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NFL Picks Fantasy Football Values: Top DraftKings DFS Bargain Plays for Week 3

Zach Thompson goes position-by-position to find the best affordable plays for this week’s main DraftKings NFL slate.

For the third straight week to start the season, DraftKings has 13 games packed onto Sunday’s main NFL slate. The Green Bay Packers are in primetime for the second week in a row, and they’ll be joined by the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The other 26 teams are all in play this week on the main slate.

Just like each of the past two weeks, nine games kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET with four games in the later wave. With two weeks of results to review, we’re starting to see how teams will divide workloads and which matchups are ones to attack. Based on potential, workload and matchup, let’s run down my favorite bargain options for Week 3.


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QUARTERBACK

($6,000 and under)

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins, $5,900 – Whether you buy the Raiders as a long-term contender or not, it’s impossible to overlook how outstanding Carr has been to start the season. He has the fifth-highest average of the available QBs on the main slate but has the 12th-highest salary. He put up 27.18 and 28.0 DKFP with two touchdowns in each of the first two weeks, totaling over 800 passing yards against two good defenses, the Ravens and the Steelers. He gets a more favorable matchup against the Dolphins this week, and he will likely be asked to carry the offense with Josh Jacobs ($6,200; toe/ankle) likely absent once again. Carr has had runs of success in the past, and at such an affordable salary, it makes sense to expect him to keep things rolling this week vs. Miami.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns, $5,200 – Fields didn’t do much to make his case for the starting job after taking over for an injured Andy Dalton (knee) last week, but he still gets the start this week since Dalton will be sidelined. Fields only went 6-for-13 with 60 passing yards, 31 rushing yards and 4.5 DKFP, but I actually like this matchup for him since the Browns had trouble with Texans dual-threat QB Tyrod Taylor last week. Fields’ rushing potential gives him a very high ceiling in his NFL debut. He was impressive in the preseason and should open plenty of possibilities for Matt Nagy’s offense.

Other Options: Matt Ryan ($5,400), Jared Goff ($5,200)



RUNNING BACK

($5,000 and under)cabman

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $4,800 – CEH played 72% and 65% of snaps for the Chiefs in their first two games of the season and is clearly the lead back in Kansas City. He had 13 and 14 carries but failed to reach 50 yards in either contest. If the Chiefs return to their more balanced attack, the upside is there for Edwards-Helaire this week since he should be able to find space against the Chargers’ defense. The Chargers have allowed 143.5 rushing yards per game and the third-most DKFP to RBs this season.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants, $4,600 – Patterson has found a significant role in Atlanta, getting seven carries each week as a change-of-pace to Mike Davis ($5,100). More importantly, Patterson got all four RB opportunities in the red zone in Week 2 and converted a rushing and a receiving touchdown on his way to 23.9 DKFP. His work as a receiver also gives him a nice PPR safety net even if he can’t get into the end zone against the Giants.

Other Options: James White ($4,900), Peyton Barber ($4,300)


WIDE RECEIVER

($5,000 and under)

Marvin Jones Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Arizona Cardinals, $4,900 – Jones is in my values for a third straight week, but he’ll probably be priced out of this range moving forward given his volume in a pass-heavy attack for the Jags. In two weeks, Jones has 11 catches on 20 targets for a total of 132 yards and a pair of scores. The Cardinals’ offense has been putting up points in bunches, so the Jags will likely have to stay aggressive to keep up, which should set up starvin’ Marvin to feast again.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns, $4,300 – Mooney should benefit from the potential of Fields’ downfield attack, making him a high-upside, boom-or-bust play against the Browns. Mooney is the clear-cut WR2 for the Bears and has caught 11-of-15 targets for 92 yards. If Fields stretches the field more often than Dalton did, Mooney could break free for a big play or two like Tyreek Hill ($8,400) did against the Browns in Week 1.

Quintez Cephus, Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens, $3,900 – The Lions and Raiders are tied for the NFL lead in pass attempts, so there’s no hesitation to let Jared Goff ($5,200) air it out when playing from behind. Goff’s main WR target in Week 2 was Cephus, who was second on the team behind TE T.J. Hockenson ($5,200) in every major receiving category, finishing with a solid 16.3 DKFP on four catches, 63 yards and his second touchdown in as many games. With Tyrell Williams (concussion) not expected to play again in Week 3, Cephus should be lined up for plenty of volume at home against the Ravens with the potential to continue to emerge as the Lions’ WR1.

Adam Humphries, Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills, $3,700 — Humphries doesn’t stretch the field, but he’s still a fantasy asset since he gets plenty of PPR-work out of the slot. He worked well with Taylor Heinicke ($5,600) against the Giants last Thursday night, hauling in 7-of-8 targets for 44 yards and 11.4 DKFP. With Heinicke under center and the Bills focused on shutting down Terry McLaurin ($6,900), Humphries could be highly targeted again.

Other Options: Marquez Callaway ($4,100), Hunter Renfrow ($4,000), KJ Hamler ($3,600), Scotty Miller ($3,100)


TIGHT END

($4,000 and under)

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, $3,400 – Doyle split work evenly with Mo Alie-Cox ($2,600) in Week 1 but took a 75%-to-45% lead in the timeshare in Week 2. He bumped up his production from 5.1 DKFP to 13.4 DKFP as well and finished second on the team with eight targets. He could be even more involved this week since Jacob Eason ($4,000) could be forced to fill in for Carson Wentz ($5,700; ankle). Doyle is a great security blanket for whoever gets the start and brings PPR upside to this favorable matchup with the Titans.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $3,000 – Another TE whose role seems to be growing is Freiermuth, who the Steelers drafted in the second round out of Penn State. The rookie hauled in all four of his targets for 36 yards in Week 2 and played 59% of the Steelers’ snaps. The rookie should be a great bargain if he continues to develop into a favorite of Ben Roethlisberger ($5,700), who often relies on his TE.

Other Options: Austin Hooper ($3,600), Albert Okwuegbunam ($3,000)


DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

($2,800 and under)

Indianapolis Colts DST at Tennessee Titans, $2,700 – There aren’t any great matchups to target with the value DSTs this week, but the Colts have been a solid fantasy play with 4.0 and 11.0 DKFP against the Seahawks and Rams. They have three takeaways and four sacks in those two contests and should be able to get some sacks against the Titans, who have allowed nine sacks in two games.

Washington Football Team DST at Buffalo Bills, $2,600 — Despite this bad matchup, the Washington Football Team’s defense still is worth considering due to their elite pass rush. They’ll have had extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday, and they always bring upside based on their talent level even though the matchup is not ideal.

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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.


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