Fantasy Football Week 3 DST Stremers
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
In Week 3, we’ve got some interesting opportunities as a result of injury, especially at the QB. We can also begin to take advantage of expectations as some of these teams clearly aren’t where they left off last season. As additional criteria we’ll also be looking for teams playing at home and who are projected to win in a low over under game. A few such teams (that are available in over 50% of ESPN leagues) rise to the top. (To see how we did, check last weeks article here)
– MIA v CLE –
The Dolphins defense didn’t impress anyone against the Patriots, as they immediately scored 3 touchdowns and gave their offense a giant hole to try and climb out of. However, their opponent this week doesn’t figure to be quite as capable. The Browns, who will be starting their 3rd string QB, Cody Kessler strike fear into the heart of no one. While the Browns did sign Charlie Whitehurst, I don’t expect that he’ll be ready to go on such short notice, nor can I say he was signed to start. I would imagine if Kessler implodes completely we’ll see him eventually.
The Dolphins front seven looked pretty good against the Seahawks in week 1, pressuring Russell Wilson into the high ankle sprain he’s currently playing with. The same pressure applied to a developing QB like Kessler could very easily turn into defensive points. It’s not as if the Browns have been doing a great job protecting their QB. RG3 was running into people down field because of the lack of protection. Josh McCown is no longer a thing, because he is less than elusive and the lack of protection.
This game is also picked by Vegas to be one of the lowest scoring of the week at only 41.5 combined points. The Dolphins are favored by 9.5, one of the largest margins on the slate. That means Vegas expects the Browns to only score 16 points. I have to believe that the Dolphins will sell out to stop Crowell and Duke from running the ball, daring Kessler to throw it. Unless Kessler comes right out of the box and shocks the world with the type of performance we saw from Carson Wentz in week 1, this one should be a slam dunk for the Dolphins.
– DAL v CHI –
The theme of the week may be pick on the team that’s starting the back-up QB. The Cowboys will be facing off against the Bears, who will have Brian Hoyer under center. As back-ups go, Hoyer isn’t terrible. He was good enough to throw the ball up to Nuke last year, and I wouldn’t be concerned about Alshon’s stock. But for the offense as a whole, I don’t think we can spin losing Cutler as a positive. At the same time, the Bears offense hasn’t been great with him, and they’ve allowed the 5th most points to opposing fantasy defenses while ranking 31st in yds, and 30th in points (profootballreference.com).
The wise guys in Vegas don’t seem to be too worried about this offense either, giving them an implied team total of less than 20 points. Dallas’ defense hasn’t been middle of the road allowing the 13th most points and the 18th most yds. But to be fair, they have played the Giants and the Redskins. Expectations aren’t everything, but those were two very good offenses last year and Dallas has allowed only 20 and 23 points to them respectively. It’s fair to say that the Bears are the worst offense they’ve seen this year.
– NYG v WAS –
The Giants defense hasn’t been the revolving door that we expected from them. They invested a lot on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason, and unlike the Jags it seems to be making a difference. If you can believe the numbers, they’re currently top 10 (8th) in both points and yards allowed. They’ll face off against the Redskins and an offense that doesn’t quite remember the dance they were doing in 2015. The yards have been there, but not the points, and their move not to sign Cousins to a long term contract is looking like it may have been a shrewd decision. In terms of opportunity, Cousins is first in the league in attempts, but among the, if not the, least efficient (according to player profiler’s production premium stat). He’s just one piece of the Redskins attack, but he’s a big piece. And the Giants thus far have not been a pushover.
Vegas has the game at 47 points in total and the Giants are favored by 4.5, putting the Redskins team total at 21.25. The Giants are at home, favored to win, and playing a questionable QB. For being the 3rd best defense that nobody wants, that isn’t bad.
One more thing…SF at SEA
This one really doesn’t check enough boxes to be a viable pick. The 49ers are on the road, and they’re getting 10 points of spread. Consider this my formal protest as someone who drafted Russell Wilson hoping this might be 2015 part 2.
Until the Seattle offense shows us something, I really don’t know why we should believe anything besides what we’ve seen. So far we’ve seen an offense that’s 31st in points and 26th in yards. It feels as though at any moment they could snap out of it and go back to great, but I’ll believe it, when I see it. The line, in my opinion, is what’s holding this offense back. They’re not going to just come out and suddenly be fantastic. It doesn’t mean they can’t get there, but it could take some time.
The same odd feeling comes with the 49ers. While I really expected this team to be a dumpster fire, they haven’t been. They started the year by shutting out the Rams ( who are 32nd in points and yards), and believe me I know how tepid that praise is. We’ll just call it a “pass” on the pass/fail scale. In week 2 they let Carolina (1st in points, 3 in yards) put up a whole lot of points, 46, to be exact. The current iteration of the Seahawks, on the statistical spectrum is a whole lot closer to the Rams. I know they’re nothing alike, but for how long do we say that something that isn’t happening on the field is going to happen? I don’t expect Wilson to turn the ball over and create D/ST windfall points. I just expect the Seahawks to come out and look more like what we’ve already seen this year than what used to be.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker