Another week in the books, another week’s worth of information to add to your analysis of every possible fantasy option on the board. With the byes starting up in Week 4, your options start to look a little more limited on a week-to-week basis, which only makes all that analysis a little more important. Here are a few guys I like – or don’t like – for next week based on what’s happened so far.
Matthew Stafford ($7,300) – He now has 29 or more fantasy points in two of his first three games of the year after throwing 41 times for 385 yards and three scores yesterday in an attempt to keep up with Aaron Rodgers. Without Abdullah and with a defense that is going to surrender points, the attempts aren’t going away – he has averaged 40 so far through three. He has another great matchup next weekend with Chicago, and the receiving corps of Jones and Tate along with his backs and tight ends are giving him plenty of places to go with the ball.
Phillip Rivers ($6,900) – He didn’t light up the fantasy scoreboard, but he threw the ball 39 times, which has always been a product of the lack of a defense than the lack of a running game in San Diego. After the injuries to Allen and Woodhead, he got his 330 yards yesterday by getting the ball to eight different receivers, and the fact that he didn’t get it into the endzone through the air felt like more of a fluke than any kind of real issue with the offense. For me he’s a viable cash game option, because the volume is likely going to be there against the Saints.
Dak Prescott ($5,700) – Even without being able to lean on Dez in Week 3 the way he did in Week 2, Dak carved the Bears up all night long, finishing 19-for-24 (and on three of those incompletions he was targeting Dez). The 49ers definitely have a better front seven than Chicago, meaning they could perform better against the run, but they have also surrendered 83 points in the last two weeks. San Fran has also scored over 20 points per game so far, so I think this one will stay competitive, making Prescott a worthy consideration for me in any contest format.
Le’Veon Bell ($7,500) – If Bell plays the way he was capable of last time we saw him, he will be the clear, most expensive option on the board in most weeks. That right there makes him a value for this week, because if he plays well, his price will escalate immediately. Last year, once Bell returned to the lineup, Williams was immediately relegated to the bench and Bell got the majority of the carries. For maybe the best receiving back in the league, that is a recipe for immediate success.
Melvin Gordon ($6,300) – I was expecting a bigger week from Gordon against the Colts in Week 3, but he gets another shot this weekend against the Saints. Unfortunately, the running game in San Diego can end up becoming an afterthought at certain points. However, the upside was obvious; he was the only back to get a carry, he scored a touchdown on the ground and got targeted seven times by Rivers.
Jordan Howard ($3,700) – There is nothing official about which back in Chicago is going to get the majority of the work going forward, but after last night’s performance, it would not be surprising if Howard starts seeing a larger slice of the action. Also, Jeremy Langford sustained an ankle injury, which has created a bit of uncertainty for his Week 4 status. If Langford misses, Howard would likely see the bulk of the RB work, looking to build on him 9 carries for 45 yards and four catches on six targets on Sunday night against Dallas.
Marvin Jones, Jr. ($7,300) – Jones put up a 205-yard two-touchdown performance Sunday against Green Bay. He now has 29 targets through three games, and over 400 yards. So far, he seems like the favorite option of Matthew Stafford. Against a Bears defense that has trouble sticking with outside threats, and with generating a ton of consistent pressure up front, Jones could be in line for another excellent stat-line, even if the Lions win big. Like Stafford, if they go up big early, it’s probably in large part because of something Jones did on the field.
Kelvin Benjamin ($7,100) – In a game in which the Panthers got manhandled by the Vikings and lost 22-10, Kelvin Benjamin had one target and no catches. I fully expect him to bounce back in a big way against Atlanta. After the game, Cam said it was “baffling” that he didn’t have any touches, and they will likely make his involvement a priority in Week 4 after the success he had in the first two weeks of the year.
Quincy Enunwa ($4,400) – He only had four catches 7.7 DK fantasy points in Week 3, but he was targeted 11 times by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Of course, Fitzpatrick ended the day with six interceptions, so it’s not clear a target from him is always equal to a target from someone else. However, the Jets spend the majority of every game in a three-wide set, giving Enunwa plenty of opportunities, and those chances are only going to increase if Brandon Marshall’s injuries slow him down.
Greg Olsen ($6,000) – Much like Kelvin Benjamin above, I think the Panthers’ offense is going to bounce back in a big way next week against Atlanta, and I think they are going to do it by leaning on their most consistent, trustworthy performers. There is no one with whom Cam feels more comfortable than Olsen, so I think he will easily meet or exceed his nine-target average through three games.
Jimmy Graham ($4,000) – It’ll be interesting to see if Jimmy Graham can build off of his big game in Week 3. He didn’t exactly look like the old Jimmy Graham athletically, but he has also always been a good route-runner with great hands, and both of those skills were on display as he brought in six catches for 100 yards and a TD on nine targets against San Francisco last week.
Hunter Henry ($2,700) – He looked like the best tight end on the Chargers yesterday, and while we know he is not going to displace Gates entirely, the second round pick out of Arkansas is playing well enough to earn some playing time despite the key fumble late. If Gates misses again next week (reports state that Gates “wasn’t close to playing” in Week 3), Henry should be involved again after catching all five of his targets for 76 yards Sunday against the Colts.
Denver Broncos ($3,700) – They are just really, really good. And while Tampa Bay is going to look like not such a great matchup at times, remember what Winston looked like when he went up against Arizona in Week 2. If he is getting pressured and his receivers are covered closely, he could be in a position to put a few balls up for grabs. I don’t necessarily expect five or six turnovers again, I think these Broncos are a great cash game option.
Detroit Lions ($3,100) – Against a Bears team that has struggled to move the ball all year, the Lions should have plenty of turnover opportunities. If you’re looking for safety and upside without going for one of the most expensive units on the board, the Lions are definitely worth consideration in my opinion going against a struggling, Jay Cutler-less Bears team.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.