Daily Fantasy Football: Keep riding Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray in Week 3

DeMarco Murray shredded the Titan defense in Week 2, racking up 173 total yards and a touchdown and paving the way for big daily fantasy wins.  We expect that train to keep rolling in Week 3.

The goal of the Daily Fantasy Football Guide is to give you a one-stop shop for high-value picks from each of the major DFS sites.  Each FakePigskin writer will tackle a site and offer three sections of DFS insight:

Top Choices - Simply put, these are our choices as the top players at each position with the best value, giving you multiple options to create the optimal lineup.

Expert Roster - Each writer provides one roster that will be in play for them that week.

Without further ado, here are our staff picks:

FANDUEL

Justin Howe, @JustinHoweFF

TOP CHOICES

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees, New Orleans v. MIN $9100

Geno Smith, N.Y. Jets v. CHI $7400

Ryan Tannehill, Miami v. KC $6500

Don’t overreact to Brees’ shaky Week 2.  The massive difference between his home and road performances is nothing new, and I expect a pretty studly rebound as he returns to the Superdome.  In fact, anytime he’s playing host, he should be close to the top of your QB rankings … Let’s dispose of the stigma: Smith is showing real quarterbacking chops.  His rookie year wasn’t as bad as you think; as RotoViz points out, he was actually a high-end QB2 when Jeremy Kerley (his only viable WR) was healthy.  And last week, he would have posted a QB1 line had his late 37-yard TD pass not been nullified by the timeout.  He’s running a lot (17-64-1 through two games) and has the makings of a streaming stud, especially against a leaky Bear defense … I don’t like Tannehill as an NFL QB, but he’s had success as a streamer, and this is definitely a plus matchup.  Kansas City is allowing the NFL’s worst passer rating, and Jake Locker’s big Week 1 suggests Tannehill could have real success at home with such a low price tag.

Running Backs

DeMarco Murray, Dallas @ STL $8700

Joique Bell, Detroit v. GBP $6800

Terrance West, Cleveland v. BAL $5800

Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati v. TEN $4900

I hope you heeded my advice to start Hill last week.  The Bengals are thoroughly committed to the run, and as gifted as Gio Bernard is, he’s much more receiver than rusher, as his career 3.9 YPC suggests.  He offers nothing between the tackles, where Hill shines (an impressive 4.9 YPC of his own).  Hill’s 17-touch Week 2 opened eyes, so I expect a near 50/50 rushing split between the two.  This is an awesome price tag for a legit weekly flex play … Murray is a high-scoring no-brainer against a soft Ram run defense that has given up 342 ground yards over two weeks.  He’s running like a man possessed, and until the inevitable injury comes, he’s the focal point of an offense that will be on the field a boatload … Bell seems to have seized the primary backfield load in Detroit, out-touching the aging Reggie Bush 32-23 and producing nine first downs to Bush’s three.  Against the Panthers, Bell’s playing time didn’t waver despite early fumble troubles, so his workload concerns are no more; he’s a RB2 going forward despite stunningly costing less than James Starks on FanDuel … West is firmly in control of the Cleveland run game with Ben Tate sidelined – and maybe beyond.  He’s a good fit for Kyle Shanahan’s zone running attack, and change-of-pace back Isaiah Crowell poses no real threat to West’s backfield dominance.  Few starting RBs are available this cheaply.

