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2021 NFL DFS Week 3 DraftKings Picks

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This 2021 NFL DFS Week 3 DraftKings Picks will be breaking down a lot of the cash plays to help you build head-to-head (H2H) and 50/50 lineups!

Full disclosure, it was a BAD week in DFS last Sunday. The chalk got there, the sharps didn’t, and I sure as hell didn’t get there either. But that’s why DFS is a marathon, not a race.

In Week 1, I dominated the slate calling out guys like Chase Edmonds who was in the milli-maker lineups.

This week’s article will be a bit more of a cash-centric mold versus me giving you a tournament play mixed in with a few cash plays as well!

Good luck!

2021 NFL DFS Week 3 DraftKings Picks

Click here for Wisdom of the Crowd NFL DFS projections

Quarterbacks: Pay Up, Value, Punt Play

Kyler Murray, Cardinals @ Jaguars, $8,300

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A pretty obvious choice at this point, Kyler Murray is the number one player not only in fantasy but in Draftkings as well. His dual-threat ability to run and throw the football is a dream option for Draftkings players, especially in cash games. So far this season, Murray has racked up an impressive 36.3 points per game.

He’s done that with a stable of weapons that include A.J. Green a former Pro Bowl wideout, Christian Kirk a solid young veteran, Rondale Moore an elite ascending prospect, and old reliable All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins. Arguably one of the best WR cores in all of football behind likely only the Buccaneers.

Now, Murray and his array of talent head to Jacksonville to play against one of the league’s worst defenses. The Jaguars rank 27th in passing yards allowed this season. They are giving up any and everything through the air to the tune of 295.5 yards per game.

According to PFF, the Jaguars secondary ranks 5th worst in coverage at the DB position. They got abused by Courtland Sutton and the Broncos last week and by Brandin Cooks and the Texans in Week 1. To make matters worse for the corners, the pass rush is not helping at all. They rank 6th worst in PFF’s model as they’ve generated only four sacks on the season.

We know the matchup is great but what’s even better is the implied points total for the Cardinals. The team slots in with a 29.75 implied team total in Week 3. With an elite matchup paired with a high total, it’s hard to pass on Kyler Murray as my cash games QB.

Last but certainly not least for Murray is the rushing upside. He’s seeing an average of five rush attempts per game paired with 20+ yards and a touchdown. That’s a bonus of eight extra points just of the ground game. Dual-threat ability, easy matchup, high implied team total. Everything points to Murray being the clear first option for your cash game builds.

Daniel Jones, Giants vs Falcons, $5,800

The value of all values but the chalk of all chalk. Jones is being touted as a top-12 QB across the industry and also being talked up as the best play at QB this week on DraftKings. Sharp players like Sal Vetri tweeted about Jones being his number one guy in DFS this week. PFF also has some very sharp things to say about the Giants’ QB as well. Take a look.

Daniel Jones? Top-10? Top-2? 2021? Bizarre but here we are. Jones may not be the sexiest name or someone you want to play in Draftkings but breaking down the matchup you can see just how great of a spot he’s in. Here’s how the Falcons rank in terms of defensive metrics.

  • Yards Allowed: 775 (12th)
  • Pass Rush Grade: 57.5 (32nd)
  • Coverage Grade: 49.5 (26th)
  • Defense: 55.0 (27th)

The Falcons are just a terrible unit in all three fazes of the game. With the inability to generate a pass rush, Daniel Jones and his offensive line that ranks towards the bottom third of the league in almost every category. With an already elite time to throw at 2.5 seconds between pressures or throws, Jones should have even more time to launch it.

According to PFF, both Sterling Shepard and Kenny Golladay (Jones’s weapons) have the 9th and 10th best matchups per their matchup tool. They both hold over a 60% edge on the opponent which is slightly above average. The matchup and weapons in this game should go wild for the young QB.

