Week 3 FanDuel, DraftKings Picks: Best sleepers, advice, strategy for NFL DFS lineups
There are a lot of studs you’re going to want to target in your NFL DFS lineups this week. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will be facing off in Arrowhead Stadium, Ezekiel Elliott is at home against the Dolphins (one of the worst defenses in recent memory), and Dalvin Cook is a home favorite against the Raiders. To get to your favorite superstars in DraftKings and FanDuel contests, you’re going to have to save money somewhere, and there are plenty of potential value sleeper picks this week (particularly at wide receiver, where you could fill an entire column with the likes of Devin Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, DeVante Parker, James Washington, Emmanuel Sanders, John Ross, Mecole Hardman, and more).
Before we get into the top Week 3 value plays, we should remind you this analysis is provided by the experts at RotoQL. Find out why 100,000 DFS players trust RotoQL to build lineups. Optimize, find value plays, and increase your chances of cashing today!
NFL DFS Picks Week 3: QB sleepers, values
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers vs. Giants (DraftKings $5,400 | FanDuel $7,300)
Entering the season with high expectations, Winston had a disastrous opening game against San Francisco which seemed to sour the entire fantasy industry on him. Tampa’s line couldn’t protect him against a genuinely fearsome 49ers pass rush, but more to the point, the design of the offense and Winston’s oft-questioned decision making left much to be desired in Week 1.
While Winston’s numbers rose to “meh” last Thursday against the Panthers (16-for-25, 208 yards, TE, no INTs), he was victimized by drops on sure touchdowns to Mike Evans in the first quarter and Breshard Perriman in the third. If you added the 45 yards and two additional touchdowns to Winston’s statline, his salary coming into this week’s contests would much higher.
The Buccaneers have an implied team total of 27.5 points against a Giants defense that ranks 31st against the pass according to DVOA and has already allowed an average of 27.8 fantasy points to quarterbacks, due largely to its non-existent pass rush. This is Tampa’s last game at Raymond James Stadium until Nov. 10, so it will likely be looking to find its rhythm on offense and get both Evans and O.J. Howard going before a five-game road stretch.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts vs. Falcons (DraftKings $5,200 | FanDuel $6,800)
Brissett has been decent in his first two games as the Colts starter, posting five touchdowns against one interception while throwing for just 336 yards. But those were two road games against opponents that play slow and have good defenses. Getting to face the Falcons in the Lucas Oil Stadium will be a pleasant departure for the dual-threat quarterback.
Atlanta’s defense is, by design, vulnerable in the middle of the field, and the Colts have two tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle who can exploit that weakness. Additionally, pass-catching back Nyheim Hines makes for an intriguing sleeper against a defense that’s allowed the most receptions to running backs in every season of Dan Quinn’s tenure. To top it off, T.Y. Hilton has been much better at home throughout his career and seems to already have a connection with Brissett, as he’s averaging 21.5 DK points per game.
With a current implied score of Colts 24, Falcons 23, Indianapolis will likely put the pedal to the floor in an effort to score as many points as possible in a game with significant shootout potential.
Week 3 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: RB sleepers, values
Devonta Freeman, Falcons at Colts (DraftKings $4,900 | FanDuel $6,200)
There were high hopes for Freeman to return to a place of fantasy relevance heading into 2019. He entered the year healthy and the backfield was seemingly his with Tevin Coleman in San Francisco, but the early returns for the former fantasy first-rounder have not been impressive, largely due to tough matchups against the Vikings and Eagles.
This looks to be the week things turn around for Freeman, and it couldn’t happen at a more appealing price point. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has proclaimed that he wants the offense to be run-first moving forward as Atlanta heads to Indianapolis to face a Colts team that’s allowed 28.3 fantasy points per game to RBs, the third most in the NFL. Even worse, the Colts could be without last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, as Darius Leonard is in concussion protocol.
With the Falcons sitting as one-point underdogs, this game should be close with the potential for a barnburner. Freeman’s on the right side of his splits, averaging 4.4 yards per carry on the road vs 4.1 at home and 4.5 yards per carry in domes vs. 4.0 outdoors, and he’s poised to be a low-owned gem on this week’s main slate.
Frank Gore, Bills vs. Bengals (DraftKings $4,400 | FanDuel $5,700)
Gore has lost more steps in his 15-year NFL career than most players are ever blessed with, but he’s somehow managed to stay ahead of father time. A month ago Gore figured to be an afterthought in Buffalo’s backfield, but with Shady McCoy in Kansas City and rookie sensation Devin Singletary questionable because of a hamstring issue, Gore looks to be the Bills’ lead back this week.
The spot is extremely favorable for Gore, as the Bills are six-point home favorites against the Bengals, who have surrendered an NFL-high 35.4 fantasy points per game to running backs and rank 31st in run defense according to DVOA.
Gore looked spry against the Giants on Sunday, rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown while catching two balls for 15 yards, and he should easily hit value if Singletary indeed sits. ( Update: Singletary has been ruled out for Week 3.)
FanDuel, DraftKings Picks Week 3: WR sleepers, values
Curtis Samuel, Panthers at Cardinals (DraftKings $4,800 | FanDuel $5,800)
The third-year speedster out of Ohio State was one of the preseason’s most buzzed-about wide receivers, and Samuel will be following Thursday’s 13-target game with one of the best matchups for his position.
At 21.4 seconds per play, the Cardinals are running at the fastest pace in the NFL by a wide margin. The second fastest team in the NFL this season is the Panthers at just under 24 seconds per play. In 2018, the Colts were the fastest team at 26.3 seconds per play. This may be the most snaps we’ll see in an NFL game all season.
Until Patrick Peterson returns from suspension, the Cardinals’ defensive backfield is one of the least talented in the league and should be easy pickings for Samuel, who has amassed 17 targets in his first two games for a 19-percent market share. With a 15.2-yard average depth of target, Samuel has received 33 percent of the Panthers’ air yards.
Samuel is a safe bet to see double-digit targets and with his speed and elusiveness, that puts his ceiling among the highest in the game this week. And given how much Cam Newton has struggled this year, we’re not sure Samuel gets downgraded much with Kyle Allen potentially starting under center.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles vs. Lions (DraftKings $3,600 | FanDuel $4,800)
Asholor posted a monster stat line against the Falcons on Sunday night (8-107-1) and is poised for another stellar outing against the Lions this week.
Philadelphia’s pass-happy attack looks to be short on receiving options with Alshon Jeffrey (calf), Dallas Goedert (calf), and DeSean Jackson (groin) doubtful. This sets up to be a game where Carson Wentz targets the versatile Agholor early and often.
Because the Eagles played in Sunday’s late game, pricing does not reflect the increased market share Agholor can expect to receive. He is simply mispriced, so roster him with confidence.
BetQL, RotoQL’s sister product, simplifies the research process for sports bettors by equipping them with real-time line movements, value bets of the day and meaningful team trends.
Week 3 NFL DFS Picks: TE sleepers, values
Greg Olsen, Panthers at Cardinals (DraftKings $4,800 | FanDuel $6,100)
As outlined in the Curtis Samuel section, this game will be played at an incredibly fast pace and may see the most snaps in regulation of any game this season. More snaps means Olsen’s 20-percent target share (18 through two games) and 23-percent air-yard share (176 yards) will be even more valuable.
In his 13th NFL season, Olsen appears to be fully healthy after two injury-riddled campaigns and has reasserted himself as a viable option in Carolina’s offense, catching 10 balls for 146 yards in the first two weeks. Even though Cam Newton might miss this game due to injury, Olson will undoubtedly be a major part of the team’s passing offense in a pace-up spot.
Olsen’s priced too low for the game environment, and when considering the opponent (the Cardinals have allowed an unfathomable 45.4 fantasy points to tight ends in the first two games), he’s one of the most appealing plays on the entire slate.
Jared Cook, Saints at Seahawks (DraftKings $3,800 | FanDuel $5,800)
When drafted into duty against Aaron Donald and the Rams defense, Teddy Bridgewater targeted Cook seven times on Sunday afternoon. While Cook was only able to secure two balls for 25 yards, the volume was a very positive sign of things to come.
Cook signed with the Saints in the offseason after a career year in Oakland where he averaged 12.1 PPR points per game and has assumed the TE movement role that made young Jimmy Graham such a valuable fantasy asset.
While Bridgewater looked far from impressive on Sunday, we can expect a much stronger performance from the signal caller, who was poised for a breakout season in Minnesota before a non-contact knee injury derailed his career. Sean Payton has a week to build a game plan around Bridgewater’s skillset, and given how vulnerable Seattle’s pass-funnel defense has proven to be against tight ends in the early part of the season (they’ve allowed the second most fantasy points to the position at 12.6 per game), we can expect Cook to be a large part of it.
Week 3 NFL DFS values: D/ST sleepers
San Francisco 49ers, 49ers vs. Steelers (DraftKings $3,200 | FanDuel $3,700)
When targeting fantasy defenses, we search for teams likely to face a large number of passing attempts, as most scoring takes place by way of sacks and fumbles. With San Francisco sitting as a 6.5-point home favorites as of Tuesday, we can expect its fearsome pass rush to see a lot of dropbacks from first-time starting quarterback Mason Rudolph.
The 49ers have seven sacks and four interceptions in their first two games, and a matchup with an inexperienced QB with below-average arm strength looks like manna from heaven. Add in San Francisco’s offensive firepower and Pittsburgh’s schematic difficulties without All-World talents like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, and this is an ideal defense to target in GPPs.