If there’s one thing we love when trying to assemble a fantasy lineup, it’s a clear motivation by a team to use a specific player. In Week 3, we have desperation on-hand for a number of teams trying to salvage their season. Which means we have players who will be asked to carry their team. We can ask the same for our fantasy teams.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 3 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs
Luke’s DFS Take: These Kansas City Chiefs have surprised many by kicking off the season 2-0 against two strong opponents, but they won’t be catching anyone by surprise anymore. Patrick Mahomes has looked nothing short of perfect so far this season, and his strong arm has turned this whole offense into a fantasy goldmine. The hits start should continue as he now takes aim against a 49ers defense that has looked suspect to start the season. I think the Chiefs may be jumping out to a big lead early in this one which could bring the forgotten member of this offense into the picture. Kareem Hunt was everyone’s favorite fantasy stud last year, but has fallen to the wayside this year as the passing game has taken center stage. The game script and Andy Reid’s tendency to mix things up make Kareem Hunt my favorite Chief to target on Sunday. The 49ers’ passing game has the perfect situation this week as the Chiefs’ secondary is proving to be vulnerable, and they should be playing from behind which will mean plenty of passing. Despite the ideal set up, it’s hard for me to get overly excited about this team. Jimmy Garappolo has looked mediocre thus far, and his weapons are not exactly the strongest cast in the league. Outside of George Kittle, there isn’t really anybody on this team I’d look at too seriously.
Mario’s DFS Take: It’s going to be difficult to avoid using Patrick Mahomes in the coming weeks, but consider the insanity of his current rate. Right now, with ten passing touchdowns through two games, he is on-pace to throw eighty. That would shatter the current record by 35 – or 68 percent. It isn’t happening, and it is more likely that, even if Mahomes were to soar toward the record, he would throw somewhere around three or four passing touchdowns, each week. Undoubtedly, this is still outstanding, but it is a step down from what will be expected at his high price. Still, Mahomes is surrounded by playmakers that will continue to propel the offense forward, so we can sprinkle in healthy doses of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt. And, since it’s likely that Kansas City is scoring in bunches, we have to expect San Francisco’s offense to be attacking in full-force – we saw the Steelers do this, last week, after falling behind early. Jimmy Garoppolo is in a great position, but he moved away from tight end George Kittle after targeting him nine times in Week 1. I’m willing to view last week as an anomaly given the game situation, and I expect Garoppolo to lean on Kittle, again, when trailing.
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
Luke’s DFS Take: Just how far can Aaron Rodgers go on a hobbled leg? Last week’s performance was inspiring, but with another defense that gets after the quarterback on tap this weekend, it’s fair to wonder if Rodgers can keep this up. Rodgers said so himself that there is definitely a fear of doing more damage to his sprained knee, and that makes it difficult for me to pay for the most expensive quarterback of the week when he is that worried about his health. Even though I can’t buy into the offense at this point, I also still won’t bet on the defense opposing them – unless Rodgers ends up not playing – because even with him on one leg I don’t see much upside for an opposing defense. The Redskins’ offense wildly disappointed last week in a matchup against the Colts as they only managed to score 9 points. The good about the ‘Skins offense is that they are incredibly easy to predict for fantasy purposes. If you are willing to go back to them this week in another positive matchup, you know with confidence who to target. Adrian Peterson will continue to be featured in the running game, but it is fair to question how consistent he will be at this stage of his career. The true value in this offense lies with Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed. With Alex Smith under center, this offense will run on an incredible number of short passes which is exactly why Thompson and Reed have dominated targets to this point. Also working in their favor is an underwhelming group of wide receivers. Both of these guys are in play, and will be most weeks, because of their volume and the good matchup this week.
Mario’s DFS Take: I felt a little delusional as the first team I ‘stacked’ in my temporary lineup for Sunday’s games was the Washington Redskins. This meant that Alex Smith, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, and at least one of the wide receivers were instantly pushed to the top of my list of players to use. Are they collectively intriguing? Not particularly. But they are all in a position to shine. Alex Smith is a good quarterback who knows how to win games. It might sound cliche, but it’s his biggest strength. As is going overlooked. A good example of this would be the fact that he threw the ball a whopping 46 times for 292 yards, last week. And, he did so because the Colts’ offense was pushing the game forward, and Washington needed to keep pace. Won’t Sunday bring a similar narrative as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers tries to win with one leg, again? I’m currently out on Rodgers for this weekend, but it’s hard to imagine the Packers and Redskins locked in a pillow-fight. There will be points scored. Washington provides the best value in securing some of these points.
Photo Credit: By Casey McNeil [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons