The Week 3 USFL fantasy football slate kickoffs at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Apr. 30. The DFS stud and value picks are broken down by game and by day. With DraftKings offering multiple Classic and Showdown Contests throughout the weekend, this article will serve as a helpful guide well beyond the initial lock on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday Apr. 30, 4 p.m. ET (FOX)
Tampa Bay Bandits (-1) vs. Houston Gamblers (o/u 38.5)
RB BJ Emmons, Tampa Bay Bandits, $9,300 — His 2.4 yards per carry is a red flag, but the Bandits had a tough matchup in Week 2. Emmons has the third most rush attempts in the USFL, and he’s caught all six of his targets for 52 receiving yards.
QB Jordan Ta’amu, Tampa Bay Bandits, $11,000 — This is not a main slate play, but Ta’amu can be considered in Showdown Contests. The Bandits looked miserable in Week 2 as Ta’amu faced a relentless pass rush. The Houston Gamblers’ defense ranks in the bottom half of the league, and Ta’amu has flashed upside averaging 10.4 yards per carry.
WR Tyler Simmons, Houston Gamblers, $3,900 — After being inactive in Week 1, Simmons was targeted 10 times in Week 2. The problem was that he only caught two of those passes. There is no guarantee that this number will improve with Clayton Thorson and Kenji Bahar at quarterback.
RB Mark Thompson, Houston Gamblers, $5,700 — The former Florida Gator with off-the-field issues has looked good on the field. His 164 rushing yards leads the league, and his 5.7 yards per carry ranks fifth.
TE Cheyenne O’Grady, Tampa Bay Bandits, $5,800 — Even during last week’s beat down, O’Grady put up a decent line by USFL standards (2 catches for 21 yards). On the season, he’s caught 10 of 14 passes for 107 yards and is the preferred target of Jordan Ta’amu when he isn’t constantly under duress.
Saturday Apr. 30, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Birmingham Stallions (+3.5) vs. New Orleans Breakers (44.5)
QB Kyle Sloter, New Orleans Breakers, $9,700 — It’s a two-man race for MVP: Slotter vs. Bryan Scott. Statistically, Scott has the edge, but Sloter passes the eye test. He looked flawless in a drubbing of Tampa Bay on Sunday night. Sloter’s stats (42-of-66 for 416 yards and two TDs) aren’t far behind Scott’s numbers, but he lacks Scott’s volume.
WR Victor Bolden Jr., Birmingham Stallions, $9,500 — He leads the USFL with 20 targets, and he has a competent quarterback in J’Mar Smith. If the Stallions are going to keep pace with the Breakers, then they’ll have to be aggressive. This should result in more targets for Bolden in Week 3.
RB T.J. Logan Jr., New Orleans Breakers, $7,700 — The former-coach connections in the USFL are real. Breakers head coach Larry Fedora used T.J. Logan as a workhorse and receiving back for the UNC Tarheels. Logan has been effective through the air and on the ground in the USFL, and it’s only a matter of time before he assumes a larger role in the rush attack.
WR Jonathan Adams, New Orleans Breakers, $3,800 — So far the highlight of the USFL season was Jonathan Adams’ one-handed catch (think Odell Beckham). Blake Anderson formerly coached Adams at Arkansas State and formerly was an assistant at UNC under Fedora. Anderson forced Fedora to pick him up, and it’s working out. Adams has the fifth most receiving yards in the USFL.
Johnnie Dixon, New Orleans Breakers, $6,700 — This is a risky pick but the price is appealing. The former Ohio State Buckeye has talent, and he’s looked great just like every other Breaker (nine catches on 15 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown this season), but that’s the problem, all of the Breakers look good — there’s too many mouths to feed.
Sunday May 1, 2:30 p.m. ET (USA)
Pittsburgh Maulers (+2.5) vs. Michigan Panthers (39.5)
WR Lance Lenoir Jr., Michigan Panthers, $8,100 — The former Dallas Cowboys preseason player is a stud in this league. Unfortunately, the quarterback play for Michigan couldn’t get any worse. The good news is that it can only get better. Shea Patterson struggles to read defenses and makes poor decisions. Hopefully with more practice, Patterson will improve.
