SDChickens – NFL Week 3 Rundown

This NFL write-up is a mix of Cash and GPP Plays.  Because football is an event driven sport, we are simply looking for solid game scripts to produce good value with upside.  Do not be afraid to identify the ‘chalk’ CORE players you cannot live without and then wrap them with your game theory plays each week in both cash and single-entry GPP’s.  For MME contests I will get off the grain usually, but below is my core plays for Cash, Single-Entry GPP’s and core lineups.

Note, much like with baseball I don’t care much about what Vegas thinks or what the chalk is when considering matchups and what I think the game scripts will be.  



TOP CORE GAMES

The games I like the most for exposure….

  • Saints @ Panthers — Two below average pass defenses (yes, Carolina is below average.  They faced San Francisco week 1 when Hoyer was clearly not comfortable running plays and Buffalo week 2…) and is going to have great weather for wearing down the defenses even more…
  • Falcons @ Lions — Statement game for the Lions and their offense to keep up with Atlanta.
  • Bengals @ Packers — There’s a chalk player based on pricing in this game that has to be considered, but this is not one of my game stack core games
  • Raiders @ Redskins — Two big play Quarterbacks, lots of splash play potential here.

BOTTOM 3 GAMES / FADES

These are games that I am almost completely ignoring with the exception of eating one or two one off chalk plays as listed below.  These are games I want the least or no exposure in.

  • Giants @ Eagles — Ugly game.
  • Browns @ Colts — This isnt the Rams and 49ers.  The Rams and 49ers have competent offensive systems, offensive coordinators and healthy bodies who are going to improve as the season moves on.  These two teams are trying to figure out how to get first downs.  I want no part of it.
  • Texans @ Patriots — Cooks and Pats D is the only consideration for me.

QUARTERBACKS

CORE PLAYS

  1. MATTHEW STAFFORD … I loved the Rodgers/TyMont combination last week and yes, Rodgers was the better play in that matchup despite Green Bay getting their ass kicked.  So here I am going to take Stafford and Theo Riddick who are AT HOME and I don’t want to trust the Ryan/Julio combination as much on the road.  This is the statement game of the week and Detroit is going to come out and blow the doors off Atlanta.  Detroit and the Rams are the darlings of the NFC this year and you need to start jumping on the bandwagons for both before they’re 20% chalk.  My ONLY concern here is if Detroit comes out and plays a conservative game and slows it down.  They had one of the slowest tempo’s in the league last year and that scares me a little bit, however I think Stafford wants to come out and beat his college town team and good friend Matt Ryan.
  2. DREW BREES … There are three games which stand out above the rest this week (NO/CAR; ATL/DET; OAK/WAS) and from these games five of the Quarterbacks are going to garner exposure from them.  The one who isn’t, is going to the Hall of Fame, has thrown for 5k+ yards five times and won multiple millionaire makers and live final qualifiers last season..  That would be one Drew Christopher Brees. This is the PERFECT week to take a shot at Brees.
  • Let me first give you the BAD reasons why he will be less than 5% owned this week.  Yes, less than 5% in THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENTS…
    • He is on the road … Stop…  This is an old fake narrative that was derived because the Saints lost on the road in the playoffs in back to back years in 2010 and 2011.  In those two games on the road he threw for EIGHT HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX YARDS AND SIX TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST SEATTLE AND SAN FRANCISCO — TWO ELITE DEFENSES AT THE TIME.  Last season, Brees had 17 TD and 8 INT on the road versus 20 TD and 7 INT at home.  Normal for ANY Quarterback.  He has been so elite at home that people think he sucks on the road, and the bottom line is that he is still a good QB on the road.  His ROAD career stats are better than Kurt Warners CAREER TOTALS.  And Kurt Warner somehow manipulated his way into the hall of fame.  So. Shut. Up.  It isn’t a road issue….
    • Carolina’s Defense is Good …  No.  They’re not.   They were bottom five in the NFL last year against the pass (barely better than the Saints mind you) and were 22nd in 2015…  This year they played Brian Hoyer in week one when San Francisco was still unsure how to call plays and Tyrod Taylor and the lifeless Bills in week two.  They play a soft zone, have lowsy safeties and don’t confuse teams at all with their defensive scheme.
    • He has no weapons … This narrative might be the only one that fits…  But we’ve seen the Saints operate as a system offense for far too long to believe that they cannot plug and play skill guys into the offense and operate from there.
  • Now here is why I like him this week ….
    • Carolina can control the running game.  With Keuchel active and playing healthy the Saints will only use the running game to establish some level of physicality and try and get into manageable third downs.  The Saints will have to pass and when they do, it will be against the Panthers zone defense…  Here’s Brees stats the last three games against the Panthers (he did not play them in week 3 of 2015)
      • 35 for 44, 285 yards, 2 TD and 17.4 DK points — Thursday Game
      • 34 for 49, 465 yards, 4 TD and 36.6 DK points
      • 24 for 42, 282 yards, 3 TD and 23.48 DK points
    • Yes, the one of those three that was on the road was the lowest.  His prior road start vs Carolina he produced 20.08 DK points and he has thrown a red zone TD against Carolina EVERY time.
    • Carolina is gonna score on the Saints.  Shocker.  The Saints are depleted on defense and they weren’t very good to begin with.  Breaux remains out, Lattimore (who is going to be better than Breaux) is out, the Fairley void at DT has removed any pass rush they had last year…  Carolina is going to score and they will do it through the air or with big plays.  Which means we get an UP-TEMPO game and Brees will throw 45+ times.

