At first glance, this Week 3 slate is absolutely loaded with star power. It helps when the three primetime games involve the Steelers, Browns, 49ers, Broncos, Cowboys and Giants. Great offenses and exceptional DFS plays to look into this week.
There is no easy way out for Week 3, so let’s cover the top player to boom and the most relevant player to bust at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end positions for NFL DFS picks.
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NFL DFS Picks Week 3: Best High-Upside Plays
QB Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
DraftKings – $8,200; 9.9% Boom | FanDuel – $9,000; 12.1% Boom
This feels like Christmas morning as we finally get the opportunity to play Josh Allen on a main slate. After two dominating performances on primetime slates, Allen and the Buffalo Bills get a road matchup against the red-hot Miami Dolphins. In back-to-back weeks, Allen has put up over 32 DraftKings points while averaging 307 passing yards per game with four touchdowns in each game. The Bills have won both games by 20+ points, resulting in Allen being taken out before the end of the third quarter last game. He is deservingly the highest-priced quarterback on the slate, while also having the highest optimal percentage.
Despite No. 2 offensive weapon Gabe Davis missing last game, Allen didn’t skip a beat. He found Stefon Diggs three times in the end zone and nine other times for 148 yards. During the blowout, Allen was able to conserve his legs as he only rushed the ball one time after 10 rushing attempts in Week 1. Through two games, the Dolphins are 31st in pass DVOA and 26th in total DVOA. Even if Davis is unable to play again, Allen should have no trouble in this spot. The Bills are six-point road favorites and are tied for the highest team total on the slate at 29.25 points.
RB Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DraftKings – $6,500; 14.1% Boom | FanDuel – $7,200; 13.4% Boom
Despite dealing with a hamstring injury, that hasn’t slowed down the usage that Leonard Fournette has seen through the first two weeks. He has 45 carries, which is the second-most in the league and has 192 rushing yards, which ranks as the fifth-highest. Usually, that is not the case with a team hand-picked around Tom Brady, but injuries to the Buccaneers’ wide receiving core solidify the workload for Fournette. The only other running back who has had offensive snaps has been Rachaad White, but he only had nine last week. This is Fournette’s backfield and with wide receivers, Mike Evans and likely Chris Godwin and Julio Jones out this week, expect a heavy dose of Fournette again this week.
While the sports media will hype up this Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers matchup, Fournette should steal the spotlight as the Packers rank 30th in run defense DVOA to start this season. Both Brady and Rodgers rank very poorly in our Boom/Bust Tool, but Fournette has the second-highest boom ratings for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Fournette has had 20+ carries in both games, while also recording two receptions. Lastly, he cares about his fantasy owners. Check out his tweet below from Monday! The touchdowns are coming soon. Why not this week?
WR Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
DraftKings – $9,900; 23.5% Boom | FanDuel – $9,800; 26.5% Boom
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We’re going right back to Cooper Kupp at wide receiver. He leads the league with 24 receptions and 29 targets while having 236 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Kupp hasn’t done much in terms of yards per reception or length of reception as his longest catch and run was 28 yards. It simply doesn’t matter because Matthew Stafford peppers Kupp any chance that he can get. By far, the highest boom percentage on the slate belongs to Kupp on both DraftKings and FanDuel. His salary remains very high, but the consistency Kupp has shown is irreplaceable.
It was pretty obvious the Rams wanted to force a touchdown to Allen Robinson after his non-existent Week 1. He got his score from one yard out on the Rams’ first possession, but then they went right back to their bread and butter with Stafford to Kupp. Their first divisional matchup awaits them in Week 3 as they travel to take on the Cardinals, who are coming off an epic comeback in Week 2 after getting blown out in Week 1. In the last meeting in Arizona, Kupp had his typical receiving line of 13-123-1. He is a machine and is the best option to pay up for. At the start of this season, the wide receivers are returning way more value than the top running backs. The Rams have a 26 implied point total and we know Kupp will be heavily involved in that number.
TE Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings – $6,900; 21.3% Boom | FanDuel – $7,700; 21.8% Boom
After a mediocre Week 1, Mark Andrews bounced back in a big way last week with a 9-104-1 receiving line. It is crazy how often Andrews will get the receiving bonus for going over 100 yards. He is Lamar Jackson‘s security blanket and top target in the red zone. Andrews is the only tight end who has above a 30% target share through the first two weeks. He actually ranks eighth in that category when involving all of the great wide receivers. Behind Kupp, Andrews has the highest boom percentage on the slate for both sites. Being $1,000 cheaper than Travis Kelce on DraftKings feels like a steal.
More thoughts on this matchup against the Patriots below, but this isn’t a great spot to target on the road. However, with how heavily Andrews is involved, he is impossible to ignore this week. The loss of Marquise Brown feels significant as Andrews has played 83.5% of the teams’ snaps thus far, nearly 10% higher than last season. There are a few cheaper tight end options that may seem appealing for cash games, but paying up and capturing the ceiling potential of these elite tight ends is a great strategy for tournaments. Andrews has a much better boom percentage this week between the top two tight ends.
