The bargain basement DFS plays are back for Week 3. Everyone knows to start Aaron Rodgers and Julio Jones most weeks. What can bring home the money in DFS is finding players who will produce at a lower salary but might not be on many lineup cards.
Here’s a look at some players in Week 3 who have low salaries but are worth considering for your rosters:
Marcus Mariota, Titans
Mariota had a good matchup last week against the Lions but an ugly game slowed by sloppy play and penalties hurt his overall performance. He got it going late to finish with 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
This week Mariota has an even better matchup on paper. The Raiders allow the most fantasy points to quarterbacks after two games. Quarterbacks are averaging 409 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game against Oakland’s defense.
Mariota hasn’t had a big fantasy day yet but has still managed to produce 18.7 and 17.6 DraftKings points in his first two games. His $5,900 salary is actually $100 lower this week even though Mariota has a better matchup. Based on the numbers, Mariota is one of the top quarterback plays on the board for Week 3, regardless of price.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys
Prescott has played well in his first two NFL games. He’s completed just under 63 percent of his passes for 519 yards and no interceptions. The only negative is Dak still hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass.
Prescott does have a rushing touchdown but one reason he hasn’t thrown for a score yet is somewhat due to his struggles in the red zone. Dak is just 5-of-12 (41.6 percent) so far in the red zone. Once Prescott improves in the red zone, so will his fantasy numbers.
The Bears defense just allowed fellow rookie Carson Wentz to throw for 190 yards and a score against them. Those numbers would have been even better if Wentz’s receivers could catch. The Bears allow the 16th most fantasy points to quarterbacks after facing Wentz and Brock Osweiler.
Prescott scored 18.2 DraftKings points in his last game against the Redskins on the road. He has a good chance to eclipse that number versus a shaky Bears defense at home this Sunday. He’s worth a look at his modest salary.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
Adrian Peterson is out for the year and McKinnon will get first crack and replacing him. Matt Asiata and his 3.0 YPC are still around too but McKinnon is likely to see most of the touches in Minnesota’s backfield.
McKinnon’s first game is against the Panthers. Carolina’s defense isn’t as formidable as it was in 2015 but it’s still a tough matchup. The Panthers come in giving up the 10th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. C.J. Anderson is largely responsible for that ranking after his big game against them in the opener.
McKinnon isn’t likely to run for 100 yards against Carolina but he’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield. His versatility is appealing to DFS players, especially at his salary this week. The Vikings have given Asiata chances on two other occasions and he didn’t get the job done. McKinnon should see plenty of touches.
The Panthers did a god job of shutting down the 49ers Carlos Hyde. McKinnon probably won’t have a huge ownership yet even with his low salary because of the matchup. His ability to contribute as both a runner and receiver though makes him a solid play this week.
Shane Vereen, Giants
Vereen is as inconsistent as they come. Trying to figure out when to roster him will make DFS players pull their hair out.
This sounds like a week to roll the dice on Vereen. Rashad Jennings is dealing with a thumb injury. He’s expected to play Sunday but Jennings could be limited, which means more snaps for Vereen. Last week against the Saints Vereen touched the ball 17 times.
The Redskins defense comes in allowing the second most fantasy points to running backs. Washington has given up an average of 122.5 yards, 2.0 touchdowns and 5.5 receptions to opposing running backs through two games.
Vereen has clearly established himself as the Giants No. 2 back behind Jennings early in the year. He’s touched the ball 26 times in the first two games. With Jennings not 100 percent and the matchup favorable to running backs, Vereen is worth pulling your hair out over this week.
Phillip Dorsett, Colts
Dorsett moves into the starting lineup with Donte Moncrief out at least a month with a shoulder injury. He’s already made an impact early in the year. Dorsett leads the Colts with 124 receiving yards and he’s been targeted 11 times in the first two games.
Dorsett got injured in preseason as a rookie and then fell behind Moncrief once he came back. He’s got loads of talent. Now that he’s going to be a starter and get more looks from Andrew Luck, Dorsett has a chance to be a fantasy stud. His salary won’t be $4,400 at DraftKings for very long.
The Chargers have a formidable secondary with Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers. The duo did a great job last week against Jacksonville’s receivers. However, the Jaguars offense was out of rhythm from the start in that game. Look for the Colts to put up a much tougher test this week at home.
The Chargers give up the 16th most fantasy points to wide receivers after two games. Dorsett will have some opportunities to make plays on Sunday and his salary won’t be any lower than it is this week. Now is the time to pounce on him.
Tajae Sharpe, Titans
We gave out Sharpe last week but he disappointed with just four receptions for 33 yards on seven targets. As mentioned above, the officiating in the Titans/Lions game wasn’t friendly to offensive football. There were 18 accepted penalties in the first half alone. It killed momentum and drives. Sharpe had two receptions called back because of penalties.
Let’s go right back to Sharpe again. The Raiders not only give up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, they also allow the most points to wide receivers. Receivers are averaging 17.5 receptions for 282 yards and 2.5 touchdowns on 21.5 targets against the Raiders defense.
The Titans are a run based offense but on paper, there may not be a better week all season to ride Mariota and Sharpe. Sharpe hasn’t had a breakout game yet but the targets (18 in two games) are there. This could be the week.
Eric Ebron, Lions
Ebron’s numbers against the Titans don’t look great but he too fell victim to poor officiating in that game. He had a touchdown called back on a terrible offensive pass interference call.
Ebron finished with four catches for 53 yards on seven targets. If the touchdown had counted, Ebron would have scored right around the 15.6 DraftKings points he put up in Week 1. Ebron has been targeted 12 times in two games, so he’s getting looks. If not for one highly questionable call, Ebron would have put up TE1 numbers in back-to-back weeks.
Ebron gets a Packers defense Sunday that allows the third most fantasy points to tight ends. Green Bay is giving up an average of 17 fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Ebron has the 12th highest salary among tight ends. The matchup is favorable and the price is right. Ebron is a strong play this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You may not be rushing to roster a defense that’s allowing 32 points in its first two games. The only time that’s an option is when the team they’re playing is averaging 4.5 points and hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this season. That’s the scenario we have this week then the Rams travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. Until the Rams offense shows signs of life, they’re an automatic fade every week in DFS. The Bucs defense hasn’t looked great in the first two games but that was against Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer. This week they get Case Keenum. If Tampa Bay’s defense is still struggling after Sunday, Mike Smith better fire up his resume.