As we head into week 3 of the NFL season, we’re starting to see new trends from teams and starting to see what defenses look like this season. We still don’t have a large sample size, but by watching the games, we’re starting to pick up on things. Trying to guess ownership has been tough for me the first two weeks, and I’m going into week three trying not to overthink what a player will be owned. Let’s get into my top quarterbacks and running backs for week three on FanDuel and DraftKings for Week 2
- QUARTERBACK -
Cash Game Targets
Derek Carr @ Washington Redskins
I could write up Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in this section every week, and I always think they’re high floor options. I really like Carr this weekend against Washington, and love this game in general. Washington has a good secondary, but with all the options in this passing game, I think Oakland is too much to handle right now. Washington allowed 273.94 passing and 1.38 passing touchdowns per game last season. It’s still early in the season, but after two games, the averages are very close to 2016. Carr has thrown five touchdowns in two games, and has yet to throw an interception. He has one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in football, and I think he has a very high floor in this matchup on Sunday night.
Cam Newton vs. New Orleans Saints
It’s crazy that we’re considering Cam Newton for cash games this weekend, but it’s just how bad this Saints Defense is. They have zero takeaways after two games, and they’ve only had three sacks. They’re not getting any pressure on the quarterback. Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, and then Brady threw for 447 yards and three touchdowns. This defense was the top target last season for quarterbacks, and it looks like we’re going to be targeting them all season again. Newton lost his number one target on Sunday with Greg Olson breaking his foot, and that certainly worries me this weekend. However, with this matchup, it’s hard not to consider Newton an option. He’s thrown for over 300 passing yards in three of the last four games against the Saints.
Matthew Stafford vs. Atlanta Falcons
I’m going to be playing quarterbacks against the Falcons this season, and it has nothing to do with the Falcons Defense. This offense is so talented that teams should be trailing against them all season. Green Bay trailed a lot on Sunday night football, and Rodgers finished with 343 passing yards and two touchdowns. They’re ranked 17th in DVOA against the pass after two games. In 2016, they allowed an average of 278 passing yards per game and 2.00 passing touchdowns per game. Stafford has six passing touchdowns and only one interception this season. He’s looked great ever since Jim Bob Cooter took over as offensive coordinator.
Kirk Cousins vs. Oakland Raiders
This is my favorite game of the weekend to target for passing offense. I think a lot of people will look at Carr, and while I like him, I think Cousins has just as much upside and he’s cheaper on most sites. This Oakland defense hasn’t been tested yet, and should be tested on Sunday night. They allowed 261 passing yards per game last year, and an average of 1.65 passing touchdowns per game. They’re ranked 22nd in DVOA against the pass after two weeks this season. Cousins hasn’t had a big game yet this season, and could be missing Sean McVay’s offensive game plan. After the first two games, I’m certainly worried about Cousins this weekend but with that said, I think this game has a ton of shootout potential and I’m attacking the passing game for both games.
- RUNNING BACK -
Cash Game Targets
Jay Ajayi @ New York Jets
It didn’t take long to realize Ajayi was a workhorse last season, and we saw it again in week two against the Chargers. He was on the field for 64 of 67 snaps, and touched the ball 30 times. He had a 97% snap share in week two, which was the highest among running backs. He’s exactly what we’re looking for in cash games. The Jets have allowed 275 rushing yards and three touchdowns in two games this season. With the Dolphins missing week one, and Ajayi not scoring a touchdown, I hope people just overlook him in this spot. I think he has one of the highest floors on this slate, and if he’s not going to come off the field, he’s going to have a ton of opportunity to exceed value.
Ty Montgomery vs. Cincinnati Bengals
We talked about floor with Ajayi, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at with Montgomery. Through two games, Montgomery has played 87.97% of the snaps, and he’s averaging 69.5 snaps per game. We saw him get the goal line carry against the Falcons, and then an inside pass inside the five. If he’s going to be on the field this much and is going to get red zone looks, he’s going to be a guy we talk about all season. He only has 89 rushing yards through two games, but he has ten catches for 114 yards, which is third highest among running backs. The Bengals have allowed 256 rushing yards this season, and an average of 37.5 receiving yards to running backs.
Le’Veon Bell @ Chicago Bears
I’m going right back to the well, and if I get burned again, then I get burned again. Bell touched the ball 31 times against the Vikings this past weekend, and played 68 of 74 snaps. He has an 88.7% opportunity share this season, which is the third highest among running backs. This is the workload we wanted to see for Bell, but in a tough matchup, he just couldn’t get anything going. The Bears allowed 116 rushing yards to the Bucs last week. We’ve yet to get that big Bell game, and we’re receiving a nice discounted price after the first two weeks. I’m hoping people don’t play him this weekend, and we get him under 25% owned.
Christian McCaffrey vs. New Orleans Saints
Well he’s burned me the first two weeks, and I’m hoping to make that money back this weekend against the Saints. In 2016, Greg Olsen averaged 8.1 targets per game, and finished the season with 1073 receiving yards, which was the second most among tight ends. With Olsen out, I’m expecting McCaffrey to become more involved in the passing game. The Saints ranked 32nd in DVOA against pass catching running backs last season, and the New England running backs had 12 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown in week two. I like McCaffrey more on DraftKings this weekend, but I will have exposure to him on FanDuel as well.