The Player Models are the lifeblood of our NFL product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. After all, a projection is just part of the equation: salary, ceiling, and projected ownership all factor into which players stand out as the best plays each week.
Let’s dive into our models and look at a few players with the highest ceilings and values for Week 3.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the week after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
NFL DFS Quarterback Picks
Top Ceiling: Josh Allen at Miami Dolphins – $8,200 on DraftKings, $9,000 on FanDuel
Josh Allen projects for the highest ceiling, facing a team in the Miami Dolphins, who rank 26 in defensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
Allen, the most expensive quarterback on both sites, leads the Bills, who are a 5.5-point road favorite and are playing in a Week 3 matchup with shootout potential, a 52.5-point total. So far this season, Allen and the Bills were one of the more pass-heavy teams, using a 60%/40% pass-to-run play-calling scheme, and look to be close to the league average in pace, calling a play every 26.7 seconds. In a Week 2 41-7 route of the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, Allen threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns and is typically a rushing threat, seeing 10 attempts for 56 yards in a Week 1 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Look for superstar wideout Stefon Diggs to be the main beneficiary in the Bills’ passing scheme. In Week 2, Diggs saw 15 targets and a 29% target share as a top stacking option, priced at $7,700 on DraftKings.
Per the Trends tool, when Allen appears in matchups above a 50-point total, he averages 27.58 DraftKings points, with a +4.30 Plus/Minus with a 61.27% consistency rating. Despite the sky-high salary, Allen may be worth the pay-up, giving lineups a solid floor.
Looking at THE BLITZ, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts projects for the highest ceiling against the Washington Commanders in Week 3. The dual-threat quarterback looks to have a similarly favorable matchup, facing a Commanders defense that is ranked 28th in defensive DVOA and comes in as a 6.5-point road favorite. Look for Hurts to likely target wide receiver A.J. Brown and use his skillful rushing ability, averaging 14 attempts per game this season.
Top Value: Kirk Cousins vs. Detroit Lions – $6,700 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel
After a disappointing Week 2, 24-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Kirk Cousins projects to be a top value, priced at a discounted $6,700 on DraftKings, and could certainly turn around a terrible performance in a divisional matchup. Cousins and the Vikings are a massive six-point home favorite against the Detroit Lions, who rank 17th in DVOA in a matchup that has enormous shootout potential, currently at 53-points, the highest on the slate.
Look for Cousins to use his weapons in the receiving corps in Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen, which Jefferson being the main beneficiary, seeing a massive 35% of the target share.
According to PFF, Detroit ranks 23rd in overall defense, which should allow the Vikings to move the ball down the field in this NFC North rivalry, which appears to be a more offensively-focused matchup.
NFL DFS Running Back Picks
Top Ceiling: Jonathan Taylor vs Kansas City Chiefs – $9,000 on DraftKings, $9,400 on FanDuel
Despite a mediocre-at-best performance in a 24-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jonathan Taylor again projects for the highest ceiling, facing a Kansas City Chiefs defense that ranked sixth in DVOA, which may signal a more difficult path to an 85th-percentile outcome.
In the Week 2 loss, Taylor had nine rushing attempts for 54 yards. Despite the lackluster performance, he remains an integral part of the Colts offense, also factoring into the passing game, seeing one target for nine yards.
The Colts are a 5.5-point underdogs against the Chiefs and expect Taylor to play a significant role in moving the Colts offense forward. Don’t forget his ability to easily reach the 100-yard rushing bonus, further adding his ability to reach an 85th-percentile outcome.
Top Value: Leonard Fournette vs Green Bay Packers – $6,500 on DraftKings, $7,200 on FanDuel
Leonard Fournette should likely continue his production as the top producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making him a top value at the running back position. In a Week 2 win over the division-rival New Orleans Saints, Fournette had 24 attempts for 65 yards, grinding out 2.71 yards per attempt, as well as seeing passing production in two targets for nine yards.
Look for Fournette to be a viable one-off play, creating salary relief for higher-priced stacks. Further, despite being a close 1.5-point home favorite, the Buccaneers’ receiving corps has major injury and suspension concerns in Julio Jones, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, which may signal additional production from a consistent carrier in Fournette.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Top Ceiling: Cooper Kupp at Arizona Cardinals – $9,900 on DraftKings, $9,800 on FanDuel
How can we not equate Los Angeles Rams wideout Cooper Kupp and projecting for the highest ceiling among all wide receivers in Week 3.
A favorite target of Matthew Stafford, Kupp was targeted 14 times, catching one pass and found his way into the end zone twice. Dating back to last season, Kupp scored at least one touchdown in 13 games, and look for Kupp to also be the first look in the red zone. This season, Kupp ranks third in red zone targets and should continue to be the first look for Stafford (per AddMoreFunds).
Not only should the targets be there for Kupp, but a 100-receiving yard bonus is in store for the wideout, adding to his ceiling potential, which he has reached in both games this season. With a 36% target share and the Rams using a 61%/39% pass-to-run play-calling scheme, Kupp, who could see inflated ownership, despite the high price tag on both sites, is trending toward unfadeable territory.
Arizona shocked the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime last week, and as a 3.5-point underdog, could keep this game close, which may signal more opportunities for Kupp to reach a ceiling outcome, especially against a Cardinals defense ranked 30th in DVOA.
Top Value: Russell Gage vs. Green Bay Packers – $4,700 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage projects as a top value for Week 3 on DraftKings, priced at a low-$4,700 salary. As a 1.5-point home favorite, Tom Brady will likely look toward Gage, especially due to what may appear to be a limited receiving corps, with injury concerns to Julio Jones and Chris Godwin and the loss of Mike Evans, who was given a one-game suspension.
With the lower salary — Gage makes a perfect bring-back choice for lineups rostering Aaron Jones or any of the Packers’ receiving corps.
NFL DFS Tight End Picks
Top Ceiling: Travis Kelce at Indianapolis Colts – $7,900 on DraftKings, $7,800 on FanDuel
Travis Kelce returns to the main slate for Week 3 and again projects as a top ceiling play. Priced as the most expensive tight end, Kelce leads the Chiefs receiving corps with a 23% target share, seeing seven targets and catching five passes for 52 yards in a Week 2 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.
The Colts defense appears porous, ranking 29th in pass DVOA. Patrick Mahomes will look to move the offense through the air as one of the more pass-heavy teams in the league, calling a 63%/37% pass-to-run play-call split. As a 5.5-point road favorite, Kelce may be the main driver of the Chiefs offense and is always a likely candidate for red zone production and the 100-yard receiving bonus on DraftKings.
Top Value: Irv Smith Jr. vs. Detroit Lions – $3,100 on DraftKings, $5,000 on FanDuel
Irv Smith Jr. should continue to see production in the Minnesota Vikings offense, especially with a breakout performance in a Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, targeted eight times, catching five passes for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Despite being a home favorite and likely seeing high ownership, given his discounted price tag on DraftKings, Smith is a viable stacking option alongside Jefferson and Thielen or as a bring-back for quarterback Jared Goff
Detroit ranks 19th in pass DVOA, and with this NFC North matchup having shootout potential, it may be prudent to have a piece of this game as a key piece of a winning lineup.