Week 3 was an eventful slate that turned out pretty differently than many may have expected. The Rams handed it to Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champs. The Justin Herbert-led Chargers pulled it out against the Chiefs as they had difficulty holding onto the football. Miami at Las Vegas unexpectedly turned into a shootout and one of the week’s most exciting games.
The highest-owned quarterback in DraftKings cash games in rookie Justin Fields put up less than four DraftKings points. Daniel Jones and Lamar Jackson failed as cash game staples. Although Jones didn’t kill your lineup for his price tag. Lamar just couldn’t get it going even against what is supposed to be a terrible Lions team. Justin Herbert was a high-owned quarterback in cash, and Matthew Stafford was as well, to a lesser extent. Those were the guys you wanted, as it turns out.
In tournaments, it was difficult to win anything significant without Josh Allen at QB. His monstrous 40.22 DK score eclipsed the next closest quarterback in Matthew Stafford by almost 8 DKP. The only problem is that his number one stacking partner Stefon Diggs did not get it done. You would have wanted Allen paired with Emmanuel Sanders and/or Cole Beasley and possibly Dawson Knox. So many Allen stacks suffered from being tied to Diggs despite Allen crushing expectations even in what should have been a tough matchup.
Other successful paths in tournaments included Stafford or Herbert at QB paired with Cooper Kupp/Mike Williams. Interestingly, DeSean Jackson stepped up for the Rams and outscored Robert Woods by a considerable margin. If you played Woods instead of Kupp, it did not work out. Stafford/Kupp/Jackson would have been optimal, but Higbee also got it done at TE. Mike Williams was definitely the preferred stacking partner for Herbert stacks. Still, Keenan Allen didn’t kill you at 19 DKP at his price if paired with Williams in three-man stacks.
Let’s take a look at how some of the top plays I listed during the week fared.
Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray failed as high-end options. It seems that the Ravens may have suffered a bit of a hangover after their intense win on Sunday night against KCR in week two. Lamar may have hurt himself a bit on his touchdown flip and had suffered from a non-Covid illness throughout the week.
On the other hand, the ceiling/mid-range value options in Josh Allen and Justin Herbert smashed, with Josh Allen, in particular, putting up a slate-breaking performance.
The much-talked-about value option throughout the industry in Justin Fields was outscored by 49ers backup QB Trey Lance on Sunday night in three snaps and one rushing attempt for a TD. He couldn’t have been much worse, and perhaps there is a good reason Andy Dalton remains under center for the Bears if healthy.
Tyreek Hill failed to hit even his median as the Chiefs generally didn’t meet expectations in week three. It turned out to be a Kelce week, although even he didn’t have a ceiling game.
It was clear as day that one of DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett should smash in week three. While Russell Wilson did not get there and the Seahawks largely disappointed, Metcalf did not and was the WR6 on the week. Lockett did not have a good week, ending with just 7.1 DKP. As I’ve stated in multiple articles, rarely do both of them get there. Still, one of them generally will in most weeks. I listed Metcalf since he was cheaper than Lockett because Lockett was the man in weeks one and two, and regression was bound to hit eventually.
Cooper Kupp had another total smash performance and was the WR3 on the week. He appears to be right up there with any WR in the NFL week in and week out with Stafford under center.
Popular value receiver throughout the industry, K.J. Osborn had a total dud performance. He took a backseat to other Vikings pass-catchers such as Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and even tight end Tyler Conklin. All we can do is look at usage rates through the first two games and identify pricing inefficiencies based on role. Osborn was a good play regardless of performance.
Dalvin Cook appeared to be a top player early in the week but did not play due to injury. Alexander Mattison crushed in his stead, highlighting that it was indeed a good matchup. Cook was in a good position had he played.
Derrick Henry was the popular spend-up option of the week. Despite finishing as the RB8 and putting up a respectable 22.40 DKP, he did not reach a ceiling that warranted his price tag.
As the Seahawks offense in general scuffled, Chris Carson was not afforded the opportunity for a ceiling score but did put up 16.20 DKP and didn’t tank lineups. On the other hand, Najee Harris finally had the ceiling game we knew was coming based on usage and talent and finished as the RB1 on the week.
The top value running back option of the week in Clyde Edwards-Helaire did indeed exceed expectations with 20.9 DKP at just $4,800. He was definitely the preferred option for value over the similarly priced Mike Davis.
Travis Kelce did indeed put up the top tight end score on the slate, but at his price, the ceiling just wasn’t there. It does, however, go to show how high his floor is and how “safe” of a play he is at the position.
Darren Waller did not have a good game by his standards, even though the Miami/Las Vegas game shot out unexpectedly.
In terms of mid-range value, Kyle Pitts just can’t seem to get it going despite the talent, and Noah Fant had a floor game. Tyler Higbee did have a good performance for his price at just 4K on DK with 15 DKP.
The cheap value option Gerald Everett had a pretty decent game for 3K with 10.4 DKP. That’s about all you can ask for short of an outlier ceiling performance.
The tight end position is always tough to pin down. There are a select few tight ends we can count on to have any type of floor, and it can even be questionable with most of them outside of perhaps Travis Kelce.
We often get outlier games from off-the-board tight ends, such as the Travis Conklin performance this week. Ultimately, unless we are spending up for a Travis Kelce, we look for value at the position from tight ends that have a decent consistent role in the passing game.