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From the Slot: Week 3 NFL DFS Awesemo Grades & Values (FREE)

Nolan Kelly

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The best Yahoo NFL Picks for Week 6 Thursday Night Football Bucs vs. Eagles single-game contests using expert projections, rankings & ownership

Week 3 of the NFL season is upon us and that means it’s time for some FREE NFL DFS Picks from Awesemo’s premium values and rankings, including Patrick Mahomes at surprisingly low ownership in the highest totaled game of the week, and Ezekiel Elliott, at home, with the Dallas Cowboys implied for 34.5 points as 21-point favorites.

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Don’t forget to check out The NFL Strategy Show with Chris Spags and Dave Loughran. Today’s show took a first look at Awesemo’s ownership projections for Week 3 on DraftKings and FanDuel.


NFL DFS Picks Quarterback

Patrick Mahomes: Grades: A, Values: A

Alright, bold move, picking Patrick Mahomes. But hear me out, because this might end up as a leverage play.

We currently have Mahomes projected for under 5% ownership on both FanDuel and DraftKings. That’s nuts. Sure, he is the most expensive QB on both sites, but Mahomes’ weapons are cheap enough that you can pair him up with recency bias champ Demarcus Robinson or Mecole Hardman (74-yard TD called back last week against the Raiders) and still have a decently priced stack. Of course, the other side of this game against the Baltimore Ravens is just as juicy, with a slate-high 56.5 implied total. It is not often you get to roster the highest projected quarterback in the highest totaled game and get an ownership discount in the bargain.

NFL DFS Picks: Wide Receiver

Kenny Golladay: Grades: B, Values: C/D

Golladay is priced up a bit here, especially on DraftKings, so I can see why he is getting a weaker value from Awesemo. But this is still a plus matchup against a decimated Eagles secondary that’s given up huge lines to WR1s thus far this season. Ian Hartitz from Rotoworld (who will be on On the Contrary in the coming weeks) tweeted out this tidbit about how WR1s have fared against the Eagles CBs over the past two seasons. It ain’t pretty. Ronald Derby was beaten like a rented mule last week by Julio Jones and the Falcons and we are not expecting things to change.

Golladay, for his part, ranks 13th in the NFL in targets so far this year and has been the Lions top target in the Red Zone. Strangely, the Darrell Bevell-led Lions are throwing the ball a lot thus far (yes you read that right), and Matt Stafford leads the NFL in deep passing attempts with 17. Of course, if the ownership starts to spike on Golladay, given the ‘Eagles secondary is terrible’ narrative that’s developing in DFS circles this week, Marvin Jones makes for a nice 2% owned GPP flier.

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Here is what new contributor Sam Smith had to say in his WR vs. CB matchup:

“Ronald Darby‘s recovery from ACL surgery may be playing a part in his struggles the first couple of games. Perhaps with another week of full practice under his belt, Darby will be back up to his stronger form. But he is coming off a rough game in which both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley were able to pick up chunk yardage with Darby in coverage. And while Kenny Golladay got most of his 117 yards against the Chargers working against a struggling Brandon Facyson, he also pulled in a long touchdown over All-Pro Casey Hayward. The Lions have found ways to get Golladay isolated and Stafford has already targeted him 19 times in only two games.”

Low-owned GPP Flier

Will Fuller: Grades: D, Values: D

We have not seen one of those massive breakout games yet from Fuller, who is working his way back after returning from a torn ACL. Fuller showed flashes against the Saints, getting behind the defense on multiple occasions, falling just short of ripping one off. He leads the NFL in targeted air yards at 22.8 and has a huge speed advantage over Chargers CB Brandon Facyson, who runs a 4.54 40. Fuller is moderately priced across the board. Facyson has given up 10 receptions on 12 targets for 126 yards and a touchdown this season.

NFL DFS Picks: Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott: Grades: A, Values: B

We have two strong, priced up options this week, but, though it’s early, we have Christian McCaffrey projected for more than twice as much ownership as Elliott. I would expect that spread to condense as the week moves on. Elliott and the Cowboys have a 34.5 implied total at home to the Dolphins and are favored by 21 points. The only real risk here is that the game will get out of hand by halftime and the Cowboys will rest Elliott to keep him healthy. Usually, though, teams in this situation get 3-3.5 quarters before hitting the pine.

Elliott got a 76% snap share in Week 2, up from 54% in Week 1 and the Dolphins are giving up the second-most points to backs this season.

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NFL DFS Picks: Tight End

Zach Ertz: Grades: A, Values: A

This is more of a ‘where else is the ball gonna go?’ play, than anything. Both Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson are expected to miss this week, as well as Eagles back-up tight end Dallas Goedert. That is going to mean a lot of targets and snaps for Zach Ertz against the Lions, who are middle of the pack at allowing fantasy points to tight ends since the start of 2018. Ertz is quietly second in the NFL in tight end targets this season, just behind the Giants’ Evan Engram. His 59% catch rate has positive regression written all over it – in 2018, Ertz hauled in 75% of his passes.

Contrarian NFL DFS GPP Stack

The two highest-paced offensive teams in the NFL this season face off in Week 3 as the Carolina Panthers travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. It’s early yet, but both offenses are averaging one play every 22 seconds on offense. By comparison, the Colts led the league in 2018 at 26 seconds per play. The Cardinals have had two tough offensive matchups to start the season against the Lions and the Ravens – so their numbers and salaries are surpassed as a result. Kyler Murray (B, A) has two cheap weapons to throw to in Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald. Both are in the top 15 in targets this season.

On the Panthers side, Cam Newton is nursing a sprained ankle and was seen in a walking boot on Tuesday. Newton did not look like himself last Thursday night. If he cannot go, backup Kyle Allen is at or near the bare minimum on every DFS site. You can pair him up with DJ Moore (third in the NFL in targets) or the cheaper Curtis Samuel against a very weak Cardinals secondary that is starting second rounder Byron Murphy and Tramaine Brock.

Curtis Samuel is fast, running a 4.3 40-yard-dash and should run most of his routes against Murphy, who is slow, running a 4.55 40.  Samuel is a great play if you believe that one of these Panthers quarterbacks can actually get him the ball.

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This game has a modest 46 total, but has the potential to shoot out if this pace continues.


Check out our FULL NFL Content schedule this season, right HERE. We’ve got loads of new NFL DFS shows and columns this season, including:

  • Sal Vetri and Manny Lora are joining Loughy and a few others on the NFL Strategy Show at 11 ET from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Adam Pfiefer joins us from RotoCurve to provide a MASSIVE matchups breakdown of every game on the Sunday Slate as well as a key injury report on Fridays.
  • Chris Spags is releasing four weekly videos previewing some of Awesemo’s favorite plays.

And much more!

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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