Predicting what will be the most popular plays is no fun to begin with, but it also doesn’t always work out for you — how’d that Saints/Giants stack go last weekend? I’m sure those that were bold enough to fade that game wound up pleased with themselves.
Sticking with that trend, here are some bold predictions leading up to Week 3.
10. Russell Wilson Continues Struggling, 49ers’ Defense Top-3
Wilson ($7,100) is off to an ugly start after being a popular pick to prevail as this season’s top fantasy QB. The ankle injury hasn’t helped him, but one offensive TD through two weeks against MIA and LA is still inexcusable. Despite being at home, I haven’t seen anything that tells me the ship isn’t going to continue sinking against an underrated San Fran D ($2,400). I like them to give Russ a tough time.
9. Andy Dalton Exposes Broncos’ Defense
I’ll preface this by saying I think Denver’s D ($3,500) is legit — but I don’t like the spot they’re in this weekend. Keep in mind the first two dominant performances came at Mile High, and now the Broncos find themselves on the road against a legit offense with a stud WR in A.J. Green ($8,100). While everyone’s hyping up Denver’s D, I expect Andy Dalton ($5,700) to put up some points through the air.
8. Eagles Prove Themselves With Win Over Steelers
I absolutely love what I’ve seen from Carson Wentz ($5,500) so far this season. He may not be in the best position fantasy-wise for now, but going forward he looks like he could be a legit QB. The Philly D ($2,800) is better than they get credit for. Many will downplay the win against the Bears (and the Bears are horrible), but I think the Eagles have the talent to at least limit Pittsburgh’s offense. Look for Darren Sproles ($3,700) to have a similar game to what Gio Bernard did to the Steelers out of the backfield last weekend — 9 catches for 100 yards and a TD.
7. Top DK WR Will Be Under $5,500
We’ve got all the usual studs atop the WR list with their usual steep price tags (although Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins aren’t part of the Sunday slate), but there are some lesser-known receivers in terrific positions this week. The more I pick, the better chances I have at being right, so watch for at least one of these guys to blow up (again) in Week 3: Travis Benjamin ($5,200), Stefon Diggs ($5,100), Mike Wallace ($5,000), DeVante Parker ($4,900), Phillip Dorsett ($4,400).
6. Jimmy Graham Gets Targeted 10 Times
This kind of goes against the grain of my Wilson prediction, but I think Graham ($3,000) has what would qualify as a breakout game for him this week. He may not top 100 yards or reach the end zone, but after only five targets through two games, I think Graham at least approaches double digit targets in Week 3. Put him down for something in the neighborhood of seven grabs for 80 yards.
5. Trey Burton Will Be A Top-3 TE
If you want an even better deal than Graham at TE, look no further than Burton ($2,500). I mentioned I like the Eagles this week, and outside of Sproles, Burton feels like he’s in a great place to breakout. With Zach Ertz out last week, Burton snagged 5-of-7 targets for 49 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Brent Celek ($2,800) only saw one target and was unable to haul it in. With Ertz already ruled out for Week 3, Burton is clearly the pass catching TE that Carson Wentz will be relying on.
4. Cameron Artis-Payne Assumes Jonathan Stewart’s Role
Fozzy Whittaker ($3,800) had a really solid showing filling in after Stewart went down last week — 16 carries for 100 yards, 3 receptions for 31 yards. The performance was good enough to cause some speculation he’d be the lead back for the time being. But Artis-Payne ($3,000), despite being inactive for the first two games, is now expected to share touches. He’s built a little more like Stewart and has a chance to leapfrog Whittaker during Sunday’s game and be the RB1 until J-Stew is back in action.
3. Jamaal Charles Returns, Only To Be Outplayed By Spencer Ware
Charles ($5,600) hasn’t officially announced his return yet (so please check his injury status) but it looks like there is a chance he’ll make his season debut on Sunday. Don’t get too excited, though, Ware ($5,700) will still be the better play. I don’t see Andy Reid just tossing Charles right back into the fire whenever he does play, he’ll likely be sprinkled in. It’s a tough matchup with the Jets, but I think Ware continues to lead the KC backfield not only in terms of workload, but production.
2. Jay Ajayi Loses His Job By Halftime
Arian Foster is doubtful and isn’t likely to suit up on Sunday. Ajayi ($4,000) is the favorite to be the lead dog in Miami’s backfield, but the numbers say this guy just isn’t good. I expect Kenyan Drake ($3,600) to be the RB Miami is rolling with by the time the second half kicks off, let alone until Foster returns. The offense looked better with Drake last week, and he actually scored against the Patriots.
1. Ryan Tannehill And Philip Rivers Will Be Top-2 DK Quarterbacks
So Rivers ($6,700) might be a chalk play this week, but his price still suggests there should be much better options. His game at the Colts is expected to be a barnburner and I love the spot Rivers is in (who needs Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead anyway?) Tannehill ($6,200) on the other hand probably won’t get much hype this weekend, but hey they get to host the Browns. Look for him to light it up and spread it around to Jarvis Landry ($6,600), Kenny Stills ($3,600) and the aforementioned Parker.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.