FanDuel NFL Picks Week 3
There were plenty of both studs and duds among last week’s targets, but what last weeks DFS success largely came down to was avoiding the seemingly endless injury landmines that dominated many teams’ storylines. Entering FanDuel NFL Picks Week 3, the fallout from those injuries has created a multitude of “value” plays. The challenge is figuring out which ones we can trust. It also means that “stars and scrubs” are going to be a very popular lineup build this week. The injuries combined with the absence of players like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Marc Andrews from the main slate, likely leads to ownership concentration on just a few high priced players. If you’re a tournament player then you know zigging when the field zags are often the key to success so I think running out balanced lineups could be an interesting GPP strategy this week.
Every week this article breaks down a handful of players at each position to consider for your FanDuel cash and tournament lineups. While some of the plays may be on the safer side, you’ll also find some high risk-high reward options if you want to swing for the fences. Remember, even in tournaments there’s often no need to get super-weird and roster a lineup full of contrarian plays. Instead, look to build a strong core with upside and then identify a player or two that you think most of the field will be off and has a chance to have a big day.
Check out last week’s Fanduel NFL Picks article here.
New England Patriots -$7,700 (GPPs)
Apparently, Bill Belichick did have a plan for Newton, and it included letting him shoulder a sizable portion of the team’s rushing workload. So far he looks like the healthy version of Cam we saw back in Carolina and has carried the ball 26 times for 122 yards and four touchdowns. That’s good for twentieth among all ball carriers in rushing yards, tops in rushing touchdowns, and just for good measure, he leads the league with 13 rushing first downs. Last week’s passing stat line (30/44-397-1-1) was probably a bit of an aberration given the shootout with Seattle, but the Raiders have allowed plenty in the way of fantasy production so far and Newton is way too cheap (7th most expensive quarterback on FanDuel) for a quarterback with his running ability and touchdown upside as long as he’s getting double-digit rushing attempts each week.
Denver Broncos -$6,500 (Cash Punt or GPPs)
Driskel played well last week in relief of Drew Lock, throwing 34 times for 256 yards and a pair of scores against a very good Pittsburgh defense. But in addition to the bargain-basement price tag on FanDuel, what makes Driskel intriguing are the numbers from his three starts for Detroit last season. Across those three games, he completed a little less than 60% of his passes for 685 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. While that’s hardly eye-opening, he also ran 22 times for 151 yards and a score, giving him FanDuel point totals of 18.6, 27.5, and 15.6 in those three starts. Denver has had a week to prepare with Driskel at quarterback and Tampa Bay has been mostly a bend but don’t break defense so far this season so don’t be surprised if we see the Broncos manufacture a handful of rushing opportunities for their backup quarterback.
Others to Consider
Russell Wilson -$8,700 (Cash or GPPs): Wilson has been absurdly efficient to start the season, averaging over 300 passing yards and tossing four and five touchdowns in the first two games respectively. The price tag is brutal and the pace is unsustainable, but we’ve seen Russell Wilson hot stretches like this before and the Seahawks have the highest Vegas implied team total on the slate.
Dak Prescott $8,500 (Cash or GPPs): The Cowboys will need to keep pace with Russell Wilson and company somehow, especially with the Dallas defense leaking like a sieve. He’s unlikely to repeat last week’s gaudy stat line, but he’s still one of the safest weekly quarterback options around.
Kyler Murray $8,400 (GPPs): With a year in Kliff Kingsbury’s system under his belt and the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, Murray has been getting it done on both the ground and through the air en route to averaging more than 30 FanDUel points per game so far. This week he draws a Detroit defense that has allowed 63 points over its last five quarters.
Matt Ryan $7,800 (GPPs): Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and sometimes it’s just what you’ve got. And that seems to be what Atlanta is left with these days. Despite last week’s epic meltdown at Dallas, this is still an offense that has scored 64 points in two games and Ryan is second amongst all NFL quarterbacks in passing attempts, yards, and touchdown passes through two weeks.
