Week 3 Main Slate NFL DFS Plug

Week 3 Main Slate NFL DFS Plug



The following article appears on OccupyFantasy.com every Friday! Become a member for as little as $2/week with an annual subscription for NFL DFS analysis, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL and more.


This is the Sunday Main Slate NFL Daily Plug! Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes.

The NFL DFS Plug is posted for Main Slates, and is fully updated by 8:00pm on Fridays.

Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page – updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player on the slate? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our Lineup Builder is available now for as little as $4 a week!

BETTING ODDS

Biggest Favorites:
Indianapolis Colts, -12
Cleveland Browns, -7
LA Chargers, -6.5
Arizona Cardinals, -6
Seattle Seahawks, -5.5
New England Patriots, -5.5

Highest Game Totals:
DAL@SEA, 56.5
DET@ARI, 55
TEN@MIN, 50
LAR@BUF, 48
LV@NE, 47.5

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Seattle Seahawks, 31
Arizona Cardinals, 30.5
Indianapolis Colts, 27.75
Cleveland Browns, 26.5
New England Patriots, 26.5

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
New York Jets, 15.75
Carolina Panthers, 18.25
Denver Broncos, 18.75
Washington Football Team, 19
New York Giants, 19.5

GAMES TO STACK

Each week, we’ll point out three games to stack based on the Occupy Model, betting line information such as game totals, implied team totals, line movements, and more.

DAL@SEA

The most popular game to stack this week by far – Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott are 2 of just 7 QBs averaging 300+ passing yards a game. Seattle in particular has apparently decided to really “let Russ cook” – they’re passing on ~54% of their offensive plays this year, vs. just 49% in 2019. That small increase in dialing up more downfield plays for Wilson? It’s allowed Russ to toss an absurd 9 TD passes through 2 weeks on just 63 total attempts. 

While it would be wise to assume Wilson’s 14.3% pass TD rate is unsustainable, Seattle has the highest implied team total this week, and will need more of the same from their QB to hold off the Cowboys. Chris Carson has more involvement in the passing game than we expected, so even with SEA passing more, he’s a good tournament RB. SEA’s offensive line ranks 12th by Football Outsiders’ DVOA for run blocking, as well. 

DK Metcalf sonned Stephon Gilmore – one of the best CBs in the NFL – last week on a long TD grab. The 2nd year man with the physique of The Incredible Hulk was merely reminding us he’s matchup proof, and that we should treat him as such. Don’t sleep on Tyler Lockett though, as he still leads Seattle in targets, and has a favorable matchup of his own this week. 

Thanks to an incredible special teams play from Greg The Leg, the Cowboys are 1-1 heading into this critical early season conference matchup. Through 2 weeks, Dak Prescott trails only Joe Burrow and Matt Ryan in raw pass attempts. Despite this, he’s only thrown 2 pass TDs, and neither of them has gone to the dynamic trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. At the rate they throw the ball, expect that to change as soon as this Sunday. 

It’s hard to argue with the anticipated workload and the matchup for Ezekiel Elliott – the Cowboys have the 5th best run blocking line, facing SEA’s 29th ranked rush defense, and Zeke’s involvement is incredibly game script proof.

TEN@MIN

Ryan Tannehill is still one of the most underrated passers in the league, and proved to us last week he can still get it done even without AJ Brown. Derrick Henry’s elite TD rate from 2019 has officially been attacked by the regression monster; in Week 3, however, he’s facing a Vikings defense that put up little resistance against Jonathan Taylor and Aaron Jones to start the year. It’ll be hard to keep the King 👑 down for these Vikings. 

Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith should continue to be the primary options for Tannehill; the WRs have great matchups against a Vikings secondary that’s in the bottom third of the league defending WRs, and is now without two of their top players to boot. 

It’s been a rough start for Vikings fans, and hope feels far away as a result. Kirk Cousins has to lean on Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen to get this offense rolling. Thielen in particular has earned the vast majority of Cousins’ targets and air yards, so he’s a great play to key around in game stacks that are TEN heavy. 

Olabisi Johnson and rookie Justin Jefferson have each alternated in the primary WR2 role to start the year, so each has some high-risk appeal as a result. 

