– John Bandinelli
Hopefully your week three was better than mine. The week wasn’t a total loss thanks to the Monday-Thursday slate. I’m not apologizing for the picks that didn’t work out last week. Every player that goes into these columns each week are in my own lineups in one way or another. So now the ‘way off week three” is behind us, it’s on to better things this week. We have a couple nice matchups and injuries to work with this week. Let’s get right into it.
Cam Newton (CAR) $7800
Newton and company had a rough week three. The Panthers are now looking ahead to week four. Playing against a Atlanta defense that has trouble getting to quarterbacks and just gave up 32 points to Drew Brees and New Orleans. Despite the 8 sacks last week, the offensive line has improved a little bit this season (it’s hard to tell, I know). Cam is hungry and going to feast this week.
Matt Stafford (DET) $7300
Stafford has been excelling when playing against weak defenses since last season and I don’t see any reason that changes here. Matt needs to hit 25-30 points or more to make him valuable for me this week against the Bears.
Kirk Cousins (WAS) $6500
Cousins plays a soft Cleveland defense this week that has allowed at least 16 points to QBs this season. I think Cousins exceeds his value this week. He puts up a crazy number of attempts (averaging 40+ a game). There’s a high floor for Kirk this week.
Trevor Siemian (DEN) $5400
Tampa can be a tough team to run the ball against and if C.J. can’t get going early the Broncos could be airing the ball out a bit to put points up. I don’t think he has a week like last week against Cincinnati but if he gets 20 points he hits his value for me.
High End/Solid Starts
Le’Veon Bell (PIT) $7500
In his first week back from suspension last year Bell play 60 snaps and Williams played 5. I don’t know if the difference will be that severe this week but it could happen. Tomlin said Bell has stayed well conditioned and is getting the full workload against Kansas City this week. Some people might see this as a risky play against a stingy run defense this week; I see it as an opportunity. I have no idea where his ownership will be this week, but I’m willing to pay up for a superstar back with fresh legs in week 4. Go ask anyone if they’re going to leave Brady on their bench next week. No doubts here, plug him in.
Ezekiel Elliot (DAL) $6900
Elliot has gotten better every week this season and San Francisco has allowed two 100 yard rushers in the last to games. Put those two together and you see why Ezekiel is on my list again. His price hasn’t changed and neither has my confidence in him.
DeMarco Murray (TEN) $6800
Win or Lose, regardless of whatever else happens with the rest of the Titans, Murray finds a way to put up points. He’s had 20+ each game through the first three weeks this season. He has a tough matchup this week against Houston on the road but with J.J. Watt out I think that opens up things for Murray to have another solid week.
Melvin Gordon (SD) $6300
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say much here. San Diego plays at home this week. Gordan has been great through 3 weeks. Vegas lines have this game at 51-52 o/u. San Diego has the advantage at home. His price is relatively low. The Saints rank last in the league against RBs. He’ll be highly owned this week so you might want to fade to someone else to separate yourself from the pack in tournaments but this matchup is too juicy to pass up for me.
Carlos Hyde (SF) $4200
Hyde is the number one guy for the 49ers and I think he has a high floor this week. At this price he is a steal. Other teams have had trouble running against the cowboys but San Francisco is committed to the rushing game. If they can make it work there is a lot of upside for Hyde this week. He put up 20+ points two out of the last three weeks. I think his floor is 12-15 this week and he could definitely surpass if he can find the endzone.
Jordan Howard (CHI) $3700
Jeremy Langford is out 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury so the backfield is all Jordan Howard’s for now (The Bears picked up Joique Bell this week). Chicago has a tough matchup with Detroit, at home. If the Lions get up early we won’t be seeing to much rushing from Chicago, luckily for Howard he can catch! He had 4 receptions on 6 targets for almost 50 yards last week. I think Jordan’s floor is 10-12 this week. Get ‘em while he’s still cheap. This could be a Spencer Ware week one type of play. He could be highly owned and put up numbers.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) $8400
Hopkins hopes to have bounce back week after being double covered in the shutout last week. The Titans have allow a 100 yard receiver in each game of this season, so their secondary is clearly vulnerable. I think Texans need to find a way of getting the ball to DeAndre if they want to be successful. People be off of him this week because of the bad week he had. I’m hoping for a big game and low ownership out of Hopkins this week.
