It’s hard to believe we are already into Week 3 of the NFL season. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it and I will probably be reiterating that thought.

The point of that lead is to try and savor each week of the football season, it goes by quickly and then it’s gone.

So Week 3, where we start to really see trends in teams, where we can start using defensive and offensive stats to make decisions.

Week 3, where 0-2 teams will likely play all out to avoid 0-3 and eventual playoff death sentence.

Week 3, where positive regression should start to fall into place.

Week 3, where negative regression can hit us in the back of the head by surprise.

Week 3, one more week closer to being 1/4 of the way through the NFL regular season.

Playing NFL DFS can be tricky sometimes. While Vegas odds and lines are a solid resource to lay a basis for your research, they aren’t something you should completely rely on and live and die by.

Digging deeper into research, reading multiple touts, listening to podcasts, reading game previews, following beat writers, and injury news can help you in narrowing down your list of players for the week.

Staying consistent to your strategy also is important, and having one set in stone should be one of your first steps. Bankroll management is another strategy to consider. So to pull back the curtains, here are a few things I am doing this NFL season in regards to DFS strategy

  1. Sticking to my bankroll – With a kid and a new job, I can’t play the volume or the entry amount I am used to, but that’s OK. I play between $60-$70 per week.
  2. Contest distribution – I used to play the MIlly Maker a lot because hey, who doesn’t want a shot at a million bucks? I am sure that I will play a lineup or two eventually, but for now, I stick with 50 percent cash and 50 percent of my bankroll in tournaments.
  3. Paying down at QB – Minus Tom Brady and a few Aaron Rodgers shares last week, I used cheap quarterbacks on the rest of my teams. Brady and Rodgers are likely the only QB’s I will pay up for, otherwise I will stick to guys below $7K and if I can go under $6K, even better.
  4. Play a core – Ty Mont, Rivers, Keenan Allen, Julio Jones and Chargers D/ST were in nearly 100 percent of all my lineups last week, then I just filled in the gaps. This week, my core so far is A.J. Green and Eagles D/ST. Wentz is a QB I am considering for high volume, but I do like David Carr, Kirk Cousins, Jacoby Brisett, Kizer and Cam quite a bit this week, so I don’t know if I have that one QB i love. I am still trying to figure out the rest. Injury news may clear up some of my questions.
  5. Maxing out the $1 tournament (20 entries) – Because I have a small bankroll, this allows me to get the feel of playing volume without spending a ton of money. This tournament pays out well on DK and I get to make a lot of multiple lineups.
  6. No tinker stinker time – I’ve always been bad about tinkering with lineups right up until lock. This is an AWFUL habit. You will get off plays you loved and trying to figure out more combos and then you delete a great lineup or two or three and you regret it all day. I’ve been making all of my lineups on Saturday night, early Sunday morning and then leaving them alone until lock (barring injury news). It’s been a stress relief and I am having more fun playing.
  7. Cash games – Last week I played Tom Brady in cash and Philip Rivers in tournaments. I probably should’ve just played Brady everywhere because he was the nuts, but I loved the salary relief Rivers gave me. My decision to play Brady was a naked one as I knew I needed exposure to that game but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play Hogan or Gronk in cash, so I took all of the likely touchdowns I felt the Patriots would score and rolled with Brady. You should be thinking about this type of thing in cash games – get the highest exposure to scoring with a guy you like in a potential high-scoring game. That’s why I like Carr for cash this week, but not pairing him with Crab or Cooper because we are unsure who will have the bigger game and who might bust at those receiver prices.

This week’s pricing is really tight, so finding value is fairly difficult. I think paying down at QB, TE and D/ST will help sneak in a lot of the stud players. So lets get to the rankings and then the picks!

Quarterbacks

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Matt Ryan
  3. Derek Carr
  4. Carson Wentz
  5. Cam Newton

Running Backs

  1. Jay Ajayi
  2. Ty Montgomery
  3. Le’Veon Bell
  4. Kareem Hunt
  5. Christian McCaffrey

Wide Receivers

  1. A.J. Green
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Julio Jones
  4. Amari Cooper
  5. Terrell Pryor

Tight End

  1. Jordan Reed
  2. Zach Ertz
  3. Jack Doyle
  4. Travis Kelce
  5. Rob Gronkowski

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Tennessee Titans
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (if Bradford doesn’t play)
  5. Broncos

Top Stacks

  1. Aaron Rodgers/Ty Montgomery
  2. Matt Ryan/Julio Jones
  3. Le’Veon Bell/Antonio Brown
  4. Derek Carr/Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree
  5. Carson Wentz/Alshon Jeffery/Zach Ertz
  6. Terrelle Pryor/Jordan Reed
  7. Cam Newton/Christian McCaffrey
  8. Jacoby Brissett/TY HIlton/Jack Doyle

Top Narratives

  1. First home game for Philly
  2. Aaron Rodgers at home
  3. Ben Roethlisberger on the road
  4. Cleveland/Oakland/NY Giants vs. Tight Ends
  5. Bengals/Saints/Giants in desperation mode

 

Derek Carr – QB – Oakland Raiders – $6,800

Analysis: I am not sure how much Derek Carr I will have because I am really looking forward to playing Carson Wentz and some other quarterbacks. But he is one of the top overall plays against the Washington Redskins in the week’s highest projected total game. This will be the best offense the Redskins will see this year. The Raiders are well rounded with multiple weapons for Carr to throw to in Crabtree and Cooper and they can use Marshawn Lynch as a hammer in the red zone and wear down the defense throughout the game. The Raiders DST also is weak, meaning we should see some points from the Redskins as well. Carr could be the late-night hammer you need playing in the Sunday night game.

Jay Ajayi – RB – Miami Dolphins – $7,700

Analysis: Bell, Hunt, Ty Mont and McCaffrey are all great options this week, in my opinion. But it’s Ajayi that really stands out to me, especially in cash games. Sure, Jay Cutler may pepper Parker and Landry early and often, but considering the opponent, I think the Dolphins reduce the amount Cutler needs to throw in this game considering Miami should be ahead for most of it. The Jets have been the league’s worst team against the run. They have allowed 190 and 180 yards in the first two games, that’s really all you need to know. Ajayi looked great against the Chargers and that was a road game, so why not another 100-yard game AND a TD or two in this one?

A.J. Green – WR – Cincinnati Bengals – $8,100

Analysis: My favorite overall play of the week. The Bengals have played some stiff competition in their first two games, and get a great draw this week in what should see them throwing the ball a lot to stay with or play catch-up to the hometown Packers. Green has been peppered with targets from QB Andy Dalton, but he hasn’t put up that big game yet. He hasn’t scored a TD either. If it weren’t for the Packers melting down at the end of the second quarter and after halftime, Julio Jones and the Falcons might’ve had a better output due to game script. This is a cheap price for AJ who I think scores 2 touchdowns Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles – DST – vs. New York Giants – $3,000

Analysis: Have you watched the Giants try to play offense yet? Their O-line is bad, and OBJ can only do so much. They have no running game either. The Eagles are in their first home game of the year and can make Eli’s life in the pocket a living hell. Philly’s secondary is weak and riddled with injury, but other than that, I can see them getting to Eli and making it difficult for the Giants to record first downs. If you need a cheap pivot, I also like the Titans DST against the hapless Seahawks.

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