- There's no shortage of ways to build daily fantasy football lineups in what looks like an unpredictable week. Still, the best value for your dollar on both FanDuel and DraftKings comes from a pair likely sources.
In Week 3, there are a handful of high-priced, high-volume running backs in favorable spots, so approaching cash games with the traditional model of paying up for at least one player at the most consistent, predictable position looks to be the preferred strategy. While salaries are quite forgiving on FanDuel this week, pricing is especially tight on DraftKings, which means paying up for any position is going to lead to noticeable sacrifices at other roster spots. This is almost always the case, to some degree, but owners will find roster construction especially tough on DK. In weeks like this, skillful players stand to benefit—properly pinpointing marginal values and exploiting factors such as roster-construction techniques are skills that are amplified when pricing is tight, leading to a theoretical decrease in variance compared to weeks where pricing is loose and roster-building is a free-for-all.
With ownership expected to be relatively even across the board this week, owners have the option of rostering some of the more popular plays without worry of having a player portfolio that is massively unbalanced. Another byproduct of flat ownership is that there won’t be a dominant roster-construction strategy. Rather than a unique lineup build, big-money winners in Week 3 are more likely to emerge with something like an under-the-radar stack or an unpopular value play. As a whole, the Falcons, Packers, and Lions offenses are expected to draw the most ownership on the team level, but it’s the Patriots and Raiders with the highest implied team totals of the week.
The following will highlight the most notable values from the 4for4 Lineup Generator for both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Editor’s note: “Value” doesn’t necessarily mean inexpensive, but rather the best bang for your DFS dollar. These players, regardless of price tag, project to give you the most production per dollar this week.
Le’Veon Bell ($8,700) at Bears
The top projected overall value on FanDuel this week, Bell was in on 92% of snaps and accounted for a league-high 56.4% of team touches last week after the Steelers eased him into the season in Week 1. Pittsburgh is a touchdown favorite over Chicago, a team that typically rolls out a Cover 2 defense. The Bears are going to do everything they can to keep Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant in front of their safeties, which should open things up for Bell. Expect the workload that we saw last week to translate into big fantasy numbers in Week 3.
Rashard Higgins ($5,100) at Colts
In Higgins's first game for the Browns, he saw 11 targets, accounting for over a quarter of DeShone Kizer’s pass attempts. Through two games, only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Colts. Even if shutdown cornerback Vontae Davis returns for Indianapolis this week, Higgins is likely to avoid the tough matchup as Cleveland’s primary slot receiver.
Kareem Hunt ($8,000) at Chargers
After two games, only one running back in the league has accounted for a larger portion of his team’s backfield touches than Hunt, who is averaging 19 touches per game so far this season. The Chiefs are favored by three and facing a Chargers defense that 4for4 ranks as the fifth-best fantasy matchup for running backs. Last week, Jay Ajayi amassed 126 total yards against Los Angeles, and no running back with at least 20 touches is averaging more yards per touch than Hunt.
Eric Decker ($4,000) vs Seahawks
Decker has accounted for at least 20% of the Titans targets in each of the first two games, and he stands to see an increase in volume with Corey Davis ruled out for Week 3. Decker will face a tough Seattle defense but one of the Seahawks’ few weaknesses is against interior pass-catchers. Coming into the season, Marcus Mariota had the league’s highest career red-zone touchdown rate and Decker ranks third among active receivers in red-zone scoring rate. Week 3 is when this connection should finally pay dividends.