For the second straight week, both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were in the winning lineup in the NFL FanDuel Sunday Million tournament. And while those might seem like chalk plays, Brady and Gronk were only rostered in 6.6% and 3.8% of lineups, respectively. Gronk may or may not have been my tight end pivot honorable mention in Week 3..
First, the $1 million winning lineup and my picks from Week 3, then my favorite tournament pivots in the Week 4 NFL FanDuel Sunday Million tournament.
Week 3 Winning Lineup
Total Points: 200.92
Tom Brady: $9,400 salary; 35.72 points; 6.6% owned
Christian McCaffrey: $6,800 salary; 16.2 points; 8.9% owned
Dalvin Cook: $6,500 salary; 25.4 points; 5% owned
Brandin Cooks: $7,500 salary; 29.6 points; 5.9% owned
Stefon Diggs: $6,500 salary; 33.3 points; 2.1% owned
Mohamed Sanu: $5,400 salary; 10.8 points; 5.1% owned
Rob Gronkowski: $8,400 salary; 18.9 points; 3.8% owned
Matt Prater: $4,700 salary; 19 points; 7.7% owned
Kansas City Chiefs: $4,700 salary; 17 points; 2.6% owned
Week 3 Picks
Derek Carr: 11.86 points; 0.9% owned
C.J. Anderson: 4.2 points; 10.7% owned
Adam Thielen: 5.3 points; 22.2% owned
Colby Fleener: 0.6 points; 5.7% owned
Chalk: Tom Brady ($9,500), Russel Wilson ($7,900)
Why: As we said in the opener, Brady has been on the $1 million lineup in each of the past few weeks. The streaky Wilson looks to be trending upwards, and he matches up with a Colts secondary allowing the 3rd most yards passing yards so far this year.
Marcus Mariota certainly did not look like his 2016 self in the first few weeks of 2017. But he had his best performance of the young season in Week 3, leading the Titans to a surprising win against the visiting Seahawks.
Despite his disappointing start to the season, Mariota’s running ability has kept him from ever being a fantasy bust, approaching 20 points in two of three games this year. I’m banking on Tennessee continuing to build off the offense’s momentum in Week 3, with Eric Decker finding his groove, and DeMarco Murray and Corey Davis getting healthy.
Tom Brady hung five touchdowns on Houston last week, but I still think some will be scared away by Mariota’s opponent. He should be 7-10% owned, making him an attractive pivot option on Sunday.
Kind of a trendy pick, but I can’t imagine it will translate into DFS ownership.
Watson threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 against New England. He’s clearly the starting quarterback and leader of Houston’s offense, and he owns the NFL’s sixth highest QBR so far in 2017. Against a Tennessee secondary that’s been torched a few times this season, Watson is certainly worth a gamble.
CHALK: LeVeon Bell ($8,600), Todd Gurley ($8,000)
Why: With Kareem Hunt playing on Monday Night, Bell figures to be the top owned back on Sunday, coming off a 29.3% ownership rate in Week 3. Gurley is playing like he’s back at Georgia, and he has a plus matchup against Dallas. He’ll look to score in his fourth straight game.
As expected, Anderson’s ownership popped up to right around 10% after his monster Week 2 performance against the Cowboys. Unfortunately, the Broncos lead back had just 8 carries in Week 3 after totaling 45 in Weeks 1 and 2.
I think Anderson is perceived as too inconsistent for most owners to roll the dice on him again in Week 4, even with the Raiders in the bottom half of the league in rush defense. Anderson is fifth in the NFL in rush yards & attempts, and has enough upside to justify a roster spot in Week 4 of the NFL FanDuel Sunday Million.
Chris Carson is unquestionably the lead back in Seattle, having played in 41 of 73 downs in Week 3 while Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy combined for one. One.
Carson has yet to turn that opportunity into huge fantasy production, but against a Colts team that claims one of the league’s worst overall defensive units, that could come quickly. Indy’s relative success against running backs should scare away some owners, but don’t be one of them.
CHALK: Antonio Brown ($9,200), AJ Green ($8,000)
Why: These were two of the higher owned receivers of Week 3, at 23.9% and 27.7%, respectively. With matchups against division foes Baltimore and Cleveland, I don’t see that much changing on Sunday, even though the Ravens may scare away some from Antonio Brown.
Hopkins has rebounded serviceably from a disastrous 2016 campaign, eclipsing 10 fantasy points in each of his first three games while hauling in 21 catches on 37 targets. Those 21 catches are good for fifth in the NFL to date.
Hopkins was only 3.7% owned in the NFL FanDuel Sunday Million last week, despite a pretty good matchup against the Patriots. He’ll bump up from that in Week 4, but not enough to make him unusable against a Titans team ranked 28th in the NFL in pass defense.
Same pick as last week, but it worked out pretty well for Baldwin against Tennessee. Baldwin is trending upward and his hot streaks have been known to coincide with Wilson’s over recent years. Indianapolis is a great matchup for passing games, but I think Baldwin’s questionable tag will depress ownership enough to make him a sneaky Week 4 play.
CHALK: Rob Gronkowski ($8,500), Zach Ertz ($6,900)
Why: Like Brady, Gronkowski has been on the past two $1 million winning lineups in the FanDuel Sunday Million. Carolina will keep his ownership lower than it should be, but I still see him as a top-2 owned TE this week. Ertz gets the Chargers and has been the second most reliable fantasy tight end so far this season.
Going with the Seattle stack here, but I think all three of these guys are going to outperform expectations, steadily improving before the industry has a chance to fully adapt.
Graham was owned in only 6% of Sunday Million lineups in Week 3. He’s getting more in sync with Russel Wilson, and as we’ve mentioned Indy still is terrible against the pass, despite its improved run D. If his ownership remains below 10%, Graham should reward those who have been patient with him so far this season.
Clay has quietly been one of the better fantasy tight ends through the first three weeks of 2017, despite already having some tough matchups against Carolina and Baltimore. Atlanta has been good enough against tight ends to keep the excitement low on Clay, but he’s a sneaky bet for serviceable production despite the low price tag.