Preseason Week 3 NFL DFS Picks: Lineup advice, sleepers for FanDuel, DraftKings tournaments
Week 3 of the NFL preseason is often used as a tune-up for the regular season. Fortunately, that means we will likely see additional time from first-teamers as coaching staffs, front offices, and players prepare for the real Week 1. Before getting into this week’s NFL DFS picks, let’s take a look at how last week’s daily fantasy football advice panned out.
Predicting playing time under Bill Belichick is usually a daunting task, but New England youngsters Jarrett Stidham (14-19, 193 yards, TD), Jakobi Meyers (six receptions, 78 yards) and sleeper pick Damien Harris (14 carries, 80 yards) all delivered.
James Washington (four receptions, 78 yards) was dominant in his abbreviated time on the field for the Steelers, and Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (7-for-12, 40 yards) was on his way to substantial playing time before he hurt his hand and was forced from his game against the Raiders.
There was a fair share of ugly, too. Arizona Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray (3-8, 12 yards) was sacked twice and failed to move the ball forward on three of his four drives. Preston Williams logged one catch on seven targets for the Dolphins, and Karan Higdon amassed just 13 yards on seven carries for the Texans. Finally, tight end Ross Dwelley (zero catches) was the victim of a 49ers offense that completed just eight passes on Monday.
Without further ado, let’s get into the Week 3 preseason slate.
Preseason Week 3 NFL DFS Picks
Tom Brady (QB, Patriots)
After sitting out the first two preseason contests, Brady and the rest of New England’s first-stringers are expected to start against the Panthers on Thursday. The Patriots have opted to give Brady an extended workload in Week 3 in each of the past two seasons. He went 12-for-15 for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in 2017 and then 12-for-18 for 102 yards last season.
If TB12 sees something like three or four drives, there’s still enough upside to consider rostering him due to the well-oiled machine that is the Patriots’ offense.
Patrick Mahomes (QB, Chiefs)
By all accounts, this will be Mahomes’ opportunity to get into a groove before the regular season. Last year, Andy Reid left him on the field for an extended period of time in Week 3, and he went 18-for-24 for 196 yards and a touchdown.
Last week, Reid indicated that Mahomes and the starters would play the entire first half, but the quarterback lasted just two drives before he got pulled, going 2-for-5 for 11 yards. Perhaps that was due to the severe weather that caused the game to be delayed. Both teams were very sloppy, and Mahomes looked off during his limited time under center.
That adds more of an incentive for him to get back into the swing of things against the 49ers, who will play on shortened rest after taking the field on Monday. It also means that he might garner less DFS ownership if there’s no additional reporting beforehand.
James Washington (WR, Steelers)
The Steelers haven’t named their No. 2 wideout, but at this point of the preseason, it looks like it’s Washington’s job to lose (or at least get the most opportunity to fight for). After posting four catches for 84 yards in Week 1 of the preseason, he recorded four catches for 78 yards in Week 2.
His big-play ability, versatility, and route running have all been on display so far, and the Steelers should continue to feature him, especially when Ben Roethlisberger is on the field. Big Ben is expected to play at least a few series in the dress rehearsal and should be airing it out.
Preston Williams (WR, Dolphins)
Although Williams recorded just one catch last week, he drew seven targets, more than any other Dolphins wideout. As an undrafted rookie, Williams hasn’t yet solidified his place in Miami’s plans.
In Week 1, Williams had four catches on five targets for 97 yards. That means that through two preseason games, he’s garnered 12 targets. Preseason DFS is all about volume, and he should have another opportunity to make an impact this week.
Darrell Henderson (RB, Rams)
Henderson seems like a logical option to spell Todd Gurley, and he took six carries for 16 yards and added six receptions for 38 yards in Week 2. That multi-dimensional ability should serve him well from a fantasy perspective, and it instantly makes him someone to consider in Week 3.
It was clear that the game plan was designed for Henderson to receive targets out of the backfield last week. Since Sean McVay is notorious for resting his starters in the preseason, expect another solid workload for Henderson and hope for more of those valuable targets this week.
Jordan Ellis (RB, Bengals)
Due to a litany of injuries at the running back position, the Bengals turned to Ellis last week. He responded by rushing for 52 yards on 15 carries, in addition to hauling in five catches on six targets for 19 more yards. Assuming that the injury situation doesn’t make a drastic improvement, Ellis could be in store for another preseason-level workhorse role in Week 3.
Week 3 Preseason NFL DFS sleepers
Chad Kelly (QB, Colts)
After going 12-for-17 for 115 yards and a touchdown, Kelly may not seem like a “sleeper” pick. But considering that Andrew Luck is injured and the Colts know what they have in Jacoby Brissett, expect Kelly to see some additional run.
The embattled quarterback has a lot to prove, both off and on the field, and he should get an extended look that could determine the short-term outlook of his career, either in Indianapolis or as a trade target elsewhere.
Andre Ellington (RB, Buccaneers)
After carrying the ball four times for nine yards and adding one catch for six yards in Week 1, Ellington saw a slight uptick in Week 2, carrying the ball six times for 15 yards while hauling in four passes for 14 yards.
The veteran running back is battling for a roster spot, and the Buccaneers will most likely feature him at some point before making a decision. Based on his pass-catching prowess, Ellington has a lot of DFS upside, especially on full-PPR sites, and could be heavily utilized this week.
Ross Travis (WR, Colts)
Last week, Travis caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Kelly. It happened 352 days after he tore his ACL in last year’s final preseason contest. Travis played a few games for the Colts in 2017 and was expected to make the team last season before suffering the injury.
Fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster, don’t be shocked if the Colts give him extended playing time in this contest in order to see what he can or cannot handle. That also could make him a good stack option with Kelly.
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