MSG Week 3 DFS Breakdown


Welcome to “The Breakdown,” a deep game-by-game breakdown that covers game theory as well as player/game analysis for the full NFL weekend slate. If you have been with me from a past life, welcome back! I know there are many game-by-game articles out there, so I truly appreciate the loyalty.

For those that are new, here is a basic guide. The “CORE” plays are for a DFS player that is building a single entry or three-max GPP lineup. The “core” plays can be used in cash, but I always send out a Sunday a.m. “cash core” update (I put it at the bottom of this article) to narrow down the player pool even further. Most optimal cash lineups will be centered around opportunity opened up by injury, so no sense of spending hours tinkering. Reserve your cash game entries with the plan of modifying on Sunday morning.

I encourage you to read the whole article, as there is a lot of roster construction and other strategy tips you will miss. I also have on-going jokes and other fun things I slip in to see who is reading and who is not. OK, enough with my BS, let’s get into Week 3.


All odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook as of the start of the week.

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

CHI +3.5. O/U: 47.5
CHI: 22.5 | ATL: 26.5

Pace and playcalling

These teams are about as far apart as you can get on the pace/playcalling spectrum. Chicago is 31st in pass rate (neutral situations, 46%). They have averaged 64.5 plays per game, which is in line with their 2019 totals. For some hope, Chicago has passed at 62% rate in the few plays they have been down by 7 or more this season (16 plays), and 70% in over 230 plays last year in that situation (ninth-highest). We need this script to play out for this game stack to be the one; otherwise, Chicago will run the ball and grind the clock (51% pass rate up by 6 or more in 2019). They play at the 28th-slowest pace in the first half of games also, and 20th when trailing, which is what they showed us in 2019 too (up by 3 or more, 52% pass rate).

We know Atlanta very well. They run lots of plays (72 combined plays per game this year), to go along with the third-highest neutral pass rate and fifth-fastest overall pace (76% pass rate when down 3 or more over their last 18 games). The Lions and Giants passed at a 64.93% rate (fifth-highest), despite both games being close. The Bears D have graded out well on PFF and Football Outsiders, so this is not the plus matchup they saw against Seattle and Dallas, who are 31st and 32nd, respectively, in yards per pass play allowed. That said, I still think Matt Ryan posts at least 300 yards and 2 TDs. The thing with looking at stats after just two games is taking in context. The Bears have looked good, but they played a Lions team without Kenny Golladay and allowed 297-1-1 to Matthew Stafford, which would have been 325-2-1 if D’Andre Swift hangs on to the late (easy) TD pass. They also faced the Giants at home, who lost the centerpiece of their offense after just eight plays. That is hardly enough to call the Bears a shutdown defense that we need to avoid. Let’s see how they make out in the dome, against a team averaging 433 total yards and 32 PPG. 


Chicago uses two-WR sets for nearly 50% of its plays, which combined with the low pass rate, make the Bears an easy team to dissect for DFS. For now, it’s the running backs and Allen Robinson (28.1% target share, 21.4% RZ), who has played 82% of snaps in both weeks to lead all Bears skilled-position players. He is a top-10 WR in terms of skill, but the low pass rate and inaccurate QB makes him much more volatile (91st in target quality rating). If he was able to switch places with either Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley, he would go from a second WR tier into the Davante Adams/Michael Thomas tier overnight. In two games, ARob has run 63 routes (18 targets), compared to 83 for Ridley (22 targets, 28th in target quality). Chicago is averaging 34.5 pass plays per game to 47 for ATL. 

Robinson has played 24% of his snaps from the slot, which has made Anthony Miller’s playing time and fantasy value decline. Miller has only played 42% and 40% of the snaps, with rookie Darnell Mooney passing him in snaps last week (60%, after 32% in week one). Mooney is a new and much improved version of Taylor Gabriel, a smaller, speed WR who will line up outside for most of his routes. He has caught all six of his targets and gives Mitchell Trubisky and this offense more upside with his elite speed and ability to stretch a defense. You would think Chicago goes more 3-WR sets this week as they try to keep up with Atlanta, which would get Miller on the field more. After putting up a goose egg last week, he should be 1%-3% rostered. 

David Montgomery went off for 127 total yards against the Giants in Week 2, getting to 5.0 yards per carry (fourth in yards created per touch). His passing work is encouraging, running 29 routes to Tarik Cohen’s 19. That led to his most productive day as a pass catcher in a gamescript that didn’t necessarily call for it, catching 3 passes for 45 yards and a score. Still, he is 26th in RB routes and 22nd in RB targets. Atlanta has allowed 15 RB receptions through two games (fifth-most), so if Atlanta can get a lead, Montgomery could stay more relevant than he did in 2019. That said, it’s been two games and the Bears just gave Cohen a big contract. I still need to see him out there running routes in a negative script. Atlanta has gotten a bit lucky against RBs, allowing 3.45 RB yards per carry and 4.26 adjusted line yards. With the Bears blocking so well (5.15 adjusted line yards, 3rd), I like Montgomery a lot at his very low expected ownership and price point. 

Trubisky is a viable streamer here if you think the game will be a shootout. The Bears will shut him down if they get a lead and hand the ball off, but I think the Atlanta offense can put up enough points to keep him throwing. Take his Week 2 performance, that saw him post 189 yards and 2 TDs on the Giants in the first half, but just 31 yards on 10 pass attempts in the second half with NYG reeling from the loss of their best offensive player. ATL has faced two of the four “Super QBs” to open the season in Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott, so not surprising to see them allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position by a 6.5-point margin (36.5 FPPG on FanDuel). He is 12.5% of cap on FD vs. 11% on DK, so I will have most of my exposure there in a game stack. 


I was pretty vocal about being off Todd Gurley in fantasy, so let me take this victory lap really quick. The volume in this Atlanta offense has been his only saving grace, seeing 10 RZ touches (seventh-most). When you play on a team scoring 30 points a week, any NFL RB can fall into a TD or two to go along with 50 yards, but I will let someone else chase that kind of game and keep playing the Falcons’ pass catchers. 

The Atlanta OL is 16th in adjusted line yards, at a respectable 4.34 YPC, but are 26th in RB YPC. Here are more stats that show just how far Gurley has fallen in efficiency. 

  • Zero missed tackles (35 carries)
  • Zero yards created
  • 0.0% juke rate
  • 80th fantasy points per opportunity
  • 5.6% target share (37th)
  • 3.2 yards per touch (50th)
  • 41st in YAC
  • 0.03 yards per pass route (29 routes)

Matt Ryan is on another “even-year’ rampage. I don’t subscribe to a calendar dictating a QBs success — I think it is correlated to offensive coordinator/scheme change and blocking issues. Either way, I find it interesting. Ryan in 2012-14-16-18 has averaged 33.25 TDs per year compared to 23.25 TDs per year in 2013, 2015 (Kyle Shanahan, first year), 2017 (Steve Sarkisian, first year), 2019 (Dirk Koetter, first year). He is on another torrid “even-year” pace, tossing 6 TDs on 41 pass attempts per game (6 RZ). Again, offensive line play is also key for Ryan. Atlanta has seen a 24.7% pressure rate, down from just under 40% in 2019. Even when under pressure, he has been great, ranking third in QB rating behind Wilson and Josh Allen in pressured QB rating at 129.0.

Khalil Mack is a beast, tied for fourth in overall pressures after two games (12), Akiem Hicks is solid (6 pressures), after those two, this is a league-average pass rush that was just 22nd in 2019. With Atlanta in the top-seven in protection, Ryan is going to keep producing. Again, Chicago is one Swift catch away from losing 30-27 to a Golladay-less Detroit. 

(Speaking of receivers who can make an impact. Julio Jones missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. I have a feeling he is a true game-time decision who will likely play. Still, we need to know his status before properly breaking down the Falcons offense, and this game as a full game stack for that matter. His target share is down, and he looked terrible last week limping around and dropping wide open TDs, but he is still a major factor in this game and the way we attack it.)

Ridley has been on my main lineups to start the season, so I can’t be happier to see him break out as the WR1. He is currently “on pace” for 32 TDs (haha), which is of coruse unsustainable, but if he is going to see 2-3 EZ targets per game, 16-20 TDs is certainly in the range of outcomes. His price is way up, the matchup is much tougher, so his ownership is still coming in at 7% on FD, according to Kyle Murray’s projections. Expect that to double if Julio is out, which is another reason why I need to come back to Atlanta on Sunday morning. 

