Kirk Cousins, WAS vs OAK ($7,600) – Games of 11.6 and 11.86 fantasy points doesn’t instill much confidence, but Cousins was much better than this last season. Terrell Pryor is too talented to not get it going at some point and there are other solid options in Chris Thompson, Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed (if healthy). Cousins rushes for a few yards every game and has nine rushing touchdowns in the last two seasons. This game should be high-scoring and the nod goes to the quarterback that’s cheaper and at home.
Le’Veon Bell, PIT at CHI, ($8,700) – There usually isn’t a reason to explain why anyone should use the highest-priced running back on any given slate. That being said, Bell is likely to be ridiculously under-owned in every format after scoring 11.1 and 6.2 fantasy points in his first two games. The hope here is that Chicago will keep it close to allow Bell to keep doing work in the second half of the game. On the road as a seven-point favorite in a 44-point over/under suggests the Steelers will put up points, and it’s likely Bell will be a part of that.
Samaje Perine, WAS vs OAK ($6,100) – Perine will become almost a must-play in cash games if Rob Kelley is ruled out for this one. Perine is the exact same size as Kelley (6-feet, 230 pounds) and would get the early down work — as well as the goal-line carries — in the absence of Kelley. Outside of Khalil Mack, there isn’t a ton to be worried about at home against this Raiders defense; just check on the status of Kelley before using Perine.
Rashard Higgins, CLE at IND ($5,100) – There are numerous videos out there showing the receivers for the Browns (ahem, Kenny Britt) not running routes and acting as if they had bet the Ravens to win last week. Enter Higgins who was just signed off the practice squad, a second-year receiver from Colorado State. He holds every important receiving record there and finished Sunday’s game with seven catches for 95 yards. If Vontae Davis is sidelined (Quincy Wilson could be as well), Higgins is an excellent value play at $600 more than the minimum.
Tyrell Williams, LAC vs KC ($6,500) – Williams is a going to be a dark-horse pick this week after finishing with exactly 54 receiving yards in his first two games. With Keenan Allen drawing a lot of attention and the combo of Hunter Henry/Antonio Gates over the middle, it’s going to open a lot of space down the field for Williams. He has the best size/speed combo of any receiver for the Chargers and the Chiefs allowed 333 passing yards at home last week to Carson Wentz.
Ed Dickson, CAR vs NO ($4,500) – The New Orleans defense is what we thought they were: downright terrible. They’ve given up an 11.2 YPA through two games, and without Greg Olsen, it’ll be Dickson who the Panthers look to. Cam Newton hasn’t gone downfield a lot this season, suggesting he’ll look for the short or intermediate routes that tight ends normally run. This is totally a matchup-based pick this week, as it’ll be tough to trust Dickson against better competition.
Matt Prater, DET vs ATL ($4,700) – This is a home game for Prater, who will be kicking in a dome. The Falcons can give up a ton of points (think back to late last January) and will be at a disadvantage on the road.
Pittsburgh at Chicago ($4,500) – It’s easy to target the Jets and go with the Dolphins, but let’s pick on the Bears given the Steelers’ defense has been good this season. They’ve put up games of eight and 18 fantasy points while the Bears have looked terrible on offense with Mike Glennon at the helm.