Week three of the NFL season is here, and I’ve got your DFS targets loaded up and ready to go! You don’t need me to tell you to start Patrick Mahomes or Ezekiel Elliott, so we’ll focus on some of the lower priced guys in this article with a few exceptions. Below you’ll find five players for each position in week three. One or two obvious plays that I recommend spending up for this week at each position and the rest will be cheaper options that I expect to have high upside this week.
A quick note! Cash games are contests such as 50/50’s, head-to-heads, and smaller contests without a large entry pool. Tournaments are large contests with anywhere from 1,000-500,000 entries. In cash games, you’re generally trying to play it safe and double your money or win a smaller amount. In tournaments, you’re swinging for the fences and aiming to win the big bucks. You must have some contrarian plays to differentiate yourself from the field in tournaments.
Let’s dive right in!
Brees will be costly but worth it. This is a home game, indoors, against a bad defense. The Falcons defense is banged up and the Saints defense has not been great either. This should be a shoot-out. There are better tournament plays, but I want Brees is all my cash lineups.
Ryan has struggled since his incredible campaign in 2016, but for this matchup see above. Everything is in place for this to be a shoot-out. With Devonta Freeman still out and a healthy Julio Jones, Ryan is worth betting on.
Any good craps player knows to never leave the table in the middle of a heater. “Fitzmagic” is on one hell of a heater! Realistically this must end sooner or later and based on his career thus far for Fitzpatrick I’m betting on ‘sooner’. Until that time though he’s a great DFS play. Ride him while he’s hot!
Luck has been somewhat of a game manager since his return, but the Eagles secondary just surrendered 402 yards and 4 touchdowns to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Luck still has immense upside and is a decent DFS tournament play.
Bortles is coming off one of the best statistical performances of his career. 377 yards passing with 4 touchdowns, against the Patriots! Leonard Fournette is still banged up and I don’t expect the Jags to lean on him even if he does play. I wouldn’t start him in a seasonal league but as a tournament DFS play, Bortles is a great choice.
The entire Cardinals offense has been terrible, and Johnson is no exception. Through two games Johnson only has 118 total yards and faces a tough Bears defense. However, nothing has changed in terms of Johnson’s skill and play making ability. He will bounce back eventually, until that time though his price is as cheap as it ever will be for DFS purposes. Play him in tournaments but don’t trust him in cash games.
Dalvin Cook has been ruled out for week three, so Latavius Murray will be starting in his place. The Bills defense has allowed an NFL high six touchdowns to running backs. Backup running backs have scored 14.2 and 23.6 points against the Bills in PPR. Murray is a great value regardless of format.
Bernard is another back up benefiting from the starter being out. In his career, Bernard has had 20 or more touches 8 times. He’s scored double digit fantasy points regardless of format every single time. He will easily hit that number against the Panthers. Start him in DFS, season long, and everything in between.
Jay Ajayi is hurt. That’s a shocker. Corey Clement should be the primary ball carrier in his place but he was listed on the injury report Friday with a quad injury. Monitor this situation and play Clement if he’s healthy in any format. If Clement is out Smallwood is a fantastic tournament play as he will be dirt cheap.
Pop quiz! Who has the most catches on the Lions through two weeks? It’s Theo Riddick! Riddick has had a team high 14 catches, tied with Golden Tate. Despite these catches though, Riddick only has 62 yards, so he hasn’t done much with them. The Lions should certainly be throwing in this game, chasing points against the Patriots. Riddick is a deep PPR tournament play only.
Thomas has 28 catches in two weeks, and he’s not showing any sign of slowing down. As stated for Brees and Ryan, this should be a shoot-out with plenty of fantasy production to go around. Thomas is a very safe cash play but expect a lot of people to be using him in tournaments so try to get away from him there if you can. I wouldn’t blame you for having him in every single lineup though.
Julio has been questionable all week with a calf injury but said “I’m good” when asked about it. That’s all I need to hear. See Thomas, Brees, and Ryan above and take the same exact lineup advice given for Michael Thomas.
Lockett is the number one target for Russell Wilson while Doug Baldwin is sidelined. He is a bit inconsistent, however, and I wouldn’t use him in cash games. The Dallas pass rush was all over Eli Manning in week 2 and I expect the same thing this week with Seattle’s poor O-line. Wilson will likely be running for his life again, but Lockett has scored in each game so far and could do so again. He’s a cheap DFS tournament play.
The return of Prince Ha- I mean Carson Wentz this week has everyone in Philadelphia on the edge of their seats. Agholor has been solid even without Wentz, catching 8 passes in back to back weeks. Alshon Jeffery is still out and an improved QB situation should only boost his value. Agholor is safe in any PPR DFS format.
Brown just has to stay healthy. That’s all there is to it. He’s talented and has scored in back to back weeks. The Denver defense has been poor against receivers, allowing 10+ fantasy points to four wideouts in only two weeks. Brown is a sneaky tournament play but look elsewhere for cash games as he’s only recorded 3 and then 4 catches in the first two weeks.
The Chiefs defense has given up over 400 yards through the air in each of the first two weeks. Kittle is building rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo and quickly becoming one of his “go to guys”. Start Kittle in any DFS format if you want upside at a cheaper price.
Howard is ridiculously talented but hasn’t been targeted like an elite tight end thus far in his career. In week two, Howard had a 75-yard touchdown that was mostly a product of his run after the catch. Consider Howard a good DFS tournament play while Fitzmagic is still riding high.
Ebron is an easy call this week. He’s scored already in each of the first two weeks and Jack Doyle is out. Andrew Luck loves targeting the tight end position and Ebron stands to benefit greatly this week from it. He’s a solid DFS play in any format.
“ASJ” as he’s affectionately known is a low-end tournament play this week if Fournette is out of the lineup. He’s not a big volume guy so don’t expect a lot of targets, but if you want to go deep at tight end ASJ could catch a touchdown.
Dissly is very similar to ASJ. He’s not a big volume player, but he’s caught a touchdown in each of the first two weeks so far. If you’re spending up at receiver or running back and have to save money at tight end Dissly is a decent target.
The Bears draw a favorable match-up against a terrible Arizona offense. The Bears would be a start this week even if they weren’t punishing opposing offenses with Khalil Mack. Start them without hesitation.
Minnesota plays the Bills. That’s all you need to know.
The Texans face the Giants horrendous offensive line this week and should be able to pressure Eli Manning into some poor decisions. Turnovers are very likely in this game, it’s just a question of how many.
Andy Dalton has been on fire so far this season (pun intended) but when Luke Kuechly is healthy the Panthers are usually a good defense. It’s possible that Dalton’s dominance continues so don’t play this D/ST in cash games, but the Red Rifle is prone to a multiple interception game at any time. The Panthers are a tournament DFS play only.
Russell Wilson is not a quarterback you generally want to play a D/ST against, but this season is an exception. The offensive line is awful, the run game is nonexistent, and their top receiver is on the sidelines. Wilson has the “IT factor” and can have a big game at any time, however, based on the first two weeks I expect multiple sacks for this defensive unit with some turnover possibilities as well.