After an exciting Week 1, injuries decimated the NFL in Week 2. Stars like Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees will miss multiple weeks, changing the landscape of the league. Their absence also shifts the DFS landscape and brings a number of difficult questions ahead of Week 3. With that said, here are a few value plays and GPP pivots on the DraftKings Week 3 Main Slate.
Kyler Murray ($5,800) – Arizona Cardinals
Likely to come in as the “chalk” at quarterback this week, Kyler Murray posted two games with 300+ yards passing to open the season. Playing in Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offense, Murray benefits from an offense that uses four wide receivers and ranks second in seconds per snap rate. The Cardinals also shifted to a no-huddle offense (72-percent), increasing their play volume as well. Aside from passing, Murray has yet to incorporate his rushing ability. Last year, he rushed for 1,000 yards at Oklahoma, but recorded only 17 yards through two games this year.
As for matchup, Carolina has allowed the third-fewest passing yards through two games. However, they faced off against Jameis Winston and Jared Goff in these contests. Notably, the Panthers play with a quicken pace as well, leading the league in seconds per snap rate. While this may change with Kyle Allen at quarterback, this increased pace raised Murray’s ceiling. Likely to see somewhere near 40 pass attempts again in Week 3, Murray looks like a solid value play on the Week 3 slate.
Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900) – Dallas Cowboys
Still priced below $9k, Ezekiel Elliott draws the single best matchup on the entire slate against the Maimi Dolphins. So far, only the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed more rushing yards than the Miami Dolphins this year (by one yard). Through two weeks, both Mark Ingram and Sony Michel eclipsed 80 yards rushing on limited work, while the Dolphins allowed point totals of 59 and 43 respectively. Favored by an absurd 21.5-points, game script points to a massive outing for Elliott.
Positively, Elliott’s opportunity grew in Week 2 as he re-acclimated to NFL game speed. Elliott’s touches soared from 15 to 25 with 23 rushing attempts on the ground. Even with a limited Week 1, Elliott ranks No.4 in carries (36) and No.2 in red zone carries (8). With a floor near Michel’s 83 rushing yards, Elliott remains the top value running back on the board, despite the elevated price. He deserves consideration in GPPs and cash games alike.
Dalvin Cook ($7,800) – Minnesota Vikings
Another under-priced running back near the top of the position, Dalvin Cook now retains his injury discount through Week 3 of the regular season. While Cook’s 70.8-percent Opportunity Share ranks 11th in the NFL, it deserves context within the Minnesota offense. So far, Minnesota’s 59.6-percent run rate tops the NFL. This allows Cook to rank second in the NFL in carries (41), while still leaving an additional 13 carries for Alexander Mattison.
Favored by nine points at home against the Raiders, Cook draws one of Week 3’s top match ups. At first, the Raiders appear stout against the run, allowing the sixth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL. However, Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay combined for 99 yards on 21 carries against the Raiders, while the Chiefs abandoned the run after LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams suffered in-game injuries. This creates a solid buying opportunity for Cook in DFS at a discounted price.
Keenan Allen ($7,000) – Los Angeles Chargers
With injuries to Mike Williams and Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen remains the top pass catching option in Los Angeles. Stepping up for an increased role, Allen notched a 36.2-percent Target Share (No.2) on 25 total targets (No.2) to open the season. Just looking at last week alone, the Chargers fed Allen 15 targets, despite Darius Slay‘s stout coverage. Importantly, the Chargers used Allen all over the field, allowing hims to notch 216 air yards (No.2) in Week 2.
Check out Keenan Allen on PlayerProfiler’s Weekly Rankings & Projections:
This week, Allen finds himself facing a Texans’ team struggling to defend the perimeter. After cutting Aaron Colvin earlier this year, the Texans now turn to a combination of Bradley Roby, 35-year old-Johnathan Joseph, and rookie Lonnie Johnson. While the Texans faced the vertically-challenged Jaguars and Gardner Minshew in Week 2, Drew Brees lit up this secondary for 370 passing yards. Projected to see an immense target share in a positive matchup, Allen looks like a lock on this Week 3 slate.
Christian Kirk ($5,000) – Arizona Cardinals
Shockingly still priced at $5k, Christian Kirk deserves a long look across game types in NFL DFS. Through two games this season, Kirk recorded 20 targets, while playing in the slot 76.2-percent of the time. Noted above, Arizona’s offensive scheme creates a fantasy friendly environment for pass catchers. While Larry Fitzgerald has more targets (24-20) and air yards (273-203), the Cardinals pass enough to keep both fantasy relevant on a weekly basis.
Playing Carolina this week, the Cardinals pose a difficult matchup for the Panthers. Last week, both James Bradberry and Donte Jackson allowed 70+ yards in their coverage against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, employing an abundance of 12-personnel. With Arizona running 10-personnel, Javien Elliott figures cover Fitzgerald and Kirk in the slot. Last year alone, Elliott allowed a 105.4 Passer Rating in his coverage, creating an advantageous matchup for Kirk.
Mack Hollins ($3,200) – Philadelphia Eagles
With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson likely to miss Week 3, most DFS grinders will pivot to Nelson Agholor or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. However, Mack Hollins played a considerable amount in Week 2 and remains the cheapest of the bunch. Primarily a two-tight end team, Philadelphia abandoned 12-personnel after Dallas Goedert suffered a pre-game injury. Without Jeffery and Jackson, Hollins stepped up to play 89.9-percent of Philadelphia’s snaps, while recording eight targets and 93 air yards. Conversely, Arcega-Whiteside drew 4 targets and 90 air yards in Week 2.
While the Detroit Lions remains strong in their secondary, they allowed Philip Rivers and Kyler Murray to pass for 293 and 308 yards respectively. Rashaan Melvin, in particular, allowed 111 yards in his coverage last week against the Chargers. At 6-4, 221-pounds, Hollins creates the largest size mismatch among the Philly pass catchers. Coming out of North Carolina, Hollins ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, equating to a 109.3 Speed Score (90th-percentile).
While Hollins remains a dart throw this weekend, his large snaps share and physical profile provide a calculated pivot away from Agholor and Whiteside in a similar price range.
Austin Hooper ($3,800) – Atlanta Falcons
With most of the cheap tight ends drying up, Austin Hooper remains a punt option at a volatile position. Through two games Hooper recorded target counts of nine and six. Importantly, Hooper remains a focal point of the Atlanta offense, playing at least 75-percent of the snaps in each of the first two games. Hooper also saw his routes run rise from 14 to 28 in the second game, pointing to a ceiling within the Atlanta offense. The Stanford product also creates an easy target for Matt Ryan in the passing game with a 2.77 Target Separation (No.2).
Hooper also draws a positive matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Last year, the Colts allowed the most yards to tight ends in the NFL (1,194). To start 2019, the Colts allowed Hunter Henry to notch 60 yards in Week 1. Similarly, Delanie Walker finished as the Titans’ leading receiver in Week 2. Seeing consistent target volume at a cheap price, Hooper provides a solid pivot in GPPs off the expensive tight ends.