,700)
Blake Bortles murdered the Patriots last week. He had some easy throws, but he also made some pinpoint throws. For a guy who couldn’t complete simple screens in the playoffs last year, he atoned for that on Sunday. Bortles is heating up, and his numbers with Fournette out of the lineup are astonishingly good. If Fournette sits out again, or if you want to spend money outside of the quarterback position this week, look no further for the value. The Titans have a putrid passing defense, so the thought of starting Blake should be more of a happy reality than a bad dream.
Alvin Kamara (DK-$9,500/FD-$8,700)
There’s a reason we spend money on the elite backs. Last week was a great example. Todd Gurley found the end zone three times and everyone who paid for him rejoiced. Kamara faces a Falcons team who lost their dynamic linebacker who served as the primary shadow for running backs (and coincidentally concussed Kamara late in the season in 2017). The Falcons also lost one of their safeties for the season, surrendered two scores on the ground in Week 1 to Jay Ajayi, and gave up 14 receptions for 102 yards to Christian McCaffrey in Week 2. Since Kamara is essentially a better version of McCaffrey, it appears he will be key to the Saints success in Week 3.
Chris Thompson (DK-$6,300/FD-$6,500)
Chris Thompson is so much like Dion Lewis, it’s remarkable. Though Lewis typically gets more carries, Thompson is essentially a high volume receiver. “Game Script” is a term used a lot in fantasy discussions and writings. Essentially, it’s how the game will play out. Thompson versus the Packers should give us a very strong chance of witnessing a negative game script for the Redskins. This means the Skins will likely be trailing for most of the contest. When teams fall into negative game script, the defense of the winning teams will typically change formations to a lot of deeper coverage setups.
Many Nickel and Dime defensive alignments will prevent deeper routes and blanket receivers down the field. This usually results in the trailing team — negative game script team — checking down to running backs and shallow crossers. Last week, amidst a Redskins negative game script, Thompson reeled in 13 receptions for 92 yards. This type of result is very common in games such as these. Also, consider the Packers have been decent against the run. This matchup has all the makings of a Chris Thompson check-down party. The value at this price will be high. Make sure you reserve your Chris Thompson today.
Jalen Richard (DK-$3,400/FD-$4,600)
Jalen Richard also resembles Dion Lewis! How about that? This play is one of desperation. If you’re low on money and need someone for value, this is a good choice. In Week 1, the Dolphins played a team with a very similar setup to the Raiders backfield. It was the Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins were stout on the early downs and I expect a similar result with this one. In that first game, the third down back, Dion Lewis, had a fine day over 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. In the Dolphins second matchup, the Jets third down back, Bilal Powell, finished with 74 yards receiving and a touchdown.
It’s Week 3 and Richard has plenty of his third-down footage from Week 1 to show you he is up for the task. I think there’s a decent chance Richard gets double digit points here. If you’re low on cash, Richard is promising.
Tyreke Hill (DK-$8,500/FD-$8,200)
Hill has been breathtaking in five of the eight quarters thus far. He was a ghost last week until a late surge propped up what was looking to be a very disappointing day. Hill’s Week 1, on the contrary, was electric from the start. With a bad defense, the pressure is on the Chiefs to put up points. The 49ers are coming into Arrowhead following a less-than-stellar win against the Lions at home. Though it might not be a complete shootout, the Chiefs know they’re going to have to score a lot to win each game, so I expect the play-calling to reflect that.
Look for some creative short routes and a few deep routes as the Chiefs attempt to put the 49ers defense on skates from the onset. Hill will be a busy bee this week as the Chiefs look to take command of the division and give their home fans the show they’ve been waiting two weeks and an entire offseason for.
Desean Jackson (DK- TBA/FD-$6,800)
Desean Jackson still has the speed. On the first play of the game last week, Jackson connected on a deep ball with Fitzpatrick to put the Eagles on notice. Jackson was able to accumulate another 50 or so yards the rest of the game to give him a very nice line by the time the final whistle sounded. This Fitzpatrick-to-Jackson combo has already accounted for three touchdowns and 275 yards receiving. The bigger question of whether or not this is a renaissance for both players has yet to be determined, but who wants to step away from the fire when it’s currently burning so strong?
Stack Fitz and Jackson if you feel strongly about their juicy matchup with a meek Steelers secondary. As always, Jackson is, by nature, a boom or bust type of guy. If the price is right and you are looking to hit a high target, this is the man who can take you there.
Keelan Cole (DK-$5,600/FD-$6,400)
Keelan Cole has been on the radar since 2017 for most. Last week’s one-handed catch drew the attention of the entire country. Cole’s snag not only demonstrated his immense talent, it showed us he’s comfortable enough in this offense to attempt such a catch without fear of being ignored or benched. That says a lot for a guy coming from Kentucky Wesleyan. In his second season, Cole is displaying his talent and putting to bed the notions he isn’t the top aerial target in this offense. Alas, Cole plays the Titans this week, who were victorious despite their inability to slow DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. As long as the Titans focus on stopping the Jags rushing attack, the door will be open to a weak Titans secondary.
Travis Kelce (DK-$6,700/FD-$7,500)
Kelce came alive in Week 2. There really isn’t much that needs to be said about his matchup versus the 49ers this coming week. In Week 1, Kyle Rudolph found the end zone for the Vikings. In Week 2, the Lions didn’t run many plays with their tight end, but their quarterback was able to spread the ball around to whomever for the duration of the game. If Kelce’s route totals remain high, he will certainly get another healthy target share this week.
George Kittle (DK-$4,500/FD-$5,800)
Despite the fact Kittle was one of my few busts last week, I’m doubling down on him this week. Kittle had a good amount of routes in the week two contest and should’ve had a touchdown, if not for the defensive pass interference on the play. This week, he will face the Chiefs, who were taken hostage by Jesse James for a massive return in points for Week 2. Kittle is even more involved on offense than James, so the opportunity should be there again. I’m all about the George Kittle redemption tour for Week 3.
Eric Ebron (DK-$3,400/FD-$5,500)
Ebron completely upstaged fellow tight end Jack Doyle in Week 2. Though it’s not exactly a strong indicator of distribution going forward, Ebron made more of his opportunities in Week 2. Despite the disparaging snap count differential, Ebron should be a great buy-low candidate to find the end zone. It’s a bit of a dart throw, but Ebron now has a touchdown in both games, so we know he’s at least a feasible option in the red zone. For the price, he’s carrying great value.
Vikings D (DK-$4,300/FD-$4,900)
Things can’t get a whole lot worse for the Bills. The Bills corner, Vontae Davis couldn’t wait till after the game to retire from the NFL, so he just checked himself out at the half. It’s a real mess in Buffalo and now, they’re 17-point underdogs against the Vikings. What else is there to say?
Bears D (DK-$3,500/FD-$4,300)
The Bears sacked Russell Wilson five times in the first half. That’s impressive for any team, especially considering the mobility of Wilson. The Bears potent attacking defense led to a healthy point total in the end. Though the Seattle line is probably worse than the Cardinals line, the Cardinals can’t afford to curl up into a ball this game like they did against the Rams. I expect Bradford will be forcing more balls out quickly as they attempt to get David Johnson outside the tackles and into space. At the very least, scaring Sam Bradford might do enough to deter him from serving as a willing facilitator on offense.
It’s certainly possible Bradford doesn’t survive as the starter through this game, so expect the Cards to try to get a little crazy and the Bears to be waiting with arms wide open. Happy hunting, Khalil.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.