Week 3 of the fantasy football season is upon us, which means another week with a fresh start for daily fantasy football players.
Daily fantasy football uses a salary cap system for picking teams for its most popular games, and that means looking for the best values will help you win every week. Saving in some areas while spending big in other areas will lead to the best team which scores the most points.
This week, we’ll be taking a look at players and citing their values on DraftKings (where you can get a bonus on your first deposit just for clicking that link!), DraftStreet, and FanDuel. If you’re curious about rules, scoring systems, and other available games, be sure to check them out.
So who are the best players to play this week? Which have the best prices for their potential scoring performances? Which players are overpriced, and worth avoiding completely? Check out my picks, and leave yours in the comment section below.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,200 on DraftKings)
Dalton and the Bengals face the Green Bay Packers this weekend, which means he’ll be facing a less-than-stellar defense while having to throw the ball to stay in the game against a high-scoring Green Bay offense.
Dalton has a decent array of weapons, so even though he’s not the best pure passer in the NFL, he’s a good bargin this week considering his situation.
Bernard Pierce, RB , Baltimore Ravens ($4,500 on DraftKings)
Ray Rice’s status is in doubt for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, which means his talented backup will likely either start the game, or at least get an increased workload to help keep the franchise running back Rice from going on the shelf for an extended period of time.
That backup is Pierce, and while he doesn’t have a great matchup, he’s a great value. This week’s salaries seem particularly tough, so don’t hesitate to take a bargain where you can get one.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers ($3,000 on DraftKings)
This one is digging really deep, but if you want to spend big on star players, you have to save somewhere else. With Malcom Floyd sidelined, the Chargers have quickly run out of wide receivers to throw the ball to. And while Eddie Royal has been off to a hot start, he’s really just been the beneficiary of good play calling, and some “right place, right time” good luck.
Philip Rivers is playing well enough to sustain multiple options at wide receiver, so take a shot and gamble on Allen. The rookie from Cal hasn’t seen a ton of work, but he did find himself on the receiving end of a pair of passes after Floyd’s injury. If he finds the end zone even once, he’s given a huge return on investment.
Worth The Price:
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($8,300 on FanDuel)
The Seahawks are playing the Jaguars.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans ($8,700 on FanDuel)
Foster might be sharing carries with Ben Tate, but he’s still the better running back and has the ability to post incredible statistics in limited opportunities. His price is slipping a little bit thanks to his shared carries, so take advantage while you can.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions ($8,500 on FanDuel)
The Washington Redskins have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. The Detroit Lions have Calvin Johnson.
Stafford is usually overpriced, because he’s often dependent on garbage time to drive his stats up to an elite level in fantasy football. But against such a woeful defensive backfield, Stafford will have better looks to find not only Megatron, but his other weapons on offense. He’s probably the best quarterback to play this week, if you’re willing to spend on him.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots ($14,434 on DraftStreet)
Brady’s price has slipped after a pair of un-Tom Brady-like performances in Weeks 1 and 2. So you’re probably thinking it’s time to pounce, and take advantage of the lower-than-usual price for an elite QB, right?
You’d be wrong. Remember that Darrelle Revis guy? He plays for Tampa Bay, as do a number of other talented defensive players who will give Brady the same headaches he’s had so far in 2013. Wait until Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are back, and then use Tom Brady at an even lower price in daily fantasy.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins ($11,332 on DraftStreet)
You can get Arian Foster for about $200 more. Why would you choose the inferior running back who’s struggling to get carries in his offense?
Morris has not been involved in the Washington offense this year because of fumble concerns and an overwhelming need to pass to stay competitive with a bad defense. He doesn’t catch the football, so he gets pulled off the field for Roy Helu for more than a third of the Washington offensive snaps.
He’s not worth your fantasy football dollars until his team improves, or until he learns how to be a receiver.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos ($10,722 on DraftStreet)
Well now, that escalated quickly.
Thomas went from a relative unknown to one of the most expensive tight ends in daily fantasy, and that should be more than enough to scare you away. The Broncos are going to dominate the Raiders, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the tight end will be heavily involved.
Denver will likely run the ball as often as they can, and run the clock down against Oakland. Thomas is a better play in games that will be more competitive for the Broncos.
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