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featured Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/17/2019
James Davis

Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 3 - 9/22/19

Two weeks are in the books and now we head into Week 3 with some uncertainty around injuries for a bunch of different teams. But there's still plenty of cash game value out there and we've got you covered for FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Quarterbacks

We live in weird and wacky times. Injuries have hit the quarterback position unusually hard to start the season with 19% of teams’ projected opening week starters on the shelf, out for the season or simply retired. That’s leaving us with a fair amount of backups taking the starting nod and us left to wade through the leftovers.

One more quick note: Clearly, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are the upper tier of cash game projected plays. That’s not necessarily news. But in the vein of being intellectually honest and realistic, it’s not feasible to pay up for either of them AND go expensive at running back. Things change over the course of the week, and if a punt option or two emerges at another position then let’s bite the bullet and spend all the way up. For the time being, I’m going to recommend some cost-effective arms. Cool? Cool.

Kyler MurrayKyler Murray FD 7200 DK 5800
Opponent CAR
Proj Points FD - 19.57 DK - 20.8

From an efficiency perspective, Murray’s first two weeks in the NFL haven’t been anything to text home about. He’s completed only 57% of his passes. But man, the volume is more than making up for it. With an OT game in there Week 1, Murray has already attempted 94 passes through the first two weeks, leading to 657 total passing yards. He only has two TDs to speak of, but that does feel like some run bad considering the Cardinals were down and close a few times against the Ravens and settled for field goals. The Kliff Kingsbury offense is mostly what we expected from a pace standpoint with the Cards averaging the fifth-most offensive plays per game this season. Now Arizona will face a possibly-Cam Newton-less Panthers team that’s ranked fourth-fastest in pace against through the first two weeks. Murray is coming cheap enough on DraftKings to play in cash games and I do think there are still some gains to made on the ground for him.

Jameis WinstonJameis Winston FD 7300 DK 5400
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 19.12 DK - 19.56

Oh boy. See what I’m talking about here? We might need to go out on a couple of limbs at the position if we want to have salary to spend for *safer* plays at RB, WR and TE. Winston hasn’t lit the world, or really anything, on fire in the first two weeks, throwing for three interceptions in Week 1 and looking at bit lost against Carolina on Thursday night Week 2. But hear me out. He now faces a crazy-bad Giants’ D that’s allowed the fifth-most yards from scrimmage through the first two weeks and the third-most passing yards. Tampa has had 10 days to prepare for this game and I do believe the extra rest/ prep will help here. Winston has two fantastic options in with the Mike Evans/ Chris Godwin pairing and O.J. Howard literally can’t be worse than he was last week. I think we are buying a little low on Jameis in this matchup as a -6.5 home favorite against a team that just handed the keys over to a rookie quarterback.

I want to strongly consider Carson Wentz this week against the Lions but am a bit concerned he’d be coming into the week without both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey. Let’s wait on word on those two. If at least one plays I think Wentz becomes a viable cash game option.

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Running Backs

Ezekiel ElliottEzekiel Elliott FD 8800 DK 8900
Opponent MIA
Proj Points FD - 25.15 DK - 25.95

We have our reservations about rolling Zeke out in week 2, thanks to ambiguous messages about his readiness from the Cowboys' coaching staff and front office. Well, Elliott partied like it was 2018, and touched the ball 25 times against the Redskins. I think we can safely say that he'll be the bell-cow running back that we thought he would be. On paper, this Dolpins match-up is literally as good as possible. Miami is jettisoning everyone they can (with DB Minkah Fitzpatrick being the most recent example), and are astounding three score underdogs here. The only real question is: will this game be so out of hand that Zeke concedes a few too many series to Tony Pollard? I think I'm comfortable just sticking with it, to be honest.

