Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Despite the modest Las Vegas total, this game has some DFS promise. Both sides have affordable offensive pieces and both defenses haven't been that stingy on opposing fantasy players – especially when you consider the Bengals allowed Trevor Siemian come into Cincy and rip them for 312 yards and four touchdowns.
Tannehill has posted back-to-back 300-yard games (387-2 and 319-3) and has made Jarvis Landry a bonafide go-to man in his third season. Odell Beckham Jr.'s college teammate is tied for the NFL lead with 24 catches and leads the AFC with 314 receiving yards. He will be working against the eighth-worst team in fantasy against WRs, which gave up 9-117-2 and 6-100-1 to Siemian's top two targets.
Arian Foster's (groin) expected absence should hand the start to Jay Ajayi, who is priced as a backup. The problem with trusting that value play is the Bengals are one of just two teams which has yet to allowing a rushing TD.
Also, since Jordan Cameron (concussion) is out, you can consider DeVante Parker a more intriguing play and a threat to reel in a touchdown toss in the end zone. Landry doesn't have the size you like to see in a red-zone threat, while Parker does.
For the Bengals, everything works off Jeremy Hill, who was dynamite in a tough matchup against the Broncos last week. Not only is Hill a great bet for a rushing TD (he has 10 in his past 11 games), the Dolphins have the second-worst run defense in football through three games, so Hill should get plenty of work and scoring opportunities. Even Giovani Bernard is a consideration.
Since we believe this lines up as a run-heavy game for the Bengals, we would avoid Andy Dalton vs. the cheaper Tannehill. A.J. Green should be a strong cash-game play, though. Green has five TDs in his past five home games and the Dolphins have given up huge receptions totals to No. 1 WRs: 9-92-1, 7-76 and 8-144, the second two of which were collegiate quarterbacks! (Julian Edelman and Terrelle Pryor).
The best part of this game is it seems to be one that will look like a potential defensive struggle but open up for some GPP-winning production from the primary weapons.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins (in London)
This is one of our favorite games on the slate. Blake Bortles has struggled to look like the 35-touchdown passer he was a year ago, but he has yet to face a secondary as suspect as the Colts'. He did in their past meeting, passing for three TDs and rushing for another in a 51-17 blowout
Allen Robinson got rolling last week with two TDs and should be a high-volume play in all formats in this matchup. Bortles and Robinson are a nice DFS stacking option for GPPs. Heck, you can throw Allen Hurns (averaged 7-111-1 in two games last year vs. Colts) and Julius Thomas (five TDs in past three games vs. Colts) into that sleeper stack. The Jags are about to pay you back for their slow start offensively.
The best part of this game is the fact the Colts have Andrew Luck now to keep up with the production Bortles posted against the Colts last season. Luck has had modest numbers the past two weeks, but the Jags are in the bottom 10 against fantasy QBs and WRs. Because both secondaries are suspect, this game can get crazy between two high-volume passers.
T.Y. Hilton is coming off an 8-174 monster performance and went 4-132 in the past meeting against the Jags last year. The loss of Donte Moncrief (shoulder) put a lot more volume on Hilton and we expect that to continue here. The Luck-Hilton stack is a huge cash-game play.
If you're looking at either of the running games, go with the Jags' Chris Ivory against the Colts front. The Colts have given up the third-most points to fantasy backs, including six touchdowns. only the Saints have given up more to date. Ivory is far cheaper than Yeldon and had a career-high 166 yards rushing and a TD in his last trip to London.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
This game looks like a dud for DFS plays, but the Texans dominated both meetings last season and if that holds up again, there will be some viable plays to be had here.
Let's start with DeAndre Hopkins. The Titans have given up a 100-yard receiver in each of the first three weeks and Hopkins has 24 catches for 449 yards and three TDs in the past three meetings (7-117-1, 8-94-1 and a 9-238-2 monster in '14).
We do not love Lamar Miller in this matchup, because the Titans have been tough against the run and fantasy backs (sixth best). Miller can be slowed to under 60 yards and without a TD here. The Titans have held starting RBs under 40 yards in all three games.
For the Titans, Marcus Mariota might seem intriguing with J.J. Watt (back) out, but the Texans are third best in fantasy against QBs with a banged-up Watt. Look away from the Titans options, including DeMarco Murray (even if LeGarrette Blount pounded the Texans for 105 yards and two TDs). The Titans on the road doesn't present the same challenges to the Texans as the Pats at home did.
The play is Delanie Walker. He had 15 catches in the two games against the Texans last year.
Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins
No Corey Coleman, no Josh Gordon, no chance. That is the Cleveland Browns.
The play of the Redskins D/ST is one everyone is on in fantasy this week. It makes it one to fade in GPPs. We get the logic, though, the Redskins are big favorites at home and the Browns are starting their fifth QB in their past six games, rookie Cody Kessler. We should expect sacks and turnovers, if not D/ST TDs. We just cannot guarantee it from a defense that has been suspect.
