Week 3 is here, and now that we are past the San Francisco 49ers trouncing the New York Giants, we can turn and look into the Sunday slate and figure out how to attack this slate to make our money this weekend. Before we begin the article, make sure to keep an eye on the weather because as of now, the rain up the East Coast will determine who will start, who we sit, and who we fade, which leans this article from the traditional contrarian Heavy-WR build to a “chalk” based setup. We will finish this article with a few added dart throws to make this work for your lineup this Sunday. Let’s break it down and go into the first two stacks that come from the same game.
NFL DFS Week 3 Stacking Advice
Kirk Cousins + Justin Jefferson + Joshua Kelley (QB/WR Min + RB LAC)
Justin Herbert + Keenan Allen + Justin Jefferson (QB/WR LAC + WR Min)
Is it a cop-out to use two stacks from the same game? It could be. However, we told you the weather will affect how we approach our build. This game is in a dome in Minnesota and free from any elements. This game also has the highest O/U on the slate, meaning Vegas believes we will see a shootout between the Chargers and the Vikings. With both teams struggling on defense, we agree with Vegas.
Let’s start with Kirk Cousins. We discussed this in the past: the Minnesota Vikings’ defense is putrid, which means Kirk Cousins must throw to keep pace with the other team. This reasoning benefits our lineup even if he comes in at the highest percentage of rosters this weekend. Cousins should stack up the yards and reach 300 (a bonus on DK) quickly against this Chargers defense, a defense that is allowing the most passing yards in 2023.
This Chargers defense has also allowed the third most touchdowns and the second most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks this season. Do I usually like to eat the chalk quarterback, especially when their team is the favorite? No. However, this game situation will be too juicy to pass up, and you will need to get special elsewhere to get different, especially when we pair him with his favorite weapon, Justin Jefferson.
You can’t speak of Justin Jefferson without stating that he may be one of the most popular plays on Sunday. Once again, you must be comfortable eating the chalk, but it will be worth it when you cash in Sunday night. The Chargers allow the sixth most receptions to wide receivers, the most receiving yards, and the most touchdowns to the position. Wide receiver cores that face the Chargers defense score 41.1 FPPG in 2023. That is the worst in the NFL. Last week, Justin Jefferson hauled in 11 passes for 159 yards against one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Darius Slay. He faces J.C. Jackson this week, usually a strong defender, but someone who is struggling in his own right in 2023. Eat the chalk and start Jefferson.
Finally, we reached the bring back because we believe this game will get “there” from hitting the overs. Joshua Kelley is cheap on DFS platforms ($5,400) on DraftKings. Kelley will also be a popular play with Austin Ekeler out. However, this game is worth eating the chalk in a week that is convoluted with weather reports. Joshua Kelley faces a Vikings defense that just allowed D’Andre Swift to “flame on” and reach Human Torch status against them last Thursday night.
The Vikings allow the third most rushing yards to running backs this season. Another feather in Kelley’s cap is that he is on the slight underdog in this matchup. That is one of my favorite rules to target within DFS. Find the slight underdog with volume and lock him into your lineup. Without Ekeler, he will see the volume you need to succeed Sunday.
Now, to the other side of the coin, we chase another rule I love in DFS. That is finding a great matchup from 46+ points and locking the slight underdog (no more than -4.5) into my lineup. That is the definition of Justin Herbert this week. We have used him a lot this season and with good reason. His new OC, Kellen Moore, is building an aggressive down-the-field approach for him, and he has a plethora of weapons. At the moment of this article, Justin Herbert is only rostered in 3.4% of lineups. With this potential shootout, we can’t help but sprinkle some lineups with him and a pass catcher we love.
The pass-catcher we love is Keenan Allen. Did you know Keenan Allen is third in the NFL with inside-the-10 targets? We can’t ignore anything Kellen Moore is doing with Keenan Allen anymore. With Keenan Allen’s rostership percentage below Mike Williams (5% at the moment), we would be foolish not to use him to pair with Justin Herbert and bring it back on the other side with Justin Jefferson.
Phew, that was a lot for one game, so let’s break down some other stacks now with the following:
Gus Edwards + Baltimore Defense (RB + Def Bal)
We have an 80% chance of rain Sunday with wind gusts up to 23 mph and a severe weather forecast warning that goes into effect Saturday night. If there was ever a condition that screams 1980s football where we pound the rock and drain the clock, this is it. Now mix those conditions on the field with J.K. Dobbins injured and done for the year, plus Justice Hill officially out. Do you know who the backups to Gus Edwards have become in Baltimore? The ghost of Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon. Unfortunately for them, this isn’t a Muppets’ Christmas special, so we have no use for spirits. Instead, please give us the running back that runs North/South and should command the workhorse title for this game on Sunday.
Our final stack is:
James Cook + Buffalo Defense (RB/Def Buf)
We know you read everything here on FantasyPros. That means you read the section where I told people to trade James Cook now on a Sell High. Well, that doesn’t matter for DFS. What matters for DFS is now, and now, James Cook is the RB12. He may not get the usage in the red zone, with only 20% of the carries within 20 yards. However, Cook has electric ability and can take one to the house for your team. With the weather in Washington mimicking the conditions of the Ravens game, we should expect a heavier run game approach. We should also build a narrative at dump-offs, screen passes, and more toward the middle-of-the-field plays. This style of play works for players like Dalton Kincaid (a solid pivot to save some cash) or James Cook. Washington’s defense does allow the ninth most receptions to the running back position, so don’t fret, and feel free to use James Cook this week.
The Buffalo Bills’ defense is a simple play, especially on DraftKings. They are a cheap defense in a bad-weather game, which can lead to fumbles. They are also playing a middle-of-the-road Washington team, which can allow for more sacks and pressure. Those two things convert into the previously mentioned turnovers. At the moment of this article, the Bills defense is only 1.1% rostered. Build your leverage while following the rule of your running back and defense from the same team.
DFS Dart Throws
Thank you for sitting around in this longer-than-usual article from me. I promised you some dart throws to mix in with these more expensive “chalk” stacks, so here we are. The first two come from the Miami Dolphins with Durham Smythe and Braxton Berrios. Durham Smythe has played 100% and 97% of snaps this season. He has also seen seven targets in Week 1. Jaylen Waddle is suffering from a concussion and is trending towards not playing this week. If that happens, Smythe could be in for a sneaky DFS day in your lineup. Braxton Berrios would also see an increase in production, especially when facing Dammari Mathis, who this season has an overall PFF grade of 29.9 and a coverage grade of 31.4
Our final dart throw that will be given to you is Kendre Miller. His price is low due to not playing in the 2023 season. However, without Alvin Kamara (suspension) and Jamaal Williams (injury), the only risk at the goal line is Taysom Hill becoming a vulture. Kendre Miller’s draft capital states he will be used now that he is full go at practices this week.
Remember to read all the fantastic work here at FantasyPros, and don’t hesitate to contact me on X at @jpep20. Good luck in Week 3!