FanDuel NFL Lineups: Week 3

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Jay Ajayi /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: A top FanDuel NFL running back last week, C.J. Anderson /

Welcome back for the third week of FanDuel NFL Lineups.  We’re a Daily Fantasy Football column focused on top picks and best value for your weekly FanDuel NFL lineups.  We arm you with information for a big FanDuel NFL payday each week.

Last week, Tom Brady was well worth his salary, piling up 447 passing yards, and three passing touchdowns for a 30.78 FanDuel NFL point result against the Saints.  Brady was pissed after losing their home opener, and the Saints passing defense is proving to be a great matchup for future QB plays.

While Brady was the bread-winner of all quarterbacks last week, our other top pick, a risky one, was Marcus Mariota, who only landed a serviceable 14 NFL FanDuel points, but on a much lower $7.9K salary.  Still, there were several better options, like Wentz and Siemian, who were priced lower but landed in the top three for total NFL FanDuel points with Brady.

We were high on Melvin Gordon, and for a $7.6K salary, Melvin was a good pick with 78 total yards, seven receptions, and a rushing touchdown.  Gordon’s 17.3 FanDuel NFL points was a great pairing with Brady.  But C.J. Anderson was the sleeper of the week, piling up 28.9 points against the Cowboys.

For as well as Brady played, it was disappointing to see Brandin Cooks only land 5.3 FanDuel NFL points on a pricey $7.9K salary.  Cooks is really shaping up to be that home-run type of threat for the Pats, versus and target machine.  Diggs, who still could be a target machine, was surprisingly shutdown by the Steelers, but this was mostly due to the absence of Bradford, which was a late breaking event.  But, Kelvin Benjamin saved us with 10.7 points against the Bills.  Still, that was disappointing considering the potential.

Once again, one of our big picks of the week was on defense.  We loved the Jaguars in week one, but knew to fade them in week two.  Instead, we targeted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, and were rewarded with 19 points for only $4.5K in salary.

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Once again, FanDuel is offering several slate options, including a Thursday through Monday slate covering all 16 games.  We’re fading the Thursday game, although it turned out to be a shootout, and was a fun FanDuel NFL event this week.  Still, we’re going to focus on the top players for the remaining 15 games, discuss several great options, for different reasons, at each position.  Hopefully this helps you cover the slates you’re targeting this weekend.

Now, let’s get starting with the Quarterbacks…

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OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Derek Carr is a top FanDuel NFL QB option this week. /

FanDuel NFL Lineups: Week 3 – Quarterbacks

Top Pick

A lot of the lineup optimizers, and even the data, suggests Kirk Cousins ($7,600) should have a great game in Washington Sunday night, hosting the Raiders.  But I don’t like it.  Cousins is struggling to start this season, and it may have to do with the loss of Garcon, and the lack of chemistry with Pryor.

However, I still love the game in D.C. this week, and I’m targeting Derek Carr ($8,400) as my top quarterback.  If Cousins has a good game, that likely makes our Carr pick even better, inflating his attempts well above 30.  After missing ten pass attempts against the Titans to start the season, Derek only missed five connections against the Jets last week, piling up three touchdowns in 28 attempts.  Carr has five touchdowns heading into week three, second in the NFL.  Even after last seasons gruesome season-ending injury, Carr is already emerging as a top QB option this season.

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Another reason we like Carr this week is the stacking potential.  Crabtree was the recipient of the three touchdowns last week, and now leads the NFL in receiving TD’s.  We have the very talented Cooper on the other side of the field, and Cook already has nine catches for 89 yards.  Washington has a great corner in Norman, but he’s struggling to plug the gaps from the poor play of the safeties each week.  Also, Breeland is having a below average start, matching his season last year, and Bashaud has the task of covering Crabtree most of the game Sunday night.

Other Top Options

Brady ($9,400), Rodgers ($9,300), and Brees ($8,400) each have difficult defensive match ups this week.  Any of those three could have a great week, they’re elite quarterbacks in the NFL.  However, you’re paying over $8K for higher than normal risk, and reducing your options at the other positions.

