Once again, Draft Kings can make you a millionaire. This week’s top prize is $1.2 million ($20 entry fee), in the “Millionaire Maker” game that begins Sunday at 1pm ET. Last week’s winner rostered the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Travis Benjamin and Larry Fitzgerald, which is some lucky trash if I’ve ever seen it.
Any winner of DFS will need a little luck, but that’s just disturbing. Allow me to try to help you along the way as we get fully primed for the third week of daily fantasy football action:
5 Sneaky Sleepers
Last week’s 5 were Carson Palmer (win!), Lance Dunbar (meh), Eric Decker (win!), Darren Fells (MEGA FAIL) and the Saints defense (NOPE). We’ll do better this week, trust me. TRUST ME.
QB Cam Newton ($6,800), Carolina Panthers
Have you seen the Saints? They’re horrible! Cam Newton’s passing numbers were far from stellar last week (completing only 48% of his throws), but he really makes his hay in the running game. He ran for 76 yards and a TD against Houston, which helped him to 28.4 points on DK. In case you missed it, New Orleans allowed Jameis Winston and friends to walk into their dome and grab a win on Sunday, and they appear headed for a miserable season. Considering the inherent advantage of using a running QB on Draft Kings (6 points for a TD, just 4 for a passing TD), Newton’s price is too strong to ignore.
RB Devonta Freeman ($4,600), Atlanta Falcons
Tevin Coleman is sidelined, which means Devonta Freeman should see the lion’s share of the carries for the Falcons in Dallas this week. Despite averaging a measly 2.1 yards-a-carry on 12 totes a week ago, he still managed 15.9 fantasy points thanks to a rushing TD as well as 4 catches for 34 yards. The Cowboys defense has performed admirably so far this season, but the Falcons boast the kind of offense that can put up points. I like Freeman as a nice, cheap source of RB production.
WR Pierre Garcon ($5,200), Washington Redskins
Targeting the Washington passing attack is a dicey proposition given the shakiness of the quarterback, but I feel fairly comfortable with Garcon. New York’s defense isn’t scaring anybody, and I think Pierre can put up another solid effort.
TE Charles Clay ($3,100), Buffalo Bills
Clay will be returning to take on his old team down in South Florida this week. Tight end is a largely miserable fantasy position, so you’re kinda taking a shot in the dark if you decide to use anyone not named Rob Gronkowski. He caught just three balls last week, but he was the second-most targeted Bills pass-catcher (6), so there’s reason for further optimism here. I like the #RevengeFactor here.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST ($2,900)
In case you somehow missed it, the Cowboys are starting Brandon Weeden at quarterback this week. Have you watched Weeden play? He started once last year and it was arguably the worst performance of the season. ATL doesn’t have a particularly inspiring defense or anything, but Weeden should be good for a couple of turnovers, at least.
4 HARD Fades
2 hits, 2 misses last week with Doug Martin and Owen Daniels doing nothing, but Tom freakin’ Brady and Brandon Marshall coming through.
QB Ben Roethlisberger ($7,200), Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben’s enjoyed a stellar start to his season, particularly last week when he completely ripped the 49er defense to absolute shreds. However, a road date with the Rams is a substantially tougher task. Sure, the Rams got beat by the stupid Redskins in Week 2, but I think they’ll put forth a much stronger effort this week at home. Pittsburgh certainly has the horses to make this a horrible choice, but I doubt I’ll be having any shares of Ben.
RB Matt Forte ($7,300), Chicago Bears
Not a lot of explanation necessary here. The Bears are going to be on the road for the Seahawks’ home opener, and the Seahawks aren’t going to be too happy about their 0-2 start. Factor in Jimmy Clausen being Chicago’s starting QB and you’ve got a rough task for Forte this week. FAAAAAADE.
WR Brandin Cooks ($7,100), New Orleans Saints
Man. I was all about Cooks last week against the Bucs, and he burned me somethin’ fierce. Yuck. Drew Brees’ arm seems on the verge of completely falling off, and I don’t trust them to suddenly get everything right on the road in Carolina. Until further notice, screw you, Saints.
TE Travis Kelce ($5,000), Kansas City Chiefs
The Packers completely shut Jimmy Graham down on Sunday night, which doesn’t make me feel great about Kelce’s chances of success at Lambeau this coming Monday. Alex Smith is just dreadful, and while I still think Kelce’s pretty awesome, this feels like too much of a risk.
3 Top Stacks
Last week’s stacks were Arizona (good), New York Giants (pretty good) and the Saints (SOOOOOO BAD).
Seattle Seahawks offense vs. Chicago
QB Russell Wilson ($7,000), RB Marshawn Lynch ($7,400), WR Doug Baldwin ($4,000), TE Jimmy Graham ($5,800)
As mentioned above, the Hawks are going to come out angry due to their suboptimal start to the season. Kam Chancellor is returning, and I think the whole team responds positively. This is going to be a massacre.
New England Patriots offense vs. Jacksonville
QB Tom Brady ($7,700), RB Dion Lewis ($4,200), WR Julian Edelman ($7,000), TE Rob Gronkowski ($7,400)
The Jags have looked pesky this season, but the Patriots once again look like the league’s top team. They went into Buffalo and stomped the Bills’ optimism into oblivion, and I’m not making the mistake of fading them again.
Arizona Cardinals offense vs. San Francisco
QB Carson Palmer ($6,600), RB David Johnson ($4,000), WR Larry Fitzgerald ($5,800), WR John Brown ($5,100)
Another tough road test for the Niners this week off the heels of being smoked in Pittsburgh a week ago. The Cards’ offense looks wonderful so far, and I think being at home offers them another boost.
2 Rookies to Watch
Ameer Abdullah was horrendous last week. Marcus Mariota was fine in a losing effort.
QB Marcus Mariota ($6,100), Tennessee Titans
Week 2 was a bit of a rude awakening for the Heisman winner following a dream debut in Week 1, but he’s put up solid DK numbers overall. He’ll be making his home debut this week against a Colts defense that has looked clueless thus far, and could be without star corner Vontae Davis. He’s not going to ever be the type to turn the ball over a ton, so he’s a fairly safe, decent option.
RB Matt Jones ($4,000), Washington Redskins
Jones has burst onto the scene, averaging a robust 6.0 yards-per-carry through his first two career games. The Giants defense can be vulnerable, and I’d imagine Jones will continue to siphon carries away from incumbent starter Alf Morris.
1 Swell Lineup
QB Tyrod Taylor ($5,800), Buffalo Bills
RB Dion Lewis ($4,200), New England Patriots
RB Marshawn Lynch ($7,400), Seattle Seahawks
WR Brandon Marshall ($6,200), New York Jets
WR Doug Baldwin ($4,000), Seattle Seahawks
WR Antonio Brown ($8,900), Pittsburgh Steelers
TE Rob Gronkowski ($7,400), New England Patriots
FLEX: Charles Clay ($3,100), Buffalo Bills
D/ST: New York Jets ($3,000)