DRAFT Week 3 Breakdown and Top Plays
Week 3 brings different matchups, new challenges, and a fresh set of players primed for your DFS lineups. The DRAFT platform has put together a unique format that marries redraft and DFS together into one exciting and different power couple.
Their weekly fantasy contests are not your typical salary cap format. Instead, they offer a series of snake-style draft contests with differing team amounts. You can choose from head-to-head, 3-team, 6-team, 8-team, or 10-team contests, with varying dollar amounts per contest. With each draft, players must select five position players: 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR/TEs. There are no salaries, no ownership percentages, and no large tourneys.
Below I will take a look at some of the best plays of the week, according to league size. You will see multiple references to aFPA, which is our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. By using aFPA, we remove bias so that we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. One more note: remember that DRAFT is a snake-style format, so you must plan accordingly in larger contest sizes.
With only two drafters involved, your cumulative score just has to be higher than that of your opponent. Since only 10 players are involved, stick to the elite DFS chalk here.
Matt Ryan (ATL) @ DET
The matchup between the Falcons and Lions has the second highest over/under of the weekend, calling for 50.5 points. Detroit's defense has allowed 507 passing yards through the first two games to struggling QBs Carson Palmer and Eli Manning. Considering the high level that Ryan is currently throwing the football, he should be pretty productive in Week 3, hence QB chalk.
Derek Carr (OAK) @ WAS
Similar to Ryan above, Vegas has this game as the highest point total of the week, with a projected 55 points, 29 implied for the Raiders. Carr has 5 passing touchdowns through two weeks, while the Washington defense allowed Carson Wentz to throw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 1, followed by a 224-yard outing in Week 2 from Jared Goff.
Ty Montgomery (GB) vs. CIN
The Packers at home are projected to score close to 27 points against a Bengals defense that has an aFPA of 22.9 PPR points to RBs. Montgomery has been a workhorse for Green Bay, on the field for 88% of their snaps so far this season. While there are rumors of his workload lightening, this weekend’s tilt should see plenty of plays involving Montgomery, once again making him the chalk play in your weekly DRAFT contests.
LeVeon Bell (PIT) @ CHI
Let’s be honest here, Bell is always in the conversation to roster, especially when there is no salary cap involved. The Steelers RB saw 31 touches in Week 2 and played 92% of Pittsburgh’s snaps. He’s not off to the hottest start, sitting at RB25 after two weeks, but his potential is always huge and his lackluster numbers thus far make him easier to draft before your opponent does. Last season, the Bears gave up an aFPA of 26.0 PPR points to opposing RBs; they aren’t looking much tougher to start the 2017 season.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Antonio Brown (PIT) @ CHI
Brown is always a safe bet when it comes to production. This weekend in Chicago is no different. He’s the highest projected WR according to 4for4’s rankings, and with the Steelers’ implied total of 25.5, he should put up some decent fantasy numbers in Week 3. The Bears allowed a collective 204 air yards in Week 2 to eight different Tampa Bay receivers, which bodes well for Brown’s chances of a solid game.
A.J. Green (CIN) @ GB
Despite a slow start, Green has a favorable matchup this week against a Packers defense ranked 24th in yards allowed per pass attempt this season. Also, they finished 2016 as the fourth-worst secondary with an aFPA of 38.5 PPR points to opposing WRs. Green's quarterback has put in a sub-par performance to date, to say the least, but hopefully, we get a bounce back week for Andy Dalton and his receiving corps.
Mike Evans (TBB) @ MIN
Evans had a very productive game last weekend, putting up 22.3 PPR points in his 2017 season debut. Also in Week 2, the Vikings secondary allowed 243 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns to wide receivers. The matchup between Evans and Minnesota’s defense seems to be shaping up to be rather chalky, so feel confident grabbing the Bucs wideout as one of your two WR/TEs.
When you enter a contest with only three teams, you’re either picking two players at a time, or you’re in the middle of two drafters doing just that. Same studs apply here; draft accordingly.
6, 8 or 10-Person Draft
Below you’ll find a few more recommendations for Week 2 starters to assist in filling out five-player rosters when more players are involved. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper into the rankings to find a player or two who out produce the players your opponents draft.
