Week 3 NFL FanDuel Late Afternoon Slate Breakdown
This week's 4:05pm ET slate on FanDuel features just three games with one matchup sure to attract the majority of ownership.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams face off on Sunday afternoon in their first matchup since the two franchises relocated to L.A. This game features a 48.0-point over/under, 7 points higher than the next closest game on the slate.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|Los Angeles Chargers (20.25) at Los Angeles Rams (27.75)||48|
|Dallas Cowboys (19.75) at Seattle Seahawks (21.75)||41.5|
|Chicago Bears (21.75) at Arizona Cardinals (16.25)||38|
We're obviously going to want to stack the Los Angeles game in as many ways as possible, but what makes this slate interesting are the five high-priced running backs we have available. Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon have each started the season scorching-hot and have a great opportunity to find the end zone once again this week. They'll be locked into many lineups, but Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson, and Jordan Howard are also on this slate.
It will take some creativity to jam in three high-priced running backs since there aren't many obvious value plays. There also aren't any injuries to monitor that would clear a path for low-priced players to emerge. Finding value on this slate will be a challenge, but playing unique game stacks, including five or more players from the Rams and Chargers matchup, is one avenue to explore this week.
The prize pools on the afternoon slate for Week 3 are slightly larger than last week. FanDuel is offering the $400,000 NFL Rush, which costs $6 to play and pays out $100,000 to first place. The NFL Bomb costs $33 to enter and pays out $7,000 to whomever tops the 1,960-entry field. For the single entry folks, the $5 NFL Spike has a $40,000 prize pool and pays out $4,000 to the winner.
Now, let's break down the top plays and fades at each position.
Lock: Jared Goff ($7,600) - The Chargers defense was shredded by Patrick Mahomes in Week 1 for 4 touchdowns and then allowed Josh Allen to throw for 245 yards and 1 touchdown in Week 2. The Rams have the highest implied team total on the slate (27.75) and Goff is averaging 293.5 yards passing per game with only 1 interception. Even though Todd Gurley gobbles up red zone scoring opportunities, Goff still has 12 red zone passing attempts through 2 weeks, third-most in the league. He should add to his current season total of three touchdown passes in Week 3 against the Chargers.
Fade: Sam Bradford ($6,300) - With only three games on the slate our quarterback options are limited, but it's easy to eliminate one from consideration. The Arizona Cardinals have scored a measly 6 points through 2 games, and Bradford is averaging just 121.5 yards passing on the year. He's also thrown an interception in each of his two starts. Every other quarterback on this slate has a conceivable path to fantasy success in Week 3, but not Bradford.
Sleeper: Mitchell Trubisky ($6,500) - It was a struggle for Trubisky on Monday Night Football in Week 2. Despite throwing multiple touchdowns in a game for the first time in his career, Trubisky also threw two interceptions and struggled to keep the Chicago Bears offense on the field. But the matchup in Week 3 couldn't be much better for the second-year quarterback as he faces off with a Cardinals defense that is allowing 304.5 yards passing per game. According to numberFire's metrics, the Cardinals' pass defense is the fourth-worst through two weeks. Among the five quarterbacks you could consider on this slate, Trubisky carries the lowest salary and the Bears actually have the second-highest implied team total. Trubisky offers some salary relief that provides us the wiggle room to jam in the high-priced studs we're targeting.
Lock: Todd Gurley ($9,300) - As usual, Gurley is once again in a smash spot on the afternoon slate. The Rams are 7.5-point home favorites in this crosstown matchup and Gurley will remain the focal point of the Rams offense. He's averaging 22.5 touches through 2 games and his 37.9% market share is second in the NFL to only Ezekiel Elliott (42.42%). In what should be a high-scoring affair, Gurley is the top running back play.
Fade: David Johnson ($8,200) - Johnson is the third-highest priced running back on the slate, but the Cardinals carry an implied team total of just 16.25 points. Paying up for a running back that won't have many scoring opportunities is not a strategy worth pursuing. The Cardinals are a 5.5-point home underdog and face a Bears defense that has given up the fewest points to opposing running backs on the season.
Sleeper: Austin Ekeler ($5,600) - In our effort to find value and differentiate our lineups, Ekeler is a player that can help with both. The ninth-highest priced running back, Ekeler is averaging 12 touches per game while playing 32.61% of the Chargers' snaps. Ekeler has made the most of his opportunity early in the season, averaging 7.25 yards per carry and 13.5 yards per reception with 1 touchdown. An explosive change-of-pace back, a big play from Ekeler could be the difference maker on this small slate.
Lock: Brandin Cooks ($7,800) - Cooks is second on the Rams in targets (17), just 1 fewer than Robert Woods (18), but Cooks has been the more productive of the two. Cooks has 12 catches on the year for 246 yards, fourth-most among all receivers. But Cooks isn't just a deep threat for the Rams. He's seen three red zone targets, second-most among Rams receivers behind Cooper Kupp (six).
Fade: Larry Fitzgerald ($6,700) - If you haven't noticed yet, it's difficult to get excited about the Cardinals offense this week. Not only has their offense been a trainwreck through two weeks, but they now face a Bears defense that ranks as the sixth-best per numberFire metrics. On the season, Fitzgerald has just 10 receptions for 104 yards and he was forced to leave last week's game with a hamstring injury. Reports are positive that Fitzgerald will play this week, but he's the fifth-highest priced receiver on the slate. There are better options at a similar price point this week.
Sleeper: Taylor Gabriel ($5,000) - On a slate devoid of many value plays, Gabriel is one that stands out. Through 2 weeks, Gabriel is second on the Bears in targets (12) and receptions (9). He's also played the second-most snaps (90.44%) among Bears receivers, trailing only Allen Robinson (95.59%). For comparison, rookie Anthony Miller has played 55.88% of offensive snaps. Gabriel has also been a popular red zone target for the Bears, tying with Miller for the team lead in red zone looks (three). The Cardinals defense has allowed 58 points through 2 weeks and with his usage, Gabriel is as likely as any Bear to find the end zone on Sunday.
Lock: Will Dissly ($4,600) - After he scored a garbage time touchdown in Week 2, playing Dissly still feels a bit like chasing fantasy points, but his playing time did increase in Week 2 and the Dallas Cowboys have been vulnerable to tight end production. Dissly played 57.9% of the snaps in Week 1 and saw 5 targets, but then played 71.2% of the snaps in Week 2 and again drew 5 targets. Through 2 weeks, Dissly has 6 catches for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Cowboys defense is much improved than in years past, but they have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Fade: Ricky Seals-Jones ($5,100) - Rounding our our full fade of the Cardinals offense is Seals-Jones, who has just 7 receptions for 36 yards on the season. Seals-Jones is getting the playing time -- he's played 94.9% of the team's snaps -- but there's just so little production in this offense with Bradford at the helm. Dissly found the end zone against the Bears in Week 2, but in Week 1, the Bears held Packers tight ends to just 3 catches for 21 yards.
Sleeper: Virgil Green ($4,300) - In seeking out deep plays from the Chargers-Rams game, Green is intriguing, in part, because he's sure to carry low ownership with players focused on Trey Burton and Dissly. Even though the Chargers brought Antonio Gates back, Green has drawn more targets (5 to 4) than the future Hall of Famer, and has played more snaps (61.59% to 31.88%). With Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib shutting down outside receivers, the Rams funnel production to opposing tight ends -- look no further than Jared Cook in Week 1. Gates has missed multiple practices this week with an illness and in an uninspiring slate of tight ends, Green offers cheap exposure to this projected high-scoring game.
Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.