DFS: NFL Week 3 building blocks, fades and bargains on Yahoo

·5 min read

Whether you've played Daily Fantasy on Yahoo before or are giving it a try for the first time, this weekly column will take an early look at the DFS landscape, revealing whom I like building lineups around, stars to fade, undervalued plays and bargain bin options to help you construct a better team.

Lineup building blocks

Dalvin Cook ($37) vs. Seattle Seahawks

Cook’s sprained ankle needs to be monitored, but he’s worth paying up for this week assuming he’s good to go. The Seahawks have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs through two games by a mile, and while Derrick Henry can embarrass any defense, Seattle has seen the most RB receptions and the second-most targets. Cook is averaging 25 touches over the first two games and returns home for the first time this season in a game with one of this week’s highest over/unders at 55 points.

Kyler Murray ($39) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

With plenty of bargains and undervalued options in the salaries this week, you can afford to pay up for the stars. Murray was on pace to record the most fantasy points of all time before suffering a shoulder injury last season, and he appears to have improved as a passer in Year 3. Murray is also still running and will continue to benefit from the Cardinals adding exciting rookie Rondale Moore. There’s some concern Jacksonville won’t score enough Sunday, but the Jaguars have a highly inviting defense that’s yielded 9.2 YPA with a 4:0 TD:INT ratio. Moreover, both teams have run among the fastest paces this season, so there should be a ton of plays in this game.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has been electric to start the season, and should be an excellent option again in Week 3. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Najee Harris ($19) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The rookie continues to benefit from seeing all of Pittsburgh’s backfield touches but also must deal with a shaky offensive line that’s seen him contacted behind the line of scrimmage more than any other RB to open the year. Harris is a fine building block in a bounce-back matchup as home favorites against a beatable Bengals defense. He could be even busier Sunday with target share hog Diontae Johnson dealing with a knee injury

Stars to fade

Alvin Kamara ($31) @ New England Patriots

Kamara will rebound after last week’s disaster, but there are superior options given his salary against a decent Patriots front in New England. Jameis Winston comically ranked first in EPA/play in Week 1 and then dead last in Week 2, although the real concern for Kamara might be the utter lack of alternative weapons around him. Kamara will be fine in season-long formats, but no need to pay up for him here.

Joe Mixon ($29) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Mixon has the third-most touches this season, as he’s turned into a true workhorse as hoped with Gio Bernard gone. But he still has to deal with Cincinnati’s shaky offensive line, which should be especially problematic Sunday against a tough Pittsburgh defense (albeit one that suffered some injuries last week). The Steelers have allowed just 3.4 YPC without a rush score to open the season, yet Mixon has a higher salary than Jonathan Taylor ($27) and Chris Carson ($26) in far more favorable matchups.

Undervalued options

Mike Williams ($18) @ Kansas City Chiefs

Williams simply looks like a top-15 fantasy wide receiver in Joe Lombardi’s “X” role that includes a much lower aDOT than he’s been given throughout his career. He’s seeing identical usage as Keenan Allen from a star quarterback. In a game with the slate’s highest total (55.5 points) and on an LA offense that’s had to punt the ball just one time this season, Williams’ salary appears way too low as barely a top-30 WR.

Baker Mayfield ($22) vs. Chicago Bears

Mayfield doesn’t have a huge ceiling in this game and will be missing Jarvis Landry, but he should get Odell Beckham Jr. back and is simply too cheap. Despite dealing with his shoulder popping in and out last week, Mayfield has opened the year getting a whopping 10.9 YPA (only Russell Wilson is better), and regression is coming after seven of the team’s eight touchdowns have come on the ground. Chicago’s defense played better last week but had major issues in their secondary when on the road to open the year. The Browns have the second-highest implied team total on the slate, so Mayfield is going to be a major profit at the near minimum.

Tyler Higbee ($16) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Higbee was a bust last week while seeing just one target, but the trends remained otherwise highly encouraging with Gerald Everett gone. Higbee played 100% of the snaps and ran routes from the slot or out wide on nearly half of Matthew Stafford’s dropbacks. He now gets the No. 1 pass-funnel defense, and L.A.’s featured back, Darrell Henderson, will likely be playing at less than full strength with bruised ribs. Higbee should see far more action this week.

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Bargain Bin

Mecole Hardman ($11) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

He’s off to a slow start to the season but tied for the team-high in targets with eight against the Ravens. Hardman continues to act as Kansas City’s clear WR2 with Sammy Watkins out of town and ranked top-10 in air yards last week. Kansas City has the highest implied team total in Week 3, and Hardman is near the minimum salary.

Buffalo Bills D/ST ($11) vs. Washington Football Team

The Bills spent each of their first two draft picks on defensive ends and have allowed the fewest YPA (4.9) in the league by a full half yard to open the season. Buffalo has also recorded the second-most sacks (eight) and are near double-digit home favorites. Taylor Heinicke has played well, but this will be his first road game this season, and it’s against a defense that’s allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. The Bills have an argument to be the No. 1 fantasy D this week and are an absolute steal at this salary.

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