Welcome back to The A List, your guide to NFL DFS Week 3 Cash lineups. Each week, I’ll be breaking down players to target in 50/50 DFS lineups. If you’re confused about why it’s called The A List and why you’re getting flashbacks to grade school, read my Week 1 column to learn more. In addition, my DMs are open for feedback and questions on Twitter and Instagram.
A few weeks back, I went camping for the first time. Frankly, I was nervous. What would happen if I didn’t like it and was a grouch to all my friends? What if I got no sleep? Or if a bear came? Perhaps most importantly, what if I couldn’t make my DraftKings Best Ball pick because I didn’t have cell service?
However, after I got settled in, though, things were fine. I enjoyed myself, and we had a good time. We knew there was rain in the forecast, but we had prepared with sturdy tents that were fairly new. Unfortunately, the tent formed a slow leak from the top after several hours of rain. Quite annoying for a new tent! And then, water started seeping in from the bottom. Consequently, this was when we knew we had a problem because the rain was expected to continue through the night.
So we had a choice: Stick it out or find a hotel? There was a temptation to slog it out because that’s what camping is, right? You can’t predict when things are going to go wrong, and you just have to live with it.
But camping is also about having fun. So we decided to find a cheap hotel and all six of us crashed in a single room. And we had a damn good time doing so.
This story reminds me of playing DFS. Of course, it doesn’t always go as expected. But, when it does, it’s incredible and so worth it. And when it doesn’t, it’s crucial to ensure you’re still having fun. Because while we do this to try and win money, we also do it because it’s a fun way to enjoy sports.
With that, cash is in session.
NFL DFS Week 3
Dalvin Cook (DraftKings $7,900 / FanDuel $8,300)
It’s not often my favorite player of the week will be the 28th-best player at their position in DraftKings scoring through two games. But also, it’s not often that Dalvin Cook will be the 28th running back overall. Cook has struggled against our standards for him, averaging just below 11 points per game. But so has every other running back this season, with no RB scoring more than 17 points in both games to start the season.
As for Cook, he was game-scripted out of his two starts this season. Watching that Green Bay game back, it was much closer than the final score. So Minnesota needed to continue moving the ball down the field through the passing game. They didn’t need Cook because Justin Jefferson was their entire offense. And, of course, we all saw that abysmal performance against the Eagles, where Minnesota was behind early and forced to pass to make up ground.
Don’t worry, everyone; the NFL is sending in the Lions to get Dalvin Cook right. Since Week 12 of last season, Detroit has given up the seventh most points to opposing running backs. Further, the Vikings are 5.5 favorites, and this game has the highest total on the slate. Minnesota’s implied point total is a whopping 29 points, enough for multiple skill-position players to get fed. I’m looking for a two-touchdown week for Dalvin Cook, making him a lock for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Matthew Stafford (DraftKings $6,500 / FanDuel $7,700)
You may think I’m starting to pick on Arizona’s defense like they’re Detroit, and you’d be correct. And deservedly so. After two weeks of giving up major points to Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr, Arizona is now the worst defense against quarterbacks since week 12 of 2021.
Additionally, this game is among the highest on the slate, with an over/under of 49 points. The spread is relatively close, with Las Angelos favored by 3.5 points, suggesting plenty of passing. And while we’re at it, I must shout out to Cooper Kupp. He didn’t make the column this week, but he is certainly worth rostering. But you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.
David Montgomery (DraftKings $5,900 / FanDuel $7,100)
In case you haven’t heard, I freaking love David Montgomery. He is consistently one of the most underrated fantasy running backs. But last week, we saw him tear up a Green Bay, averaging over eight yards per carry. Eight yards! This week, he matches up against the Houston Texans, who are the third-worst defense against running backs since Week 12 of last season. Additionally, Chicago is actually favored in this matchup (shocking, right?), so they should be playing from ahead and running out the clock. And did I mention he is cheaper than AJ Dillon this week?
Hunter Renfrow (DraftKings $5,500 / FanDuel $5,800) – Renfrow Announced as Out on Friday
Jakobi Meyers (DraftKings $5,000 / FanDuel $6,200)
Remember how I referenced that I wouldn’t hold the Baltimore Ravens to their performance against wide receivers last year in the intro of my previous article? Ya, I’m back on that train. Through Week 12 of last season, the Ravens have given up the most points to opposing receivers.
Even worse, they have given up 48.8 points per game over that span, which is 4.3 points more than the next worst team. That’s larger than the gap between the next five worst teams against receivers. So I’m looking for a touchdown from Jakobi Meyers on Sunday in a game where New England should be playing from behind.
Irv Smith Jr. (DraftKings $3,100 / FanDuel $5,000)
You know those moments in sports where people’s perceptions of a player or game would be utterly different if something went just slightly differently? Like if Romeo Doubs had caught that 75-yard pass in Week 1. Or if Irv Smith had done the same thing on Monday Night Football. It was encouraging to see Smith’s usage in his first game returning from injury. The DFS sites are either giving us a Monday Night discount or are discounting Smith’s skills, but either way, let’s take advantage and lock in Irv Smith.
