Week 3 DFS Strategy & Picks – Draft Kings, FanDuel – Real Deal Fantasy HQ

You can find me on Twitter @delrayboston

Well Week 3 is here DFS Fans and already we are having to deal with injuries everywhere. What we will see is the replacement players this week will be chalky (aka popular) because they are cheap, and some of them will pan out, but they can also create an advantage for you the DFS Player. Because everyone will rush to play the cheap backups, they will for the most part ignore the value that some regular starters are priced at on both sites – and believe me there is a lot of it this week. What it will lead to is a ton of players in tournaments with cheap back up running backs and the most expensive QB or WR or TE … in other words a ton of the same lineup construction. But YOU can gain leverage with a balanced lineup with players from competitive games who you know will see work, due to the value they are listed at – call it mis-pricing or just straight up errors on the part of the sites, there is some great plays to make today so let’s get started.

Game Stacks

Kansas City Chiefs vs LA Chargers

This game will be a popular one, with players trying to get the most pieces of it in their lineups – for good reason mind you. Something to keep in mind though, the line today is set at 46.5 which says to me that Las Vegas has a lot of respect to both team’s defenses. So perhaps it will not be as high scoring as we may think. So here is how I am attacking it in DFS.

I am starting any game stack here with Austin Ekeler ($7,200 DK, $7,000). We just saw Lamar Jackson and Tay’son Williams (and Latavius Murray) run all over this Chiefs team and when I look at the Chargers, Ekeler jumps out as the best comp to the Raven’s rushing attack. Last Week against the Cowboys, Ek combined 54 yards on the ground and 9 catches for 61 yards through the air for 22 DK points, so his usage alone says he doesn’t even need to get in the end zone to produce for you in lineups. Love Austin Ekeler here. It also doesn’t hurt that Ekeler is the highest priced Charger on the board too, which I think will help to keep his ownership in check.

The reason I think Ek’s price will keep him in check is that his QB and top two WR’s prices are just too cheap (in my opinion) so I think it will be very popular to stack Justin Herbert ($6,500 DK, $7,500 FD) with Keenan Allen ($6,600 DK, $6,900 FD) AND Mike Williams ($6,400 DK, $6,000 FD). First of all, I do love the DK Prices for Herbert & Allen and I am blown away on the price for Mike Williams on FanDuel. So I get it – all 3 of these guys in my opinion are priced too cheap for this matchup, which on paper reads like a shoot out. On DK, I am likely going Herbert, Allen, Ekeler. On FanDuel I am likely going Herbert, Williams, Ekeler. Just trying to take advantage of pricing both sites are giving me.

However, don’t forget about the Tight Ends Jared Cook ($3,900, $5,300 FD) and to for a dart throw, Donald Parham ($2,800 DK, $4,100 FD), the latter of which caught a TD pass last week. 13 Targets over the first two weeks for Cook, and with the Chiefs ranked 22nd against TE there is a chance he finds some open lanes.

With a ton of value on the slate at QB, I expect Patrick Mahomes ($8,200 DK, $8,700 FD) to come in lower owned than you may think. First, he is the highest priced QB on the slate on both sites and the natural thing to do with Mahomes is to stack him with Tyreek Hill ($8,400 DK, $8,700 FD) or Travis Kelce ($8,200 DK, $8,500 FD)- or in my case two weeks ago, double stack. However that presents some issue due to the prices on these studs. There is a lot of value to go around to due to injury news though, so it won’t be impossible. However I have to say, I loved the usage we saw from Mecole Hardman ($3,900 DK, $5,900 FD) and Demarcus Robinson ($4,100 DK, $4,700 FD) last week and I like the idea of double stacking WR with Mahomes, Hill and Hardman or Robinson. I don’t see many going this direction. I also love using Kelce as a run back on Charger’s stacks as with the value of the Chargers players (as pointed out) I think many people building Chargers stacks will use Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs are a great play every week, I don’t think Chiefs stacks will be popular but Raw Points help in tournaments and Mahmoes and Co. can deliver those to you in a hurry.