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QB Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
DraftKings – $8,000; 48.8% Bust | FanDuel – $8,600; 36.0% Bust
The quarterback position is filled with talent this week and there may be better options to fade, but this business is all about taking risks. Lamar Jackson, who is coming off of the double bonus on DraftKings with over 300 passing and 100 rushing yards, is the player to fade this week, and allow me to tell you why. For starters, recency bias is a thing. Game log watchers saw what Jackson did last week and will go right back to the well, so his ownership should increase throughout the week. Jackson lit up the Dolphins through the air and the ground, but playing the Patriots on the road will be a much tougher task.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is still a defensive wizard when it comes to game plans. Jackson has only faced the Patriots twice in his career and is averaging 25.5 DraftKings points per game and has failed to get remotely close to either yardage bonus. Through two games, the Patriots won a gritty game against the Steelers and didn’t score enough against the Dolphins, but did contain their passing attack. They rank 11th in defensive DVOA and have allowed the fourth-fewest yards in the league thus far. Jackson is in for a much different game against the gritty Patriots’ defense.
RB Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
DraftKings – $9,000; 54.5% Bust | FanDuel – $9,400; 40.2% Bust
After a dominating Week 1 performance, Jonathan Taylor only had 10 total touches last week as the Colts didn’t score a point against the Jaguars. Imagine playing against the Jaguars and Texans and not coming away with one win. As I mentioned above with Kupp, this year seems to be trending toward the top wide receivers over running backs. Not having Michael Pittman Jr. last week to draw attention to the defense was a major issue for Taylor and this Colts offense. Pittman’s status is still up in the air this week. Also, Taylor’s lack of catching ability really brings down his ceiling, especially when they are underdogs.
The Chiefs come in as six-point road favorites as they look for a 3-0 start for the fifth time in their last six seasons. They rank sixth in rush defense DVOA through the first two weeks. Taylor is much more suitable on FanDuel, where receptions don’t help as much and his price tag is easily attainable. On DraftKings, Taylor has the third-worst leverage score on the slate. There are so many other running back options that are much cheaper. Those options may not have the ceiling that Taylor has, but if the Chiefs get ahead early, it could again be curtains for Taylor and this Colts offense.
WR Ja’Marr Chase – Cincinnati Bengals
DraftKings – $8,100; 51.8% Bust | FanDuel – $8,500; 40.3% Bust
Losing at home to the Steelers is not the worst thing, but then to follow that up with a loss on the road to the Cowboys starting a backup quarterback means the Bengals are closer to hitting that panic button. A matchup against the Jets albeit on the road should be a get-right spot as they are favored by five points. However, with so many wide receivers absolutely balling to start the season, it is hard to get behind Ja’Marr Chase at this price after a 54-yard performance last week. His bust percentages are alarming and he is only projected to be in the optimal lineup 5.3% of the time on DraftKings and 9.8% on FanDuel.
The Jets are not a good defense at all, but the Bengals’ offensive lineup has been an absolute disaster through the first two weeks. Quarterback Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-high 13 times and has four interceptions through two games. The Bengals are tied for last in turnover differential, which is really limiting the upside of this offense. Chase still leads the Bengals with a 28.1% target share, which is higher than last season, but a lot of those targets came when Tee Higgins left game one due to a concussion. Take your chances on the plethora of other top wide receivers on this slate, instead of getting cute with Chase.
TE T.J. Hockenson – Detroit Lions
DraftKings – $4,200; 38.2% Bust | FanDuel – $5,500; 38.1% Bust
Are the Detroit Lions back? Back may be a big term as they have never really won anything, but more so a competitive team again. After a tight loss to the Eagles in Week 1, the Lions bounced back with a convincing victory over the Commanders last week. Their offense is flourishing as they have scored 35.5 points per game, which is the second-most in the league. One player who hasn’t done much thus far is tight end T.J. Hockenson. With the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown and the addition of DJ Chark, it seems that Hockenson has moved down the pecking order. He is second in receptions with seven, but has only 64 yards and has failed to get into the end zone thus far. St. Brown might be option one, two and three in this offense for receiving.
Who would have thought that the Lions vs. Vikings game would be one of the most popular game stacks on the slate filled with so many elite offenses? This game has a 52.5 total as the Lions are six-point road underdogs. Playing at Minnesota in recent years hasn’t been kind to the Lions. They have lost their last four games while averaging 13.3 points per game. This may be a different Lions team, but Hockenson is too popular this week. He has the second-highest ownership and the worst leverage score among tight ends on the slate. Hockenson is averaging only 33.4 receiving yards per game against the Vikings in his career. Don’t fall into this trap and don’t get carried away with this extremely high total when it comes to Hockenson.
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