Hayden Hurst is another guy who will be a lock if Jones is out, after seeing 8 targets in week 2 (5-72-1). Again, check back for the update here. The same goes for Russell Gage, who has at least 5 receptions in seven of his last eight games. He averaged just under 8 targets a game in 11 games since Mohamed Sanu was traded to New England. Playing out of the slot, his yards per target, air yards and other stats won’t jump off the page, but the usage is solid for his price point thus far. Speaking of price, he did get a bump on both sites, making Jones’ status a big factor on whether we use Gage. 


See Sunday update 

CORE PLAYS: Ridley, Montgomery, Hurst 
GPP ONLY: Trubisky-Robinson, Ryan, Miller (large field only) 

Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns

WAS +7. O/U: 44.5
WAS 17.5 | CLE: 26.5

Pace and playcalling

The Washington offense is interesting, going from the 31st (2019) to second this season (neutral pace). They are still passing at a bottom-third rate (54.5%). It got up to 62% last week, yet it hasn’t helped with efficiency, ranking 31st in both yards per play and yards per game. Cleveland has been much improved against the run, allowing 3.34 adjusted line yards and just 2.97 RB yards per carry. The Ravens and Bengals adjusted quickly, throwing 75.61% against the Browns, a sharp increase from their league-low 59% pass rate against in 2019. This illustrates how quickly you need to adapt in football, with a new OC and DC, this is a totally different Browns team from the 2019 addition. 

Washington’s faster pace and continued inefficiency (30% third-down conversion rate, last) has led to the team’s opponents running 70 plays per game. Cleveland is also playing at a much faster pace this season, ranking ninth in neutral and 12th when up by at least 7. As expected, they have gone very run heavy with Kevin Stefnaski taking over as OC, passing on 50% of plays (59.6% in 2019), and 64% on first down. Last week, the Browns got a lead on Cincinnati and ran it on 62% of plays, which is the probable scenario here as a TD favorite.

Football Team

Dwayne Haskins is bad, but he’s terrible under pressure (30th in pressure completion rate, 33rd in QBR, 30th in FPPG). With Brandon Scherff on IR, the Washington offensive line is in big trouble if Morgan Moses misses this game. He missed Thursday, so that appears to be the likely scenario. If he misses, this team is a full fade. They are already 30th in adjusted sack rate and now have to face Cleveland, who leads the league in pressure percentage and QB hurries. 

Antonio Gibson emerged as the RB1 last week after playing 25.7% of the Week 1 snaps, jumping to 65.2%. He put up 13-55-1 and added a reception on 2 targets. Week 1 troll Peyton Barber dropped from 17-29-2 (10 RZ carries) to 1 carry for 1 yard. That Week 1 performance is one of the oddest things I can remember, especially when seeing Barber’s Week 2 usage. The obvious difference is gamescript, with Week 1 being a home win and Week 2 a road loss. I would like to see another week before anointing Gibson “the man,” however. J.D. McKissic is not dead — his usage stayed consistent at around 44% of snaps, getting 8 carries for 53 yards and no targets after getting 5 in Week 1 and 9 carries. CLE is fourth in adjusted line yards allowed and fourth in RB yards allowed.

Logan Thomas is the one guy we can use in this spot. I know he killed us last week, but that is why we focus on process vs. results. He is essentially a slot WR, lining up there on 64.2% of plays. He has run a route on EVERY Washington pass play, getting 8.5 targets per game (3rd), which equals 26% of team targets and 35% of RZ targets. His issue (besides two drops) is Haskins’ inaccuracy. At $4.9k on FD, he is a good GPP punt when you need to jam in expensive players. Cleveland allowed 7-61-2 and 11-87-1 which puts them dead last in FPPG allowed. They have allowed 7 TDs to TEs in their last 5 games dating back to last year. 

Terry McLaurin busted out with 7-125-1. He is too good to full fade if you play multiple lineups, but he isn’t someone to trust in cash while he is tied to Haskins (70th in target quality, third in true catch rate). For those who read this article last year, you know F1 is my dude. I had him on literally every fantasy team as he was basically free in drafts. He is a legit WR1 and is still mispriced on DK at $5.9k. Use him as a one-off on that site and on FD, where his ownership is projected at 2% on FD. Keep in mind, $6.7k is less in terms of percentage of cap on FD than $5.9k is on DK. I am amazed after this many years how often I hear “better deal on DK,” when the actual percentage of cap says otherwise (#Math). 


  • Ryan Kerrigan returned to a full practice which is good news for this defense.


The Cleveland RBs are set up with Washington playing well against the pass (seventh in YPA against), behind a very good pass rush (first in pass DVOA, first in sacks, second in adjusted sack rate). The Browns have picked up 47.70% of their yards on the ground, the highest rate after two games. Both Philadelphia and Arizona kept passing against this defense, which has Washington 30TH in rush rate against. That is about to change however, with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on deck. Last week, the Browns fed their backs 32 times, in addition to 3 targets. Chubb tore it up with 21-122-2, and then was spelled in the fourth quarter by Hunt. Their opportunity shares are close — Chubb 51% and Hunt 46%- – as are their routes run, but Hunt has eight targets to Chubb’s two. 

If Chubb is not going to get targets, he becomes very TD-dependent (7 RZ touches, four inside the 5), which makes me like him on FD, where he is projected to be 4% or less. Not often do you see a back coming off a 25.8 FP performance as a home favorite at such low ownership. It’s not just the ownership though, Chubb is just #GoodAtFootball. After finishing last season second in yards created, he is second again at 3.62 yards created per touch. Cleveland is second in adjusted line yards per carry (5.46), getting 6.2 RB YPC. 

I suppose the presence of Hunt is to blame, but the Browns are going to post a combined 150-175 rush yards, at least, so I think they both need to be in your player pool if you MME, and Chubb is someone who will make it on a larger GPP team. Jack Conklin who signed a three-year, $42 million deal to anchor this line will be back which is another reason to like this Cleveland rushing attack. 

I don’t have much interest in Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry in this run-heavy scheme. Last week was the blueprint for Mayfield — just 23 pass attempts (213-2-1) for over 9 YPA — but that is because he had decent protection, and it still only yielded a 15-fantasy-point performance, which won’t get it done in DFS. He has been terrible under pressure, ranking 35th in passer rating on his 20 pressured dropbacks after finishing 17th in 2019. With DL pressure being Washington’s strength, I am going to pass on these guys. 

Austin Hooper could get a bump if Mayfieldis trying to get the ball out quickly (31st in yards per route). But that is not enough to play a guy getting a 12.8% target share in a low-volume offense. Last year Hoop had a 19% target share on an offense attempting 17 more passes a game. He is now in the TD-dependent TE category until further notice. 

CORE PLAYS: Browns D, Logan Thomas
GPP ONLY: Chubb, McLaurin, Hunt

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles

CIN +6. O/U:46
CIN: 20 | PHI: 26.5

Pace and playcalling

Cincinnati has passed at the highest rate on first down (71%. 3.5 yards YPA), and third-highest overall. Philly has also played fast and passed at a high rate over their two losses (68.38%, second). They have played with the lead for 43 plays, and stuck with it (69%), giving this one a great recipe for a shootout. One thing to keep in mind — those snaps with the lead were without Miles Sanders. I would assume they want to get back to a more balanced attack to take some pressure off Carson Wentz and this offensive line, which has allowed a league-high 8 sacks (58% pass rate in 2019). I think a little more on the ground could help Wentz’s efficiency (6.0 ANY/A, 32nd), even if it does come at the cost of volume. 

In a small sample, Cincinnati has a huge gap in pace and playcalling, running a play every 36.5 seconds (41% pass rate, 9 plays) and 21 seconds per play when down (70 plays, 71% pass rate). To just assume the Eagles are going to run through the Bengals because they have lost 14-straight road games is not factoring in Joe Burrow, who played in none of those games. I also think it is a poor assumption due to how poorly Wentz and the Eagles are playing. They bring in the 27th ranked pass D after being Tyler Higbee’d last week by the Rams. 


