Week 3 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

Week 3 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily 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.

The Daily Plug is our weekly NFL DFS picks write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model. The Plug then provides actionable information for each slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly what types of contests to play — all depending on the type of player you are. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @cdr02989 for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUEon 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 in Week 3? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our partner, DFS Magic, is offering an optimizer FREE for all Occupy members through the end of October.


Biggest Favorites:
Cowboys, -22
Patriots, -21
Vikings, -10
Packers, -8.5

Highest Game Totals:
BAL@KC, 52
NYG@TB, 48
LAR@CLE, 47 (Yahoo! Only)

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Cowboys, 34.5
Patriots, 32
Chiefs, 28.75
Buccaneers, 27.5
Vikings, 26.75

Lowest Team Totals:
Jets, 11
Dolphins, 12.5
Raiders, 16.75
Broncos, 17.25
Steelers, 18.5



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.

The Bengals and Bills face off in the 1:00pm window, and are low-key one of the better game stack opportunities on the slate. Josh Allen has one of the highest ceilings at the position, and still comes at a decent price tag here in Week 3. Andy Dalton isn’t too shabby of an option, either, as he’s averaged a respectable 7.8 yards per pass attempt (Y/A) in two games. The Bills defense offers a new challenge for Dalton, however, as they’ve allowed the least net yards per pass attempt to opposing QBs thus far. John Brown, Zay Jones and Frank Gore have attractive matchups, while Joe Mixon on the Bengals side has more upside than one might initially expect.

The game everyone is likely to be on is a battle of two quarterbacks who have been lighting the world on fire: Patrick Mahomes II and Lamar Jackson. The Ravens visit the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium for what should prove to be the game of the week. All options in this game are in play thanks to the fact that it has the highest game total on the slate.

With the Daniel Jones era suddenly underway for the Giants, the game with the Buccaneers in Tampa this weekend just got much more interesting. Jones lit the world on fire in preseason, averaging an outrageously efficient 12.2 Y/A and completing 85.3% of his passes in the 2019 season’s dress rehearsals. With Eli Manning averaging less than 7.0 yards per attempt over his last four seasons of action, Jones is an immediate upgrade at the QB position for fantasy purposes, and he elevates what we can expect from guys like Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and even Bennie Fowler here.



Stud: Patrick Mahomes II (vs. Baltimore)

Mahomes is the 3rd highest ranked quarterback in the Occupy Model this week. While his price tag is high, the context of the slate is important – with all the value available at RB and WR this week, it’s not prohibitive whatsoever. The MVP’s much discussed regression from his 2018 form remains elusive – Mahomes is averaging 10.7 Y/A and a TD on 9.1% of his passes here in 2019.

Value: Josh Allen (vs. Cincinnati) 

The Bengals have allowed opposing QBs to throw for 9.4 net yards per pass attempt through two games on 46 total dropbacks. Enter Josh Allen, averaging 7.6 Y/A on the year, with an average of 8.9 intended air yards per pass per NextGenStats. Allen offers similar rushing upside to 2019’s breakout star at the position, Lamar Jackson, but at a significant discount in salary. While Jackson makes sense for game stacks and tournament builds, Allen’s skillset in a game where he is a home favorite makes him a really strong play in Week 3.

Running Back

Stud: Christian McCaffrey (@ Arizona)

With Cam Newton set to likely miss this game, Christian McCaffrey will still be a focal point of the offense for Kyle Allen. Arizona is 28th by DVOA defending running backs in the passing game, where Christian McCaffrey holds a 20% target share through 2 games. He has a 40.6 weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model, which is the highest for all RBs on the slate this week. He’s our number 1 RB on FanDuel, and number 2 on DraftKings behind 22 point road underdog Le’Veon Bell.

Stud: Dalvin Cook (vs. Oakland)

Know who loves running the football? Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. As 10 point home favorites, that speaks volumes of what we should be able to expect from Dalvin Cook against the Oakland Raiders. Cook projects as one of the 4 highest owned RBs on the slate, at a 32.8 weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model. Low-risk lineups could benefit from trying to build around home favorite RBs like Cook, Elliott, and this next player below.

