The NFL is back, and there are huge Week 3 DFS contests being offered on FanDuel.
In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.
Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats, which require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risks in the hopes of separating from a large field. We will denote which plays are recommended for each format in the article below.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick-off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
NFL DFS WEEK 3 FANDUEL TOURNAMENT PICKS
Top NFL DFS FanDuel Plays for Week 3
Best Play: Russell Wilson ($7.6k)
The Saints will forge on without Drew Brees (thumb), which likely means more time of possession for host Seattle. New Orleans run defense has suddenly sprung leaks and ranks dead last in DVOA, which should force the Saints to stack the box against run-heavy Seattle and play man-to-man on the outside. Russell Wilson has been dissecting man coverage with beautiful throws this season as he proves he’s worth his massive extension. He may not have the upside you’re searching for in tournaments, but Wilson is a rock-solid mid-tier play against a Saints team that coughed up the second-most FD PPG (21.8) to QBs last year.
Best Value: Daniel Jones ($6.0k)
The Giants are setting their rookie up for success by starting him in one of the easier matchups available. While the Bucs contained the Panthers offense last Thursday, that had more to do with Cam Newton’s inaccuracy and lack of mobility. Daniel Jones appeared quite accurate during the preseason while completing 29 of 34 pass attempts with 2 TDs and no picks. Tampa still ranks 14th in DVOA pass defense and lacks talent at the back end. Look for the Giants to get Jones high-percentage looks to Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley before those playmakers can do the rest.
Fade: Lamar Jackson ($8.5k)
Fading Lamar Jackson is a risky proposition considering how well he’s played in his first two appearances this season. Yet those came against arguably the worst two teams in the league and he’ll find the sledding to be much tougher in raucous Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City’s defense is no longer an easy target. The Chiefs rank 12th in DVOA pass defense and are holding QBs to a 94.1 passer rating. KC allowed a modest 13.7 rushing YPG to opposing QBs last year and Andy Reid should adjust his scheme to keep Jackson from running wild.
Best Play: Dalvin Cook ($8.3k)
Why not keep rolling with Dalvin Cook after a modest price adjustment? The Vikings held Kirk Cousins to just 10 pass attempts in a Week 1 win and found out what can happen when Cousins is asked to do too much, as he sealed a road loss in Green Bay with poor decision-making last Sunday. Cook, meanwhile, is averaging 6.5 YPC and 9.2 yards per reception this season. The Raiders rush defense statistically looks good because both of the Chiefs starting backs were injured in Week 2 and the Broncos offensive line is inept. But Oakland (+8.5) will likely get pushed around by a Vikes offensive line that ranks second in open field blocking.
Best Value: David Johnson ($7.0k)
This is a very tempting price point at which to take a player of David Johnson’s caliber. Not only is his usage secure (75.3% snap rate this year), he’s likely to get more quick passes in Kliff Kingsbury‘s system. The Cardinals lead the NFL in no-huddle snaps this season and that is great news for a capable receiving back. Carolina’s defense has underperformed this year and represents an easy bounce-back spot for DJ after he fizzled in a brutal matchup at Baltimore.
Fade: Ezekiel Elliott ($8.8k)
If the Cowboys truly want to preserve Ezekiel Elliott for a Super Bowl run, they would be wise to limit his usage dramatically in this cakewalk matchup. Dallas (-21.5) is a historic favorite against a pathetic Dolphins team that’s allowed close to a perfect QB rating (155.9) so far this year. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys improved receiving corps should put points on the board, Dallas should stonewall Miami’s talentless offense, and Zeke should spend the majority to the second half on the sidelines while Tony Pollard mops up.
Best Play: Davante Adams ($8.2k)
There are other receivers with a higher floor and others who may be better suited for PPR formats, but it’s hard to match the TD upside of Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers has few other options that he trusts to ad-lib in the red zone, and that may be what it takes for the Packers to produce against a solid Broncos secondary. Denver has only given up one passing TD this year thanks to a soft early schedule, but ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense. Adams draws a tough matchup against Chris Harris Jr., but could pay off in GPPs with low ownership and tons of upside.
Best Value: Nelson Agholor ($4.8k)
DeSean Jackson (abdomen) has been ruled out and Alshon Jeffery (calf) is questionable for this Sunday. That leaves Nelson Agholor as the de facto top receiver for Carson Wentz. While the matchup isn’t ideal against Darius Slay and company, Agholor can move all around the formation for Philly and he’s already been a full-time player with an 88.5% snap rate this season. At this price tag, Agholor has the potential for big salary returns.
Fade: Michael Thomas ($8.0k)
Saints coach Sean Payton is being ambiguous about his plans to replace Brees at QB for good reason. If the Seahawks don’t know whether Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill will take the majority of snaps, it’s difficult to craft a defensive game plan. It will also be difficult to trust Michael Thomas with either passer under center, since so much of his production was the product of timing routes with Brees. Thomas has never been an elite red zone presence and that makes it tough to justify his price tag in a 0.5 PPR scoring format.
Best Play: Evan Engram ($6.4k)
The Bucs have a new system under DC Todd Bowles, but remain vulnerable against athletic tight ends. Bowles is notably aggressive with his blitz packages and that allows TEs to leak out for quick receptions. Evan Engram was a problem for the Cowboys Cover-2 scheme in Week 1 and his price tag is down after a lackluster showing against Buffalo’s elite defense. With new blood in at QB, Engram could flourish.
Fade: Darren Waller ($5.9k)
While he’s turned into a nice possession receiver, Darren Waller could come up short of value in this matchup. The converted WR has used his speed to burn the Broncos and Chiefs linebackers, but Anthony Barr, Erick Kendricks and Chad Greenway are quick enough to contain him. Minnesota yielded the third-fewest TDs (3) and seventh-fewest receptions (64) to TEs last season and the Vikes are allowing the third-lowest yards per catch average (9.3) this year.