Wide Receivers

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay @ DET $8600

Mike Wallace, Miami v. KC $6500

Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland v. BAL $5300

Brian Quick, St. Louis v. DAL $5200

There’s not much more I could say about Nelson that you haven’t heard/read this week.  Awesome talent, has the eye of an elite QB, tons of opportunity, etc. – he’s an every-week target regardless of matchup.  When Aaron Rodgers is under center, you want Jordy if your strategy calls for you to target at least one top-level wideout … Wallace is firmly in the driver seat as Ryan Tannehill’s top target, and he’s producing on a solid WR2 level, averaging a 6-69-1 line on a team-high 19 targets.  That includes an impressive four red zone targets through two games.  He’s very affordable, so trot him out with confidence against a decimated Kansas City defense that’s been shredded through the air … Hawkins isn’t a target down the field or in the red zone, so he’s not much of a touchdown threat.  But FanDuel uses PPR scoring, which boosts his value tremendously.  A dynamic slot target, Hawkins has thus far seen 22 targets from Brian Hoyer’s pop-gun arm, so this is looking like an easy 80-catch season.  Snatch him up at this stunningly low cost … Quick seems to have finally emerged.  The size/speed freak has racked up 14 catches on a team-high 18 targets thus far, and the Rams lack quality receiving options behind him, so it looks like a true breakout season is in the works.  This price tag is very attractive for a talented, clear-cut #1 wideout regardless of his team.

Tight Ends

Greg Olsen v. PIT $6100

Niles Paul @ PHI $5000

Larry Donnell v. HOU $4900

Olsen squares off against a pathetic Steeler defense that has been worked over by TEs thus far. The LBs are iffy and the safeties are off to brutal starts in 2014, so Olsen should put up a solid line as Cam Newton’s security blanket … Donnell has been Eli Manning’s only reliable target in the young season, leading the team in targets and topping 55 yards in each game. The Giants are indeed a disgusting mess, but you can usually trust the safe, underneath targets on dumpster-fire offenses, and Donnell is embarrassingly cheap … I’m reluctantly climbing aboard the Paul bandwagon.  The former WR and KR has seen heavy targets from both of Washington’s QBs, so Kirk Cousins’ presence doesn’t hurt his outlook a bit.  If you’re looking for cheap targets, snag Paul and expect a baseline of around 5-65.

Kickers

Phil Dawson @ ARI $5300

Nate Freese v. GBP $4500

I’ll never stop recommending Dawson.  The 49er offense tends to bog down in the red zone, and their kickers have averaged a stunning 2.6 field goal attempts per game since 2011 … Freese is a very iffy choice, as the rookie missed two FGs last week and the team tried out veterans this week.  But unless they sign someone, roll with Freese and the potent Detroit offense in their dome this week, as FanDuel doesn’t penalize for missed kicks.

Defenses

Carolina v. PIT $5600

Cleveland v. BAL $4700

Carolina will cost you a pretty penny, but should be worth it.  Since halftime of 1, the Steeler offense has bogged down horribly, posting just nine points in six quarters of play.  Their shaky front line should be little match for a dominant Panther front seven … The underappreciated Browns draw Average Joe Flacco and the Ravens in Cleveland, where they just posted a commendable performance against Drew Brees & Co.  I can’t imagine this game scoring beyond the neighborhood of 20-16, so the Browns make for a cheap, sneaky play to help you load up elsewhere.

EXPERT ROSTER

 dfs

As usual, I sought to load up where the money matters – RB, WR, and defense – so I snapped up two great wideouts in solid matchups.  Nelson should be the Packers’ focal point in a shootout, while Jones, always a great DFS play, wound up fitting squarely into my budget.  Quick was my favorite of several good, cheap PPR options this week.  At RB, I chose Murray as my weekly stud, while Hill came very cheaply despite greatly increased usage and a hot matchup: the Titans were eviscerated by Murray last week.  Adding Donnell as a cheap (though high-upside) TE and Freese as a bottom-salaried K allowed me to grab Brees, who returns home to face a porous defense.

Mitch Jahnke, @mitch_jj_3

TOP CHOICES

Quarterbacks

Jay Cutler, Chicago @ NYJ $8100

Geno Smith, N.Y. Jets v. CHI $7400

Kirk Cousins, Washington @ PHI $6800

Cutler seems to be in a groove to start the season and I think it continues on Monday night … Same goes for Geno, who gets to face the very banged-up Chicago secondary … Kirk Cousins is my value play this week, going against the Eagle defense.  He will have to put up points to stay in the game.

Running Backs

Arian Foster, Houston @ NYG $8800

Joique Bell, Detroit v. GB $6800

Darren Sproles, Philadelphia v. WAS $6000

Khiry Robinson, New Orleans v. MIN $4700

I think it’s safe to say that Bell is clearly the number-one back in the Lion offense, and that Green Bay’s defense is awful … No serious setbacks yet for Foster.  I am still going with him until something happens … Khiry Robinson should be in line for the majority of rushes with Mark Ingram on the shelf, and I think the Saints get up early and then pound the ball … Darren Sproles has been lighting up scoreboards and should continue to do so in that fast-paced offense, and he is still pretty cheap for the production you are getting.

Wide Receivers

Alshon Jeffrey, Chicago @ NYJ $7600

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota @ NO $6900

Mike Wallace, Miami v. KC $6500

Davante Adams, Green Bay @ DET $4600

The Bears should have to pass against the Jets because New York is stout against the run game, and I think Jeffrey finally breaks into the endzone this year … The Vikings will find ways to get Patterson the ball this week in as many ways as possible … Wallace is quietly putting up good numbers and is the only weapon Tannehill throws to.  And, of course, he is always a threat to score on the deep ball … All reports have shown that Adams has surpassed Jarrett Boykin as the Packers’ third wide receiver.  Aaron Rodgers can support three fantasy wideouts, and I think Rodgers checks out what he has in his shiny new toy.

Tight Ends

Niles Paul, Washington @ PHI $5000

Larry Donnell, N.Y. Giants v. HOU $4900

Derek Carrier, San Francisco @ ARI $4500

If Vernon Davis misses the game, enjoy saving your money with Carrier, as he will be in line to receive Davis’ touches … Donnell is Eli Manning’s go-to target and Manning loves to check down to his tight end … Paul probably played his best game of the year last week, but Cousins will look to his security blanket and continue to throw to him.

Kickers

Blair Walsh, Minnesota @ NO $5000

Cody Parkey, Philadelphia v. WAS $4900

Not sure how often the Vikings get into the endzone, but they should still move the ball … Parkey will have multiple opportunities to score, being part of the Eagles offense.

Defenses

Indianapolis @ JAX $5100

Houston @ NYG $5200

The Colts are playing the worst offense in the league … Houston gets to go against Eli Manning, enough said.

EXPERT ROSTER

demarco murray

DRAFT KINGS

Andy Getrey, @patsfever24

TOP CHOICES

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees, New Orleans v. MIN $8900

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay @ DET $9200

Kirk Cousins, Washington @ PHI $7,300

Brees and Rodgers have very good matchups and very easily could be the top two QBs this week.  Drew will have a “Breeze” at the expense of a very poor Minnesota defense and a team in turmoil … Cousins is the guy in Washington now, and could very easily keep the job when RG3 comes back.  Jay Gruden’s system is set up perfectly for Cousins, and I expect big things from him this week.

Running Backs

Arian Foster, Houston @ NYG $7500

Zac Stacy, St. Louis v. DAL $5600

Demarco Murray, Dallas @ STL $7,900

Murray was one of my top three backs last week and he didn’t disappoint.  If the Cowgirls are to have any chance of competing this year, they will ride the Murray wave all season long.  Last week, Tampa ran the ball very effectively against a good Ram defense, and I expect Dallas to do the same … Foster is on pace to break the season record for rushes this year.  He is truly the bellcow in Houston and gets the pathetic Giants this week.  Expect his team to be shouting “Yo Adrian, you did it!” … The Zac Attack is alive and well in St. Louis.  So much for a timeshare!  The Rams have no QB, and the Dallas defense is horrible, so expect Stacy to get 25+ touches and be a top-five back this week.