To top it all off, Jones’s dual-threat ability helps him hit his high 25.9 Draftkings points per game average. So far on the season, the Duke QB has averaged 7.5 rushes, 61 yards, and a touchdown per game just off his scrambling ability. That’s 12.1 Draftkings points per game just off rushing production, not to mention how it keeps the defense honest not being able to blitz as much.

Overall, Jones grades out as one of the best if not the best value at QB on the slate. He will be super chalky on this slate but it’s worth playing him in cash and eating the chalk.

Jared Goff, Lions vs Ravens, $5,200

Another sickening and gross QB option that I’m recommending, I know, I wouldn’t want to play him either. Unfortunately, Goff at his price is worth taking a flier on. Through two weeks, he ranks as 7th highest Draftkings points per game QB with 26.7.

Now, on paper, the matchup isn’t sexy. However, the Ravens just aren’t the same unit they were from last season. Guys like Matt Judon, Marcus Peters, and some other key pieces aren’t there anymore. The Ravens this season have allowed the most passing yards in the entire NFL at 376 per game.

They’ve also allowed 31 points per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. All and all, the defense is absolutely brutal. They can’t cover to save their lives as they rank 7th worst in coverage grade per PFF. With the inability to cover, the team has struggled to generate the pass rush to as they’ve racked up the 10th worst pass rush grade on PFF as well.

Goff should have plenty of time and space to throw in this game versus a sub-par unit. T.J. Hockenson is a name to watch out for with Goff, the pair has shown a magic connection so far on the season as Hockenson ranks 3rd in points per game at the position.

According to PFF, the pair is likely to continue as Hockenson holds a 36% advantage over the LB core of the Ravens which has allowed an 85% catch percentage along with 0.31 fantasy points per route.

With the Lions defense being the worst unit in the league, they trail often leading to more passing opportunities for Goff who currently is averaging 41 passes per game, a league-high. Everything fits nicely for Goff. The game script is perfect, the matchup is fantastic, and the advanced metrics lineup for a great day Draftkings wise.

Honorable Mention: Trevor Lawrence

Running Backs: Pay Up, Value, Punt Play

Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ Chiefs, $7,200

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The number one best matchup on the slate belongs to Ekeler. The Chiefs have allowed an absurd 202 yards per game on the ground. Their run defense holds a 29.5 rushing defense grade. Their inability to tackle has also killed them as they rank 6th worst in the entire league.

Things only get worse as they currently rank as the worst defense in the entire NFL and by a wide margin. They simply can’t play against the pass, the run, or even tackle. Ekeler should have a real nice day against the Cheifs.

The most exciting part of rostering Ekeler this weekend is his workload. In Week 2, he hauled in nine of nine targets for 61 yards. That’s just on top of the workload he gets rushing. In his first two games, he’s seen 24 combined carries. With a defense that can’t tackle mixed in with one that is allowing 6.0 yards per carry, it’s a dream come true.

In cash games, paying up for Ekeler is worth every penny. His workload and matchup make him in play for this slate.

D’Andre Swift, Lions vs Ravens, $5,800

It’s a bit of a tricky slate at the running back position. There isn’t much value and honestly, the pay-up options aren’t great either. Overall, the mid-tier might rule the game like it did last week. This is where Swift slots in at just $5,800.

Swift’s real appeal comes from the fact that DraftKings scoring is full-PPR. In two games so far this season, former Georgia back has seen 16 targets which leads the league at the position. As I noted below with Goff, the game script the Lions will be facing this week also should help out Swift.

The Lions should often be trailing to a high-powered offense like the Ravens. This should lead to more snaps and targets from Swift who saw 11 targets in Week 1 alone. With him having a clear advantage versus one of the league’s worst defenses and the game script to excel, I’m jamming Swift into my lineups.

Mike Davis, Falcons @ Giants, $5,100

It’s been a rough start to the 2021 season not only for the Falcons but for Mike Davis as well. The veteran back has seen 24 carries, 10 receptions, and 13 targets but has only turned that into a measly 135 yards combined. Not great. But there is room for optimism.

