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-salaried 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's main slate has some games with high totals and some really intriguing options at each position. Let's see where it makes sense to allocate our available salary this week.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Projected Points: 24.8
Repeating as fantasy football's top quarterback is no easy feat. Last year, Josh Allen became the first player to do that since Drew Brees in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Allen has already had two big games to start this season and could be on his way to a third straight year as fantasy's top signal caller.
Allen currently sits as the QB2 in fantasy after only playing three quarters in Monday night's demolition job of the Tennessee Titans. He has seven touchdowns in the air and one on the ground. He's also added 66 yards with his legs and has a matchup that could see him continue to do that this week.
The Buffalo Bills will face the Miami Dolphins in a game that has the second-highest total (52.5) on the Week 3 main slate. The Bills themselves are tied for the highest implied team total (29.5), something that correlates positively with fantasy scoring for quarterbacks.
Miami's defense has been exploitable through the air so far this season. They rank 26th in pass defense, according to numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. They have been able to slow down the running game, ranking fifth, so this might encourage an already pass-happy Buffalo team to throw even more. Miami is also 24th in adjusted fantasy points given up per drop back.
The Dolphins just allowed Lamar Jackson to run wild against them, and Allen isn't shy about running if he sees an opportunity. He's the top signal-caller for the week because he has multiple paths to success. Our projections rate him as the highest-scoring player at any position this week, and he is certainly worth playing in tournaments with the upside he has.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $8,300
Projected Points: 18.9
It's been a quiet start to the season for Dalvin Cook. He has just 107 rushing yards in the opening two games of the season and has yet to find the end zone. There are reasons for optimism, though, and this week the signs point to what could be a breakout performance.
Cook saw good volume in Week 1 when the Minnesota Vikings were in a positive game script, totaling 20 carries and five targets. The involvement in the passing remained for Week 2, although the carries went down significantly due to Minnesota trailing for much of the contest. Now, with Minnesota a 5.5-point favorite at home, we should see Cook get some good run in a good matchup.
Minnesota is in a divisional battle against the Detroit Lions in Week 3. The Lions have played two high-scoring games to start the season, and that is expected to continue into this week. This game paces the slate with a 53.5-point total. The Vikings have an implied team total that is the same as the Bills', both the highest on the slate at 29.5.
Detroit has not been able to slow down the running game up to this point of the season. They rank dead last in adjusted fantasy points per carry, and they are also 31st in run defense efficiency.
Cook's slow start to the season and the plethora of other options at the position will likely keep his popularity down some this week. He's projected for the second-most points at running back, per our model, despite having only the fifth-highest salary. Cook could definitely be a sneaky-good option in GPPs this week.
Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 15.5
Like Cook, Ja'Marr Chase also seems to be going under the radar a bit to start the year. His solid game in Week 1 was overshadowed by some other dominant performances by star wide receivers, and then he was quiet in Week 2. Both he and the Cincinnati Bengals have a great chance to get back on track this Sunday.
Chase has seen a bit different usage to start the season than what we saw last year. He is now seeing 28.4% of the team's targets, but the average depth of those targets is just 7.1 yards, compared to 12.6 last season. This could be due to Joe Burrow being under pressure a lot to start the season. Chase is capable of making a big play when he gets the ball at any level of the field, so seeing more targets is a good thing, even if they are shorter targets.
Burrow might not be under as much pressure this week in the game against the New York Jets. New York has the fifth-worst pressure rate in the league. They're also 23rd in receiver fantasy points per target and 31st in schedule-adjusted pass defense overall.
With Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson on the slate and receivers like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill in projected shootouts, Chase might be underutilized in tournaments. We saw multiple times last season that he has slate-breaking upside in any outing, so he's worth rostering, especially when the field might not be on him.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $7,800
Projected Points: 14.7
At nearly 33 years of age, Travis Kelce is still the top tight end in the game. He is the highest-scoring tight end through two games off the back of a big output in Week 1. Last week was a tougher matchup and led to a more pedestrian performance, but that shouldn't be a problem heading to Week 3.
Kelce is now the de facto number-one receiver on the Kansas City Chiefs. He leads the team with 16 targets through the two games. His average depth of target is up to 9.9 yards after being at 7.3 last season. Seeing more targets further down the field is a recipe for Kelce to have another big season.
The Chiefs are on the road to face the struggling Indianapolis Colts. Indy has yet to win a game this season and has really struggled in pass defense. They are 30th overall against the pass. They're even worse against tight ends, ranking dead last in terms of adjusted fantasy points per target to the position.
Kelce and the Chiefs trail only the Bills and Vikings in implied team total this week. The 2022 Chiefs' offense will go through Kelce even more so than before, meaning KC's high team total should be indicative of big things coming for Kelce.
Kelce is the highest-projected tight end on this slate by our numbers. With the lack of overall depth at tight, his projection also has him as the best point-per-dollar value at the position. He is a great option in all formats if you can fit him into your lineups.
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.