Christian McCaffreyChristian McCaffrey FD 8900 DK 8700
Opponent ARI
Proj Points FD - 23.09 DK - 26.51

The big name backs we're recommending this week aren't without their share of question marks. The pass-catching McCaffrey might be missing his quarterback, with Cam Newton's status being up in the air this week. But still, Newton's passing ability has been under a ton of scrutiny so far this season, and it stands to reason that the Panthers would attempt to rely on McCaffrey even more if Newton were to sit. That might be tough, though. Only Le'Veon Bell has had more plays drawn up for him this season, and the entire Panthers' offense should be running through McCaffrey, regardless of the game script. The Panthers are still 2.5 point favorites in this game, and if they are going to actually win this game you'd have to think McCaffrey will be the guy making it happen. Arizona is also burning through possessions so quickly with their new offense that you'd have to think that the floor here is quite high.

Austin EkelerAustin Ekeler FD 7600 DK 7200
Opponent HOU
Proj Points FD - 18.96 DK - 21.6

Why have I waited so long to acknowledge the highest scoring fantasy running back this season? Um, good question. Ekeler's four touchdowns lead all running backs. He has 163 receiving yards, which is 47 yards ahead of second place Chris Thompson. The Chargers are also 3 point favorites against the Texans here. The price is comically low on PPR sites like DraftKings, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him as the chalk play at RB on FanDuel once again as well. It's not a terrific match-up with the Texans, but at some point a price just gets too low, and we're there with Ekeler.

Aaron JonesAaron Jones FD 6900 DK 6100
Opponent DEN
Proj Points FD - 16.94 DK - 18.53

If you run out of money for big name, expensive running backs, I'm taking a hard look at Aaron Jones this week. Yes, week 1 against the Bears was pretty discouraging, but he slid right back into the spot where many thought he'd be in week 2, racking up 150 yards and a touchdown on 27 touches. The Packers are 7.5 point favorites against the Broncos, suggesting that the game script in this one should mirror last week's 7 point win over the Vikings. If there's a fly in the ointment, it is the snap count. As Doug pointed out on our week 2 recap podcast, Jones only saw 43 snaps as compared to Jamal Williams' 35. On 29 of his 43 snaps, the ball was directed Jones' way. That doesn't happen by accident, and while you'd like to see him out there for a higher percentage of snaps, the fact that the Packers wanted to give him the ball on 2/3 of his snaps suggests that he is still plan A going forward.

Wide Receivers

Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins FD 7100 DK 6800
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 19.55 DK - 22.98
Watkins went into Week 2 as a relative chalk option on both FanDuel and DraftKings. But he underperformed with an overall line of just six catches for 49 yards with the Demarcus Robinson/ Mecole Hardman pairing putting up the yards and touchdowns in the KC offense. But Watkins still commanded a 30% target share from Patrick Mahomes, getting 13 looks on 44 passing attempts. If you are going to see that kind of usage in the Chiefs’ offense then these prices are simply too low. There’s no other way around it. Even against a capable Ravens’ defense, I see Watkins as about as safe a WR option as we have on this slate and think it’s worth it to consider paying into the upper tier for his services.

Tyler BoydTyler Boyd FD 6600 DK 6500
Opponent BUF
Proj Points FD - 14.16 DK - 17.09

Boyd went 10/10 in Week 2, finishing with an even 100 yards. This week he’ll run out of the slot against a Buffalo secondary that really hasn’t been tested through the first two weeks. Not to say this Bengals’ squad is an imposing force, but they have thrown the ball quite a bit and Boyd has 21 targets through the first two weeks with an 86% conversion rate. He’ll draw the weakest of the cornerbacks in Siran Neal out of the slot and is coming at a solid mid tier price on FanDuel.

Emmanuel SandersEmmanuel Sanders FD 5700 DK 4800
Opponent GB
Proj Points FD - 11.31 DK - 14.17

Speaking of mid-tier values, Sanders seems to it the mold as well. He’s coming off a 13 target Week 2 in which he finished with a 10/98/1 line. He’s not a downfield threat, but through two weeks is Flack’s clear down and close option. He leads the league with seven Red Zone targets. I’m particularly interested in the DraftKings price with the full PPR scoring. This isn’t an elite matchup against the Green Bay secondary, but the Broncos do project to play from behind in the game which should lead to Sanders’ increased volume in the passing game.

