Welcome to the fourth edition of the FanDuel DFS mail bag. Every week I'll take questions on Twitter pertaining to daily fantasy strategy and particular players on FanDuel. If you'd like to have your question featured, just shoot it to me on twitter (@MattHarmon_BYB), and it may just find its way into the mailbag.
I've rolled with John Brown for two weeks in a row. Week 1 wasn't a blow up, and Week 2 provided limited returns, although the triple stack with Larry Fitzgerald saved me from a fallout. However, I'm going back to Brown this week, and it'll likely be through the lens of that triple stack for a consecutive week. The value attached to each Cardinals passing game piece is just too sweet right now, and they draw yet another favorable matchup. The 49ers rank 22nd in allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks, and 27th against wide receivers. Fitzgerald's settled into a safe play, with Brown still having a fine floor to complement his blow-up ceiling, and Carson Palmer is an every week consideration.
Allen Robinson will be a staple of my lineups. He reminded us in Week 2 why many analysts were so high on him coming in to the season, catching six balls for 155 yards and two scores. The Patriots have surrendered nearly 200 yards to No. 1 receivers through the first two weeks. With the Jaguars forced into a pass heavy game script, Robinson should get double digit targets for the second consecutive week.
I can't really get behind Devonta Freeman this week. He'll get the bulk of the touches with Tevin Coleman sitting out, but that's not enough to make me excited. The matchup is less than inspiring, as the Cowboys currently surrender 2.6 yards per run play, the best figure in the NFL. Not to mention the value just isn't there for this play, with Jonathan Stewart, Danny Woodhead and David Johnson in a similar range. Freeman's volume makes him intriguing, but his own mediocre play and matchup has me turning away.
Funny you mention the Browns' tight end, he was a surprise highlight in my weekly sleepers column. He's played on 86 percent of the team's snaps, and the matchup is so tempting. The Raiders are so decimated at safety that Taylor Mays and Larry Asante are seeing major playing time. As such, they rank a clear 32nd in allowing fantasy points to tight ends, and have given up two of the four highest scoring fantasy games by tight ends so far this year. Barnidge is a deep play in particular formats only, but my best lineup on FanDuel last week featured Crockett Gillmore under similar logic. I'll have limited exposure, but some indeed.
The QB/RB/WR stack is a great way to create unique lineups to differentiate your team from the field. Mixing a running back into a primary passing game stack can be risky, but one instance where it works is when the quarterback derives most of his value from rushing. Given their rash of injuries, the Bears traveling to Seattle feels akin to lambs being led to the slaughter. We'll be targeting plenty of Seahawks offensive players. The only potential QB/RB/WR that I think can reasonably made is with the Seahawks.
The Bears defense has given up 8.0 yards per pass play this season, with major troubles defending slot receivers. They didn't look great in slowing down Eddie Lacy, or David Johnson when he got going. There's enough opportunity for all of the Seahawks to eat in Week 3. To give you a taste, I made a lineup stacking Russell Wilson/Marshawn Lynch/Doug Baldwin, and was still able to come out with a strong surrounding team:
I prefer Cam this week. The Panthers have given up on trying to procure offensive production by any other means, and Newton is carrying this team. He's currently on pace for an outrageous 192 carries this season. That might not be sustainable, but we'll ride it while it's hot. The running supplements what might be considered mediocre passing numbers to make him a viable blow-up candidate every week. Newton is also easy to stack, as both the starting receivers are bargains. The Saints secondary is banged up and underperforming right now, giving up a league-high 9.5 yards per pass play. Newton is a fine high-upside play. (Editor's note: The user deleted their tweet, so we apologize for the strange formatting)
I like that. For the reasons stated above, I find Cam to be a particularly appealing DFS play against the Saints. Olsen probably offers safer stack potential than trying to pair Ted Ginn or Corey Brown with their starting quarterback. Greg Olsen's slow start has made him a value, and a pairing with Cam still leaves you plenty of room to add other strong plays to your lineup. One other note: the true contrarian Panthers stack would be to have Cam stacked with Jonathan Stewart. The Panthers running game has been sluggish out of the gate, making Stewart quite a value compared to the field of running backs. As in the Wilson/Lynch stack question, pairing the running quarterback with his top back is a good pivot play off a strong matchup and those who will use a sub-par wideout in their DFS stack.
There's a lot of worth in chasing the Seahawks defense this week. Nothing feels safer than playing an angry Seahawks team in their home opener against a team starting Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. I'll certainly take advantage of that. However, this will be a popular train of thought and the unit will certainly be highly owned. Several other better value DEF plays I like:
The Cardinals. Playing at home against an offense that struggled to move the ball before garbage time in Pittsburgh.
Tough choice, but it would probably be Edelman. The Rams still field and undisciplined secondary, and Antonio Brown is matchup proof regardless. His target level and ceiling make him a must play in this format. Brandon Marshall is likely to be my 100 percent exposure player in the DFS Roundup column tomorrow. No number-one cornerback has performed worse through two weeks than Byron Maxwell. If Eric Decker sits, Ryan Fitzpatrick will pummel Marshall with targets, especially against Maxwell. Edelman is a great safe play this week, but I like the others better.
It does fluctuate week to week, @PuQuandrick. However, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to not have one of Antonio Brown or Julio Jones in my lineup every week. Those guys present such a safe floor, dictated by their high target level, but also come with the astronomically high ceiling we saw from Brown in Week 2 and Jones in Week 1. For the foreseeable future, I want to anchor most of my lineups with one of those assets. Also, you can add Gronk to this mix. His status compared to the other tight ends may cause some to fade, but he presents the same appeal of the previously mentioned receivers. In fact, if he played their position, he'd currently be the WR3 behind them.
Nick Foles will be in a ton of my lineups this week. He's a tremendous value, and faces a great matchup. Pittsburgh is currently allowing 27.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and it's not hard to see when you watch the film that Pittsburgh currently fields one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. This deals an obvious advantage to the opposing quarterback, but so does the influence of a pass-heavy game script. The Rams are sure to fall behind the mighty Steelers offense, and that will force Foles and company to the air. He's a total bargain this week. Additionally, his passing game weapons fall under that category. You can pursue a stack with Stedman Bailey or Kenny Britt, but I prefer a Foles/Jared Cook stack. Surprisingly, he sits as the TE13 in PPR leagues, catching 10 passes in two games. He's tied with passing down for back Benny Cunningham for a team leading 13 targets. If you're looking to make a leverage play off what should be a big day for Nick Foles playing catch up against this poor secondary, Cook is probably the safest choice.