DFS

2022 NFL Week 3 Main Slate Cash Games

week 3 main slate

We have made it to the first week of fall and what I would consider to be my final stage of evolution. I’m not a summertime broad. I don’t care about 90-degree weather or hanging out next to a pool from sun up to sun down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice and all. I can understand the allure of a good beach day. As soon as that fall weather hits, though, I feel like I’m fresh out of hibernation or like I’m a butterfly out of the cocoon. I’m about to go out in the world and live my best life.

My vibe is a cool refreshing breeze coming through the window while the sounds of Game Day Live are playing in the background. I have a hot cup of coffee brewing, while I go over DFS lineups and throw on a hoodie just to curl up on the couch for the next 10-11 hours. Some people want to go on fancy summer vacations, while some people like me just try to get through the weeks to make it to Sundays. Bring on the pumpkins and the pigskins, baby!

Aside from the change in weather, Week 3 is also going to bring us something new. Whereas Weeks 1 & 2 brought us matchups that felt like all of the elite players were saved for Primetime games. Leaving us with less than stellar star-studded main slates. Week 3 has basically given us all of them back to use.

However, there’s a bit of a catch. We get the battle of the divisional matchups. What can possibly go wrong? We’re ready for whatever curve ball these games are going to throw at us and I’m excited about this Sunday slate. Should be a heck of a week that’s either going to have us pulling our hair out or raking in the dough. Get in the fall spirit people it’s time to crush cider and crush cash. Let’s ride!

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen – (DraftKings: $8,200 / FanDuel: $9,000)

Get real; how much convincing do you really need for Josh Allen as your cash game quarterback? Probably not very much, considering he’s playing out of his ever-loving mind and looking like a strong candidate to end the year as the fantasy QB1 again for the third year in a row. The Buffalo Bills have come out of the gates guns blazing. Now, we’ve reached their first tough matchup in a battle for a division I believe they’re more than prepared to dominate. 

I said it last weekend with Lamar Jackson, and I’ll say it again this weekend with Josh Allen: when you are facing the Miami Dolphins and give them a matchup where you can see a back-and-forth affair, you’re going to want exposure to that game. It may be unfortunate that the Buffalo Bills just caught a laundry list of injuries in the Monday night game. That said, it opened up a weakness in their secondary for the Dolphins to exploit. Expect this to be one of those “game of the week” types of vibes: a true back-and-forth match of two titans. 

While the matchup itself is fantastic, let’s not forget to mention just how dominant Allen has been in fantasy himself. He’s averaged 33.1 DraftKings points through 2 weeks and has particularly found success against Miami in the past. He’s 7-1 vs. Miami in his career, and he averages 247.5 passing yards, 2.6 touchdowns, and a 106.8 passer rating. Sounds like the guy to pay up for to me. 

Jalen Hurts – (DraftKings: $7,600 / FanDuel: $8,100)

If Jalen Hurts keeps throwing the ball over 30 times a game, then we are bound to see the best fantasy season out of Hurts yet. As he currently sits as the QB4 on DraftKings, we are seeing exactly what we wanted to see out of him as a fantasy asset: an extremely safe rushing floor with an increase in passing volume to open up his ceiling. You really have to feel good about getting Jalen Hurts under $8,000 on DraftKings with the type of production he can give you.

Also, if we’re being honest here, this is Jalen’s game to show the Philadelphia Eagles that they didn’t make a mistake letting Carson Wentz walk, and giving him the reins of this football team was the best decision they could’ve ever made.

This game is going to be an easy one to like pieces in, seeing as it’s the 3rd highest over/under. Both teams have given us some productive fantasy pieces over the last 2 weeks, and the quarterbacks have been putting up some serious points. The secondaries Hurts and Wentz have faced through the first 2 weeks of football are arguably some of the softest in the league. For one quarterback, we’ll see that pattern continue. Jalen Hurts honestly has one of the best fantasy schedules one could make. As for this week, he faces a Commanders defense that ranks near the bottom in both yards and points allowed per game. It just Hurts so good for my cash game lineups. Expect Philly’s offense to stay hot with their foot on the gas in this matchup. 

Honorable Mention: Matthew Stafford – (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $7,700)

Deep Sleeper: Jared Goff – (DraftKings: $5,800 / FanDuel: $7,100)

Running Backs

Joe Mixon – (DraftKings: $7,600 / FanDuel: $8,200)

Okay, Bengals offensive line. This is your chance to get right and help out my man Joe Mixon.

I hardly want to give this unit any credit whatsoever, seeing as they are the worst line in all of football. That said, both of the Bengals’ prior opponents, the Steelers, and the Cowboys, are top 10 in adjusted sack rate. The New York Jets are ranked 23rd, so this will be their first game going up against a butter-soft defensive line that isn’t great at creating much pressure. There is just no way the Bengals aren’t looking at this matchup and thinking, “it’s time we lay a beat down so that we can get our team back on track in the perfect get-right spot”. That kind of game script I’m expecting out of them should bode well for Mixon.  

