FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Early-Slate Helper: Week 3

The Week 3 NFL DFS early slate on FanDuel has eight matchups, all kicking off at 1 p.m. EST. While we have two teams that are favored by more than 20.0 points in the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, we also have a matchup with Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes that could set the MVP race.

The numberFire NFL DFS Matchup Heat Map will be referenced for all implied totals and spreads throughout this article, so be sure to check it out.

Let’s look at the best plays at every price point on the slate.

High-Priced Studs

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens ($8,500)

Lamar Jackson did it with his arm in Week 1, then did it with his arm and his legs in Week 2. He offers an insane combination of floor and ceiling and now has a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, the most explosive offense in the league.

Jackson and Patrick Mahomes rank second and third in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, so this game should have some fireworks. It almost feels like the Chiefs-Rams matchup from last year that hit 105 total points.

This game has a total of 52.0, easily the highest on the slate. Stacking players from this one game and then sprinkling in cheaper options in good matchups seems like the obvious route to DFS glory. Expect Jackson to lead the charge.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($8,800)

The Dallas Cowboys have the highest implied team total on the slate at 35.0 points against the Miami Dolphins. They are also favored by 22.5 points, meaning Ezekiel Elliott will enjoy positive game script. Elliott was back to his usual workload in Week 2, tallying 25 touches and going over 100 yards and a score on the ground.

Our projections have him pegged for a similar stat line, making him a value even at his inflated price.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,100)

Fantasy gamers who leaned on Sammy Watkins last week were torched, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Mahomes threw his way 13 times, including plenty of deep shots, in the victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Watkins only compiled 49 receiving yards while seeing 139 air yards, courtesy of Expect the same opportunity going forward. With a little more luck, he’ll have another monster week. Roll with him in this possible shootout.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions ($7,000)

The Detroit Lions’ receivers have the best matchup on the slate, as Ronald Darby and the Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. Kenny Golladay should stand to benefit the most, as he has a stranglehold on the top receiver spot in Detroit. The Eagles have allowed at least 100 yards and a touchdown to each alpha receiver they have faced, so Golladay is worth the price.

Mid-Priced Upside Plays

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions ($6,600)

Just like the 2018 Carolina Panthers, the Lions decided to part ways with C.J. Anderson in the middle of the season. Hopefully, this is an indication that Kerryon Johnson will get a Christian McCaffrey-level workload.

The matchup is not ideal, however, as the Eagles are allowing just 2.82 yards per carry and haven’t surrendered a touchdown to a running back yet. The departure of Anderson is still enticing for his projected role, making Johnson a nice pivot off of the higher-priced backs.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($6,200)

It has not been pretty for Devonta Freeman. He’s averaging -0.52 Rushing NEP per carry with a 15.79 percent Success Rate. His offensive line has not played well and his defensive matchups have not been ideal thus far, but that should change this week.

The Indianapolis Colts are tied with the Dolphins in allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game to running backs. They are getting beat through the air and on the ground by opposing backfields, so Freeman is set up for a bounce-back game. If it doesn’t happen this week, it might never happen.

Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens ($6,800)

With Lamar Jackson's hot start to the season, Mark Andrews has looked like one of the next elite tight ends. He ranks first in target share, air yards, receiving yards, and fantasy points per game among all tight ends. DFS gamers should continue to play him until he’s priced up with Travis Kelce.

Bargain Bin Prospects

Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills ($5,700)

The Bengals are allowing 38.2 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs on the year. That is 7.3 more than the next closest defense, so this is a prime matchup to exploit. Frank Gore is set for 20 touches after Devin Singletary picked up a hamstring injury. Expect those to be efficient touches in this matchup.

Devin Smith, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($5,200)

With Michael Gallup undergoing knee surgery, someone will need to take his place on the outside opposite Amari Cooper. Randall Cobb has been in the slot on 82 percent of his snaps, per PlayerProfiler, so Devin Smith seems to be the best candidate.

The 27-year-old out of Ohio State entered the league as an elite deep threat, as he averaged an absurd 28.2 yards per reception in college. He tore his ACL twice and couldn't find the field for multiple seasons before landing in Dallas. He seems to be a good fit for the offense after hauling in all three of his targets for 74 yards and a touchdown in Week 2.

While his snap share should skyrocket, he’s still a high-risk, high-reward dart throw.

Jonathan Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Jonathan Taylor Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jtsmittyyy. 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.