This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite weekly tournament plays. I’m going to be focusing on high-upside, likely low-owned plays and stacks from the main Sunday slate that (hopefully) can pay off big for you in a large-field tournament.
Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) – Sammy Watkins ($6,700) – Kerryon Johnson ($5,400)
The Chiefs take to the road this week against the Lions, who are +6.5 home underdogs as of this writing. Patrick Mahomes faces a Detroit defense that has given up an average of 286 passing yards per game and might be without its top corner and defensive standout Darius Slay for this game. This development would be good news for incumbent No. 1 WR Sammy Watkins, who has disappointed so far in two games without Tyreek Hill in the lineup, but this might be the spot to bust out. Watkins has been targeted 21 over the last two games but hasn’t found the endzone since Week 1. If Slay is out there or even limited, the idea of Watkins and Mahomes hooking up for another big game is more than possible. On the other side of this game, you have RB Kerryon Johnson, who has moved into a truer RB1 role with CJ Anderson now gone. Johnson played on 75% of the snaps last week and saw 21 touches against a tougher Philly run defense. Kansas City has been ultra-giving to opposing RBs this year, however, yielding a league-high 6.2 yard per carry so far. The Lions best path to victory here should be to feature Johnson on offense and hope his production keeps Mahomes off the field long enough to eke out a win. A massive day here for the second-year player is definitely on the table.
Just Missed: The Rams’ passing game could be pushed into a big game against the solid rush defense, but shaky secondary, of the Bucs. Jared Goff ($6,300) – Cooper Kupp ($6,500) – Brandin Cooks ($6,200) make for a nice stack for those wanting to attack this game which has a 50.5 game total.
Case Keenum ($4,900)
Most of the talk at QB this week will be centered around Daniel Jones ($5,300), who is coming off a massive Week 3, in which he racked up 39.24 DKFP. Jones could definitely see some continuation this week against a poor Redskins defense, but he’ll undoubtedly be one of the most popular picks at his position this week. Meanwhile, Redskins QB Case Keenum may not have the talent of Jones, but he’s been productive this year in spurts, and Keenum has averaged 41.3 pass attempts per game — along with 22.2 DKFP through three starts. As poor as the Redskins have been against defending against the pass, the Giants may actually be worse in that regard, as they’ve allowed a stunning 346 yards of passing per game through three weeks. Keenum is cheaper than Jones, and I think he should come in at well under Jones’ ownership in large GPPs, making him an interesting value to consider at QB this week.
Just Missed: The Tennessee pass offense showed a little spark last week at the end of the game as Marcus Mariota ($5,100) landed his first 300+ yard game since Week 12 of last season. Mariota’s rushing upside and the weaker Atlanta defense, who lost Keanu Neal last week for the year, is a solid opponent for some possible continuation this week.
Marlon Mack ($6,100)
Mack is locked into a workhorse role at the moment in Indianapolis and he’s been producing. The third-year back is averaging 4.9 ypc at the moment and has averaged 23 touches per game through three weeks. Despite all that, Mack is still priced very conservatively at $6,100, and he has a fantastic matchup this week that could push him into the same kind of “big-game” territory that saw him rip off 174 yards and 28.4 DKFP in Week 1. The Raiders gave up an unseemly 196 rushing yards to the Vikings RBs last week, allowing an average of well over 6 ypc. The Colts enter this game with a banged-up receiving corps, yet still remain as seven-point home favorites on this slate against the fading Raiders. Seeing Indy lean on Mack heavily here wouldn’t be shocking, and a massive fantasy day could follow.
Just Missed: The Titans Derrick Henry ($6,300) could see more carries after the Titans abandoned the run early against Jacksonville last week and he remains a high-end upside play against a team like Atlanta. Both Darrell Williams ($4,700) and Justin Jackson ($4,100) are cheaper backs that could be in spots to get more carries this week and make for good GPP targets — with Williams being somewhat reliant on injury news to help his cause.
Preston Williams ($3,900)
Despite common sense saying I shouldn’t, I am in fact featuring a Miami Dolphins player in the article this week. Rookie Preston Williams has been getting his shot as a full-time player on offense for the Dolphins, and he’s at least shown the ability to make plays when the opportunities arise. Last week he had a team-high 12 targets from new QB Josh Rosen ($4,500) against Dallas and, if not for his coach refusing to throw a challenge flag, may have ended the game with a long TD to go with his four catches and 68 yards. The Chargers are by far the better team here, but they’ve struggled in pass defense all season, allowing an average of 90 yards and a TD per game thus far to opposing team No 1. WRs. With this kind of targeting, Williams should strike for a big week soon and, at under $4K in price, he carries big upside here despite playing for a historically bad team.
Just Missed: After a poor follow up to his Week 2 breakout game, Odell Beckham Jr. ($7,300) seems like a good buy-low candidate against a Baltimore defense that has allowed multiple long completions and TDs to WRs in each of its last two games. Beckham could surprise a banged-up Baltimore secondary in Week 4.
T.J. Hockenson ($3,300)
Hockenson burst onto the scene with a massive Week 1, but since then the rookie has hauled in just two receptions on seven targets for a measly eight yards. The matchup this week switches in his favor once again though as the Lions take on the Chiefs this week at home. Kansas City has allowed at least eight catches to the TE position in each of their first three games, making this a potentially higher volume spot for Hockenson. He’s proved he can turn big targets into big fantasy days in Week 1, a game in which he caught six passes on nine targets for 131 yards and a TD. With an almost assuredly high-scoring game this week against the Chiefs on tap, Hockenson’s bargain price tag makes him an attractive upside target in large field GPPs.
Just Missed: The Rams Gerald Everett ($3,200) has moved into a near every-down role with Tyler Higbee out — he played 88% of the snaps last week — and gets a cake matchup against Tampa Bay in Week 4. Austin Hooper ($4,300) of the Falcons is a near every week consideration, as he is tied with Julio Jones for red-zone targets and has seen at least six targets in each game this year.
Los Angeles Rams ($3,500): The Rams get the pleasure of taking on Jameis Winston ($5,700) and the Buccaneers this week at home, and enter as the slates second-largest favorites at -10 as of writing. The Los Angeles defense has been their best unit this year, allowing just 16.3 points-per-game and recording eight sacks on the season –ranking 14th in adjusted sack rate. Ten of Jameis Winston’s 14 INTs came on the road last season, and the ability to generate pressure seems likely to create a multi-turnover game or a pick-6 event here. LA is a solid pay-up target against a turnover-prone QB with terrible road splits.
Cleveland Browns ($2,500): Cleveland may have many fans punching bag at the moment, as many revel in their early-season struggles, but the Browns still possess one of the most talented defensive lines in the league and might be in a good spot to rebound in Week 3 against the run-heavy Ravens. Cleveland’s defensive line ranks fifth in adjusted sack rate and has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher on the season. Lamar Jackson ($6,900) narrowly avoided a couple of turnovers last week, but he will find himself under more pressure here from an underrated Browns unit that could revel in their newfound underdog status.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.
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