But for only $7,900, it’s hard to ignore Matthew Stafford ($7,900) this week.  We loved Stafford against a historically great Cardinals pass defense in week one, and I like him again in week three, at home against the Falcons.  The Falcons do have a great corner in Desmond Trufant, and their slot-corner Poole is off to another great start, his second.  But when not in three-wide sets, the Falcons have struggled to contain the pass this season.  Also, talented wide-out rookie Golladay is lining up with Robert Alford, who’s off to a horrendous start to the 2017 season.  Matthew and the Lions should be airing it out often on Sunday afternoon.

My third favorite quarterback is Carson Wentz ($7,700).  Carson has thrown two picks, but also is averaging two touchdowns a game, along with over 300 yards a game.  Along with Siemian and Alex Smith, Wentz is on the surprise top-three total FanDuel NFL points among quarterbacks after two games this season, averaging 22.85/game.

There is an obvious reason for Carson, passing attempts.  Wentz is averaging 42.5 passing attempts per game, fourth in the NFL, along with 640 total yards, fifth in the NFL.  Even if Wentz only gets you two touchdowns, he’ll pass for over 300 yards and pile up over 20 FanDuel NFL points on a cheaper $7.7K salary.  Even against a solid Giants defense, he’s a great option.


Cam Newton ($8,100) – The Carolina Panthers are hosting a horrendous Saints passing defense. But this feels like a trap.  The Panthers have been careful with Newton’s throwing shoulder this week, limiting his participation in practice on Thursday.  I also do not like Newton as much until Olsen gets back on the field, which may not happen until week 12.

Matt Ryan ($8,500) – On the surface this could be a good match up.  But the Lions have a great passing rush, Glover Quin is having a great start to the season at safety, and Darius Slay is one of the top corners in the NFL now.  Also, with a new offensive coordinator, we haven’t seen Ryan return to his top-notch form from last season.  Too much risk for the price with this play.

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HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 07: Lamar Miller could have a great FanDuel NFL day in week three of the 2017 season. /

FanDuel NFL Lineups: Week 3 – Running Backs

Top Picks

The salary FanDuel gave Lamar Miller ($6,100) seems odd.  Miller is consistently averaging 17.5 carries per game, over two targets per game, and just under 100 total yards per game.  Lamar doesn’t have a touchdown yet, but he’s been a consistent 10 FanDuel NFL point play each week. In his first two match ups, Miller faced a Bengals and Jags defense each capable of stopping the run.

This week, Miller is in New England.  The Pats are destined to show their home crowd they’re bouncing back from the Chiefs, but their defense is already demonstrating some holes compared to last season.  The Patriots run defense are giving up an average of six yards per carry.  While most of that may seem like it came from the big  game Hunt had in week one, Mark Ingram also had 6.5 yards per carry, after eight hand-offs, last week in New Orleans against the Pats.  If the Texans defense can keep them in the game, Miller is due for a big game on a very cheap $6.1K salary.

The play of Le’Veon Bell ($8,700) in the first two games of the season may lull some FanDuel NFL players to sleep.  Bell had a surprising 10 carries against the Browns, well below his usual bell-cow like workload.  But while Bell had no touchdowns and only 11.1 FanDuel NFL points on 91 total yards, Le’Veon had 27 carries and four receptions on four targets against a very good Vikings defense.

This week, Bell is facing a Bears defense who’s struggling all over the field.  Trevathan and Sam Acho are playing well on the right side of the field, but Jones and Floyd are struggling for the linebackers on the left side.  Also, Acho’s performance is bound to drop throughout the season.  On top of the poor run defense, the Bears are struggling to defend the pass, and the Steelers passing game should cool off in the second quarter, opening the door for many carries from Bell.  He’s pricey, but you can afford Bell with Miller in your lineup.

Other Top Option

Kareem Hunt ($8,300) is simply a fantastic fantasy football running back this season.  It’s only been two games, but against decent Patriots and Eagles defensive units, Hunt averaged an amazing 33.75 FanDuel NFL points-per-game.  Kareem’s 7.6 yards per carry, after 30 carries, is incredible, and he’s seeing and catching four targets per game, and also averaging around 50 receiving yards per game.  Hunt started the season with a fumble, but followed that up with five total touchdowns in two games.  Against a poor run-stopping Chargers defense, Hunt’s fantasy run will continue.

