DraftKings NFL: Week 3 Picks
DraftKings NFL: Week 3 Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

A plethora of injuries has opened up some significant values at nearly every position for the Week 3 main slate, which could make cash game lineups very diverse. Additionally, we have one game with a total over 50.0 but a few mid-range ones that could certainly go off, making for a number of very attractive GPP stacks. 

QUARTERBACKS

Jameis Winston, TB v. NYG ($5,400): We can't ignore the fact that Winston has been one of the worst fantasy quarterbacks this season, completing 59 percent of his passes for a yardage total that is literally less than half of Patrick Mahomes'. I'm not here putting Winston and Mahomes in the same category other than they both play quarterback, but things were supposed to be much better for Winston, who was the third-highest priced quarterback in Week 1 ($6,600) at home against the 49ers and then $5,900 at Carolina last week (that game was Thursday, so the price reflects the classic slates that game was on). DraftKings is basically begging you to take Winston at this price against a Giants defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in the first two games, which came against Dak Prescott and Josh Allen. Due to a plethora of QB injuries, there are a number of starting quarterbacks priced under Winston, but none have his elite wideouts and preseason expectations. If you really don't want to believe that Winston could bounce back against a horrible Giants defense, the Cardinals' Kyler Murray ($5,800) and Bills' Josh Allen ($5,900) are viable players in the same price range, with Murray's upside pretty high because of the high-tempo offense run in Arizona, all but assuring the volume will be there even if the efficiency isn't.

Dak Prescott, DAL v. MIA ($6,500): Patrick Mahomes ($7,600) and Lamar Jackson ($7,000) are both excellent plays as they face off against each other, and Prescott is the reasonable pivot away because of Dallas' expected dominance of Miami, who allowed 36.56 fantasy points to Lamar Jackson in Week 1 and 24.66 to Tom Brady in Week 2. It also doesn't hurt that Prescott has seven touchdowns in two games, and he even rumbled for 69 rushing yards last weekend. While the absence of Michael Gallup doesn't help, the Cowboys have enough weapons to allow Prescott to keep pace with Mahomes and Jackson at a cheaper price.

Kyle Allen, CAR at ARI ($4,000): Allen will start in place of the injured Cam Newton and offers exposure to a fast offense facing one of the worst defenses in the league. You can look back to his limited time as a starter last season when he completed 20 of 31 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns in Week 17 against the Saints, and while that was mostly against a second unit, the Cardinals' defense this year probably isn't much better. Playing Allen really opens up salary elsewhere, either in a game stack or individually, and you just have to take the leap of faith that he'll be effective enough given the expected volume to pay off.

RUNNING BACKS

Frank Gore, BUF v. CIN ($4,400): Yes, it's 2019 and we're still talking about Gore. Consideration for Gore will really test those who are all about matchups and opportunities, as Gore is likely to get a vast majority of the Bills' running back touches now that Devin Singletary (hamstring) has been ruled out. Gore was already pretty heavily used, getting 19 carries and two targets in Week 2 against the Giants, and with only T.J. Yeldon to possibly grab a few snaps, Gore's pretty much the only game in town against a Bengals defense that's allowed the most running back fantasy points this season, and they were top three in each of the past two. Gore's price will surely make him a consideration in cash games, though the bigger issue is that because there is a lot of value at wide receiver, it might be a week where it makes more sense to pay up for three running backs, and rostering Gore specifically takes one of those spots away.

Dalvin Cook, MIN v. OAK ($7,800): The league-leader in rushing yards through two games, Cook now gets a matchup against a Raiders run defense that looks good on paper, having allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs through two games, but those stats were accumulated against the fairly pedestrian Broncos and pass-heavy Chiefs. If there's a negative about Cook it's that he hasn't figured into the passing game much, but when you're averaging 6.5 yards per carry then maybe you don't have to worry about receptions. Joining Cook just below the elite tier, in terms of price at least, is the Chargers' Austin Ekeler ($7,200), whose 163 receiving yards on 12 receptions (13 targets) leads all running backs, and the gap between him second-place Chris Thompson (116) is nearly the same as Thompson and 11th-place Raheem Mostert (68). The Texans' defense has been pretty average against the run this season, but Ekeler should have more than enough touches to justify cash game and GPP consideration.

