NFL Prime Time Games: Showdown Week 3 Monday Night Football | DraftKings + FanDuel

Greetings, Gamers! Welcome to the Awesemo NFL DFS Single-Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings Showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing a free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments for all of your daily fantasy needs. We have loads to get into on this Monday Night Football slate between the Kansas City Chiefs at the Baltimore Ravens, with thoughts on Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and more NFL DFS picks for your NFL DFS lineups.

NFL DFS Picks: Monday Night Football | Chiefs at Ravens -3.5 | O/U 54.5

Kansas City Chiefs: 25.5


While it certainly seems as if Patrick Mahomes has played more games under than prime time lights than not, it actually is not the case … though by the time you work in the networks’ “National Sunday Afternoon Games,” it seems like we are watching him every week.

Last Sunday, Kansas City got a bit of a scare against the Chargers, who were frisky at home with rookie Justin Herbert getting an unexpected start after veteran signal-caller Tyrod Taylor suffered a “slightly” punctured lung when receiving a pregame injection for his bruised ribs. Shockingly, Kansas City was on their heels for most of the game, which of course helped out Mahomes. For the second week in a row, the 2018 NFL MVP is on the road, and he will be staring down the 2019 NFL MVP on the other sideline.

The Ravens have held Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson in check so far with a combined 146-for-75 (61.3%) for 464 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Just for posterity, it should be noted that this will be the third time that Mahomes is going against Baltimore. Back in 2018 — his first year as a starter — he was 35-for-53 for 377 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Last season in Week 3 he was 27-for-37 for 374 yards and three touchdowns.

While this will be his first time playing in Baltimore, there will be no general admission fans in attendance on Monday.

Editors Note:

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Mahomes NFL DFS Picks Odds

Running Back

For Week 3, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is just outside of the top 10 running backs in both full and half-PPR. Thus far he has been on the field for two-thirds of the snaps, with Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson spelling him in general and in passing situations, respectively. Fullback Anthony Sherman has been in for 18 total snaps, but he has only one rushing attempt this year and 26 over 130 career games as a lead blocker and special teamer.

That means that Edwards-Helaire in DFS circles is flirting with being a bell cow running back. The eight targets last week were great, the 10 rushing attempts, not so much. The key to remember is that the rookie rolled up 25 carries for 138 and a touchdown in the season opener against the Texans, and we know Andy Reid running backs always seem to get theirs over the course of the season.

Wide Receiver

This season Travis Kelce is leading the team with 20 targets. However, this is the wide receiver section. We all know that Tyreek Hill is the leading man, but Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson seem to be ahead of second-year man Mecole Hardman.

Player Wk1 Trgts Wk2 Trgts Total
Tyreek Hill 6 11 17
Sammy Watkins 9 3 12
Demarcus Robinson 6 4 10
Mecole Hardman 1 3 4
Total 22 21 43

Currently Watkins is in the concussion protocol, but he is in the final stage and very well may be able to play. Looking at the snap breakdown, we can see that things are most definitely in flux through the first two weeks.

Player Wk1 Snaps Wk2 Snaps Total Snaps
Tyreek Hill 59 / 86% 69 / 90% 128
Sammy Watkins 55 / 80% 45 / 58% 100
Demarcus Robinson 33 / 48% 48 / 62% 81
Mecole Hardman 20 / 29% 50 / 65% 70
Byron Pringle 6 / 9% 7 / 9% 13
Marcus Kemp 0 / 0% 0 / 0% 0

It makes a lot of sense that we can mix and match here in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle.

Tight End

Back to Kelce, who is essentially a de facto WR1. Last season he was fourth in the league with 1,229 receiving yards, 10th with 136 targets and eighth with 97 receptions. Only the five touchdowns were “disappointing,” and that should course correct this season. Consider him one of the top three receivers in the single-game contests, as he clearly is not just a tight end by any stretch of the imagination.

This season Kelce leads the team with 20 targets, followed by Hill (17), Watkins (12), Robinson (10) and Edwards-Helaire (10). While Kelce is the only tight end who has seen targets, since this is a single-game slate, we do need to mention that Nick Keizer has been on the field for 30 and 11 snaps for the first two games.

Defense/Special Teams

The Ravens have ceded a half dozen sacks this season and just one turnover. Last year the Chiefs got to Jackson three times but did not corral any turnovers. During the overtime victory in 2018, they managed one takeaway and no sacks.

Baltimore: 29.0


Last weekend Kansas City was touched up by surprise starter Justin Herbert who was 22-for-33 with 311 passing yards and a score followed up by four rushes for 18 yards and another touchdown. Clearly Jackson has rewritten the expectations for being a star quarterback in the NFL, and there is not much else to say. Of course, we should not ignore Jackson leading the league with 36 touchdown passes last year and rushing for an NFL record 1.206 yards as a quarterback at 80.4 yards per game, which was more than the entire team total for the Jets (78.6) and Dolphins (72.3).

Editors Note: Looks like there’s a nice player prop differential on OddsShopper right now for tonight’s Chiefs vs. Ravens games, with a eight yards between each book.