Tennessee-$8,200 (Cash or GPPs)
I’m always a fan of playing a guy that was highly owned but failed in what was considered an ideal spot the week before. Henry fits that bill after he found his way onto more than 39% of rosters in the Sunday Million last week. One takeaway might be that the interior of the Jaguars run defense might be in better shape than we thought, with Henry and Jonathan Taylor averaging less than 3.3 yards per carry on 33 rushes against them over the last six quarters. Meanwhile, this week’s opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, are one of only four teams that have coughed up over 275 yards rushing to running backs through the first two weeks, including 101 yards to the aforementioned Taylor last week. In that game, Indianapolis forced Minnesota into a slow-paced grind of a football game and it was an utter disaster for the Vikings on both sides of the ball. Tennessee will look to do the same, and there’s an argument to be made that they bring a stronger running game and better defense to town. This game script sets up perfectly for Henry.
Philadelphia Eagles-$7,400 (GPPs)
Sanders may be my favorite running back play this week after playing on 77% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps against the Rams despite missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury. In his return Sanders carried 20 times for 95 yards and a score and drew seven targets, catching three passes for 36 yards. That’s 27 potential touches, which signals that the Eagles believe he’s a hundred percent and ready to shoulder a full workload. Meanwhile, the FanDuel pricing is still skewed by his Week 1 absence, and Sanders checks in at just $7400, which is less than backs like Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb, and Chris Carson, who despite being their team’s top running back are still in a timeshare. And speaking of Hunt, he and teammate Nick Chubb just combined for 48.9 FanDuel points against the Cincinnati defense last week. Add in the Jalen Reagor injury and we might see Sanders threaten 30 touches in a fantastic matchup.
Indianapolis Colts-$6,700 (GPPs)
I promise I’m not going to include Taylor here every week, but the rookie is coming off a 28 touch game in Week 2 and facing a Jets team that just allowed 184 rushing yards to San Francisco running backs. The Colts are double-digit favorites playing at home and will be more than content to force-feed Taylor in the second half. He also makes a nice pivot off what I expect to be a far more popular Kenyan Drake at $6500.
Buffalo Bills $5,900 (Cash or GPPS)
The matchup with the Rams isn’t great, but Friday morning’s news that Zach Moss will miss this week almost certainly locks Singletary into heavy usage. Buffalo gave running backs 18 carries in each of the first two weeks and has targeted the combo of Singletary and Moss 14 times through the first two weeks. Josh Allen’s touchdown vulturing isn’t going away, but Singletary becomes a cash game staple at his price in this spot.
Others to Consider
Ezekiel Elliott $9,000 (Cash or GPPs): Zeke-Just because he’ll be the most popular running back on the slate doesn’t mean he’s a bad play. Elliot has 25 and 28 touches through the first two games respectively and despite being a five-point underdog at Seattle, Dallas has a Vegas implied team total of 25.25.
Melvin Gordon $6,500 (GPPs): Phillip Lindsay likely sits again this week, which should lock Gordon into 20+ touches. Jeff Driskel’s mobility at quarterback could help open some things up and he’s facing a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points to running backs through two weeks.
Jeff Wilson $5,200 (GPPs): With both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman on the shelf, Jerick McKinnon is slated to be the starting running back for the 49ers this week with Jeff Wilson Jr. rotating in. That said, we’re talking about a running back in McKinnon that up until Week 1, hadn’t seen a regular-season carry since 2017. It’s hard to believe that Kyle Shanahan is suddenly going to turn him loose for 15-20 touches, especially since that’s not the way the 49ers have deployed their backs in the past. The more likely scenario is that this is a timeshare with Wilson, who played a large role (16 carries) in the red zone last season, even in limited action.
Seattle Seahawks $6,800 (Cash or GPPs)
Russell Wilson is the second-highest priced player on the slate at $8700, yet his top two wideouts both check-in at sub $7000 even though they’re playing at home against a Dallas defense that was torched by Matt Ryan and company last week. Lockett is the safer of the two options, having caught 15 of his 16 targets for 159 and a score on the season, while Metcalf’s size-speed combination provides tantalizing upside for tournaments, but also make him more big-play dependent. I don’t dislike either one in tournaments, but much prefer Lockett in cash games.
