The NFL season is here, and there are NFL DFS picks and NFL DFS Week 3 DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo contests to get right into. Greg Ehrenberg breaks down some of the key news in his Slant and Go article.
The Slant and Go NFL DFS Thoughts for DraftKings + FanDuel
Julio Jones Playing Through A Hamstring Injury
Jones is such a high-variance receiver that I never know what to make of his injuries. It looks like I underestimated how dinged up he was heading into Week 2. Jones was limited in practice but never at risk of missing last week’s game against the Cowboys. Jones getting limited practice reps is somewhat routine at this point of his career, so I didn’t think much of it. In a game against Dallas that featured 79 total points scored, Jones hauled in just two catches for 24 yards on four targets. He also dropped an easy touchdown on a long pass from Russell Gage. I am paying close attention to the beat reporters this week. If Jones looks off in practice, then Calvin Ridley and Gage both become stronger receiving options.
James White Uncertain To Play Heading Into Week 3
After a horrible family tragedy, White sat out of the Monday Night Football game against the Patriots. As always, the New England backfield situation is full of landmines. There is always upside, but finding out the best value is never an easy task. Luckily, there looks like we should have enough value that targeting the Pats backfield isn’t a must. For now, I am assuming that White won’t play and I am going to walk through the running backs to try to find the back most likely to succeed this weekend.
First and foremost, the Patriots are favored by 5.5 points over the Raiders this weekend. Despite a strong win for the Raiders against the Saints on Monday Night Football, oddsmakers aren’t sold on Las Vegas quite yet. This is reasonable, and I think that New England would win this matchup more often than not. Last week, Rex Burkhead played 71% of the snaps while Sony Michel saw a 21% snap share. With this said, the Patriots lost to the Seahawks and trailed for most of the second half. Michel started, and I assume he will get more touches in a game that New England is leading. If White is out, I think Michel is the Patriots back to roster.
Can Jordan Reed Shine Again?
I assume most people don’t remember what I wrote last week about the 49ers’ tight end situation as it pertained to NFL DFS. To recap, I thought Reed was one of the best values of Week 2 at this time a week ago if George Kittle didn’t play. By the time lock rolled around, I had 0% exposure to Reed. What happened was an ominous quote from Kyle Shanahan. He said that he didn’t expect Reed to play much more than 10 snaps he played in Week 1. For that reason, Reed went from somebody that looked like an obvious value to somebody I wanted to avoid. Then the game happened and he played 28 snaps, catching seven passes for 50 yards with a pair of touchdowns. If Kittle is out, I am sticking to my guns and getting exposure to Reed this Sunday.
Chaos In The 49ers’ Backfield
Not only is Kittle currently considered questionable, Tevin Coleman is out, Raheem Mostert is out and Jimmy Garoppolo is up in the air to play. In a favorable matchup against the Giants, it stands to reason that the 49ers will look to run the ball. As a a favorite, the running backs should see a favorable game script. While I doubt that Jerick McKinnon will see all the touches due to his injury history, I think he should start and makes for a better play than Jeff Wilson. Wilson only played five snaps last week compared to 13 for McKinnon. I expect something around a 65/35 snap share given how San Francisco used the two backs last week. McKinnon also has more passing game upside since he has four targets this season and Wilson has zero.
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Making Sense Of The Giants Without Saquon Barkley
The injuries were so ridiculous on Sunday that Barkley wasn’t even the highest-drafted player to go down. Barkley was the consensus top pick in fantasy drafts, and we also lost Christian McCaffrey for an extended period of time due to an ankle injury. Barkley is out for the season, and I actually don’t think his injury will have much significance as far as NFL DFS goes. While this seems crazy, the Giants signed Devonta Freeman, who I assume will end up starting. Since he was added during the week, he isn’t in the player pool on DraftKings or FanDuel. Freeman is a must-add in yearly leagues, but there’s nothing we can do about him as of now for DFS purposes. Dion Lewis is also a fade assuming Freeman gets most of the work.
With Christian McCaffrey out for at least a few weeks, all eyes have turned to Carolina backup running back Mike Davis for Week 3, and for good reason. Based on the Awesemo NFL Stats Projections, Davis is lining up to be one of the best NFL DFS picks and extreme values on DraftKings. Click on the image below to see more Awesemo NFL Projections.
The Reason To Love Mike Davis In Week 3 NFL DFS
As mentioned above, McCaffrey is out this weekend and is looking at an absence of multiple weeks. Davis only saw one rushing attempt on Sunday but got a ton of work in the passing game. With the Panthers trailing, he was targeted eight times through the air, hauling in all of these passes for 74 yards. Even with McCaffrey, Carolina looks like a weak team this season. Without him, the Panthers figure to trail in most games, and they come into Week 3 as a 6.5-point underdog. Considering how Davis was used on Sunday, this looks like a perfect game script for him to rack up PPR points. Most likely, every game script will look perfect for him until McCaffrey returns.
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