Joe Burrow’s downfield struggles have been well documented, with he and A.J. Green not being able to connect on anything over 15 yards. He is 32nd in that stat, at 10%. He is 30th in ANY/A but that has not prevented massive volume (48.5 pass attempts per game, first). Burrow has also been under constant pressure (fifth) and has struggled, completing 9% of his passes (33rd) compared to 77.4% when clean (15th). Philly has been middle of the pack in pressure rate and is blitzing at the 28th-lowest rate. This matchup in the trenches will dictate Burrow’s afternoon. One notable positive for the rookie is 15 rushing attempts (fifth-most) for 65 yards and a TD. If he can give us an extra 2-3 fantasy points a game from his legs, he will be a top-10 QB sooner rather than later. 

Philly got run over by the Rams, allowing 141 rushing yards on just 26 carries (5.4 YPC). Their overall numbers look OK, but that is a result of Washington giving Peyton Barber 17 carries for 26 yards. Joe Mixon has been a disappointment through two weeks, but this has been his deal. Per our FTN Splits tool, in eight Week 1-2 games in his career, Mixon is averaging 9.4 DK points per game, compared to 15.36 in Weeks 3-17. He is just too cheap on both sites considering he is ninth in opportunity share, sixth in carries, seventh in RB routes run (despite seeing only 3 targets per game, 22nd). He is also top-12 in juke rate and evaded tackles, so there is nothing wrong with him, other than sharing playing time with Giovani Bernard. Bernard played just four fewer snaps against Cleveland and has caught nine balls in two games compared Mixon’s six, as he continues to get all the play when the Bengals go to their two-minute or hurry-up offense. 

A.J. Green has a tough matchup scheduled with Darius Slay. Slay shadowed Terry McLaurin in Week 1 on 82.4% of his routes, and then Robert Woods for 83% last week. He is one of the best still, holding McLaurin to 5-61-0 and Robert Woods 2-14-0, making this a tough spot for the Green breakout game. 

After a 4-33-0 Week 1, Tyler Boyd caught 7-72-1 on eight targets in Week 2. With Burrow struggling to complete deep passes, it makes sense Boyd would get a bump. He is averaging 16.2 yards per target compared to 15.1 for Green. Boyd also should see a steady stream of targets with Slay locking onto Green. 

Drew Sample is a big 6-foot-5, 255-pound, second-round draft from U of Washington with a solid NFL profile in terms of size/speed. Burrow has targeted the TE position at a 22.3% rate, giving Sample 9 targets on 59% of plays (7-45-0) after C.J. Uzomah was lost to injury (51% of plays) The issue with Sample and the rest of the Bengals is usage. Burrow likes to spread the ball around, completing at least three passes to eight different pass-catchers last week. The Eagles TE coverage has been terrible, allowing Logan Thomas 4-37-1 and Tyler Higbee 5-54-3. Sample is a solid play in GPPs. 

Cincinnati is also mixing in “Don’t call me Michael” Mike Thomas, rookie Tee Higgins and John Ross, though Higgins seemed to supplant Ross as the WR3. Cincinnati has run three-, four- and five-WR sets for 85% of plays, so all these guys will be in the mix.


  • The Bengals will once again be without Geno Atkins when they face the Eagles. Zac Taylor on Geno Atkins: “He feels better every day, just not quite ready to play in a game yet.”
  • The good news for Cincinnati this week is Atkins’ backup, Mike Daniels, is expected to play after missing Week 2 with a groin injury. 


Carson Wentz has the 34th adjusted YPA at 4.0 yards per attempt. I thought that had to be a misprint, but it is confirmed. This is a get-right matchup, and I would not be shocked to see him play better, but at his price, on a slate with so many great QB options, he is not sniffing a three-max team. 

The guy I want to play again is Miles Sanders. After missing Week 1, Sanders was a great DFS play at a reduced price and ownership. He got 23 touches for 130 total yards and a TD. Sanders will not be sneaky this week, ranking first on our FTN ownership projections among all players at all positions. It makes sense after everyone just watched the Browns post 234 rush yards on national TV. Sanders is also too inexpensive at $6.4k. With his talent and usage, he should be mid $7k-$8k range on DK. I will have him on two of my three 3-max teams, as his price to expected production is just too good to fade. He has at least 5 targets over his last seven games, and 22.8 touches per game over his last five games with 30% or more snap share. To put that kind of usage in perspective, Ezekiel Elliott has 23.3 touches per game in his last six. Would you fade Zeke, at home, against the Bengals, at $6.4k? The fade is easier on FD, where you can hope he doesn’t get into the box, and the passing production isn’t as valuable. 

DeSean Jackson is popping in all the models, seeing 33.78% Philly’s air yards on 19.48% of team targets (41% of WR targets). His three pass attempts of at least 20 yards per game is tied for second, but he has yet to get a target inside the red zone. He is your classic high-ceiling, low-floor WR. He is a better play on FD, at almost the same price.

Zach Ertz (54% slot rate) and Dallas Goedert (42% slot rate) have become mirror images of one another, with even their prices finally aligning on DK (Ertz, $5.1k, Goedert, $4.9k). Using our FTN Splits tool, we can see they have matched each other in production over their last 10 games when healthy. Philly targets their TEs at a 39% rate over their last 18 games. 

This season, youth is emerging, with Goedert seeing 25.4% of team targets (Ertz, 18.9%). They will be week-to-wee while both healthy, but I prefer Goedert for the price break and better underlying metrics. 


  • Fletcher Cox has been ruled QUESTIONABLE.
  • Cox was limited in Friday’s light practice after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday. Doug Pederson indicated Cox will be a game-time decision. The guess here is that Cox won’t be able to suit up. 
  • Three players have been ruled OUT: Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor and Rudy Ford.
  • On the subject of Jeffery’s return, Pederson said that he’s “optimistic moving forward in the next couple weeks.” Derrick Gunn reports Jeffery might be able to play in Week 4 but Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers is looking like the safer bet.
  • Reagor is potentially out until November after having thumb surgery on Thursday. The Eagles have yet to put him on injured reserve, though, so the door for a quicker-than-expected return is open … for now, at least. One would think that J.J. Arcega-Whiteside might start at the X receiver role with Reagor out. That’ll probably go well.

CORE PLAYS: Sanders 
GPP ONLY: Burrow, Sample, Mixon, Goedert, Jackson, Boyd 

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers

HOU +4. O/U: 44.5
HOU: 20.5 | PIT: 24

Pace and playcalling

The Texans are a hot mess, which is the Bill O’Brien’s calling card. They looked totally unprepared in both blowout losses to Kansas City and Baltimore. A deer caught in the headlights is the best metaphor I can think of. No doubt they have the most brutal schedule possible, facing these three monsters in a row. From a matchup perspective, this is arguably the worst matchup so far, with Pittsburgh leading the league with a 55% pressure rate. The Texans have only managed 57.5 plays per game (T-31st) at 5.8 YPP (fifth-worst third-down conversion rate). 

Houston plays at the No. 26 neutral pace, and then speeds it up by seven-plus seconds per play. They have passed at the third-highest rate, due to being behind for nearly all their snaps, but we know they would rather run the ball if they ever get a lead.


BOB loves to run, so he went out and got David Johnson in exchange for one of the league’s best WRs. Johnson has 21-121-1 and 5-48-0 in two games, so it isn’t his fault — it was just a terrible move given how many holes this roster has. 

Houston is dead last in QB hurries and adjusted sack rate allowed, making this another week to fade Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller. Pittsburgh is also first in completion rate against (56.3%) and sixth in yards per attempt allowed. We are playing GPPs, which means we are searching for ceiling games. I say it every week, but you can’t play everyone in three-max, so we will cross off the Texans and move along. 

The Steelers have allowed 97 yards rushing on 38 carries to RBs. The one place they have been vulnerable is through the RB pass, giving up an average of 4.5 rec., 44 yards and 0.5 TDs. The reason I played David Joshnson last week was all the routes and lining up as a WR, both in the slot and outside. Johnson is second with 63 routes run, but only eighth in overall RB targets. 


  • Receiver Kenny Stills was added to the injury report with an illness. Stills was also listed as questionable.
  • Duke Johnson (ankle) and inside linebacker Peter Kalambayi (hamstring) are questionable. Both players were inactive in Week 2 versus the Baltimore Ravens.


Ben Roethlisberger has looked solid in his return, posting 22 fantasy points in both games this season. The Texans have been manhandled so badly they haven’t faced many pass attempts (29 per game, third-fewest). If the Houston offense can get it going against this Pittsburgh D, Ben and company could smash — I just don’t see it happening.

