Week 3’s in the books, and each week we're getting more and more data to use. And with some key injuries to offensive and defensive players, we're going to have a ton of usable value options this week.
Cash Game Targets
Philip Rivers vs. San Francisco 49ers
With Mahomes off the main slate, I'm looking to target Rivers if I'm paying up for a quarterback in cash games. He has an 8:1 TD:INT ratio through three games, and he's thrown multiple touchdowns in each of those three games. The 49ers are allowing 23.4 fantasy points per game after three games, which is the fifth most. They've also allowed multiple passing touchdowns in each of the first three games. Rivers has a nice floor this week for cash games, and I don't mind playing him in tournaments as well.
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Baker Mayfield @ Oakland Raiders
Mayfield will be making his first start of his career on the road, and usually this would scare me off someone, but I like the matchup a lot for him. He's cheap on both sites and playing him opens up salary to pay up for other options. Oakland has struggled pressuring the quarterback this season, as the team ranks in the bottom five in that category so far. Despite the way Taylor was playing, the Browns are top five in pass blocking this season and should give Mayfield plenty of time to make plays. He was able to throw for 201 yards in the second half against the Jets, and while it's a little risky, I don't mind taking the risk at his price tag.
Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are 1st in DVOA against the run this season, but they're ranked 32nd in DVOA against the pass. They're also 31st against WR1 and 30th against pass catching running backs, while ranking 32nd against the WR2 spot as well. With Engram likely out, and the Saints likely to put up points here, I really like the whole passing offense for the Giants. In a 27-22 game against Houston last week, Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns, but what was most impressive was his completion rate, as he was 25-for-29 (86.2%) and had a 132.3 passer rating. This game has one of the highest totals on the slate, and with this Saints pass defense playing this poorly, I think this matchup turns into a shootout.
Deshaun Watson @ Indianapolis Colts
This is one of my favorite games to target this weekend, as we have two of the top three fastest-paced teams in the NFL squaring off. On top of that, they're playing in a dome on turf. After struggling in Week 1 against the Patriots, Watson has thrown for 300+ yards and two touchdowns in each of the last two games. The Colts have been strong against the pass this season, but this matchup will be a true test of where they're at. Indy should have no problem throwing on the other side of this game as well, and that should lead to favorable a passing game script for the Texans.
Cash Game Targets
Alvin Kamara @ New York Giants
I hate to start this section the same way every time, but until the workload changes, I'm going to play Kamara in cash every week. It might easily change next week with Ingram coming back, but I don't expect it to change too much. After three weeks, the Giants rank 23rd in DVOA against the run, and they're allowing 6.33 catches per game for 55 yards to opposing running backs. Kamara leads the NFL (not just running backs) in red zone targets (12), and he has the fourth-most total targets through three games. Kamara has a high floor with his workload, and even though he's expensive, you're paying up for the incredible floor he provides.
Giovani Bernard @ Atlanta Falcons
With Joe Mixon expected to miss this weekend’s game, Bernard is a great value play again. His price didn’t increase on FanDuel and only went up $400 on DraftKings. He had 17 touches for 86 total yards and a touchdown last weekend, and he also had five catches on nine targets. After being last in the league the last two seasons, Atlanta’s still a bottom five team against pass catching running backs. Opposing running backs are averaging 85 receiving yards per game against Atlanta, and the Falcons are allowing an average of 29.4 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this season.
Saquon Barkley vs. New Orleans Saints
I talked about how the Saints have had the number one run defense above, but I also highlighted how they struggle with pass catching backs. Barkley has shown in the three games that he has no problem catching the ball, and he had 14 catches on 16 targets in Week 2 against the Cowboys. He’s playing 84.2% of the snaps and he has an 80.2% opportunity share, which is the third most among running backs this season. The rookie is second in targets among running backs and third in receptions, which sets up nicely for this matchup against the Saints.
Matt Breida @ Los Angeles Chargers
Assuming Breida is going to play this weekend, he's one of my favorite plays for large field tournaments. Beathard started six games for the 49ers last season, and he used his running back a lot in the passing game. Carlos Hyde had 6, 8, 9, 11, 3, and 13 targets in the six games with Beathard in 2017. The Chargers are allowing 61.7 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs this season. With the 49ers likely down in this game, I'd expect a lot of passes, and we saw Beathard average 37+ passing attempts per game last season. I don't expect a lot of people to be on Breida this weekend, so I like the idea of getting him at lower ownership.