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DFS Tournament Game Breakdown 2019 Week 3
Paying up for a quarterback and a tight end continues to be a viable strategy as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce all crushed their projections in Week 2. Is paying up for the onesie positions the move in Week 3? Let's find out.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Kyle Allen will come in as the cash game passer playing in Arizona this week but the tournament option is clearly Murray. Murray has attempted more air yards than any other passer (870) and more pass attempts (91). This week he faces the Panthers at home. Carolina has run the fourth-most plays per game through two weeks at 68. The Cardinals are tied with them at fourth as well.
This is going to be a high-pace affair featuring enormous amounts of Murray: The Cardinals are passing on 75% of their snaps so far.
Murray is the best tournament play at his position in Week 3.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Mason Rudolph isn't in an ideal spot to make his first start in the NFL but his college resume would suggest that he can handle any situation. Rudolph averaged 9.4 yards per attempt while playing in more than three seasons. That is nearing Baker Mayfield territory. Now he's paired with his college teammate James Washington and one of the most precocious talents at receiver in Juju Smith-Schuster.
Rudolph costs nothing to roster as far as quarterbacks are concerned and there are a lot of great stacking options to pair with him.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina
Christian McCaffrey is the best play on the main slate for the second time of his two main slate appearances. He's been priced as the third back on both of those slates now.
The Cardinals and the Panthers are tied at fourth in the NFL for play per game. They have both run an average of 68 plays per game through two weeks. This sets up perfectly for McCaffrey, who has played on 100% of the snaps. McCaffrey also leads all players with 47 touches. He should lead the slate in touches and fantasy points versus Arizona.
Frank Gore, Buffalo
This play is simply an inversion of the common roster construction that will be run regardless of the format in Week 3. McCaffrey, Zeke, Austin Ekeler, and Dalvin Cook are looking like the Mount Rushmore of chalk running backs. That will lead people to pay up for them and spend little on receivers.
Running Frank Gore flips that on its head and allows you to spend up on receivers with limited ownership. Gore is only in play if Devin Singletary can't suit up but once he is ruled out, Gore instantly becomes one of the best values on the slate. Despite this, he won't be popular.
The Bills are six-point favorites at home and Gore got 19 carries last week even with Singletary playing some. Gore as a contrarian play is more than viable.
James Washington has the "Shower Narrative" going for him. That means that he and his quarterback, Rudolph, were previously teammates and probably hit the showers at the same time.
More importantly (although the shower narrative is crucial when building projections), Washington has been getting targeted often fo Pittsburgh and is clearly a better receiver than Donte Moncrief.
Washington's 199 air yards lead all Steelers. His nine targets aren't as many as Moncrief's but he's crushing Moncrief in efficiency. The veteran has seven yards on 11 targets while Washington has caught 74 receiving yards on two fewer targets.
The volume and next-to-nothing cost in stacking Rudolph with Washington make the duo an enticing play in tournaments.
If we're targeting the Cardinals/Panthers game for stacks, Curtis Samuel has to be considered. Samuel had 234 air yards in Week 2 but because Cam Newton's body was deteriorating before our eyes he wasn't able to connect with Samuel on any of the deep passes.
Kyle Allen played well in his limited action last year going over 250 yards and scoring twice without throwing a pick. He can't be a downgrade for Samuel given how hard it has been for Samuel to convert his air yards into receiving yards and fantasy points. Bet on volume above all else in a great game for all parties involved.
George Kittle, San Francisco
George Kittle has caught a number of bad beats so far and most of them relate to touchdowns. Last week, the 49ers put up three passing touchdowns and Kittle wasn't on the receiving end of either of them. In Week 1, Kittle had two scores called back by penalties. This bad luck will regress at some point and Pittsburgh is a great matchup to bet on it happening in.
Pittsburgh tasked Devin Bush with covering Will Dissly last week and it did not go well for them. Dissly caught three balls for 50 yards and scored twice. The week before that the Patriots used Rex Burkhead to go after Busch in the passing game in the same part of the field. In total, they three seven balls at receivers Busch was defending.
If the trend of teams using short routes to target the rookie linebacker continues, Kittle could be in for a monster day.
New England Patriots
Don't get cute at defense this week, not even in tournaments. The Patriots defense has given up two fields in as many weeks and now gets to face Luke Faulk, making his first start, at home. Vegas has them as stunning 23-point favorites, an even larger spread than Dallas over Miami, the other elite defense play this week.
New England should annihilate the Jets just like they did Pittsburgh and Miami.