Buffalo Bills $6,400 (GPPs)
Brown’s status is still a bit of a question mark for Sunday so make sure you check back to ensure he’s active. Josh Allen is currently tied for fifth in passing attempts so far this season and is the only 2-0 quarterback in the top five with passing numbers that haven’t been overly inflated by his game scripts. Zach Moss and Dawson Knox will miss this game and Stefon Diggs is going to see a whole lot of Jalen Ramsey in coverage. That should open things up for both Brown and teammate Cole Beasley. I might prefer Beasley in a PPR format, but Brown has the big play ability to take advantage of Josh Allen’s arm.
New York Giants $5,500 (Cash or GPP)
The Giants will be without top wideout Sterling Shepard for at least a few weeks, and have lost their most dangerous offensive weapon in Saquon Barkeley for the remainder of the season. Barkley could make a pedestrian run-blocking unit look good at times, and none of Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman, or the newly signed Devonta Freeman (not eligible this week) are going to make that happen. That should put the offense firmly in the hands of Daniel Jones and the Giants passing attack, and Slayton is arguably the most explosive of the group.
This week New York draws a San Francisco team that is missing a myriad of players on offense, but who’s most glaring new hole is on the defensive line. The losses of Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are huge for a team that looked like it had the league’s best pass rush coming into the season, and will no longer allow San Francisco to mask a somewhat suspect secondary that is missing top corner, Richard Sherman. We know Slayton is a big-play threat and we’ve seen Daniel Jones be an effective downfield passer when he has time. An under-priced Slayton may be my favorite point per dollar player of the whole slate.
Slayton is a popular player this week, he’s the cover boy to our Fantasy Football Week 3 Sleepers Article.
Dallas Cowboys $5,600 (GPPs)
Through two weeks, Lamb has eleven catches for 165 yards, but the rookie has yet to find the end zone. That should end this week against a Seattle defense that is surrendering a league-high 55 FanDuel points to wide receivers on the season and has allowed over 900 passing yards in town games. The addition of Jamal Adams at safety hasn’t helped to the extent many thought it would, as this is still a poor secondary that will face three very good wideouts in Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. I think you can continue to ride with the cheapest of the three.
Others to Consider
DeAndre Hopkins $8,500 (GPPs): Hopkins 2020 stat line so far is 22-219-1 on a monster 25 targets. That’s 43% of the team total and the Cards are 2-0 so it’s not likely to change any time soon. He also gets even more intriguing if Julio Jones sits because Calvin Ridley is the second most expensive wideout on FanDuel and comes at a $500 discount so there will plenty of folks who pivot down.
Calvin Ridley – $8,000 (GPPs): The aforementioned Ridley leads the league in receiving yards (239), touchdowns (4), and is fourth in receptions (16) through two weeks. We don’t know how he’ll perform as a WR1 if Julio Jones sits, but he seems to be crawling into the elite receiver conversation in his third season. I’m skeptical that the Bears can muster enough offense to keep Matt Ryan and the Falcons attacking, but Atlanta’s defense has been awful so far and Vegas has the Bears as just a three-point dog so I could be wrong. God knows those big buildings out in the desert don’t build themselves.
Allen Robinson -$6,900 (GPPs): As noted above concerning Calvin Ridley, the Atlanta Falcons defense, and particularly the secondary, has been terrible. They’ve surrendered a league-leading 35.79 FanDuel points to quarterbacks and 38.25 (third-worst) to wide receivers. For some reason, Mitch Trubisky has figured out how to throw touchdown passes to everyone but Robinson, who’s been targeted nine times in each game but has just eight catches and 107 yards to show for it. Eventually, the production should catch up to the opportunities and this is probably a spot where they’ll need to force-feed him double-digit targets.
DeSean Jackson -$5,500 (GPPs): DJax leads all Philly wideouts with 16 targets, which is second only to tight end Dallas Goedert’s 17 through two weeks. With Jalen Reagor now lost for the foreseeable future and Alshon Jeffery not ready to return, Jackson could see double-digit targets this week against a suspect Bengals secondary.
