Week 3 NFL DFS Strategy & Picks! aka the Season Ending Injury to your empty bankroll

The word that keeps ringing in my head when I am thinking about today’ slate of Week 3 matchups is VALUE. There is SO much value available today in lineups, this may be one of those weeks where the term “Play Anyone You Want” is thrown around loosely and is also warranted. You can!

My main lineup today (for instance) has Russell Wilson (the Most Expensive QB), Ezekiel Elliot (the Most Expensive RB), Derek Henry (the second Most Expensive RB) and Tyler Higbee (the Most Expensive TE) and how can I get all of that on one lineup? VALUE. So with that word VALUE in mind, I am going to highlight some of my Favorite Value Plays today and why. I am also going to highlight some of my favorite overall plays and some of my not so favorite plays.

I think it is time that I introduce readers into the idea of building your player pool when you are playing DFS. If you use a lineup optimizer already you should be familiar with the concept – so I will be telling you who is in my player pool. If you aren’t using an optimizer and are hand building, having a player pool in general is a good idea. It will keep the most important players to you front and center for you to build the foundation of a lineup from and also keep a lot of the value plays that you like easily at hand. It also can help you to see where a contrarian pivot could be right in front of you as once you separate all of the best plays of the week out from the rest, it is pretty easy to see – Oh look at the price on this guy, everyone is going to play him – but I could pivot to this guy who could be just as good for less or the same amount of money – Boom, you have created a “pivot”. So lets begin.

VALUE TARGETS OF THE WEEK:

Value sometimes can create Chalky Plays (plays that everyone is on) – but sometimes chalk is good. It just depends on what the rest of your lineup looks like, after all with great value comes great responsibility. Ha. The first Plays listed will be the Chalky. I will then follow with my favorite Value Pivots to consider.

RB:

CHALK PLAY: Jonathan Taylor Indy vs Jets $7,000 DK, $6,700 FD

JT is in a GREAT spot to SMASH today agains the Hapless Jets. It’s so obvious of a play it isn’t even funny. That is why between the two sites he is averaging 31% ownership. He is unquestionably one of the best Running Back plays on the board, however there are some other great VALUE plays to talk about that could be GREAT Pivots from Taylor.

Devin Singletary: $4,900 DK, $5,900 FD

Today Devin Singletary will not have any distractions from having a fine game as rookie Zac Moss is out. Additionally in Singletary’s benefit is the Rams ranked 31st against the running backs dating back to 2019. With Josh Allen’s propensity to run and (new in 2020) his fondness for the long ball, Singletary should see a lot more room along the line. He has a real chance to SMASH today and only around 10% ownership between the two sites.

Jerick McKinnon: $4,900 DK, $5,900 FD

The woes of the 49ers injuries continue today and in their wake it has left Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr available to handle the backfield. While there is a chance Jeff Wilson takes goal line work and some of the early down work, you have to like McKinnon today. He looked absolutely dynamic in week 2 when Raheem Mostert went down and today he gets to ply his trade against the New York Giants who have been walked on by RBs over two games. At an average of 11% ownership and a golden opportunity to show the team why the invested so heavily on him 2 seasons ago, I like McKinnon a lot here.

Joshua Kelley: $5,000 DK, $5,900 FD

I normally would not recommend a player in a ‘Committee’ but I need to highlight this one. Over the last two weeks, Joshua Kelley has been the lightning to Austin Ekeler’s Thunder and today the tandem takes on the best matchup for a Running Back in 2020 – the Carolina Panthers. Kelley could see multiple goal to go opportunities today and he also has the chops for passing downs too. If this was Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon from last year, today, would you have any hesitation in playing Gordon against the Panthers? I wouldn’t and it’s absolutely incredible to see sub 6% ownership on him average over the two sites.

WR

CHALK PLAY: Tyler Locket Seattle: $6,400 DK, $6,800 FD

There is no question that Lockett and really the entire Seattle offense are in Smash Spots today. The Seahawks and Cowboys are expected to blow the implied point total out of the water and with Russ Cookin’ his man Tyler Lockett will be front and center. However at an average ownership of 25% across the sites, everyone knows it. Here are some pivots in the SAME GAME that could also smash for you:

DK Metcalf: $6,500 DK, $6,500 FD

Did you see DK Metcalf take care of the #1 Defensive Player in the league Stefon Gilmore last week? I did and man did I like what I saw from this young man. There is no one in the injury ridden Dallas Cowboy’s defense that can slow Metcalf down today and if the trends are correct, with the way the Seahawks defense will be playing today – Russ will be throwing a lot… I think Metcalf has the same opportunity as Lockett to smash today and as of this writing the difference in ownership between the two is STAGGERING. Where Locket is averaging 25% ownership, Metcalf is averaging 15%. Now this isn’t factoring in Stacks with Russell Wilson where I think the cheaper Metcalf will be more popular. But if you are playing a lineup with Dak as your QB and stacking him with his receivers, I would suggest running it back with Metcalf who is garnering significantly less ownership that his running mate. Metcalf is also great as a one off play today too due to price and surpassed ownership.

