FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Aaron Rodgers (DK – $6,800/FD – $8,500): After three games, Rodgers has been more steady than explosive with his best game coming on one leg in Week 1 against the Bears (286/3). He’s averaging 274 passing yards and two TDs per game, which ranks him 12th at the QB position The Bills couldn’t get the Ravens and the Chargers off the field over the first two games leading to 68:16 combined minutes of offense leading to ten TDs and three field goals on 26 possessions. Last week the Bills stuffed Minnesota after being a huge underdog. QBs have seven passing TDs in three against Buffalo while averaging about 270 passing yards per game. This game should set up to a big day for Aaron while the Bills come off their week-long high.
Matt Ryan (DK – $6,100/FD – $8,100): Ryan has been special in his two games at home (676 combined yards with nine TDs) after a poor outing in Week 1(251/0) in Philly. The addition of Calvin Ridley gives him another explosive weapon in the passing game, which only helps Julio Jones. The Bengals struggled in Week 1 vs. QBs (319/2 and 376/2) while failing to defend the run against the Panthers in Week 3 (41/230/2). On the year, QBs gain 6.4 yards per pass attempt against Cinci suggesting there is some good behind his poor stats in the passing game. Atlanta has had multiple injuries to their defense, which points to a high scoring game. Ride the hot hand in his third straight game at home.
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,000/FD – $8,000): Roethlisberger looks well on his way to a special season. Over the first three games, he passed for 1,140 yards with eight combined TDs while gaining 8.2 yards per pass attempt. Some of his success is tied to 46+ pass attempts per game. Last year he passed for 506 yards and two TDs in his home start vs. the Ravens. Baltimore showed risk in the pass in Week 2 against the Bengals (265/4) while having no problems in their two games (98/0 and 192/0) at home. Ben has two special WRs will success from his complementary options. Too bad he’s playing in the late game. A favorable matchup with a chance ta the top score at QB in Week 3.
Eli Manning (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,100): Over his last two starts on the road, Manning completed 79.4 percent of his passes for 576 yards with three TDs and no Ints. Eli had been sacked 11 times, which is the key reason why he hasn’t been able to get the ball downfield for long scoring plays. The Saints have struggled to defend QBs over the first three games (1,037 yards and ten TDs) with huge failure defending WRs (48/853/9 on 61 targets). With two strong WRs, Manning looks position for a nice game. His downside is tied to the success of Saquon Barley on the ground.
Andy Dalton (DK – $5,400/FD – $7,400): The pieces in the offensive pie in Cinci are starting to come together. The breakout of Tyler Boyd should be a win for A.J. Green and Andy Dalton as the season moves forward. Over three games, Dalton passed for 860 yards with eight TDs and five Ints. He’s already completed 13 passes for 20 yards after only reaching 33 in 2017. Even Tyler Eifert started to show upside last week. The Falcons lost multiple players off their defense already this season. Over the last two games, Atlanta allowed 731 yards and six TDs to QBs with huge problems vs. RBs (32/233/1) and WRs (31/400/5). Excellent chaser game with the tools to produce a winning score at this level.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,400): Fitzpatrick has been a fun ride for three games (1,292 combined yards with 12 TDs) while gaining an amazing 11.1 yards per pass attempt. His completion rate (70.3) is the best of his career by a wide margin, but he did show some of his cracks vs. the Steelers last week (three Ints). As great as he’s been, Jameis Winston is the better QB. If Ryan gets off to a bad start vs. an improved Bears’ defense, Winston will be one hand signal way. QBs have 760 passing yards against the Bears with seven TDs, ten sacks, five Ints, and two defensive scores. Tampa has exciting depth in their receiving talent, and they will force the Bears to defend the whole field. Fitzpatrick has a below-par matchup.
Matthew Stafford (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,300): The Patriots didn’t put up a fight on the scoreboard last week leading to Stafford not needing follow through in his passing stats. Over the first three games, Matthew has 895 passing yards and six TDs while averaging 45 passes per game. Dallas held QBs to 632 yards over the three games with three passing TDs. The Cowboys have 11 sacks while allowing 6.6 yards per pass attempt. Stafford is an against the grain play while Dallas tries to control the game on the ground.