Joe Mixon has 46 rushing attempts in the first 2 weeks of this season. Nick Chubb gets the edge with the extra game on his schedule, but those 46 attempts are good enough for second-most in the league. Mixon also has the fourth-most targets amongst running backs. He is an elite bell cow back, and his volume is just crazy high: too high for his price point and matchup for us to not take advantage of. We know the smash game is coming soon, and I don’t see why it can’t be right here against the Jets. New York was just gashed by Nick Chubb for 113 yards and a touchdown, while averaging almost 5 yards a carry. I can see Mixon easily having a similar stat line this weekend. I’ll take his volume in a game where the team is motivated and a heavy favorite.

Leonard Fournette – (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $7,200)

There’s not much I appreciate more in life than a football player apologizing to his fantasy football fans about their lack of touchdowns. So, when Leonard Fournette tweets out:

I got to admit, I feel a bit better about putting him in my lineup the next week. I understand the “player promises model” isn’t one that we should be leaning on. It’s still fun to believe that Fournette may have our best interests in the back of his mind, though. Uncle Lenny is also another one who sees just too much usage for us not to soak up value when he isn’t priced amongst the elite.

While it may feel a bit unfair with Nick Chubb’s extra game on the schedule that pushes these running backs I’ve listed down, it’s still no discredit to what he’s been doing. Fournette has the third-most rushing attempts in the league and is always utilized heavily in the passing attack. His volume is too good to be priced this low, and Lord knows with all that volume, it’s only a matter of time before the touchdowns really do come. 

When you think of the strengths of the Green Bay Packers, you’d probably mention their defense. While that is true and they do have an amazing defensive unit, it’s their rushing defense that has been a glaring problem for them over the last couple of years. We’re seeing a continuation of this problem again here in 2022 as well. The Packers have given up the fifth-most rushing yards and fourth-most yards per carry.

We all know how bad the Chicago Bears have been, and we just watched David Montgomery light them up for 122 rushing yards and 8.1 yards per carry. I really love the formula here for Fournette this week. His floor is safe, and his ceiling is much higher than what he’s performed at this season. If you take his volume and add a touchdown, you have yourself a solid day for fantasy. Especially with all the notable inactives for this game, I think we continue to see Tom Brady lean on his safety valve in Fournette.

Honorable Mention: David Montgomery – (DraftKings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $7,100)

Deep Sleeper: Miles Sanders – (DraftKings: $5,500 / FanDuel: $6,800)

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs – (DraftKings: $7,700 / FanDuel: $8,300)

We can thank the Monday Night Football Gods for this weak pricing on Stefon Diggs. He actually exploded for 47.8 DraftKings points against the Tennessee Titans. Consider this a free square this week, because after seeing what he’s done in 2 weeks of football. I’m certain this is the last time we can ever get Diggs under $8,000. While he may seem like the odd man out matchup-wise amongst the elite wide receivers on this slate, I’m not shying away from Diggs this week.

In the past, Stefon Diggs has struggled when facing the star corner for the Miami Dolphins, Xavien Howard. However, Howard is currently struggling with a groin injury, and his performance has fallen off as a result. The Miami Dolphins defense just last week got absolutely lit up by the Baltimore Ravens for 38 points. Miami also ranks dead last in yards allowed per target to opposing wide receivers.

At this point, I’m not sure that Gabriel Davis is healthy enough to suit up for the matchup. If he can’t – or even if he can – I’m expecting Diggs to blow up again. The man is just too hot right now. He’s at the top in every facet of the wide receiver position, and there’s nothing about this game that suggests he’ll be slowing down. He is him!

Amon-Ra St. Brown – (DraftKings: $7,200 / FanDuel: $7,800)

I honestly feel like I have said all that needs to be said about Amon-Ra St. Brown in my last article. I’m just going to start pulling an Amon-Ra St. Brown and start listing all of the wide receivers priced ahead of him on DFS websites each week until he is priced up over $8,000 like most of the elites. That is exactly how Amon-Ra is playing: just like an elite! Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, and A.J. Brown! 

The Detroit Lions offense is absolutely rolling, and a divisional matchup against the Minnesota Vikings should be easy money for St. Brown. The Vikings as a whole were just embarrassing against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. Specifically, their secondary gave up a ton of fantasy points to the wide receiver position. They are top 5 in yards per target allowed to opposing wide receivers, and even worse off is their 80% catch rate allowed to the position. Seeing that this game is tied for the highest over/under on the slate, it seems like another easy week for Amon-Ra, if you’re asking me.

