The 2020-21 NFL season has kicked off and there are huge Week 3 DFS contests being offered on FanDuel with big prize pools and exciting new formats such as Best Ball.

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. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.

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.

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Top NFL DFS FanDuel Plays for Week 3

Quarterback

Best Play: Cam Newton ($7.7k)

Rushing stats are especially important in FanDuel’s scoring system and Newton has become the most dangerous goal-line runner in the NFL since joining the Patriots. New England is hosting a Raiders team that’s yielding 4.9 YPC and has coughed up 4 rushing TDs, including a pair of relatively easy scores last week. The Raiders are in a letdown spot as they travel cross country and are vulnerable to the goal-line formations the Pats are running with Newton as basically the sole option.

Value Play: Matthew Stafford ($7.3k)

Stafford and the Lions offense have not produced big numbers through two games, but could be poised to take off with Kenny Golladay (hamstring) set to return this week. Golladay can occupy Cardinals top CB Patrick Peterson while Marvin Jones Jr. and T.J. Hockenson operate in plus matchups. Detroit has the eighth-highest pass-play percentage (61.54%) and Arizona is playing at the third-fastest pace in the league.  

GPP Play: Ben Roethlisberger ($7.5k)

With Big Ben back, the Steelers have a premier big-play offense once again. He’s working with burners JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, and rookie Chase Claypool, who broke an 85-yard TD last Sunday for the longest play in the NFL this season. Roethlisberger will continue to take shots against a competitive Texans team and he’s been more dangerous at home throughout his career. 

Fade: Matt Ryan ($7.8k)

After two huge weeks to open the season, Ryan should see his volume decline against Chicago. The Bears at the fourth-slowest pace in first halves and rank fifth in DVOA pass defense through two games. Mitchell Trubisky is not going to keep the pressure on Atlanta the way the Seahawks and Cowboys offenses did, and the Falcons (-3 at DraftKings Sportsbook) are in a favorable betting spot. 

Running Back

Best Play: Jonathan Taylor ($6.7k)

Taylor is an economical option this week with plenty of upside in a game the Colts (-10 at DK) are expected to control. The Jets are getting crushed in time of possession and are coughing up 4.6 YPC through two games. Taylor handled 28 touches in the Colts first game without Marlon Mack (Achilles) and Nyheim Hines was an afterthought. 

Value Play: Jeff Wilson Jr. ($5.2k)

The public should be all over Jerick McKinnon ($5.7k) with Tevin Coleman (knee) and Raheem Mostert (knee) out this week, yet it will likely be Wilson Jr. handling goal-line touches. The Niners (-4 at DK) could be more conservative with Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and George Kittle (knee) questionable and the Giants are giving up 4.5 YPC. The Niners’ offensive line has created the third-most adjusted RB yards (5.78), so Wilson should have an easy time converting if he gets opportunities.

GPP Play: Kenyan Drake ($6.5k)

Even in a juicy matchup against Detroit’s dead-last run defense, Drake might not be a popular play. He’s tallied a modest 146 rushing yards with a TD while Kyler Murray ($8.4k) has burst for 158 yards and 3 TDs through two Cardinals wins. Expect the Lions to spy Murray with multiple defenders, opening inside handoffs for Drake against a team that’s yielding a league-high 6.5 YPC.

Fade: Nick Chubb ($7.8k)

Washington’s defensive line has been outstanding under Ron Rivera and the Football Team actually ranks first in DVOA rush defense through two games. Chubb has played on just 54% of offensive snaps this season and didn’t handle a single red zone touch in a tough matchup at Baltimore. Kareem Hunt ($6.2k) could see another close split in a game that might be surprisingly close.

Wide Receiver

Best Play: JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7.0k)

The Texans defense has limited deep pass plays against the Chiefs and Ravens, but Smith-Schuster is a versatile WR capable of doing work in the short and intermediate areas as well. He’s caught 13 of 14 targets and could start to see more of a target share if Diontae Johnson is slowed by his hamstring injury. Expect low ownership of JuJu after a quiet game against Denver, yet his floor-ceiling combination makes him a solid play in any format. 

Value Play: Tyler Boyd ($5.8k)

Joe Burrow threw a whopping 61 times last Thursday night and should see heavy volume against an Eagles team that tries to shut down the run. Philly also loves to blitz under DC Jim Schwartz and if they come after the rookie, his primary hot read will be Boyd, especially with TE C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) lost for the year. A.J. Green is struggling after missing last season and Boyd flashed some red zone potential in Week 2.

GPP Play: Jerry Jeudy ($5.3k)

The Broncos transition to Jeff Driskel as their starter with Drew Lock (shoulder) out multiple weeks, and Driskel showed an immediate tendency to target Jeudy. The rookie caught 4 of 7 targets for 62 yards in a brutal matchup at Pittsburgh and should see more volume against a Tampa Bay defense that sells out to stop the run. His role is sure to expand with Courtland Sutton (ACL) done for the season.

Fade: Stefon Diggs ($6.9k)

Diggs has been fantastic through his first two games with Buffalo, yet his gaudy numbers came against two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Now he’ll face Jalen Ramsey and a Rams team that ranks eighth in DVOA pass defense, and the Rams could generate consistent pressure on Josh Allen.

Tight End

Best Play: Noah Fant ($5.8k)

Fant is an extremely athletic, new-age TE and he continued to produce after Lock went down with a shoulder injury last Sunday. Driskel missed Fant on a potential TD throw in the end zone and the pair should be on the same page after a week of practice. The Bucs’ defensive scheme leaves them vulnerable to TEs and they coughed up the sixth-most receiving yards (954) to the position last year.

Value Play: Mo Alie-Cox ($5.0k)

Even if Jack Doyle (knee) is active this Sunday, the Colts should keep Alie-Cox involved. He’s a 6-foot-6, 260-pounder with some WR skills and developed an immediate rapport with Philip Rivers. Colts slot WR Parris Campbell (knee) is out indefinitely and Alie-Cox could move into that role for some snaps.

GPP Play: T.J. Hockenson ($5.4k)

The Cardinals might have shored up some of their defensive issues after coughing up a whopping 16 TDs to TEs last year, but they’re still vulnerable. As mentioned, the Lions-Cardinals matchup has juicy DFS implications with a 54.5-point total (DK Sportsbook) assigned to these pass-first offenses. Hockenson might get overlooked with Golladay due back, but his individual matchup is far softer.

Fade: Jonnu Smith ($5.6k)

The Vikings defense may be a popular target for good reason, but they’re still strong in one area – against TEs. Minnesota was the only NFL team to allow 1 TD to the position last year thanks mostly to LB Eric Kendricks and SS Harrison Smith. This proud unit has been embarrassed through two games and should bounce back with a more disciplined effort at home.

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