Week 3 DFS NFL DraftKings Tight End & Defense Picks

Written By Nate Lawson on September 22, 2017

Week 3 DraftKings.com DFS NFL Tight End & Defense Picks for Cash and GPP Lineups

Week 3 NFL is upon us and everyone is looking to cash in on the big money at DraftKings. Every week, we’ll bring you our top DFS NFL picks at each position, separating them into Cash Game and GPP plays. And to keep up with all things PlayPicks, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to matchup, price, game flow, etc. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for new ways to play DFS, be sure and give BOOM Fantasy and DRAFT a try!

In DFS NFL, predicting game flow can be vital towards success. Teams that are heavily favored and come through with a comfortable win will be far more likely to lean on their running game, while two teams with poor defenses and high-powered offenses could pay off by getting into a shootout. Later in the season, especially, weather will play a key factor in NFL games, so make sure to check the forecast for each Sunday.

In general, GPP plays are high-risk, high-reward prospects that can fizzle out and leave you empty handed. That said, if you want to win the big money, you have to take big chances and sometimes that means fading a safer choice for a risky play with more upside.

Week 3 DFS NFL Tight Ends for Cash Games

Zach Ertz vs. NYG ($5.0k DraftKings)
What is going on with the G-Men? The Giants are struggling mightily right now, and a road game against Carson Wentz and the Eagles—though a division rivalry—isn’t ideal considering Wentz’ strong first two games. And Ertz has done quite well for himself, too, with two 90+ yard receiving games. However, the talented pass catcher has yet to find the end zone. Against a Giants defense that just allowed Lions TE Eric Ebron to lead Detroit in receptions and yards (and he also added a score), Ertz should make his way into the end zone this week. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll do enough damage, given his average thus far of nine targets per game.

Jack Doyle vs. CLE ($3.6k DraftKings)
Two weeks into the 2017 season, and Jack Doyle is leading the Colts in yards, receptions, and receptions over 20 yards. You read that right. The Luck-less Colts just can’t seem to ignite playmakers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief in the passing game, and it’s clear Doyle is the most productive Colt in the passing game. No reason for that to change this week against the Browns. Expect a healthy share of targets and, at a low price point, enough production for Doyle to hit value.

Travis Kelce @ LAC ($6.0k DraftKings)
I know, I know. Obviously Kelce is in play in your cash game lineup. Here’s why it’s important: given injuries to several elite TEs (Gronk and Reed), poor recent performance (Martellus Bennett), and simple inconsistency (Austin Hooper and Jesse James) you don’t have a ton of places to go in the TE spot. While I do love Doyle and Ertz a bit more due to price point, if you don’t want to spend a bunch of time guessing here, Kelce is your best bet. He’ll get his looks, he’s a red zone threat, and I’m just having a hard time imagining the Chargers not focusing predominantly on Kareem Hunt. Hunt is having a stellar year thus far, but so is Kelce. Feel good about rolling him out in your cash lineup.

Week 3 DFS NFL Tight Ends for GPPs

Charles Clay vs. DEN ($3.4k DraftKings)
I don’t think this play is as much of a lock as some think. After Jason Witten just obliterated the Denver defense (albeit in a lopsided loss), the masses should flock to the cheap Tight End on the Bills. Clay is talented and athletic, and shows glimmers of excellence at times. He could certainly have a moment or two like that against Denver this weekend. But the Bills offense is short on big playmakers. They don’t have both an elite TE and elite WR, nor do they have an MVP contender at QB. Instead, they have LeSean McCoy and not much else.

Clay will likely have opportunities, though I doubt as many as Witten. If he makes the most of them, he’s in for a big game. If the Broncos make a conscious effort to stop McCoy and Clay, in that order, well, it likely won’t go so well. Let’s hope the Broncos instead zero in on Jordan Mathews, even if he’s looked extremely pedestrian so far this year.

Ed Dickson vs. NO ($2.7k DraftKings)
For the record, I like another Carolina pass catcher more than Dickson. But against an incompetent Saints defense, I expect there to be plenty to go around in the Carolina offense. And of course there’s the main reason for this play…Greg Olsen’s broken foot. Dickson may be risky, as he’s hardly a comparable replacement for Olsen. But the low price point should be enough for you to get him into a few tournament lineups.

Julius Thomas @ NYJ ($3.0k DraftKings)
Throughout his career, Jay Cutler has played with a handful of elite tight ends, including Greg Olsen to Martellus Bennett. Now he has former elite TE Julius Thomas, who has struggled with injury and consistency since leaving the Denver Broncos. This week, Cutler and Thomas head to New York for a game against the woeful Jets. If, before the season, you thought these two could combine for some big games, this is the week to fire Thomas up. His floor is low, but if Cutler locks in on him, he might just be the top scoring tight end.

Week 3 DFS NFL Top Defense Plays

MIA @ NYJ ($3.7k DraftKings)
Miami wasn’t all that impressive on the defensive side of the ball in their season opener against the Chargers, as the recorded one sack and didn’t force a turnover. This week, however, they get the Jets, whose quarterback has two picks on the year against two touchdowns. The Jets, as a whole, have turned the ball over four times this year. I expect Miami to continue that trend with a couple of turnovers, while throwing in a few sacks for good measure.

PIT @ CHI ($3.4k DraftKings)
As bad as I feel about the Jets offense, honestly, the Bears are probably in much worse shape. They have no wide receiving core anymore, Jordan Howard has disappeared, and Mike Glennon is basically doing the opposite of living up to his contract. Pittsburgh should break out to an early lead and never look back.

TB @ MIN ($3.2k DraftKings)
I actually think this game is going to be a defensive battle, as I expect Minnesota to really give Jameis Winston problems by first shutting down the run. But Tampa Bay is in the better spot here. Their QB is healthy, their defense is better than last year, and they started off the season by trouncing a different NFC North squad. If you want to go contrarian, I think the Vikings D/ST is extremely interesting and will be very low owned. They contained Le’Veon Bell last week, and are a much better team than the Bears, whom the Bucs handed a lopsided loss last week. That said, TB is safer with more upside, but also far more owners. Either way, I think you’re working with a reasonably high floor as I expect this to be a tight game.

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Nate Lawson Avatar
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Nate Lawson

Nate began playing DFS back in 2013, focusing on low stakes MLB contests over at DraftKings. Now, the vast majority of his DFS time is spent identifying optimal picks and player exposure for NBA and NFL GPPs, though MMA and eSports are his DFS guilty pleasures. With a focus on constant iteration, Nate spends a lot of his non-DFS time reading books and essays by leaders in finance and entrepreneurship for application to his DFS strategies...with a bit of cryptocurrency trading on the side.

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