DFS Dreamers & Fantasy Streamers: Contrarian GPP and Deep Sleeper Plays for Week 3

by Eric McClung ·

In this weekly piece we review a handful in inexpensive daily fantasy options, many of whom also happen to be available on most fantasy football league waiver wires.


Ryan Tannehill is the top QB streamer this week and is going for a reduced price on DraftKings and FanDuel. Blame the Browns for the meh 42.5 combined total from Vegas. The Dolphins won’t have Arian Foster (groin) and are going to mix and match to see what works in the backfield. Tannehill can run around by design or scramble for yards when he’s not peppering Jarvis Landry. After missing Week 1, DeVante Parker broke the century mark in last week’s debut. Tannehill isn’t a player we like much beyond this week, but makes for a perfectly fine one-week rental.

Frequently in DFS we see quarterback ownership split quite a bit in both cash games and tournaments. For example, Philip Rivers steps into the biggest total on the Sunday slate (51) as the Chargers travel to Indy. He’ll cost just $500 more on DK and $600 on FD than the aforementioned Tannehill, a likely popular cash play. Those really spending up at QB will likely lock onto Andrew Luck who’s on the opposite side of that matchup. The contrarian quarterback, however, is Carson Palmer. Here at PlayerProfiler he’s currently third in Fantasy Points per Dropback and fourth in Yards per Attempt. Palmer is set to go cross country to face the Bills. Last week in Buffalo, Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 24 of 34 passes for 374 yards and was only sacked once.


Carson Palmer Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Wide Receiver

So Phillip Dorsett is owned in half of Yahoo leagues and just under half of ESPN leagues. If only he had a quarterback like Andrew Luck. Wait a second, Luck is Dorsett’s quarterback! Maybe it would take an injury for Dorsett’s ownership to climb significantly. Oh yeah, Donte Moncrief (fractured scapula) is out 4-6 weeks.

Anyway, the real streamer here is Cowboys slot man Cole Beasley who will be playing Sunday night against the Bears, a team with five members of its secondary on the injury report. Beasley currently leads his team with 13 receptions and 140 yards with a catch rate of over 72-percent. Last year, Beasley was No. 20 in Target Premium and No. 16 in Catch Rate, numbers similar to what we are seeing through two games.

I’m looking at Jarvis Landry, Travis Benjamin, and Stefon Diggs as the popular, cost-effective receivers in DFS. That leaves room for someone in the higher salary bucket. While I don’t see a clear chalk option in that group, Allen Robinson is being viewed by many a logical bounce back candidate against Baltimore, who were just roasted by rookie Corey Coleman for 104 yards and two scores on five catches. Amari Cooper is my personal favorite. The Titans have allowed a 100-yard receiver in both games (Diggs in Week 1, Marvin Jones last week) thus far.


Jordan Matthews Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The contrarian route I’m taking at receiver is a tournament lineup that includes a Battle for Pennsylvania game stack highlighted by Antonio Brown and Jordan Matthews. Brown got his double-digit targets last week against the Bengals, but was limited by his familiar divisional foes to just 39 yards. That stinker and an industry leading price tag will keep many, many people away. On the flip side, Matthews just had a brutal drop that cost him a long touchdown on Monday Night Football and would have netted him a second big game to start the season. The reason I want them in the same lineup is pretty simple. If Brown explodes it will require the Eagles to respond by passing the ball frequently themselves. Make sure there is correlation throughout your tournament lineups, not just random players you believe will be under owned.

Running Back

Shane Vereen makes for a boring, but possibly productive streaming option. Last week, he slightly out-snapped and out-touched Rashad Jennings (thumb) as both disappointed against the Saints. We’ll turn the page as the Giants stay at home to host Washington in an NFC East matchup. Washington has already allowed a league-most five rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs in addition to yielding an average of 120 yards per game to the position on the ground thus far. Jennings is expected to play with a cast on his thumb, which could compromise ball security and his pass catching ability.

If Vereen is owned I’m rolling the dice on rookie Kenyan Drake. The Miami backfield is shaping up to be a total mess, but Drake was taken in the third round and scored a touchdown in Week 2. He’s fast…and that’s about it, as evidenced by a 22nd percentile SPARQ-x Score. Broken bones limited his opportunities in college, partially explaining the 11th-percentile College Dominator Rating. The Browns are mid-pack against the run so far, but that wouldn’t keep me from using Drake in a pinch.

Injuries are always effecting the running back position in big ways and this week is no different. Affordable DFS options that are going to see expanded roles include Melvin Gordon, Charles Sims, Theo Riddick, Jerick McKinnon, and Christine Michael. The contrarian move could be going all the way up to David Johnson. The matchup is better than DeAngelo Williams, another very expensive running back, at the Eagles as Buffalo just gave up 100 yards and a hat trick to Matt Forte. Against Tampa Bay in Week 2, Johnson struggled much of the day until having his stat line saved by a 58-yard reception. However, a lopsided scoreboard limited his opportunities and allowed Chris Johnson to run 16 times.


Ezekiel Elliott Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Another pricey option is Ezekiel Elliott. He’s scored in each game, but hasn’t lit the world on fire while averaging 3.3 yards per carry. We’ve also yet to see him do much as a receiver. Last week, Elliott fumbled twice and was benched late in the game. The Bears gave up 106 yards to Lamar Miller on 28 carries in the opener. They fared better against the Eagles, although Ryan Mathews still found the end zone twice. As previously mentioned, the Chicago defense has taken on a ridiculous amount of injuries. Among the notable players missing from the front seven will be outside linebacker Lamarr Houston (ACL), defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle) and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (thumb). The last two are expected to miss multiple games while Houston is done for the year.

Tight End

Dennis Pitta and Jacob Tamme should both be owned at this point, so I’m not calling them steamers despite ownership numbers around 50 percent for each guy on the major sites. If you are a tight end streamer by design, need an injury filler for Antonio Gates (hamstring) and Zach Ertz (rib), or just want a dirt cheap option in DFS I’ve got two options in mind. The first is Ertz’s backup, Trey Burton. After recording seven targets, five receptions, 49 yards, and a touchdown on MNF it’s possible Burton becomes a somewhat popular option. However, there are so many desirable running backs and wide receivers in the mid-price range that a minimum salary tight end becomes unnecessary. If you still want to stay at the minimum but get more contrarian, there’s Jack Doyle. Even though he trails Dwayne Allen by a healthy number of snaps he’s seen just one fewer target in the passing game.


The Dolphins defense at home against the Browns for Cody Kessler‘s debut will be very popular in DFS . In a similar price range, and perhaps going overlooked, is Tampa Bay hosting Case Keenum and the lowly Rams. Both make for fine streamers.