OTHER EXPOSURES

  1. KIRK COUSINS … Cousins is my third highest QB this week.  I think this game could end up being settled by the kickers and that’s why he is third on my exposure list.
  2. CAM NEWTON … I can’t sit here and rant about Drew Brees having a good spot this week and not acknowledge that Newton will put up good stats despite being a bad Quarterback and likely still playing injured.  He’s low though because you gotta beware of Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffery busting long runs.

SNEAKY

In case you haven’t noticed, my Sneaky QB spot is where I go down into the lower priced Quarterbacks.  There’s often times good value lower down but these guys rarely have the high end upside that my elite plays have…

MARCUS MARIOTTA … Upset special of the week.  Tennessee blows the doors off Seattle (who isn’t winning the NFC West) because their offensive line is horrible and the Titans will continually get a short field and have the Seahawks defense on their heels.  Yes, on their heels.  Mariotta scores twice on the ground.

RUNNING BACKS

CORE PLAYS

  1. LEVEON BELL …  I am not worried about the best back in the game despite his slow start.  Eating this chalk on about 80% of my lineups….
  2. THEO RIDDICK … Abdullah suffered a quiet injury during the MNF game and that only further boosts my love for Riddick who is our weekly “Target Atlanta with RB’s who catch the ball” strategy.
  3. KAREEM HUNT …  He’s really good and San Diego’s WR’s are so good that teams do nothing but try and run on them.  He will go overlooked this week too.

OTHER TOP EXPOSURES

  1. TEVIN COLEMAN … NO/CAR passing stack with Riddick/Coleman RB stack.  Do it!
  2. DALVIN COOK … With Bradford banged up they have to rely on Cook and I love home favorered RB’s and this game has good upside for points because Tampa doesn’t chew up the clock much.
  3. TY MONTGOMERY … With injuries to Cobb and given how much he is used and appears more comfortable in the RB roll, he is underpriced.

SNEAKY

  1. DERRICK HENRY … Part of my Titans game stack includes HENRY, who Dr Roto loves as one of his visionary plays this week too.
  2. ISAIAH CROWELL … Everyone is jumping on the trash Quarterbacks in this game and I see it going to the RB’s.
  3. JONATHAN STEWART … He always scores on the Saints.

WIDE RECEIVERS

CORE PLAYS

  1. A.J. GREEN … It’s a similar situation to Lev Bell where I am looking at the matchup and the road splits, the need for the Bengals to get going and this final thing that nobody has mentioned — The Bengals have had 10 days to prepare for this game while the Packers are coming off a short week with the SNF game —  Cincinnati will play well enough and Green is going to go off even though he is chalk.  Play him and if you wanna stack the game, feel free to roll Andy Dalton paired with him even though I didn’t mention him above…..
  2. MICHAEL THOMAS … MT is the Saints best skill player and Carolina has nobody who can match up with him in any coverage.  He’s the correlation upside with Brees.

