Jay-ger Bombs

Jay Ajayi will face a defense allowing 5.4 yards per carry this week so he is bordering on must-play. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for Week 3 NFL contests.

DeShone Kizer, Browns, $10,000 – On a week where virtually all the elite running backs’ (RBs) matchups jump off the page, concessions are going to need to be made somewhere to make them fit. According to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic, the Colts passing defense ranks 27th through two weeks. Hell, the Colts have allowed 308 passing yards per game thus far despite having played the Cardinals and Rams. Until Vontae Davis returns to their secondary, they are stuck with a group of corners who have all graded outside the top 65 in terms of coverage other than Rashard Higgins, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). Until last week, DeShone Kizer had not developed a true number one target and it is remains to be seen whether the Colts would choose to shadow Rashard Higgins anyways. The great part about Kizer’s skill set is he is not afraid to run the football and he has officially rushed five times in each of his first two games as a professional. Running quarterbacks (QBs) always possess a slightly higher floor because rushing yards accumulate fantasy points quicker than passing yards. In other words, 20 rushing yards is equivalent to 50 passing yards and a rushing touchdown (TD) is worth two more fantasy points than a passing TD. Against one of the worst defenses in the league, Kizer only needs to post a decent game to hit value at minimum cost. In this matchup, there is no reason he cannot flirt with 20 fantasy points (other than his migraines last week which were supposedly an anomaly). UPDATE: Vontae Davis is now expected to play but he rarely guards the slot so Higgins should not see much of him anyways.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $16,600 – Finally, this feels like the week of Le’Veon Bell, as he predictably was off to a slow start after holding out. Running backs (RBs) do not have a great history of success immediately following holdouts so it would make sense Bell would be rusty for a few weeks. With two games under his belt, Bell is now slated to square off against a Bears defense that ranks 15th in rushing DVOA but lost their best linebacker (Jerrell Freeman) in the opener. Meanwhile, Bell has historically performed better on the road comparatively to at home, which makes sense because Ben Roethlisberger fares much better at home. Since the beginning of 2015, Bell has averaged 23.23 fantasy points per game (FPPG) on the road compared to just 21.71 at home. Over the entirety of his career, he has averaged 6.36 targets per game on the road versus 5.92 at home. With Roethlisberger less crisp away from Heinz Field, the team relies more heavily on dump passes and the running game to produce yardage. The Bears are awful and will continue to be awful until they make the switch to Mike Glennon so it would not be shocking for the Steelers to take an early lead in this game and never let it go. If they are playing with the lead, they will rely heavier on the run game, and game flow could work perfectly into his favor. Even at this price point, Bell is a lock especially in cash games.

Jay Ajayi, Dolphins, $14,500 – Saying the Jets have a “run defense” would be overstating their effectiveness because opposing teams have averaged 5.4 yards per carry (YPC) against them in two games. In Week 1, LeSean McCoy gashed them for 110 yards rushing on 22 carries plus five receptions (RECs) for 59 yards and Mike Tolbert ended up scoring a TD. On Sunday, the Raiders broke multiple long runs against the Jets as both Jalen Richard and Cordarrelle Patterson scored rushing TDs of at least 43 yards. Additionally, the starter, Marshawn Lynch, rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries and scored a TD of his own. Essentially, RBs have owned this team to this point, and why would they not? The Jets traded arguably their best defensive player (Sheldon Richardson) for Jermaine Kearse in the offseason to weaken an already subpar defense. If the first two weeks are indication, this unit is the worst in the league at stopping the run and Jay Ajayi, after rating as the league’s most elusive back last year (according to PFF), grades as the league’s sixth most elusive back through two games in 2017. Remember, Ajayi broke out for 200-plus yard games thrice in 2016, and if there ever were a time for an encore, this would be the week.

Isaiah Crowell, Browns, $9,400 – Sometimes a defense is so terrible one cannot help but target against them. Using multiple Browns feels painful but it is also the right call against a Colts defense who allowed Todd Gurley to bust out for 17.30 fantasy points against them a few weeks ago. The matchup against the Cardinals can be tossed out because their rushing attack sans David Johnson is just plain brutal. On paper, the Colts look like a solid rushing defense so far, but they ranked dead last in DVOA against in the run last season. In 27 attempts this season, Crowell has only averaged 2.6 YPC, but he has faced two formidable rushing defenses: Ravens and Steelers (both ranked inside top 11 of rushing DVOA in 2016). With Crowell’s price down to the lowest it has been this season and him facing the best matchup he has, this is the perfect time to buy low on him.

Antonio Brown, Steelers, $17,000 – Although Martavis Bryant is sort of the “X-factor” on this offense and he scored in Week 2, the Steelers are typically one of the more concentrated offenses in the league. Bell handles a crazy workload, including a healthy number of targets out of the backfield, and Antonio Brown handles most of the receiving targets. Amazingly, Brown leads the league in receiving even though he faced arguably the toughest corner in the league in Week 2. Whenever Brown can be squeezed into a cash game lineup, he is worth it because he has caught 106-plus passes in four consecutive seasons including double-digit TDs in three straight seasons. The Bears’ number one corner, Prince Amukamara, is injured and Mike Evans showed just how dominant number one wide receivers (WRs) can look against their weak secondary. Had Evans not dropped a second TD, his seven REC, 93-yard performance capped off by a TD would have been even more impressive. If looking for an incredibly safe option with a ceiling as high as anyone’s on the slate, Brown certainly fits the bill.

Tennessee Titans Defense, $5,300 – Facing the Seahawks is basically a guaranteed multiple sack game for any opposing defense. The left side of their offensive line is historically bad and Wilson has been sacked exactly three times in each of his first two games. According to PFF, the Titans’ roster does not feature a player who has graded inside the top 35 of pass rush this year, but this is one of the few games where a team without a dominant pass rush like theirs should succeed by default. Through two games, they have sacked the QB four times, and their average should increase after having faced an offensive line who features four players who have graded outside the top 50 at their position. By default, the Titans rate as a solid plug-and-play option for cheap.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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