This game’s total opened at 45.5 at most books, and has significantly moved up to the 49-50 point total range.

Each of these games has high totals, so our preference for them probably doesn’t shock you. Our last game stack, however, may not be one you’re expecting:

CIN@PHI

The Bengals and the Eagles rank 31st and 32nd in yards per pass attempt this season, respectively. This isn’t without attempts to take deep shots, though. 

AJ Green leads the entire NFL in air yards, and he hasn’t done much with those chances. There’s no reason to expect Burrow to stop targeting his most explosive weapon, so he’s arguably the best underperforming WR play on the entire slate. We have a similar story on the other side, with DeSean Jackson. 

Miles Sanders is one of the best overall RB plays on this slate, and each of the Eagles TEs projects to be among the target leaders at the position. 

Both team’s defenses are doing a poor job putting pressure on opposing QBs, which could spell success for Wentz and Burrow. If they both have time to stand in the pocket and find their respective deep threats, we’ll be happy DFS players come Sunday night. 

BEST PLAYS BY POSITION

QB

Stud: Dak Prescott (@ Seattle)

It’s truly a toss up between Dak and Russ for top QB this week. We prefer Dak for low-risk, especially with Mike McCarthy committing to trying to score fast in the media. Dak’s not likely to get us 3 TDs on the ground in a game again – maybe ever – but he’s very likely to improve his 2.3% TD pass rate. With Dallas throwing 44 times a game on average, Dak feels like he has one of the best chances to get the 300+ passing yard bonus on DraftKings this week.

Stud: Russell Wilson (vs. Dallas)

What Dak has been able to do on volume thus far in 2020, Russ has been able to beat with pure efficiency. Seattle’s offense is averaging a nice 6.9 yards per play, due in large part to Wilson’s elite 9.7 yards per pass attempt. As a 5 point home favorite with the highest implied team total in Week 3, Wilson is well worth the price of admission. He’s the top ranked QB by OF Index on the slate in our Model.

Value: Kyler Murray (vs. Detroit)

The only real argument for not paying up for the two above? There’s some dynamic, dual threat QBs available for lower salary. Kyler is the first in that bunch for us, and the 2nd year man’s Cardinals carry the 2nd highest implied team total into their date with Detroit. Calamari’s 6.6 Y/A through 2 weeks is uninspiring, but with 3 rushing TDs on 22 attempts against SF and WAS, we’re seeing more willingness for the signal caller to call his own number – it’s paying dividends. We love rushing upside with QBs, scoring systems reward us handsomely for it when it plays out. Kyler’s just one option to roster rushing upside at value.

Value: Cam Newton (vs. Las Vegas)

The other option is Cam – the QB1 and RB1 for NE. Don’t let the stink of that final play against SEA cloud your judgement here, Newton is an elite fantasy QB once more. He leads NE in rushing attempts, and gets all the goal line work on the ground. He’s facing a Raiders team that is just 23rd by DVOA defending the pass, so expect him to stand in the pocket and find open receivers with authority. NE is a 6 point favorite against a Raiders team drawing Bill Belichick on a short week. Good luck to them.

RB

Stud: Ezekiel Elliott (@ Seattle)

Even as a road dog against the Seahawks, Elliott still pops in our Model as the highest ranked RB for Week 3, and projects to carry the 2nd highest ownership at the position on the slate. He managed to post a 23.2 DraftKings point performance in Week 2, despite Dak vulturing 3 rushing touchdowns, and his team trailing for most of the afternoon. Zeke will eat against a Seahawks defense that is just 29th by DVOA against the run on the young season.

Stud: Jonathan Taylor (vs. NY Jets)

Hard to believe Taylor is already one of the top tailbacks in the league, but here we are. As home 12 (!!) point favorites, the Colts should call his number early and often once more in Week 3. JT’s price has normalized, but it’s still too cheap for his role and favorite status this week. The Jets rank 22nd defending the rush by DVOA.

We’re projecting 30.4 weighted opportunities for him to touch the ball in our Model, the 3rd highest on the slate.

