That was a crazy week of football. It was a weekend of upsets. Game favourites being upset. Fans getting upset. Defenders upset and confused at the roughing the passer rule. Me upset at my DFS squad.
But that’s the beauty of football. It’s a game of highs and lows. We saw them all in Week 3. The best of it was the Browns, thanks to the emergence of Baker Mayfield, finally broke their more than a season long losing streak. The worst was the ACL injury suffered by 49ers franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The weirdest was the Bills somehow jumping out to a 27-0 lead, and then holding on to beat the Vikings.
But that’s why we love it. And we’ll keep trying to find the PlayON Daily Fantasy gems for you here.
PlayON PICK OF THE WEEK
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals ($8.2m)
I had Gio in this article last week, but this time I’ve bumped him up to be the Pick of the Week. As it currently stands, Joe Mixon is still being held out of practices as he tries to recover from the knee scope so Bernard will see the bulk of the work once more in a more than favourable matchup.
Bernard’s strength is his pass catching ability out of the backfield. In Week 4, the Bengals get to face the Atlanta Falcons. A team who have allowed a whopping 29 receptions to the starting running backs in the last 2 games. Alvin Kamara is a special beast, and he tore this defence apart with 15 catches and 124 yards. In Week 2, it was Christian McCaffrey with 14 catches and 102 yards. This game should be a fast flowing affair and Gio is going to feast. He’s my top play this week.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($15M)
Ryan is now the second most expensive quarterback in the game, trailing only the great Aaron Rodgers. But there’s a very good reason why he has risen so high. After bombing out against the world champion Philadelphia Eagles on banner night, Ryan has responded with 646 yards, 7 touchdowns plus 30 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. And he’s done that against 2 division rivals in the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.
Meanwhile, over that same period of time, Cincinnati have allowed Cam Newton and Joe Flacco to combine for 526 yards, 4 thrown TD’s, 44 rush yards and 2 rush TD’s. They are just as exploitable on defence as the team they are facing, and I don’t see Matty Ice taking his foot off the pedal just yet.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals ($11.8M)
Andy Dalton. The Red Rifle. The Ginger Ninja. Hot Sauce. Royal Dalton. Call him what you want, just as long as there’s a great deal of respect on it. Through 3 weeks of the season, Dalton has thrown for 860 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also has a league high 5 interceptions but 4 of those came last week against the Panthers. The main thing that has done, is kept his score and price lower for this week’s matchup with the Falcons.
Atlanta is the 27th ranked defence right now and the 26th ranked pass defense. They are allowing 276 pass yards and over 28 points per game. Not only should Dalton shred this defence, but his own defensive unit likely won’t be able to stop Matt Ryan, making it a real old-fashioned shootout. And the bookies agree with the total score over/under set at 53.5 points. Air it out gentleman.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks ($12.7M) vs. Cardinals, Eli Manning, New York Giants ($9.4M) vs. Saints
Sony Michel, New England Patriots ($8.9m)
Here Sony. Here’s the keys. This is your rushing offense now. The Pats Rex Burkhead left last weeks loss to the Lions with a neck injury and has now landed himself on IR right next to Jeremy Hill. That leaves just Sony and James White as Belichick’s dependable options on the roster.
Michel had 50 yards on his 14 carries in only his 2nd career game. He was targeted 3 times but only managed to reel 1 in behind the line of scrimmage. The Pats eventually abandoned the run when they fell behind but even that was a failure in what was Tom Brady’s worst game since 2014. All these things suggest the kid is still getting used to the NFL after missing most of the offseason, but this weeks matchup against the undefeated Dolphins should help. They just gave up 107 yards and a touchdown to the Raiders RB duo of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin. Sony will be given every chance to lead as the Pats try to get their season back on track.
Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions ($8.3m)
The rooks are taking over. Johnson had a true breakout game against the Pats and with his 101 yards, he became the first Lions running back to break the 100-yard barrier since 28 November 2013. That’s a span of 70 games. Crazy. The game has cemented the starting spot for Johnson, but helping the cause further was LeGarrette Blount’s late fumble.]
Waiting on the other side is a Dallas Cowboys defence without key man Sean Lee. He’s out with a hamstring injury and the Cowboys ranked in the bottom 5 against the run last season in the 5 games that Lee missed in 2017. That being the case, and Zeke on the other side of the field (plus the Cowboys non-existent passing game), both teams will be trying to run the ball down the others throat. Kerryon should see a ton of work, and if he does, hopefully he gets into the endzone for his first career touchdown.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants ($13.5m) vs. Saints, Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks ($8.7M) vs. Cardinals
Sterling Shepherd, New York Giants ($8.4m)
The Giants are another team with a favourable matchup. New Orleans have one of the game’s best young cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore, who is doing a pretty good job of shadowing some of the games best wide receivers. Unfortunately for the Saints, while he’s doing that, the #2 wide receivers are doing all of the damage.