Blake Bortles (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,700): Bortles went from hero to zero in one easy week in the NFL. The Titans held him to 155 yards and no TDs, which came after a great game against New England (376/4). The Jets held QBs to 6.1 yards per pass attempt with no QB delivering a game of value (DET – 300/0). Without Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville doesn’t have the same spark on offense. May surprise, but the Jets won’t put up much of a fight on the scoreboard.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Dak Prescott (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,800): Prescott has fewer than 175 yards passing in all three of his starts this season while delivering only two TDs. Dak continues to take the short options in the passing game (5.7 yards per attempt). QBs have 537 passing yards vs. the Lions with five TDs. Most of the failure in Detroit has come against the run, which points to a good game by Ezekiel Elliot. Tough to trust.
Josh Allen (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,400): Allen put himself on the NFL map with a huge win in Minnesota in Week 3. He passed for 196 yards and one TD with his best value coming with his legs (10/39/2). His receiving core remains well below the league average, which makes him tough to trust if forced to throw. The Packers lost their best run defender last week with risk against QBs (816 yards and six TDs). I expect a letdown game with Aaron Rodgers forcing him to the air. I don’t trust his game at this point of his career.
Sam Darnold (DK – $4,500/DK – $6,200): Over three games, Darnold has 701 yards passing with three TDs and five Ints. His best game came at home (334/1) while failing to pass for over 200 yards in his other two games. The Jaguars allows 6.1 yards per pass attempt with no QB passing for over 235 yards and two combined passing TDs allowed. A poor matchup with more risk than reward.
Josh Rosen (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,500): Rosen will make his first NFL start vs. Seattle. Josh has a stud RB and a future Hall of Fame WR at his service. Chris Kirk showed a spark as well in Week 3. Seattle struggled vs. the QB in Week 1 (329/3) while showing growth in their last two games (200/2 and 168/1). The Seahawks has eight sacks and seven Ints, which will put the pressure on Rosen in this matchup. Only a gamble until we see him in game action.
NEUTRAL (MME GPP)
Tom Brady (DK – $6,700/FD – $8,600): Brady came up short in his last two starts (234/2 and 133/1) giving Fantasy owners doubt on his long-term value in 2018. Last week New England was only on the field for about 21 minutes due to poor play on both sides of the ball. The Patriots have a long history of success with the best coaching staff in the league. A trip back home should awaken the sleeping giant while waiting for reinforcements to come at WR over the next couple of weeks with Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman. Last year Tom passed for 227 yards and four TDs in his home matchup against the Dolphins. Miami is 3-0, but they’ve allowed 679 yards passing over the last two games with two TDs. Tough to trust his receiving core unless Gordon is ready to play a full complement of snaps. Slight against the grain play even with a winnable matchup.
Drew Brees (DK – $6,600/FD – $8,700): Over the first three games, Brees has 1,084 combined yards with ten TDs while completing 80.6 percent of his passes. He’s yet to throw a TD with two impact games in three starts. The Giants weren’t challenged by QBs in the first two games (176/1 and 160/1) vs. the Jaguars and the Cowboys. Last week Deshaun Waston found some cracks in New York’s secondary leading to 297 passing yards and two TDs. He gained 10.4 yards per pass attempt. The problem with his upside on the road is the 4.9 yards per rush allowed by the Giants. New Orleans will get rolling on the ground with Alvin Kamara having success on the ground in close. I’ll fade Drew on the road. Both teams will run the ball leading a moving close and a mid-tier game in scoring. Fade in the daily games even with upside in his matchup.
Philip Rivers (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,800): Rivers threw the ball great in Week 1 (424/3), but his passing stats have faded in his last two games (256/3 and 226/2) on the road. His completion rate (69.4) is elite while gaining 8.4 yards per pass attempt. The 49ers have struggled in some area on defense in all games. They’ve allowed 905 passing yards and eight TDs while facing three strong QBs Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, and Pat Mahones. With San Fran losing their starting QB last week, there will be plenty of questions with their scoring ability going forward. Philip will move the ball, but the Chargers will also have success as well on the ground. Only a neutral matchup.