Value: Chris Carson (vs. New Orleans)

Pete Carroll promised he wanted to get Carson 50 targets this season, and he’s on pace to blow that away with 10 targets already in 2 games. As 4.5 point favorites against the now Brees-less New Orleans Saints, the Seahawks should once again lean on Carson at home in Week 3. Carson’s one of the best DraftKings values on the entire slate with a 29.5 weighted opportunity score at just $5900. His price on FanDuel is a little higher relatively speaking, but still looks worthy of consideration.  With Rashaad Penny now questionable with a Friday hamstring injury, Carson’s workload may be even safer than anticipated as well. PENNY OUT

Value: Frank Gore (vs. Cincinnati)

With Devin Singletary ruled out, Gore only has T.J. Yeldon to worry about as competition for touches out of the backfield. Gore has received over 50% of the carries in this Buffalo offense through two games. While he’s only averaging 2.93 yards per carry this season, the Bengals allow opponents to average 4.9 yards per carry, so he should be more successful in Week 3 with the right opportunity. Buffalo is a 7 point home favorite in this game.

Wide Receiver

Stud: Keenan Allen (vs. Houston)

Allen is one of five players that we project for 10+ targets in the Occupy Model this week. Mike Williams was back to full participation in practice this week after dealing with a knee injury in the lead up to Week 2, but Keenan Allen should still command a heavy workload regardless. He has a 37.9% target share through two games, with 10+ targets in each of Los Angeles’ matchups. Allen holds a 54% share of Philip Rivers’ air yards through 2 games. He enters the weekend as one of the highest floor WRs on the slate, with one of the better matchups in his salary tier.

Stud: Amari Cooper (vs. Miami)

It’s Week 3, and the Miami Dolphins have apparently already quit trying to play football. Through 2 games, they’re allowing opponents to gain 7.4 yards per offensive play, the next highest total being allowed is just 6.8 yards. Miami allows 11.1 yards per pass attempt to opposing QBs this season, which is 1.2 yards more than the next closest defense. Pretty much every Cowboy is in play here, but Amari Cooper looks particularly well positioned to thrive, especially in light of Michael Gallup’s meniscus surgery sidelining him for the next 2-4 weeks. We project 7.8 targets for Amari, highest on the Cowboys, who also have the highest implied team total on the slate.

Value: Christian Kirk (vs. Carolina)

Arizona’s team total has risen by 1.75 points since the news broke Cam Newton wasn’t practicing this week, which only bodes well for Kirk here. His 23% share of Kyler Murray’s air yards is second only to Larry Fitzgerald on the Cardinals, however Kirk comes at a slight price discount on DraftKings (same price on FanDuel). Kirk’s production in 2019 has not matched his level of opportunity, so he’s a buy-low candidate and a nice pivot off of Fitzgerald’s slightly higher projected ownership in Week 3.

Value: Nelson Agholor (vs. Detroit) 

With DeSean Jackson already ruled out with an abdominal strain and Alshon Jeffery questionable with a calf injury, Nelson Agholor has suddenly been elevated to top WR status for the Eagles at a low price. We’re projecting 7.2 targetsfor the USC graduate, who has a 26% share of Carson Wentz’s air yards through two games. There’s a strong possibility Nelson Agholor is the highest owned WR in low-risk contests on the slate given his cheap salary and Philadelphia’s high implied team total against the Detroit Lions. Eagles promoted WR Greg Ward from practice squad, may be a tell Alshon is out. Will update when confirmation comes through.

Tight End

Stud: Travis Kelce (vs. Baltimore)

We’ve yet to see a real ceiling performance from Kelce, and we just might get it in this game against the Ravens. If Lamar and Mahomes trade touchdowns as efficiently as they’ve been scoring them all season, the likelihood Kelce is on the receiving end of 1 or 2 is really high. He has a 22% target share and a 23% air yards share through 2 games in 2019. He’s had 3 targets inside the 10 yard line, and hasn’t yet connected with Mahomes on any of them. This is bound to change sooner rather than later. Kelce is a fine play in all formats on this slate. We project him for 9.4 targets in the Occupy Model.

