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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Daily: Week 3 Walkthrough
Riding the Garbage Time Train to Payday

The final minute of the Jets/Dolphins game may go down as the most impressive minute of garbage time in the history of fantasy football. With the game clearly in hand and the majority of pleasantly surprised Jet fans heading for the parking lot, Jay Cutler and the inept Dolphin offense marched down the field to throw a meaningless three-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker as the clock expired.

In one inconsequential drive, Parker went from having a terrible day of three catches for 20 yards to eight receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. Cutler somewhat saved his owners with 220 yards and a score, and the Dolphins Met Life Stadium with at least some points in a game they should have dominated.

Fittingly, with perhaps a bit of karma for calling timeout down 20 with six seconds to play, placekicker Cody Parker shanked the extra point, and the Dolphins finished with six, not seven points on the day.

From a DFS perspective, we all learned two valuable lessons from this horrendous game. First, starting Jay Cutler is not for the faint of heart, and even the best matchups on paper can backfire when rolling with Cutty. Second, garbage points show up the same on the DFS scoreboard as points scored in a back and forth close game, and owners of Parker (two thumbs pointing at this guy) should not go on tilt until the final whistle blows.

The following lineup review is from a $30 winning ticket in the DraftKings $4.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire GPP contest from Sunday.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler
DraftKings Points: 12.7
Grade: D

Cutler and the Miami offense looked solid in their Week 2 victory over the Chargers in Los Angeles, while the Jets looked poised for a 0-16 season after getting thrashed by the Raiders in Oakland on September 17th.

All signs pointed to a big day for Cutler and the offense, with many respectable fantasy sites listing running back Jay Ajayi as the start of the week. Instead of a monster game of Cutler and the Phins throwing all over a Jets team that allowed 23 fantasy points to both Tyrod Taylor and Derek Carr, Cutler managed just 12 points on 220 yards and a touchdown.

My hope was for Cutler to have a big game against the Jets so I could use him again next week against the Saints. But after this performance, starting Cutler in any format, especially DFS, is too risky of a play. Sure, Cutler could toss five touchdown passes and have a career day in London, but he also could have jet lag like the Ravens and not get off the plane mentally.

Running Backs: Devonta Freeman & LeíVeon Bell
DraftKings Points: 47.6 combined points
Grade: A

Cutlerís inexpensive $6,100 salary afforded me the ability to invest in three expensive players, Devonta Freeman, LeíVeon Bell, and A.J. Green, with all three studs paying dividends. With three touchdowns in his first two games, Freeman was surprisingly inexpensive compared to other top running backs at $6,700. The matchup against the Lions was not attractive, but Freemanís usage in the red zone was too good to pass up. If he continues to be priced below $7k, I will continue to roll with Freeman in all formats.

Bellís usage in the passing and running game returned to his elite level last week, but the volume did not equate to the type of fantasy points we have all grown accustomed to from Bell. My bet this week was that Bellís volume would stay around 25 total touches and he would break through with a multi-score game against an injury-depleted Chicago defense. Bell did score and finished with 21.8 fantasy points, but he was limited to just 21 touches.

Wide Receiver: DeVante Parker, A.J. Green, and Devin Funchess
DraftKings Points: 62.1 combined points
Grade: A-

I wrote about the high probability of Green breaking out this week after voicing his displeasure for how former offensive coordinator Ken Zampese ran the Bengals offense. I said I would be shocked if Green did not receive at least 10 targets against the Packers, with the upside of at least one score in the cards. That prediction proved to be wise, with Green finishing with 10/111/1, for 30.1 fantasy points.

My choice of Funchess was far less of a certainty in my mind, as I am not really sold on the talent of the former Michigan wide receiver. I felt it was worth the risk based on the fact that Greg Olsen is out with a broken foot, the Saints entered the game allowing the most fantasy points to everyone and their mother, and Funchess saw an uptick in usage in the Panthersí Week 2 win over Buffalo. Oh, it also helped that Funchess cost a mere $4,200, and I needed cheap options to fill in my roster.

An injury to Kelvin Benjamin opened the door for Funchess to log 10 targets, although he was only able to post four catches for 58 yards. A significant factor for the lack of success in converting those targets into points was the poor play of Cam Newton, who is obviously not healthy and his inaccuracy and poor decision making is hurting his team.

I donít have much more to expand on with DeVante Parker and his garbage time gem. Without that last drive, I would have missed out on the payday.

Tight End: Jack Doyle
DraftKings Points: 2.6
Grade: F

20% of the players on DK felt that Doyle at home against the Browns was too good to pass up at a $3,600 salary. The Browns were dreadful against the pass, and Doyle caught all eight targets for 79 yards against the Cardinals the previous week.

20% of the players on DK cursed the name of Jack Doyle at the end of the day on Sunday, as Doyle caught only two of his five targets for 16 yards while fumbling away the ball on one of his two receptions.

Flex: Jared Cook
DraftKings Points: 14.3
Grade: A

At least one of my tight ends performed well on Sunday, with Jared Cook posting four catches for 43 yards and a score in a dreadful Sunday Night game for the Raiders. Cook continues to be a part of the Oakland game plan, as evident by the fact that he averages six targets per game. Owners looking for a cheap option, especially this week against a Denver secondary that will shut down Cooper and Crabtree, may want to give Cook another look.

D/ST: Titans
DraftKings Points: 1
Grade: F

I got cute with this pick, and it bit me in the backside. The Seahawks looked like they would have trouble blocking a high school team after their near-loss at home against the 49ers. Although I am not high on the Titans front seven, I thought they would be able to get pressure on Wilson. Instead, Wilson set a career-high in passing yards, and I got one measly sack.