After a brutal injury week in Week 2, there are several key positions in flux on many NFL rosters. While the volatility definitely makes things less predictable, it also opens up great DFS value to consider. This Sunday, DraftKings is ready to roll with another massive 13-game main slate on Sunday afternoon. Eight games kick off at 1 p.m. ET, with five games in the later window as well. There are some great matchups to look forward to including the Cowboys visiting the Seahawks and the Rams and Bills facing off in the only matchup of 2-0 teams on Sunday’s schedule.
As you assemble your squad for Week 3, you may find yourself in need of some affordable plays with significant upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays for the week based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity.
($6,000 and under)
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons, $5,700 – Trubisky has led the Bears to a 2-0 start after wins over the Lions and Giants. He threw three scores against Detroit and led a late comeback on his way to 24.28 DKFP. He followed that up with 15.2 DKFP against the Giants in Week 2, throwing for two more touchdowns but only 190 yards, since the Bears relied more on their rushing attack. Trubisky does have three turnovers in his two games but has also shown signs of improvement. He finished with an 80.2 PFF grade against the Giants in Week 2, which is his highest grade since Week 12 of the 2018 season. While he still isn’t near the top of the QB options, he has shown enough upside to keep the starting job for now and to be a fantasy option in a favorable matchup against Atlanta.
The Falcons gave up 34.78 DKFP to Russell Wilson ($7,300) in Week 1 and 43.8 DKFP to Dak Prescott ($7,200) in Week 2. While no one is saying Trubisky is nearly as good as those two superstars, he should be able to put together an above-average week against an Atlanta defense that has been beatable both on the ground and through the air. They have given up the second-most yards and the second-most passing yards in the NFL over the first two weeks. Trubisky should be able to find spots to hit his playmakers in Week 3 and has a high ceiling if he can continue to trend the right direction.
Jeff Driskel, Denver Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,300 – Driskel is expected to take over in Denver while Drew Lock (shoulder) is sidelined, which could be up to six weeks based on the nature of his injury. Driskell looked good stepping in for Lock on Sunday even against the Steelers. Driskel led a comeback that ultimately fell short and finished with 256 yards and two touchdowns for 19.74 DKFP.
Driskel will be starting for his third team in the past three seasons. Last year, he threw for over 200 yards in each of his three starts with the Lions and averaged 50.3 rushing yards per contest as well over that small sample size. Driskel will be without Courtland Sutton (knee), who is out for the rest of the season, but still has plenty of young talent to work with as pass-catchers. Noah Fant ($5,400) has emerged as a great option at TE and rookie WRs Jerry Jeudy ($5,000) and KJ Hamler ($3,000) both have the raw skills to make big plays if they can develop a good connection with Driskel. Facing the Bucs is a pretty neutral matchup for Driskel’s first start of the year, but he seemed comfortable enough in the offense and has the upside to be a solid cheap flier in Week 3.
Other Options: Justin Herbert ($5,900), Baker Mayfield ($5,700)
($5,000 and under)
Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants, $4,900 – With both Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) expected to be sidelined against the Giants, McKinnon will likely step into a large workload. He will likely be very chalky but seems like a free space to good to pass up in this matchup. The Giants have given up an average of 138 yards on the ground in their first two games of the season and gave up big games to David Montgomery ($5,700) and backup Benny Snell ($4,700).
McKinnon has looked sharp in his limited work so far this season and has reminded everyone why he was a hot fantasy prospect when he first signed with San Francisco before being derailed by injury. McKinnon had three carries for 77 yards and a touchdown against the Jets in Week 2 for 13.7 DKFP, almost exactly matching his 13.4 DKFP from Week 1 on three catches for 20 yards and a score. His involvement as both a rusher and receiver shows he can take over an every-down role with Jeff Wilson Jr. ($4,000), who is also a candidate for some touches. If McKinnon gets 15-to-20 touches, he should return great value, so make sure to have some exposure to him in Week 3.
La’Mical Perine, New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts, $4,000 – The Jets leaned heavily on the never-aging Frank Gore ($4,400) in Week 2 after they lost Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) to IR. Gore ran for 63 yards on his 21 carries, only averaging 3.0 yards per carry. If the Jets want to trade Gore’s reliability for some extra upside, though, they could shift the backfield timeshare more in Perine’s direction the next few weeks until Bell is ready to return. Perine missed Week 1 with an ankle injury but took his three carries for 17 yards in Week 2. Even in that extremely limited sample size, Perine logged the fastest speed by any Jets RB to this point in the season, getting up to 17 mph, per NFL Next Gen Stats. He isn’t as tested and proven as Gore but brings more upside with that speed element.
The Jets used a fourth-round pick on Perine out of Florida in the 2020 NFL Draft and Bell’s absence seems like a great opportunity for them to see how ready the rookie is. He only had two limited practices before his debut, so if he gets a full week in leading up to Week 3, he could assume a much larger role in the Jets’ offense.
Other Options: Joshua Kelley ($5,000), Devin Singletary ($4,900), Antonio Gibson ($4,700)
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($5,000 and under)
Golden Tate, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers, $4,500 – Tate missed Week 1 with a hamstring issue but jumped right back into the middle of New York’s passing game with five catches on five targets for 47 yards and 9.7 DKFP against the Bears in Week 2. While Tate was returning from injury, his fellow WR Sterling Shepard (toe) and RB Saquon Barkley (knee) both suffered significant injuries, which will open up usage for the veteran WR moving forward.