Cam Newton (CAR) vs. NO
This recommendation falls under the “always play studs versus New Orleans” category. Newton isn’t off to a sizzling start in 2017, sitting as QB18 in fantasy points after the first two weeks of the season. However, this game should be one that propels him forward seeing as though the Saints allowed a combined 793 yards passing over the first two weeks, along with 6 receiving TDs.
Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. ATL
In 2016, despite their Super Bowl appearance, the Falcons ended the season as the third-worst at defending the pass, with an aFPA of 18.5 points to opposing QBs. Stafford has been solid to begin this season, putting up a very respectable 40.3 fantasy points, good enough for QB5 on the year. Expect the Lions QB to continue down that same road this week, making for a solid choice.
Russell Wilson (SEA) @ TEN
Wilson has been a disappointment to those who selected him in redraft leagues thus far, but my gut tells me this is his week to get back on track. The Seattle QB faces a Titans defense that ranked dead last in 2016 at defending opposing QBs, with an aFPA of 19.0. If you’re looking for a contrarian way to draft, he’s your guy as many players have lost confidence in Wilson. Remember, he still has the talents of Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and possibly Jimmy Graham, to toss the rock to this week.
Christian McCaffrey (CAR) vs. NO
Simply put, the Saints are a bad defense. They allowed the Patriots RBs to score a total of 49.9 PPR points in Week 2 on their home turf. With DRAFT being a half-point PPR scoring format, McCaffrey’s pass-catching also adds to his Week 3 allure. Grab him if you can; he should produce nicely this week for you.
Jay Ajayi (MIA) @ NYJ
After the Dolphins’ Hurricane Irma induced bye week, the Miami RB looked solid in Week 2, rushing for 122 yards against a decent Chargers rush defense. Look for Ajayi to better last week’s 14.6 PPR points in Week 3 versus a softer Jets defense that allowed Oakland RBs to put up 180 ground yards and 3 rushing touchdowns a week ago.
C.J. Anderson (DEN) @ BUF
With arguably the best defense in football, Denver’s game plan should revolve around playing killer defense and pounding the ball on the ground. With Anderson healthy and running the ball well, this formula should produce decent fantasy numbers in Week 3. While the Bills defense may turn out to be Denver's toughest challenge so far this season, Anderson's potential workload of 20+ carries should translate to success on your roster.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Crabtree (OAK) @ WAS
With an over/under set at a massive 55 points, Crabtree is an excellent choice this week. The Raiders WR is coming off a three-touchdown game and should see plenty of targets in Week 3’s projected shootout.
Doug Baldwin (SEA) @ TEN
Similar to Wilson above, Baldwin is facing a Titans defense that finished the 2016 season absolute dead last at defending opposing WRs, with an aFPA of 42.1 to the position. Baldwin is due for a big-time outing and this could very well be his breakout game of the season.
Keenan Allen (LAC) vs. KCC
Through the first two weeks of the season, Allen has seen 20 targets and sits as the WR6 on the season with 33.5 PPR points. While the Chargers’ opponent is no cake walk, the Chiefs did allow a combined 333 passing yards to the Eagles in Week 2. Allen is Philip Rivers' favorite target, as he has nearly doubled the targets of Chargers' No. 2 WR Tyrell Williams and almost tripled those of Travis Benjamin.
DeVante Parker (MIA) @ NYJ
Parker gets a super juicy matchup against a weak Jets secondary, the same folks who just allowed Crabtree to score 32.0 PPR fantasy points in Week 2. With Cutler under center this season, things look good for Parker to emerge as the Dolphins’ No. 1 red zone threat. Against a New York defense that allowed an aFPA of 37.8 PPR points to their opposing WRs, this week could be a productive one for the Miami wideout.
Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. NYG
Ertz is the only TE I’m recommending for the DRAFT format this week. We saw on Monday night that the Giants defense is soft at defending TEs, allowing Detroit’s Eric Ebron to lead his team in receiving yards with 42 yards plus a touchdown, translating to 15.2 PPR points. Ertz has started the season out scorching, with the third highest-fantasy point total among TEs in the league. He and Carson Wentz have developed solid chemistry, as Ertz has the second-most targets on his team with 18 after two contests.