4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 3
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high salary players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
Week 3 presents some games with high totals, so we should be able to find some exciting stars to roster. Let’s look at one from each of the skill positions.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Salary: $8,400
Projected Points: 24.2
It hasn’t always been pretty for Lamar Jackson to start the season, as he has four turnovers in the first two games.
That hasn’t hurt his fantasy value, though, as he still ranks as the QB4 in this early part of the season. He, of course, does a ton of damage with his legs, with 28 rushes for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns. This week, he should have no problem doing damage again.
The Baltimore Ravens take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday and are favored by more than a touchdown. Detroit was projected to be one of the worst defenses in the league, and that was before losing 2020 third overall pick Jeff Okudah to a season-ending injury. This has resulted in Detroit being the worst pass defense in the league thus far, according to numberFire’s schedule-adjusted metrics.
Despite the inconsistencies through the air, we’ve seen Lamar have big games based on his passing ability. We also know that even above-average run defenses like the Lions have will have a tough time defending Jackson. Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, Lamar shouldn’t have much of a problem scoring fantasy points this week.
The Ravens have an implied team total of 28.5 points, that's tied for the third most on the slate, according to our daily fantasy matchup heat map. Jackson has the third-highest salary on the week at the quarterback position and is also projected for the third-most points. If he gets carries at the goal line like we saw in Week 2, his ceiling is as high as any QB on the slate, making him a great option in tournaments.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Projected Points: 21.5
Over the past few seasons, Dalvin Cook has established himself as at least a top-five running back in fantasy football. He was the consensus second pick in season-long drafts this year and has done nothing over the first two games to show that that was a mistake.
Cook has received the fourth-most carries for running backs (42) and the eighth-most targets (10). That's the kind of workload we want from a star running back, given how few players at the position will get this kind of volume. Cook is a huge part of the Minnesota Vikings' offense, and that offense could be in store for a big game on Sunday.
The Vikings will face the Seattle Seahawks in a game with a massive 55.5 total. That's tied for the highest over/under on the Week 3 main slate. Minnesota is a slight underdog in this game, but that doesn't matter for Cook. When the Vikings fell behind in Week 1, Cook saw seven targets, so he won't be phased out of the offense in any scenario. The Seahawks just got torched on the ground by Derrick Henry last week and now rank 24th in schedule-adjusted rush defense.
Cook should be able to produce a lot in this potentially high-scoring game. He has our highest projection at running back this week but doesn't carry the highest salary. Cook has a high ceiling in this matchup and game environment, and he's clearly a great option in Week 3.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
Projected Points: 15.7
Fantasy players remember the bitter taste that Tyler Lockett left in their mouths last season.
After starting the year like a house on fire, with two different three-touchdown performances in the first seven weeks, Lockett fell off a cliff along with the rest of the Seahawks' offense.
Now, with a new offensive coordinator improving their scheme, the offense appears to be clicking again, along with Lockett. He's doing it in a way that provides huge upside for a wide receiver, being a dangerous deep threat.
Tyler Lockett: 5 catches of 20+ yards
Most in the NFL pic.twitter.com/FzAttlE5kR
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 22, 2021
The matchup doesn't get much better for a deep threat wide receiver. Minnesota has allowed three touchdowns on passes that have traveled 15 air yards or more this season, with only the Indianapolis Colts allowing more. Two of those Colts touchdowns went to Lockett in Week 1, so the Vikings could be the worst team in that statistic by the time he's done with them in Week 3.
Any way you slice it, the Vikings have allowed the second-most FanDuel points to wide receivers so far this season, according to Pro Football Reference. We know we'll want pieces of this game that could be a shootout based on what the sportsbooks are telling us. Seattle is also only favored by -1.5 points, meaning that this could have the back-and-forth scoring that we really like to stack.
An interesting strategy in tournaments is playing both Cook and Lockett in the same lineup for correlation. If either player hits on a big play, which we know they are capable of, it pays off huge in two ways. We obviously get the points from that long play, but it also speeds up the game and will give the other side more time to get fantasy points.
Either by himself or as part of a game stack, Lockett is one of the highest upside wide receivers on this slate.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 18.3
Now approaching age 32, Travis Kelce has shown no signs of slowing down.
Kelce has scored over 20 FanDuel points in both games this season and even showed some ability with the ball in his hands on Sunday, as he took a short pass 46 yards for a touchdown. He's maintained over a 23% target share to start this season, which is what we saw from him last season. He also has three targets in the red zone, resulting in two of his touchdowns.
One of the main benefits of rostering Kelce is gaining access to one of Patrick Mahomes' favorite targets. The Kansas City Chiefs' offense is always one that we'll want to consider players from, and this week is no exception. They have the highest implied team total on the week in their game against the Los Angeles Chargers, as it currently sits all the way up at 31 points. This game is tied with the Minnesota-Seattle game for the week's highest total, too, so if the Chargers are able to keep up, Kelce could see a lot of targets.
We have to consider Kelce every week with his production. There are some who have a philosophy to not roster high-salaried tight ends because the position is so volatile, but it's also easier to find upside with low-salaried players at other positions. If we want upside at all of our positions when building lineups, it's hard to match the upside Kelce brings compared to other tight ends.
Kelce's projection is nearly four points higher than any other player at his position, which also gives him the edge in the value column, as well. No matter what contests you are playing this week, Kelce is a solid choice.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.