Value: Greg Olsen (@ Arizona)

The top ranked TE in the Occupy Model is past and future NFL broadcaster… Greg Olsen. We project 7.1 targets for him against the Cardinals in Week 3. Olsen has a 21% target share through two weeks, alongside a 23% share of Cam Newton’s air yards. Kyle Allen favored the TE position in his Week 17 start, as starting TE Ian Thomas drew 7 targets in that game against the Saints. All this points to a potential big game for Greg Olsen here as the Saints try and overcome the (hopefully) temporary loss of Cam Newton.


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.


With all the value available on this slate to build around, this is a 6-8% allocation weekend.

Skew lower with low-risk this week, maybe more like 50-60% of your allocation – H2Hs, single entry double ups (multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them). With so much turmoil on NFL rosters this week with injuries, it’s a much more high-risk friendly week.

Our studs and values by position 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 player pool, as well as contests for you to target.

For more information on contest selection and bankroll allocation, check out our MUST-READ Ultimate Guide e-book.



Once again,we’ve given you a player pool to work from below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from that group.

Building 5-10-20 or more lineups for these 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. Our partner, DFS Magic, has a lineup builder you can use to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings!


Smaller Bankrolls

First and foremost, always play freerolls. DraftKings has one sponsored by Samuel Adams for the first seven weeks of the season. There is also a freeroll sponsored by Straight Talk Wireless here in Week 3.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, postyour 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.

The $3 entry fee, $100K Pylon or $12 entry fee, $300K Fair Catch on DraftKings 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 $30K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $40K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

You should continue to play satellites for Millionaire Maker tickets you can use in later weeks.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $150K 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 $2,000!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $18K Sun NFL Pooch Punt.

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, $1.6M 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 $75K Blind Side, $50 entry fee $150K Red Zone and $100 entry fee $200K Spy contest are the best ones available to you on DraftKings.

For FanDuel users, you can consider the $1, 294 person WFFC Fan Championship on 12/15 satellites in addition to the NFL Sunday Million ones. The best single entry GPPs in the next tier up not mentioned above? The $25 entry fee, $80K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $90K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $65K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline of 4-5% of your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

The $150 entry fee, $500K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP on DraftKings with a $100,000 prize to 1st. Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

On DraftKings, the largest expense (and largest upside) play is the $4.25M Fantasy Football Millionaire, which is a 150-max contest with a $1 million dollar top-prize. We like to say you shouldn’t play contests with your own dollars unless you can max enter them – the Milly Maker is no different.

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

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $3M NFL Sunday Million which is a $9 entry fee 150-max contest with a $1 million dollar top-prize.


If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition totop plays above.


LOW-RISK: Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Kyle Allen

HIGH-RISK: Jameis Winston, Daniel Jones, Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Mason Rudolph, Carson Wentz


LOW-RISK: Austin Ekeler, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, James White WHITE OUT

HIGH RISK: Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, Kerryon Johnson, Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders, Darwin Thompson


LOW-RISK: DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julian Edelman, Tyler Lockett, Emmanuel Sanders, Stefon Diggs

HIGH RISK: Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, T.Y. Hilton (if active), Tyrell Williams, Sammy Watkins, Kenny Golladay, Marquise Brown, John Brown, Mecole Hardman, Curtis Samuel, Marvin Jones Jr, Josh Gordon, DeVante Parker, DK Metcalf, Will Fuller V, James Washington, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (if Alshon out) ALSHON OUT, Devin Smith


LOW-RISK: Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews, Austin Hooper

HIGH RISK: George Kittle, Evan Engram, Vance McDonald, T.J. Hockenson


LOW-RISK: Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers

HIGH-RISK: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Plays are listed in order of preference (OF Index, DK Index where applicable).

Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. 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!