This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
Week 3 is upon us and is considerably different from Week 2. There are plenty of teams with high implied point totals, though not many are projected to be close. That leaves fewer obvious games to build around, and the obvious option is LAC-MIN. Outside of that game, the primary appealing spots on the slate revolve around running backs both due to backfields with clear workhorses emerging as well as injuries wreaking havoc.
A lot of the focus of DFS picks is on individual players. Skills certainly matter, but finding game environments that are likely to promote a lot of points scored is a way to narrow the focus of our player pool.
|Over/Under||Road Team||Road Implied Total||Home Team||Home Implied Total|
- The Cowboys, Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jaguars, Vikings and Ravens are among the teams with the highest implied totals of the week.
- Vikings-Chargers is the obvious game stack to target. A few other intriguing games include the Lions and Falcons as well as the Dolphins and Broncos.
- Joshua Kelley at MIN ($6,100)
Kelley will get another opportunity as the Chargers' lead back with Austin Ekeler (ankle) out for the second consecutive week. His performance last week had both good and bad elements, with the good being that he dominated work on the ground. The rest of his usage left something to be desired, as he didn't see a target. His efficiency was also quite poor, though we can explain that away due to the very tough matchup against the Titans. This week, things will be considerably easier as he'll face a Minnesota defense that was absolutely annihilated by D'Andre Swift in Week 2.
- Amari Cooper vs. TEN ($6,200)
Speaking of that Tennessee pass funnel defense, Cooper will be in a great spot to produce this week. After not even being expected to play Monday night against the Steelers, Cooper put together a strong 12.5-point FD performance. Meanwhile, the Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to receivers. In addition to his one-game sample of success, Cooper ranks ninth in the league in air yards, an indication of his potential big-play ability in the Cleveland offense.
Other Value Options
QB Jared Goff vs. ATL ($7,500)
QB Deshaun Watson vs. TEN ($7,500)
RB Craig Reynolds vs ATL ($5,700)
RB Jerome Ford vs. TEN ($5,600)
WR Brandin Cooks at ARI ($6,000)
WR Treylon Burks vs. CLE ($5,700)
WR Tank Dell at JAC ($5,400)
TE Sam LaPorta vs. ATL ($5,200)
Stacks to Consider
Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Chargers
This is the obvious stack of the slate, and it checks so many of the boxes we want: a huge game total with both teams projected to score well, narrow target distribution for both teams, good quarterback play and poor secondaries. He'll be highlighted in this section, but Justin Jefferson ($9,700) could have also found his way into the high-priced heroes section. He has an even higher chance than is typically the case to lead the player pool in scoring, but he's priced that way and will also almost certainly be rostered at the highest rate of any player on the slate.
Don't forget about the secondary options in the offense. Jordan Addison ($6,800) has had an impressive start to his pro career, putting up 133 yards on only 11 targets as a part-time player. At some point, he'll move past K.J. Osborn in terms of his role, and before his price rises, he's worth rostering him every week. T.J. Hockenson ($7,500) has 17 targets and is the secondary option after Jefferson. He may be on the wrong side of punch lines, but Kirk Cousins ($7,800) is a great fantasy quarterback. It's a small sample, but so far in 2023, he has the most FD points per game at quarterback. Add in that the Vikings have the second-highest pass rate over expectation and that the Chargers have given up the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers and this is an excellent spot.
We want narrow target distribution, and the Chargers deliver. Keenan Allen ($8,800) and Mike Williams ($7,200) have combined to command 37 targets (Allen has 19, Williams 18), and no one else on the team has more than six. Los Angeles isn't likely to take to the air as aggressively as Minnesota, but we know where the ball will go.
Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons
There's no particularly obvious second game situation to target, but this is one that has the chance to outperform expectations. Detroit's offense typically plays up at home. The Lions have attempted to establish the run early this season, but with David Montgomery (thigh) unlikely to play, they don't have a back that a typical workhorse back to handle a high volume of carries The Falcons are also a defense that should be attacked through the air. Amon-Ra St. Brown ($7,900) is the high-priced option on the offense, but Josh Reynolds ($7,000) is emerging as a key playmaker and Sam LaPorta ($5,200) is a nice value option.
With the Falcons trailing nearly the entire game in Week 2 against the Packers, we saw that the team was willing to take to the air in a comeback effort as Desmond Ridder attempted 32 passes. That's not enough to make him a particularly intriguing fantasy option, but it is enough for Drake London ($6,500) to produce. Of course, the offense runs through Bijan Robinson ($9,000), and he's particularly excelled as a pass catcher.
Travis Etienne vs. Houston Texans ($8,000)
Like the entire Jacksonville offense, Week 2 didn't go as hoped for Etienne, as he put up a meager 5.2 FD points. However, his role is stable, and he's now accounted for 30 of the team's 39 running back rushing attempts this season. Preseason concerns about a split in workload with Tank Bigsby certainly appear to have been overblown. Now, he'll lead the backfield in a game where the Jaguars are one of the bigger favorites of the day, suggesting at least one trip to the end zone is likely.
CeeDee Lamb at Arizona Cardinals ($8,500)
There really isn't much explanation needed, though it will be interesting to see where Lamb checks in terms of roster rate. Justin Jefferson is getting all of the attention at the position, but Lamb has maintained remarkably similar numbers to him in terms of targets per route run and yards per route run — meaning he has just as big of a role in his respective offense and has produced just as efficiently with his opportunity. Jefferson might get the edge based on game environment, but the gap in projected roster rate doesn't make a lot of sense, particularly when accounting for a $1,200 discount in price.
The Smash Spot
Raheem Mostert vs. Denver Broncos ($6,600)
Mostert has significant runway to produce Sunday with Salvon Ahmed (groin) doubtful to play. That leaves De'Von Achane as the second back, and the Dolphins clearly don't trust him in a traditional running back role. It may not last due to an injury history of his own, but Mostert should have a very large role in one of the more explosive offenses in the league this week. Given his projected role, Mostert is about $1,000 too cheap.
Salary Saving Options
QB C.J. Stroud at JAC ($6,600)
RB Dameon Pierce at JAC ($5,800)
RB Latavius Murray at WAS ($5,200)
WR Jonathan Mingo at SEA ($5,100)
WR Michael Wilson vs. DAL ($4,800)
TE Noah Fant vs. CAR ($4,900)
TE Durham Smythe vs. DEN ($4,800)