Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.
Alex Smith $6,300
It has been a bit of a disappointing start for the new Redskins QB with Smith finishing as QB11 and QB28 through two games, but the Packers defense has shown to struggle to defend the pass, allowing Kirk Cousins’ QB3 finish last week. Even sophomore Mitch Trubisky got off to a solid start against the GB defense. Smith has been relying on RBs Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson, along with TE Jordan Reed early in the season, but could see a boost in production as he gains trust in his WR corps. – Ryan McDowell
Ryan Tannehill $5,300
The Raiders stink! And when bad teams travel from the west coast to the east coast they don’t generally play better. Believe me when a team lets good players go and then loses their first two games the way they have players start to lose faith quickly. Tannehill has had two good games, nothing spectacular but he put up a solid 17 points a week ago facing a Jets defense that manhandled Matt Stafford in week one. He’s shown confidence in his surgically repaired knee carrying the ball eight times for 44 yards and has been known to scramble for extra fantasy goodness in the past. Much in the same way as losing the first two games brings doubt winning your first two against a Tennessee team that was in the playoffs a year ago and on the road against a rival that was riding high coming in can help boost players confidence. – Sal Leto
Andy Dalton $6,800
I like this less than you do. But there is no denying Dalton has always been a quarterback who goes as his supporting cast goes, and the Bengals have better weapons than they have had in years. John Ross has taken a year two leap, Tyler Boyd has settled in as a reliable option, and A.J. Green is as studly as ever. Week 2 opponent Carolina currently ranks 7th against the pass, though much of the ranking can be attributed to their Week 1 date with offensively challenged Dallas. Playing well and with an agreeable matchup, Dalton is on the Week 3 streaming map.. – Rob Willette
Andrew Luck $6,700
Colts QB Andrew Luck might be back, but he’s not truly back as his average depth of target is among the lowest in the league. Luck is not making use of downfield receivers at all, potentially because he’s not able to make the throws. While he did finish as QB12 in Week One, he bottomed out as QB30 last week. Next, he gets the Eagles defense that shut down Matt Ryan before laying an egg against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs. Look for the Philly defense to bounce back and limit Luck. – Ryan McDowell
Philip Rivers $7,200
Do you know who doesn’t stink? The Rams. Through two games they have yielded zero passing touchdowns and less than 400 total passing yards while hauling in four interceptions. They are as advertised. With a banged up Melvin Gordon, it will be even more on Rivers shoulders and you can bet Wade Philips’ boys will dial up the pressure and frustrate Philip as he’s been known to do in the past. When facing the Broncos defenses in 2015-2016 coached by Wade, Rivers averaged under 13 points a game. In the first battle of this version of LA teams, the newly crowned favorites (Rams) to win the super bowl should make it a long day for Rivers and his owners. – Sal Leto
Kirk Cousins $7,900
You’re not red lighting anyone against the Bills. They may be one of the rare teams who just routinely hands out fantasy points to anyone who asks. Week 3, however, sets up as a low volume effort for Kirk Cousins. The Buffalo Bills have been simply plastered by the run since their trade of Marcell Dareus in the middle of 2017, and Mike Zimmer is a coach who seldom goes for the kill. He is more than comfortable protecting a lead with his vaunted defense. In what should be a fairly easy win for the Vikings, we could see a solid if unspectacular day for Cousins. Theatrics such as what we saw in Green Bay are unlikely.. – Rob Willette
Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.
What a wild first couple weeks. Ryan Fitzmagic and Patrick Mahomes are playing like Pro-Bowlers and Desean Jackson is back to prime form. We’ll no doubt continue to get surprised as the season rolls on. As we enter into week three, we’re beginning to get a much better feel of how to value players and project their weekly usage and output. As you create your salary cap lineups for this weekend’s games, we want to give you these four players to keep in mind. They’re not the flashiest names, but at their relatively low cost, they’ll give you the best chance to make the most of your $55,000.
Best Value, QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Pittsburgh – $6,900 – 13% of Cap
Ryan Fitzpatrick proved he’s back in week one. He then proved he’s for real in week two. Against the same Eagles defense that made Matt Ryan look like a backup, Fitzpatrick absolutely dominated, putting up 417 yards and four touchdowns. The team he’s now going up against has been as bad as it gets against quarterbacks thus far. Through their first two games, Tyrod Taylor and Patrick Mahomes have gathered a total of 518 yards and eight touchdowns. Pittsburgh ranked 8th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks a year ago, but ever since they lost Ryan Shazier, they haven’t been the same. In six games without Shazier, the Steelers have let up an average of 250 yards and 2.2 touchdowns per game.
Best Value, RB: Giovani Bernard @ Carolina – $6,700 – 12% of Cap
For as long as Joe Mixon is out, Giovani Bernard is going to be a must-start. This week’s opponent, the Panthers, don’t present the easiest of tests. Nevertheless, Bernard’s high floor makes him an extremely valuable start at his low price. Carolina has faced two great rushing attacks to start 2018. Although they’ve only allowed one rushing touchdown, their combined 227 yards against through those two games paints a compelling picture for Bernard. Cincinnati has run the ball 48 times thus far, with 38 of those going to Mixon. With him sidelined, expect Bernard to inherit a high majority of those.
Best Value, WR: Cooper Kupp vs Los Angeles (Chargers) – $6,400 – 12% of Cap
In a battle for Los Angeles loaded with star power, it could be Cooper Kupp who ends up being the highlight. The Chargers have been carved up by opposing receivers through the first two weeks, having already allowed over 300 yards and four touchdowns to the position. Against “other” receivers (not number one or two) as Kupp is in the Rams offense, LA has struggled brutally in DVOA, ranking 26th. The second-year receiver has averaged 58 yards and .5 touchdowns over 5.5 receptions per game in 2018. If he can put up similar numbers against the reeling Chargers defense, he’ll be well worth his 12% cap hit.
Best Value, TE: Jesse James @ Tampa Bay – $4,700 – 9% of Cap
The Buccaneers haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end this year, and are still somehow ranked sixth worst in the league at fantasy points allowed at the position. They’ve been ravaged in both yards and receptions, as tight ends have averaged an insane 10 receptions and 110 yards per game thus far. Jesse James wasn’t even supposed to be ready for week one. Not only has he made it back on the field, but he’s been crushing it. James has only gathered eight receptions, but he’s made the very most of them, to the tune of 198 yards and one score. In a game that should be a shootout, James should see a plethora of targets and yards.
All game log information, and defense against specific position stats courtesy of fftoday.com
All DVOA, vs number one receiver stats, and deep ball statistics courtesy of footballoutsiders.com
Bradley Ylitalo (@BradleyYlitalo) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.