Thursday Night Football cynics had a rough night yesterday as the
San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams combined for over 800
total yards and 80 points in the most exciting game of the young
season. Todd Gurley scored three touchdowns while topping 100 rushing
yards for the first time in nearly two years, Pierre Garcon showed
that at 31 he is still a viable fantasy weapon, and Jared Goff looked
like a franchise QB for arguably the first time in his young career.
From a DFS perspective, Thursday’s surprising high-scoring
game proved once again that the NFL is an unpredictable league
and monster fantasy performances can occur in even the most unlikely
Here are a few players that I am targeting for this Sunday’s
slate of NFL games. It may be hard to top Gurley’s three
touchdowns, but all of these targets look primed for solid fantasy
Jay Cutler's price tag and matchup against
the Jets makes him an attractive GPP play in Week 3.
Stafford threw for an impressive 292 yards and four touchdowns
at home Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals and then followed
up that performance with a conservative but effective two-touchdown
game against the Giants.
In cash games, you look for a solid floor at a reasonable price,
and Stafford offers both at a modest $6,200 salary on DK. You
can pass on the Falcons as evident to the fact that they have
allowed the 10th most points to opposing defenses this season,
but they also have a potent offense that will force Stafford and
the Lions to keep pace in what could be a high-scoring game.
Look for Stafford to attack the Falcons with short passes to
Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Golden Tate, as the Falcons
have allowed the most points to receiving backs over the past
At first, I wanted to go with Cam Newton at home against a Saints
defense that has given up six passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks
in two games, including three to Sam Bradford opening week.
But for GPP I like to aim for the stars, and what better way
than Smokin’ Jay Cutler going against the lowly New York Jets.
The Jets have allowed the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks
this season, while Cutty looked comfortable and accurate running
the offense in their road win against the Chargers last week.
I am banking on the Cutler to DeVante Parker stack in GPP this
week and in my league of record. No risk it, no biscuit.
Fade - Drew
Brees @ Carolina ($7,200 on DraftKings)
Drew Brees is a first ballot hall of famer and will go down as
one of the most accurate passers in NFL history. Despite his incredible
career and video game numbers, Brees has struggled on the road
against division foe Carolina, throwing less than two touchdowns
per game against the Panthers dating back to 2007.
Fresh off signing a five-year, $41 Million contract over the
offseason, Devonta Freeman has been a consistent rock for fantasy
owners this season with three touchdowns in two games, including
a two-touchdown, 24-point performance last week at home against
The Lions have been surprisingly effective at limiting opposing
running backs through two games, but those stats are skewed by
the inept New York Giants backfield and an opening week game in
which David Johnson left early with an injury.
The Falcons have allowed the most points to opposing running
backs in the passing game over dating back to the start of last
season, and few quarterbacks utilize their receiving backs more
than Matthew Stafford.
Theo Riddick caught six passes in the opening week contest against
the Cardinals, but was limited last week against the Giants due
to a negative game script. The potent Atlanta offense should present
a more favorable game script for Riddick, opening the door for
at least five catches out of the backfield, with the upside of
a touchdown or two.
Quizz played well in his temporary role as the starting tailback
for the Bucs, with 67 yards and a touchdown last week against
an injury-depleted Bears defense. His matchup this week against
a Vikings front seven that limited Le’Veon Bell to 87 yards
on 27 carries makes him a must fade in all formats.
H2H/Cash – A.J. Green vs. Green Bay ($8,100
The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and the complaining superstar
who was able to spearhead the removal of an offensive coordinator
who failed to get said superstar the ball will get peppered with
targets in the subsequent game. Isn’t that how the old adage
Maybe not, but I am buying into the narrative that Green will
receive at least double-digit targets this week against a subpar
Packer secondary. The question is can the turnstile Bengal offensive
line give Andy Dalton enough time to throw the ball downfield
to Green. I think so, and Green is a great play in all formats.
Bunches of Funchess was the recipient of six targets for 68 yards
last week against the Bills and is a likely beneficiary of an
increase in workload now that Greg Olsen is out for the next eight
weeks with a broken foot.
I am not a huge fan of Funchess, but you cannot ignore the fact
that he is a big target for Cam Newton and will receive at least
seven targets this week with Olsen on the shelf. The Panthers
play host to the Saints, a defense that is dead last in points
allowed to opposing passing games.
All of those factors make Funchess an excellent GPP option, especially
at his relatively inexpensive price tag on DraftKings.
Nelson has been a full participant in practice on Wednesday and
Thursday after missing most of last week’s game with what
the team is calling a quad injury. Soft tissue injuries often
flare up, and it makes me nervous to invest nearly $8k in a player
that could be used more as a decoy on Sunday.
H2H/Cash - Zach Ertz vs. New York Giants ($5,000
With back-to-back games of 90-plus yards, Ertz is clearly a favorite
target of Carson Wentz and a centerpiece of the Philly passing
offense. He has yet to reach the end zone, but that shouldn’t
discourage owners in cash games from using him, as the PPR format
of DK makes him an excellent play with a high floor against a
Giants defense that has allowed the 30th-most points to opposing
This pick is not for the faint of heart, as a lopsided butt-whooping
by the Patriots could make all Texans un-ownable this week. My
logic with this pick is based on the fact that Bill Belichick
is known for taking away the top weapon of the opposing team,
which certainly would be DeAndre Hopkins, who received nearly
50% of the target share last week against the Bengals.
Griffin is out of the concussion protocol and could be the only
other viable receiving threat for rookie Deshaun Watson. It is,
of course, a home run play, and Griffin is likely to have a minuscule
ownership rate on DK.
Like Nelson, I am avoiding Gronk this week simply because I am
worried about his groin injury flaring up, mixed with the fact
that this could be a blowout and the Patriots may limit his snaps.
Sure, Gronk could blow up and prove me wrong, but I’d rather
use his $6,800 on other players in my lineup.