Value: Miles Sanders (vs. Cincinnati)

Miles hit the ground running – literally – in his debut game last Sunday for these Eagles. Despite a super negative game script, he still had 27 touches. Now facing an 0-2 Bengals squad as home favorites, things are setting up nicely for him to have a phenomenal performance. CIN is just 30th by DVOA defending RBs in the passing game; Sanders’ 7 targets last week indicates we should expect Doug Pederson to be ready to exploit that. 

Sanders is too damn cheap this week – and everyone knows it. He projects to be the highest owned RB on FanDuel and DraftKings. It would be wise to start your low-risk builds with him.

Value: Devin Singletary (vs. LA Rams)

The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia believes Singletary’s impressive start could yield more work for him with Zack Moss out, even with TJ Yeldon lingering behind him on game day.

Singletary was a beast to end 2019: 

We project him for 5% ownership on FanDuel and DraftKings at the moment, expect this to rise as the field catches on that he’s a much safer play than this next guy:

 

Value: Jerick McKinnon (@ NY Giants)

It takes a fair bit of conviction to just play Jet, frankly. He’s coming off back to back devastating ACL injuries, and the SF staff is leery of the turf situation at MetLife Stadium. 

McKinnon’s price is too cheap for an RB we expect to safely get 10-15 touches, with 15+ upside in a positive game script. NYG is just 22nd by DVOA defending RBs in the passing game – a role that Jet has always thrived in, going back to his time in Minnesota. 

So while we can’t rule out Jeff Wilson’s ability to eat into Jerick’s opportunities, it isn’t going to take much at his price to pay off. It’s almost an identical type of spot to Raheem last week, at a far more affordable price. Jet was a lock value at the position until the Moss inactive designation boosted Singletary’s floor for us.

WR

Stud: Calvin Ridley (vs. Chicago)

As Mike Clay tweeted back in May, the Falcons have a concerning lack of depth behind their top players on offense. With Julio Jones highly questionable for this tilt with the Bears, Ridley has just one thing to say about those concerns:

Ridley has to be considered the King of overperforming his opportunity right now, but in some respects, he’s just simply that good. Ridley’s 311 air yards through two weeks is the 2nd most in the NFL, which is impressive considering Julio himself is in the top 6, as well. With Matt Ryan dropping back to pass on 61% of Atlanta’s offensive plays, Ridley’s already high floor at the WR position gets a boost if Julio were to miss the game entirely.

We have a path to one (and now arguably two) sub $5K RBs on this slate, meaning paying up for Ridley in low-risk is not difficult at all. We project 7.7 targets for The Riddler in the Occupy Model.

Stud: DJ Moore (@ LA Chargers)

No CMC? 6.5 point underdogs? The value play of the week on the Panthers isn’t Mike Davis, it’s true WR1 DJ Moore. Moore’s 271 air yards through 2 weeks of play is the 5th most in the NFL. In a game script where we expect Teddy Bridgewater and company to be chasing points, they’ll need to try and put the ball in the hands of their best remaining playmakers to stay competitive.

Moore’s 9.9 projected targets are the 3rd most in the Occupy Model this week.

Our infamous underperforming WR list won’t debut until next week; if it did exist for just a 2 week sample of data, Moore would also be the third highest ranked player on the list. His price has dropped for the second consecutive week on DraftKings, and is almost criminally low at this point.

Value: Darius Slayton (vs. San Francisco)

Similar to Moore, Slayton’s now sitting as the best path forward for offensive success on the reeling Giants. With Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard sidelined, the starter level talent Daniel Jones needs to feed to have success is getting thin. Slayton’s already played like a WR1 through two weeks, and has twice as many air yards as the next closest man on the Giants (Engram).

He’s also going up against a SF defense that was decimated by injuries in Week 2. Based on pace expectations, it’s not unreasonable to see Slayton’s target total creep up into the range of 8-10 here, which is phenomenal value for a player in his pricing tier. SF is just 23rd by DVOA defending WR1s.

Cheapos: Adam Humphries (@ Minnesota), KJ Hamler (vs. Tampa Bay)

There’s not as much need for value this week – we have no 9K+ RB/WR plays we’re trying to jam in. It’s probably “ok” to avoid these guys in low-risk, unless you’re not sold on Jerick McKinnon. 