Detroit, Carolina and Cincinnati get all the publicity for being crappy at run D, but have you seen what this Houston D has been up to? They are 31st in adjusted line yards allowed, giving up 6.28 RB yards per carry, after the Ravens RBs posted 21-176-1. 

James Conner played 50 snaps in Week 3 (77%) compared to Benny Snell’s 10. Conner posted 121 total yards and a TD on 18 touches (2-15 on 2 targets). He saw five RZ touches as well, putting him on our list as a top GPP option at a 7% projected ownership and reasonable price tag. Pittsburgh will get back RG David DeCastro as well. The line has not been great at 3.72 yards per carry — it’s the Steelers backs who have done the damage, with Conner getting nearly 2.7 yards created per carry leading them to 5.22 RB YPC. 

Diontae Johnson has seen back-to-back games with at least 10 targets to open the season. Only Calvin Ridley joins him with 10 or more targets in both weeks. Johnson’s 31.9% target share is eye-opening. 30% is the magic number that puts a WR in that “top tier.” The big difference here is Johnson is still only $5.4k. Usually to get a 31.9% target share with his upside, we would have to pay at least $7k. Bradley Roby is scheduled to shadow Joshnson. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster has posted 6-69-2 and 7-48-0. With his price higher than Diontae Johnson’s, he will come in at a very low ownership rate and thus makes a great GPP leverage play against the chalky Johnson. It’s just two games, the target share could easily flip-flop this week. 


CORE PLAYS: Conner, Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh D
GPP ONLY: Juju-Ben-Diontae stack

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots

LV +6. O/U: 48
LV: N/A | NE: N/A 

Pace and playcalling 

The Patriots rank 23rd in neutral pace and rush at the fourth-highest overall rate. Las Vegas is similar — slow pace in most situations and the seventh-highest rush rate. These are not good stats for DFS, as both teams are looking to pound the rock and grind clock. They both rank in the top-six in opponent plays per game, as they both control the ball (New England 10th, Las Vegas fourth in time of possession). 



Darren Waller has a tough matchup with the NE D that has been tough against TEs for the last 18 games, going back to the start of 2019. This season they held the SEA TEs to one catch and Mike Gesicki 3-30-0 on 5 targets. Waller has 10+ targets in 3 of his last 4, including the 16 target explosion last week. His usage and efficiency metrics are elite, so in a game where the Raiders are underdogs, there is no reason to think the targets won’t be there. With Ruggs out, that leaves even more target share available for Waller to absorb. 

I am moving more on to this game, or at least submitting a Cam – Waller – Jacobs stack. I don’t mind including but Cam’s big appeal is his rushing and TD upside. NE has completely adapted to him which has him 1st in QB carries, RZ carries, TDs, and second in yards. Both NE WRs are banged up after playing on SNF, but both are expected to play. Without a viable option at TE, NE has targeted their wideouts at the league’s highest rate of 74%

Josh Jacobs has seen his opportunity share increase to 69%, 6th best. The exciting part is the uptick in routes and targets, where we make the most $$ in DFS. Last year he ranked 22nd in WOPR (weighted opportunity), but that is up to FIRST (Zeke, 2nd). You won’t often see a player with that kind of usage and this price come in as a contrarian play, but here we are, there are just so many great RB options this week. 


Josh Jacobs is sixth in opportunity share and first in weighted opportunities, averaging a ridiculous 29 touches a game. The New England run D has allowed 4.5 adjusted line yards per carry after facing Seattle and Miami, so the matchup is not scary. I am also not worried about his questionable designation — I think both he and Darren Waller are simply getting the superstar treatment after their big performances Monday. Still, I would like to get confirmation they are both active befere making a final call on the Raiders. 



Cam Newton is already back in the “cheat code” QB tier, right with Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. He has gone off for 26 and 35 points in his first two games with the Hoody, who completely revamped this NE offense for Cam’s skill set. Newton has 8.0 ANY/A (10th). Cam’s Week 1 performance is the goal here, as Vegas is not going to do what Wilson and crew did in Seattle. 

Julian Edelman went crazy in SEA, putting up his career-high 179 receiving yards on 11 targets. Like Cam, he needs NE’s opponents to do their part, or else he could be looking at Week 1 usage, where he ran just 19 pass routes (compared to 39 in Week 2). 


GPP ONLY: Harry, Edelman, Jacobs 

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills

LAR +1.5. O/U: 47.5
LAR: 23.5 | BUF: 24

Pace and Play-Calling


I wanted to circle back on this game, as it has a lot of viable fantasy options and not a lot of projected ownership. 

I am not big on splits, but these Sean McVay road/east coast splits that get thrown around are hard to unsee. They are now 19-7 on the road and 7-1 in the EST (7-1 ATS).

This is not your Father’s Bills team, they throw on first down (65%, 2nd highest), they throw it deep (12, 1st), and they throw it at the goalline (10 attempts inside the 10, 1st). We are all factoring in the MIA and NYJ factor, their first two opponents, and we should. But we also can’t dismiss the Bills taking those inferior opponents and laying the wood on them. That is what good teams do to bad ones. Now we get to see them against LAR, who has surprised many by slowing the Dallas offense and then manhandling the Eagles. 

These teams rank 1st and 2nd in play-action pass attempts and pass attempts of 20+ yards. 

The Rams are 6th in neutral pace, but they are running at a very high rate, the highest actually at 57% overall. They have yet to run a play while down by a field goal or more, but we can assume McVay would start chucking it if they fall behind. 



What the increased rush rate means for the Rams pass catchers is (unless they fall behind) are in a low passing volume offense with a ton of options. Think Tennessee but with three receiving options that can be “the man” on any given Sunday. Jared Goff is averaging 29 pass attempts per game. Quick math tells me a 20% target share will equal about 6 targets a game. Cooper Kupp (20.4% target share) is 60th among all WRs in routes, 50th in targets (5.5 a game). He has one target inside the 20 and none inside the 10, despite the Rams being 5th in the league in the stat with 5 p/g. That is “the bad” the good is Buff is funneling targets inside (22 in two weeks to Isaiah Ford and Jamison Crowder), with Tre White and Levi Wallace holding it down on the outside. 

This is Robert Woods revenge game. He, unfortunately, is getting the #1 WR treatment from his opponents and is expecting to get the Tre White shadow. The thing with all these Rams WRs is the scheme. They run a lot of screen and motion at the line of scrimmage which makes these “shadow” situations less impactful. Woods has run 24.5% of his routes from the slot, Kupp 48%, and Tyler Higbee 27.6%. Tre’Davious White has simply not traveled into the slot in this hybrid zone/man scheme. None of these guys will have any ownership, so if we get the Rams trailing or caught up in a shootout, this one could surprise for fantasy. 

Higbee is fascinating with him coming in at 5% projected ownership after a 3-TD day, against a team that just let another hybrid TE rip them for 8-130-1 on 11 targets. He is my top choice of all the Rams options to stack with Goff, followed by Kupp and Woods. 

The other way this game could go is a Rams win, which makes Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown. Brown will be playing with a splint on his hand, which leads me to believe Henderson is in line for all the passing game work. The issue there is LAR targeted their RBs at the lowest rate in 2019 and 4th lowest so far this year. 




The Rams defense looks like a run funnel, which makes sense with Aaron Donald and Jaylen Ramsey to deal with and one of the worst LB cores in the league. Through two weeks they have allowed BIG time production to opposing backs, and that is in two games that technically had a negative script for an opposing RB. They allowed 63 total DK points to Zeke Elliot/Tony Pollard and Miles Sanders/Boston Scott (167 total yards and 5 RB catches per game allowed). The early DVOA ranks match up, with the Rams 8th against the pass and 27th vs. the run. Only DET has allowed more adjusted line yards per carry (5.38). The Bills line has not looked great after two games in run blocking, but Devin Singletary is set up for possibly a 90%+ opportunity share with Zach Moss on the shelf and only a FB on the roster prior to activating T.J. Yeldon. Singletary was already 10th in RB routes, 5th in RB targets in addition to the 10 carries a game he was getting. Moss saw TEN red zone touches in week one, which should flow to the second-year back. With so many RB options on the slate, he should only be about 15%. Lock him into your cash game rosters. 

Josh Allen is a GPP only option. He is the other RB we have to worry about when we play Singletary. He is average 9-37 on the ground, and will likely be active with his legs again on Sunday. Rams allowed Dak 3-30 and Carson Wentz to scramble for a rushing TD. He has 18 rush TDs in his first 30 games. To give you a comp, Zeke Elliot has 20 over that same span. 


