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Week 3 Primetime Slate DFS Breakdown

Who are the best plays for the Week 3 DFS primetime slate on DraftKings and FanDuel? This article runs through notes on the primetime short slate featuring SNF/MNF games.1

DSF Week 3 Primetime Slate

HomeAwaySpreadFavorite ImpliedUnderdog ImpliedVegas Total
Cleveland BrownsLos Angeles RamsLAR -325.522.548
Washington Chicago BearsCHI -422.518.541

DFS Week 3 Primetime Slate theory thoughts:

  • Players seem a bit too cheap, especially on DraftKings, which makes it easy to create “stacked” lineups
    • What does this mean for you? If you want lineup differentiation, you might have to leave some salary left over or add an extra contrarian play to your lineup
  • The WAS-CHI game seems irrelevant, but there are actually quite a few players on both teams that I’m interested in on this short slate. Going overweight on that game (without ignoring the obviously-better CLE-LAR game) might be a nice way to differentiate lineups
  • To choose a Rams receiver … or not to choose a Rams receiver? The Browns are the No. 1 pass defense so far in 2019, and over the last five regular season games (dating back to 2018), Cleveland has given up the fewest expected points to WRs

Quarterbacks

Chalk: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

DK – QB2; FD – QB1

Mayfield’s Browns are not favored and do not have the highest implied total on the slate, but he’s still the best bet to produce big numbers among this crew of QBs. Based on our Game Level Similarity Projections, Mayfield’s 75% percentile projection is 20.7, tops among the four starters on the slate. His average projection is 17.1, eighth-highest among all QBs this week and also tops on the slate.

This game also has an over/under of 48, and in his four previous games with a Vegas line this high, Mayfield has averaged three more PPR points per game:

Contrarian: Case Keenum, Washington

DK – QB4; FD – QB3

Keenum is a much better value on DraftKings, where he costs just $4,800 despite averaging 23.5 PPG through two weeks — more than Mayfield and Mitchell Trubisky combined. He has five touchdowns and no INTs through two games, and is far exceeding expectations. The cheap price tag on DK indicates that his real-life performance has yet to be accounted for in his pricing. And using our NFL Stats Explorer, we see that when Keenum’s team is the ‘dog, he performs significantly better:2

 

Running Backs

Chalk: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

DK – RB1; FD – RB1

It’s wild that Chubb is considered a no-doubt better play than Todd Gurley on a two-game slate (though I do think Gurley is a strong tournament play), but here we are. Chubb has had at least 85% rush attempt market share in Cleveland each of the first two games, and double-digit target share as well — making him game script-proof even as an underdog. He ranks sixth in the NFL in opportunity market share (37.7%), and it’s clear we can call Chubb a bellcow.

As for the matchup, the Rams smothered the Saints rushing attack in Week 2, but I’m willing to attribute much of that to Drew Brees’ injury. In Week 1, the Rams were pantsed by Christian McCaffrey for 49 PPR points.

Contrarian: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

DK – RB3; FD – RB3

It’s not that hard to fit both Chubb and Gurley into lineups, and as a result, I think people won’t click on Montgomery’s name as much as they should. After a ho-hum Week 1 in which he found himself stuck in a three-headed backfield, Montgomery emerged in Week 3 to touch the ball 19 times. Both his rush attempt share and target share — and therefore his opportunity market share — rose precipitously week-over-week:

David Montgomery usageAtts + TargetsRush Att MSTarget MSOpportunity MS
Week 1740%2.2%11.7%
Week 22162.1%11.1%37.5%

The Bears are four-point favorites, and with Montgomery handling 35-40% market share — including nearly two-thirds of rush attempts — we can project him for 18-22 touches again. Importantly, Montgomery also ranked tied for second in the NFL for rush attempts inside the 10. He’s due for a touchdown with that kind of usage.

Wide Receivers

Chalk: Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

DK – WR1; FD – WR1

OBJ can break any slate, and on the short slates, if you don’t own him and he goes off, you’re guaranteed to finish outside of the money. He saw double-digit targets in both Weeks 1 and 2, and pretty amazing things happen when OBJ sees at least 10 targets in a game:

Contrarian: Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

DK – WR5; FD – WR5

Is he actually contrarian? I’m not sure, but people might be worried about clicking on his name because of expected shadow coverage from Josh Norman. However, Robinson sees such elite usage and is priced a bit too cheap on both FD and DK to overlook. Robinson has seen at least 26% target share in each of Chicago’s first two games, and as a unit, Washington has been dominated by WRs so far this season, giving up the ninth- and 10th-most expected points to the position in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.

Contrarian: Terry McLaurin, Washington

DK – WR7; FD – WR6

Sharper fantasy minds have already boarded the McLaurin F1, so maybe he won’t fly as under the radar as I’m hoping, but I still doubt that a rookie WR for Washington is known by the general community just yet — despite his quick start. The Bears D was generally stout against the Packers in Week 1, but they did give up the fourth-most expected points to the WR position against the lackluster Denver offense in Week 2.

For his part, McLaurin saw his target share rise from 15.9% in Week 1 to 24.3% in Week 2. He has scored in both games and ranks 16th among all WRs in expected points. Get on board now before McLaurin goes mainstream.

Tight Ends

Chalk: Vernon Davis, Washington

DK – TE4; FD – TE3

Jordan Reed was ruled out for Monday’s game, which opens the door for Davis once again. He has double-digit target share in both games and actually draws a favorable matchup against the Bears, who have recently struggled against TEs, giving up the second-most expected points to the position over the last five regular season games (dating back to 2018):

Contrarian: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

DK – TE5; FD – TE8

A better play on FanDuel as a min-priced option,3 Everett faces a Browns defense that was dunked on by Delanie Walker in Week 1, as Walker posted a 5-55-2 line. Last week, Everett had an 18% target share — second-highest on the team behind Cooper Kupp, who had 32% target share.

Image Credit: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Nick Chubb.

  1. An important note: I’m writing this column with tournaments and GPPs top of mind. Cash game plays on short slates are usually easier to figure out because the options are so thin; tournaments require quite a bit of game theory, which can be half the fun.  (back)
  2. Washington is a four-point underdogs against the Bears in Week 3.  (back)
  3. Everett is definitely still in play on DraftKings given the lack of TE options on this slate.  (back)

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