Davis has played two of the toughest run defenses to start the season in the Buccaneers and the Eagles. The Bucs currently rank 2nd overall in the category with the Eagles ranking in the middle of the pack. You can see how insanely hard the schedule was but now, the Falcons and Davis get to square up against the lowly Giants.

The Giants rank 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed at 126 yards per game. The Falcons offensive line also holds a 12% run blocking advantage over the Giants porous run defense as well. Big things in store for Davis.

A good sign for Davis this week is that the veteran runner is one of only eight running backs to have played over 100 snaps through two weeks of the regular season so far. With people scowering to play Cordarell Patterson and pick him up in fantasy, Davis is getting thrown in the trash by DFS players and fantasy managers.

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Davis will likely go low-owned and is a perfect cash play. He’s getting volume and getting the snaps. Patterson isn’t going to get two rushing touchdowns like he did last week. Buy low on Mike Davis at just $5,100.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs vs Chargers, $4,800

The chalkiest play on the entire slate will be CEH. A high game total, a high team total, and a low price point. On a podcast, Sharp Football’s Rich Hribar commented on CEH and how he could be used this week.

Hribar reiterated that the Chargers run a two-high safety format that allows quick dump-offs to the running backs, meaning massive amounts of points. The Chargers in two games this season have allowed 52 rushes for 287 yards and pair of touchdowns.

The Chargers have also only stacked the box against RB’s just 17% of the time. They dare teams to run the football which is perfect for CEH.

With CEH seeing 13 & 14 carries in his first two games along with three targets, Helaire still has the clear workload. Places like PrizePicks offering Helaires O/U rushing at 54.5, you can see the market is pushing him up and giving him respect.

With an upgraded offensive line, a great spot, a bounce-back insight, and a low salary, I’m playing CEH at this low price point.

Wide Receivers: Pay Up, Value, Punt Play

Calvin Ridley, Falcons @ Giants, $7,000

This slate is primed to see some redraft studs finally bounce back. Calvin Ridley is at the top of the list for me, especially in a cash game lineup. Last Thursday, we saw the Giants got torched in a bounce-back spot by Terry McLaurin and a backup QB.

Now, Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley, both better players, will play against the same unit that allowed 14 targets, 11 receptions, 107 yards, and a touchdown. All that after seeing just four targets in Week 1. The Giants’ porous defense is getting shelled by opposing WR1’s.

In Week 1, Jerry Jeudy torched the Giants as well for six catches and 72 yards. The team simply just can’t cover opposing WR1’s.

Ridley being in a great matchup is one thing, but his volume is what is enticing. Last year, in games without Julio Jones, Ridley was on pace to be the WR2 in Draftkings points per game. He also leads the team in targets this year with 18 so far on the season.

I like Ridley as a pay-up option in cash due to his high floor and a great matchup.

Chase Claypool, Steelers vs Bengals, $5,800

Alert, Diontae Johnson has been ruled out for Week 3! Open up the Chase Claypool train and everyone pile in. After a disappointing start to 2021, Claypool finds himself in a blowup spot.

In Week 2 with Johnson out for the second half, Claypool saw a cool nine targets in which he converted into three receptions for 70 yards. Not outstanding but good enough! The volume will most definitely be there in the absence of the team’s top wideout.

Claypool joined DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Marvin Jones, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the only receivers with over 100 unrealized air yards in Week 2; he’s this offense’s big-play receiver once they actually prove capable of creating big plays.

The matchup also doesn’t look great but taking a look deeper you can see who Claypool will match up with, my old friend Eli Apple. Notoriously one of the worst corners in the NFL yearly. Claypool boasts a three-inch height advantage and a 20-pound weight advantage. He should give Apple fits.

The opportunity cost paired with an easy matchup makes it worth every penny to grab Claypool at mid-value.