Humphries is seeing a ton of action with AJ Brown sidelined, and looks like the safest play for low-risk contests if you’re dumpster diving. His matchup with the Vikings secondary is favorable, with two of their starters out.

Denver rookie KJ Hamler is a min-price play that should be more involved with Courtland Sutton out for the year, as well. These guys are phenomenal high-risk plays, especially when trying to get some of the top game stacks this week.

TE

Stud: Darren Waller (@ New England)

While it took Waller until Friday to get onto the practice field, he wasn’t alone – Josh Jacobs joined him on that front. It’s incredibly likely the Raiders were managing reps for their key players on a short week (they played on Monday night).

Waller’s 24 targets in 2 games are good for an eye-popping 40% share of Derek Carr’s attempts, so it’s pretty clear he’s still the preferred option – arguably the WR1 entirely – in a new look offense that features two rookie WRs. The matchup with New England isn’t an easy one, but a relatively safe projection of 7 targets in our Model for him here is tough to ignore.

Value: Logan Thomas (@ Cleveland)

Thomas has been one of the most heavily involved TEs in the passing game in the entire league. While it hasn’t yet translated into the elite fantasy performance we’re hoping for, that has kept his DFS price in check for Week 3’s matchup. It’s a good one – Cleveland is just 23rd by DVOA defending TEs on the young season:

Week 2, CIN – Drew Sample & CJ Uzomah: 11 receptions, 87 yards, 1 TD on 15 targets
Week 1, BAL – Mark Andrews & Nick Boyle: 7 receptions, 61 yards, 2 TD on 9 targets

This could be the week Thomas hits his true ceiling if Dwayne Haskins is on his game. We project 7.9 targets for Thomas in our Model.

DST

Defenses are not typically going to be written up in detail in our Daily Plug on main slates. One of the optimal ways to select defenses for low-risk contests? Focus on defenses facing opponents with low Vegas team totals. We also want to target turnover prone quarterbacks when it makes sense. You shouldn’t ever pass on a player at another spot just to jam in a defense. We’ll always provide a list of low and high risk defenses in the player pool below.

BANKROLL ALLOCATION

Use 4-5% of your bankroll.

There’s a juicy amount of GPP’s with big prizes for NFL compared to other sports. Depending on your bankroll tier, take advantage! Read Contest Recommendations below for suggested contests by tier.

If playing low-risk, focus on the same spots we normally recommend – H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).

Our studs and values by position above are intended to be a roadmap to help you win in low-risk contests. For high-risk, there are plenty of strong GPP plays in the “Best of the Rest” player pool.

LINEUP STRATEGY

Check out the player pool below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from the write-up and low-risk sections. Often, the highest projected owned RBs in the Occupy Model end up being the sharpest low-risk plays. Smart players have all week to figure out who to run, ownership projections reflect that.

This week, that’s 3 out of Miles Sanders, Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, Jerick McKinnon, and Jonathan Taylor. Consider Devin Singletary in the mix as well with Zack Moss out.

Building 5-10-20, even 150 lineups for large-field GPPs? Stick to a core of top plays (outlined below) that are projected to be highly owned, and build game stacks around that core. We strongly recommend stacking the highest total games on the slate above to accomplish this.

You can use our Lineup Builder to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings! Available for as low as $4 a week for Occupy members. You probably should – look at what our NBA writer and two members did on Opening Night! 

Best of the Rest

If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition to top plays above. Please remember – the Occupy Model is designed for high-risk contest optimization. Lower-ranked plays may still be great low-risk plays for that reason.

