Week 3 DFS Lessons Learned


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Week 3 DFS Lessons Learned

Another week, and some more lessons learned in the first season I’ve consistently made DFS picks. Overall, I’d say it’s going pretty well – yet buzzkills are unavoidable.

At QB, I feel pretty good about my picks, since all of my selections were over or just under 300 yards, and most of them had multiple TDs. I tried to find the best options in terms of fantasy points per dollar while also being selective with my picks in an effort to find any sneaky plays looking for an edge. I think I accomplished that with my picks of Jared Goff (321/2, 1 rushing TD) and Tom Brady (297/3), who both had huge games while also being at very low ownership levels.

Matthew Stafford threw for 270/2, but on only 31 attempts, which is not what I expected. But he would have actually met my expectations and more if he didn’t have a 50-yard TD to Marvin Hall taken off the board, so Stafford could have had 320/3 with 0 INTs.

I knew it could happen with Derrick Henry stealing Ryan Tannehill’s thunder, as I wrote, but I feel okay about the call, since Tannehill threw for 321 yards and attempted 37 passes in a high scoring game. That’s what I expected and why he was listed, so there’s no lesson learned, but I was let down with 0 TDs.

As for my other recommendations of Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Josh Allen, they combined for 13 TDs with Dak and Allen throwing for 400+ yards and Wilson for 300+, so while they were pricey, they came through.

I’m also glad I didn’t list several players, namely Daniel Jones, who looked appealing at a low price. Mitchell Trubisky was also appealing, but as I wrote in several places last week, I felt he could get pulled. In fact, I said on the radio that if he didn’t have 150 yards at the half, he should get pulled, and that’s what happened. I’m also glad I didn’t buy into Cam Newton. He was a popular cash game pick, but I wasn’t feeling it at all. I had him projected much lower this week, but the rest of the staff wanted him ranked higher. I also didn’t love Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger, so it was a good week for QBs.

At RB, things didn’t go as well. I thought Chris Carson was a good recommendation in part because of his low ownership, but even though he got hurt, that one didn’t work out. No real lesson learned, since I thought a lot of points would be scored and these teams combined for 69 points, with Seattle scoring 5 TDs. I wasn’t even that worried about Russell Wilson bogarting the scoring, since Carson had 3 TDs receiving in their first two games.

Jonathan Taylor underwhelmed, but that was just bad luck, since he wound up getting only 13 damn carries against the hopeless Jets. They simply didn’t need Taylor, who played only 40% of the snaps. I went back to Miles Sanders again as well, with so-so results. I don’t want to use someone in a passing game when a QB is struggling, so Sanders made sense. Yet, Carson Wentz’ woes did hurt me, since he missed an open Sanders for what could have been a 50-yard TD. He was pretty damn open on the left sideline and a good throw likely results in a score and a 26+ point day for Sanders.

I don’t regret listing Devin Singletary as a wise play, since I wrote about his likely 20 opportunities, and he got 18 with 16.1 fantasy points, which represented over 3X his price, so that was a win. I didn’t expect a TD, and I’ve joked all year that he’ll probably never score another TD in his life on this team, but a score would have made him a brilliant pick, and I wasn’t ruling it out.

The best RB call of the week was an obvious one, but nothing is obvious when you have to pay up for a RB in DFS, especially in a struggling offense. But I wrote that “Dalvin (Cook) is definitely due for a big rushing day…and has a really good chance to deliver 20+ PPR points in this one.” Dalvin got 28+ and was used in two of my three sample lineups. I won $100 in some random contest I joined using lineup #1 for the week.

The WR calls were mixed, but I was really happy with some of the good calls. But let’s start with the bad because I actually have a lesson:

The Giants are dead. Their OL has been awful, and the entire team is out of sync. They did look okay in Week 1, so in my defense, with the sample size increasing 33% this week it’s easy to say now, but I’m not trusting anyone in this craptastic offense until proven otherwise. Darius Slayton was hard to pass up at his very low salary of $4900, and he was tied for the team lead with 7 targets, but his chances have been reduced considerably with no running game and no pass protection. Slayton does not look like a good cash play going forward, since he’s so volatile.

I’ll have to live with the Corey Davis recommendation because his QB did throw for 321 yards in the higher-scoring game I was expecting, and Davis did lead them in receiving, but he needed a TD to add to his 5/69 day. I actually said or wrote that I’d take 5/70 with a TD as a really nice day, but the TD didn’t come.

I did also take a shot with the dirt-cheap Michael Pittman whose snaps were down from 92% in Week 2 to only 58% in Week 3. The Colts didn’t need him, and he also got hurt. At least I didn’t recommend the more expensive TY Hilton, but I should be more judicious when I select low-end options. Ceedee Lamb also let me down with only 11.5 points, so the lesson there is to pass on fairly expensive guys like Lamb ($6300) when his team has 3-4 other receivers who could get it done (even Cedrick Wilson).

And finally, freaking Desean Jackson got hurt again. This guy’s bad vibes this year, and the Eagles are bad vibes, so other than Miles Sanders, I’m out on the Philly Birds and their horrible offense until further notice.

There were four specific matchups that I was feeling this week and profiled them in my column, and they all came through: Allen Robinson, Tyler Boyd, Cooper Kupp, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Robinson was pretty obvious, but it would have looked bad if he didn’t explode. Luckily, he did. I was really feeling a JuJu game, but I may have gotten lucky, as Diontae Johnson got hurt (only 19 snaps), but JuJu did score with a solid 14 DK points. The best calls were Boyd and Kupp, and they were both matchup-based calls that worked.

Finally, I did also list DeAndre Hopkins, and while obvious, he hit 3X his value, so that’s a win. I also included Tyler Lockett given his matchup in the slot and the likelihood that he could go off, and that worked very well.

So overall, it was a good week for WR calls.

At TE, it was not so good, unlike Week 2. Not much I can do, though, when it’s a bad week for the position.

I did give Jimmy Graham a lot of time with a wordy writeup on his matchup, and he was the TE call of the week. I actually used him in the Fanball Super Flex DFS weekly challenge along with Dak, Goff, Dalvin, JT, Thielen, Lamb, A-Rob, so I mostly players from my article, and I did score 200+ points and had the highest finish of the young season among our five staff members who compete in this every week, and I even won $10.

Note: If you’d like to compete against me and four of our other experts it’s only $5/week and there are cash prizes, plus we’re awarding a FREE 2021 standard subscription to five random winners each week who beat all five of our experts. Here here for details.

But I got burned by listing Hayden Hurst, even though he scored. It’s pretty sad when your TE scores and he’s still a flop, but that was Hurst. At this point, the guy’s TD or big-play dependent. Austin Hooper last year was a volume receiver in this offense; apparently, Hurst can be that, so it’s time to stop recommending him for now. I also listed Hunter Henry, who I thought was unusually low-priced at only $4800. He did have 7 targets, but his 5/50 didn’t cut it. I also listed Jared Cook, but he got hurt.

I also tried two low-end guys, and they didn’t work out. Drew Sample isn’t very good, and Logan Thomas has been a mirage the last two weeks, so I’m out on him with his poor QB.

So that’s it, nothing earth-shattering in Week 3, but I did add a few subtle lessons to my repertoire, so I know I got incrementally better after Week 3. I know my recommendations will be good next week, but will the NFL do its part?

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.