My Week 3 best bets and daily fantasy (DFS) recommendations come amidst a time when my focus is all over the place. A trip to urgent care for my youngest (whose finger is not broken btw) and a broken sink were just a few of the highlights. But that's still no excuse for a pretty poor showing with my Week 2 DraftKings and FanDuel picks.
Perhaps the distraction will prevent too much "paralysis by analysis" from me? Who knows? I was all over the place with my picks earlier in the week but I'm actually feeling like I got a good feel for them.
As a reminder, in addition to my best bet, I will give you "safe picks" and "high leverage" picks. Those more or less equate to "cash game" picks and GPP picks for those familiar with what those are.
Let's get right to the Week 3 picks.
This Week's Best Bet: Either Christian Kirk or Mike Williams to have 100+ Receiving Yards (+150)
I really like this bet, which is available on FanDuel. The way I see it, either one of these receivers might be seeing +150 odds on cracking the century mark and we are getting the option of either one to do so.
Let's start with Kirk, who has 195 yards in two games so far. Okay, yes, that average is a little below 100 yards, but barely. Secondly, I present this for your viewing pleasure:
As much as I like what Kirk is doing this year, Williams is no slouch either. After a quiet week against Las Vegas in Week 1, Williams broke out last week for a touchdown and 113 receiving yards. Granted that was without Keenan Allen in the game, but Allen has yet to get a full practice in and is considered 50-50 to play on Sunday.
I also like the matchup against a Jacksonville secondary that has allowed some big plays. The Jaguars are allowing the 11th-most yards per completion so far this season. They might be able to get away with that if they weren't allowing a ton of completions. However, they have allowed 43 successful passes already (13th in the league).
Take the bet.
Safe Quarterback Week 3 Pick
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (DK $8200, FD $9000)
Yes, Miami might be one of the bigger risers in all the power rankings out there. But all the Dolphin bandwagon jumpers are about to get smacked with a cold dose of reality on Sunday. It's one thing to keep the New England offense in check and to score on the depleted Ravens secondary. It's another to face possibly the most complete team this year, the Buffalo Bills.
Allen is going to absolutely light up the scoreboard in South Beach this week. Lost in all the fervor about the Dolphins is the fact that they are giving up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Allen has seven TD passes plus one score on the ground through two weeks. He's passed for more than 600 yards and has a QB rating of 123.7. Allen is an absolute lock to be a top-10 QB this week and that's a huge understatement.
High-Leverage Quarterback Week 3 Pick
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (DK $5200, FD $6900)
This pick scares me, mostly because of Jay Glazer's report earlier this week:
I don't know about you, but as someone who has back problems running in his family, that sounds really bad. Winston might play, might not. If he doesn't we can always pivot. If he does, I'm worried about him trying to play through this kind of injury. And I'm sure most will shy away from him, keeping his ownership levels microscopic. Possibly rightly so.
But... the marvels of modern medicine never fail to amaze me. Suppose the pain is non-existent and Winston plays to his peak. There's a lot to like here. For one, we know Jameis can toss TDs, but sometimes struggles with INTs. The Panthers however are one of eight teams that have yet to notch an INT.
I also like how well all three of the Saints' WRs are playing right now. And Juwan Johnson is another popular option this week. Alvin Kamara might play this week, he might not. But even if he does, that gives Winston one more player to target. Be careful, but Winston could be a very sneaky option this week.
Safe Running Back Week 3 Pick
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions (DK $7900, FD $8300)
I should caution you that Cook might not be that safe of a pick coming off a lousy 36 combined yards on Monday night, and the fact that he has yet to find the end zone this season.
But that is exactly why I do like him this weekend. He is due for some positive regression and should find the end zone on Sunday. Or maybe it has something more to do with the fact that no team in the league is giving up more fantasy points to RB than Detroit. Ok, you got me, that's the reason. I will have a few shares of Cook this weekend.
High-Leverage Running Back Week 3 Pick
Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (DK $5400, FD $5600)
Yes, there are some statistical reasons to go with Etienne this weekend, but I'll admit that it's really just a gut feeling he breaks out.