Jalen Ramsey will lock onto Stefon Diggs, he allowed Amari Cooper 7-57-0 on 8 targets when in coverage. Diggs is so good, no doubt he can get off a couple of times on Ramsey, but we are trying to grab ceiling games in DFS, and the probability of hitting that ceiling against Ramsey is not high. 

According to our boy, Kyle Murray, John Brown should be around 5% and I would guess it is even lower. Darius Williams has been great, but he is a 27-year-old UDFA with limited pro experience and even the best can get burned by Smokey. Brown should have a nice speed advantage here, as he usually does. With Ramsey on Diggs, Brown could see a spike day in target share (1st in route participation, 42.5 routes per game, 20% target share)

Dawson Knox is OUT as well, which opens up another 11% of Allen’s targets. 


Matt Milano, one of the better coverage LBs is active




  • It will be the Devin Singletary show for Buffalo on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Bills coach Sean McDermott said Friday on WGR Radio that running back Zack Moss is out this week due to a toe injury that caused the rookie to miss practice this week.
  • McDermott also ruled out tight end Dawson Knox and linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips, via Chris Brown of the team’s official website.
  • Moss has split carries with Singletary through two weeks. The rookie has generated 48 yards on 17 carries and added three receptions for 16 yards and a TD. Singletary leads the Bills with 19 rushes for 86 yards. QB Josh Allen could call his own number more this week with Moss out. The signal-caller has 18 rushes for 76 yards and the Bills’ lone rushing TD.

CORE PLAYS: Singletary 
GPP ONLY: Josh Allen + John Brown Stack, Goff-Higbee-Cooper Kupp Stack, Darrell Henderson 

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

SF -4.5. O/U: 41
SF: 23 | NYG: 17.5

Pace and playcalling 

A lot of people are circling this one as a sneaky shootout, with the Giants passing at the league’s highest rate, but San Francisco is the No. 30 neutral-pace team, playing a road game with Nick Mullens with nearly all their starting skill position players on the shelf. They have passed at the 20th-lowest rate overall, only cranking it up on 13 plays against AZ, when they passed at a 70% rate. If the Giants get up by at least 7, I’m sure San Frnacisco will pass more and turn up the pace, but that is a lot to ask from a team that has picked up 4.7 yards per play and a league-low 14.5 points. Yes, the Giants’ schedule has been tough, playing Chicago and Pittsburgh, but this is San Frnacisco, and even without some of their defensive studs are a plus unit (ninth in DVOA). 


The 49ers ruled out Jimmy Garappalo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman

Jerick McKinnon, Jeffery Wilson Jr. and Jamycal Hasty are your SF RBs in Week 3. McKinnon has three rush attempts in each of the first two games, scoring 2 TDs on a team high 6 RZ touches. I have so much McKinnon in best ball and was all over him in Week 1 when I thought Tevin Coleman was out, so it is strange to see him transform into the chalk and a fade. But at 21% ownership (or higher), I just can’t get behind it. 

I know people are talking themselves into Nick Mullens and even a game stack here. I wish all those folks the best, as I will be playing QBs like Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott

Jordan Reed was a great play in Week 2 at $2.6k, but with a steep increase to $4k, he is now among a solid group of TEs and thus not as appealing. Still, with so few healthy players on offense, another 8 targets (3 RZ) is certainly possible. 


The 49ers are down multiple starters in Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas and Richard Sherman. I don’t think that is enough to help Daniel Jones and this Giants offense, who will begin life (again) without Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard

I have said for years — you don’t earn difficulty points in DFS. There is contrarian, and then there is walking uphill in the rain while carrying cement blocks. If this game goes off, I’ll tip my hat and move on with my afternoon. Even if it does surprise, the probability that it is a “slate breaker” game, that you just had to have a piece of or you lose is infinite.

Giants running backs have averaged -0.13 yards before contact (32nd), 1.63 adjusted line yards (32nd) for 1.83 RB yards per carry. San Francisco is ninth in adjusted line yards allowed, giving up 3.52 YPC to RBs.

Golden Tate made his 2020 debut last week and saw 5 targets, posting 5-47-0. Using our FTN Splits tool, we can easily see Tate’s increase in usage with Shepard is off the field. 49ers slot CB K’Waun Williams is not a great matchup, but if Tate gets his 9 targets he can easily pay off his $4.5k price tag. 

Darius Slayton is a classic GPP WR — 31 fantasy points in Week 1 against a tough Pittsburgh team, 6 in Chicago with Shepard and Barkley out. Unlike Tate, who is better in the slot, Slayton stays in his same role on the outside. That has his splits with and without Shepard nearly identical.  

GPP ONLY: NYG DST, Reed, McKinnon 

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

TEN -2.5. O/U: 47
TEN: 24 | MIN: 23.5

Pace and playcalling 

Minnesota wants to play slow (28th in neutral, 32.6 seconds per play), but the team’s defense is bad this season — the Vikings have been playing from behind in both games, which has elevated their pace to fifth overall at 24.5 seconds per play. Their playcalling reflects the same issues: a 58% rate in their few neutral snaps, and 68% for the rest (when they fall behind). The Vikes’ philosophy of “run and play defense” really falls apart without the second part of the equation. 


The Vikings are allowing 5.13 adjusted yards per carry, making Derrick Henry the obvious play. That said, I am liking a Titans passing stack in this spot as well. Minnesota was already struggling and now will be without CBs Cameron Dantzler and Mike Hughes.        

Ryan Tannehill just continues to smash at low ownership and a value price. Even after posting 26.5 FP last week, his price tag did not move. I know we all said his ultra-efficient play last year was not sustainable, and it likely isn’t, but dude just keeps smashing why we wait for the regression. Looking at his play since taking over as the starter, and you see a QB1. 

Corey Davis started hot in Week 2, catching a TD in the first 10 minutes of the slate, and then caught two more balls for 20 yards over the next 3 hours. He was so cheap that a ton of winning lineups had him on it, but it was still a disappointment. Minnesota is giving up 2.47 points per target to WRs, so with A.J. Brown out again, Davis is back in play. 

Adam Humphries got in the box last week so smashed his $3.4k price tag. He has 6.5 targets per game, playing 55% of snaps. Playing a small slot WR in a low-volume passing offense is not something we want to get in the habit of doing, but this is a good matchup once again.

Jonnu Smith has three TDs in two weeks, which has masked the fact that he is only running 20 routes a game (23rd among all TEs). As I just discussed, that is the deal in Tennessee: They are going to run the ball, so the pass catchers need to get it done without volume, The good thing for Smith and Brown (when healthy) is they are athletic freaks. Smith is third in yards per pass route, third in fantasy points per opportunity, second in yards per target, first in YAC, etc. Last week, this Vikes D allowed Mo Alie-Cox 5-111-0 on 6 targets.


(Source: SB Nation)

  • It appears A.J. Brown is going to miss his second straight game with a knee issue. The offense put up 33 points last week without him, and should be able to find similar success against a poor Minnesota defense that’s ravaged with injury right now. 
  • It appears that CB Chris Jackson and OLB Derick Roberson will also be OUT on Sunday. With Adoree Jackson still on IR, expect to see plenty of Johnathan Joseph and Kristian Fulton on Sunday. Joseph didn’t practice on Thursday, but was a full participant in Friday’s session.
  • The good news here is that both Vic Beasley and Darrynton Evans were once again listed as “full participants.” It’s looking like both players will make their Titans debuts this weekend. 
  • Evans probably won’t make as big of an impact immediately, but they will most likely have a package of plays designed for him. I’m excited to see what Evans can add to this offense. They don’t have another player with his skill-set.


Minnesota is easy for DFS at this point — it’s Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen, and even they don’t thrill me. This offense ran 48.5 plays per game in the first two weeks, 9.5 less than the 31st-ranked team (HOU). They have held the ball for 20 minutes a game (32nd), on the back of the ninth-lowest pass rate, despite getting smashed in two consecutive weeks and playing from behind. Because the Vikings have run so few offensive plays, Cook has managed 14.5 touches per game for 60 yards per game. 



