NFL

4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 3

Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-priced plays will take up the majority of your salary cap, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.

Week 2 saw some injuries to some star players, but there are still a lot of studs we can roster on this week's main slate. Let's look at some expensive players we'll want to build lineups around in Week 3.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

FanDuel Salary: $8,700
Projected Points: 24.2

A common plea of fans of Russell Wilson or the Seattle Seahawks is to let Russ cook. Well, Russ has been cooking so much to start this season you might as well call him Gordon Ramsay. He has thrown nine touchdowns in the first two games of the season and leads all starting quarterbacks (0.51) in passing Net Expected Points per drop back. This week, it's set up for Russ to need to throw a ton again for his team to compete in the game.

The Seahawks are facing the Dallas Cowboys in a game that looks like it could be a shootout. The over/under on FanDuel Sportsbook is currently 55.5, the highest total in Week 3. The Cowboys' pass defense has struggled to start this season, ranking 25th in numberFire's schedule-adjusted pass defense metric. This results in Seattle having a whopping 30.25 implied team total, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map.

Wilson is fantasy's QB1 through the first two weeks. He is projecting well for us, coming in as the second-highest projected player at any position on this slate. If Russ is cooking again, he could have the upside to win tournaments in this fantastic game environment.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Projected Points: 17.5

On the other side of that game, Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys will bring their high-powered offense to Seattle. Zeke has seen 22 carries in each of the first two games and scored a touchdown in both games. He could have had more than one touchdown in against the Atlanta Falcons, as he saw five carries inside the five-yard line, the most of any running back in Week 2.

Something that has been encouraging for Zeke's usage is his involvement in the passing game. He's seen 11 targets in the first two games and caught a touchdown. He's played on 90% of snaps, the highest percentage for any running back through two weeks, according to Football Outsiders. Another thing going in Elliott's favor is that the Cowboys have been playing at a lightning-fast pace, ranking first in seconds per play and situation neutral pace.

The Cowboys are 5.5 underdogs in this game, which could help Zeke get targets again, as we saw in Week 2. They still have a healthy implied team total of 25.5 points. Elliott is numberFire's second-highest projected running back on the slate and is a great way to get exposure to this game.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 18.0

DeAndre Hopkins has not taken the time to settle into his new home that many people expected. His 22 catches through two weeks are the most in the NFL. He's seen a 32% target share, the highest among wide receivers in the league. This week, he'll get another solid matchup that could see him have a huge game.

The Arizona Cardinals will face the Detroit Lions in another high total game in Week 3. The total is just a point under that Dallas-Seattle game, sitting at 54.5 and the Cardinals team total is the second-highest at 30 points. The Lions schedule-adjusted pass defense ranks 24th in numberFire's metrics. Detroit's secondary is completely banged up, with Justin Coleman on Injured Reserve and Desmond Trufant missing the Week 2 game. Hopkins is already a mismatch for most defensive backs, and now will be facing a few of Detroit's backups.

Nuk is basically lapping the field in our wide receiver projections, as his 18 point projection is nearly three points higher than any other receiver on the slate. He's also the only receiver we have projected for over ten targets, so from a volume perspective, Hopkins is the safest receiver on the slate.

Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

FanDuel Salary: $6,500
Projected Points: 10.9

This isn't a vintage week for the tight end position on the main slate. Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews will face off on Monday Night Football and George Kittle is questionable with a knee injury. So, we can turn to a player who had a big showing on Monday night last week in Darren Waller.

Waller had a massive 16 targets in that game, 42% of Derek Carr's pass attempts were thrown towards him. In fact, Waller leads the NFL in target share through two weeks. The Las Vegas Raiders have a group of wide receivers who are young or lack talent, and haven't been able to earn targets from Carr like Waller has. The matchup isn't the best against the New England Patriots, but Waller should be the first option for the Raiders in the passing game.

Waller the baller is the highest projected tight end we have this week, even if it's just at 10.9 points. With some of the value plays available on the slate, you could pay up for Waller to lock the volume at the position that other players won't be able to match. This makes Waller a decent cash game play, if you have the money to spend.


Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.