Hopefully, you avoided the devastating injuries from Week 2. If not and one or more torpedoed your lineup, that’s OK. It happens. The beauty of DFS is there’s always next week.
Now in Week 3, I’m looking to capitalize on injury situations and take advantage of the data provided thus far.
Note: FanDuel’s main slate no longer includes the Monday nighter, so only Sunday games will be discussed below.
Play of the Week and Value Option: Ryan Tannehill vs. Cleveland ($7,400)
A Fins-Browns “showdown” doesn’t exactly have shootout potential. But Tannehill should be asked to do the heavy lifting for Miami, especially with Arian Foster (groin) likely sidelined. Moving the ball vs. Cleveland shouldn’t prove difficult, as DeVante Parker (hamstring) is inching closer to 100%. Parker looked healthy last week en route to an 8-106 line, adding another dimension to the Fins offense.
Pay up for: Russell Wilson vs. San Francisco ($8,700)
The 49ers up-tempo offense allows greater play potential on the other side. Just last week, the Panthers ran a league-high 78 plays against Chip Kelly’s bunch. Wilson said this week that his ankle injury is “feeling better,” but he shouldn’t need to be at 100% to excel here. His last meeting vs. San Francisco turned up a 260-3 line and a cool 82.8% completion rate.
Tournament Target: Joe Flacco at Jacksonville ($7,600)
Through 2 weeks, only the Bengals, Rams and Vikings have posted a lower yards per carry than Baltimore. Their running game — led by an underwhelming tandem of Terrance West and Justin Forsett — looks broken.
Flacco, however, is coming off a 302-2-2 line in Cleveland. And this week, he gets a Jacksonville pass D that could be without CBs Prince Amukamara and Davon House. Showing a great rapport with Mike Wallace, Flacco -- who won't hurt for volume -- would carry plenty of upside against a depleted secondary.
Play of the Week: Melvin Gordon at Indianapolis ($7,100)
Priced in the mid-tier, Gordon should see the workload of a pricey RB with Danny Woodhead out.
Think 18-20+ touches. San Diego added Dexter McCluster this week, and he might steal some pass catching work. But Gordon — who’s impressed with 4.2 YPC on 38 rushes — will see the bulk of the work against a Colts defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to RBs.
Value Option: Frank Gore vs. San Diego ($5,700)
As a RB with 18 and 16 touches over the first 2 weeks, Gore’s simply too cheap. There’s nothing wrong with the matchup, either, as the Bolts sit last in Football Outsiders’ run defense rankings.
Pay up for and Tournament Target: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Chicago ($8,100)
The Bears were bit by the injury bug on Monday night. Repeatedly.
In this game, they’ll be without LB Lamarr Houston, LB Danny Trevathan and DT Eddie Goldman. That opens up a beautiful matchup for Elliott, who despite underwhelming thus far has seen 44 touches.
Play of the Week: Allen Robinson vs. Baltimore ($7,900)
There’s absolutely no reason to be concerned about Robinson. Last week he faced a truly elite CB in Jason Verrett, leading to a lowly 3-54 line on 5 targets. The week before, he caught 6 of 15 targets for 72 yards.
Of course, the TDs are missing, but we’ll bet on them arriving for a guy who scored 14 times in 2015. Baltimore lacks a shutdown CB and just surrendered a huge game to rookie Corey Coleman: 5 catches, 104 yards, 2 TDs.
Value Option: Tajae Sharpe vs. Oakland ($5,800)
Sharpe gets an underwhelming Oakland secondary that’s allowed the most fantasy points to WRs. The rookie’s coming off a poor 4-33 line, but he’s garnered 18 targets over the first 2 weeks. That’s 4 ahead of DeMarco Murray and 7 ahead of Delanie Walker. Carrying a relatively high floor, Sharpe is a fine cash game option.
Pay up for: Antonio Brown at Philadelphia ($9,500)
Nothin’ fancy here.
Brown posted a rare dud last week with 4 grabs for 39 yards. Still, he drew 11 targets, giving him double-digit looks in each of his past 12 games. He remains the safest bet in fantasy, and a matchup with a Philly secondary likely to remain without CB Leodis McKelvin doesn’t hurt.
Tournament Target: Amari Cooper ($7,700) at Tennessee
To this point, the Titans have defended RBs extremely well. They’ve allowed just under 3.5 YPC against Minnesota and Detroit.
Their pass D has been a different story, though. #1 WRs (Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones) have each gone over 100 yards against the Titans. Cooper should at least approach that mark with the help of volume (20 targets in 2 games) and big-play ability (18.9 yards per catch, backed up by 6 grabs of 40+ yards in 2015).
Play of the Week and Tournament Target: Dennis Pitta at Jaguars ($5,000)
Pitta checks in as our #1 $/point option at TE. Not only is he coming off a 12-target outing, but he’s playing substantial snaps for Baltimore (60% and 82%). Back healthy, Pitta’s proving he’s DFS worthy as 1 of Joe Flacco’s top weapons. Remember that Pitta has proven productive in the past, although his most recent line of note came in 2012 (61-669-7). That Steve Smith or Breshad Perriman has yet to emerge is certainly helpful.
Pay up for: Jordan Reed at Giants ($7,500)
If forced to choose between Reed and Olsen up top, I’d take Reed. But it’s unlikely I’ll go that route given the cheaper alternatives.
Of course, Reed carries plenty of upside, and his 1st TD of 2016 could be right around the corner. The Giants gave up the 2nd most fantasy points to TEs last season. Plus, Kirk Cousins’ targets could be funneled over the middle in an effort to avoid the Giants’ strength at corner.
Value Option: Jesse James at Eagles ($4,500)
James’ price has yet to move, but that’s nothing to complain about. He found the end zone last week and has earned 7 and 5 targets over the first 2 weeks. The Eagles boast a solid TE defense dating back to 2015, but playing James — a decent TD bet — allows you to load up elsewhere.
Play of the Week: Dolphins vs. Browns ($4,600)
Value Option: Dolphins vs. Browns ($4,600)
Pay up for: Seahawks vs. 49ers ($5,400)
Tournament Target: Cowboys vs. Bears ($4,600)
Josh Lambo at Colts ($4,500)