QB Josh Love, Pittsburgh Maulers, $7,300 — Pittsburgh’s offense looked miserable in Week 1, but last week they changed things up a bit. Love became the fulltime quarterback, and they decided to not run the ball every down. Their diversified offense came to life. Both running backs thrived, and Love’s San Jose State teammates (WR Bailey Gaither and WR Tre Walker) were effective targets.
DST Panthers, Michigan Panthers, $4,600 — This defense is better than their 0-2 record indicates. Jeff Fisher (former Chicago Bears DB in the 1980s) has constructed a solid secondary. Michigan has surrendered the fewest passing yards (226 yards) and has two interceptions. In a league where the defensive TD has been frequent, it would be wise to roster the defense that consistently steals the ball.
WR Bailey Gaither, Pittsburgh Maulers, $4,800 — Do you know the way to San Jose? Gaither and Josh Love do. The reunited battery lit up the USFL in Week 2 (seven catches for 117 years and a touchdown). The Panthers have only allowed 226 passing yards this season, but that could be heavily influenced by their schedule thus far.
WR DelVon Hardaway, Pittsburgh Maulers, $3,800 — As stated above, the Panthers’ defense is not a preferred target, but this is the USFL, none of these defenses are juggernauts. The Maulers’ offense took a step forward last week with Josh Love passing 39 times. Hardaway hauled in four catches for 48 yards. It’s possible that Michigan’s defense focuses on Gaither in Week 3, and Hardaway becomes the prime air weapon for the Maulers.
Sunday May 1, 8 p.m. ET (Peacock)
Philadelphia Stars (-1) vs. New Jersey Generals (40.5)
QB Bryan Scott, Philadelphia Stars, $10,100 — There was a lot of hype coming into this season based on the continuity in Philadelphia. Scott, the DIII Aaron Rodgers, played with the same personnel and was coached by Bart Andrus in The Spring League, where he was a two-time MVP. He’s on his way to a USFL MVP playing in the Stars’ pass-happy offense (51-of-72 for 474 yards, four touchdowns and a 95.5 QB rating).
QB De’Andre Johnson, New Jersey Generals, $7,700 — Just like half of the quarterbacks in the USFL, he’s not great at completing passes. That’s a bit of a problem, but one expects that to change. The Generals’ offense is much more explosive when Johnson is on the field. His 22 rushes for 125 yards have provided a solid floor in a league where fantasy points do not overfloweth. If he can hit a couple big passes, then he could be a sneaky GPP play.
Jordan Suell, Philadelphia Stars, $7,200 — The Stars put WR Devin Gray and WR Chris Rowland — the Week 1 leading receiver — on the inactive list in Week 2. This concentrated the targets in Philly’s pass-heavy attack. Suell, Diondre Overton and Maurice Alexander all benefited. Suell is the contrarian pay-up option, but there is a good reason to pay his price — his team-leading 23% target share. This should not come as a surprise because Suell played with Bryan Scott in The Spring League.
WR Diondre Overton, Philadelphia Stars, $4,000 — After a no show in Week 1, the 6’5” receiver out of Clemson caught three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. He has a great chance of finding the end zone again in a matchup with the USFL’s worst pass defense. The Generals have allowed the third-most passing yards. That includes a 124-yard performance by Shea Patterson — most of those yards were on the final drive. Against real teams, this pass defense will show its true colors.
RB Darius Victor, New Jersey Generals, $4,100 — The knock against Victor is that he is not active in the passing game and PPR is a significant scoring category that cannot be ignored. However, Victor passes the eye test. He has looked great on the ground. He’s fast and physical and looks like an early favorite to get an NFL invite in the fall. Victor rushed 11 times for 40 yards and a touchdown against Michigan. De’Andre Johnson and Victor are a strong 1-2 punch on the ground, but Victor loses some carries to the mobile quarterback.
WR Maurice Alexander, Philadelphia Stars, $4,500 — With Rowland and Gray out, Alexander was activated for Week 2. He burst onto the scene catching eight of nine targets for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Also, the Stars draw a matchup with the worst pass defense in the USFL.
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