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.
Kerryon Johnson $6,100
This is perhaps the final week Lions rookie Kerryon Johnson could fall into the “sleeper” category. A week after breaking the long streak of Lions backs failing to exceed 100 rushing yards, Johnson faces the weak Cowboys defense that has been hit hard by opposing backs already this season. Also encouraging is Johnson’s opportunity, which has increased each game. After playing just 23% of the snaps in the season opener, Johnson saw nearly 50% of the snaps the past two games. – Ryan McDowell
Chris Carson $6,800
Well ok then, after feeding us the line all through preseason and then for two weeks of real games Pete Carroll finally came through. To the tune of 32 carries in week three Chris Carson is the lead back in Seattle. The Cardinals are next up with their league worst five rushing touchdowns (6 overall) surrendered to running backs. Giving up nearly 37 points a game to running backs through three weeks lines this up as a juicy matchup for Carson while the Seahawks continue to look for a balance that will keep Russell Wilson upright for 16 games. – Sal Leto
Austin Ekeler $5,600
Perhaps best known for his receiving prowess, Austin Ekeler has also routinely impressed as a runner. It is important note when discussing a player attached to a heavy favorite at home. Even as the Chargers dismantled the Bills Week 2, Ekeler piled up 14 touches, including three receptions. He appears to be immune to game script-related ailments and has placed himself on the weekly FLEX map. San Francisco’s undrerrated front has done a good job stifling running games but has given up the eighth most yards through the air (183) to running backs. Ekeler has become an essential part of the offense, yet has not been given his due as a weekly option. – Rob Willette
Dalvin Cook $7,500
At this point, there is still uncertainty if the Vikings will even have starting RB Dalvin Cook active for their huge Thursday night showdown with the Rams. If he is, fantasy players should be avoiding Cook. Coming off a hamstring injury that cost him Week Three, Cook will face off against the Rams defense which is among the best in the league, limiting opposing backfields to under 100 yards per game. Conversely, the Vikings have struggled to get their running game going early, currently ranking next to last in the league. – Ryan McDowell
Isaiah Crowell $5,400
After three weeks Crowell is actually the RB 12 in full PPR scoring. That’s of course thanks to two 2 touchdown games. His yardage over the last two weeks is 90… total. Most think you can’t pass on the Jaguars so running on them is the way to attack. Wrong! In fact Saquon Barkley broke a 68 yard run in week one and with that only finished with 38 more on 17 carries. No other running back has gone over 57 yards and it took Derrick Henry 18 carries to do that a week ago. Remove that Barkley run and the Jags are giving up just 2.9 yards a carry. Oh and that was also the last time a running back found the end zone both rush and receiving. – Sal Leto
Jay Ajayi $6,700
Expected back this weekend, Ajayi is always a touchdown threat for an Eagles offense which figures to keep improving as it gets healthier. His floor ir he fails to reach paydirt, however, is bottomless. Wendell Smallwood was effective against the Colts, and even Josh Adams got in the mix with 30 yards rushing. Given Ajayi’s well-known knee condition along with his latest back ailment, we could see this Eagles’ backfield become a committee mess as they try to keep everyone healthy. The Titans are a middling rush defense thus far in 2018 but their one of four teams to not allow a rushing touchdown to a running back and figure to slow the game down given their offensive woes. Volume is a major concern for Ajayi in Week 4. – 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.
The seasons’ first quarter is set to wrap up. Now, more than ever before this season, our DFS options are being limited by injuries, and for the first time, bye weeks. Week four will be pivotal in our rest of season analysis on players. The running back position, as expected, has been spearheaded by the likes of Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara. How about the wide receivers though? Many analysts had Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and Julio Jones as their top three wideouts in preseason rankings. Through three weeks, none of them sit in the top ten.
As you sort through the madness of the NFL and make your week four Fanball lineups, here are four names you want to consider adding to your team. Their low cost and favorable outlooks make them some of the best buys as you use your 55,000 salary cap.
Best Value, QB: Baker Mayfield @ Oakland – $5,800 – 11% of Cap
No, this is not an overreaction to the Baker Mayfield show last Thursday. This is about a 5,800 dollar price for a quarterback that presents as much upside as Mayfield does. If you’re counting on a significant week two regression from the rookie, don’t hold your breath. Oakland was a bottom half team in fantasy scoring allowed to quarterbacks a year ago and is so once again so far this season. Overall, they present a much easier test than the Jets defense who Mayfield shredded last week. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for at least 220 yards in every game, and thrown for multiple touchdowns on two occasions through the first three weeks.
Best Value, RB: Phillip Lindsay vs Kansas City – $5,800 – 11% of Cap
The only person that’s held Phillip Lindsay back in any way this season has been himself. As long as he’s not throwing any more punches on Monday night, he should be a heck of a start vs Kansas City. Hiding behind the storyline of their electric offense is a defense that still has many growing pains, including their immense struggle to handle running backs. The Chiefs rank 31st in fantasy points allowed to tailbacks and have been by far the worst at holding down backs in the passing game, allowing over 100 yards per game. This game should be yet another shootout for a game featuring Kansas City, and Lindsay, among others, should reap serious benefits.
Best Value, WR: Allen Robinson vs Tampa Bay – $7,000 – 13% of Cap
Six receivers have already had either 100 yards or a touchdown against Tampa Bay this season. Allen Robinson is yet to accomplish either feat in 2018, but we can carry a lot of hope that will change on Sunday. The Buccaneers already rank sixth-worst in the league in fantasy points allowed to receivers, which doesn’t surprise us at all, as last year, they were dead last. Through only three games, the Bucs have already given up 56 receptions to wideouts, by far the worst in the league. In Robinson’s one home game as a Bear, Trubisky looked his way all game, as he hauled in 10 passes. We could see more of the same in this matchup.
Best Value, TE: Kyle Rudolph @ Los Angeles (Rams) – $5,400 – 10% of Cap
It’s been far from flashy, but Kyle Rudolph has quietly netted a touchdown or 70 yards in every game this year. Now, he plays a banged up Rams secondary that coming into Thursday Night, ranks 29th in receiving yards and 21st in fantasy scoring allowed to the tight end position. Unfortunately, the Minnesota offense looked downright embarrassing in their 26-7 loss to Buffalo a week ago. But if Kirk Cousins is going to be trying to get the ball out as quickly as possible behind a hurting offensive line, Kyle Rudolph could become one of his primary targets.
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.