FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 3 Monday Night
We've got a firecracker game on tap for the single-game slate on FanDuel for Monday night.
That's just what happens when you get two of the best offenses in the NFL to square off against one another. Through two weeks, the Baltimore Ravens rank as the fourth-best adjusted offense in the NFL (per numberFire's metrics). The Kansas City Chiefs are 10th. The bigger discrepancy comes on the other side of the ball: the Ravens boast the best defense through two games, and the Chiefs are 18th.
Which plays, then, stand out for the single-game slate?
Don't forget to brush up on some single-game perfect lineup trends. Let's dig into MVP considerations and flex possibilities, as well.
Lamar Jackson ($16,500) - Jackson's projections make him the place to start at MVP. numberFire's projection of 24.1 FanDuel points is 3.3 points higher than Patrick Mahomes', and when simulating the slate out a thousand times, Jackson returned the highest FanDuel point total 44.3% of the time. Mahomes' rate was 28.9%.
Usually, quarterbacks are rostered a bit too often at MVP compared to their frequency as MVPs in optimal lineups. That said, Jackson is definitely an outlier because he can rack up yardage and touchdowns on the ground, and he accounts for a significant portion of the team's offense.
So far, Jackson has rushed 7 and 16 times while throwing 25 and 24 times through two games, respectively. That takes away a lot of volume from his pass-catchers. Of course, in a shootout, the volume will rise, but if the Ravens continue doing anything close to what they've done through two games, Jackson is a can't-fade MVP option.
Patrick Mahomes ($16,000) - Mahomes' 28.9% likelihood to lead the slate in FanDuel points puts him in the conversation as well. Combined, he and Jackson have nearly a 75.0% chance to lead the slate in fantasy points. I'm all for avoiding quarterbacks at the MVP spot in order to differentiate, but with a 1.5-point boost, we're looking at 35 to 40 FanDuel points as a median outcome from these two. Mahomes gets second-billing due to the matchup with the league's best defense.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($12,500) - Edwards-Helaire is my favorite pivot from the quarterbacks. He's got the next-best shot to lead the slate in FanDuel points (a lowly 9.0%), but running backs are usually not as popular in the MVP slot as the optimals say they should be. CEH has averaged a 64.5% snap rate with 27.5 adjusted opportunities (targets multiplied by two plus carries -- because a running back target is worth roughly twice as much on average as a carry on FanDuel). The other backs in the game max out at 12.5 (Mark Ingram), due to the Ravens' split backfield.
Tyreek Hill ($13,500) and Travis Kelce ($13,00) - These teams each have two dominant pass-catchers, so it's easy to fixate on them first and foremost. Hill is the first place I'd look outside the top three for an MVP, primarily because tight ends -- even ones as good as Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce -- don't rack up enough fantasy points to lead a game in scoring. Tight ends are very rare optimal MVPs, with only 6 appearing as such over 124 lineups last year. For what it's worth, Kelce did it once. Hill was an MVP in an optimal lineup twice in 2019. Hill has a 21.5% target share with a 24.7% air yards share, both actually trailing Kelce (25.3% and 30.9%, respectively). Hill still projects for a top-five score more frequently than Kelce when simulating out the matchup.
Marquise Brown ($10,500) and Mark Andrews ($12,000) - I'm not against Kelce and Andrews, but the better workload here belongs to Brown (24.0% of the targets) over Andrews (22.6%). Problematically, that works out to an average of 6.0 and 4.5 targets per game, respectively, in this low-volume offense. Brown has averaged 72.0 receiving yards but has a lot of value in his targets, with 5 total downfield targets. He could bust open the game, allowing us to target Tyreek Hill in stacks with both of them.
Value and Differentiation Plays
Miles Boykin ($7,000) - There are certainly ways to differentiate in this game, and if we look at snap rates, Boykin should be the first place to look. Boykin (70.8% average snap rate) is behind only Kelce (92.3%), Hill (87.6%), and Nick Boyle (72.3%) through two games. He also has averaged a 91.1% route rate, via ProFootballFocus, ranking him fourth behind Kelce (95.5%), Hill (95.5%), and Brown (92.9%). Especially if you're plugging Jackson into the MVP slot, Boykin stacks well here.
Sammy Watkins ($8,500) - Watkins has two very different game logs so far (7 catches on 9 targets for 82 yards and a score in Week 1 and then 1 catch on 3 targets for 11 yards in Week 2). In that drop off, his snap rate fell from 79.1% to 58.4%. In a tight game, his snaps could be elevated again toward the Week 1 data.
Demarcus Robinson ($7,000) - I understand the urge to play Mecole Hardman ($7,500) instead, but Robinson has had a better overall snap share (47.8% and 62.3% to Hardman's 29.0% and 64.9%). He's also run nine more routes through two games while getting a downfield target and two red zone targets; Hardman hasn't had any such high-leverage looks yet.
J.K. Dobbins ($9,500) - It's true that Gus Edwards ($6,500) had 10 carries last week to Dobbins' 2, but Week 1 saw Dobbins lead this backfield in snap rate at 39.0% while Edwards played just 25.4%. They each got a 30.8% share in Week 2. The team wants to rotate the backfield's usage, so taking a chance on the hyper-efficient Dobbins is my preference here, though Edwards is viable for such a low salary, as well, if you're fading Ingram and Dobbins or playing the angle of a Ravens domination that leads to enough rushing for multiple backs to post a top-five score.