It is so exciting to have real, live NFL football back in our lives. One of my favorite aspects of fantasy football has become playing on DraftKings. Every week is like a new puzzle to figure out. Whether you are more of a cash game player or a tournament player, each presents a unique challenge. Let’s take a look at my favorite Week 3 DraftKings plays.
Week 3 DraftKings Plays
Week 2 Recap
It’s always good to be completely transparent and demonstrate accountability. That’s what I like to do with everything I do and that goes for fantasy football as well. Whether it’s bold takes or DraftKings recommendations, I always like to keep track of wins and losses. It’s not only good for the readers to know, but also helps me learn from mistakes moving forward.
For full transparency each week I'll recap my #DraftKings plays to see if they hit the 2.5x we generally shoot for each week in cash builds!#FantasyFootball#NFL #NFLTwitter #DFS@BlazedRTs@MyFantasyLeague
— ✴️Rob Norton✴️ (@norton0723) September 18, 2023
Looking back at Week 2, it was a little better than Week 1. This week 60% of my recommendations hit the 2.5x value we look for in cash game lineups. This time the quarterback group led the way tied at a 100% success rate. Meanwhile, the tight end group brought up the rear tied at a 20% success rate. Personally, I was not able to make a profit. We’ll look to get it going even better with the picks and get back into the profits in the Week 3 DraftKings plays.
- Week 2 – $260 → $152 ($108 LOSS)
- Year Total – $487 → $198 ($289 LOSS)
Kirk Cousins (MIN) – $6,900 v LAC
After two weeks of play, Kirk Cousins is the OVERALL QB1 on the season. That’s exactly how fantasy managers drew it up a few weeks ago. He’s currently averaging 27.5 DraftKings points per game. It helps that the Minnesota Vikings are the most pass-happy team in the NFL so far passing at a 67% rate in context-neutral situations. The next closest team is at 61% and only three teams (counting the Vikings) are even at 60%. This week should be more of the same as Cousins has a dream matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. They have allowed the second-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks so far this year. This game also has the best game environment, by far, and possibly one of the best we’ve seen all year. The combined total is 53.5 points and the Vikings have an implied team total of 27.5 points. This game is also being played in a dome as well, a boost to passing offenses. Add it all up and Cousins looks like one of the best Week 3 DraftKings plays.
NFL neutral pass rates pending MNF.
No Steelers yet because of sample size. pic.twitter.com/GRPRhf8aRD
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) September 18, 2023
Andy Dalton (CAR) – $4,900 @ SEA
Here’s a case of a player being priced as a backup when the pricing came out but stepping into a starting role because of injury. Rookie Bryce Young is dealing with an ankle issue and is very likely to miss this week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are not a good defense, especially in the secondary. They have allowed the eighth-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks so far this year. Seattle also has a good offense so Dalton and the Carolina Panthers will need to put up points to keep up. The Panthers are currently 6.5-point underdogs so they’ll be throwing plenty in this one. Ultimately, Dalton is priced cheaper than some quarterbacks that won’t even be playing so he makes for a solid option if you’re looking to save some salary at the quarterback position.
Others to Consider: Russell Wilson (DEN) – $5,900 @ MIA, Geno Smith (SEA) – $5,700 v CAR, Gardner Minshew (IND) – $5,100 @ BAL
Tony Pollard (DAL) – $8,000 @ ARI
It wasn’t too long ago that many fantasy managers were questioning whether Tony Pollard could handle a full workload. I think we can put those worries to bed after he saw 32 touches last week. The Dallas Cowboys have given Pollard truly insane usage in the first two weeks. They have the best expected fantasy points for their running backs through two weeks, and it’s not even close. Pollard is the RB4 on the season to this point and is averaging 21.1 DraftKings points per game. The matchup is a nice one as well. The Arizona Cardinals are not a good team and defense at all and the Cowboys are massive, 12.5-point favorites in this one. They also have one of the highest implied team totals at 27.5 points. That’s a beautiful setup for Pollard to keep the good times rolling. The matchup plus the elite usage make him one of the best Week 3 DraftKings plays.
NFL team RB fantasy usage through 2 weeks pic.twitter.com/OBz2rO5ml8
— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) September 19, 2023
Jerome Ford (CLE) – $4,800 v TEN
Here’s another case of a player being priced as a backup but is now handling a starter’s workload. Unfortunately, Nick Chubb went down with a gruesome knee injury on Monday Night Football so now Jerome Ford is the next man up. He looked good in relief of Chubb last week but this week will be a much tougher test against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have become known as one of the stingiest run defenses in the NFL dating back to last year and being more of a pass funnel. Luckily Ford should be involved in the passing game a bit as well. Ultimately, if Ford is going to get 15+ touches, it doesn’t matter if it’s the 1985 Bears defense, the $4,800 price tag is simply far too cheap for this type of volume in a good, Cleveland Browns‘ rushing offense.