CD Lamb: $5,400 DK, $5,600 FD

Week 2 was the coming out party for the Cowboy’s rookie CD Lamb taking 6 targets for 102 yards on his way to 20.5 Fantasy points. The reason why I am highlighting Lamb here over the more proven Michael Gallup is due to where he is running his routes from. The SLOT. The Seahawks have been shredded by Slot Receivers so far this season (see Julian Edelman Career High in Yardage last week) and if Dak is looking to keep pace with the a Cookin’ Russ, I see a huge opportunity for Lamb to SMASH. Again the drop off from Locket from an ownership perspective is staggering given the opportunity for Lamb. Currently he is averaging 13% ownership across the sites. Again this isn’t factoring in Stacks with Dak himself where I think Lamb will be very popular as the Cheapest of the Cowboy’s wide receivers – but if I am playing a lineup with Russell Wilson and say Tyler Locket, I am running it back with Lamb. Lamb is great as a one off play today too given his price and supressed ownership.

BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Julio Jones will be Inactive today against the Bears

This news came out while I was finishing the article today and so I need to add – RUSSELL GAGE to my Wide Receiver values. I think it is imperative you look at Gage today. With the news of Julio’s absence, the ownership on Calvin Ridley will sky rocket, justifiably so. Ridley has been nothing short of magnificent over the first two weeks and is a strong play today. However, the one stat that has been thrown around by Fantasy pundits this week about this game is that the Chicago Bears Defense has not given up a Touchdown to a Wide Receiver since the end of the season last year. So if there is reason to believe the Bears are on lockdown mode on Wide Receivers and if they game planned to try to shut down Julio Jones today, with Jones not playing – Ridley would then receive that attention. And if Ridley is bottled up today, I think Russell Gage is a Priority Play. Currently Gage sits at 2% ownership on DK and 1% ownership on FanDuel and while I do expect that number to jump as the news of Jones sitting out trickles out, I don’t think it will raise nearly to the level of Ridley’s ownership which makes Gage an excellent pivot play. He also has already seen 15 targets from Matt Ryan over 2 weeks for 160 yards and a score. Gage is $5,100 on DK and $5,600 on FD and worthy of a start today in your lineups.

CONTRARIAN PLAY ALERT: Chris Carson $6,600 DK, $7,700 FD

I know – why didn’t I highlight Carson with the running backs, right? Well there is a reason I am putting him here. First the most popular NON QB Play today on the board will be Zeke Elliot. Now, I am not saying fade Zeke here – but what I am saying is that if you really want to be different today and get away from Tyler Locket Chalk today or you really need your Chalk stacks with Russell Wilson and a WR or Dak Prescott and a WR to hit, Carson may be your answer. First, he is the workhorse back for Pete Carroll’s offense. He has a great matchup against the Cowboys injury plagued defense and he is not just involved between the tackles, he is catching passes too from Russ (did you see that back of the end zone over the shoulder fade he caught for a touchdown last week?). I rarely suggest stacking a QB with a RB but today I have to say, Carson is a GREAT play as a pivot to very chalky Elliot (who had goal line opportunities vultured from him in Week 2) and is a GREAT way to get a Seahawk in Cowboy heavy stacked lineups. Carson is coming in at an average ownership of 15% across the two sites and he has both opportunity and touchdown upside today. He is a solid one off as well due to ownership suppression and price.

Tight End

(Editor’s Note) Tight End today is filled with both Value and Low Ownership on Draft Kings, while on Fan Duel there is a much bigger separation. So I am going to lay out for you the Value Tight Ends I am looking at today including a High Priced one on DK first. Then I will come back around with the format I have been writing thus far about for Fan Duel.

Additionally, I might suggest playing Duel Tight End Lineups today especially on DK. In Week 2, multiple Dual Tight End Lineups were some of the highest point totals in tournaments and with so many attractive options available at the position that are both price values and (at least on DK) coming in at low ownership, it may be the ultimate way to stack your QB, RBs and WRs with High Price High Upside plays and still be contrarian with your Tight Ends.

DK TIGHT END VALUE:

Jordan Reed $4,000 DK $5,300 FD

Yes, Jordan Reed. We all know his history of injury and we also all now should know that George Kittle will not suit up today. We also should now know that Nick Mullens will be the starting QB today for the 49ers. Nick Mullens loves to throw to his tight end. Last week while only playing 46% of snaps he still saw 7 Targets which went for 50 yards and TWO Touchdowns. Now with injuries on both sides of the ball and playing against the Giants I could easily see Reed push to 50 or 55% of snaps and he has a great opportunity to build on today. On DK he is the highest owned Tight End at a whopping 12%. Great Price, Great Low Ownership, Great Play today.