Speaking of the Chargers, they had to stop Jay Ajayi ($8,200) last weekend, and failed miserably. Ajayi had 122 rushing yards on 28 attempts, along with two receptions.  Jay sat out of the Thursday practice, but there’s little concern about Ajayi starting in New York this Sunday, against a very bad Jets defense.  Even for this price, this is a great play.

I hate the FanDuel NFL price tag on Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) this week, especially after the very disappointing 22 total yards of offense with no touchdowns against the Broncos, in Denver last week.  But we saw what Elliott did to the Giants in week one, and they’re playing a similar defense in Arizona against the Cardinals this week.  This is my least favorite of the top five options, but it’s hard to avoid the potential here.  I would use Elliott in a GPP play, along with some cheap fliers.


Leonard Fournette ($7,400) – Fournette is a beast of a running back, and has a touchdown in each of the two games he played so far this season.  Leonard also has five receptions on eight targets. Averaging over 16 FanDuel NFL points-per-game on a $7.4K salary is going to make Fournette attractive to players.  But the Jags are hosting an incredible Baltimore Ravens defense, and they’ll likely give the Jags fits, causing them to force more passes than run plays.

Mike Gillislee ($6,800) – The Pats appear to have replaced Blount quite well.  Gillislee has four touchdowns already, in just two games.  But with just over 16 carries per game and no passing targets, Mike is only averaging over 55 total yards per game.  So Gillislee’s fantasy value is limited to touchdowns, and the Texans are a great defense.  This would be a risky play, and there are too many other great options on the board.

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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 17: Antonio Brown is once again a great FanDuel NFL option this week. /

FanDuel NFL Lineups: Week 3 – Wide Receivers

Top Picks

Julio Jones ($9,300) and Mike Evans ($8,600) are always going to be top five options each week, but I don’t like their match up.  Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,800) should, in theory, have a good game against the Eagles, but the Giants offense and Eli Manning aren’t in sync right now, so that’s a GPP play only.  Jordy Nelson ($8,400) could be back, but while the Bengals offense has been terrible, their defense has been the opposite of that, fantastic.

We’ll continue to fade Dez Bryant ($7,800) until he gets a favorable match up, about week 8 or so. So that makes Antonio Brown ($9,000) stick out among a crowded group of top-notch FanDuel NFL wide receivers.  Unlike Bell, Brown started the season with a fantastic game against the Browns, eleven receptions on eleven targets, 182 yards, and unfortunately a fumble, but 23.7 FanDuel NFL points.  Last week, Antonio bumped up against one of the best pass-defending teams in the NFL, the Vikings, limiting his catches to only five, but still with eleven targets and 62 yards.

This week, Brown has another solid match up, in Chicago against the Bears.  Brown will mostly lineup against former Hokie Kyle Fuller, who had a solid sophomore year last year, but is struggling among an overall bad defensive unit this season.  It’s a solid guess to assume Brown gets another eleven targets this week, with more receptions than last week, and he’s going to get some end zone targets as well.  He’s pricey, but Antonio is one of the top picks of the week.

While Brown is an expensive option, there are three affordable picks aligned with our top quarterbacks making your lineup more affordable this week.  We talked about how we love Carr this week, and one of the key points was the match up Michael Crabtree ($7,700) has in Washington.  Unfortunately, Michael will be a hot pick this week, after averaging over six targets a game, 80 yards a game, and hauling in three touchdowns last week to lead the NFL.  But Crabtree is a must-have in cash games, and a solid anchor for GPP’s.

Stafford and Wentz are two more quarterbacks we love this week, and we’re going to target Alshon Jeffery ($7,500) and Kenny Golladay ($5,900) for wide receiver picks.  Golladay is a fan-favorite and may seem like a bust after only three targets, one reception, and eight yards against the Giants.  But Kenny has a great match up in the slot this week, and Stafford will be inclined to look his way more often, as he did when Golladay saw seven target against the Cardinals in week one.

Jeffery’s chemistry with Wentz seemed to take some time over the summer, but last week it was obviously there.  After seven targets, three receptions, and only 38 yards against Washington, Alshon piled up 13 targets, seven receptions, 92 yards and a touchdown against a very good Chiefs backfield.  Jeffery is the kind of talent who can excel against average to above-average corners like the Giant’s DRC, and that’s who he’s facing this week.