Others to Consider: Travis Etienne (JAX) – $6,900 v HOU, Jahmyr Gibbs (DET) – $6,600 v ATL, Joshua Kelley (LAC) – $5,400 @ MIN, Kenneth Walker III (SEA) – $6,200 v CAR, Zack Moss (IND) – $5,500 @ BAL
Justin Jefferson (MIN) – $9,300 v LAC
Any week is a good week to play Justin Jefferson. This week just feels extra special. As previously mentioned, this game environment and the matchup are about as good as it gets. The game is being played in a dome, with a close spread, and the highest combined total on the entire slate. It’s also being played in a dome and the Vikings are the pass-happiest team in the NFL. On top of it, Jefferson is averaging 28 DraftKings points per game. The crazy part is he is doing the despite not having scored a touchdown so far. Jefferson has caught 20 of his 25 targets for 309 yards in his first two games. He’s on a historical pace and that should only continue in this one. Add it all up and he looks like one of the best Week 3 DraftKings plays at any position even at the elevated price tag.
Look away Bears fans 😬
Justin Jefferson is unreal pic.twitter.com/Xk4pYjZoeB
— PFF (@PFF) September 15, 2023
Tank Dell (HOU) – $3,600 @ JAX
Tank Dell was a divisive prospect coming into this year’s NFL Draft. Many analysts were completely out due to his small stature while others thought he was an explosive athlete and playmaker with the ball in his hands. It’s been a mixed bag so far in two weeks but last week Dell was awesome. He caught seven of his ten targets for 72 yards and a score on his way to 20.2 DraftKings points. Dell was one of the most popular waiver wire grabs this week and DraftKings must not have gotten the message as they kept his price tag super cheap. It will be interesting to see if his spikes in route participation and target share from last week can hold moving forward, but at $3,600 it’s worth a shot to find out.
Others to Consider: Amari Cooper (CLE) – $5,700 v TEN, Keenan Allen (LAC) – $7,600 @ MIN, Marquise Brown (ARI) – $4,900 v DAL, Mike Williams (LAC) – $6,000 @ MIN, Nico Collins (HOU) – $5,300 @ JAX, Adam Thielen (CAR) – $3,900 @ SEA
Mark Andrews (BAL) – $6,000 v IND
After missing Week 1 due to injury, Mark Andrews came back in Week 2 and looked no worse for wear. He caught five of his eight targets for 45 yards and a touchdown on his way to 15.5 DraftKings points. The eight targets were very encouraging to see in his first game back from injury. He’s the clear-cut alpha target for Lamar Jackson in this offense, just as he has been for years now. It should be more of the same against the Indianapolis Colts this week. The Colts aren’t a bad defense but not one to avoid either and they are weaker against the pass than the run. They have also been playing at a faster pace on offense which helps push both offenses. The Baltimore Ravens also have a nice 26.5-point implied team total as well. Andrews, like Travis Kelce, has the ability to be a true slate-changer at a bad position. Combine that with this set up and that makes him one of the best Week 3 DraftKings plays.
Kyle Pitts (ATL) – $3,900 @ DET
I’m not sure there is anyone who’s more “down bad” than Kyle Pitts and his fantasy managers. The risk is that the usage doesn’t continue but at this price point, it’s worth the chance to find out. This is the first time he’s been under $4,000 in a while, not that it’s not deserved. On the season Pitts is only averaging five DraftKings points per game and scored less than seven in both. He’s only caught four passes for 59 yards on eight targets through those two games. The Atlanta Falcons have continued to be one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL. This week that (hopefully) will change a bit against the Detroit Lions. The Lions are a very good offense so the Falcons will need to throw more to keep up. They are also currently three-point underdogs in a game with a nice 46.5-point combined total. This one is also being played in a dome and the Lions defense has allowed the third-most DraftKings points to tight ends so far. If Pitts doesn’t have at least a solid game in this one, the panic meter is going to hit its max.
Last week, the #Lions gave up 131 receiving yards at the TE position. They struggle vs. athletic TE.
As gross as it sounds, this may be the best chance to play and cash in on Kyle Pitts.
Stay tuned for more nuggets like this in my Week 3 NFL DFS write-up.#NFLDFS
— C🅾️mmissi🅾️ner 🅱️reeze 🏈🏆🏀⚾️ (@mcbreeze11) September 20, 2023
Others to Consider: Chigoziem Okonkwo (TEN) – $3,200 @ CLE, Zach Ertz (ARI) – $3,500 v DAL, Sam LaPorta (DET) – $4,000 v ATL
In terms of choosing a defense/special teams, it’s the last spot I fill in every week. It’s pretty random but there are a few areas to gain an advantage. I look to target the heavily favored teams as they usually are playing with a lead. This forces their opponent to throw it more often which can help lead to extra sacks and turnovers and hopefully a touchdown. Another aspect to target is turnover and sack-prone quarterbacks. My advice is to fill out the rest of your lineup first and then pick your favorite D/ST out of the remaining money.
My Tentative Cash Game Lineup
- QB – Kirk Cousins
- RB – Jerome Ford
- RB – Zack Moss
- WR – Justin Jefferson
- WR – Mike Williams
- WR – Tank Dell
- TE – Zach Ertz
- Flex – Tony Pollard
- DST – Indianapolis Colts
Make sure to tune in next week to see the results from my Week 3 DraftKings plays and to see the best picks for Week 4. Best of luck to everyone and let’s all enjoy some football and win some money!
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Main Photo: Charles LeClaire – USA Today Sports