The NFL is back and as always, there are huge Week 3 DFS contests being offered on DraftKings with big prize money up for grabs.
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 that require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risk in the hopes of separating from a large field. We will denote which plays are recommended for each format in the article below.
For those interested in the DFS Single-Game Slate contests, here’s a quick recap:
In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kickoff 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 DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Top NFL DFS DraftKings Plays for Week 3
Best Play: Dak Prescott ($6.5k)
The biggest, and really the only danger to Dak Prescott and the Cowboys starters this week is rest down the stretch in a potential blowout. Dallas (-21.5) is a huge home favorite against the hapless Dolphins, but you can’t beat the matchup against a team that ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense and has allowed a near-perfect 155.9 passer rating through two games.
Prescott leads the NFL with a 93.1 rating and is thriving under new OC Kellen Moore. He went 7-1 with a 109.5 rating and 14:3 TD:INT ratio at home last season. He’s also excelled as a rusher and Miami coughed up the third-most rushing yards (383) to QBs last year.
Best Value: Josh Allen ($5.9k)
After a surprisingly solid showing in Seattle, the Bengals talent-deficient defense collapsed in their home opener against the weak 49ers offense. Now they’ll hit the road to face an improving Bills offense and an electric young quarterback. Josh Allen makes plenty of mistakes, but his upside is tangible considering he ran for 631 yards and 8 TDs at a 7.1 YPC clip last year and has rushed for a TD in his first two games this season. Allen averaged a healthy 7.05 yards per attempt at home last year and now has a legitimate deep threat at WR in John Brown. Only Miami has allowed a higher passer rating than Cincy (133.2) so far in 2019 and the Bengals offense leads the NFL in pass-play rate, so this game could last.
Fade: Russell Wilson ($6.3k)
He might be priced in an appealing range on FanDuel, but Russell Wilson seems overpriced on DraftKings this week. He’s coming off a strong showing on the road that was due in part to game flow and might not be asked to do as much at home this Sunday since the Saints offense is likely to slow down without Drew Brees (thumb). New Orleans ranks dead last in DVOA rush defense this year and Seattle has had the highest run-play rate (52.4%) over the past two seasons. That number increased at home, where Wilson averaged a modest 191.3 passing YPG with a 62.3% completion rate last year.
Best Play: Christian McCaffrey ($8.7k)
After a rare off game against the Bucs last Thursday night, Christian McCaffrey is in a prime bounce-back spot. Cam Newton (foot) might be out and backup Kyle Allen should be even more conservative in his approach, leading to a ton of underneath targets for C-Mac and TE Greg Olsen. Arizona ranks 24th in DVOA pass defense this year and has coughed up the second-most pass plays (12) of 20-plus yards. The Cardinals allowed the second-most DK PPG (31.5) to RBs last year and McCaffrey is a true workhorse who has incredibly played 146 of 146 offensive snaps this season.
Best Value: Frank Gore ($4.4k)
The ageless running back is primed to step up this Sunday with rookie Devin Singletary (hamstring) questionable. As mentioned above, Cincinnati’s defense has been well below average and is coughing up the third-most rushing YPG (165.5) so far this year. Buffalo (-6) posted the fourth-highest run-play percentage (46.8%) last year and averaged 31 rush attempts per game at home. With only receiving back T.J. Yeldon available to steal snaps on third down, Gore is a reliable Cash play with a good shot to exceed value if he gets some red zone opportunities.
Fade: Aaron Jones ($6.1k)
The Packers are big favorites at home and that usually means good things for a starting RB, but Aaron Jones could still disappoint in this matchup. Green Bay’s offensive line ranks 26th in power run blocking and 29th in “stuffed” rank per Football Outsiders. Jones still managed to turn 27 touches into 150 scrimmage yards and a TD in a tough matchup against the Vikings last week, but new HC Matt LaFleur said he’d like to get Jamaal Williams more involved this week. Williams has played 61 offensive snaps to Jones’ 81 this season, so it’s more of a timeshare than the Week 2 box score might indicate. Denver allowed a modest 77 receptions to RBs last season and ranks third in open field tackling per FO.
Best Play: Chris Godwin ($6.9k)
The Giants secondary has been predictably awful with young Jabril Peppers replacing stud safety Landon Collins and their best pass rusher (Olivier Vernon) now in a Browns uniform. Jameis Winston should have a field day at home and he should continue to look more towards Chris Godwin with Mike Evans likely shadowed by aging, but still solid CB Janoris Jenkins. Godwin leads the Bucs in targets (15), receptions (11), and receiving yards (174) with Winston’s only two passing TDs through two games. He’ll primarily work against 5-foot-9 Penn State product Grant Haley, creating a mismatch for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound breakout receiver.
Best Value: Emmanuel Sanders ($4.8k)
Game script could play in favor of the Broncos receivers since the Packers could get off to another hot start at home. Joe Flacco has been awful during the first half of his initial starts with the Broncos, but has come alive late and primarily target Manny Sanders down the stretch. Sanders has caught 16 of 20 targets through two games and the veteran is a PPR machine the way he reads defenses and finds openings. Green Bay’s secondary has been excellent thus far, but Sanders has a high floor with his Broncos (+8) expected to play from behind.
Fade: T.Y. Hilton ($6.4k)
Even without Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton has continued to produce as the Colts primary option in the passing game. This week draws what might look like a good matchup on paper, but has actually become difficult with Atlanta’s improvement in the secondary this season. The Falcons rank ninth in DVOA, have given up the third-fewest pass plays (3) of 20-plus yards, and the fewest passing YPG (167) overall this season. Desmond Trufant has been lights out at CB through two games and he could help contain Hilton with safety help.
Best Play: Zach Ertz ($5.7k)
It will be hard to fade Zach Ertz in Cash games with DeSean Jackson (abdomen), Alshon Jeffery (calf) and Dallas Goedert (calf) all likely out this Sunday. Detroit has been solid against opposing TEs under second-year coach Matt Patricia, but the Lions have faced a league-high 45 pass attempts per game and volume alone should carry Ertz in PPR formats. The fleet-footed TE caught 8 of 16 targets and added a 2-point conversion in Week 2, indicating the type of elevated usage he could see with the Eagles other top receivers sidelined.
Best (GPP) Value: O.J. Howard ($3.8k)
After going catchless without seeing a single target last Thursday night, O.J. Howard’s price tag has plummeted on DraftKings. The athletic TE still has immense upside in a great matchup against a Giants team that coughed up 81 receptions and 13.6 DK PPG to his position last year. With Landon Collins now on Washington’s roster, the G-Men are even more vulnerable to TEs and they rank 31st in overall DVOA pass defense with a 132.3 passer rating posted against them this season.
Fade: Travis Kelce ($7.1k)
Coming up even slightly shot of value would make Travis Kelce worth fading, since he’s head and shoulders above the other top options at his position. While Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs can win in any matchup, Baltimore’s defense is nothing short of elite. The Ravens have held opposing QBs to the fifth-lowest passer rating (72.6) this year and ranked fourth in overall DVOA defense. Only two of Kelce’s 10 receiving TDs came at home last season and he averaged a modest 79.3 receiving YPG at Arrowhead Stadium.