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) $7100
Like DeAndre Hopkins, Kelvin here had a terrible game last week. Putting up a big fat goose egg. The Vikings defense is good, maybe even great. The Falcons defense is neither, maybe okay at best. Look for Kelvin to put last week behind him and puts since numbers on the board against a vulnerable ATL defense.
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) $6400
Sanders is getting targeted over 30% on his routes and is getting more looks than teammate D. Thomas. Both guys had big games last week, Emmanuel is $300 cheaper and I think he has the higher upside. Sanders let his front office know that he was frustrated with the number of targets he was getting before last week’s game. Elway and company heard him and the evidence is in his stat line from last week (9/117/2). Expect something similar this week against a Tampa defense that ranks 25th against WRs this season.
Tyrell Williams (SD) $4400
Williams has seen the most targets in the end zone for the Chargers this season. San Diego is playing a Saints defense that allows a ton of points through the air. Antonio Gates is questionable this week and with only T. Benjamin in front of him on the depth chart this could be a great week for Tyrell; plus $4400 is a great price for this WR2.
Jamison Crowder (WAS) $4200
Crowder has put up double digit numbers every week so far this season and I expect that to continue. He is the clear cut number two wide out behind DeSean Jackson. He’s been getting 7-10 targets and 4-6 catches every game. He could be one of those touchdown dependant guys (He’s had 1 in the last 2 games) but, that makes him a red zone threat seeing over 30% of his targets inside the 20.
Greg Olsen (CAR)
Currently leads the Panthers in targets. He’s been getting 8-10 through the first three games of the season. Normally I don’t like to pay up for tight-ends but with some great value plays elsewhere I have room in some of my lineups to spend, so why not? Atlanta ranks 32nd in the league against TEs and he’s one of Newton’s favorite targets.
Hunter Henry (SD) $2700Like I mentioned earlier Antonio Gates is currently listed as doubtful. Cue 2016 second round pick Hunter Henry. He caught all 5 of his targets last week in his first NFL start. I assume that he has been working with the first team offense all week since Gates hasn’t been practicing. So the chemistry and trust should only improve for the rookie TE and Rivers. San Diego has plenty of weapons but has had few injuries; this opens the window for guys like Henry and Inman to step up and make plays. Home field advantage this week. I think Hunter reaches his value this week which is 10-12 points for me.
Cameron Brate (TB) $2800
With the departure of Austin Seferian-Jenkins the job is solely Brate’s now. (If you’re interested in ASJ, he was picked up by the Jets. Chan Gailey hasn’t been known to use TE receivers though so we’ll just keep one eye on that.) Brate saw 10 targets and made the most of them last week, finding the endzone twice. Save some dough here and spend up elsewhere.
The LA Rams travel east to an Arizona home game. It doesn’t get much better for a defense that is already performing well this season.
Mariota is turning into a turnover machine with 4 INTs and 2 fumbles on the year so far. The Texans defense isn’t great, but Mr. Mariota burned me against Oakland last week, so I’m rooting for Houston this week and they’re due for a good game in a decent matchup.
I think the Raiders train stops here this week. The Ravens defense has been able to to keep games close and keep their team in the game. This defense is severely underrated, they have 9 sacks and 5 picks this season and seem to be getting better every week. This week will be a real test for this unit. If like a cheap risky defense like me then take these guys.
That’s it for Week 4, as usual feel free to tweet me with lineup questions, start or sit advice and any other questions you may have about Daily Fantasy or DraftKings in general. Thanks for reading!
– John Bandinelli (Twitter)