We received a ton of emails and comments prior to the kickoff of week 3 DraftKings games asking what we recommend doing with a slate that has so much value. With players like Christine Michael, Charles Sims, Shane Vereen, Tavon Austin, Jack Doyle, and Hunter Henry all making our picks last week, what do you do with the extra cap space? I think it’s worth looking at, because we may find ourselves there again this week.
Anytime you feel comfortable rostering 5 players at $4,200 or less, which is our case this week, you run the likelihood of building a lineup that has anywhere from $1,500-$5,400 left over. It’s hardly ever a good idea to leave over $1,000 of salary on the table.
We created a workflow that you can find below explaining how we would approach building a roster in a slate with so much value. It’s a basic concept, but based on the volume of comments and emails we got last week, one that new players struggle with.
To get started, and 2-3 of your favorite bargain plays and a defense. In this case we started this roster with four plays under $4,200: Kevin White, Jamison Crowder, Eric Ebron, and the Texans defense.
From here, plug in one of your top stacks for the week (our favorites this week are Newton/Benjamin, Stafford/Jones, and Rivers/Benjamin). This leaves us with $6,866 remaining salary/position.
This is where having or being able to make accurate projections come in handy. We think we have 3x-5x value for the majority of our bargain plays and our stack, so we need to target players with a guaranteed workload, in a favorable matchup.
If I have a bunch of extra money after filling in those first 6-7 positions, I want to use it to target workhorse running backs that get 25 touches every week, top end quarterbacks that may not hit 4x value but never dip below 2x, or a receiver like Antonio Brown or Mike Evans that gets 12-15 targets every week.
DraftKings Salary – $7,800
Cam is always a fairly chalk pick, but we haven’t seen a week where a quarterback was truly chalk. He will likely be 9-12% owned this week, but is our top projected QB. We love players in bounce back situations, and both Cam Newton and Travis Benjamin find themselves coming off a bad week against a good defense. This matchup is about as good as it gets. The Falcons are giving up 26.15 points to opposing quarterbacks, and are yet again struggling with generating any sort of pass rush.
DraftKings Salary – $6,900
We really have three names that could go here as we have a set of lineups for Newton, Rivers, Stafford, and Cousins this week. However, the Rivers/Benjamin combination is at home, and facing a Saints defense that is banged up, giving up a ton of yards, and will be traveling across two time zones with is always tough.
DraftKings Salary – $7,500
Again, we have a ton of value on the board this week, so I’m jumping at the chance to get Bell for just $7,500 on DraftKings. The Chiefs defense looked better last week, but Bell torched them for 140 yards last season and they still come into this game allowing the 6th most rushing YPG through three weeks. We expect Bell to get 30 total touches for 150 yards and a score here.
DraftKings Salary – $6,300
As you work down from Bell, there are three names in the $5,900-$6,900 that should be on your radar: Elliott, Gordon, and Ingram. I think that given the matchup, Gordon is the absolute safest bet. He’s at home, facing the worst RB defense vs position team in football, and has zero competition for red zone touches. His ownership will plummet after failing to reach the unreal expectations we put on him in week three, but he’s actually our top point-per-dollar RB this week.
DraftKings Salary – $5,200
We didn’t target Riddick last week, because the Packers allow less than 2 YPC on the season, but he’s an easy flex play against the Bears this week. Riddick lacks vision and power as a runner, but if the Lions offense line can create space for him, he has the speed and elusiveness to break big plays. I think he breaks a pair of long runs and gives you his typical 5-7 receptions for 50 yards, which will put him around 3x without having to score a touchdown.
DraftKings Salary – $3,700
If Ka’Deem Carey is out again this week, Howard gets his first shot at being a workhorse 3 down back against the Lions. Detroit has been solid against RB’s this season, but could be without their top two defensive players in DeAndre Levy and Ziggy Ansah. If he is the only back left standing, and priced at $3,700, Howard is a 3x lock with 5x+ upside.
DraftKings Salary – $7,300
We wrote all preseason that Jones finds himself in a perfect situation in Detroit. Stafford is an elite quarterback, and Jones is the only downfield threat on the roster. This has and will result in him getting the 5-7 targets per game over 20 yards down field that Megatron used to get. So long as he can stay healthy, Jones is one of the safer receiver plays on the board. Chicago’s secondary presents little reason to consider sitting him this week.
DraftKings Salary – $7,100
We almost always want a share of a top 15 receiver coming off a complete dud of a game, regardless of the matchup. In Benjamin’s case, he is going to come out hungry to have a big game against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The Falcons are giving up 33 PPG to opposing receivers, you can’t miss here. Keeping this in mind, Julio is also coming off a quiet week and torched the Panthers for 9/178/1 last December. I wouldn’t hesitate to own both receivers this week.
DraftKings Salary – $4,200
This is a matchup that I would generally lean towards DeSean Jackson, but Crowder is so underpriced that I think he’s the right play here. Jackson may be the number one receiver in Washington, but Crowder leads the team in targets, receptions, and touchdowns… yet is priced at just $4,200.
DraftKings Salary – $3,400
It’s Wednesday, and this is the 15th time I have written this, but Kevin White is going to shred the Lions secondary this week. I think Slay will shadow Jeffery, leaving White with an extremely favorable matchup whether it’s Lawson or Diggs that is on him. He’s clearly Hoyer’s go-to receiver, and the Lions have injuries that are affecting their pass rush and safety position… aka big plays for Kevin White.
DraftKings Salary – $6,300
I’m not saying Reed picks on bad teams, but look at his game log last season. He killed Miami, New Orleans, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Tampa Bay. He’s due and the matchup is extremely favorable. This is set up perfectly for a 8/95/2 game for Reed.
DraftKings Salary – $3,700
Ebron is the #6 tight end in this slate, and we still haven’t scratched the surface here. He has caught 14 of 20 targets, including 3 plays over 20 yards, but his role in the offense and specifically the red zone, will continue to expand throughout the season. He’s 6’5″ 250 lbs, runs 4.5, and at just 23 years old, is going to get better every week. $3,700 is way too cheap, especially against a struggling Bears defense that will be without Trevathan, Kyle Fuller, and is having issues at the safety position.