Welcome to week three of the NFL DFS Playbook, the Monday/Thursday installment. The two games on the slate are going to be polar opposites of one another. Most people will be stacking the Monday night game between the Saints and Falcons, but don’t fade the Bengals and Dolphins. The main strategy of winning these contests is being contrarian but not being stupid. One small note before we get into my picks, FanDuel has decided to do away with these contests so all prices will be based off of DraftKings prices.
Drew Brees ($7,900)
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Some people will be pivoting off of Brees this week because of his disappointing performance last week against the Giants. That’s going to be a mistake in my personal opinion. He’s been the definition of consistency from a fantasy aspect and you can bank on at least 275 yards and a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if that number is much higher with a terrible Falcons defense. No matter how many games on the slate, I always have a hard time fading Brees.
Matt Ryan ($7,400)
If I told you that one quarterback was headed into Monday night as one of the three best quarterbacks through two weeks in the NFL and he averaged close to 30 fantasy points, you wouldn’t assume I was talking about Ryan. Now it helps that he’s throwing the ball the Jullio Jones and the Falcons defense can’t stop a nosebleed, but Ryan has been money to start the season. The Falcons are going to need to score this week to keep up and that falls directly on the shoulder of him.
Ryan Tannehill ($5,800)
I know, I know, I threw up in my mouth writing this out as well but maybe with a win on Sunday it kicks the Dolphins offense in the ass to finally get it going. Probably not, but in a GPP he’s definitely worth the chance because of his low ownership. The Dolphins will need to put up points Thursday so don’t be surprised if Tannehill has over 40 pass attempts.
Devonta Freeman ($5,800)
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All of this talk about Tevin Coleman being the guy in Atlanta is absurd. Freeman is still the lead back with Coleman being the compliment. Freeman has a great skill set that fits this offense and he can score on the ground or through the air. I have a hard time believing the Falcons won’t rely on him heavily and he’ll be under owned as well because of people pivoting to Coleman.
Jeremy Hill ($4,100)
Hill is not the kind of guy I love having in my seasonal fantasy leagues…but absolutely a guy I love in DFS. This week shapes up well for Hill because of how bad the Dolphins offense is right now. I simply believe that the Bengals will get into a big league and just want to bleed the clock. Gio Bernard will get some work, but Hill should get the bulk of the carries and makes for a nice cheap play this week. If he can run on the Broncos defense, he can most certainly run against the Dolphins defense.
Travaris Cadet ($3,100)
This is my super sneaky play of the week. Everyone loves Mark Ingram, but he hasn’t even amounted half the snaps in the backfield for the Saints offense this season. Don’t get me wrong, Ingram will get most of the touches, but the Saints love using Cadet coming out the backfield and creating matchups for him against linebackers. Cadet has actually over 1/3 of the snaps, which is more than Tim Hightower. He’s a guy that is going to be a homerun hitter and could pay off big in larger field tournaments.
Julio Jones ($9,500)
It’s Julio Jones. Yes, he’s banged up but that is actually what makes him more attractive in DFS this week to me. Some people will be fading him because of the injury but not me. Julio is one of, if not the best, receivers in the league and the Saints defense is down to their seventh and eighth string cornernerbacks. I love him for a Falcons stack with Ryan.
Jarvis Landry ($6,900)
You remember where I talked about the Dolphins offense being bad? Well Landry is the exception to that rule. Dude is a stud and I argued that he would have a more productive career than Odell Beckham Jr coming out of college. While I was wrong, I wasn’t all that crazy. He’s a PPR machine and should see a ton of work if the game on Thursday goes like I think it does.
A.J. Green ($8,500)
I was skeptical about putting Green on here, but I had to after him having two bad weeks. People will be fading him in favor of Julio, but I think Green could have a week like his did to begin the season with how bad the Dolphins secondary has been. He’s expensive but this should be the week where he “rights the ship” and gets back to being a top five player at his position.
A little bit of fantasy advice for people that haven’t caught on: start Cooks when he plays at home. His home/road splits are asinine at how vastly different they are so far in his young career. I know he will be chalk tonight, but he can explode for a big game at any point. As for Thomas, I love him if Willie Snead is out. He has shown flashes so far with the Saints and it’s only a matter of time before he explodes for a massive game. Thomas is more of a tournament play for me, but he’s so cheap that it won’t take much for him to hit three or four times his value.
Jacob Tamme ($3,200)
I think this will be the last week that you are able to get Tamme in your lineup before people start pivoting to him as a cheaper option. Now he will be higher owned because of the slate, but he’s been nothing short of spectacular so far this season. Ryan trusts him and they finally have chemistry that they were lacking last season. The Saints defense is still the Saints defense and this game could turn into a shootout with Tamme having another big week.
Dion Sims ($2,500)
If I didn’t lose you at Travaris Cadet, chances are I will here with Sims. He’s has proven in the past that he can catch the ball and he has some history with Tannehill. The real reason I like Sims so much is because Jordan Cameron left the game Sunday with a concussion. With how crazy the NFL Concussion Protocol has been, it doesn’t look good that Cameron will be back on a short week. After Cameron left the game Simms went 4 for 46, which put him only behind Kenny Stills and Landry on the team. If you’re looking for a cheap option that isn’t Colby Fleener or Tamme, Simms is your guy.
Cincinnati Bengals ($3,200)
Easily the best defense this week that will be close to 70% owned in most lineups. I don’t feel like I need to convince anyone that the Bengals are the only option for cash games.
New Orleans Saints ($2,200)
You ever bought a lottery ticket before and hoped for the best? That exactly what I’m doing here. I love using the Saints defense because of how low owned they are across the board. Now this could backfire and more than likely will, but last week’s game against the Giants showed that they’re not as bad as seasons past. They didn’t allow a single touchdown in that game. It was a blocked field goal that resulted in the lone touchdown for the G-men. I’m not saying that the Saints are the defense to play this week, but I’ll take the home team’s defense on Monday night with a hope and a prayer something good happens.
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