The Fantasy Football Ghost directs us to some intriguing values to look for in DraftKings NFL cash plays for Week 3!
Week 2 wasn’t nearly as generous to me as Week 1 was, but I still managed to guide us through to 2.6 times value for the top players I suggested for DraftKings NFL cash games. This put me just over the benchmark of 2.5 times value I had set for myself at the beginning of the season. While it isn’t an excuse, Week 2 is possibly the hardest week to predict as you are given just the smallest hint of what teams are looking to do this season, and then you have to try to extrapolate that going forward. One data point simply isn’t enough, but we did it! At least now we have a little more data to work with going forward and henceforth we will begin to see who the contenders are and who the pretenders are.
As a reminder, I will put forth a few players each week that I think you should work into your cash line ups. Some weeks I might only have a single player at a position, the next week I may have three, it is all going to depend on the strength of the slate, the values present on a given week and the match ups. The following week I will recap how my picks fared. A successful week will be determined by the players I suggest averaging 2.5 times their value, while an unsuccessful week will be an average under 2.5 times value.
This week I have decided to feature some projections from Dave Caban’s wonderful Weekly Stat Explorer which may help provide some additional context to each of the players I highlight in this piece.
DraftKings NFL Cash Plays for Week 3
Kirk Cousins – $6,800
The obvious play at quarterback on the main slate will be Patrick Mahomes, but his ownership will likely be in the stratosphere. This will be a great pivot point for owners looking to break away from the herd. In selecting Kirk Cousins, owners can take advantage of a match up against Buffalo that will pit him against the league’s bottom-ranked defense in terms of passing DVOA. The Bills are also giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, due primarily to the fact that they are allowing an average quarterback rating of 130.7, the second-worst average in the league, while Cousins currently have the sixth-highest passer rating. Minnesota also boasts the largest spread of any game thus far in the season, coming in as 16.5 point favorites, likely making this a high scoring affair for Cousins.
Patrick Mahomes vs. San Francisco – Kansas City has their quarterback of the future in Mahomes. San Francisco however has a defense simply struggling to keep up with right now, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans – The Saints are an open wound on defense this year, allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and sporting the league’s second-worst defensive DVOA against the pass.
Jordan Howard – $6,500
Jordan Howard isn’t off to the most amazing season he’s ever had but things appear to be looking up with his face off against Arizona. The Cardinals resemble a doormat thus far in the season, allowing the league’s most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Arizona also has the league’s third-worst defensive DVOA against the rush while Chicago has the seventh-best rushing DVOA. While it’s one thing to be fairly terrible against the rush, the Cardinals are also susceptible through the air to opposing running backs, coming with the league’s second-worst defensive passing DVOA against the position. Howard, meanwhile, is averaging four receptions per game, good for just shy of 30 receiving yards per game. Howard isn’t the cheapest RB on the slate, but he’s a great value for the potential points he may put up this week.
Other Running Backs:
Alvin Kamara vs. Atlanta – The Falcons have the second-worst defensive DVOA against the rush while Kamara has the seventh-best rushing DVOA in the league. This could get ugly.
Lamar Miller vs. New York (Giants) – The Giants have the third-worst defensive DVOA against the rush and Miller is, somewhat surprisingly, the eight-highest ranked running back in terms of rushing DVOA. This has value all over it.
Keelan Cole – $5,600
While other wide receivers might outperform Keelan Cole this week, the match up he has against Tennessee is oozing with potential. As the de facto WR1 for Jacksonville, Cole will face a Titans team that has the fourth-worst defensive DVOA against opposing WR1s. Tennessee is also allowing the second-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position this season, meaning that even if Cole isn’t viewed as the WR1, there is still a lot of meat on the bone for him to gnaw at. Opponents have averaged 10.4 yards per pass attempt to the position against the Titans defense, the fifth-highest average in the NFL, while targeting the position with 78% of all passes, the second-highest target rate in the league. The Jaguars, meanwhile, are gaining 8.9 yards per pass attempt to their wide receiver, the sixth-highest average in the NFL. According to Dave Caban’s Weekly Stat Explorer, Cole is projected to score somewhere between 13 fantasy points on the low side, and 24 points on the upper end of the spectrum, with an average of about 19 points, putting him just outside of four times value if he performs simply as expected. No matter how you slice it, that’s an excellent deal!
Other Wide Receivers:
Julio Jones vs. New Orleans – In the game with the second highest total on the slate, the Saints have the league’s third-worst defensive DVOA rank against opposing WR1s and allow the league’s most fantasy points to the position. Jones is in position to feast.
Ryan Grant vs. Philadelphia – The Eagles have the league’s second-worst DVOA against WR2s and are giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Here’s a great spot to save some cash with a sneaky play.
George Kittle – $4,500
Even a down week against Detroit in which he only scored 4.2 DraftKings points is not enough to keep George Kittle’s price down coming into a match up with Kansas City. In a game with the highest total of the week, Kittle saw his price rise by $700 even after underperforming last week. The Chiefs are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season with an average of six receptions and 100 receiving yards surrendered over the past two games. Kansas City has allowed 13.4 yards per target to the position thus far, the third-most yards allowed to the position. San Francisco, meanwhile, is averaging 8.9 yards per target to their tight ends, the eighth-highest average. Look for San Francisco to build upon game plan that Pittsburgh implemented by heavily targeting Jesse James, especially if Marquise Goodwin isn’t able to suit up come Sunday.
Other Tight Ends:
Will Dissly vs. Dallas – Dallas is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the tight end position of the teams on this slate. Seattle is also gaining 10.6 yards per target to the points.
Travis Kelce vs. San Francisco – The “other” tight end in the Kansas City/San Francisco match up, Kelce is going against the lowest-ranked defense against tight ends, in terms of defensive DVOA, that is allowing 9.0 yards per target to the position, the eight-highest average in the league.
Good luck to everyone in their DraftKings cash games this weekend. Come back next week to see how these players performed.