Additionally, I do not know what to do with Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($4,800 DK, $6,500 FD). I am not going to tell you not to play him, he’ll be extremely low owned, I just don’t think I can play him. He absolutely could come out today and play his heart out but his usage just hasn’t been there and I like other Running Backs in the same range as him a lot more. I think I have to shelve CEH this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs LA Rams

The interesting thing to me is while Vegas seems to respect the Chiefs and Chargers defenses, it seems they respect these two offenses more – despite both teams being #1 and #3 overall defenses. This game sits at a 52.5 line and you have to love it. Additionally – EVERYONE is underpriced in my opinion.

Starting with the Bucs: Tom Brady ($6,800 DK, $7,800 FD) fears no defense and despite his lack of mobility and one of his favorite targets, Antonio Brown, being out … how do you not like Touchdown Tom at that DK Price. Oh yeah and how about Mike Evans ($6,300 DK, $7,100 FD) and Chris Godwin ($6,100 DK, $7,300 FD) are you KIDDING ME? Tom Brady’s top 2 receivers in a expected highly competitive game are UNDER $7,000 on DK? What is happening? Don’t forget Gronk ($5,500 DK, $6,500 FD) either – 4 Touchdowns in 2 Weeks? Could we see another? It’s not like the Rams are known as TE Shutdown machines after all. Again though, like Mahomes and the Chiefs – I don’t see any of these Buccaneers to be popular. They have all flown largely under the radar in fantasy. I think Brady and his pass catchers is my favorite Team Stack of the Day.

Another Buccaneer flying under the radar is Leonard Fournette ($5,000 DK, $5,800). Yes Ronald Jones is still the listed #1, each week Fournette is getting more and more comfortable and Tom Brady becomes more and more comfortable with Fournette too. You can run on the Rams, David Montgomery proved it as much. I don’t mind taking a flier on Fournette today in tournaments where I think he will be virtually unowned.

On the other side of the ball lets start with the running backs – Darrell Henderson has officially been listed as Doubtful which should place the ball in the firm hands of Sony Michel ($4,900 DK, $5,700 FD). Now the narrative on the Buccaneers is – you can’t run on them, which was started 2 seasons ago where Todd Bowels and his men held Christian McCaffery to under 50 yards, no catches, no scores on prime time Thursday Night Football. The thing is, I am not so sure you can trust that this weekend. If I am the Bucs and I am trying to slow down the Rams – it isn’t their running game I am focused on – it’s the ever growing prolific passing attack. I could see Michel having a decent day today and on top of that he makes a great flex option. Great price on DK and in a late game, easy to swap out if news breaks that has you go in a different directon in other words.

So let’s get into the semi-prolific passing attack, Matthew Stafford ($6,400 DK, $7,600 FD) is criminally under priced in my opinion, in a game that is destined to be a shoot out. Likewise – are you kidding me here – Cooper Kupp ($6,800 DK, $7,900 FD) is criminally under priced on Draft Kings. This single stack of Stafford and Kupp will be a popular one at those prices. However, I think Robert Woods ($5,700 DK, $6,100 FD) should be on your radar. This is the type of game Woods excels at, with Jet Sweeps, End Arounds and Back of the End Zone Touchdowns. For me adding Woods to a Stafford – Kupp stack is a great leverage play. Likewise with TE Tyler Higbee ($4,000 DK, $5,500 FD) who has been a core of Stafford’s reads the first two weeks of the season.

The Dart Throw/Dark Horse on the Rams for me is WR Van Jefferson ($3,400 DK, $4,900 FD) who I would look at as an X receiver today who I also like to see a deep ball or two to be thrown by Stafford for. There is a strong chance that the Rams are chasing points in this one keep in mind.