In their season opener, DeSean Jackson torched the Saints for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 5 catches. Week 2 and it was Antonio Callaway who announced his arrival with 81 yards and 1 touchdown on 3 catches. And then best of all, Calvin Ridley destroyed New Orleans for 146 yards and 3 scores on 7 catches. Shepard had his best game of the year last week at Houston (6 catches, 32 yards, 1 TD) so he’ll have plenty of confidence coming into this one.
Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns ($6.5m)
Let me set the scene. Browns have the ball. It’s still the first half and Tyrod Taylor is under center. Callaway runs a streak route down the right sideline. The kid has elite speed and completely burns the opposing cornerback. He’s wide open but Tyrod under throws it badly, allowing the defender to get back and make the play. That single played told me 2 things. First, this kid has the tools to make big plays. And second, he won’t get the chance to with Tyrod as his quarterback.
Tyrod later left the game with a concussion and the Baker Mayfield era began. We all know the story from there. Callaway still got 10 targets on the afternoon, with most of those coming from Baker, who has now been named as the starting QB going forward. That’s a good result for Callaway, and the combination will improve as the 2 play together more. It starts this week against the Raiders and one of the worst passing defences in the NFL. They’re allowing over 250 pass yards per game in 2018 so the Browns rookies get the chance to feast.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals ($6.7m) vs. Falcons, Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers ($10.9m) vs. 49ers
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals ($6.2m)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m on the Bengals stack this week. Eifert has gradually been increasing his work rate as he returns from yet another injury riddled season. He’s had 3, 4 and then 8 targets in each game respectively, with the last against the Panthers signaling that he can still play with the big boys. 6 catches and 74 yards are a good sign for the 28 year old.
And as I may have mentioned before, he faces the equally injury riddled Atlanta Falcons. They are now missing both of their starting safeties, middle linebacker and a starting guard due to a rotten run of injury luck through the first 3 games. And they just let Ben Watson have 71 yards working as Drew Brees safety net.
Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers ($6.6m)
In Week 1, Graham may as well have still been in Seattle. But he rebounded will in Weeks 2 and 3 with 11 catches and 140 yards. He gets another solid matchup with the Bills in Week 4. I did mention the crazy upset at the start of this article but despite that result, Kyle Rudolph still managed 48 yards and a score.
Buffalo is sporting the 18th ranked pass defence and Graham his just have 5 catches for 45 yards against the leagues 2nd best defence. The truth of the matter is, regardless of opponent, any matchup is a good one when you’ve got Aaron Rodgers throwing you the ball. They team is coming off a loss in Washington and will be eager to make a statement back at home. I’d bank on Rodgers finding Graham in the endzone at least once in front of the Lambeau faithful.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns ($6.5M) vs. Raiders, Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots ($12.5m) vs. Dolphins
Los Angeles Chargers ($6.6m)
The game script is perfect for the Chargers DST this week. It’s not even about them as a defensive unit. It’s all about the San Francisco 49ers. The injury to Garoppolo means the team is going to have to rely on CJ Beathard at quarterback in the interim. The Charger ball-hawks will be excited about the prospect of facing him after the kid threw more interceptions than touchdowns last year (6:4) and even lost 3 fumbles. A lot of that was due to the pressure opposing defences put on him. Beathard was sacked at least 4 times in half of the games he played. The Chargers are the 8th most expensive defence this week but have potentially the best matchup.
Seattle Seahawks ($6.8m)
They’re a far cry from the Legion of Boom days but I’m generally all for whatever defense is facing the Cardinals. Arizona finally made the adjustment of benching Sam Bradford and his checkdown offence in favour of their first round rookie pick Josh Rosen. It didn’t help as the kid went 4/7 for 36 yards and a pick. On top of their sub-par play, the coaching staff appear to be trying to sabotage the team. At one point last week, they removed David Johnson from the game on 3rd down and 2 yards to go, to talk about a missed block. Ultimately, you can feel pretty good about your defence with whichever QB is leading this team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4.9M) vs. Bears, Philadelphia Eagles ($7.2M) vs. Titans
PlayON PASS OF THE WEEK
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans ($9.7m)
Henry has been a bust this year. He has 18 carries in each of the past 2 games but in that time he only totaled 113 yards and hasn’t scored yet this year. On top of that he’s virtually non-existent in the passing game thanks to new teammate Dion Lewis.
And to make matters even worse, he is running right into the Philly brick wall for Week 4. The Eagles are one of the league’s top running defences dating back to the start of last season. Andrew Luck was the Colts top rusher a week ago with his 33 yard scamper. In Week 2, Peyton Barber topped the count for the Bucs with his 22 yards on 16 carries. They just don’t allow any room and it’s best to fade all Titans backs this week.
That’s all for this weekend’s picks. Now be sure to get your lineups in and win a share of guaranteed cash prizes playing daily fantasy NFL at PlayON.