DFS fantasy football is largely about value. In week two it was about being lucky as balls and using the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Larry Fitzgerald and Travis Benjamin together. Congrats, if you got super ridiculously lucky, then they were on your team and you won money.
But most people endured epic shit fests across the league, as would-be studs like Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Anderson, Jeremy Hill, Jimmy Graham and Keenan Allen all pooped the bed. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. It may sound like sour grapes, but the reality is fantasy football is a cruel mistress and there will be weeks where no one looks like they know what they’re doing.
Want to win the GPP and become an instant millionaire? You might have to throw one ugly ass roster at it. But that’ll cost you $20, and that’s just cray. The other way to get it done in the daily fantasy football scene is to just build a good team based off of pure logic. It worked somewhat in week one and after going completely the other way in week two, I have faint hope thing start to normalize a bit in week three. Maybe.
With that, let’s look at some solid value picks over at Fan Duel. For everything DraftKings, don’t miss out on our own Taylor Smith’s week 3 DFS primer. And here we go:
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos ($8.2k)
Let’s get one thing straight: value is tough to come buy on Fan Duel. If you want true value, I suggest DK or Victiv, where you can find some solid options at a dirt cheap price. I like FD just fine, but the pricing makes putting together the team you absolutely love much more difficult. Even so, I really like the value of ol’ Peyton in week three, as he’s a good $1k cheaper than the top price fantasy passer and has a shot at putting up similar numbers. The Lions have been awful on D thus far and Manning seemed to find life last week. Another 250+ yard and 2-3 touchdown game would make him a win at this price.
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers ($7.7k)
A mild step down is Rivers, who has done nothing but produce in the first two weeks. He had 404 yards in week one and in both games this year has had two touchdowns. He should be at the top of his game when the Bolts try to stave off a 1-2 start against the Vikings this week. It’s a road matchup that isn’t ideal, but he looked fine on the road in Cincy last week and the value is pretty nice.
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders ($7k)
Murray sounded off in week two to help make up for a shaky firs tweek and now I’m liking him in daily fantasy football for week three. The biggest reason is he’s facing a Browns defense that still is not very good against the run, but his price is also solid. I’d prefer him to be considerably cheaper still, but this is not bad compared to $9k for the top tier backs on Fan Duel.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots ($6.7k)
A key aspect of daily fantasy football advice, regardless of where you play, is getting guys who either are locks for points or get a lot of targets. Role is always key and Dion Lewis maintained a big role even with LeGarrette Blount back in week two. That could change, cuz Patriots, but he’s basically a more stable Shane Vereen right now – provided he stops fumbling the damn football. I like the price for what he brings to the table and this week he’s at home versus the Jags. Jacksonville shut down the run game last week, so it’s possible Lewis is very active as a receiver again in this one.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers ($6.5k)
Stewart has not been short on role through the first two weeks, but two things have been annoying: he hasn’t been very productive and Cam Newton is running a shit ton. Not good for J-Stew, I know, but this week he’s a strong value play and faces a bad Saints defense at home. He will lose goal-line work to Cam here and there, but the guy is getting 15+ touches a game and I think he finally hits the end-zone in week three.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots ($7.7k)
Few wide receivers are as stable as Edelamn, who has 11 catches in each of his first two games. I genuinely believe Tom Brady and the Patriots want to take out an unprecedented amount of anger on the NFL this year, and why not get Edelman the single-season record for receptions in the process? Maybe that’s a stretch, but nothing so far suggests he can’t get 11 catches again and maybe even score. I mean, its the Jaguars in Foxboro, so…
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($6.5k)
Let’s drop further down to Maclin, who has a good role but has yet to score or blow up in any fashion this year. His matchups and game flow might be dictating that a bit, as he had Aqib Talib locking him down last week and in week one Travis Kelce did all the mashing of heads for KC. This week I like Maclin to do some work on Monday Night Football against the Packers. Green Bay’s main problem has been run defense or stopping quick receivers, and with a young secondary I think Maclin is the guy they struggle with the most this week. Regardless, Maclin is a potential WR1 at a very good price.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers ($5.7k)
Let’s drop down one more peg to Jones, who was a pariah just a few months ago and is now doing work like it’s 2013. Jones has three scores in two games and is pretty much Green Bay’s #2 guy in the passing game. As shocking as it is, it’s the reality and we know Aaron Rodgers can now make anyone look amazing. Jones isn’t going to be a weekly 100+ yard or 10-catch threat, but he can score at any time. I like him for 4-5 catches and another touchdown against the Chiefs.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks ($6.3k)
People are down on Graham after sparing everyone to death with one lousy catch last week, but let’s remember he DID score in week one. So, one solid week and one shitty one. I’ll forgive it and note the value (a cool $2k cheaper than Rob Gronkowski) and take my chances on Graham destroying the “defense” the Chicago Bears bring to the table.
Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions ($5.1k)
If I’m taking a deep dive anywhere, it’s at tight end. I think I’m either paying all the way up for Gronk, paying less for Graham or Kelce or just going total dumpster diving mode. Ebron lets you do that and you don’t need to shoulder all of the shame. He’s score twice to start the year and has a clear role in Detroit’s passing game. Also, Denver will be so worried about Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Ebron can’t help but fall into production again this week.
Josh Lambo, K, San Diego Chargers ($4.5k)
Kickers are a nightmare and few daily fantasy football sites outside of Fan Duel have them. In that same breath, if you pick the right one, they can give you a nice little boost if some of your other picks shit the bed. Lambo should be your pick, as he’s the minimum and has 16 total points (9 and 7) through the first two weeks. That’s pretty stable for a kicker, even if he did miss an extra point in week one. San Diego’s offense is what makes him a really nice option, as the Bolts move the ball well and if they’re not scoring touchdowns he’ll at least get 2-3 field goal tries. There’s no reason to use any other kicker this week.
Buffalo Bills DEF ($4.5k)
Rex Ryan and co. have to be pretty upset about getting slapped around like a bunch of bitches on Sunday, so expect them to unleash their rage on the Dolphins this week. Not only is Miami banged up, but they couldn’t run the ball in any fashion last week. Now watch them try the Bills on for size.
Oakland Raiders DEF ($4.3k)
Oakland could be fun with Josh McCown back under center for the Browns this week. They’re only $200 cheaper than a much more stable (and possibly elite) Bills defense, though.