Wide Receivers

Brandin Cooks, New Orleans v. MIN $5100

Julian Edelman, New England v. OAK $6000

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota @ NO $6100

Cooks looks like the real deal.  The Saints are a very angry team playing at home this week. I expect Brees to be the top QB for the week, which will make Cooks’ salary a steal and a must-start this week.  Expect Brandin to “Cook” the Viking defense … Edelman seems like Brady’s one sure go-to guy.  He seems to get 10+ targets a week and gets a juicy match up against a very poor Raider team.  Expect Edelman to be a top-ten WR this week at a very affordable salary … Patterson is a freak of nature; it’s a shame he is on such a poor team.  That being said, the only way the Vikings stay close this week is by forcefeeding him the ball as a WR and RB.  Expect Patterson to be the main man in Minnesota against the Saints.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans v. MIN $8000

Larry Donnell, N.Y. Giants v. HOU $4000

Delanie Walker, Tennessee @ CIN $5700

Graham and Walker were two of my plays last week and both went crazy.  Expect both to be top-five guys again this week.  Graham should go wild and is a must-start if you can afford him in your lineup.  Walker’s Week Two was no fluke; he is a red zone machine.  His salary went up by $2000 on Draft Kings this week; that’s a huge one-week jump.  I expect Walker to be a top-five TE this year, so play him with confidence this week.  Donnell seems to be Eli’s only reliable go-to guy this year.  The Giant offense is very bad, and Donnell and Rashad Jennings seem to be only Giants worth gambling on.  Donnell’s low salary and hot start make him a cheap play worth the risk this week.

EXPERT ROSTER

demarco murray

This week, I found some strong plays with great value at TE (Donnell) and WR (Cooks, Smith Sr., and Benjamin).  Finding such great value allowed me to stack the rest of my lineup with the top QB of the week in Brees, top-ten RBs in Foster, Stacy, and Morris, and possibly the top defense in Houston.  Christmas in my home is coming in September with this lineup.

Eric Florin, @That_RedGuy

TOP CHOICES

Quarterbacks

Jay Cutler, Chicago @NYJ $8100

Tony Romo, Dallas @STL $6500

Austin Davis, St. Louis v. DAL $5400

I’m not a huge fan of spending big on QB, but if you have the salary this week, you cannot pass up using Jay Cutler.  The Jet defense has allowed five passing touchdowns so far this season.

Running Backs

Knile Davis, Kansas City @Mia $6200

Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis @Jax $4800

Steven Ridley, New England v. OAK $4700

Just when we thought that Vereen would get the majority of the snaps, including at the goal line, Ridley comes along and receives 25 carries against the Vikings.  Huh?  One main factor that allowed Ridley to lead all Patriot running backs in carries is that the Patriots were up big.  In addition, the team likely wanted to protect Vereen from any possible injury.   Ridley is still on a short leash because of fumble issues. It is difficult to predict touches and the outcome of a game, but the Patriots are likely to be up big again this Sunday.

Wide Receivers

Julian Edelman, New England @ OAK $6,000

Mike Wallace, Miami vs. KC $5800

Percy Harvin, Seattle v. DEN $5400

While his quarterback continues to struggle with accuracy issues, Miami’s Mike Wallace has continued to produce.  A great sign for Wallace is that he is currently second in the NFL in red zone targets.  While he is known for his big play ability, adding the short game to his arsenal is huge for fantasy purposes.  The main reason is that it will give him more opportunities in the red zone.

Tight Ends

Greg Olsen, Carolina vs. PIT $5600

Martellus Bennett, Chicago @ NYJ $5200

Travis Kelce, Kansas City @ MIA $3700

Over the first two weeks of the season, Greg Olsen has accumulated a total of 19 targets.  It is clear that he’s the number one option on the Carolina Panthers.  A high volume of targets do not always equal production, but Olsen has produced.

EXPERT ROSTER

$50,000 Salary cap

QB Russell Wilson $6800

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw $4800

RB:  Matt Asiata $4600

WR: Jordy Nelson $8400

WR: Dez Bryan $7700

WR: Julian Edelman $6000

TE: Travis Kelce $3700

FLEX: Percy Harvin $5400

DF/ST: Jaguars $2,500

Nothing like a little bargain hunting.  This lineup has a really nice combination of upside, affordability, and good matchups.  I feel extremely safe with Dez, Jordy, Edelman, Bradshaw, and Wilson in my entries.  All five players have been consistent with their production two weeks into the season.  I’m combining that consistency with the upside of Harvin, who at his current price will round out your rosters nicely this week as a WR/Flex play.

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