Seattle Seahawks vs Minnesota Vikings

OK the question looms – is Dalvin Cook ($8,400 DK, $9,500 FD) or is Dalvin Cook out. If he is in, he is as close to a must start for me as exists… Prior to getting gimpy last week Cook was running all over the Cardinals and we just saw Derek Henry absolutely destroy Seattle in Week 2. If Cook is out, I am not falling for the Alexander Mattison trap again… sorry, just not doing it. See last season if you need more reference.

In fact, I’m also looking on the other side of this game at RB – Chris Carson ($6,400 DK, $7,700 FD) as one of my core building pieces. The Vikings are giving up over 120 yards on the ground and with Rashaad Penny ruled out, Carson will have little competition in seeing 90-95% of snaps today. I love the Carson Opportunity here.

This is expected to be a real shootout with defenses that are at best struggling, when you have Russell Wilson ($7,600 DK, $8,400 FD), Tyler Lockett ($7,400 DK, $8,000 FD), DK Metcalf ($7,300 DK, $7,200 FD) on one side and Kirk Cousins ($6,300 DK, $7,700 FD), Adam Thielen ($6,700 DK, $7,600 FD) and Justin Jefferson ($7,200 DK, $7,400 FD) on the other. So pick your poison – but my best advice is to have plenty of lineups with these guys mixed and matched. I think the wild card dart throw here is rookie KJ Osborn ($3,500 DK, $5,100 FD) who lit it up in Week 2. Because of his price I can see him being a very popular Vikings “run back” on Seattle stacks – but I much prefer him in three man stacks with Cousins and Thielen or Jefferson.

Sneaky play

Lions at Ravens – ravens will be without several defensive starters including Justin Houston and Calais Campbell due to Covid protocols. This defense has already given up the second most yards in the league and without the majority of the teams starting front 7, that trend could continue if not worsen.  I expect this game to be a lot more competitive than many think.  Even if you don’t play Goff you could stack Lamar, Marquise Brown and Tay’son Williams (or Latavius Murray) with TJ Hockenson and another Lions Receiver and it will be a very low owned game stack with potentially more upside than is being talked about – if you are mass multi-entering.  I also think DeAndre Swift and Jamaal Williams (to a lesser extent) has some upside in this matchup with Baltimore’s Defensive woes. 

Sneaky Defense

Saints.  I’m not crazy at all about the Saints and Patriots from a DFS perspective.  Looking at the matchup the Saints already are an above average defense against the run and if that holds, it will really put a hamper on Damien Harris and the Pats’ chances of establishing the run.  This will force a lot of throws from Mac Jones and his (so far) less than stellar pass catchers.  The Saints get their star cornerback Marshawn Lattimore back this week and so if I am playing anything in this game it’s the Saints Defense against Mac Jones’ arm.  I think the Saints will be overlooked with several other defenses getting the fantasy headlines this week, such as the Broncos who I think will be very popular and even the Patriots D who obviously face Jamis Winston coming off arguably the worst start of his career.  I think the Saints D will be a sneaky leverage play. 

Sneaky Stack

Miami Dolphins.  Three reasons I mention the Dolphins here, none of them include Jacoby Brissett starting. The first is the unbelievable amount of “don’t play Dolphins receivers” I’ve heard from fantasy experts on podcasts and broadcasts.  Whenever I hear such a strong, united, stance signal bells go off in my head to the leverage that will exist should I buck the trend, play the plays and the plays hit.  The second reason is that the Raiders will be without a few key defensive starters, which makes me think that there may be more offensive production from the Dolphins than seems to be expected.  Third is Wil Fuller.  Fuller has been an X receiver in his career and with his speed and route running back on the field, it could open up much more for Davante Parker and Jalen Waddle than again, is being considered by the Fantasy community.   This isn’t a single entry or 3 entry max type play – but if you are mass multi entering, I’d have at least one Dolphins Stack. 

Good Luck in your contests!

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