If you're playing a Browns player in DFS, it has to be Isaiah Crowell. He is second in the NFL with 274 yards rushing and had a career-best 85-yard TD last week where he recorded a max speed of 21.97 mph. That's fast. Also, the Redskins have been the second-worst team in fantasy against RBs, allowing a league-high six rushing TDs (two in each of the first three games).
Terrelle Pryor is going to get looks because of his historical (passing, rushing, receiving) effort last week, but we have to figure Josh Norman is going to be able to handle him without much fuss.
The Redskins stack has to be intriguing, particularly when you consider the value of Cousins against the Browns defense that has given up back-to-back 300-yard games and seven passing TDs to date. The Browns are seventh worst against fantasy QBs, and Cousins is a relative bargain.
Toss DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed as must-play options, particularly if you are stacking Cousins. The Browns have been second worst against fantasy WRs (mostly because CB Joe Haden (groin) is hobbled) and have given up an average of more than seven receptions to TEs through three games (third worst in fantasy).
Cousins, Jackson, Reed and the Redskins defense is going to be a GPP stack we use. We leave Matt Jones out of the mix, if only because the one category the Browns haven't been bad against is fantasy RBs and the run game.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets
You really have to be a football junky to love this matchup. Not only are both defenses tough (Seahawks No. 1 vs. fantasy QBs and WRs, Jets No. 4 vs. fantasy RBs), but neither offense is all that promising in the matchup either.
The Seahawks are coming off a huge performance back at home, thanks to Christine Michael, Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham, but we cannot advise any one of that trio in a East Coast road game in which points are going to be far more hard to come by. Graham does look rejuvenated, though, and the Jets did give up 6-89-1 to Travis Kelce last week.
The Jets offense is all banged up, as Brandon Marshall (knee, foot), Eric Decker (shoulder) and Matt Forte (knee) are all playing at far less than 100 percent – which should be expect at their age. You can be sure the Seahawks won't be taking it easy on them either.
If you're playing anything, it will be the Seahawks defense against a Jets team that has thrown a league-high seven INTs and given up a league-high three defensive scores in three games.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
The lines are off most boards right now because of Jimmy Garoppolo's (shoulder) status. We would expect him to play, which should help the Pats control this game – especially with the Bills coming off a big upset of the Cardinals. We see the Bills letting down a bit here.
Regardless of who quarterbacks for the Pats, we like Julian Edelman in this one. The Bills have given up a league-high 53 receptions and 780 yards to WRs. This can be a 10-120 game for Edelman, who might even chip in some passing numbers if the Pats give him some run under center.
Rob Gronkowski is the enigma. He has been a Bills-killer in his killer with 10 TDs in the past nine meetings and has 15 TDs in his past 15 home games. His hamstring has plagued him and clearly limited him to zilch the last time out. We cannot trust him.
If you're looking for a sleeper play because of Gronk's limitations, we say Danny Amendola. He posted 9-117 in his past game vs. Buffalo.
We do expect the Pats to continue to pound defenses with LeGarrette Blount, at least until Tom Brady returns next week. The Bills defensive front gave up 30-100-3 to Matt Forte and 19-83-2 to David Johnson in their past two games. Blount should be good for 20-80-1 here.
The Pats defense remains one of the most underrated units in football and it plays far better at home, particularly in the division games. Jamie Collins has 3.5 sacks vs. the Bills last year and Jabaal Sheard had two sacks last week.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
Las Vegas loves this game for scoring because of the quality of the quarterbacks and offenses, but this is a tough one to figure for DFS action. The past meeting was a 20-13 disappointment in Atlanta, with the Falcons winning.
The Falcons are coming off a huge Monday night performance, but Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman won't find the go as easy against the Panthers' front. C.J. Anderson's opening night 92 yards and a TD were an aberration against this defense. Neither the 49ers nor the Vikings could run the ball on them the past two weeks. We wouldn't mess with the timeshare Falcons RBs in DFS this week.
The Falcons' easiest cash-game play is Julio Jones, who is coming off a surprising dud (1-16-0) against the Saints. The Panthers are second to just the Seahawks against fantasy WRs, but they have played some awful quarterbacks to date. Matt Ryan is hot and Jones had 9-178-1 against the Panthers in the past meeting.
The Falcons have been the worst team in fantasy against QBs against second worst against TEs, so you can stack Cam Newton and Greg Olsen for the potential Las Vegas is right again and this game becomes a shootout. Kelvin Benjamin should be in that stack, too – particularly since the Panthers might not trust the running game with Cameron Artis-Payne starting for Jonathan Stewart (hamstring).
There are far better weeks to consider the premium of the Panthers defense, but if you're playing FanDuel you can take the kicker on either side of this one.