Logan Thomas $3,700 DK $4,900 FD

It is always a gamble to highlight a Washington Football Team skill position player but there really should not be a question of Logan Thomas being a great play today. First, the opportunity. The Cleveland Browns did such a good job allowing production from Bengal’s tight ends in week 2, you have fantasy pundits across the board recommending back up tight end Drew Sample as a waiver wire pick up. Thomas plays the Browns today. Also he’s seen 8 targets so far from Dwayne Haskins and caught a touchdown pass. At less than 9% ownership on DK and only $3,700 – what do you have to lose? Is it such a stress to think 5 for 50 and a score is out of the question? Nope.

Jimmy Graham $3,400 DK $5,100 FD

I am seriously mentioning both Jordan Reed and Jimmy Graham here? Yes. Why? Well on DK, you have the starting Tight End for the Chicago Bears for only $3,400 and coming in at – 1% Ownership. Two the opportunity. Graham has always had a nose for the Red Zone and today against a high powered Atlanta offense we fully expect Mitchell Trubisky to be throwing. I see the Bears running a lot with David Montgomery and stalling in the Red Zone where Trubisky will be looking for his big Tight End. Much like Logan Thomas, is 4 for 45 and a score out of the question here? At only $3,400 and 1% ownership I think Jimmy Graham is fully in play today.

FAN DUEL TIGHT END LOOKS:

Chalky Tight End Today: Zach Ertz $6,200 FD

I understand why Zach Ertz will be a popular play today. The Eagles have run more two tight end sets than any other team thus far, they have a depleted WR core and they need a win. Plus the play the Bengals and are expected to get that win. But at 21% ownership on Ertz, I think there may be better plays that will immediately become contrarian on FanDuel. I’d guess you’d think I’d start out with Zach’s teammate Dallas Goedert who, due to being on the same team and the same game has just as strong an opportunity today as Ertz does. The pluses on Goedert may outweigh the negatives – he is $1,000 cheaper than Ertz and he has seen across the first two weeks roughly a slightly higher target share from Carson Wentz. However while Ertz sits at 21% ownership, Goedert is hovering in that 20% ownership range and so to me the two are a push.

Jonuu Smith $5,600 FD

If you really consider that even though he played in Week 1, the Titans have really been without AJ Brown so far this season and while many in the industry love Corey Davis here – I like Jonnu Smith. He has seen exactly 4 targets in each of the first two games and last week he took those 4 targets for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Once again the Titans are without AJ Brown and they also get to play the Minnesota Vikings Defense today that has been carved up by everyone over the first two weeks. He is cheaper than Ertz and at 13% ownership as of this writing, he makes a perfect pivot from Ertz and Goedert with perhaps even a better opportunity. Smith is also a GREAT play on DK today at $5,200

Darren Waller $6,600 FD

Waller the Baller is expected to suit up today against the New England Patriots and while there is a chance that Bill Belichik throws all his guns to try and stop him, I think it will be more likely that the Pats sell out to stop the run and put the ball in Derek Carr’s hands (interceptions, fumbles, sacks all top of mind) and if that is the case, I think Darren Waller is fully in play. Look at what he did against a solid New Orleans Saints defense – 12 for 105 and 1. Boom. While his is more expensive than Ertz on FanDuel, if you are already considering paying up at Tight End today – the pivot is Waller coming in at a stunning 5% ownership. Great play on DK as well.

Tyler Higbee: $6,100 FD

Can you say HigBEAST? I can. Three Touchdowns in Week 2. C’mon now, what’s causin’ all this. Easy – Jared Goff likes to throw to Tyler Higbee and today the Ram’s play the Bill’s in what I think is going to be a sneaky under the radar shootout. The Bill’s Secondary is VERY GOOD – so I’m not as high on the Ram’s Wide Receivers today. Also the Ram’s running back situation is very confusing. Will it be the returning Malcolm Brown or the suddenly spectacular Darrell Henderson. That kind of confusion is too much for me to play. So enter Tyler Higbee playing a Bill’s Defense who made Mike Gesicki of the Dolphins look like Gronk circa 2013. Yes Higbee is more expensive than Ertz – but wait for it, he comes in at 3% ownership on FD today. I’ll take 3 Touchdown upside all day at 3% ownership and you should too. He is a great play on DK as well.

BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Julio Jones will be inactive today against the Bears

With the new of Julio Jones being inactive, in addition to Russell Gage, I think you also need to look at Falcon’s Tight End Hayden Hurst. In week 2 Hurst finally showed why the Falcons were ok letting Austin Hooper go. With Julio limited in that game Hurst saw 5 targets and took them for 72 yards and a score. Again if the Bears pay extra attention on Calvin Ridley today, much like Gage, Hurst could be in for a big day and I’d recommend taking a look. At roughy 5% ownership as of right now, Hurst makes a great play on both sites and could be the ultimate contrarian pivot from any other tight end on the board. Get him in your lineups! He is $4,700 on DK and $5,700 on FD.

Defenses I am looking at today:

Indy vs the Jets

Titans vs Minnesota

Browns vs the Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team vs The Browns

Buccaneers vs Denver

Cardinals vs Detroit

Philadelphia vs Cincinatti

Good Luck in your Contests!

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