One of my least favorite trends in sports media over the past decade
is the rise of argumentative shows like First Take, Undisputed,
and Speak for Yourself with Colin Cowherd. Iím not sure why
people enjoy watching any of these talking heads blabber on about
sports, politics, and other world events, and I cringe when someone
retweets one of their attention-seeking quotes.
Despite my disdain for these shows, especially Colin Cowherdís,
I must give Cowherd credit for something he mentioned years ago
on his radio show and has repeated more than once on Fox. He introduced
the concept of betting against your favorite team with the goal
of hedging your bet. If your favorite team wins, then you are
happy that your squad walked away with a W. If your team loses,
at least you made some money to make you feel better about the
Iím not a betting person, so I have never been able to
put this concept to work against my beloved Giants or 49ers. But
in DFS, I have found this to be a useful strategy when I am going
up against someone with a choice matchup in my season-long fantasy
league. For example, my opponent is starting Chris Carson against
me in my league of record in what appears to be a solid matchup
against the Colts at home. To help ease my pain in the event of
Carson going off on Sunday Night Football, I will add him in more
than a few tickets to help offset my frustration. If he plays
well, perhaps he will help me make a little money. And if he struggles,
Iím just out a few bucks, and my league of record team may
post a win.
It may not work for everyone, but I have used this strategy with
much success over the past two seasons. Give it a try and see
how it works out for you, as hedging your bet in a game of high
unpredictability like fantasy football is not the worst thing
in the world.
Here are a few DFS plays I am targeting this week:
Drew Brees rolled up 339 yards and 3 touchdowns
in his previous trip to London ('08 against SD).
H2H/Cash - Drew Brees at Miami (London) ($7,200
I crashed and burned with my recommendation of fading Brees last
week against a Panthers team in which the venerable quarterback
had struggled against on the road. I will not make that same mistake
on Brees with the Saints heading across the pond to take on a
Miami defense that made Josh McCown look like a viable quarterback.
With six touchdowns and zero interceptions on the season and
20-plus games in his last two contests, Brees is a lock for another
20-point game against a Dolphins defense that struggled in the
preseason and allowed 250 yards and a touchdown last week to McCown.
I feel comfortable starting Brees based on the fact that he has
experience with traveling to London and the issues that come with
the time change and jet lag (339/3/0 in his single game at Wembley).
The Saints made a smart move traveling to London early to get
acclimated, while the Dolphins waited until later in the week.
At first, I wanted to go with Jay Cutler against the Saints in
what could be a shootout, but I am concerned about the Dolphins
ability to adjust to playing in London after spending most of
the young season on the road.
Siemian has been gold so far at home this season with two games
of at least 23.5 fantasy points. The Raiders rank 5th in points
allowed to opposing quarterbacks, and the Oakland offense looks
out of sync in what could be a lopsided game in Denverís
Iíll avoid the easy calls of Big Ben or Derek Carr here and go
with someone who will be a trendy pick this week after scoring
25.14 FPts in Week 3 on the road against the Patriots. Rookie
Deshaun Watson played well, with the first 300-yard game of his
young career and two passing touchdowns. That was against a Patriots
defense that ranks first in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks,
with a league-worst eight TD passes in three games. Watson had
all the time in the world against the Patriots, but will not find
the defense as easy to read with Dick Lebeauís complete blitz
Shady is an expensive play this week considering the fact that
he failed to top 14 fantasy points in his last two games. Although
he will cost you a fortune, he will pay dividends against a Falcons
team that gets torched by running backs in the passing game. McCoy
leads his team in targets through three games and should once
again this week in what could be a rough game for Buffalo.
Bill Belichick is well known for setting up a game plan to stop
his opponentís best player, leading some to believe that
he will look to limit running back Christian McCaffrey in the
passing game. But the honest truth is the Patriots do not have
linebackers capable of guarding McCaffrey in man coverage, and
the first round pick out of Stanford is excellent at finding soft
spots underneath in zone coverage. Five catches is the floor for
McCaffrey, with the upside of 10 and scoring his first NFL touchdown.
The Raiders struggled mightily to move the ball last week on
the road against the Redskins and will likely find it equally
difficult to score points against divisional foe Denver. Lynch
is not receiving enough touches to be a viable start, especially
in games in which the Raiders will likely be playing from behind.
Old reliable is an excellent source of targets at a relative
discount compared to players like Mike Evans and Stefon Diggs,
and Fitz has a much more attractive home matchup against a poor
San Francisco secondary. Fitz is a no-brainer start in cash games
as his 34 targets over the first three games is second only to
DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown, and the Niners have allowed
the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts.
An injury-depleted Eagle defense will have their hands full with
a Chargers team looking for their first win. Sterling Shepard,
Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall all got into the act last
week against the birds, leading me to believe that Chargers wide
receivers will find success this week.
At just $3,900, there are no other wide receivers with more upside
for the cost that Travis Benjamin, a player that has either scored
or posted 100-yards in two of his three games. He is a great home
run play for GPP in a game that could be very high scoring.
Fade - Mike Evans vs. NY Giants ($7,400 on DraftKings)
A contrarian play for owners anticipating that the Bucs will
feed Evans after his post-game rant about being open Week 3 against
Rhodes, Evans is someone I am not touching in DFS based on the
fact that his salary is not worth the risk. Janoris Jenkins will
shadow Evans and limit his catches as Jameis Winston attacks the
Giants with passes to Cameron Brate and DeSean Jackson.
H2H/Cash - Jared Cook vs. Denver ($3,400
Cook is averaging 5.5 targets per game and continues to be active
in the Raider offense, while the wide receiving tandem of Michael
Crabtree and Amari Cooper will be blanked by Aquib Talib and Chris
Harris. I doubt the Raiders will have much success in this game,
and it they do, it will likely be with Cook.
As the sole tight end option for the Texans, Ryan Griffin returned
from a concussion Week 2 to post an impressive 6/61/1 line against
the Patriots. Both the Raiders and Seahawks found success passing
to the tight end against the Titans, making Griffin a nice option
with a low projected ownership percentage.
Three or fewer targets in two of his three games, including a
one-reception for four-yard stinker last week against the Bucs
has been a shocking start to the season for Rudolph, last season’s
leader in targets and receptions at the tight end position. At
$4,100, I need to see a few solid games before I would start inserting
Rudolph into any of my lineups.
Defense & Special Teams
Denver vs. Oakland ($3,000 on DraftKings)
With only three turnovers on the season and one double-digit
point game in three weeks, the Broncos have fallen out of favor
as a top DST option. Look for that to change this week against
a Raiders team that is struggling on both sides of the ball. Von
Miller will eat and log a few sacks, and Derek Carr will continue
his recent streak of throwing INTs.