  • Cornerbacks Cameron Dantzler and Mike Hughes — Minnesota’s Week 1 starters — have been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Neither player practiced this week.
  • Backup cornerback and special teamer Kris Boyd (hamstring) is listed as questionable. Boyd was added to the injury report Thursday.
  • Running back Mike Boone (concussion) also is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
  • The Vikings this week placed linebackers Anthony Barr and Troy Dye on injured reserve, and starting defensive end Danielle Hunter remains on Injured Reserve.
  • Tackle Riley Reiff (ankle) did not receive a status designation for the game and is likely to play.

GPP ONLY: Tannehill/Smith/Davis stack, Thielen, Cook

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers

CAR +6.5. O/U: 44
CAR: 18 | LAC: 25.5

Pace and Play-Calling 

A miracle took place last week. The Chargers played fast. LAC was dead last in pace in 2019, which combined with their love of the run was a killer in week one with Tyrod under center. It was just one game, against the Champs, so I am not assuming it going forward. But, it does offer us some hope for things to come, especially when the script sets up for it. They still ran heavy, as playing with a lead (44% pass rate), so look for more of the same as a home favorite. LAC is leading the lead with 41.5 rush attempts per game.

CAR rolling into SoCal without CMC. They have gone the other way in this new regime, slowing down from a top pace team to 15th overall, despite being down since opening kickoff in week one. 


Like the rest of the league, there are a ton of injuries in this game that will be impacted. Chargers Melvin Ingram was a full participant the first two days of practice, but he was downgraded Friday, which is usually a sign the player is out, or they are giving him the superstar treatment because they saw enough Thursday. My guess is he is OUT, but we can wait for official word since he has a big impact on the CAR offense. 


Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley get the mother of all RB matchups, with the hapless Panthers limping into LA. Ekeler (47 snaps) has fallen into a RBBC with the rookie, with Kelley getting 25 touches to Ekeler’s 20. Both backs went over 100 yards last week and have a great shot to do it again. Panthers have now allowed multiple running back touchdowns in each of their past seven games.

With Phil Rivers in Indy, the LAC pass rate has fallen from 1st to 30th. However, there is hope here as well and his name is Justin. Last week the LAC RBs saw 7 combined targets which were 20% of the total target share (3.4% in week one). I know we are all ready to give up on Ekeler, with Joshua Kelley being so active, but this is just like last year with Melvin Gordon. Ekeler has seen his opportunity share rise from 46% to 50% this season, averaging TWENTY touches per game, which is +6 p/g from his 2019 usage that led him to an RB6 finish. This is our guy in GPPs this week, our Aaron Jones that is going to give us some leverage on the field with a 30 FP explosion. 

Joshua Kelley is my guy, just because I like watching UCLA football while I make DFS lineups. But he is pissing me off because I am the FOUNDING member #TeamEkeler. He is not been as efficient in any metric, but volume and opportunity are 1/2 the battle. He has seen 17.5 carries a game (same as Ek), as well as 3 targets on just 11 routes. He has 14 routes run to Ek’s 41, but has received both of the Chargers GL carries. It is hard for me to see this play out without one of, if not both of these backs smashing, 

Hunter Henry has been low-key smashing. People scoffed as I took him over and over in best ball, but here he is with 16 targets after two weeks, which has him in the top-12 in 11 meaningful TE stat categories. Like all these Chargers players, he is being overlooked. 

Keenan Allen was brought back from the dead with Herbert getting the gig. Tyrod could not connect with Allen in week one despite targeting him 8 times, but last week he and the rookie linked up on 7 of his 10 targets for 97 yards. The issue with Allen and all these guys (Mike Williams included) is TD equity. There is only so many TDs to go around on a team that has 13 RB rz touches in two games and the 31st overall pass rate. 

GPP ONLY: Kelley, D.J. Moore, Hunter Henry, Justin Herbert/Mike Williams 

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

NYJ +10.5. O/U: 44
NYJ: 16.5 | IND: 27.5


Jamison Crowder will miss another game with a hamstring injury. Breshad Perriman is also out (ankle injury). Denzel Mims is on IR, which means the Jets will be without all three of their starting wide receivers this week. In addition, Braxton Berrios, who would start in Crowder’s place, is questionable. 

They will also be without starting right tackle George Fant, while center Connor McGovern is questionable.

The Jets are a hard pass for me this week. 


Philip Rivers is just not a guy I can pull the trigger on anymore. He just doesn’t show the ceiling we need in 2020, with these cheat code QBs scoring 30-plus fantasy points on a regular basis. 

Jonathan Taylor played 49 snaps (67%) in Week 2 and got 110 total yards on 28 touches plus a score. I know the Jets were smashed by the 49ers on the ground last week, making their spread between adjusted line yards allowed (2.13) and RB yards per carry allowed (5 YPC) the biggest I can recall. Those numbers scream positive regression, so I will likely be taking the fade-and-pray technique with Taylor for consecutive weeks. 

Nyheim Hines needs a better gamescript than this hobbled Jets offense can provide. He played nine snaps last week in a Colts win after 39 in Week 1.

In Week 2, T.Y. Hilton dropped one of the easier 44-yard TD passes you will ever see in the NFL. Hilton burned his defender and was wide-ass open for a 35-plus-yard bomb from Rivers, but he simply dropped it. With Parris Campbell OUT, Hilton and Cox are in line for another big usage day. The other Colts WR to consider if you are playing a Milly Maker-sized GPP is rookie Michael Pittman, who saw 5 targets with Campbell OUT. He and Zach Pascal will absorb those snaps, with Pittman running 26 routes to post 4-37-0. I don’t think anyone is going to mess with Hilton again after the heartache of last week, so I will have him on at least one of my three-max GPP teams. At home, priced down to $5.7k in a great matchup, Hilton would normally be the chalk, so let’s enjoy him going off for us at around 5% ownership. 



  • LB Matthew Adams has been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game against the Jets with an ankle injury. Frank Reich told the media earlier in the week that Adams will be out for a few weeks so seeing him ruled out this week after not practising all week should not come as a surprise.
  • Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin is set to miss his second game in a row after being a game day inactive last week with an illness. Ya-Sin missed this week’s practice with the illness and Frank Reich revealed today Ya-Sin had a procedure this week and that the team is optimistic he will return soon.
  • Tight end Jack Doyle has been designated as QUESTIONABLE for the game this Sunday against the Jets after managing to improve each day, from not practising Wednesday to being a full practice participant today. Doyle is listed as questionable so could still miss out but it is looking optimistic for him playing Sunday.
  • Safety Julian Blackmon remains limited as he has done all year as he returns to full fitness from tearing his ACL in December. The good news is even though Balckmon was limited all week he doesn’t have an injury designation for the game.
  • Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner missed practice today with a back injury but doesn’t have an injury designation for Sunday’s game so it appears to be relatively minor but it should be something to monitor going forward if it continues to be a niggling injury.

CORE PLAYS: Colts D, Hilton, Taylor
GPP ONLY: Cox (core if Jack Doyle is OUT)

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks

DAL +5. O/U: 55.5
DAL: 25 | SEA: 31

Pace and playcalling 

Not a ton of analysis or surprises here with these defenses ranking 30th and 31st in YPA against. Dallas is playing at the league’ fastest pace, while Seattle continues to play slow but ultra-efficient, and this year the Seahawks have gone more pass-heavy. I feel like this game is a lot like last week with Atlanta/Dallas: Everyone knows it is the game to stack, but somehow not everyone full stacks or even a 3-2 or 3-3. In my three-max, I will likely stack this thing two ways.




Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Quinton Dunbar (questionable, knee) is “ready to play.”. Dunbar has allowed 13 rec. for 212 yards in coverage so not sure how much he helps. Maybe it is injury-related. He stays on his left side, which means he will see Michael Gallup for about 60% of snaps. 

SEA, DE Rasheem Green is OUT. Bruce Irvin, who tore his ACL against the Patriots is on IR. For all the talk about the Dallas OL, the SEA DL is just as screwed. They were already 24th in adjusted sack rate (1 sack). 

Neiko Thorpe is doubtful 

Dak Prescott posted a career-best 43 FK point in Week 2 on the back of three rushing touchdowns, Lost in that was 450 yards passing on nearly 10 YPA. Seattle has allowed 450 and 397 passing yards over the first two weeks to Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. Offensive line issues or not, he is a top option once again. 