Deshaun Watson (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,600): Watson is getting closer to his 2017 early season form over his last two games (310/2 and 385/2). His top two WRs have 410 combined yards over the last two games with 25 catches and three TDs on 41 targets. The Colts have played inspired defense over the last two games (29 points allowed on the road). They’ve allowed 790 yards passing over three games with QB tossing three TDs. Some of the Colts success has come from their pass rush (ten sacks) leading to five turnovers and a defensive score. Both teams don’t run the ball very well, which will lead to many balls in the air. The key to both QBs in the game will be a wide open game, which is certainly possible.
Carson Wentz (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,300): In his first 2018 start, Wentz passed for 255 yards and one TD while completing two-thirds of his passes. I expect growth in his second game, but he still lacks strength at WR with Alshon Jeffrey injured. Over the first three games, the Eagles have five rushing TDs and two passing TDs. Over the first three games, the Titans allowed 695 passing yards with four TDs while facing only 94 passes. Not ready to be an impact player in the daily games until his receiving core returns to full strength. Tennessee won’t put up a big fight on the scoreboard either.
Russell Wilson (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,500): Seattle played three teams to start the year with strength in their pass rush. Wilson has been sacked 14 times leading to 716 passing yards while delivering seven TDs with minimal value in the run game (7/21). Last season Russell gained 257 combined yards in both games against the Cardinals with four combined TDs. Over the first three games, Arizona struggled to get offenses off the field. Their defense has been on the field 60 percent of the time with QBs gaining 829 passing yards and three passing TDs. A favorable matchup, but a pistol of an offense by the Cardinals projects to a lower scoring game.
Ryan Tannehill (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,800): Tannehill has a high completion rate (73.0) while gaining 9.3 yards per pass attempts. He’s passed for 687 yards and seven TDs despite averaging about 25 passes per game. In his last game in New England, Ryan passed for 387 yards and two TDs. New England allows 7.1 yards per pass attempt with seven passing TDs with more failure coming vs. the run (91/430/1). If Brady and company gets the offense rolling, Tannehill will have a chance to see if his new found success is for real.
Andrew Luck (DK – $5,500/FD – $7,300): Luck has turned into a dink and dunk passer over the first three games. He has one game with over 300 yards while gaining 5.3 yards per pass attempt. His completion rate (68.5) is a career high with five passing TDs. Houston has plenty of risk in the secondary leading to 8.5 yards per pass attempt with seven passing TDs. T.Y. Hilton has a nice history vs. the Texans, which is a bright sign for upside for Andrew in this matchup. Worth a swing in a possible shootout game. His big question is the depth and strength of his WR score.
Baker Mayfield (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,900): Mayfield looked electric in the second half vs. the Jets when he passed for 201 yards helping Cleveland to their first win of the year. Baker completed 73.9 percent of his passes, which could have been higher if his receivers hung onto a couple of passes. The Raiders gave up a couple of long passes to the Dolphins’ WRs, which led to 341 yards and four TDs on only 24 passes. Oakland did play well vs. the pass over the first two games (233/2 and 222/0). Interesting player and even more fun player to root for, but I’m not ready to take him on my Million Dollar ride at DraftKings.
Mitchell Trubisky (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,800): Trubisky has strength in his completion rate (69.2), but he’s gaining only 5.7 yards per pass attempt. He’s yet to pass for over 220 yards while delivering only three combined TDs on the year. The Bucs have high risk defending QBs (439/3, 334/1, and 353/3), which is somewhat created by their high scoring offense. Favorable game especially if the Bucs’ offense can solve the Bears’ defense. My bet against the grain in the run game in Chicago.
Marcus Mariota (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,300): In a relief role in Week 3, Mariota passed for 100 yards with some success on the ground (7/51). The reports out of Tennessee say Marcus can’t make all the throws needed to have success in the NFL. The Titans would like to give him more time off if Blaine Gabbert is ready to go this week. Avoid due to health concern.
C.J. Beathard (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,200): Beathard showed enough last year where San Fran should get some offense out of him as a replacement at QB. In his six starts in 2017, C.J. had two games with over 300 combined yards with one game with three combined TDs. His completion rate (54.9) is below the NFL average while showing the ability to take chances downfield. The Chargers allow 8.9 yards per pass attempt with eight passing TDs. May surprise.