QUARTERBACKS:

LOW-RISK: Deshaun Watson

HIGH-RISK: Joe Burrow, Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger

RUNNING BACKS: 

LOW-RISK: Melvin Gordon III, Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake

HIGH-RISK: Josh Jacobs, David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Mike Davis, James Conner, Austin Ekeler, Chris Carson, Joe Mixon, Jeff Wilson, Todd Gurley, Antonio Gibson, Darrell Henderson, Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, David Montgomery, Nick Chubb, D’Andre Swift, Joshua Kelley, Nyheim Hines, Chase Edmonds, Giovani Bernard

WIDE RECEIVERS: 

LOW-RISK: Allen Robinson, Adam Thielen, Julian Edelman, DeAndre Hopkins, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Mike Williams, Diontae Johnson

HIGH RISK: A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Robert Woods, Chris Godwin, Tyler Boyd, Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham Jr, DeSean Jackson, Amari Cooper, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jerry Jeudy, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, Will Fuller, John Brown, DK Metcalf, Marvin Jones Jr, Keenan Allen, Robby Anderson, Terry McLaurin, Danny Amendola, Larry Fitzgerald, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Golladay, Russell Gage, Corey Davis, Randall Cobb, Olabisi Johnson

TIGHT ENDS:

LOW-RISK: Hunter Henry, Jimmy Graham

HIGH RISK: Drew Sample, Jonnu Smith, Dallas Goedert, Hayden Hurst, Greg Olsen, Zach Ertz, Eric Ebron, Jordan Akins, Jordan Reed, Dalton Schultz, Irv Smith

DST:

LOW-RISK: Colts, Steelers, 49ers, Buccaneers, Eagles

HIGH-RISK: Giants, Falcons

CONTEST RECOMMENDATIONS

Occupy Fantasy Member’s League

Play our free league contest on DraftKings! Winner take all, 1st place gets a $100 GPP ticket. Winner needs to DM the Occupy account on Twitter for more information. Enter the contest here. Good luck!

Smaller Bankrolls

Always, always always play freerolls. We have two on DraftKings this week – Jose Cuervo Touchdowns & Tequila, and The Modelo Beat Bettis Challenge.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.

This is likely most people reading this – single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.

The first place you can do that are with “Contests” – these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests – you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats – it’s a great place to play.

On DraftKings, the $3 entry fee, NFL $100K Pylon or $12 entry fee, NFL $300K Fair Catch are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. 

On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $100K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $40K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $30K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $200K Nickel on DraftKings.

The $50K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $2,500!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $40K Sun NFL Pooch Punt. There’s also a $0.25 cent version, the $80K Sun NFL Hail Mary.

Satellites are the best way for us to accumulate entries to the big contests each week. On DraftKings, play for Millionaire Maker Satellites tickets you can use in later weeks. There are satellites for the NFL Wildcat GPPs, and a KC vs BAL Monday Night Millionaire Showdown contest next week.

There are also generic “NFL $3 Ticket SuperSatellite” contests – these award 4 tickets and are $0.25 single entry GPPs. This would be a great way to accumulate Pylon or Play-Action tickets.


There’s also satellites into the $2.25M Fantasy BBall Millionaire, which is a $25 entry fee contest for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, as well as future Fantasy Golf Millionaire Makers.

On FanDuel, the WFFC Fan Championship on 12/20 is a great place to start – it’s a $250 entry fee online live final.

Larger Bankrolls

100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play – on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.

We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $1.75M Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $100K, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here.

You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size – The $27 entry fee $100K Blind Side and $50 entry fee $250K Red Zone stand out. The $500K Spy is a $100 entry fee GPP that awards $100K to first (there’s a smaller version with 50K to 1st, too).

For FanDuel users, the best single entry GPPs in the next tier not mentioned above? The $25 entry fee, $111K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $120K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $100K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

On DraftKings, the $150 entry fee, $555K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP with a $100K prize to 1st (there’s also a $250K Power Sweep with a smaller field). Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

The $4.25M Fantasy Football Millionaire is a $20 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $1,000,000 top prize. We like to say don’t play these contests with your own money without being able to max enter, so unless you’re a big baller, use your satellite tickets only for this.

The next best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $500K Slant this week. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $50,000 top prize.

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $2.75M NFL Sunday Million which is a $4.44 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $1,000,000 top-prize.

The $550K Sun NFL Bomb is a $44 entry fee, 150-max GPP that offers $100,000 to 1st place that is also a decent GPP to consider for you.

Sports Betting disclaimers
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Situation statistics sourced from Stathead.com. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!