4 DraftKings Studs to Target in Week 3

Week 3 is upon us, and it is now time to figure out who we want to trust this week.

There are many different high-priced studs we want to target on DraftKings, so let's see which ones stand out and project to be high-end performers according to our models.

Let's dive in and see who is worth their high price tag.

Patrick Mahomes

DraftKings Price: $7,600

Projected Points: 26.6

This guy is just superhuman -- he incredibly threw four touchdowns in a single quarter last week. It seems as if we can just throw out matchups when it pertains to Patrick Mahomes. He has been uber efficient so far this season, ranking first in our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. Since becoming the starter last season, he has hit the 300 passing yard bonus on DraftKings in 12 of his 18 starts.

This week, the Kansas City Chiefs are in the game with the highest over/under at home against the Baltimore Ravens and own an implied team total of 30.0 points. Through two games, Mahomes has accounted for seven of the Chiefs' eight touchdowns, and that should continue with a banged up backfield group.

While Mahomes seems to defy any bad matchups, we did see a glimpse of weakness in the Ravens' secondary last week against Kyler Murray, particularly in the middle of the field as evidenced by the big stat lines from Christian Kirk (6/114/0) and Larry Fitzgerald (5/104/0). Murray posted a 0.19 Passing NEP per drop back, which ranked him 13th amongst all quarterbacks last week. With no Jimmy Smith in the secondary for Baltimore, the matchup becomes a whole lot more enticing in what should be a pace up game.

Both the Ravens and Chiefs offenses are within the top 12 in terms of plays per game. The numberFire projections have Mahomes outscoring the next closest quarterback by 2.5 DraftKings points this week, and he is the stud quarterback worth paying for.

Christian McCaffrey

DraftKings Price: $8,700

Projected Points: 25.2

The Carolina Panthers have definitely not lightened the load off of Christian McCaffrey from last season. The dude has played on 100% of the Panthers offensive snaps through two games, something he did eight times last season.

Some might say the uncertainty of Cam Newton this week makes McCaffrey a hard sell against the Arizona Cardinals, but Cam has been flat out brutal, posting a -0.04 Passing NEP per drop back this season. We can also look back to Week 16 last season, when Kyle Allen drew the start, and McCaffrey racked up 32.8 DraftKings points on 33 touches.

Arizona's run defense has held up decently though the first two weeks, but they gave up the most rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs in 2018. The pace of play is also what makes McCaffrey an enticing play. Both of these teams are within the top five in plays per game, averaging 68 or more plays.

McCaffrey has already handled 47 touches, including 6 red zone opportunities, through two games. His usage in a high-paced game has him as a top spend play at the position. Our projections have him coming in as the second highest scoring running back.

Amari Cooper

DraftKings Price: $7,500

Projected Points: 17.9

We have now seen truly how bad the Miami Dolphins defense is, allowing 43 or more points in each of its first two games. Using play-by-play data, Miami comes in dead last in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.

Now in Week 3, the Dallas Cowboys get to face them, but without emerging wideout Michael Gallup. Dallas has the highest implied team total on the main slate at 34.5 points. Gallup was seeing a 24.2% target share, so a natural bump in volume for Cooper could happen, as the other receiving options Dallas behind him are limited besides Randall Cobb.

Our projections have him close to nine targets. Since becoming a Cowboy, when Cooper has seen nine or more targets, he has averaged 23.3 DraftKings points. He has been efficient on a per target basis this season, owning a 1.10 Receiving NEP per target ranked 12th amongst wide receivers with at least eight targets. More volume with that efficiency against the league's worst pass defense sounds like a successful recipe this week.

Zach Ertz

DraftKings Price: $5,700

Projected Points 16.7

We saw the old Zach Ertz volume reappear last week with a ridiculous 16 targets, including 6 in the red zone, as the Philadelphia Eagles dealt with injuries to Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert.

It appears as if most these injured guys might not be able to suit up for this week's matchup against the Detroit Lions. This would set up Ertz with another week of high volume. He is sitting at his lowest DraftKings price of the season, but at a point where his usage will be amongst the highest at the position. Our projections have him leading all tight ends in targets with 9.1 this week. From 2017 on, Ertz has had 17 games in which he has seen nine or more targets, and in those contests, he has averaged 21.8 DraftKings points.

There isn't a ton of data out there so far to determine how the Lions handle tight ends because they have faced two teams who do not emphasize them in the Cardinals and Chargers. We can however see that they gave up production to slot receivers in Fitzgerald (8/113/1) and Keenan Allen (8/98/0), which might bode well for Ertz.

Ertz comes in as our top tight end value play, and he seems too cheap for the increased role he should see.

Adam Nessel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Nessel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ANessel01. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.