Check the Chalkboard
Josh Allen (DraftKings $8,200 / FanDuel $9,000)
Have you heard of this guy Josh Allen? He’s an up-and-coming star for the Jacksonville Jaguars… oh wait, wrong column.
I’ll forgive you if you quit reading there for that awful joke.
Look, Josh Allen seemingly hates the Miami Dolphins. I don’t know what they did to him, but in his past six matchups against Miami, Allen has averaged 27.8 DraftKings points. That is 3.4 times his DraftKings value on the week. He has only scored fewer than 20 points once against them. And Lamar Jackson just demonstrated that this defense can be had. Set it and forget it with Allen.
Greg Dortch (DraftKings $4,300 / FanDuel $5,100)
One thing you should know about me is I am often just a step or two behind the current trends. Example? I’m just now finishing the first season of Harley Quinn and started watching Ted Lasso a year after it made waves. Similarly, I waited until Week 3 to get on the Greg Dortch plane. But to be fair, apparently, DraftKings and FanDuel still haven’t boarded the plane.
How is Dortch still this cheap? Plus, the Rams are the second worst defense against receivers right now. They just gave up 196 yards and two touchdowns to Marcus Mariota. That’s not great, but it’s way more than it should have been. Smash Greg Dortch this week.
Back of the Classroom Studs
Before you set your lineups, be sure to check out Austin and Ryan’s weekly rankings!
Kirk Cousins (DraftKings $6,700 / FanDuel $7,600)
What more can I say? Kirk Cousins is facing the Detroit Lions. They are averaging 32.5 points to opposing offenses. That’s enough for a team to score four touchdowns. I get it; Cousins looked awful Monday night. But I think this is because they moved away from what was working in Week 1.
During that opening matchup against Green Bay, we saw the Vikings consistently use pre-snap motion to force the defense to communicate and to get favorable matchups for Justin Jefferson. But when they got behind against the Eagles, they made it easy. The Vikings simply lined up and snapped the ball in the second half. No motion. Not even Justin Jefferson in the slot. This made it easy for the Eagles to communicate coverages and for Darius Slay to stay on Jefferson all night.
But not this week. The Vikings will look to get back to what made them so successful in Week 1, and who better to do it against than the Detroit Lions?
Derrick Henry (DraftKings $8,100 / FanDuel $8,800)
I’ll be honest; I repeatedly went back and forth on this one before deciding. But I’m in on Derrick Henry for a bounce-back week. He faces off against the Las Vegas Raiders, who have given up the most points to running backs since Week 12 last season. And that isn’t just their 2021 performance skewing the data. They are also third worse through Week 2 of this season.
Further, the spread on this game is less than three points, with Las Vegas favored by 2.5 points. I typically shy away from running backs when their team is expected to lose. But, this spread is so close that I expect a neutral game script where both teams can run their typical offense. For Tennessee, that means putting the ball in Derrick Henry’s hands. I’d also consider Henry as a tournament play for the week, as I imagine many players will avoid him given his struggles through Week 2.
Tyler Conklin (DraftKings $3,800 / FanDuel $5,200)
There are several great cheap options at tight end this week, including Tyler Conklin facing the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have given up the second most points to opposing tight ends since Week 12 of 2021, and per usual, we simply need a touchdown from Conklin for this to hit.
Hayden Hurst (DraftKings $3,900 / FanDuel $5,100)
Turns out, this is the matchup of teams that can’t defend tight ends. The New York Jets give up the fourth most points to tight ends, so I’m also looking to get Hayden Hurst in a couple of lineups and pay up elsewhere for dominant players.
New York Jets (DraftKings $2,400 / FanDuel $3,700)
Until Cincinnati solves their sack issues, I’m going to target opposing defenses. Sacks increase the chances of fumbles, and sack fumbles increase the chances of fumbles returned for touchdowns. The Jets are one of the cheapest defenses on the slate, leaving room for you to spend up elsewhere.
Las Vegas Raiders (DraftKings $2,500 / FanDuel $3,400)
This is simply a bet against Ryan Tannehill. I know it’s easy to overreact to the Titans getting destroyed by the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, but this offense has struggled to start the season. Las Vegas has the playmakers to take advantage of their slow start. And yes, Derrick Henry can still score two touchdowns, and the Raiders pay off with a couple of sacks and an interception.
Atlanta Falcons (DraftKings $2,700 / FanDual $3,700)
No, this is not a homer pick. Well, for the most part anyways. The Falcons have two incredible outside corners, and Geno Smith is not exactly a threat when facing man coverage. Smith likely struggles to get much going against the Falcons and is a risk of throwing an interception or two, which is exactly what we need for this defensive pick to hit.
Last week was a reasonably successful week on DraftKings, scoring a B overall. Furthermore, we only hit one F last week, which came from Dalton Schultz, who dealt with an injury during last week’s game.
We struggled more on FanDuel as the touchdowns didn’t roll in as we hoped, finishing with a C. Fortunately, the F we got on Davante Adams had a minimal impact, as he was a frequent chalk play across the industry.
- A: Scored over three times their price
- B: Scored over two times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
*Left early due to injury
*Left early due to injury
Looking for the DFS plays with the best possible matchups? Our Weekly Matchup Report gives you that info every Wednesday.