Take a Stand: Week 3 Plays & Fades


The “Take a Stand” article each week will feature players or teams that I am high or low on, yet it seems like the majority of the daily fantasy world feels the opposite. As we know in daily fantasy tournaments, if you take stands against ownership, you can use that to your benefit.

Obviously, this does apply to all chalky plays, because there is plenty of “good chalk”. But each week I also see leverage points. I certainly will not always be right. In fact, I’ll be wrong plenty, so please don’t take these stands as gospel.  But when I am right, taking a stand will gain huge leverage on the field.

One of the OG/GOATs of DFS, Alvin Zeidenfeld or Al Smizzle always made the point that earlier in the season, especially weeks 1-4 is a great time to be contrarian. Taking a stand can gain massive leverage and be a huge advantage. Why is that?

We all think we know what’s going to happen based on last year’s results. But in actuality, a lot changes in the course of an offseason. Whether it’s draft picks, free agent additions/losses, positive/negative regression, coaching/scheme changes, and plenty more variables, the value of a player or team in daily fantasy from one year to the next can change. So let’s get to my Week 3 stands.

 

BULLISH:

Back to Tua Stacks

I’m going right back to Tua Tagovailoa in 2nd highest total game on the slate. Tua double stacks did well for me last week and I’m running it back at projected low ownership. Yes, the Bills have a tough defense but the game script should have Tua throwing a lot just like he did in week 2. Also, the Bills will be without their two top cornerbacks.

I’ve been bullish on HC Mike McDaniel and what he can do for Tua and this offense all summer, and through two weeks it looks exciting. I’m not going to jump off now at lower ownership. Perfect bring back with Stefon Diggs or other Bills weapons!

Here is some early projected ownership for the passing side of this game that I like to shootout:

-Tua – 3%

-Hill – 9%

-Waddle – 6%

 

QB Kirk Cousins

No one ever wants to play QB Kirk Cousins and his ownership is always reasonably low. After his MNF debacle and playing at 1 pm, I doubt his ownership is higher than 6%. His teammates Dalvin Cook, Irv Smith, and Justin Jefferson are projected to be highly owned, but Kirk Cousins won’t be.

First, this is a day game. In all seriousness, Cousins has a great match-up against the Lions who have given up 38 and 27 points the first two weeks. In a great bounce-back spot, I like Cousin’s double stacks. That also allows me to run it back with Amon-Ra St. Brown and still have a reasonable salary left.

 

BEARISH:

QB Jalen Hurts

After a massive performance in week 2 against the Vikings, Hurt did not get the MNF price bump and is the 2nd highest projected owned QB. I admit, I have been down on Hurts all offseason and I’ll also admit he looked good on Monday night. After being an inefficient passer last season, I’m not ready to say he’s a true dual-threat weapon yet after playing two weak defenses. The Vikings’ defense was swiss cheese and he could do anything he wanted.

I know the Commanders’ defense has not been good the first two weeks, but as a Washington fan, I know they have the capability to scheme well against good QBs. I know because last season I went all-in and stacked up Mahomes and the Chiefs and Brady and the Bucs against Washington and both times they held those offenses in check.

I’m not making promises that the Commanders’ defense can come up with a game plan to stop Hurts from getting in the endzone, but it’s in the range of outcomes. Also, keep in mind Hurts is on pace for 25 rushing TDs. That’s not happening. He’s not going to score 2 rushing TDs every week. Even in week 1 when he scored 1 rushing TD and I faded him, he didn’t hurt me.

At high ownership, I’d rather fade Hurts and stack the other side. The Commanders’ offense of QB Carson Wentz and all his receivers are all projected to be sub 5% outside of Curtis Samuel. Then you can still run it back with either AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, or Miles Sanders who are all projected to be somewhat low-owned.

 

RB David Montgomery

Montgomery is currently the 2nd highest projected owned RB at 25% and plays in an offense with an implied team total of 18 points. His QB can vulture him at the goalline if they do get scoring opportunities. Monty doesn’t get much pass game usage and Chicago doesn’t pass much period. I would rather pay down for lower-owned Miles Sanders, and Michael Carter Jr. and see if value opens up in the Cardinals backfield.