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens
The Raiders are live underdog in this one, but you cannot love Derek Carr on East Coast in a 1 p.m. ET start against a Ravens defense that has been stingy on opposing quarterbacks.
There is going to be a lot of love for Joe Flacco in this one, facing a Raiders secondary that is last against the pass and given up the third-most points to fantasy QBs. But, we don't share the love. Flacco just isn't Drew Brees or Matt Ryan and his targets just are not as good as the Saints' or Falcons'.
Sure, that game last year in Oakland (37-33) was bountiful for both sides, but we expect this game to play far closer to the number, if not much below it. If you're going with a Flacco target, it should be Dennis Pitta, who leads TEs with 18 receptions.
For the Raiders, we still prefer the value of Michael Crabtree (19-220-1) over Amari Cooper (15-270-0). Eventually both will be productive plays, but not in a road game against a defense that is tough on QBs.
Latavius Murray is the steadiest cash-game play. He has a TD in each game this season and had a TD in their meeting last year.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
The public has moved this line two full points, a sign perhaps you should be expecting the under to come. Las Vegas is rich for very good reasons, right?
Sure, both defenses have been exploited in fantasy, but name a trustworthy offensive piece on either side. You could say Alshon Jeffery, but can you trust him with Brian Hoyer under center and starting running back Jeremy Langford out (mitigating the run threat)?
We do like what TE Zach Miller did last week (8-78-2), making him a huge bargain. The Lions have given up the most points to fantasy TEs to date, too, so expect a lot of GPP lineups to slot Miller in there.
RB Jordan Howard is getting the start and should be heavily involved run and pass, but the Lions defense is the only one yet to give up a TE to a fantasy RB. We would fade the trendy Howard pick here.
We agree with Vegas in terms of the Lions side looking better, though. Matthew Stafford has three consecutive road games with three TD passes and threw for 703 yards and seven (seven!) TDs against the Bears last year. It makes Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin and Eric Ebron all viable plays.
We just don't have faith this game lives up to his offensive potential. Both teams are led by former defensive coordinators, after all. Those kinds of head coaches prefer to manage a slower-pace game – something they will do against each other, we say.
Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As surprising as Trevor Siemian's 312-4 explosion at Cincinnati was a week ago, it couldn't have come at a better time for DFS confidence in Demaryius Thomas (6-100-1 at Cincy) and Emmanuel Sanders (9-117-2). Both wideouts are intriguing plays at the Bucs, who have given up the third most fantasy points to WRs to date.
The Bucs have played a buzzsaw of fantasy backs (Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman, David Johnson and Todd Gurley), so we will give them a pass on their struggles against RBs (seventh worst) and suggest C.J. Anderson is not quite as intriguing as you might think. It is the Bucs' struggles against mediocre WRs like Mohamed Sanu (5-80-1), Jaron Brown (2-78-1) and Tavon Austin (5-82-1) that excite us for playing D.T. and Sanders in DFS. Sanders is particularly intriguing at his reduced price.
For the Bucs side, we cannot like Jameis Winston against the Broncos defense, especially considering his four-INT effort against a similarly tough Cardinals secondary in Week 2. The Broncos have held down the likes of Cam Newton (194-1), Andrew Luck (197-1) and Andy Dalton (206-0).
Winston can be a contrarian play with Mike Evans, if you are to assume the Broncos force this game into a throw-from-behind one for the Bucs. And Charles Sims, because of his pass-receiving exploits (especially in DraftKings' PPR contests), might be an interesting play.
The Broncos defense is overpriced and we suspect Winston, coming off a 401-yard passing game at home, can help push this game over the number.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Both teams are coming off largely unsuspected Week 3 results. The Rams scored points in a shootout against the Bucs, while the Cardinals were shocked at Buffalo. We don't expect surprises here: The Cardinals are going to lock down and control the Rams as they did 27-3 in this past meeting last December.
With that in mind, we should fade Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin and any cheapo Rams play you might have considered and load up on Cardinals. You can bet the Cards are not going to allow Gurley to rip off the 146 yards he tallied in his past trip to Arizona, especially with the shaky QB play of Case Keenum (even if it improved a week ago).
David Johnson is a TD machine, rushing for 83 yards and two TDs in a blowout loss a week ago, and he tallied 99 rush yards and a TD in their past meeting. He has to be the start of a Cardinals stack if you're expecting payback on your Cards plays.
Carson Palmer went for 356-2 in their past meeting, so you can consider him and any of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown or J.J. Nelson in your Cardinals stack. Even kicker Chandler Catanzaro is intriguing at FanDuel.
The Cardinals defense is pricy, but a pretty good bet against a limited Rams offense in a matchup for first place in the NFC West. How many of you expect the Rams to make it through this one as the No. 1 team in that division after this one? We didn't think so.