We know all about Ezekiel Elliott as a stud runner, we just always wanted more in the way of passing work. That is what kept him behind Saquon on most people’s draft boards. Well, he has run 61 routes in two games, the most of any RB. He is getting 5.5 targets p/g, up from 4.5 last season which has yielded 4.5-35 on average. Even with Dak vulturing 3 TDs from him he still leads with 14 RZ touches (5 GL, 2nd). Per Saber Sim, Dak and Zeke actually correlate higher than any two players. Here are the 3 highest correlated players per our optimizer

Dak Prescott

DK Metcalf

Tyler Lockett

Amari Cooper is my WR3 on the slate, behind DK and Nuk (raw points). Cooper is dominating team targets 28.5% targets and 35% of MS Air yards, so don’t be scared off by the presence of CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup.

Speaking of Lamb, he is my WR4 on the slate (noticing a theme?). Seattle has been ripped by slot WRs, including a career-high 179 yards to Julian Edelman

Michael Gallup will have the lowest ownership % of this trio and should be considering usage rates and production (11.4% target share) 

Dalton Schultz surprised me (everyone) with  9-88-1. This feels very “point-chasey”, but we know Dak likes his TE, even targeting Jason Witten last year (14.4% target, 17.7% RZ target share). 

The Cowboys will be without starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (knee) and tackle Tyron Smith (neck) are both listed as questionable.??????




Chris Carson posted 108 yards and a touchdown on 67% of snaps, up from 47% in week one. He is also running more routes, seeing more targets, up 1.5 p/g from 2019. We are not expecting him to score a receiving TD per game (3 in 2 games), but his weighted opportunity and RZ usage are what we want from an RB at his price point. Kyle Murray has him projected at around 14%, which isn’t as low as I expected. RBs come along for the ride in these ultra-high total games, putting Carson firmly in play. 

D.K. Metcalf is my WR1 on the slate with Chidobe Awuzie OUT.  I have a TON of him 

Tyler Lockett has continued his ULTRA efficiency of 2019, catching 15-of-16 RW3 targets for 159 yards and a score. I have him on some game stacks, just hoping DK gets the TDs because I expect them both to go off. 


CORE PLAYS: DK Metcalf, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel ElliottDak Prescott, Russell WilsonChris Carson 

GPP ONLY: Tyler Lockett, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schult

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

DET 5.5. O/U: 54.5
DET: 24 | AZ: 30.5

Pace and playcalling

The Cardinals have run a ton of plays in their first two games (75.5) while operating at the league’s third-fastest neutral pace. Detroit has also played quickly, playing at a consistently fast pace in all situations while passing at the eighth-highest rate. That pass rate jumps to 81% when they are down by 3 or more points, which makes this a game to stack. 

In 2019, Aarizona ran a league-high 31% of offensive snaps out of four-WR sets, with the next highest team at 8%. That has come way down this season to 12%, second to Buffalo (20%). Like most, I did not think the addition of another (stud) WR would take them out of 4-WR sets, but that is the case after 2 games. They have run 2-WR sets on 40% of plays, with Larry Fitzgerald playing 79% of snaps, second to DeAndre Hopkins at 96%. That shift has led to Christian Kirk playing more outside (slot rate is down to 17% from 34% in 2019), while Fitz stays as the primary “inside WR” (83% slot rate). 


Matthew Stafford gets Kenny Golladay back for a projected shootout in the desert. Over his last 10 starts with Babytron, he is averaging 23.32 fantasy points per game (17.17 without). Facing a SF team without Deebo Samuel and mostly without George Kittle (who got hurt), and then Washington, this Arizona defense has not been tested so far. Stafford has done well outside of the NFC North. In his last 10 games outside the division, he has averaged over 4.0 points per game more than in the division. These teams met in the desert last year as well, which was the T.J. Hockenson Game (6-131-1), ending in a tie in overtime, which is important to factor in when looking at those stats. 

If we like this game to shootout, then we should like D’Andre Swift as a run-back to our Kyler Murray teams in DK GPPs. Swift has 5 targets in each game so far, running 37 routes, compared to just 13 total for Adrian Peterson, 9 of which came in Week 1. Swift has seen 33% of the Lions’ RZ opportunities and 50% of their goal-line attempts (1). He also dropped the TD pass to beat the Bears, which would have added 11 fantasy points and had us looking at him completely differently as a top-12 PPR back. Using logic with coaches is not +e/v, but I can’t help but think they use Swift more with their season on the line at 0-2. If not, they should really examine why they used the third pick in the second round on him. 

Kenny Golladay should see a lot of Patrick Peterson, who went back to shadowing the opponent’s best WR last week when he followed Scary Terry McLaurin for 68% of his routes (3-51-1 in coverage on 4 targets). Peterson is not someone to fear anymore, especially a guy as big and physical as the 6-4 Golladay. 

Marvin Jones also needs Kenny G — Jones’ PPG has dipped by nearly 4.0 points without Golladay since the start of 2018. It makes sense — he is best as the flanker or Z, with Golladay keeping the opponent’s best CB busy as well as the attention of the safeties. 

T.J. Hockenson owners may not be as excited to see Golladay back, seeing his FPPG jump to 13.4 in the two games. We loved playing tight ends against Arizona last year, so logically attacked them again in Weeks 1 and 2. They got let off the hook when George Kittle was hurt, and it is hard to judge Logan Thomas when his QB can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Hockenson is first in yards per target and third in fantasy points per opportunity. 


Kyler Murray is running, ladies and gentlemen. The cheat code is unlocked. QBs with far inferior passing skills have rolled to QB1 finishes due to their rushing, which makes Murrray’s ceiling as high as we have seen this side of that Lamar Jackson guy in Baltimore. Murray is averaging 10.5 carries, 79.0 yards and 1.5 TDs on the ground this season. Detroit has generated no pass rush, which should allow Kyler to post his best day through the air. If you can point to any blemish, it is his efficiency under pressure (30%, 26th), compared to 74% when clean (11th). 

Kenyan Drake has posted 65 yards and 95 total yards against San Francisco and Washington. Detroit is trying to outpace Carolina in rushing defense futility, allowing a league-worst 5.81 adjusted line yards and 6.92 RB yards per carry, They are also 30th-32nd in open-field rank, stuffed ranking, and second-level yards. What is incredible about the adjusted line yards stat is it removes rushes of 11-plus yards. So that number is with the big Aaron Jones rushes taken out. Drake should be very popular (at least 27% ownership), as both his matchup and price are awesome. 

Christian Kirk (4.5 targets per game, 8.3 in 2019) was declared OUT. DeAndre Hopkins has 8 and 14 receptions in his first two games, and those were with Kirk in the lineup. Detroit has been decimated by injuries, including offseason acquisition Desmond Trufant, who along with first-round pick Jeff Okudah was supposed to improve the No. 28 pass DVOA. Trufant practiced lightly Thursday and then was downgraded to doubtful, which is normally the kiss of death. What Week 1 showed us is Kyler Murray is not against locking into one WR and delivering 15-plus targets to him. Last season, he only targeted a WR 10 or more times on eight occasions (five of them to Kirk), maxing out at 13 way back in Week 1 to Larry Fitzgerald. That means we could see 16 or dare I say 18-20 targets for Hopkins against the rookie Okudah and second-year Amani Oruwariye, who has allowed more 2.0 fantasy points per target. Nuk should be the most popular WR on the slate and will likely be in the Sunday a.m. cash core.

Fitz will go up against fellow veteran Darryl Roberts inside. With Kirk out, he is in play, which is not something I expected to say this season. He has converted on 11 of his 12 targets, but they are pretty pathetic targets at this point. He is averaging 1.15 yards per route run (87th), 7.0 YPT (72nd), and 7.6 YPR (100th). The goal here would be his Week 1 line (7-50-0), adding a TD, which would give us 18 FP at $4.6k in a Kyler stack at 3-4%. 

CORE PLAYS: Drake, Hopkins, Murray (all three are cash game plays, I will update Sunday when I decide how to get our exposure)
GPP ONLY: (Stafford-Golladay-Jones stack), (Stafford-Hockenson-Swift stack), Fitzgerald

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos

TB -6. O/U:43.5
TB: 24.5 | DEN: 18

Pace and playcalling

Tampa Bay has been a pass-funnel due to a tough run D recently, leading the league in pass rate against in 2019 (78.54%). That is what makes them such a tough draw this year — the TB run defense is still awesome (2.55 RB YPC allowed, tie for first), only now the pass D doesn’t offer as much relief. Still, teams have thrown at a 75.79% rate against the Buccaneers this season (fifth), as that is the path of least resistance (7.2 yards per attempt). Denver already passes at the 11th-highest rate (TB, 12th), which gives this one a chance to reach its low 43.5 total. 