Honorable Mention: Curtis Samuel – (DraftKings: $5,100 / FanDuel: $6,300)

Deep Sleeper: Greg Dortch – (DraftKings: $4,300 / FanDuel: $5,100)

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce – (DraftKings: $7,900 / FanDuel: $7,800)

Who’s got the kind of money for this freakin guy, right? I know. With all the mid-tier tight-end prices on this slate, who would actually pay up for Travis Kelce? Just like last week – as I discussed with Mark Andrews – if you want a sure thing, it’ll cost ya! Realistically, however, there is so much value at the running back and wide receiver position that you can find a way to afford Kelce this week. 

As most of you who follow me know, I love punting the tight end position. That said, the Indianapolis Colts have just been absolutely pathetic defending against the position. If you thought the Vikings’ 80% catch rate allowed to wide receivers was bad, then get a load of the 85.7% catch rate the Colts are giving out to tight ends. At the same time, the whole entire Kansas City offense has been a wide receiver carousel of production. We don’t know who the guy is on a week-to-week basis.

We can at least trust Kelce week in and week out. He still puts up a 21.8% target share in the offense, which leads the team, and the matchup is right. Kelce is hanging on to this TE1 position by a thread nowadays. For the time being, though, he’s still that dude. I’m cool with paying up for him this week if I can fit him.

Tyler Higbee – (Draftkings: $4,500 / FanDuel: $5,700)

Who knew there would be a random early revival of Tyler Higbee’s fantasy relevance this year? Certainly not me, but here we are. We must grow and pivot in the direction that life takes us. If Tyler Higbee against the Arizona Cardinals is the play, then it’s the play! Through 2 weeks of football, we’ve seen Higbee become a regular part of this offense with at least 9 targets. That’s good enough to be second-most behind Cooper Kupp.

I like Higbee because I like his involvement in the offense, with the added-on bonus of an A+ matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Division games are funky in you never know what to expect of them. This game could be a little sneaky shootout, though. The Rams’ secondary – while it has star corner Jalen Ramsey – is still getting exploited through these last 2 weeks. Even against the underwhelming Atlanta Falcons and Marcus Mariota, Los Angeles has struggled.

I think the Cardinals can give these guys a run for their money. That would make it a game that calls for Stafford to utilize his top two weapons in Kupp and Higbee. I remember years prior, Arizona was always a team to target for opposing tight ends. It looks like they are back to their old ways. Thus far, they have given up a league-high of 19 receptions, 212 yards, and 3 touchdowns to the position. Higbee seems like a no-brainer in the middle-tier selection for tight ends.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Conklin – (DraftKings: $3,800 / FanDuel: $5,200)

Deep Sleeper:  Logan Thomas – (DraftKings: $3,500 / FanDuel: $5,400)

D/ST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers – (DraftKings: $3,100 / FanDuel: $4,700)

Obviously, this matchup can come back to bite my whole face off. Before you pass judgment, hear me out! We already talked about the strengths of the Packers team being its defense. Well, another strength is their running back duo in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. They are easily one of the best running back tandems in the NFL. With that in mind, what has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers excelled at on defense for years? Stopping the run.

I just don’t see Aaron Rodgers pulling off having a great day with his inexperienced wide receivers. Sammy Watkins is already out, and Allen Lazard is questionable for this game. Rodgers may be losing one of his only reliable targets. If Tampa is able to eliminate the run game ,then I think we’re going to see a familiar Week 1 Aaron Rodgers performance, as opposed to a ceiling game of two former MVPs facing off. A year or two ago, this would’ve been the game of the century. As these two quarterbacks get older and as their wide receiver core has depleted, it’s just not as thrilling as it could’ve been.

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints – (DraftKings: $2,600 / FanDuel: $3,900)

I get that this option might not appear sexy immediately. Upon further review, you may just change your mind. The New Orleans Saints are in a bad way right now with injuries at two major positions. Quarterback Jameis Winston has several back fractures. The other player is star running back Alvin Kamara, who has been unable to stay healthy. This is what’s truly holding back the offense as a whole, and their poor offensive line play isn’t making matters any easier.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST, while it comes as no shock, just absolutely clobbered the New Orleans Saints. They finished as the best defense of the week. They racked up multiple sacks, interceptions, fumbles, and even scored a touchdown. It was not a fun day if you didn’t play the Bucs’ D/ST, because it gave serious leverage. Not only did the Buccaneers have themselves a day, so did another divisional opponent – the Atlanta Falcons – when facing the Saints.

It’s not as impressive that Atlanta finished as D/ST15, but they still had 4 sacks and a fumble return. The Panthers’ defense isn’t as bad as they’ve seemed. Hopefully, they gcan et it together enough this week to put up a performance that’ll payoff for the cheap pricing.

Honorable Mention: Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears – (DraftKings: $2,600 / FanDuel: $3,800)

Deep Sleeper: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans – (DraftKings: $2,500 / FanDuel: $3,400)

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