New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers
Here is a game to love from all angles. Sure, Drew Brees has had paltry road numbers by his lofty dome standards, but this game is in San Diego – a place he used to call home. Unlike that Saints at Giants game a few weeks ago, this one will live up to his wild billing for DFS plays.
Let's start with bell-cow back Melvin Gordon against a Saints defense that has been dead last in fantasy against running backs. The Saints have given up a league-high seven TDs to fantasy backs and Gordon has become a do-it-all back for Philip Rivers with Danny Woodhead (knee) out. Gordon has four rushing TDs and at least one per game, while his reception count has gone up in each of the past two weeks. He just might be a threat for 200 combined yards and three TDs in this one. Start all cash-game lineups with him.
Rivers loves using his backs and TEs in the passing game, so consider Hunter Henry a strong play with Antonio Gates (hamstring) expected to be out. Travis Benjamin (17-229-2) leads the receiving corps and deserves to be a part of the Rivers-Gordon-Henry stack, especially since you should expect Brees to push the pace on the other side.
Brees went off for 370-4 in the past meeting between the teams, but this one comes in San Diego, where you should be expecting him to be motivated to produce big numbers. The Chargers have given up just five passing TDs, but they have surrendered the second-most passing yards and are fourth worst against fantasy QBs.
A Saints stack should provide value, too – whether it is Mark Ingram, Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas or Coby Fleener (Chargers sixth worst vs. fantasy TEs). There is not a piece in this game – save for the D/STs – you should not love.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
We tend to agree with the public dropping this game a point since it opened. Why would anyone expect either offense to prove productive?
Dez Bryant's (knee) issue stifles the expectations on the Cowboys side. The 49ers run defense has given up back-to-back 100-yard rushers in two road games, but those were at Carolina and Seattle. Hosting the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott is far more similar to when the 49ers played host to Todd Gurley and the Rams in Week 1. That was a mere 17-47 for Gurley.
Fade Elliott and only consider Cowboys Jason Witten and Cole Beasley, on price/value, if Bryant is ruled out.
Carlos Hyde is easily the best-looking play here. He will get around 25 touches and is coming off a 103-yard, two-TD performance at Seattle, a much tougher run defense than the Cowboys'. Also, in the first home game, Hyde racked up 88-2. It should be 100-2 for one of football's biggest workhorse backs, particularly playing for a run-heavy Chip Kelly system that gets limited production out of the quarterback. Hyde's price belies his volume and importance to his team, especially at home.
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
It is rare to expect modest numbers from either of these offenses, but the past two meetings between these teams played below the number. It should also be considered a game to be in the Steelers' hands at home.
They get Le'Veon Bell back and promise to get him the ball a lot, something that should excite you for a big game in his return from suspension. This is the most promising back in football and DeAngelo Williams is old and has been overused in the first three games. Bell is a strong cash-game play against a Chiefs defense that allowed the Chargers running backs to go wild in Week 1.
Jamaal Charles (knee) might return for the Chiefs, but that merely takes plays off Spencer Ware for DFS purposes. We cannot trust any of the Chiefs backs against the Steelers defense that figures to be one of the toughest in football against the run (despite what the Philadelphia Eagles did against it last week).
We like both Antonio Brown and Jeremy Maclin as WR plays, because it is the better of the two prime-time games (Monday night is DFS stinker) but again, this is going to be a disappointing game for both of the offenses relative to their production the rest of the season. Ben Roethlisberger is facing a Chiefs defense that has been the fourth best against fantasy QBs through three games.
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings defense has proved it is not one to mess with and the Giants offense – well, in DFS terms at least – is not one to look to either. This lines up poorly for Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in prime time. If Cam Newton cannot damage them in Carolina, there's little hope for your Giants doing anything in Minnesota, which is where Aaron Rodgers was held to 213-1.
Orleans Darkwa is a popular play because he figures to start for Rashad Jennings (thumb), and he is priced as a backup, but the Vikings are No. 3 in fantasy RB rush yards against and one of just three teams to have yet to allow a rushing TD to a fantasy RB. Fade all of your Giants, including rookie WR Sterling Shepard and WR Victor Cruz.
The Vikings defense is an intriguing prime-time play against the error-prone Manning, particularly because of their leading all fantasy D/STs to date. They have forced four fumbles, five INTs, registered a league-high 15 sacks, scored two defensive TDs, one return TD and picked up a safety. The Giants lead the league in fumbles for their rookie head coach, too, mind you.
Offensively, we cannot trust most of the Vikings offense, particularly since the Giants are No. 8 against QBs and No. 2 against fantasy RBs through two games. If you're playing someone it should be Matt Asiata and/or Kyle Rudolph for their red-zone TD potential.
All told there is little to love in this game, unless you're loading up on Vikings for a prime-time home blowout.
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