NFL DFS Picks: Christian Kirk, Zach Ertz & Tee Higgins Top Leverage Plays for Winning GPPs in Week 3

This Sunday presents a full slate of 13 games. Using Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, each player is given a leverage score that is based on the player’s ownership and ceiling. A low projected ownership combined with a high ceiling means a higher leverage score. This column will dive into some of the best NFL DFS leverage targets for the main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Week 3 NFL DFS Leverage Picks

Christian Kirk

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 8th, FanDuel: 7th

Kirk has certainly lived up to the four-year $72 million deal he inked with the Jags this summer, producing 15 catches, 195 receiving yards and two touchdowns through his first two starts with Jacksonville (23.4 DraftKings points per game). He has shown excellent chemistry with Trevor Lawrence, garnering a 27.3% target share, while running a route on 92% of the quarterback’s dropbacks, both of which are team highs. Of Kirk’s targets, three have been greater than 20 yards and five have come in the redzone, which ranks fourth in the league.

The Jaguars are 7-point underdogs against the Chargers this Sunday in a contest that carries the fifth highest total on the slate (47.5 points). A pass-centric game plan is likely inevitable for Jacksonville as they try to keep up with Los Angeles’ high powered offense, so Kirk’s elite usage should continue. Despite rating as a top-12 receiver value for both DraftKings and FanDuel in Stokastic’s NFL DFS projections, Kirk isn’t expected to crack double-digit ownership on either site, making him a tremendous leverage target for GPPs this weekend.

Zach Ertz

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 10th, FanDuel: 20th

After being limited in Week 1 due to a calf injury, Ertz got back to his full-time role this past Sunday. He ran a route on 92% of Kyler Murray’s dropbacks and obtained a team-high 11 targets against the Raiders. Despite seeing a limited workload in Week 1, Ertz leads all tight ends with five redzone targets this season. Deandre Hopkins (suspended) has missed the first two games of this season and will miss another four contests.

Ertz has played in seven games with Hopkins absent and Murray starting at quarterback since being acquired by the Cardinals last season. Ertz has undoubtedly been Murray’s main weapon in those games, earning targets on 22% of his routes, including 12 redzone targets. On top of this awesome usage rate, Ertz is in a beautiful spot against the Rams. Los Angeles’ defense has been extremely susceptible against the pass this season, yielding the second most yards per pass attempt in the NFL (8.1).

This game’s total ranks fourth on the slate (48.5 points) and last, but not least, Stokastic is projecting Ertz to come with single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s hard to argue against Ertz this week and he needs to be one of your core plays for GPPs.

Tee Higgins

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 21st, FanDuel: 60th

Higgins must be attacked in GPPs as Stokastic is forecasting him for only modest ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Higgins returned from a concussion last week and played outstanding against the Cowboys. He finished Week 2’s matchup with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown (19.1 DraftKings points). Higgins led the Bengals with 10 targets, two of which came in the redzone, and he ran a route on all but one of Joe Burrow’s dropbacks. Higgins has been targeted on 20% of his routes this season and his performance Sunday marked his eighth effort of at least 16 DraftKings points in his last 12 full games.

Next on the schedule for Cincinnati is a date with the Jets. New York’s defense has been a mess this season, sitting as the sixth worst graded unit on PFF. The Jets have been particularly vulnerable through the air, allowing the seventh most yards per pass (7.6). That is great news for the Bengals, who have run a pass play on 70% of their snaps this season. In this prime spot, Cincinnati sports the seventh highest implied team total on the slate (25 points). Excluding Week 1 of this season when Higgins exited early, the wideout is averaging 17 DraftKings points per game when playing behind an implied team total of 25 points or greater for his career.

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