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at ARI ($8,700): McCaffrey is coming off a terrible game against Tampa Bay when he rushed 16 times for 37 yards and caught two of six targets for 16 yards, but a high-pace game against one of the league's worst defenses needs to keep him in the conversation for all formats. Cam Newton's injury did the Panthers' offense no favors last week, and while the passing game may not be as prolific this week with Kyle Allen ($4,000) under center, it's possible he's just as effective as Newton and the team relies even more on McCaffrey. Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900) is another option in the top tier, with the Cowboys 22.5-point favorites against the Dolphins with a team total of 34.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the expectation is that Elliott should be at a full workload now that he's had two games under his belt. There are two sides to considering Elliott: 1. he'll crush because the Cowboys will use him to get up early and then continue to use him to run the game out or 2. even if the Cowboys rely on the passing game to get up early, they'll then use Elliott to run the game out. Obviously there are some negative ways the game can go, but Elliott's price requires one of those two very reasonable game scripts to play out.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Nelson Agholor, PHI v. DET ($3,600): Agholor is likely to be very popular in cash games if Alshon Jeffery ($5,700) is ruled out because of his calf injury. Jeffery did not practice at all this week, though he wasn't officially ruled out like DeSean Jackson (abdomen). Additionally, pass-catching tight end Dallas Goedert ($2,800) is a game-time decision because of his own calf injury, which just moves Agholor up the target chain. He actually took advantage of the extra opportunities just last week when Jackson and Jeffery were injured, as he caught eight of 11 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. Given the increased opportunities likely to be presented against a defense that allowed the ninth-most wide receiver fantasy points through two weeks, and Agholor's price is basically a gift. If you're looking for more in the price range, Dallas' Devin Smith ($3,400) could get added targets in place of the injured Michael Gallup, though you're hoping he's a big enough part of the offense before they start coasting with a big lead.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI v. CAR ($5,100): The Cardinals continue to play at one of the highest paces in the league, and a significant number of their plays result in passes, which has helped Fitzgerald get targeted 24 in two games, racking up 13 catches for 217 yards, all of which lead the Cardinals, in addition to his 269 air yards and second-best 11.2 aDOT. There's little reason to think the volume will decrease against the Panthers, who have also been playing at a high pace, and there could certainly be plenty of game stacks given how many plays are expected to be run. Christian Kirk ($5,000) is another solid option after catching 10 of 20 targets for 146 yards (191 air yards) in two games, while Damiere Byrd ($3,000) is surprisingly cheap given he's run just 10 fewer snaps than Kirk and two fewer than Fitzgerald.

Mike Evans, TB v. NYG ($6,600): Evans is now cheaper than teammate Chris Godwin ($6,900), but both profile as excellent plays this week against the terrible Giants defense. It's tough to make the call on Evans in cash games because Godwin has been the more reliable of the two, with 11 catches on 15 targets for 174 yards while Evans has only managed six on 13 for 89, but Evans does lead the team with 236 air yards and an 18.2 aDOT. If you're willing to take the jump on Winston in GPPs, he obviously should be paired with Evans and/or Godwin, and you can certainly game stack it with Saquon Barkley ($9,100, running back), Sterling Shephard ($4,900) and Evan Engram ($5,200, tight end). Evans' price tier actually has a number of viable plays this week, including the Lions' Kenny Golladay ($6,600) against a terrible Eagles secondary, Marquise Brown ($5,900) and Sammy Watkins ($6,800) in the game with the highest total, though Mecole Hardman ($5,000) and Demarcus Robinson ($5,200) could be more popular because they are cheaper, and the Patriots Julian Edelman ($6,300) without Antonio Brown, while the Chargers' Keenan Allen might have the safest target floor on the slate at home against the Texans.

TIGHT ENDS

Zach Ertz, PHI v. DET ($5,700): The potential injury absences in Philadelphia could force a ton of targets toward Ertz, who faces a Lions defense that has technically been the stingiest against tight ends this season, though they've faced an Arizona team that doesn't utilize tight ends in the passing game and the Chargers without Hunter Henry. The upper-tier tight ends this week each have positive opportunities, with Travis Kelce ($7,100) obviously good in a game with a ton of points expected, though the Ravens have been good against tight ends, while George Kittle ($5,600) could certainly do damage against the Steelers in San Francisco Santa Clara.

Mark Andrews, BAL at KC ($4,600): While Marquise Brown has been the biggest beneficiary of Lamar Jackson's arm this season, leading the Ravens in targets (18), yards (233), air yards (237) and aDOT (13.2), Andrews has been the clear no. 2, catching 16 of 17 targets for 220 yards (164 air yards and a 9.6 aDOT) and two touchdowns. The Ravens defense figures to be much tougher for Kelce than what will face Andrews, whose 220 yards this season are the most among tight ends.

Greg Olsen, CAR at ARI ($3,700): There are actually a few pay-down tight end options available, but Olsen may have the best opportunity against a Cardinals defense that can't stop anyone. While he won't have Cam Newton throwing his way, there should still be enough targets for Olsen, who leads all NFL tight ends with 173 air yards. Meanwhile, Dallas' Jason Witten ($3,700) has a touchdown in back-to-back games, though that's pretty much all you should be expecting from a player with a 2.1 aDOT and 17 air yards on eight targets. And if you're a real glutton for punishment, O.J. Howard ($3,800) is here and ready to break out against the weak Giants defense. At the very least, Howard should be a part of a Bucs stack.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

The Cowboys ($4,300) and Patriots ($3,800) are the clear top options, coming in as 22.5 and 21.5-point favorites, respectively. However, you can make a decent case for a number of defenses this week because they'll be playing against new quarterbacks. As a result, the Seahawks ($3,200) against a Drew Brees-less Saints, the 49ers against Mason Rudolph, and the Buccaneers against Daniel Jones all make sense in terms of targeting turnovers. Sure, the Cowboys against Josh Rosen and the Patriots against Luke Falk are prime opportunities, but with turnovers and touchdowns required for GPPs, why not at least take your chances on teams that can help you salary-wise elsewhere?

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 and 2018 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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