Other Top Picks

Amari Cooper ($7,700) could split the benefit from Crabtree this week, or if Washington decides to focus more on Crabtree after his three touchdown performance, Cooper would then excel with more targets, like the 13 he saw in Tennessee two weeks ago.

While I’m nervous about Newton, the Panthers are playing at home against one of the worst, if not the worst, passing defenses in the NFL.  Kelvin Benjamin ($6,600) and Devin Funchess ($4,800) are two very affordable options with the ability to generate 10+ FanDuel NFL points.  Benjamin fits with a $5K-$7K mix, and if you’re targeting Brown for your lineup, Funchess is a great way to afford him.


A.J. Green ($7,500) – When Dalton figures out how to throw a football again, Green is going to be a great FanDuel NFL option.  Until then, he’s a hard fade, especially in Green Bay this week.

Michael Thomas ($7,500) – While I like the high passing attempts likely from Brees in Carolina this week, the Panthers have shut down the passing offenses they’ve seen thrown at them already.  Thomas could find the end zone, but the Panthers are going to focus on him with their top corner, and make Brees use the rest of his offense, which he typically does.

Terrelle Pryor Sr. ($6,900) – Pryor has only eight catches with 15 targets, yikes!  He still hasn’t hauled in over 100 total yards on the season after two games.  This Cousins to Pryor chemistry isn’t working so far.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles congratulates Zach Ertz /

FanDuel NFL Lineups: Week 3 – Tight End / Kicker / Defense

It’s another week of NFL football, so Rob Gronkoski ($8,400) is on the injured list.  But don’t be fulled, he’ll play, and he’s always a great option at TE, if you can afford him.  Travis Kelce ($7,100) should also have another great week.  I want to like Jordan Reed ($6,700) but there always seems to be an injury concern, and he could come out of a game at any minute.  So I’m landing on a more reliable and affordable option this week, Zach Ertz ($6,500).

While defenses will certainly pick up on it, and the Giants are one of the better pass defenders this season, but it’s becoming very obvious Wentz and Ertz have great chemistry on the field.  Through two games, Zach is consistently averaging nine targets a game, hauling in around seven receptions for just under 100 yards a game.  Ertz hasn’t hit the end zone yet, but is still averaging nearly 13 FanDuel NFL points-per-game on a $6.5K salary.  Also, with so many targets from Wentz, Zach is bound to land in the end zone over the next two weeks.

Speaking of the Eagles, with Caleb Sturgis injured, rookie Jake Elliott ($4,600) filled in as field goal kicker last week, and piled up 9 FanDuel NFL points.  With over 40 passing attempts per game, the Eagles are moving the ball down the field, and Elliott is again a very cheap, but productive, option at kicker this week.

With the Patriots playing the Texans and the Eagles playing the Giants, most FanDuel NFL players will target those defenses playing the opposing struggling offenses.  But the Giants are bound to bounce-back on offense at some point, and the Pats defense hasn’t been great to start the first two weeks of the season.

We’ve mostly focused on obvious targets on defense so far, landing great picks with the Jags in week one, Bucs in week two, and now we’re hoping the Baltimore Ravens ($5,000) will keep the streak going in week three.  The Ravens defense looks legit this season, and they’re playing a Jags offense whose struggling to find an identity, and quarterback.  Oh, and the Ravens are averaging 21 FanDuel NFL points-per-game this year.

So after reviewing all the options, we put together our favorite lineup for the week.  Here’s a look at our Final FanDuel NFL Week 3 lineup:

QB – Carr (OAK $8,400)

RB – Miller (HOU $6,100)

RB – Hunt (KC $8,300)

WR – Crabtree (OAK $7,700)

WR – Golladay (DET $5,900)

WR – Jeffery (PHI $7,500)

TE – Ertz (PHI $6,500)

K – Elliott (PHI $4,700)

D – Baltimore Ravens ($5,000)

This leaves us with $0 left, maximizing our picks using value in two receiver positions, defense, and kicker and loading up on some big point potential at quarterback, running back, and receiver.

Note: This is a recommended lineup after discussing our top options for the week.  You should use this as a guide, and provide your own input when building FanDuel NFL lineups.  We are not telling you, or selling you, to use this lineup.

Next: DraftKings NFL Week 3 Bargain Plays

Good luck with your FanDuel NFL plays week 3, and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates!