The 2020-21 NFL season is in full swing and 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. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.
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 BEST CONTESTS
Top NFL DFS DraftKings Plays for Week 3
Best Play: Russell Wilson ($7.3k)
The Seahawks are finally letting Russ cook and their pass defense has been bad enough that we can predict another good game script this week with the Cowboys coming to town. Jamal Adams and company will likely sell out to stop the run and force Dak Prescott ($7.2k) to throw a ton, thus extending the game. Dallas is playing at the fastest pace in the NFL thus far in neutral situations. The Cowboys have struggled in pass defense with Byron Jones gone and Anthony Brown (groin) injured, and Wilson is playing better than any QB in football.
Value Play: Teddy Bridgewater ($5.2k)
We won’t see Christian McCaffrey (ankle) for several weeks, so new Panthers HC Matt Rhule will have to put a lot more on Bridgewater’s shoulders. He’s facing a solid Chargers pass defense this week but could see 40-plus attempts for a second straight week given the state of the Panthers defense. If Justin Herbert ($5.9k) starts over Tyrod Taylor, he could also serve as a great value while increasing Bridgewater’s volume by creating negative game flow for the Panthers.
GPP Play: Cam Newton ($6.7k)
When you have a QB serving as the primary rushing option in goal-line situations, it’s hard to match that upside. Newton has handled 25 rushes and scored 4 TDs already this season, averaging 32.1 DK PPG in the process. The Raiders rank 28th in DVOA rush defense and are coughing up 4.9 YPC through two games. They’re also in a letdown spot on a short week and traveling cross country to an eastern time zone to face a physical Patriots team.
Fade: Josh Allen ($6.9k)
Allen has gotten off to an incredible start with a 125.8 passer rating through two starts, yet those numbers came against the pathetic Jets and injury-plagued Dolphins defenses. Now he’ll face an extremely talented Rams team that ranks eighth in DVOA pass defense and can generate pressure up the middle with Aaron Donald.
Best Play: Dalvin Cook ($7.4k)
There are tons of value options to consider at RB this week, but few plays with the same floor/ceiling combination as Cook. Even with the Vikings offense imploding in Indianapolis last Sunday, Cook managed 63 rushing yards and a TD to exceed value. Tennessee gave up 139 rushing yards to a weak Jaguars rushing attack last week and is coughing up 5.1 YPC through two games. Minnesota should look to get back on track at home by establishing the run.
Value Play: Jerick McKinnon ($4.9k)
Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) are both doubtful for Sunday’s tilt at the Giants, leaving McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. ($4.0k) to lead the Niners backfield. McKinnon has been wildly productive with 121 yards and 2 TDs on just 9 touches this season as he bounces back from an ACL tear. While Wilson is the primary candidate to convert a goal-line carry into a score, McKinnon has more upside in PPR formats.
GPP Play: Joshua Kelley ($5.0k)
If the masses gravitate towards Mike Davis ($5.1k) with McCaffrey ruled out, Kelley could pay off as an overlooked option in the same game. Austin Ekeler is still the Chargers starter, but they immediately turn to the 212-pound 4th round pick when they want to run between the tackles. Kelley has handled 35 carries through two close games and the Chargers could control the action against a Panthers team that’s given up a league-high 6 rushing TDs.
Fade: Josh Jacobs ($7.3k)
The Raiders put on a show on MNF and produced against the Saints tough run defense with some misdirection plays. The Patriots will absolutely be better prepared to face those looks as the Raiders travel cross country on a short week, and NE has very good personnel up front even if their LB corps is primarily filled with new faces. Jacobs is averaging a modest 3.5 YPC through two games and could cede passing work to Jalen Richard ($4.6k) if the Pats jump out to a lead.
Best Play: DeAndre Hopkins ($7.9k)
Hopkins has seen a 35.7% target share through two games with the Cardinals and could see double-digit targets against the struggling Lions defense. Detroit got rookie CB Jeff Okudah back on the field in Week 2, but were still missing veteran Desmond Trufant (hamstring) and looked out of sorts against the Packers. The Lions are coughing up 12.7 yards per catch and so are the Cardinals, so this game has lucrative DFS options on both sides.
Value Play: CeeDee Lamb ($5.4k)
Slot receivers have become even more productive in today’s flag-happy NFL and that partially explains why Lamb has drawn more targets and caught 8 more balls than Michael Gallup through his first two NFL appearances. The Cowboys could get into another shootout this Sunday against a Seahawks team that ranks 28th in DVOA pass defense and has been particularly vulnerable against slot receivers.
GPP Play: Terry McLaurin ($5.9k)
The Browns are playing funnel defense under new HC Kevin Stefanski and that forced Joe Burrow to throw 61 times in Cleveland last Thursday. Dwayne Haskins is not going to produce at the same level, but when his primary target is clearly McLaurin. The Ohio State product has caught 12 of 17 targets for 186 yards and the Browns have coughed up a league-high 6 receiving TDs through 2 games.
Fade: Mike Evans ($6.8k)
The Bucs offense bounced back in Week 2 with Evans leading an early charge against the weak Panthers secondary. Yet now Chris Godwin (concussion) should return to split targets with Evans in a tougher matchup. Denver is allowing the fourth-fewest yards per catch (9.7) and still has a pass rush capable of bothering Tom Brady despite losing Von Miller (Achilles) for the year.
Best Play: Darren Waller ($5.7k)
The Patriots arguably have the best coaching staff when it comes to creating game plans, but even Bill Belichick will struggle to contain Waller with his personnel. New England lost several key LBs in free agency and TE stopper Patrick Chung opted out prior to the season. They’ll miss Chung as an option to cover Waller, who is basically a receiver with TE size and sure hands.
Value Play: Dalton Schultz ($4.5k)
The Cowboys offensive scheme continues to funnel targets towards TEs and Schultz is the next man up at that position with Blake Jarwin (knee) done for the season. The 6-foot-5, 244-pound Stanford product knows how to operate against a zone and Seattle plays plenty of Cover 2. He’s a solid Cash play in PPR formats in a game with the highest total (55.5) on the slate.
GPP Play: Austin Hooper ($4.4k)
Big games from TEs tend to come when we least expect them and Hooper has done nothing to draw attention through his first two games with the Browns. He played on 57 of 58 offensive snaps in Week 2, but Cleveland only threw 23 times against the Bengals soft run defense. Washington’s sporting one of the best run defenses in the NFL through two games, but remains vulnerable at the back end after coughing up the third-most receiving TDs (9) and seventh-most receptions (85) to TEs last year.
Fade: Tyler Higbee ($5.9k)
Higbee is coming off a three TD performance in Week 2 and is due for regression in a tough matchup. Buffalo allowed the third-fewest receptions (59) and seventh-fewest receiving scores (5) to TEs last season. While the Bills couldn’t contain hybrid WR/TE Mike Gesicki last week, expect some adjustments this Sunday as they look to slow Higbee following his monster game against the struggling Eagles.