The DFS primetime slate for week three looks it will include a whole lot of offense and not a lot of defense. Both the Sunday and Monday games have totals of 53.5. This will be an interesting puzzle to figure out this week due to the star power on this slate. Let’s get into the games.
New England Patriots (-7) @ Detroit Lions
Matt Patricia and the Lions will get a chance to go up against his former team this week. The Patricia era has not gotten off to a great start as they are now 0-2. It appears that Vegas is not confident in the Lions’ chances to put their first W in the win column this week either.
Matthew Stafford checks in as the fourth priced quarterback on this slate at just $5,800 on Draftkings. With the Lions being a seven-point underdog here, it looks they will be having to throw to have any chance at winning this game. Stafford attempted 46 passes in week one and followed it up with 53 last week against the 49ers. Not only does this show how reliant the Lions are on the pass, but it also means we can trust Stafford to reach value. The Lions also have their share of weapons in the receiving game with Marvin Jones Jr, Golden Tate, and Kenny Golladay.
Of those three guys, I am most interested in Golden Tate ($6,700 on Draftkings). I don’t mind mixing in each of these receivers if you are making many lineups. Stafford seems to have a twinkle in his eye for Tate so far this season as he has targeted him 28 times over the first two weeks. Kenny Golladay ($5,900 on Draftkings) has also gone for 20+ Draftkings points in each of the Lions first two games.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,500 on Draftkings) is currently listed as questionable for Sunday night’s contest. If he were to miss, the targets for Tate and Golladay would increase. Make sure to monitor this situation up until lock.
The Patriots took a tough loss last week to the Jaguars and will look to get back on track against their former coach. Look for Belichick to not hold anything back. You could make the case that Matt Patricia knows a lot about what the Patriots like to do on offense. The problem with that is I don’t think the Lions possess enough talent on the defensive side of the ball to keep this game close.
Tom Brady ($6,800 on Draftkings) is listed as the highest priced quarterback for this slate. He is a full $1,000 more expensive than Stafford, but he does have the better matchup. If Brady puts on a vintage performance here, he will be worth every penny.
Rob Gronkowski is a whopping $7,300 on Draftkings. It will be interesting to see how people fit Gronk into their lineups as the options behind him are slim. After a lackluster performance against the Jags, he still has incredible upside as Brady’s favorite target. People are quick to forget how he went off for 27.3 Draftkings points in week one.
In the running back stable, the Patriots situation is a bit of a headache. It looks like the Pats will have three healthy running backs in James White ($4,800), Rex Burkhead ($4,100) and Sony Michel ($3,900). If I had to pick a guy to fade, Burkhead would be the odd man out. He only carried the ball 6 times last week against Jacksonville which was 4 less than Michel. He was also non-existent in the passing game as James White was targeted a total of 8 times. I would not advise fading this backfield entirely as you will need it for savings on this slate. I would proceed with caution, however.
The Patriots made a splash earlier this week when they acquired Josh Gordon ($5,400) from the Browns. He is currently questionable for this contest. If he does end up active, I am unsure of how much the Patriots will use him this early. With that said, Gordon probably only needs one big play to make a difference on this slate. He may also come at low ownership if people decide to be cautious with their lineups. Chris Hogan ($6,200) was able to bounce back from his poor week one performance with two touchdowns against the Jags last week. Even with Gordon now in town, don’t forget about Hogan’s ability in this offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 2-0 Buccaneers come into this game as home underdogs against a reeling Steelers team. The Steelers still have plenty of weapons on their side, but will their defense be able to handle the new high octane attack of Tampa Bay? This will also be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s last start before Jameis Winston is back from suspension. Can he make it three big games in a row and keep the job?
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,900) on Draftkings has lit the league on fire to start the 2018 season. After going into New Orleans and beating the Saints, he led the Buccaneers to another win in week two against the defending Super Bowl champs. Over the first two weeks of the season, he is averaging an incredible 39.6 Draftkings points. It seems that new offensive coordinator Todd Monken has elevated Fitzpatrick and his surrounding weapons to another level. Look for Fitzmagic to try and put up another big outing in an attempt to keep hold of the starting job.
One reason I like Fitzpatrick here is the Bucs lack of any real running game. Peyton Barber ($3,700) has not been able to get much of anything going on the ground. I am not too confident in his chances in this game either as this contest looks like it will skew heavily towards the pass once again. With that said, he is super cheap and if he somehow finds the end zone or adds in a few catches, he would be a great salary saver.
In the receiving corps, it seems that every player has been involved in one big play or another to start the season. Mike Evans is the most expensive of the group at $7,600. He is off to a blazing start as he is averaging 27.0 Draftkings points over his first two games. The surrounding pieces are also viable as well. Desean Jackson ($5,200 on Draftkings) has put on two vintage displays of speed to start the season. He has gone for over 100 yards and a touchdown in both games to begin 2018. Chris Godwin ($4,700 on Draftkings) has also found the end zone each of the first two weeks. He is currently questionable so make sure to check on his status if you plan on using him.
At tight end, O.J. Howard ($3,200 on Draftkings) is a full $4,100 cheaper than Rob Gronkowski. His box score was a little padded last week thanks to a 75-yard touchdown. He could be a nice option on Monday night though, as the Steelers were torched by Travis Kelce last week. It is also encouraging that Cameron Brate has not been nearly as involved to start the season.
Ben Roethlisberger is priced as the second most expensive quarterback at $6,200. He did post a monstrous outing last week against Kansas City with 41.98 Draftkings points. That game was at home though, and this week Big Ben will have to get it done on the road. One of the main talking points when discussing Big Ben in fantasy is his home/road splits. Through his career, Big Ben has significantly underperformed on the road. Will the trend continue this week against a weak Tampa Bay secondary?
James Conner will once again be doing the heavy lifting in the backfield as Le’veon Bell remains out. Conner ($7,400 on Draftkings) is the highest priced back on the slate when you exclude Bell. He has been a beast in Bell’s absence. His has both a role in the running and the passing game and should be given heavy consideration on this short slate.
The Steelers wide receivers are led by Antonio Brown ($8,600 on Draftkings). Brown has been the most recent Steeler to sound off on social media and apparently did not show up to practice this past Monday. I am not too concerned though and I would fully expect Brown to play. AB has received a ridiculous 33 targets through two weeks. He should not have a problem against this poor Tampa Bay secondary. His teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster has gotten his second season off to a great start as well. Smith-Schuster ($7,100 on Draftkings) has posted over 100 yards in each of the first two weeks. He is clearly cemented as the team’s number two receiver behind AB.
At tight end, Jesse James ($3,300 on Draftkings) has carved out a nice little role in the Steelers offense. He has been targeted 5 times in each of the first two games. If you do decide to pivot off of Gronk at tight end, James would provide a great deal of savings. Maybe you get lucky and he finds the end zone for the second week in a row.
Well, that does it for the week three edition of the Primetime Playsheet. Here’s to hoping you see some green screens after Monday night comes to a close.