Week 3 always feels like an important one on the NFL calendar as teams try to establish themselves as true contenders while others are already feeling the pressure as they look to avoid a disastrous 0-3 start.
For the second straight week, Sunday afternoon sets up with 12 games on the main slate since we get another nice Monday night doubleheader. With 24 teams to choose from once again, there are plenty of great options to consider as you assemble your Week 2 NFL DFS squad.
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 — BUT that’s not all. This year, Chris Raybon’s projections will also be available in our NFL Player Models.
For full access to our models, you’ll need to sign up for a FantasyLabs subscription:
NFL DFS Quarterback Values
Geno Smith ($5,700) Seattle Seahawks (-6) vs. Carolina Panthers (42 total)
The Seahawks won a thriller in Week 2 against the Lions after looking awful in Week 1 against the Rams. After Week 2, it looks like the Rams may be better than everyone expected, though, while the Seahawks’ big road win indicates they’ll be right in the mix in the NFC West as well. If you opt to go with a cheap QB, Geno Smith stands out after his strong Week 2 performance with a favorable Week 3 matchup at home.
Using FantasyLabs projections, Smith has the highest Projected Plus/Minus and the most projected Pts/Sal of all quarterbacks on Sunday’s slate.
Last week, Smith threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns while completing 32-of-41 (78%) of his pass attempts against a defense that beat the defending champs in Week 1. Smith added 20 rushing yards as well to finish with a Plus/Minus of +6.7 DraftKings Points. He did some of that without DK Metcalf, too, since the star receiver was dealing with a rib injury.
Smith’s Week 1 performance was pretty awful, but his good bounceback made him the second-highest scoring QB under $6K last week and the sixth-highest scoring QB overall. His inconsistency results in him being a high-risk play, but when he’s on his game like he was last week, he’s much better than the 17th-best QB, which is where he’s priced this week.
His matchup against the Panthers is a pretty neutral one. Carolina is in a challenging spot after playing on Monday night football at home and going on the road all the way to Seattle on a short week. The Panthers have actually been pretty good against the position, but part of that has to do with facing Derek Carr and Desmond Ridder, who both let their team to comfortable wins. Smith will be the toughest QB they’ve faced, and especially if Metcalf is healthy and clear, Smith should represent a good source of value in Week 3.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Values
Drake London ($5,000) Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) at Detroit Lions (46.5 total)
The Falcons are a surprising 2-0 after beating the Panthers and Packers to start the season, and this week, they’ll go on the road in the same spot that Geno and the Seahawks had a big week against the Lions. The Falcons have had most of their success on the ground, but they may have to throw more this week, depending on the game script, which makes Drake London pop as a potential wide receiver value.
Using THE BLITZ projections, London has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on the slate behind only Justin Jefferson, who is always a great option if you have the salary available. London is over $4K cheaper, though, and he comes with a very high ceiling after a good bounce-back performance in Week 2.
London badly needed a bounceback since Week 1 could not gone much worse. He played 90.4% of the team’s snaps but finished with just one target, no catches, and no fantasy points. Week 2 was a different story, and he led the team in targets, catches, and receiving yards while also scoring the only receiving touchdown. He finished with a Plus/Minus of 6.8 DraftKings points on six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown for 18.7 DraftKings points.
This should be a good spot for the Falcons’ passing game to continue to spread its wings since the Seahawks soared for 37 points last week in their 37-31 win. While this game may not quite reach that point total, the over/under is the fourth-highest on this slate. Remember, last week, Tyler Lockett found the end zone twice against the Lions, and in Week 1, the Chiefs receivers had potential but came down with a case of the dropsies. There should be space for London to operate and return good value in Week 3, so it looks like a good week not to hate the Drake.
Some of the other bargain receivers popping early in the projection to keep an eye on include Josh Downs of the Colts, Joshua Palmer of the Chargers, Tank Dell of the Texans, and Josh Reynolds of the Lions, who was my pick in this space last week and came through with two scores and 23.6 DraftKings points last week.
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NFL DFS Running Back Values
Jerome Ford ($4,800) Cleveland Browns (-3) vs. Tennessee Titans (39.5 total)
Both THE BLITZ projections and FantasyLabs projections give Jerome Ford the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all running backs on Week 3’s main slate by a wide margin. Ford is an obvious choice of the running backs priced under $5K since he now has a clear path to playing time.
The Browns lost a tough road game to the Steelers on Monday night football, but more devastatingly, lost superstar running back Nick Chubb (knee) for the season. Ford is the next man up, and coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear that he will be the lead back even if they do bring in a veteran for depth purposes.
The fifth-round rookie from Cincinnati was already pretty involved in the offense. He had 15 carries in Week 1 but only managed 36 yards. In a much larger role in Week 2, he racked up 106 rushing yards and caught 3-of-4 targets for 25 more yards and a touchdown. He almost had a rushing score as well but was stopped just short of the goal line after his 69-yard gallop.
We know that Stefanski likes to rotate backs but usually gives plenty of opportunities for success on the ground. Even in a slightly below-average matchup with the Titans in what is projected to be a low-scoring game, Ford is poised to be the best bargain back available on Sunday.
NFL DFS Tight End Values
Zach Ertz ($3,500) Arizona Cardinals (-12.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys (43.5 total)
The Cardinals offense hasn’t been the prettiest to watch, but new coach Jonathan Gannon has had his squad right in both their losses to the Commanders and Giants. However, this week, they’ll face a huge step-up in NFC East opponent as they host the Cowboys.
One thing that has been consistent in their two games this season has been their heavy usage of Zach Ertz in the passing game. In fact, the veteran leads all tight ends in the NFL with 18 targets this season for a massive 31% target share, which not only is the highest among all tight ends but would also put him near the top of the elite receiver target shares.
Even with so much volume, there are 13 tight ends priced above him on Sunday’s slate. Using THE BLITZ projections, Ertz has the highest projected Plus/Minus of all tight ends on Sunday’s slate and also has the highest projected Points per Salary.
Ertz has outproduced salary-based expectations in each of his two games this season while playing 72.4% of Arizona’s offensive snaps. He had six catches in each contest for 21 yards against the Commanders and 56 yards against the Giants. He hasn’t caught a pass in the red zone yet but has been targeted twice. The fact that he’s been able to exceed expectations with touchdowns makes him a very solid value, and his upside is very high at this price since so many targets have been coming his way.