Monday Night Football brings the ruckus, with an undefeated Philadelphia team heading into Tampa Bay to see which team will keep pace with the 3-0 49ers. While in the Midwest, we have a Cincinnati squad hosting the surprisingly plucky Los Angeles Rams. Continuing our NFL DFS picks series, we’ll be providing MNF DFS analysis and picks for the twin bill.
Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites. This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There are loads of information and MNF DFS analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Monday Night slate featuring the Eagles at the Buccaneers and the Bengals at the Rams, so get ready for Monday Night Mayhem, DFS-style!
Eagles-Buccaneers, Browns-Steelers MNF NFL DFS Picks
The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Jalen Hurts as the QB5 in the overall Week 3 player pool on DraftKings, and he slides up to the QB4 on FanDuel. Last week we saw the frustration boiling over with Hurts, as he got into a shouting match with A.J. Brown on the sidelines. Hey, the team is still 2-0 and looking like a playoff contender, with a chance to play in the Super Bowl once again.
Tampa Bay has a top-shelf defense, but Hurts is the best dual-threat field general in the game. Last week he had two rushing touchdowns, and this offense is too talented to struggle for much longer in the passing game. While that may not course-correct tonight, Hurts is the cream of the crop on Monday.
Joe Burrow has been limited by a calf issue that plagued him during the preseason. He is currently questionable, with Jake Browning as the backup. After being a four-year starter at the University of Washington from 2015 to 2018, Browning has kicked around the league as an undrafted free agent. He has appeared in only one game — Week 1 of this season — throwing an incompletion in his lone passing attempt. Since the cupboard is bare, Cincinnati signed AJ McCarron, most recently of the St. Louis Battlehawks. McCarron was a fifth-round selection by the Bengals back in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he does have a handful of starts under his belt in the league while serving as a clipboard carrier for five different franchises.
Baker Mayfield has been solid through two games with his fourth team in three seasons. He isn’t going to make anyone forget about Tom Brady, but for now he is making believers of the Buccaneer Faithful. The Eagles are stout against the run, with the fourth-best DVOA, though they can be had through the air, where they are 18th in DVOA through two games.
Matthew Stafford is without Cooper Kupp, but that has not mattered, as he owns a pair of 300-yard performances. Sadly, he has thrown for just one touchdown and two interceptions, but the fantasy goodness will be there soon given all the volume he has had thus far.
- Hurts: So good.
- Mayfield: This was a surprise to have him this high.
- Stafford: No rushing upside, and Sean McVay can only coach up these pass-catchers so much.
- Burrow: Injury risk/aggravation potential is high.
Joe Mixon looks like the safest option, as he really does not have any backfield threats to his workload and the team is going to need to lean on the rushing game with Burrow gimpy. Cam Akers got his wish/wore out his welcome and was inactive for Week 2 and now will be donning a Minnesota Vikings jersey. That means Kyren Williams has the backfield to himself, and that volume will be key in this neutral matchup against the Cincinnati front seven.
Rachaad White seems to be the lead option with Leonard Fournette sitting on his sofa this season, but rookie Sean Tucker has been plucky and looks like the clear RB2 now that Chase Edmonds is on the injured reserve. Fourth-year man Ke’Shawn Vaughn is likely to be active and seeing his first action of the season as the third-down back for any snaps White gets a break.
D’Andre Swift had a career game against Minnesota, with an absurd 28 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown. Of course, that path was cleared with Kenneth Gainwell sidelined with a rib injury, but he will be available tonight after practicing in full Friday and Saturday. Boston Scott (concussion) is out, but it seems that the team is not fond of Rashaad Penny, and he only saw action last week after Scott was out.
Best guess is that Philadelphia is a timeshare, with neither Gainwell or Swift having a particularly strong advantage. Gainwell is familiar with the offense and the team likes him, but he is nowhere near the score-from-anywhere threat that Swift brings to the table.
- Williams: Conjured up a coveted “bell cow” starting role out of thin air. Bungling Bengals are 28th in rushing DVOA.
- White: Capable in all facets of the game.
- Mixon: Likely facing a stacked box.
- Gainwell and Swift: Coinflip.
- Trayveon Williams: Looks to be the RB2 over Chris Evans and Chase Brown, though this is likely going to be a revolving door situation.
- Ronnie Rivers and Zach Evans: Yikes! L.A. fans have to hope Williams is sturdy.
- Tucker and Vaughn: Upside for half a dozen looks, but which one?!
- Penny: $17.4 million in career earnings for the former first-rounder.
Puka Nacua, what an incredible story. He transferred from the University of Washington to BYU after his sophomore season, ended up being a fifth-round selection by the Rams, and with the injury to Kupp opening up an opportunity, he leads the league with 25 receptions on 35 targets. That is the most ever for a player in their first two NFL games. Though he has not yet found the end zone, Nacua does have back-to-back games with at least 10 receptions and 119 yards.
Tutu Atwell has clearly passed Van Jefferson, and he is likely to remain in three-wideout sets when Kupp returns. So far he has 17 targets for 13 receptions and 196 yards. Injuries have been an issue with Atwell standing just 5-9 and weighing 165 pounds, but there is no denying his dynamic ability to create after the catch.
While it has only been two games, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are faring well with their new quarterback, and they are dominating the target share with 18 and 14 to date. Evans already has 237 yards and a pair of touchdowns on his 12 receptions, and if he can stay healthy, a 10th consecutive season with at least 1,000 yards is in his grasp.
A.J. Brown leads the team with 16 targets, and he is tied with DeVonta Smith, as both have 11 catches. Smith has two touchdowns, but we know Brown can score from anywhere on the field, and we could see a “squeaky wheel” narrative in play on Monday. Quez Watkins (hamstring) is out, so Olamide Zaccheaus will serve as the third wideout.
Tee Higgins (20 targets), Ja’Marr Chase (17) and Tyler Boyd (11) are reprising their roles and dominating the wide receiver usage. None have over 90 yards on the season, but Higgins does have two scores. Everything hinges on Burrow’s calf, which is not particularly comforting.
- Evans: Best floor and ceiling.
- Nacua and Atwell: Respect the streak and the Sean McVay scheme. Cincy is 25th in passing DVOA.
- Brown and Smith: Either could lead this position in fantasy production. Tampa Bay is sixth in passing DVOA.
- Godwin: Keeps chugging along and a reasonable pivot away from DFS darlings Nacua and Atwell.
- Boyd: Ridiculous savings on DraftKings ($3,500) and a strong value on FanDuel ($5,700).
- Chase and Higgins: If Burrow was at full health, this duo would top the list.
- Jefferson: Should at least get a couple of targets but not much upside.
- Zaccheaus: Will be on the field. Opportunities likely to be limited.
Similar to single-game slates, it certainly feels like this position is likely to chaotically decide who gets to see their name in lights atop the giant MNF DFS leaderboards. Each of the four teams in action tonight has a player within 2.5 fantasy points of being the best option when looking at both the half- and full-PPR scoring formats.
- Dallas Goedert: Seven targets last week after just one in the opener.
- Tyler Higbee: Atwell and Nacua getting all the love, but this savvy veteran is far more proven and now under the radar.
- Cade Otton: Nine targets for eight receptions and 60 yards. Terrific differentiation play.
- Drew Sample: Projects well simply because of snap share — very low floor and limited upside unless he lucks into a touchdown.
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