Larry FitzgeraldLarry Fitzgerald FD 5900 DK 5100
Opponent CAR
Proj Points FD - 13.54 DK - 16.53

Old man Fitz just keeps chugging along and, much like Kyler Murray, appears a higher floor volume play for cash games in Week 3. Through the first two weeks, Fitzgerald is tied for the third-most targets (24) and ranks second in Red Zone targets with five. The conversion rate hasn’t been there at only 54% but I do think there’s some regression coming on that number as Murray continues to get more comfortable in the offense. The welcome sign is the usage and Fitz’s price seems only held back by the aforementioned inconsistency.

If the Eagles are indeed without both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey then Nelson Agholor becomes a fantastic punt option on DraftKings at just $3000.

Tight Ends

Zach ErtzZach Ertz FD 6900 DK 5700
Opponent DET
Proj Points FD - 15.56 DK - 19.1

Ertz garnered a whopping 15 targets after injuries limited DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery in week 2. While neither receiver's status has been confirmed for week 3, it looks like Ertz has launched himself squarely into the conversation of top daily fantasy tight ends for week three. With Kittle disappearing in week 2, and Kelce remaining as expensive as ever, Ertz might represent a way to have your cake and eat it too. The real question is whether you want to stick with old stalwarts like Ertz, or if you want to pay similar prices for arguably more upside with some of the newer faces on the block, listed below.

Mark AndrewsMark Andrews FD 6800 DK 4600
Opponent KC
Proj Points FD - 15.12 DK - 17.85

We recommended Andrews last week, and he's rocketed to the top of our rankings again this week after a near repeat performance of his excellent week 1. Lamar Jackson has targeted Andrews 17 times across two games, and Andrews has converted that into 16 catches for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns. Whatever they have certainly ain't broke, and I doubt Baltimore tries to fix it in their biggest challenge of the season with Kansas City. Andrews is particularly attractive on DraftKings at just 4600.

Evan EngramEvan Engram FD 6400 DK 5200
Opponent TB
Proj Points FD - 13.72 DK - 16.68

With 17 catches on 22 targets across his first two weeks, Engram has emerged as a very viable daily fantasy option on both FanDuel and DraftKings. The big question will be how he meshes with new QB Daniel Jones, with the news coming out that Eli Manning will finally be benched. It could go one of two ways. On one hand, it could play out the way Larry Fitzgerald's year is going in Arizona - a dramatic improvement over the poo-poo platter of QBs he's dealt with in the past. On the other hand, a more competent QB could also be more equipped to hook up with the Giants' wide receivers. Still, Engram is cheap enough on FanDuel that I'd certainly consider him.

Other playable tight ends this week: We still have something of an embarrassment of riches at the tight end position right now. Aside from the above guys, I'd also be totally playing Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and even OJ Howard. I still love George Kittle for big tournaments, as well. Seven playable tight ends? What a time to be alive.

Defense / Special Teams

Dallas CowboysDallas Cowboys FD 5000 DK 4300
Opponent MIA Proj Points FD - 10.1 DK - 10.1

New England PatriotsNew England Patriots FD 5000 DK 3800
Opponent NYJ Proj Points FD - 9.49 DK - 9.49

We saw the Patriots become the chalk defensive play for week 2, and they went ahead and poured in 37 fantasy points on the back of two defensive touchdowns. With two defenses listed as three score favorites against desperately terrible offenses, it might be the odd season where we are inclined to pay up for highly priced defenses. At the very least, Vegas suggests these defenses have absurdly high floors, and if you can find value elsewhere picking on the Jets and Dolphins seems pretty enticing.

Seattle SeahawksSeattle Seahawks FD 3400 DK 3200
Opponent NO Proj Points FD - 6.76 DK - 6.76

We have no shortage of back-up QBs to attack this week, but man, going after Teddy Bridgewater is tempting. Bridgewater looked lost after filling in for Drew Brees last week, taking forever in the pocket en route to getting sacked twice and fumbling once. He now has a 29 TD to 25 turnover ratio in his time as a starting QB in the NFL. You're getting Seattle at a deep discount to the expensive defenses this week, and I'd argue that they have nearly as much potential as those teams against a Saints offense that couldn't score in double digits against the Rams last week.

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