Fine, I'll give you the statistical reasons. The Chargers are playing well right now, especially against the run, but they have faced the Chiefs and Raiders, neither of which is known for a commitment to the run game. But last year, the Chargers allowed the fifth-most points to RBs. We should also expect the Chargers to maintain a small lead over the Jags. That means far more passing opportunities for Etienne, which means he should see more playing time than James Robinson. Right now, they are just about even, but Etienne is getting nearly twice the target share (10.3 to 5.9).
It's a risky play, but most high-leverage suggestions usually are. Just enough reason to suggest however we could see an Etienne breakout this week.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 3 Pick
Davante Adams, Los Angeles Raiders at Tennessee Titans (DK $8400, FD $8700)
The Titans are giving up the fifth-most WR fantasy points this season. Adams is ninth at his position in targets and has a TD each of the last two weeks. Unless the Raiders jump out to a sizeable lead early and just run the ball most of the game, expect another big day from Adams.
High-Leverage Wide Receiver Week 3 Pick
Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams (DK $4900, FD $5100)
You might be surprised to learn that the Rams have given up the second-most fantasy points to WRs this season. I don't think most folks know that and I don't see Dortch being a real popular pick this week. And that's all the more reason why I really love him as a "runback" for my Los Angeles Rams stacks. Dortch now has 13 targets in two games, including his TD last week. I did recommend Dortch as a cheap option I was considering in my article last week, and he came through nicely.
However, given that I am also a Rondale Moore owner, I have this sinking feeling that Dortch is going to be the top WR I totally overlooked this preseason.
Safe Tight End Week 3 Pick
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (DK $7900, FD $7800)
Explaining why Kelce is a safe pick this week feels a little like explaining why you don't use sandpaper instead of toilet paper. It's obvious, but we all know there are enough psychos out there that I probably should explain it.
First off, the books have the over/under for this game set at 50-plus, meaning it should be one of the higher-scoring games in Week 3. Kansas City also has one of the highest pass-to-run ratios. You are going to want a piece of the Chiefs' receiving corps. So why not take the guy who has the team-leading 23 percent target share? Furthermore, the Colts' pass defense is ranked 29th in DVOA. Kelce has one of the highest floors of anyone on the slate.
High-Leverage Tight End Week 3 Pick
Kylen Granson, Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (DK $2700, FD $4700)
I just finished telling you that this should be one of the highest-scoring games this weekend. Therefore I love the idea of taking a chance on the TE opposite of Kelce in this game, Granson.
The Chiefs are giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to TEs this season. Granson meanwhile just cracks the top 30 at the position so far this season and I expect the Colts to have to throw the ball more to hang with Kansas City. Granson is inside the top 20 in terms of TE targets, and I expect that trend to continue.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 3 Pick
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (DK, $3600 FD $3600)
Ok, I admit, I recommended the Bengals in this very space last week and it did not go well. But I see a big bounce-back, especially against their old friend Joe Flacco. Flacco owns the Browns, but the Bengals absolutely own Flacco. He's been sacked 41 times, which is more than twice a game. The former "elite" QB has thrown more INTs against the Bengals than any other team and it's by a wide margin. He's thrown 25 INTs just against Cincinnati, which is the same number he has against Cleveland and Pittsburgh combined.
I've followed Flacco closely through the peaks and valleys of his career. Trust me, the Joe Flacco Revival Tour hits a big bump in the road against the Bengals DST this week.
High-Leverage Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 3 Pick
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (DK $2600, FD $3800)
I like Houston to pull off the mild upset in the Windy City this weekend. If you don't, it's probably best to stay away from the Texans. But I think they do and Justin Fields might be just what the doctor ordered for Houston.
Houston is currently league average in sacks, but when doing my research I was surprised to find this stat: Houston has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. I suspect that Houston's ranking only improves after leaving the Windy City.
Other Cheap(er) Options I'm Considering In My GPP Entries:
QB: Trevor Lawrence, Geno Smith
RB: Dameon Pierce, Rashaad Penny, Eno Benjamin, Tyler Allgeier
WR: Chris Olave, Keelan Cole, Skyy Moore, Nico Collins
TE: Daniel Bellinger, Juwan Johnson
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.