Awesemo has Lamar Jackson projected for WAY under that total at just 225 yards tonight.

lamar jackson nfl dfs

Running Back

This is where things start to get interesting for the single-game contests. We are all too aware that Kansas City is susceptible to the running game. When the opposition is spread out in passing formations, particularly when they are trying to catch up, the defense can be slow on containment. That is a bad thing when going against Jackson and his running backs.

Now for the difficult part: Just who is going to be at the front of the line for opportunities? In Week 1 it was J.K. Dobbins that rolled in for two touchdowns as the fourth listed running back on the depth chart. That was probably some rookie comeuppance, but he has averaged just 21.5 snaps with seven carries for 70 yards on the ground and catching his only target for 13 yards last week.

Gus Edwards is not much better with 15 and 20 snaps through the first two games and four carries for 17 yards in Week 1 and 10 carries 73 yards with a boost for mop-up duty in Week 2. Clearly he is one-dimensional, though he has caught all nine of his targets for 65 yards over 29 career games.

Finally, what do we do with “starter” Mark Ingram? He has been on the field for 21 and 20 snaps, finding the end zone last week, but there is nothing exciting with his 19 carries for 84 yards and three targets for two catches and 22 yards. Here is a radical idea: Do not play any of these guys if you can.

Wide Receiver

Through the first two games, things have been pretty steady with regards to the snap counts. Miles Boykin is leading the way with 40 and 48, closely followed by Marquise Brown (37 and 44) and then Willie Snead (39 and 41) with Devin Duvernay way back at 11 and 6.

Basically the three leaders are playing about two-thirds of the snaps through two games. The targets have told a slightly different story, but that is expected with Brown (12), Boykin (nine), Snead (six) and Duvernay (two) falling into place. Keep in mind that part of this is due to Jackson’s proclivity for rushing as well as the tight end options.

Tight End

Hayden Hurst is off in Atlanta, so that consolidates things with the better receiving option in Mark Andrews. Then Nick Boyle is again leading the way in snaps as the better blocker. Boyle is our dart throw, but Andrews can be considered the co-top option with wide receiver Brown.

Defense/Special Teams

This year Mahomes has been sacked twice with no turnovers. While the 49ers got to him four times in the Super Bowl, we all know how that turned out. This is a touchdown-hunting situation only.

Related NFL DFS Content

Monday Night Football Showdown + Single Game Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and also for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those of you who are taking the MME approach, remember that correlation with your lineups is key. This means matching a receiver or two if you have a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their signal-caller.

EMac’s Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Notable Inactives: nothing crazy BAL Justice Hill KC Ricky Seals-Jones

Monday Night Football Top 10

  1. Lamar Jackson: Getting a running back and a quarterback in the same player.
  2. Patrick Mahomes: There is only one quarterback more dynamic than Mahomes. Hint, look up one line.
  3. Justin Tucker: This may be the highest ranking I have ever bestowed upon a kicker, but we need the savings on Monday.
  4. Miles Boykin: The former Notre Dame standout gives us some serious DraftKings salary relief, and his nine targets on third on the team.
  5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Tough matchup, but we have seen that he is the guy for coach Andy Reid.
  6. Travis Kelce: Take the salary discount on FanDuel and the popularity discount on DraftKings for the true Kansas City WR1.
  7. Marquise BrownBrown gets the nod on FanDuel for the crucial $1,500 discount on our next guy.
  8. Mark Andrews: With only a $400 savings from Brown on DraftKings, look to Jackson’s security blanket.
  9. Tyreek Hill: Look above and try to figure out who you are going to eliminate when rostering Hill.
  10. Devin Duvernay: This is a DraftKings-only play. He is just $400 and can open everything up in tournaments at just $400. Expect a zero, but hope for a target or a lucky kickoff return.

Monday Night Football Secondary NFL DFS Plays

  1. Sammy Watkins: Full participant Saturday, so the neck/concussion challenges seem to be behind him.
  2. Mark Ingram III: Nothing sexy here, but we know that coach John Harbaugh will turn to the veteran in tough spots.
  3. Harrison Butker: Solid play. He would be flipped with Tucker if in Arrowhead Stadium.
  4. Willie Snead: We are now in whack-a-mole territory.
  5. Mecole Hardman: He is fast and got a 2-point conversion last week. That keeps him out of our next section. Plus, he returns kickoffs and punts.

Monday Night Football Lottery Tickets

  1. J.K. Dobbins/Gus Edwards: Do you know which guy Harbaugh trusts more?
  2. Demarcus Robinson: Really needs an in-game injury to see any upside.
  3. Baltimore and Kansas City D/ST: We are touchdown hunting at best.
  4. Darrel Williams: One touch last week, but he caught it, so that is something, right?
  5. Darwin Thompson: He is fast … but will he see the ball in his hands?
  6. Byron Pringle: The original “We should just go buy a lottery ticket” guy!

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Looking for more NFL DFS picks content? We’ve got loads of articles, data, cheatsheets and more on the Awesemo NFL home page, just click HERE.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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