NFL

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Primer: Week 3

Week 3 in the NFL has the potential to be high scoring, with four games featuring a total over 50 points. Unfortunately, two of those matchups are in the prime time slots on Sunday and Monday night, cutting down our options for the Sunday main slate.

In this DFS preview, I'll focus on the Sunday main slate and group players into two categories based on their DraftKing's salaries: players to build around and value plays.

Players to build around are those with high salaries but even higher production ceilings, making them worth prioritizing in your lineup. Value plays are guys with lower salaries and typically come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the more expensive salaries on the slate.

All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

Players to Build Around

QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks ($7,300) vs. DAL

Pete Carroll's notoriously run-heavy offense might be shifting this season, which clearly benefits Russell Wilson's fantasy outlook. Through two games, the Seattle Seahawks have thrown the ball on 54 percent of their plays, which ranks 18th in the league. In 2019, Seattle ranked 28th in pass rate at 49 percent. The Dallas Cowboys pass defense has struggled a bit this year, allowing 8.1 yards per attempt, the 10th worst rate in the league. This matchup also carries the highest total of the slate at 55.5 points, making it a good option for stacks.

QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys ($7,200) vs. SEA

As previously mentioned, this matchup has shootout potential, which makes Dak Prescott a solid option as well. Despite the Seahawks' strong defensive reputation, their pass defense has been a weak spot this season, allowing 8.6 yards per attempt (fifth-worst in the NFL). Seattle has particularly struggled to defend downfield, allowing a completion rate of 74.1 percent on throws 10 or more yards downfield, the worst rate in the league according to Sports Info Solutions.

RB Derrick Henry, Titans ($7,800) vs. MIN

Since he hasn't reached the end zone yet, Derrick Henry's fantasy production has been a little disappointing, but his usage remains elite with 59 touches through two games. This week he draws a great matchup against a struggling Minnesota Vikings defense. Based on ESPN's win-rate metrics, the Tennessee Titans run block win rate (70 percent) holds the largest advantage over its opponent's run-stop rate in Week 3 (Vikings run stop rate: 25 percent). If those numbers hold true on Sunday, this could be the game Henry breaks outs with a monster stat line.

RB Nick Chubb, Browns ($6,900) vs. WSH

The Cleveland Browns' win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 gave us some good insight into what Kevin Stefanski wants his offense to look like when everything is running smoothly, and it involves a heavy dose of Nick Chubb. Entering the year there was some concern that Kareem Hunt would cut into Chubb's workload, but the Browns had no trouble finding room for both against Cincinnati. Chubb finished with 29.3 fantasy points on 23 touches (22 carries, 1 reception) and a similar stat line is plausible against the Washington Football Team with the Browns favored by seven points.

RB Kenyan Drake, Cardinals ($6,000) vs. DET

Through two games, Kenyan Drake ranks 24th among running backs with 13.0 fantasy points per game, but the Detroit Lions' defense may allow him to break out in Week 3. Detroit is allowing 6.5 yards per carry and has given up at least 5.0 yards on 49.2 percent of rushing attempts, the worst rate in the league. With Arizona favored by 5.5 points, there's a chance Drake sees an increased second-half workload as Arizona bleeds the clock.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks ($6,500) vs. DAL

If you're drafting Russell Wilson in a tournament, it makes sense to stack him with one of his receivers. Tyler Lockett ($6,400) sees a slightly higher target share and is also a good option, but D.K. Metcalf is the home-run threat, and therefore has a higher weekly ceiling. When Wilson throws at least 15 yards downfield this season, Metcalf commands a 55 percent target share, according to Sports Info Solutions. Dallas has allowed a receiver to put up at least 20 fantasy points in each of its games this season (Robert Woods and Calvin Ridley), and there's a high probability Metcalf and/or Lockett keeps that streak alive.

WR Amari Cooper, Cowboys ($6,500) vs. SEA

Amari Cooper looks like an ideal stack with Prescott based on his usage (27 percent target share) and Seattle's defensive struggles. As previously mentioned, Seattle has been vulnerable to downfield passes this season and Cooper is tied for the team lead with 7 targets on throws 10 or more yards downfield, according to Sports Info Solutions. Michael Gallup ($5,500) has also seen 7 downfield targets, but only has 10 targets overall -- so he might be worth a shot, but his usage rate is a little concerning at this stage of the season.

Value Plays

QB Carson Wentz, Eagles ($5,800) vs. CIN

The Bengals' defense may be just what Carson Wentz needs to get back on track after two mediocre games to start the year. According to Sports Info Solutions, Cincinnati has generated pressure on just 27.6 percent of opponents' dropbacks, among the worst rates in the league. The risk in taking Wentz is primarily the possibility the Philadelphia Eagles jump out to a large lead (they're favored by 5.5 points). However, given Wentz's inconsistent start to the season, it would make sense for the Eagles to give him opportunities to build up some confidence and get the offense in a groove against one of the league's worst defenses.

RB Joshua Kelley, Chargers ($5,000) vs. CAR

When the Los Angeles Chargers are playing with a lead, Joshua Kelley has a team-high 34 percent usage rate and a 53 percent share of the team's rushing attempts. We're only two games into the season, so this could change, but it appears as though head coach Anthony Lynn prefers Kelley's power running style to the more elusive Austin Ekeler when they need to run the clock. As 6.5-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers, that could potentially make Kelley the preferred Chargers running back to roster this week.

WR Golden Tate, Giants ($4,500) vs. SF

In five games without Sterling Shepard on the field in 2019, Golden Tate saw a 24 percent target share and averaged 18.4 fantasy points per game. With Shepard headed to the IR, this is Tate's time to shine again. At the end of that stretch without Shepard, Tate's salary had risen to $5,900 -- so his cap hit is significantly discounted from where he was valued in this situation a season ago. It's also possible Tate experiences an added boost due to the absence of Saquon Barkley. During those weeks without Shepard last season, Barkley saw a 15 percent target share -- possibly a higher volume than the New York Giants are comfortable giving to Dion Lewis and/or Devonta Freeman.

WR Steven Sims, Football Team ($4,000) vs. CLE

Browns slot cornerback Tavierre Thomas has allowed 12 receptions on 13 targets for 126 yards this season, making this an obvious spot to target the Washington Football Team's slot receiver Steven Sims. With only eight targets through two games, there's a low floor for Sims, but his cap hit is appropriate for his usage rate. In tournaments, he looks like an ideal dart throw in hopes his usage spikes in this favorable matchup against a struggling Browns secondary that has been depleted by injuries.

TE Dalton Schultz, Cowboys ($4,500) vs. SEA

After a breakout game with 22.8 fantasy points last week, Dalton Schultz's salary rose by $800 but he still only carries the 12th highest cap hit among tight ends. In a potential shootout with Seattle, he'll have a similar ceiling. Seattle contained Atlanta Falcons tight end, Hayden Hurst, in Week 1 (6.8 fantasy points) and the New England Patriots don't have a fantasy-relevant tight end this season, so it's tough to know if this is a good matchup. However, the Seahawks did allow six tight ends to rack up at least 15 fantasy points in 2019.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.