Marquise Brown, Ravens @ Lions, $5,600

I’m the biggest Lamar Jackson slanderer there is. But that’s not stopping me from playing Brown this week. Since the middle of last season, all this man has done is destroy defenses. Take a look.

  • Week 12, 2020: 4 receptions-85 yards-1 TD
  • Week 13, 2020: 5-39-1
  • Week 14, 2020: 2-50-1
  • Week 15, 2020: 6-98-0
  • Week 16, 2020: 4-25-1
  • Week 17, 2020: 5-41-2
  • Wild Card, 2020: 7-109-0
  • Divisional Round, 2020: 4-87-0
  • Week 1, 2021: 6-69-1
  • Week 2, 2021: 6-113-1

Brown on top of being an under-the-radar star, is in an elite matchup against the Lions, the worst defense in the NFL.

Brown boasts the No. 7 and No. 10 in target and air yard share. The only other receivers with at least 30% of their offense’s targets and 40% of the air yards: Deebo Samuel, Brandin Cooks, Tyler Lockett, and Tyreek Hill. The likes of Samuel (9-189-1) and Davante Adams (8-121-0) certainly didn’t have any problems in going off against this Lions secondary during the first two weeks of 2021.

I’m loving Brown in this spot.

Quintez Cephus, Lions vs Ravens, $3,900

A stacking option and a run back option. DFS lineup construction is super important and stacking is the main priority. Running it with Jared Goff who I wrote up and Cephus would be a smart play. Then you can run it back on the opposite side with Marques Brown. Perfect.

The workload is perfect to play Cephus. In his first two games this season with Goff, he has seen 13 targets. A team-high at the WR position. In both games as well he has caught at least three catches and a touchdown in every game. Great volume and upside.

The Lions being so bad and trailing in every game, Cephus makes sense as a stack with Jared Goff. He is a super cheap option at just $3,900.

Honorable mention: Mike Williams, $6,400 & Mecole Hardman, $3,900

Tight End: Pay Up, Value, Punt Play

T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs Ravens, $5,200

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Someone, please explain this to me. Only $5,200 for a guy that is outperforming George Kittle who is a near $7,000 TE. So why is Hockenson, the second-rated TE according to PFF only at $5,200? Take a look at these stats.

  • PFF receiving grade: 81.9 (No. 5 among 37 qualified tight ends)
  • Targets: 20 (No. 2)
  • Receptions: 16 (No. 1)
  • Receiving yards: 163 (No. 3)
  • Receiving touchdowns: 2 (tied for No. 3)
  • Yards per route run: 1.83 (No. 11)

You are paying for this level of production. You are also paying for the matchup. Hockenson squares up against young LB Kenny Young who is getting torched by the position. He is ranked bottom-10 in pass coverage and gives up a 36% edge to Hockenson.

I’m playing the Lions TE who has yet to score below 20 points so far this season. Stacking is super important and paying up for a TE is even more important. Play Hockenson or else!

Honorable Mention: Tyler Higbee, $4,000

Defense: Pay Up

Denver Broncos vs Jets, $4,300

It’s pretty obvious why I like this play. We heard of Sam Darnold seeing ghosts. Well, now it’s Zach Wilson seeing ghosts. In Week 2 against division rival Patriots, Wilson tossed 4 interceptions and got blown out by the Patriots.

Now, Wilson must face a vaunted Broncos defense that has allowed only 13 points to both teams so far this season. They picked off Trevor Lawrence twice in Week 2 and made Daniel Jones and the Giants fumble a few times as well.

Not to mention that the Broncos have racked up three sacks in their game so far as well. Take a look at just how bad the Jets offensive line has been as well this season.

The Broncos pass rush should be able to abuse this bottom-five if not the worst unit in the NFL. I’m paying up for a defense that is averaging 8.5 Draftkings points per game this season.


Wisdom of the Crowd NFL DFS projections

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