By Joe Ostrowski–
(CBS) There was so much overlay in the first two weeks of the NFL season that Draft Kings decided to scale back in its Millionaire Maker tournament. Instead of giving away $2 million to the winner of a $10-million prize pool, Draft Kings will be handing out $1.2 million as part of a $7-million prize pool.
Let’s take a quick look at how last week’s winners got it done.
FanDuel: $5 million NFL Sunday Million ($1 million to first place)
Winner: “jeremiah1974db” — 209.66 points
QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Adrian Peterson, Dion Lewis
WR: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Travis Benjamin
TE: Rob Gronkowski
K: Josh Brown
Jeremiah Bushnell is a 41-year-old truck driver who won a million dollars with the first daily fantasy lineup he ever created. Jeremiah has given his two weeks’ notice at work. True story.
This FanDuel lineup ended up being mostly contrarian, even though it was filled with NFL stars. Three of the nine roster spots were owned by less than one percent of the field. The public felt that Dion Lewis couldn’t be trusted because you never really know what Patriots coach Bill Belichick is going to do with his running backs. Travis Benjamin burst onto the scene in a game in which he was on the field for less than half the Browns’ offensive snaps and ran nine pass routes. The Jets defense was facing Andrew Luck’s usually explosive Colts offense.
Draft Kings: $10 million Millionaire Maker ($2 million to first place)
Winner: “The Dugan Brothers” — 246.18 points
QB: Marcus Mariota
RB: DeAngelo Williams, Danny Woodhead
WR: Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Travis Benjamin
TE: Rob Gronkowski
FLEX: Larry Fitzgerald
The winning lineup on Draft Kings broke a lot of rules, which made it so unique. A Steelers and Patriots stack — makes sense, right? It’s logical because we’re talking about players on two of the highest-scoring offenses in the league. But a running back stack is usually paired with a defense. The Pittsburgh stack was running back Williams and receiver Brown. If two pass catchers like Gronkowski and Edelman are used, the quarterback is usually in the lineup. A value quarterback was rostered in Mariota. This goes against the masses because of Draft Kings’ 300-plus yard passing bonus.
Week 3 top daily fantasy plays
QB in cash games: Patriots’ Tom Brady vs. Jaguars
Seven touchdowns, zero interceptions and 377 yards per game is a more than a nice start for Brady. Vegas set New England’s team total at 30.5 points, the highest of the week. The schedule-makers were very mean to Jacksonville, making this their first road test of the year.
Another option: Seahawks’ Russell Wilson vs. Bears
QB in tournaments: Colts’ Andrew Luck at Titans
Luck hasn’t thrown for more than 250 yards yet, but he’s dealt with premier defenses in the Jets and Bills. A rough game on national TV and pricing next to the elite quarterbacks that haven’t struggled could lead to low ownership. In two games against the Titans in 2014, Luck threw six touchdowns. One of those starts included 393 passing yards.
Another option: Panthers’ Cam Newton vs. Saints
RB in cash games: Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch vs. Bears
It will be raining Skittles at CenturyLink Field come Sunday afternoon, when the best home team in the NFL has its home opener. Seattle is 0-2, desperate and is a 16-point favorite over Chicago. The Seahawks are a run-heavy offense that needs to get Lynch right if they want to reel off some victories. The Bears are the perfect matchup. Lynch will have plenty of opportunities to dominate.
Another option: Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart vs. Saints
RB in tournaments: Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell at Rams
Shhhh, don’t tell anyone that St Louis has given up 306 rushing yards in the first two weeks. Bell returns from his two-game suspension as one of the best running backs in the world. Bell finished the 2014 season scoring touchdowns in five of his last six games. He was injured in the third quarter of the last contest of the season, the game he didn’t score. Some might shy away, because he’ll face the Rams defense in his return. You shouldn’t.
Another option: Packers’ Eddie Lacy/James Starks vs. Chiefs
WR in cash games: Jets’ Brandon Marshall vs. Eagles
Marshall has 19 targets, and he’ll get a lot more if Eric Decker isn’t on the field for the Jets. After dealing with cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Joe Haden, Marshall gets Byron Maxwell. According to Pro Football Focus’ coverage ratings, Maxwell ranks 96th out of 101 cornerbacks. Quarterbacks have a rating of 153.8 when throwing in Maxwell’s direction after two weeks.
Another option: Patriots’ Julian Edelman vs. Jaguars
WR in tournaments: Cardinals’ John Brown vs. 49ers
After Larry Fitzgerald’s three-touchdown game last week, everyone will be on him. Don’t forget about Brown. The Bears’ defensive plan to stop Brown included 80 yards in pass interference penalties. The matchup is also there against a depleted San Francisco defense.
Another option: Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett vs. Bears
TE in cash games: Rams’ Jared Cook vs Steelers
Pittsburgh has given up 623 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Colin Kaepernick threw for more yards than Brady did against the Steelers. Cook has the most receiving yards by a Ram and is tied for the most targets.
Another option: Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski vs. Jaguars
TE in tournaments: Colts’ Coby Fleener at Titans
Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said that his team needs to get its tight ends more involved. Tight end Dwayne Allen is dealing with an ankle injury and hasn’t practiced this week. Fleener posted a 127-yard, two-touchdown performance in one of the three games that Allen missed last year.
Joe Ostrowski is an executive producer at 670 The Score and co-hosts “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today” on Sundays from 8-9 a.m. CT. He also discusses fantasy football on The Laurence Holmes Show on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @JoeO670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.