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Daily Fantasy Outlook - Week 3: Texans at Patriots

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If you’re a Patriots fan who also happens to be a daily fantasy sports junkie, you’ve come to the right place.

NFL: New England Patriots at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We all have our year-long fantasy football league teams. Maybe it’s an office league, or a group of old college buddies. They’re fun, sure. But they don’t require you to make a multitude of critical decisions from week-to-week . If you have Tom Brady or Brandin Cooks, you’re probably starting them regardless of the match up. For some of us, spending ten minutes per week setting a lineup, submitting a waiver claim here or there, and rejecting ludicrous trade offers from that one guy in your office who still thinks Steve Smith plays for Carolina just isn’t enough action. That’s where daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel come in. In this weekly series, we’ll see where the Patriots’ match up fits into this lovely world of daily fantasy football degeneracy by identifying a player to roll with, a player to fade, and a sleeper to keep an eye on. Good luck.

Week 3: Texans at Patriots

This weekend’s fantasy outlook should be decidedly more subdued than last Sunday’s shootout in the Super Dome which saw a motivated Patriots offense with three extra days of preparation pitted against the young, sieve-like Saints defense unit. With a lauded front seven and a quarterback who actually possesses a pulse, Bill O’Brien’s Houston Texans roll into Foxborough looking to avenge a 36-14 Divisional Round playoff defeat that ended their season nine months ago.

General Game Info:

Date and time: Sunday 9/24 @ 1:00pmET

Location: Gillette Stadium - Foxborough,MA

Expected weather forecast: 85 degrees and sunny, NNE winds at 4mph

Spread: New England -14

Over/Under: 44 points (tied-7th highest out of 16 NFL games in week three)

Patriots and Texans Friday injury report.

Player to roll with:

James White

DraftKings price: $5,400 — FanDuel price: $5,600

The former Wisconsin Badger, Super Bowl 51 hero, and offseason contract extension recipient is coming off of an eight-catch performance in New Orleans; the result of an offensive game plan attempting to mask the losses of quick-hit outlets Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola (who is questionable for Sunday’s tilt). Sunday should be no different. In all likelihood, Tom Brady’s time in the pocket will be limited, requiring quick check-downs. The absence of Rex Burkhead will only serve to further bolster White’s usage in this regard, as he poses the greatest threat to any Houston linebacker finding himself isolated in space.

Sure, you can’t go wrong with Mike Gillislee. He’s the Patriots’ primary goal line back with 33 carries, 114 yards, and four scores through two games. However, his two lofty season-opening point totals are fresh in the minds of DFS participants, and his price is still very manageable in comparison to other top backs, making him a prime candidate for an inflated ownership percentage.

James White can definitely be the option for those of you looking to zig while others are zagging — particularly in large tournament formats where ownership percentage is so crucial. A White-for-Gillislee swap will save you $1,200 in FanDuel, and $300 in DraftKings lineups with an even higher ownership percentage gap. White will still contribute solid PPR production, and if he finds a way to punch one in the end zone, you’ll gain a huge leg up on the aforementioned large fields that will be saturated with Gillislee owners who are banking on his goal line-dependent fantasy production.

Player to fade:

Tom Brady

DraftKings price: $7,700 — FanDuel price: $9,400

Yes, Tom is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Yes, he’s coming off of a performance in New Orleans in which he tossed three touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Yes, he’s the most handsome player in football.

No — you shouldn’t play him this week.

It’s not to say that Brady won’t produce solid numbers against a Texans defense that consistently moved him off of his spot in last season’s Divisional Round victory, but he’s the highest priced quarterback on each major DFS site this week. At those prices, you aren’t looking for “solid” production. Couple that with a healthy Texans pass rush, and varying injury designations for key contributors like Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett, and Marcus Cannon and you’ve got an easy fade call.

You’re better off sitting back and kicking your feet up with a bowl of your favorite brand of avocado ice cream while you save a couple thousand FanDuel dollars by deploying Matt Ryan indoors in Detroit, or Cam Newton, who looks to get back on track as Carolina hosts the hapless Saints who will be without Marshon Lattimore.


Ryan Griffin

DraftKings price: $3,000 — FanDuel price: $4,500

Fantasy football is all about capitalizing on opportunity. All the efficiency stats in the world won’t do you any good without volume, and volume only comes with opportunity. With Houston tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz heading to IR this week with a concussion, Griffin will move into the starting role.

Griffin, a Connecticut alum in his fifth year in the league, reeled in 50 balls in 2016 on 74 targets while working in an approximate 60-40 snap share with Fiedorowicz. At 6’6’’ and 216 pounds, he has the size and ability to become a red zone target and a potential security blanket for rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Regardless of Griffin’s actual talent level in comparison with other starters around the league, the opportunity is there — and it can be acquired for a bargain basement price. He’s a position-minimum $4,500 in FanDuel, and he’s the 18th-highest priced tight end on DraftKings at a measly $3,000 this week.

The injury bug has bitten a notable segment of the tight end position this week. With Greg Olson headed to IR and big names like Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, and Jimmy Graham all technically being game-time decisions, an abnormal amount of DFS tournament entrants will be comitting resources to a a small cluster of top tight ends. As a minimum-cost option, you could do a whole lot worse than a tight end like Griffin with a stranglehold on the snap share in a contest where a two-touchdown underdog offense will be passing often in an attempt to keep up.

Accountability Check:

Being that this is the first piece in this series, I’m off the hook — until next week at least.

Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter @BPhillips_PP, or by clicking here.