DFS Busts: Week 3
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Nick Olson and I am the newest writer here at Gridiron Experts. I am a fantasy football veteran with over 15 years of experience that uses data and analytics along with my scouting ability as a football coach to make fantasy decisions. I coach high school football in the state of Wisconsin and have coached semi-pro ball as well. You may know me or from previous writing gigs, or as “The Coach” from The Coach and Cole Show. Every week on the show my co-host Cole Fouts and I make three “Stud and dud” calls for each week’s slate. On week 1’s show, my top dud or bust call was Russell Wilson who finished with only 159 yards passing against Green Bay. Last week my top bust call was Ezekiel Elliot who finished with eight yards on nine carries. Now, every week I will give you my top three players who could bust your DFS lineup right here on Gridiron Experts. So let’s get into my choices for this week’s slate.
**Disclaimer: The takes within this article are my opinion only, they will not always represent the opinion of all staff here at Gridiron Experts.
Cam Newton, QB
Carolina Panthers (FD: 8,100 – DK: 6,600)
- Opponent: vs NO
- CAR Implied Total: 26.5
- Gridiron Experts Week 3 Pos Rank: 5th
In week one, Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera told the media that Cam Newton was “rusty” in their 23-3 win over the 49ers. “The quarterback is obviously getting used to the timing. He missed some throws and he knows it,” Rivera said.. “I had to talk him off the ledge, but he’s focusing in on what he needs to get done. The nice thing is all the other guys are rallying around him. They understand he’s a little rusty.
Not the greatest thing you want to hear about a quarterback after a 20-point victory. He finished the game against the NFL’s worst defense in 2016, (406.4 ypg allowed) going 14-25 for only 171 passing yards.
Last week against Buffalo things didn’t look much better as the Panthers were barely able to sneak by a Bills team that is in the midst of a re-build. This time, Rivera told reporters that left tackle Matt Kahlil “has to get used to the way we do protections,” Newton was sacked six times and left the game after landing awkwardly during one of the sacks, hurting his ankle.
Newton told Panthers.com that he is disappointed in himself after the first two weeks as he didn’t look much more focused against the Bills going 20-32 for 228 yards missing several throws. While he didn’t throw an interception, there were several throws that could have been picked off. He is now 34-57 for 399 yards on the season.
This week Newton and the Panthers take on a defense that ranks dead last so far in 2017 (512.5 ypg allowed) in the New Orleans Saints. This is a juicy matchup on paper and should drive Newton’s ownership through the roof. As good as this seems glitter is not always gold.
- In Newton’s 13 games since his concussion in 2016, he has gone 227 of 434 (52.3%), 15 TD, 10 INT, 72 rush attempts for 242 yards and three TDs.
- In Newton’s career against New Orleans, he only averages 230 pass ypg and 1.58 pass TD per game
- In his last game at home against New Orleans, he went 14-33 for a dismal 192 yards
- Cam Newton has never played an NFL game without Greg Olsen at TE, week 3 will be his first as Olsen has been placed on the IR with a broken foot
- Saints 1st round pick CB Marshon Lattimore has only seen eight targets into his coverage so far this season, deflecting two and allowing only six to be caught for 61 yards and no touchdowns, he will be locking down number one target Kelvin Benjamin
We always like Newton’s upside as a runner but as banged up as he is and with how poor the Panther’s pass protection has been it is more than likely that Riveria and the Panthers decide to slow down the tempo of this game, try to keep Brees and company off of the field and Newton healthy. Which means heavy doses of Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey against a team that has allowed 124 ypg on the ground in 2017. If you were going to go with high shares of Newton this week, I would re-think that strategy.
LeSean McCoy, RB
Buffalo Bills (FD: 8,100 – DK: 7,000)
- Opponent: vs DEN
- BUF Implied Total: 18.5
- Gridiron Experts Week 3 Pos Rank: 10th
Like Newton, McCoy is banged up in the early part of 2017. Heading into last week’s game against Carolina, Shady was nursing a groin and wrist injury. In the second half, McCoy tweaked his wrist and he was held out of Wednesday’s practice to nurse his ailments.
- McCoy is always a boom or bust option, In his last 11 games, he has five games with 100 yards and five games with less than 35 yards rushing
- According to Sharp Football Stats, only two of the Bills’ 15 running plays were considered successful last week
- When running off tackle to left the Bills are only averaging 1.0 yards per carry in 2017. The Broncos will key on the fact that Buffalo is unable to run left, especially if Glenn is not in the lineup
The Broncos are able to stack 7 men in the box to stop the run as much as they want with arguably the best secondary in the NFL in man coverage. On all nine of Elliott’s carries, the Broncos had more defenders lined up within eight yards of the line of scrimmage than the Cowboys had run blockers. Undoubtedly that will be the strategy again for this Broncos defense that will force Tyrod Taylor to try to beat them through the air.
“The Broncos are a great group and you have to be consistent running your plays. You’ve got to keep to your identity. You can’t change because of how the game’s going. They’ll make plays. They’re a good defense. You’ve just got to keep at it,” McCoy told the Denver Post.
McCoy will not be finding any of my DFS lineups this week and we have to remember that Shady has a history of going into games when not healthy and being unable to finish them. With a wrist and groin injury lingering, I suggest to find a better option this week.
A.J. Green, WR
Cincinnati Bengals (FD: 7,500 – DK: 8,100)
- Opponent: vs GB
- CIN Implied Total: 18.0
- Gridiron Experts Week 3 Pos Rank: 3rd
The Cincinnati Bengals have yet to score a touchdown in 2017. After two weeks this statement would have been blasphemy prior to the season with weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and rookies Joe Mixon and John Ross in the fold. Regardless, that is the case after going scoreless in week one and losing 9-3 to the Texans on Thursday night. Green had some things to say to reporters following the poor showing.
“We are playing like sh– right now,” Green said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We got to find a way to get our playmakers the ball. That’s it. It’s a superstar-driven league. You are not going to win without them.”
Green leads them with 27 percent target share through two weeks with 18 targets. On paper, this looks like an amazing matchup as Pro Football Focus has it ranked the number one matchup for any WR this week. However, the numbers may be skewed a little as it pits Green to face Damarious Randall, who is third lowest graded corner in the NFL.
If you watched Green Bay’s Sunday night NFC Championship rematch with the Atlanta Falcons, you noticed one bright spot for the Packers secondary, rookie 1st round draft pick Kevin King. King’s snap count increased by 40 snaps from week one and Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that King is line for even more playing time. He broke up a pass intended for Julio Jones and was only targeted five times in the game, allowing just one catch. Chances are, the 6’3″ King will find himself lined up across from Green, who will not have his normal height advantage standing just one inch taller than the University of Washington product.
- Green has seen a decrease in production when Eifert is out; he’s averaged 18.55 PPR points in 34 games with him and 16.91 in the 52 games without him
- As crazy as it seems the Packers actually rank 9th in the NFL in passing defense so far in 2017, averaging 179 yards per game allowed.
- The Bengals offense is only averaging 60 plays per game; 23rd-most in the NFL and may see a similar number going against an offense like Green Bay that can sustain long drives
I would suggest finding another receiver at Green’s price point this week. Not only is the offense in shambles right now, but Green isn’t happy. If the Bengals don’t start off the game on the right foot this one could get ugly.