Tate played 40-of-65 snaps in his debut and should be ready to ramp that up this week against an injury-depleted San Francisco secondary. Last season, he seemed to have a solid connection with QB Daniel Jones, averaging 8.4 targets in the nine games they played together.
N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $4,200 – Harry has been much more involved this year with Cam Newton ($6,700) at the helm than he was in his rookie year, when Tom Brady ($6,100) didn’t seem invested in the rookie’s development. In his second year, Harry has been targeted 18 times in two games and hauled in 13 catches for 111 yards, already surpassing his 2019 yardage total. His big breakthrough came on Sunday Night against the Seahawks, when he snagged 8-of-12 targets for 72 yards and 15.2 DKFP. He is averaging 11.6 DKFP per game even without the benefit of a touchdown.
The Patriots don’t want to normally throw the ball as much as they were forced to against Seattle, but Harry is showing he can be productive when called upon, especially in PPR formats. He has been playing through a shoulder injury that has had him listed as questionable in each of the first two weeks, but it doesn’t seem to be anything that will limit him moving forward. This week, he’ll face the Raiders, who are traveling east on a short week after their nice win on Monday Night Football.
Steven Sims Jr., Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns, $4,000 – Sims’ Week 2 numbers don’t jump off the page, but a deeper dive shows the potential for more is there if things go his way this week against the Browns. Sims caught 3-of-5 targets for only 53 yards, but the two targets he didn’t catch were both significant shots down the field that would have been big gains if converted. In addition, he had two targets that resulted in defensive penalties and didn’t end up on the final stat sheet.
Sims played 91% of Washington’s offensive snaps against Arizona and also returned punts and kicks, showing that the staff still seems him as a big-time playmaker. The second-year receiver finished last season strong with at least five catches in each of his last three games while scoring a total of four touchdowns during that span. In a good matchup against the Browns, he could return to that level of production and post a big number if Dwayne Haskins ($5,200) looks his way as the defense focuses on Terry McLaurin ($5,900).
Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings, $3,900 – Humphries makes it into my value picks for the second straight week after delivering 15.8 DKFP against the Jaguars in Week 2. He caught 5-of-6 targets for 48 yards and a touchdown after opening the season with six catches for 47 yards against the Broncos.
He typically works out of the slot and seems to have developed a strong connection with Ryan Tannehill ($5,900). Even if the Titans throw the ball less often moving forward, Humphries is still getting enough work that he should remain a viable value play against the 0-2 Vikings, who have allowed opposing WRs to rack up 202.5 yards per game against them and catch a total of five touchdowns in two games, more than any other team in the NFL.
Other Options: Darius Slayton ($4,900), Michael Pittman Jr. ($4,000), Braxton Berrios ($3,600)
($4,000 and under)
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns, $3,700 – Thomas continues to play a big role in Washington’s new offense under coach Ron Rivera, so I’m going back to him as a value play this week. He was targeted nine times in Week 2 after getting eight targets in Week 1. He had 13.7 DKFP against the Eagles with a touchdown in Week 1 but only had four catches for 26 yards and 6.6 DKFP against the Cardinals. The good news for Thomas, though, is that the targets are still there, which gives him an opportunity to step up moving forward.
The Browns have been a great matchup for TEs in recent seasons and that trend has continued this year. Last Thursday night, Cleveland gave up 11 catches, 87 yards and a TD to the Bengals after allowing two touchdowns to Mark Andrews in Week 1. If Thomas continues to get a high volume of targets, he should be able to capitalize with a big game in Cleveland.
Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles, $3,500 – Most of that damage against the Browns in Week 2 was done by Drew Sample, who took over after C.J. Uzomah went down with a torn Achilles. Sample was targeted nine times in the first significant action of his career and pulled in seven catches for 45 yards. Most of those passes were short checkdown passes, but he definitely was a favorite option for rookie QB Joe Burrow ($6,200).
Sample doesn’t have much of a track record as a pass-catcher even from college, but the Bengals took him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Sample missed most of last season with an ankle injury, so he’s a bit of an unknown wild card coming into his first role as an NFL starter.
Other Options: Mo Alie-Cox ($3,800), Jordan Akins ($3,400)
($2,800 and under)
Vikings DST, Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans, $2,500 – After getting crushed in Week 1 by the Packers, the new-look Vikings DST bounced back with a stronger showing against the Colts. While the team still lost, Minnesota’s defense had two sacks and an interception for 4.0 DKFP after posting an ugly -4.0 DKFP in Week 1. They only allowed 354 yards to the Colts in Week 2 as well, which is a huge improvement from the 522 yards they allowed in Week 1.
Jets DST, New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts, $2,000 – The Jets are the cheapest DST on the board for the main slate, but they have actually been pretty solid in their first two games. In each of their losses to both the Bills and 49ers, the Jets have had three sacks, and they have totaled three takeaways to average 5.5 DKFP. While that number isn’t a huge one, it is higher than any other defense under $3K except for the Bears ($2,900) and the Giants ($2,700). The Colts have ranked in the middle of the pack with 24 points per game over the first two weeks while giving up three sacks and turning the ball over three times in the first two weeks. They are definitely a punt play in Week 3, but they do have more upside than many cheap options.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.