Bucs played 27 snaps last week up at least seven points, which gave us more info on this Tom Brady-led offense. They passed at a 57% rate, compared to 70% when training by at least seven against New Orleans — very logical, which tells us we need Denver to do a bit more than their 17.5 PPG average to get a TB stack that is going to win a GPP. They have played at good pace, including the league’s fastest pace during those 27 plays up by at least seven. Denver is a bit slower than league average, which I don’t see changing with all the injuries. 


Tom Brady is about what we thought at this point of his career. He is 30th in adjusted net yards per attempt (4.8) and 27th in QBR. He will likely get his 225 yards and a TD or two, but at his price that is not something I am excited about. His price is down from $6.5k to $6.1k, so we are getting closer to him making sense, I just don’t think this is the spot. 

Denver has allowed back to back 100-yard games to Derrick Henry and James Conner (4.54 RB yards per carry), and the gamescript should set up well for Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones again. Last week in the mother of all RB matchups, Fournette busted out on just 26 snaps (43%), up from 16% in Week 1 (31% for Jones after he saw 47% in Week 1). The people who celebrated in Week 1 after Jones posted 82 total yards on 19 touches (5 RZ), and the Fournette truthers alike are all wrong. Bruce Arians is notorious for playing RB roulette — for all we know, Jones’ carries dropped off due to his lost fumble (as we have seen before). The 14 touches Fournette  got against a non-Panthers team is not going to be enough for us in DFS, especially up at his new $6.2k price tag, up from $4.8k in Week 2. 

Chris Godwin has been cleared from the league’s concussion protocol. In his one game with Brady, GOATwin saw a team-high 7 targets (21% of team targets). He saw one of five red-zone targets, running 69% of his snaps from the slot. Through two games, TB has used 3-WR sets at 59%, 5% less than 2019. With both he and Mike Evans active and healthy, along with Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and the RB committee (12 combined RZ touches in two games), Godwin has a ton of competition for TDs. At his current price point ($7.9k on FD), I find it very hard to play him outside of Brady stacks in a Q or $4 Milly Maker. $6.7k on DK is still a bit pricey for me, but it makes more sense with it being full PPR. 

Mike Evans went off as expected in a smash spot without Godwin (7-104-1). Denver has been destroyed by outside WRs in two games, including 7-101-0 to Corey Davis, and 8-92-1 to Diontae Johnson. They also allowed rookie Chase Claypool 3-88-1 on three targets last week. With A.J. Bouye on IR, this is a young/not very good secondary. Michael Ojemudia is a third-round rookie who was exposed, allowing 6-148-2 last week. He and Bryce Callahan stay on their respective sides, so the Bucs can and likely will attack the rookie

I never understood the Rob Gronkowski thing in fantasy, after all the injuries, a year removed from football, and on a team with two Pro Bowl WRs and a league-average QB. Gronk has posted 2-11-0 on 4 targets (10% target share). Brady is going to get him a TD at some point, but that is not a reason to play him in DFS. 


  • WR Scott Miller (hip/groin) – Limited Participation
  • OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) – Did Not Participate
  • The Buccaneers were missing a key component to their pass rush from practice on Thursday as outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul went from “limited” to “did not participate” due to a knee injury.
  • T DonoVan Smith (knee) – Limited Participation
  • WR Justin Watson (shoulder) – Limited Participation


Jeff Driskel is an underrated fantasy option, posting 18.7 fantasy points last week in Pittsburgh without a true WR1. What is more impressive is he topped 18 points without any rushing production. In his three starts in Detroit last season, he rushed for 50.33 yards per game. He will be without Courtland Sutton again and for the remainder of the season, after the receiver landed on IR. In games with 40-plus snaps, he is averaging 20.46 points per game, making him a viable GPP candidate for this week. The issue is the TB D, which as predicted by many is one of the better defensive units in 2020. They gave up 16 fantasy points per game to Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater, ranking sixth in pass DVOA to back up the fantasy points per game rank (29th). Tampa Bay is tied for third in sacks and fourth in PFF pass rush grade, which along with a talented secondary makes this a tough matchup for Driskel. 

With Phillip Lindsay still OUT, Melvin Gordon is in line for a big workload again after grinding out 84 total yards on 21 touches in Pittsburgh. Looking at his receiving work, Gordon is running a ton of routes (sixth-most RB routes), but hasn’t seen many targets, coming in 22nd (3 targets per game). Looking back to Driskel’s starts last season, he targeted his RBs at a good rate, with J.D. McKissic seeing 9 targets in one of his three starts. Drew Lock Driskel have only targeted RBs on 11.4% of their attempts, the second-lowest rate thus far, but I think that increases after Sunday with TB allowing the second-most RB targets, receptions and yards. 

Jerry Jeudy also operates in the area of the field in which teams attack TB (70% slot rate). Per our new Advanced DvP tool, TB has allowed 11.7 FPPG to the left side, 3.4 to the right and 27.7 to the slot. The tool factors in RBs and TEs that line up as slot receivers, so you can’t just look at what slot WRs have done. That means Noah Fant is also set up well again (23.4% slot rate) with him running 23.4% of his routes from the slot. Jeudy has posted 4-56-0 and 4-62-0, despite three drops (tied for second) and a 53% catch rate (86th). He is set up to be the Broncos’ leader in target share with Sutton out (27.16% of team air yards). The biggest blemish after two games (besides the drops) is his usage in the red zone. KJ Hamler is the only receiver with a red-zone target. All the targets/touches have gone to RBs (11) and TEs (5).

Hamler was targeted seven times from Driskell, running about a quarter of his routes from inside as well. He caught 3-49-0 catching on 32 pass routes, which led all WRs. He is intriguing on DK at the $3k minimum. It is not often you find a minimum priced WR that has the potential to lead his team in targets, playing in a game that should see them trailing/passing. Hamler has an exciting profile for fantasy, for more info on this second round pick, check out our partner’s video scouting report



When asked about using the rookie, both Driskel and Nic Fangio were quick to praise him: 

“I’ve been anxious to get him out there and rolling,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said of Hamler on Sunday. “We can see that he can run and make some nice catches, including one right on our sideline. I’m excited to see him continue to grow and get back in the groove.”

“He’s dynamic,” quarterback Jeff Driskel said of Hamler on Sunday. “There were a couple plays you saw today where he came wide open on one-on-ones. He can change directions super fast. He’s a guy who made some plays today and he’s a talented player like all the other guys we have. We have a bunch of guys that we can throw to. We just have to get it to him.”

Tim Patrick will likely remain listed as one of Denver’s top receivers on the depth chart but, for fantasy football purposes, consider Jeudy and Hamler the top two receivers in the Broncos’ offense going forward. (Source: Broncos Wire) 

Hamler should stay away from Carlton Davis, who after looking at the passer rating heat map is a good thing. Driskell has also had some success throwing deep to the left side, so I am calling my shot, Hamler connects for a long pass play down the left side of the field from Driskel. 

Fant has broken out in a big way to start 2020. Posting 5-81-1 and 4-57-1 on 11 total targets. I would like to see more snaps, routes, targets before we put him in the TE1 tier (fourth-most expensive TE on DK this week). He has only seen 15.7% of team targets, but 30.0% of RZ targets, including two inside the 10. I love his talent, profile and opportunity with Sutton out, but he remains a GPP only play with the target share below 20%. 


CORE PLAYS: Hamler (I will likely put him on one of my three-max teams), TB D
GPP ONLY: Fant, Evans, Jeudy, Godwin, Driskel


Top Stacks: 

DAL/SEA (Don’t overthink this. Stack it)

DET/AZ (see above) Don’t forget Stafford/Marvin 



CASH Core (FD): Cam – Henry – Sanders- DK – NUK – CeeDee – Hurst – TB

CASH Core (DK):  Kyler – Sanders – Singletary – Amari – DK – Ceedee – Hurst 


The guys I have a lot of not in the CASH CORE: Ekeler, James Conner, Thielen, Drake, Carson, ARob, Ridley, Dionte, Logan Thomas  


Underweight – Nuk outside of cash, Taylor (scary after last week), 

Low(er) owned one-offs: Kelley, Sample, Hock, Allen/Brown Stack, Juju, Corey Davis 


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