We’re officially into the swing of the NFL season with two weeks in the books. That means DraftKings opening contests — and releasing salaries — for the week ahead on Sunday evening. In the fast-changing landscape of the NFL, that leaves plenty of time for obvious value to appear.
Let’s take a look at a few players who stand out for Week 3, using the early projections in our NFL Player Models. Of course, these models update frequently. Things will likely change between now and Sunday, but it’s still good to have a plan of attack.
If there’s news between now and lock — and there will be — the models will update to reflect that.
As always, they’re powered by Sean Koerner — the most accurate fantasy ranker in the industry from 2019-2021.
For full access to our models, you’ll need to sign up for a FantasyLabs subscription:
NFL DFS Quarterback Values
Derek Carr ($5,900) Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans
Carr was fairly chalky in Week 2 but had an unspectacular 18.98 DraftKings points. Much of that came down to game script: despite an eventual loss, Las Vegas lead 17-0 halfway through the second and never trailed this one outside of a walk-off defensive touchdown by Arizona.
If Carr is given a chance to continue to air it out, he could be in for a bigger day in Week 3. He had two first-half touchdowns before the Raiders switched to ball-control mode. Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson and will continue to attack through their best players — Davante Adams and Darren Waller — rather than try to establish a ground game.
The Titans also just got torched by Buffalo on Monday. Josh Allen and the passing attack put up 317 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters before the starters got pulled. Vegas would be wise to replicate that plan, and the short week for Tennessee does their defense no favors.
Carr trails only Geno Smith in Pts/Sal projections as of Tuesday, with a much higher ceiling.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Values
Stefon Diggs ($7,700) Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Miami Dolphins (53.5 total)
After a mildly disappointing 2021, Diggs has shown out in the first two weeks of 2022. He posted an 8/122/1 line in Week 1, which he followed up with a 12/148/3 on Monday Night Football. Thanks to salaries being released prior to that game, Diggs’ salary has remained static heading into Week 3.
Those are the ideal situations to target, as Diggs would likely be over $8,000 had his three-touchdown game come on Sunday afternoon. He drew 14 targets in a game that Buffalo controlled easily, proving yet again the Bills’ willingness to continue to throw with a commanding lead.
This week the game situation should be even better. Miami has shown themselves capable of putting up points themselves, and this one has massive shootout potential. While we can’t project Diggs for another 47.8 DraftKings points performance, his target floor should be somewhat higher this time around.
He’s the leader in Pts/Sal projection at the WR position as of Tuesday.
NFL DFS Running Back Values
Leonard Fournette ($6,500) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) vs. Green Bay Packers
Uncle Lenny has handled at least 20 carries in each of the first two weeks this season, but a lack of ownership has his price stagnant. While the fantasy points weren’t there last week, 28 opportunities (24 carries and four targets) portend better things to come.
Particularly with the receiver status in Tampa Bay. Mike Evans is (at the moment) suspended for Week 3, Chris Godwin is likely to miss again, and Julio Jones is doubtful at best. The benefits to Fournette if all three miss are two-fold.
First, Tampa Bay could — as they have already — take a more run-focused approach with the lack of options in the passing game. Second, when they do look to pass, more of those targets could flow Fournette’s way. We saw this a bit in Week 2. He drew twice as many targets as he did in Week 1 when the trio of wide receivers all played at least part of the game.
His dual-threat role makes him a game script independent option in Week 3. He leads all running backs in Projected Plus/Minus and has a solid floor/ceiling combination.
NFL DFS Tight End Values
Irv Smith Jr. ($3,100) Minnesota Vikings (-6) vs. Detroit Lions (53.5 total)
Smith was being eased back from an injury in Week 1, leading to him being held without a catch on two targets. With the Vikings playing on Monday night, that was the last data point DraftKings had when making the Week 3 salaries.
Fortunately for us, we have Smith’s Week 2 performance to look at as well. Kirk Cousins looked his way on eight of his 46 pass attempts on Monday night. That 17% target share is solid for an extremely cheap tight end and still translates to 5+ targets even if Cousins only attempts 30 or so passes.
The current spread would indicate that’s the likeliest scenario, though the Lions offense looks capable of keeping pace with anyone this season. Another 40+ pass attempts from Cousins could mean a big day for his tight end.
Smith leads all tight ends in Pts/Sal projection by a reasonably wide margin. He’s a perfect example of the additional information from a prime-time game creating an obvious edge.