OTHER TOP EXPOSURES

Match these up based on your stack correlations

  1. JULIO JONES … You don’t stop him much… At all.
  2. JORDY NELSON  … I love playing Jordy at home where he and Rodgers seem to have this insane chemistry in the red zone.  He is questionable with an injury so that is why he isn’t in my CORE.
  3. ODELL BECKHAM JR … Volume because the G-Men likely won’t run it well against Philly and he could have 7-8 catches.  He usually gets a ton of targets versus the Eagles and torched them last year.
  4. KELVIN BENJAMIN  … He’s trash.  Cam is trash.  But sometimes the trash doesn’t smell too bad.
  5. MICHAEL CRABTREE … Prefer him on the road and he is coming off the 2 TD game which will put people on Cooper andhe gets the touchdowns.
  6. KENNY GALLODAY … The big physical WR’s will give Atlanta more fits than the speedy types (Tate)
  7. DESEAN JACKSON … Boom or bust play, I’ll have very little exposure on him, but I will have some.
  8. BRANDIN COOKS … Same boat as D-Jax.
  9. JAMEISON CROWDER  … With everyone jumping on the Pryor narrative (former team that drafted him), Crowder is the one guy that Cousins throws a TD too.

SNEAKY

  1. TOMMY LEE LEWIS … 0.002% owned Milli-Maker play who scores a 40 yard TD.  And that 0.002% is me
  2. DEVIN FUNCHESS … If full game stack on CAR/NO
  3. KENNY STILLS … Dolphins should throw the ball against Jets with success, but wont have to do it too much.

TIGHT ENDS

CORE PLAYS

None, I am spread out at TE but it’s only a few guys….

TOP EXPOSURES

  1. ERIC EBRON … Hopefully he won’t flop like Jared Cook did against Atlanta last week.  Underpriced on DK (and FD honestly) and has a great matchup.
  2. JARED COOK … Looking forward to dominating another PrimeTime slate?  Cook will be our TE and one of the few plays from the OAK/WAS game.
  3. JACK DOYLE … Cleveland is terrible vs TE
  4. ZACK ERTZ … Wentz throws it soooo much and Ertz is a PPR machine on DK.

SNEAKY

  1. ED DICKSON … Saints struggle with TE’s and likely will ignore Dickson.  Dont expect much but if you are out of cap room and doing TE last, look here.
  2. DELANIE WALKER … Good TE who will be very low owned because of the matchup.  Tennessee Wins.

DEFENSE

  1. DENVER … Not even close, top matchup on the board.
  2. PHILADELPHIA … Giants O-Line and Eagles pass rush is a bad disaster waiting to happen
  3. CAROLINA … Saints haven’t turned it over in the first two weeks.  They will this week despite my love for Brees.  Carolina will score a defensive TD and kill all the Cam shares.
  4. TENNESSEE … Seahawks have been generous to defenses.

KICKERS

  1. DUSTIN HOPKINS … Great way to get exposure to this chalk game without riding the chalk flops.
  2. MASON CROSBY
  3. CHRIS BOSWELL
  4. STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI

FOUR GPP CORES OF FOUR

  1. Brees – Riddick – Thomas – Benjamin
  2. Stafford – Riddick – Julio – Ebron
  3. Dalton – Hunt – Green – Nelson
  4. Mariotta – Henry – Walker – Titans D

BOLD PREDICTIONS

  • More turnovers than touchdowns in the Browns/Colts game
  • Tom Brady throws 0 TD
  • Marcus Mariotta is the only person to rush for 2 TD on Sunday
  • Tampa beats the Vikings
  • Brees throws for 400+ yards and a pick 6.
About Steve Renner 667 Articles
ScoutDFS - MLB, NHL and NFL DFS Expert.2018 NHL WHFC Live Finalist. Author of the Dongers Club. Defender of all things New Orleans Saints.