Josh Malone- $4,500 (GPP Dart Throw): The Jets have manufactured next to nothing on offense and will be with their top two wideouts in Breshad Perriman and slot receiver Jamison Crowder. That leaves Braxton Berrios manning the slot and 32-year-old camp signee Chris Hogan as one of the outside receivers. Former fourth-round pick Josh Malone should man the other and is an intriguing size-speed combo that never really put it together in Cincinnati despite showing some flashes. The Colts just lost starting free safety Malik Hooker to a season-ending injury and will replace him with rookie Julian Blackmon. Sam Darnold is averaging an anemic 5.85 yards per attempt on the season, but maybe they test the rookie here. At $4,500 it only takes one big play to pay off.
Los Angeles Chargers-$6000 (GPPs)
Henry drew eight targets in Justin Herbert’s first NFL start, notching six receptions for 83 yards against Kansas City last week. Herbert looks willing to push the ball downfield, as his 9.4 yards per attempt in his first NFL start rank third in that category among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 30 passes. That bodes well for a tight end like Henry, who is capable of threatening a defense at all levels. Even with the quarterback change, he should remain the clear number two target behind Keenan Allen. If there’s a concern it’s that this week’s opponent, Carolina, has been murdered by running backs for a league-worst 41.25 FanDuel points per game, allowing nearly five yards per carry and six rushing scores to the position this season. That said, Henry could provide some confidence-boosting lower-risk red zone opportunities for his young quarterback in a game where the Chargers should roll.
Philadelphia Eagles-$5,200 (Cash or GPP)
The Eagles come into Sunday 0-2 and in desperate need of a win. Thankfully, Philadelphia’s struggling offense draws a Bengals defense that just surrendered 35 points to Clevland on Thursday night. News broke this week that wide receiver and first-round pick Jalen Reagor will miss significant time with a thumb injury, which is bad news for an already thin receiver room. Goedert currently leads the Eagles with 17 targets through two games, but more importantly, is running a route on nearly 80% of Philadelphia’s pass plays. It’s a number that will likely have to increase with the loss of Reagor and yet somehow he’s priced outside the top ten most expensive tight ends. Goedert was an easy addition to my FanDuel NFL Picks Week 3 article.
Others to Consider
Hayden Hurst-Atlanta Falcons-$5,700 (GPPs): The news floating around Friday morning suggests Julio Jones may sit out this week, and if that’s the case then ownership percentages will escalate for Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage. Hurst makes a nice pivot and in my mind, he has as much upside as Gage.
Mo Alie-Cox-Indianapolis Colts-$5,000 (GPPs): It feels a bit like chasing points, but we know Philip Rivers’s track record when it comes to tight ends and the loss of Parris Campbell leaves the team devoid of dynamic playmakers outside of an aging T.Y. Hilton. Jack Doyle looks like a question mark for this week, and with a hapless Jets squad coming to town Alie-Cox could be in for another big day.
Logan Thomas-Washington Football Team-$4,900 (GPPs): Thomas is tied with Terry McLaurin for the team lead in targets through the first two weeks at 17. He’s hardly a big-play threat, but he does lead Washington in red-zone targets. Thomas also draws a Cleveland defense that just allowed 11 receptions for 87 yards and a score to the Bengals tight end combination of C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample last Thursday night, and has surrendered the most FanDuel points to the tight end position on the season.
Indianapolis Colts-$4,800 (Cash or GPP): The Colts are expensive, but they’re also a 10.5 point favorite at home against a banged-up Jets offense that’s been an absolute mess so far. The Colts stifled a more talented Minnesota squad led by Kirk Cousins last week and should be able to do the same on Sunday against Sam Darnold and company.
New York Giants-$3,600 (Cash or GPP): San Francisco will start Nick Mullens at quarterback on Sunday and George Kittle remains a game-time decision. The team also continues to be without top wideout Deebo Samuel and is now missing its top two running backs in Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. I don’t just like the Giants defense here, but I like the G-men to come away with the win against a 49ers team that’s been gutted by injuries on both sides of the football.
Good luck this week!
Warren has been playing fantasy football in any number of formats for over 20 years, sometimes much to the chagrin of his wife and daughters. For better or worse, ahead of the 2014 NFL season, he began sharing his opinions and analysis through writing and eventually added yammering away on podcasts with anyone foolish enough to let him in front of a microphone. He is a long-suffering Jets fan, well-documented Paxton Lynch hater, and an admitted grammar snob.