NFL Week 3 gets underway with a Thursday Night Football showdown between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars starting at 8:20 p.m. ET.
If you’re unfamiliar with the single-game NFL DFS format, it differs a bit on DraftKings and FanDuel. On DraftKings, you have one “captain” spot and five flexes. The captain will score 1.5x fantasy points, but he also costs 1.5x salary. That means if you want to roster Gardiner Minshew at captain and take advantage of the scoring boost, you’ll have to pay $16,500 as opposed to $11,000.
FanDuel’s single-game format features one “MVP” spot and four flexes. The MVP also scores 1.5x fantasy points, but he doesn’t cost any additional salary. That takes away a bit of the strategy and makes the goal simple: get your highest-scoring player in the MVP spot.
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The two most expensive players on today’s slate are the two QBs.
Minshew is the priciest option, and he’s been fantastic to start the season. He made history in his first start of the season, becoming the first QB in league history to complete at least 95% of his passes and throw for at least three TDs, and he followed that up with 339 yards and three more TDs in his second outing. Overall, he’s averaged 24.64 DraftKings points per game.
He takes the field in a dream spot today vs. the Dolphins. They were dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA in 2019, and they’re dead last in that category through the first two weeks of 2020.
Minshew also get the benefit of taking the field as a home favorite in this contest. Home favorites have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.22 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool), and this may be the only time this season that Minshew will actually fit that description.
On the other side, Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his third consecutive start for the Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa is waiting in the wings, but he reportedly has yet to take any sort of contact in practice. With that in mind, Dolphins’ fans will have to wait a little longer before they can potentially get a glimpse at their future franchise QB.
Fitzpatrick was miserable in his first start of the season, posting just 191 yards with three interceptions vs. the New England Patriots. That said, the Patriots have arguably the best pass defense in the entire league, so those results were not that shocking.
He was able to bounce back nicely vs. the Bills in Week 2, finishing with 328 yards and two passing TDs. The Bills are no slouch defensively, and Fitzpatrick was able to put together a good fantasy day while nearly leading his team to an upset victory.
He’ll face his easiest matchup yet tonight vs. the Jaguars, who are merely 31st in pass defense DVOA. Fitzpatrick has shown the ability to put up huge performances in good matchups in the past, so he has plenty of appeal.
After the two QBs, their top pass catchers check in next on the pricing spectrum. That’s D.J. Chark for the Jaguars, who came seemingly out of nowhere to top 1000 receiving yards with eight TDs in 2019. Unfortunately, he’s gotten off to a slow start in 2020, and he’s currently listed as questionable with a chest injury. He is tentatively expected to play after getting in a pair of limited practices this week, but he’s a risky option. He’s garnered just seven targets through his first two games, and the Jaguars have played at one of the slowest paces in the league.
DeVante Parker has also been batting injuries to start the season, but he was officially removed from the injury report on Wednesday. He should be a full go vs. the Jaguars, but they have surprisingly been pretty good against No. 1 WRs to start the season. They rank seventh in DVOA vs. the position despite their struggles to stop the passing game in general.
The Jaguars made the decision to jettison Leonard Fournette before the start of the season, which has allowed James Robinson to step into a feature role in their backfield. He’s logged 16 carries in each of their first two games this season, and he turned those carries into 102 yards and one TD in Week 2 vs. the Titans. He also has some potential in the passing game, evidenced by his four targets last week.
He’s just the fifth-highest priced player on DraftKings, but he owns the third-highest median and ceiling projections in our NFL Models. That definitely puts him in play in an excellent matchup.
The Dolphins have employed more of a committee in their backfield to start the season, but Myles Gaskin has emerged as the top option. He leads the team with 16 carries through the first two games.
That’s obviously not a ton of work for a primary running back, but he’s made up for it with his involvement in the pass game. He’s garnered 11 targets in 2020 and has converted those targets into 10 receptions for 62 yards.
Mike Gesicki is coming off a monster performance in his last outing. He scored 30.0 DraftKings points thanks to eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, and he also led the team with 11 targets. Gesicki is a freak athlete at the position – he owns a 97th-percentile SPARQ-x score per Player Profiler – and he broke out down the stretch in 2019. He should continue to serve as one of Fitzpatrick’s primary weapons, particularly in this matchup vs. the Jaguars. They have struggled to defend the TE position to start the season, ranking just 31st in DVOA vs. the position.
Preston Williams and Laviska Shenault both stand out as interesting options on FanDuel. Both players own Bargain Ratings of 91%, and both players have already scored a touchdown through their first two games. Parker has been more involved offensively – he’s averaged six targets per game in 2020 – but Shenault is cheaper and has the superior implied team total.
Values & Punts
- Keelan Cole: $5,400 on DraftKings, $11,000 on FanDuel – Cole is far from a value today on FanDuel, but he does fit the description on DraftKings. He entered the season with minimal expectations but has averaged six targets through his first two contests. He’s also found the endzone in each of his first two games.
- Jordan Howard: $4,800 on DraftKings, $8,500 – Howard has more carries this season (13) than rushing yards (11), which is actually kind of impressive if you think about it. That said, he has operated as the Dolphins’ primary goal line option at RB, and he’s managed to fall into the endzone twice through his first two games.
- Defenses & Kickers – The defenses and kickers are potential options in the single-game format, particularly in games that project to be low scoring. Both defenses also get a slight bump considering that the opposing QB for both teams can be turnover-prone at times.
- Isaiah Ford: $3,000 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel Ford played on 66.7% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps last week and finished with nine targets. I wouldn’t expect a repeat target share today, but he still has the potential for a few catches and maybe a score.
- Chris Thompson: $2,600 on DraftKings, $9,500 on FanDuel – Thomspon is a significantly better target today on DraftKings. Obviously his price tag is more appealing – he owns a Bargain Rating of 94% — and he also benefits from the PPR scoring format. Thompson hasn’t seen as much work as a pass catcher as expected to start the year, but he did turn four targets into three catches for 20 yards and a TD last week.
- Chris Conley: $2,200 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel – Conley is another member of the Jags who has benefitted from the reduced target share for Chark to start the year. He’s coming off seven targets in his last game, and that kind of potential is definitely acceptable at his current price across the industry.