Welcome to week three, where Kareem Hunt is the second most expensive running back behind Le’Veon Bell, and a member of the Cleveland Browns is going to be chalk. Things are getting weird as the season goes on and prices get tighter. We definitely don’t have as many high totals as last week, but there is still value to be had in a week with some great matchups. Let’s get right into my Week 3 cash game core.
Matthew Stafford – $6200
As we get deeper into the season, prices are getting tighter and tighter. Stafford is probably my favorite value of the week, escaping week two without a price change due to Monday night play. In a game touting the week’s second highest Vegas total, Stafford will see an Atlanta Falcon’s team without their prized pass rusher, Vic Beasley, who led the league in sacks in 2016. The Lions are 3 point home underdogs, which bodes well for Stafford who performs significantly better at home, averaging 293 passing yards and 2 TD’s per game, throughout his career. With no real semblance of a run game, Stafford should be throwing early and often to keep up with the Falcons, who put up an average of 34 points per game in last year. This is a really great spot for Stafford and an even better price.
Jay Ajayi – $7700
Priced up at $7.7K, Ajayi is still one of the safest options to reach value this week. Last week, he played over 90% of offensive snaps, rushing for 122 yards and catching two passes for 4 yards. Miami force fed Ajayi in the run game, and I feel like his lack of involvement in the receiving game was largely due to Landry’s great matchup in the slot. This week, the Dolphins are on the road to meet the Jets, who rank dead last in both rushing yards allowed, as well as rushing touchdowns. The game script should heavily favor Ajayi and the Dolphins, and another 30+ touch game is certainly in the realm of possibility.
Ty Montgomery – $6900
The quintessential all-purpose back, TyMo is still too cheap at his sub $7K salary. He is getting goal-line work, involvement in the passing game, and definitely benefiting from the lack of RB depth behind him. Montgomery absolutely smashed as the chalk last week, while only rushing for 35 yards and touchdown, the bulk of his yardage came from the passing game where he hauled in 75 yards and ANOTHER touchdown. While there is some talk of Green Bay scaling back his workload, they just don’t have another multifaceted back on the roster that can compete with Montgomery. In a meeting with the Bengals this weekend, the Packers are heavy home favorites, and should heavily utilize Montgomery against a Cincinnati team who ranks only in front of the Jets in rushing yards allowed. Positive game script where Green Bay’s receiving core isn’t at full speed? Yes.
AJ Green – $8100
$8100 is the cheapest we have seen AJ Green since week 3 of last year, where he was priced down due to the matchup with the Denver Broncos. I’m all in on the squeaky wheel narrative with Green. The Bengals have just made a change at offensive coordinator, and Green has been very vocal about his dissatisfaction with his involvement in the offense. The Bengals head to Lambeau Field this weekend, where they are heavy road underdogs. The Packers are actually, very middle of the pack, through two games, in regard to yards and fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. However, Green himself has a great matchup with Damarious Randall, who is currently graded as Pro Football Focus’ 3rd worst CB, out of 106 qualifying corners. Randall was benched in the first half of Sunday night’s game against the Falcons, for his inability to cover Julio Jones, and for 5’11 Randall, covering 6’4 AJ Green should prove no easy feat. In a game where the Bengals are going to be playing catch up, I’m expecting double-digit targets for Green, and would not be surprised if he was the first wideout, this year, to score a touchdown against Green Bay.
Rashard Higgins – $4000
If you’re feeling kind of uncomfortable that a Cleveland Brown is going to be chalk this week, unfortunately, you have to get on board. Corey Coleman has been placed on IR with a broken hand, which he suffered during last week’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Even with Coleman in for most of the game, Higgins saw 11 targets, hauling in 7 of them for 95 yards. The Baltimore secondary is a much tougher opponent than the one he will see at Lucas Oil, this weekend. Through two games, the Colts rank dead last in yards allowed to wide receivers. Though due largely to being without star corner, Vontae Davis, even if he returns this weekend, Higgins should avoid Davis in the slot, where he has run almost 90% of his routes. Neither of these teams is excelling on defense, and I think this game has a good a chance to shoot out as any other. Higgins is this week’s value you need to construct a solid lineup.
Jack Doyle – $3600
Inexperienced quarterbacks looking to their big-bodied targets is nothing new, and in week two, Jacoby Brissett found his match with Jack Doyle. Doyle caught all 8 of his targets last week for 79 yards, proving to be a reliable option for a quarterback who is going to be throwing the football a ton. Rostering tight ends against Cleveland has been a winning DFS strategy for some time, and seemingly continuing in 2017, as they have made both Jesse James and Ben Watson all stars in weeks one and two. I really think this game has shootout potential and Doyle should have no problem hitting cash value.
Philadelphia Eagles – $3000
If you watched Monday Night Football, you’re probably still looking for the Giant’s offensive line. On the road to Philly, Eli is in for some trouble against the Eagle’s front seven, who already has eight sacks in two games. Aside from O Line troubles, the New York offense, as a whole, has just been terribly inefficient. With absolutely no run game, if the Giants are going to move the ball at all, Eli will have to throw, making way for plenty of turnover opportunity. I don’t know how you get away from the Eagles D at this price.